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Feedback on - 2001 Malibu Sunsetter VLX


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Evening

 

I’m planning on purchasing my first boat tomorrow for my family. 
 

Your discussions have really helped me narrow down my choice & I’m confident I’ve found the perfect first boat that will accommodate all our needs. I would love to hear whether or not you believe this is a good buy. Thank You!

 

2001 Malibu Sunsetter VLX

 

Original Motor

5.7

425 hours

$17,900

 

Private Party

I’m going to see it in person tomorrow. I’ve been told;

- Upholstery is what you’d expect from a 19 year old boat 

- No Corrosion anywhere

- Brand new stereo & wiring

- Gel coat perfect

- Trailer 

- Just did wheel bearings

- Brakes are good

- Tires 1 year old

- No rust anywhere

- Always kept inside

- No salt water

- 3 Owners... this guys had it for 6 years


Thank You for any feedback you can give. Really appreciate it. Wanted to provide as much information as I could 

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A couple articles for you @DGAZ

the first says for new boats, but is helpful for used as well.

Don’t forget that you may need more than just the boat!

Don’t forget to post pics!! We like pics.

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7 hours ago, DGAZ said:

- Upholstery is what you’d expect from a 19 year old boat 

- Always kept inside

- 3 Owners... this guys had it for 6 years

If it were always kept inside, I would expect the upholstery to be in near perfect shape except for normal wear (a rub here, a puncture there).  If it is obviously sunburned or cracked and dried out, it was *not* always kept inside.

I don't know about your market, but the price seems high to me.  Like a few thousand high.  Post photos, please.  Not just the exterior and upholstery, but down in the engine well also.  Things like the oil pan and starter.

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if it looks as good as it sounds I think that's a great price and a great first boat. One thing you didn't mention is cruse control. If it doesn't have it you will defiantly want it and soon. Don't wait and plan on adding it later, you want it now. You didn't mention a tower ether.  some of the early VLX's didn't have a tower. No tower and no cruse that price starts to look pretty high.

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Those boats even without tower and cruise are still fetching 19k in the Midwest. Someone at the gas station offered my dad 20k for his 01 SS VLX last summer in WI. His has no tower, speed control, and is on a single axle trailer. 

That will be a great boat if it's been well cared for. The upholstery on that year is prone to split seams on the rear seats that always get stepped on. It will tear along the piping. Two years ago, my dad took those seats to a local vinyl shop. They were able to remove the old skins and original piping, sew them back together with new piping, and reinstall. Looks brand new for a couple hundred bucks. 

Check for loose tracking fins. Kind of a pain to repair since the floor and gas tank has to come up. 

Only issues we've ever had with that boat are the aforementioned tracking fin, and occasional gauge freezing since new, which is usually cleared with a restart. 

It's been the perfect "do everything" boat which is why I think it's a permanent part of the family. No plans to sell it anytime soon. 

Edited by UWSkier
  • Like 2
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34 minutes ago, windy1 said:

if it looks as good as it sounds I think that's a great price and a great first boat. One thing you didn't mention is cruse control. If it doesn't have it you will defiantly want it and soon. Don't wait and plan on adding it later, you want it now. You didn't mention a tower ether.  some of the early VLX's didn't have a tower. No tower and no cruse that price starts to look pretty high.

Great feedback thank you

- No cruise

- It did come with the Tower & Bimini Top

- The Tower has racks, speakers & lights

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18 minutes ago, UWSkier said:

Those boats even without tower and cruise are still fetching 19k in the Midwest. Someone at the gas station offered my dad 20k for his 01 SS VLX last summer in WI. His has no tower, speed control, and is on a single axle trailer. 

That will be a great boat if it's been well cared for. The upholstery on that year is prone to split seams on the rear seats that always get stepped on. It will tear along the piping. Two years ago, my dad took those seats to a local vinyl shop. They were able to remove the old skins and original piping, sew them back together with new piping, and reinstall. Looks brand new for a couple hundred bucks. 

Check for loose tracking fins. Kind of a pain to repair since the floor and gas tank has to come up. 

Only issues we've ever had with that boat are the aforementioned tracking fin, and occasional gauge freezing since new, which is usually cleared with a restart. 

It's been the perfect "do everything" boat which is why I think it's a permanent part of the family. No plans to sell it anytime soon. 

Really appreciate the feedback

This one has the Tower with speakers, racks & lights including the Bimini top

No cruise unfortunately

He says the fins aren’t lose

Great! I’m confident it would be the same for us. Question? We want to surf. Would we have any issues surfing with this boat if we follow some of the ballast recommendations on this site?

 

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2 minutes ago, DGAZ said:

Really appreciate the feedback

This one has the Tower with speakers, racks & lights including the Bimini top

No cruise unfortunately

He says the fins aren’t lose

Great! I’m confident it would be the same for us. Question? We want to surf. Would we have any issues surfing with this boat if we follow some of the ballast recommendations on this site?

 

I've been surfing ours since 2005 with three bags and the wedge. Not a super long wave but tons of push. I'm 250lbs and on a decent board I could stand back there all day, carve bottom turns, do lip slides etc. Never rode out a 360 without being saved by the rope, but that's an Indian problem, not an arrow problem. Never tried it with a shaper like a suck gate. We got bored of surfing after a few years. 

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1 hour ago, justgary said:

If it were always kept inside, I would expect the upholstery to be in near perfect shape except for normal wear (a rub here, a puncture there).  If it is obviously sunburned or cracked and dried out, it was *not* always kept inside.

I don't know about your market, but the price seems high to me.  Like a few thousand high.  Post photos, please.  Not just the exterior and upholstery, but down in the engine well also.  Things like the oil pan and starter.

Thank You for the feedback

Ill try and figure out how to post pics right quick. These are from the ad. He’s getting me new ones now with the Engine bay, dash and more of everything else

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The one in Yuma?  The gel looks good except for a mark on the transom right above the platform.  Not sure what'd cause that but if that's scraped to the fiberglass, I'd look to get that repaired.  There's also a chip on the back left corner.  They must have surfed this boat a lot since they moved the fuel vent to the back and angled it slightly (good thing).

That interior is in rough shape.  AZ sun is brutal and the '01 vinyl isn't known for durability.  You're looking at a few thousand bucks to restore that with new skins all around.  My friend just had his '06 redone here in the Phoenix area and it turned out well.  I can connect you if you'd be interested in new skins.  It looks like the rear three seat bases were redone at one point since they don't match the other vinyl.

The trailer is missing guide posts.

I don't want to ruin your stoke, but I'd look to get a few hundred bucks knocked off.  If it's mechanically sound, everything I've mentioned isn't terribly difficult to fix, but it'll cost money and time.

If you're up for a fixer-upper, you couldn't ask for a better boat though.

https://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/boa/d/yuma-2001-malibu-wakeboard-boat/7132360848.html

Edited by UWSkier
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6 minutes ago, UWSkier said:

The one in Yuma?  The gel looks good except for a mark on the transom right above the platform.  Not sure what'd cause that but if that's scraped to the fiberglass, I'd look to get that repaired.

That interior is in rough shape.  AZ sun is brutal and the '01 vinyl isn't known for durability.  You're looking at a few thousand bucks to restore that with new skins all around.  My friend just had his '06 redone here in the Phoenix area and it turned out well.  I can connect you if you'd be interested in new skins.

Yes!

So overall you think it looks like a pretty good boat? I've buffered in some budget to reupholster and add perfect pass. They're open to coming down a few more hundred so I can make some improvements. My gut is telling me not to pass this one up based on all the feedback and research i've done

I'm still trying to figure out how to post pics. I'm trying to use the links from google drive but it's not working. Mmmm. I'll keep trying. I'll upload the new pics too when I get em

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You can right click on the images from the add, copy image URL, and paste that here.

00N0N_fuohtK1a7Pa_0CI0t2_1200x900.jpg

If you don't mind a project and the boat is mechanically sound, it could be a great project to get it looking new, but given how much work it'll need, I think getting additional pricing concessions is a good idea.

Test drive it.  Throttle, steering, etc should all be smooth. Shouldn't be any vibration at any speed.

Edited by UWSkier
  • Like 2
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3 minutes ago, UWSkier said:

You can right click on the images from the add, copy image URL, and paste that here.

00N0N_fuohtK1a7Pa_0CI0t2_1200x900.jpg

If you don't mind a project and the boat is mechanically sound, it could be a great project to get it looking new, but given how much work it'll need, I think getting additional pricing concessions is a good idea.

Ok great thank you. Don't mind at all. I'd love to get your friends upholstery referral thank you

Cool... I'll try that now for posting pics

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Here are the listing pics for the boat

He's going to be sending me more detailed pics of the engine bay etc. He also mentioned he'll come down a few hundred more knowing I'm going to reupholster everything and add perfect pass. Really appreciate you guy's help

00909_2p2H9ItRNqO_0CI0t2_600x450.jpg 00R0R_8mUZs0FeweU_0CI0t2_600x450.jpg

00N0N_fuohtK1a7Pa_0CI0t2_600x450.jpg00l0l_hb6MckevrcZ_0CI0t2_600x450.jpg

00c0c_fRND7tWaIIU_0CI0t2_600x450.jpg00O0O_kmODxsMSpRy_0CI0t2_600x450.jpg00e0e_amuKEW5aVa8_0CI0t2_600x450.jpg

00K0K_5YAEvys7HQu_0CI0t2_600x450.jpg00a0a_kHqulUdOn00_0CI0t2_600x450.jpg

00000_78gmei62dAa_0CI0t2_600x450.jpg00404_fseRj0SveV1_0CI0t2_600x450.jpg

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1 hour ago, UWSkier said:

I've been surfing ours since 2005 with three bags and the wedge. Not a super long wave but tons of push. I'm 250lbs and on a decent board I could stand back there all day, carve bottom turns, do lip slides etc. Never rode out a 360 without being saved by the rope, but that's an Indian problem, not an arrow problem. Never tried it with a shaper like a suck gate. We got bored of surfing after a few years. 

That's great to know thank you. Ha Ha about the 360

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New Images of the boat. Would love to hear your thoughts based off all the images. Didn't mentioned I live in Arizona & plan on reupholstering

Thanks again! You guys have all been great

IMG_2163.JPG?v=1591118610IMG_4135.JPG?v=1591118611

IMG_2849.JPG?v=1591118612 IMG_9808.JPG?v=1591118612

IMG_5191.JPG?v=1591118612 IMG_0295.JPG?v=1591118612

 

 

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There's zero chance that boat was always kept inside.  The dust does get everywhere out here, that's true, but that boat has sat out.  It's way too dusty.

There's a dummy PCV valve hose on the starboard side head covers that's sitting there disconnected.  That can probably just be reconnected.

It seems like there's a lot of rust on the port side exhaust riser.  Or is that orange RTV that someone was just sloppy with?  Hard to tell.

Dock rash on both rear sides.

It definitely needs a deep cleaning.  I imagine this boat looked awful before they got it ready to sell by buffing out oxidation and putting some teak oil on the platform.

Definitely make sure you drive it before you buy it.  Get it good and warmed up, then look for any water leaks.  Look closely in the bilge for any oil leaking or dripping.  Feel both exhaust manifold risers to be sure they're the same temp.  Check all gauges are working and reading correctly.  Run boat at all speeds and feel for any vibrations.  Before you put it in the water, grab the prop and see if you can move it laterally or up and down at all to check if the strut bushing is good.  Grab the rudder and feel for any wobbly play.  If you can, ask for or get compression numbers for the engine.

That boat has the potential to be a gem, or a money pit.  From the looks of it, it hasn't been babied as the description indicated.  It will require a lot of due diligence.

Good luck!  Hope it all works out!

  • Like 3
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Pull the spark arrestor off of the throttle body and look inside.  Open the throttle and look again.  All of that dust and dirt goes *somewhere* when he cranks the engine....  Post photos of what you see!

I think a compression/leakdown test is a good idea, too with all of that dirt on the engine.

That's an original style two-bolt wedge.  It will want attention if you plan to use it for surfing.  Perhaps look at reseating the existing bolts and getting another set of bolts installed.

 

  • Like 2
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1 hour ago, UWSkier said:

There's zero chance that boat was always kept inside.  The dust does get everywhere out here, that's true, but that boat has sat out.  It's way too dusty.

There's a dummy PCV valve hose on the starboard side head covers that's sitting there disconnected.  That can probably just be reconnected.

It seems like there's a lot of rust on the port side exhaust riser.  Or is that orange RTV that someone was just sloppy with?  Hard to tell.

Dock rash on both rear sides.

It definitely needs a deep cleaning.  I imagine this boat looked awful before they got it ready to sell by buffing out oxidation and putting some teak oil on the platform.

Definitely make sure you drive it before you buy it.  Get it good and warmed up, then look for any water leaks.  Look closely in the bilge for any oil leaking or dripping.  Feel both exhaust manifold risers to be sure they're the same temp.  Check all gauges are working and reading correctly.  Run boat at all speeds and feel for any vibrations.  Before you put it in the water, grab the prop and see if you can move it laterally or up and down at all to check if the strut bushing is good.  Grab the rudder and feel for any wobbly play.  If you can, ask for or get compression numbers for the engine.

That boat has the potential to be a gem, or a money pit.  From the looks of it, it hasn't been babied as the description indicated.  It will require a lot of due diligence.

Good luck!  Hope it all works out!

Good stuff

Regarding the rust on the riser. He said it’s because he just got done washing it & because it’s bare metal. He said he could just wipe it right off 🤷🏻‍♂️ 

He didn’t have a current compression reading and I’ll check the temp of the risers when we take it out to the water

Really appreciate all this feedback. Being new to boats I’m going to have to look up a bunch of these terms so I know what I’m looking for

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1 hour ago, justgary said:

Pull the spark arrestor off of the throttle body and look inside.  Open the throttle and look again.  All of that dust and dirt goes *somewhere* when he cranks the engine....  Post photos of what you see!

I think a compression/leakdown test is a good idea, too with all of that dirt on the engine.

That's an original style two-bolt wedge.  It will want attention if you plan to use it for surfing.  Perhaps look at reseating the existing bolts and getting another set of bolts installed.

 

Great thank you

I’ll have to look up all these terms to see what I’m lookin for. I know basic auto motor terminology but boat specific terminology is new to me

👊🏻

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I like it.  If you are mechanically inclined or willing to learn, you can fix almost anything on that boat.  She just needs someone to care enough to restore her glory and make the sins of the prior owners go away.   My 21 year old boat was in similar condition when I bought her ten years ago without even a test drive.  I took an aircraft mechanic friend with me to look at her.  It took a few years, some work, and some coins,  but not a crazy amount of work or money to bring her back.  Now, I wouldn't sell or trade her for anything else.

You can learn pretty much all you need to know and more on this forum.  I would tell you though, if you are not interested in turning a wrench or screwdriver and want to depend on a dealer or boat repair place,  you would probably be better off spending more now and getting something already fixed up.

Edited by Bozboat
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53 minutes ago, DGAZ said:

Good stuff

Regarding the rust on the riser. He said it’s because he just got done washing it & because it’s bare metal. He said he could just wipe it right off 🤷🏻‍♂️ 

He didn’t have a current compression reading and I’ll check the temp of the risers when we take it out to the water

Really appreciate all this feedback. Being new to boats I’m going to have to look up a bunch of these terms so I know what I’m looking for

Just to clarify, this is the exhaust riser.  That will not wipe right off, and it's not bare metal, it is painted at the factory and most do not show rust here without them being very wet.  Looking at the boat I'd agree it's been left outside a lot of it's life, in the rain and in the sun.  He probably had the gelcoat polished up to get it ready for sale which is why that part is so shiny.

I like that boat too - but proceed with diligence.  

Riser.jpg

Edited by Michigan boarder
  • Like 2
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1 hour ago, Bozboat said:

I like it.  If you are mechanically inclined or willing to learn, you can fix almost anything on that boat.  She just needs someone to care enough to restore her glory and make the sins of the prior owners go away.   My 21 year old boat was in similar condition when I bought her ten years ago without even a test drive.  I took an aircraft mechanic friend with me to look at her.  It took a few years, some work, and some coins,  but not a crazy amount of work or money to bring her back.  Now, I wouldn't sell or trade her for anything else.

You can learn pretty much all you need to know and more on this forum.  I would tell you though, if you are not interested in turning a wrench or screwdriver and want to depend on a dealer or boat repair place,  you would probably be better off spending more now and getting something already fixed up.

Good stuff thank you

I’m a cobbler so work with tools every day. I’m actually looking forward to the prospect of making her beautiful again. I do most of the novice work on my Silverado so used to working on a vehicle. This is a new beast I know but should be able to handle it. That’s cool one of my best friends has worked on helicopter & jet engines his whole career.

 

thanks man

 

Excited to share her with everyone. Just 1 hour out from seeing her

 

 

  • Like 2
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1 hour ago, Michigan boarder said:

Just to clarify, this is the exhaust riser.  That will not wipe right off, and it's not bare metal, it is painted at the factory and most do not show rust here without them being very wet.  Looking at the boat I'd agree it's been left outside a lot of it's life, in the rain and in the sun.  He probably had the gelcoat polished up to get it ready for sale which is why that part is so shiny.

I like that boat too - but proceed with diligence.  

Riser.jpg

Gotcha

Thank You! Would you let rust right there prevent you from buying a boat? Or is there anything you would look for to give you more confidence 

🤙🏼

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