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97 sunsetter vlx


Ccol27

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Hello all,

I am looking at possibly purchasing my first big boy boat. I gave grown up on the lake and owned multiple boats(outboards/i/o) and skied behind both. I would like to possibly get into surfing, and have been scouring listings for a while now trying to let the perfect fit of my criteria appear, and I think it might have happened. 

Found a 97 sunsetter vlx with under 400 hours and in my budget, asking 13k

I just want some assurance before I pull the trigger too quickly, but in comparison to everything else out there it seems like quite the deal- https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/659529158030356/

Hope to join the Malibu family soon! Thanks for any feedback!

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13k for a Vdrive - any Vdrive - is cheap.  I see issues and missing things, but nothing all that hard to fix for the money.  I would just be skeptical at that price.  Those tower speakers alone are $1600.

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I am no expert but it does look like a good first boat.

Pretty basic so it will be easy to work on ie. not all the new electronic everything that the newer boats have.

$13K is cheap, you may be able to get it for less. You may see vdrives for a similar price that need a repower or something significant

If you can take it for a ride that would be nice

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Thanks for the input. Supposed to go look this weekend and will definatley take for a ride. What do you see that is missing? Like I said I've owned I/O with the same 350 and dont have a problem working on the motor. Also NADA value indicates 13,500 but not including speakers and extras. Anything in particular to look for on the water besides overall performance and shifting?

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Really the only things I see missing are.... The Malibu logo on the sides (some like them "naked"), dividers on either side of the engine to keep those bags from rolling in, and maybe some board racks on the rack. During the pre purchase inspection make sure they get the hours off the computer. The hour meters on the dash quit or are not accurate. During your test ride before you take it back to the trailer, look in the ski locker. That's the lowest point so if there are any leaks... that's where the water will be.

Agree with others, 13k is a good price. Boat looks pretty straight from my computer screen. Looks like it has a new rub rail, or is in great shape. If you get it, get some real trailer straps... the farmer down the street from the guy probably wants his back. lol.

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5 hours ago, Ccol27 said:

Thanks for the input. Supposed to go look this weekend and will definatley take for a ride. What do you see that is missing? Like I said I've owned I/O with the same 350 and dont have a problem working on the motor. Also NADA value indicates 13,500 but not including speakers and extras. Anything in particular to look for on the water besides overall performance and shifting?

NADA means absolutely nothing on these boats.  Not even worth looking up, it is a BS numbers.  

Boat is missing the dividers and all of the surrounding support structure in the engine bay.  You could remake all of that for a few hundred bucks in material. 

I don't trust that price.  The super early VLX's have that weird seating layout like this one and the power engine hatch that is failure prone, otherwise they are as solid as the later models.  I'm not loving the tower on that, but the price is only 13k.

But very carefully inspect it. That price is ok be of those too low to not be suspicious, especially in the inflated COVID market.  

 

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Good stuff! Talked with local dealer and said they can do a ppi for $250, but said they don't think they can pull hours off of something that old. Seller says he has last two years of service records and had a full service completed before winterizing last year. He agreed to have the inspection completed after test drive if I want- but if he has records and It runs good, what else would the dealer check besides compression that i wouldn't be able to notice running the boat on the water? Supposed to go out there this sunday. 

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37 minutes ago, Ccol27 said:

Good stuff! Talked with local dealer and said they can do a ppi for $250, but said they don't think they can pull hours off of something that old. Seller says he has last two years of service records and had a full service completed before winterizing last year. He agreed to have the inspection completed after test drive if I want- but if he has records and It runs good, what else would the dealer check besides compression that i wouldn't be able to notice running the boat on the water? Supposed to go out there this sunday. 

If it's fuel injected they can pull the hours. What dealer were you going to take it to? 

Looks to be a great deal. As others have said there are some things to touch up but it is a 20 yr old boat. 

V-drive and fuel injection for 13k is a good deal. 

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that is a fuel injected engine.  they should be able to pull the hours since that is MEFI 2 or 3.     if you are going to have an compression test done, have them throw fresh plugs in at the same time

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55 minutes ago, cowwboy said:

If it's fuel injected they can pull the hours. What dealer were you going to take it to? 

Looks to be a great deal. As others have said there are some things to touch up but it is a 20 yr old boat. 

V-drive and fuel injection for 13k is a good deal. 

Only dealer in the area is a natique dealer, a ski and sports, and the seller says that they are the ones that do all of the maintenance and he has records.

Edited by Ccol27
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4 hours ago, Ccol27 said:

Only dealer in the area is a natique dealer, a ski and sports, and the seller says that they are the ones that do all of the maintenance and he has records.

Ahh sorry I saw your location of ft worth not the boats location of tyler. 
Good thing is, that being in the dfw area you have a lot of good dealers and parts suppliers there for support. 

The 350 SBC is rock solid. that year didn't have any real known issues. Looks to be the multi port injection, which should be easy to work on and solid. 

Besides compression test you could also have the fluids sent off to Blackstone for analysis. They can do a pre-purchase rush process. I normally do an analysis every few oil changes on my vehicles. 

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For that price, it it floats, runs and has a trailer, buy it before someone else says they will take it as is.

there will be  a few things You will need to repair but that’s just part of the fun

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On 10/1/2020 at 3:05 PM, Bozboat said:

For that price, it it floats, runs and has a trailer, buy it before someone else says they will take it as is.

there will be  a few things You will need to repair but that’s just part of the fun

Agreed, Its tough to find something much cheaper that is a Vdrive that floats and drives. Luckily you have October on your side and it's not July. If it were, it would be gone already.

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