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2001-2003 vs. 2004 LSV/VLX


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I may be over thinking this...

I would love to have a 2004 Sunscape LSV, but those don't come around too often. There are seemingly plenty of 2001 VLX, 2002/3 Sunscape LSVs out there. I want to stick with that hull (SV23 Diamond, I believe), in a 21 footer as that seems to be an era that has a good slalom wake, and can also surf. The primary reason I would look at the 2004 is for the retractable pylon (my wife's request, she doesn't like the fixed pylon), and secondly the gorilla fins.

Am I over thinking this and will the 2001-2003 be just fine? I want to be patient, but I also don't want to go boatless next summer as my young boys are really starting to be interested in watersports (surfing with me, Zup, tube), and selfishly FOMO... 

1. It looks like someone has modified the pylon successfully, https://www.wakegarage.com/projects-archive/miscellaneous-projects/pop-up-pylon-modification-r90/ looks pretty easy for a good machine shop...

2. I am not a great skier, but I can take some good pulls across the wakes, will my wife or I notice the difference in tracking w/o the gorilla fins? I am guessing not...

lastly if you know of anyone wanting to sell that era of boat, let me know, thanks crew!!!

P.S. FWIIW one of the reasons for my "downsize" from a 2013 to 2000s is I am joining a 3 event club next year, and couldn't justify spending $2000-3000 at the club and have a $60K boat sitting in the garage.

 

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38 minutes ago, rakr said:

I may be over thinking this...

I would love to have a 2004 Sunscape LSV, but those don't come around too often. There are seemingly plenty of 2001 VLX, 2002/3 Sunscape LSVs out there. I want to stick with that hull (SV23 Diamond, I believe), in a 21 footer as that seems to be an era that has a good slalom wake, and can also surf. The primary reason I would look at the 2004 is for the retractable pylon (my wife's request, she doesn't like the fixed pylon), and secondly the gorilla fins.

Am I over thinking this and will the 2001-2003 be just fine? I want to be patient, but I also don't want to go boatless next summer as my young boys are really starting to be interested in watersports (surfing with me, Zup, tube), and selfishly FOMO... 

1. It looks like someone has modified the pylon successfully, https://www.wakegarage.com/projects-archive/miscellaneous-projects/pop-up-pylon-modification-r90/ looks pretty easy for a good machine shop...

2. I am not a great skier, but I can take some good pulls across the wakes, will my wife or I notice the difference in tracking w/o the gorilla fins? I am guessing not...

lastly if you know of anyone wanting to sell that era of boat, let me know, thanks crew!!!

P.S. FWIIW one of the reasons for my "downsize" from a 2013 to 2000s is I am joining a 3 event club next year, and couldn't justify spending $2000-3000 at the club and have a $60K boat sitting in the garage.

 

My dad has an '01.  If you're not skiing the course, tracking is just fine.  Also, I like the fixed pylon for a few reasons.  Easier to attach a boom if you want to use one (you mentioned kids learning) and some folks like to use it as a bit of a helper when stepping from seat up onto sunpad.  Only time I've had an issue with the pylon was when I was riding with my wife back there once, went to put my arm around her, and whacked my funny bone.  lol

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If my memory serves, the 01 VLX does not have wrap around seating. So no bench behind the driver.

Also keep in mind the 05-07? vride is the same as the 01-04 vlx/sunscape. Could be a good option for some more modern conveniences with the older hull.

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@UWSkier how is the side spray back there at lower speeds? I would have assumed it would be pretty bad, but I have no idea! Thanks.

@barefootpaul good note, and Ill probably add those to the list! I am also trying to stay in that era of Bu's to stay away from some of the more modern electronics. I want to keep this boat pretty simple/analog if possible. Thanks!!!

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5 hours ago, rakr said:

@UWSkier how is the side spray back there at lower speeds? I would have assumed it would be pretty bad, but I have no idea! Thanks.

@barefootpaul good note, and Ill probably add those to the list! I am also trying to stay in that era of Bu's to stay away from some of the more modern electronics. I want to keep this boat pretty simple/analog if possible. Thanks!!!

2001 has wrap around seating, just doesn't have the seat directly behind the driver.  1 less spots for butts than 2002+.

Side spray, do you mean on the boom?  There's a bit.  1-2 extensions helps a lot, as does angling the boom forward a bit by keeping the cables short.

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One other thing to clarify only for 2001:

The 2001 Sunsetter VLX is on the DIamond Hull, but the 2001 Wakesetter VLX is on the Wake hull.

I had 2002 21LSV for a short while and thought is was a great boat, no issues on the pylon on that boat or my current boat which has the same setup.

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I am always browsing the boats for sale, and came across this.  Its hard to tell, but from the picture of the stern, it looks to be a diamond hull with the turn down chines.

When I was looking for my sunscape 21LSV, I was always checking the stern pics of VLX's to see if maybe it was a diamond hull in disguise.

https://www.boattrader.com/boat/2004-malibu-wakesetter-vlx-7564822/

 

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@cla10beckI reached out to him a couple of times several weeks ago asking for some better pictures. he hasn't replied... I just submitted another one. it does look like a diamond, but is a bit tough to see against the diamond plate on the trailer.

Thanks for the reminder!!!

Edited by rakr
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I know you mentioned you wanted a 21 lsv but if you’re interested in a 23 lsv here is a local boat forsale. Been watching it and surprised it hasn’t sold. 
 

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/712536092631212/
 

I have an 05 21lsv with diamond hull and I love it. Throws a huge surf wave loaded down and the slalom wake isn’t bad for a casual free skier. 

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1 hour ago, 06malibu said:

I know you mentioned you wanted a 21 lsv but if you’re interested in a 23 lsv here is a local boat forsale. Been watching it and surprised it hasn’t sold. 
 

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/712536092631212/
 

I have an 05 21lsv with diamond hull and I love it. Throws a huge surf wave loaded down and the slalom wake isn’t bad for a casual free skier. 

Can't believe that hasn't sold, especially in today's market.

Steve B.

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The Lake Hughes area was on fire not too long ago, might be part of the reason for no response.

I actually think the wrap around stopping before the section behind the drivers seat is an advantage, a little more leg/standing room in a smaller boat.

I could be wrong but from the brochures for 03 it looks kind of like the pylon might be retractable but the older style more square edges and not round on the top.

Last two pictures here look like different heights Also they show the retractable pylon in the XTI page but not on the v-drives so hard to say as someone who's never been in one.

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We use the pylon to hold wet jackets. The 03 WS23LSV will surf world class and then dump the ballast and you can run a slalom course tournament style. Never footed ours but it does 50 if I switch back to the 537 - does 48 with the 1235. 

Edited by Brad B
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Another thing they came out with in 2004 were gorilla fins:

GORILLA FINS Monstrous new fins plunge deeper beneath the boat, and offer advanced surface area to create a rock solid center pivot point for all of Malibu's powerful new 2004 V-drives. The result: improved turning radius and maneuverability, tracking and handling matched only by Malibu Direct-Drives.

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11 hours ago, MalibuNation said:

@rakrI'll 2nd that the 21' 2003 Sunscape does not have a retractable pylon as this became available in 2004.  Like @Brad B I use the pylon for wet jackets and various ropes.

With my LS1 I can pull footers.

Pulled a 4 man barefoot line with all four guys starting on slalom skis with the '01 SSVLX with Monsoon and 381 prop.  Had throttle to spare on the big end.  It's a fantastic hull.

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I considered shortening my fixed pylon but ended up deciding against it.  There is only so much storage on these boats; I end up hanging jackets over the pylon all the time (usually the wet ones).  I use it so much that not having it would be a problem for me, so I kept it.

Never drove one with the Gorilla fins, so I'm not sure how much of a different they make.  No reason you couldn't retrofit them.

As for the seat behind the driver - remember, these are 93" beam boats.  Though it seems like a nice idea to have it, from a space perspective, the interior gets pretty cramps without that extra floor space.  If it were a wider beam then that seat would be an absolute must.

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3 hours ago, Nitrousbird said:

I considered shortening my fixed pylon but ended up deciding against it.  There is only so much storage on these boats; I end up hanging jackets over the pylon all the time (usually the wet ones).  I use it so much that not having it would be a problem for me, so I kept it.

Never drove one with the Gorilla fins, so I'm not sure how much of a different they make.  No reason you couldn't retrofit them.

As for the seat behind the driver - remember, these are 93" beam boats.  Though it seems like a nice idea to have it, from a space perspective, the interior gets pretty cramps without that extra floor space.  If it were a wider beam then that seat would be an absolute must.

That's true.  I like having that space empty on the '01.  That's typically where things like wet life jackets, gloves, etc get set when we're rotating skiers.  Not sure where we'd put that stuff if that space was occupied by a seat.

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I found an 04 from a private party. Tommy's is backed way up with Winterizations, so they might not be an option for an eval. Does anyone have a good list of things to check on these boats if I were to either do it myself or have a general mechanic check it out? The seller said that Island Lake Marine in Colorado would be a good option.

it is north of Denver, so if anyone has other ideas, I am up for them!!!

1. Engine was replaced 2005 ish as the original owner didn't winterize it well, and the motor was replaced with a Indmar 350. Any ideas if that era of engines had the damper plate issues? I know it might be tough to track down, and I can do the research, but trying to make some quick decisions.

2. I am assuming a compression test is in order.

3. If I wanted to take a look at the trans/v-drive fluid, would "milky" issues show up pretty quickly? Let's say they just changed the fluid for the water test, would it show up as frothy if we ran it for an hour during a water test, or would it need to run for longer?

4. Check shaft/rudder alignment.

5. outside of engine mounts, wires/plugs, tubes/piping, anything else to check for on these boats?

I'm really trying to lock this down, but don't want to take on too much risk.

Thanks all!!!

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2 hours ago, rakr said:

I found an 04 from a private party. Tommy's is backed way up with Winterizations, so they might not be an option for an eval. Does anyone have a good list of things to check on these boats if I were to either do it myself or have a general mechanic check it out? The seller said that Island Lake Marine in Colorado would be a good option.

it is north of Denver, so if anyone has other ideas, I am up for them!!!

1. Engine was replaced 2005 ish as the original owner didn't winterize it well, and the motor was replaced with a Indmar 350. Any ideas if that era of engines had the damper plate issues? I know it might be tough to track down, and I can do the research, but trying to make some quick decisions.

2. I am assuming a compression test is in order.

3. If I wanted to take a look at the trans/v-drive fluid, would "milky" issues show up pretty quickly? Let's say they just changed the fluid for the water test, would it show up as frothy if we ran it for an hour during a water test, or would it need to run for longer?

4. Check shaft/rudder alignment.

5. outside of engine mounts, wires/plugs, tubes/piping, anything else to check for on these boats?

I'm really trying to lock this down, but don't want to take on too much risk.

Thanks all!!!

Search here (use google) for "buying a used boat."  There are some really good threads/guides.

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5 hours ago, rakr said:

Any ideas if that era of engines had the damper plate issues? I know it might be tough to track down, and I can do the research, but trying to make some quick decisions.

Doubtful they replaced the damper/bell housing, so it is likely still the '04 units.  Some '04 and '06 models are impacted but '05 is the year I would avoid.

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I’ve looked through those previously, (and again just now) and don’t see anything specific to the damper plate or vdrive. I am guessing (based on the fact that it was a 2005 5.7/350 vs the 340) I’ll probably have to consider the damper plate issue, and may plan on replacing it if I move forward. It looks like others are recommending proactive replacement vs waiting for It to fail as it can also mess up the bell housing... 

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1 hour ago, Nitrousbird said:

Doubtful they replaced the damper/bell housing, so it is likely still the '04 units.  Some '04 and '06 models are impacted but '05 is the year I would avoid.

So if the engines were swapped, the bell housing/damper plate would still be the 04 flavor!?!? I don’t know enough to know whether it would have stayed or went. Seller said it was a winterization issue, so I’m guessing it was a block swap. 

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