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Purchasing Advice Needed


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Hello all, long time lurker and new member looking for some purchasing advice if anyone is willing to share.

A little about me first, my wife and I have owned a Four Winns I/O for the last 11 years and our family and kids are ready for an upgrade. We have the itch for a v-drive and after having looked around quite a bit, my wife said it will be a Malibu. I had no qualms with that at all as I have always wanted a Malibu, but was concerned that maybe it was out of reach. We have saved for an upgrade and want to pay cash as we are not interested in financing toys. So the question that I have is, am I being unreasonable in my search? Here is what I have been looking for specifically.

2005-2008 VLX or 21LSV (possibly a VTX, but those are a newer boat and there seems to be fewer of them)

We are trying to stay around the $30k mark and I am growing increasingly frustrated as I don't see that there is a ton of available inventory in the used market and everything seems to be priced out of reach. Is this search not realistic and is it time to shelve the idea for a little bit? I figured I would ask the group that has the most knowledge about these boats and might have a better grasp on the market. I am willing to travel to most locations if I can find the right boat, but am starting to wonder if this is not going to happen this year after all.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

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I'm guessing that for those years in LSV, you might be a little bit low.  But with that said, the market could possibly be a little different this fall/winter.  You might find a great deal on one that someone is unloading because they can't afford it with the economy like it is.  On the flip side of that thinking, there might be more people looking at these year models, because, like you they don't want to finance something now knowing what the future holds.  Good luck.  SItes like

www.boattrader.com and www.onlyinboards.com are both good places to start.

 

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Thanks for the replies. We plan on using it for surfing and wakeboarding. Of course with kids, there will be the occasional tube pulling, but none of us are really into skiing. I really do want to stay at 21' though as I am not willing to give up more garage space than a 21' boat. I really am looking at that year range more than anything else, as we will likely hold onto this boat for another 10+ years like our current boat and I don't want to start out with something too much older. I also want to stay with the newer hull design that was introduced around that time frame as I think it will feel more comfortable for us coming from an I/O and being used to a boat with a little deeper hull design to it.

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Thank you REHinH2O. I was afraid that the outcome might be that I need to adjust my budget. That is one area that my wife is not budging on! I have been watching both boattrader.com and onlyinboards.com for quite a while now. I have also been watching the Facebook Marketplace quite a bit with a little Craigslist sprinkled in there. I find that Craigslist is not the best place to be looking, it seems scammy at times! I guess I will hold out and see what this fall may bring...

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If you would consider Axis (malibu's sister, with lower price point) you might find the boat you are looking for - again it depends on timing.  I did a quick search, but didn't see any that were at your price point.  

https://www.boattrader.com/boat/2011-axis-a22-7422215/

 

https://www.boattrader.com/boat/2005-malibu-v-ride-21-7479965/

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Thanks again for the replies, I really do appreciate the help that a community can offer. To clarify, I am not afraid to travel. I will go where is necessary for the right boat. I am, however, a little picky with trailers! Because we travel with our boat both locally and an occasional 3-4 hour trip, I only want to stick with trailers with tandems. It's a safety thing for me.

Question for REHinH2O, is there not a 21' LSV, just not many of them? That could be why I don't see them available often, if they don't even exist. I did know that the VLX is 21.5', and I do have the garage space to make that happen. I could make a 23' happen, but then it encroaches on the space the kids scatter their bikes and scooters!

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I would look into an Axis.  Most likely  a 2010 or 2011 in that range.   The used boat market is tough right now.  Most dealers at least around me are sold out of used boats and some are thinking they will sell out of 2020s before the 2021 get here.  Seems like everyone is buying RVs and boats.

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I have considered a purchase in Canada, as parts of it really aren't much further than many points in the U.S. for me. However, at this point, I am not sure when that border will open at all. Are boat sales particularly distressed in Canada as compared to the States?

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Boats in Alberta and Saskatchewan in particular are lower priced - oil patch woes.  But the exchange is a benefit no matter where you look.  Border will be open late July (actually it is, but not for  overland traffic; air is OK.  Go figure)

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5 hours ago, REHinH20 said:

Also, just so you search correctly - the LSV is a 23 ft boat, the VLX is 21.5.

I had an 07 21 LSV Sunscape. Actually 21’6” I believe. It was a great boat and with lots of weight gave a decent wave. They should be right in his price range if he can find one. 

Edited by Sparky450
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10 hours ago, Sparky450 said:

I had an 07 21 LSV Sunscape. Actually 21’6” I believe. It was a great boat and with lots of weight gave a decent wave. They should be right in his price range if he can find one. 

Sorry - stand corrected, didnt' think about sunscape.

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I was in the same 'boat' as you a few years ago.  We had an older Centurion and it was time for an upgrade.  I had $35k to spend,  and was frustrated at the searching.   Fact is, these boats just hold value more than any other toy.  I found the 2006 23LSV Sunscape, but it was about 10 hour drive, so I passed it over several times.  As the weeks went on, all I was finding was $55k Wakesetters with ugly graphics and vinyl.  Finally contacted the guy with the Sunscape, and my daughter and I made the road trip.  Well worth it, and I'm glad we didn't miss out on the boat.  It is exactly what I wanted, and has served us well for 3+ years.  

I will say that shopping for boats in June is not in your favor.  If anyone is selling, it will be for top dollar.  Best time to buy private party is October (in most areas) as guys don't want to store them and pay for them over the winter.  End of year boat shows are also a great place to find a deal.

I am with you 100% about not financing toys.  But I don't think you will find what you want at $30k.  Not sure the number or ages of your kids, but they will grow, and the boat will not, so don't sacrifice space.  If your budget is stuck, you might broaden your search and consider the Centurion Elite V.  We had that boat for 8 years and it was great.  The price point is lower than the Malibus, and there seem to be more out there.

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I really do appreciate all the responses and input. Also thanks for your experience and thoughts as well kylesullens. June is not ideal for buying, but it is if I am gong to turn around and sell our existing boat! We almost bought a Centurion, but it wasn't exactly what I wanted and I love the look and quality of the Malibu boats.

Canada was a great idea. I found a potential boat last night and have already communicated with the seller quite a bit. The seller was taking it into his local dealer today for service, so I have reached out to the dealer about doing a pre-sale inspection while it is there. Very convenient! I appreciate the advice and will keep you posted.

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20 hours ago, robbpike said:

Hello all, long time lurker and new member looking for some purchasing advice if anyone is willing to share.

A little about me first, my wife and I have owned a Four Winns I/O for the last 11 years and our family and kids are ready for an upgrade. We have the itch for a v-drive and after having looked around quite a bit, my wife said it will be a Malibu. I had no qualms with that at all as I have always wanted a Malibu, but was concerned that maybe it was out of reach. We have saved for an upgrade and want to pay cash as we are not interested in financing toys. So the question that I have is, am I being unreasonable in my search? Here is what I have been looking for specifically.

2005-2008 VLX or 21LSV (possibly a VTX, but those are a newer boat and there seems to be fewer of them)

We are trying to stay around the $30k mark and I am growing increasingly frustrated as I don't see that there is a ton of available inventory in the used market and everything seems to be priced out of reach. Is this search not realistic and is it time to shelve the idea for a little bit? I figured I would ask the group that has the most knowledge about these boats and might have a better grasp on the market. I am willing to travel to most locations if I can find the right boat, but am starting to wonder if this is not going to happen this year after all.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Unfortunately you are little late in the season to find the best deals.  I found that the best time is when guys are buying new boats and need to sell the older one.  In early march I bought an 07 23 LSV for $35K that had under 300 hours from a guy buying a new boat.  I found out about this boat by talking to a dealer and asking who just bought a new boat and would be selling a LSV or a VLX.  That way you are first in line.  I would stick with those 2 models in your searches if surfing and wakeboarding is your preference.  Both of these do very well for both sports with little to no mods.  I would stay away from a v-ride as they need too much modifications in the way of ballast to be a good surf boat.  It can be done and many do it with a v-ride it just not as good a wave as an LSV or a VLX.

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I love Malibu/Axis like everyone else on here, but you might consider a mid-2000's Moomba in your search.  I previously had a 2004 Mobius XLV (23' boat) and it was a fantastic first inboard for my family and I.  Got it for right around $30k several years ago, so any you find now should be well within your price range.  At a shorter length looking at an Outback V or "regular" Mobius would be potentially good fits.

After my wife and I realized how much we ended up using it, we moved to a house with a deeded dock and bought a brand new Axis...so give her some time and she might be willing to increase the budget in a few years :) 

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All good information, and I will keep you posted on what we end up doing. I spoke with the border crossing today just to understand what would be required to move a boat into the US and I will say those people are not particularly helpful or friendly! Oh well, we will see what I do with this Canada boat. 

Sometimes I wish that we lived somewhere that made boating a little more convenient, but living in Colorado I have a hard time wanting to spend much more money on a boat as well. Our lakes are small and our season in short.

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55 minutes ago, robbpike said:

move a boat into the US and I will say those people are not particularly helpful or friendly

LMK if I can help -  I'vemoved a lot of stuff x-border.

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Don't discount the boats that are a little older also.  The 2001-2004 era Wakesetter VLX, Sunsetter VLX, Sunscape 21 LSV are all great boats also.

Problem is you're buying into an extremely hot market.  People with boats are largely holding onto them and good boats don't tend to last on the market very long.  Lots of folks with canceled family vacations getting into boating this year.

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