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Novice Seeking Advice


sjohn19982797

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Hey guys/gals, hope everyone is doing well through these uncertain times!

Backstory: Recently, we made the decision to get a dock permit/build a dock at our house. We're new to the lake lifestyle (it's gorgeous and we love it), and have previously stuck to paddleboards/kayaks. My family and I have absolutely 0 experience with powerboats. We live in the southeast so there's a huge boating culture here that we would love to explore! As this is our initial venture into boating, we wanted to choose a boat that will guarantee we put hours into it as often as seasonally possible. Thus, we think a wakeboat will afford us access to wakeboarding/surfing/tubing which will maximize usage (also they look totally badass ;)! Additionally, since this is our first boat, we would like to maintain a ~65k budget on a used boat. We're primarily looking on boattrader/facebook marketplace. We're waiting until Nov/Dec to make a purchase as that seems like the time most people will want to be rid of their boats. Currently looking at:

1) 2013 22 MXZ 70k 

2) 2011 247 LSV 60k 

3)2011 LSV 23 62k

A) Would love any and all advice on buying a used boat!! Literally any shred of information that could come in handy to complete novices. You cannot be too explicit. 

  • Since we're planning on buying from individuals and their used boats we plan on getting a surveyor/mechanic or something to check them out beforehand... is there anything else we should know? 

B) How much of a headache are we in for in terms of reliability? None of these boats are new... 

C) How much fun are in for in terms of being new to boating lifestyle!

D) Anyone with specific experience with any of the models/engines listed above (even if not exact model years)? Reviews would be lovely!

E) Thanks in advance to anyone who helps/answers any or even part of these questions... it means a lot! Just nervous about dropping 60-70G and being clueless.

F) Planning to put down gatorstep/after market wake tabs of some sort on (2)/(3) does anyone have advice or usage of either of these aftermarket products?

 

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Since you are in the Southeast, I suspect you are not at high elevation.  You probably don't need the 550 HP engine, although it is never a bad thing.  It just might open up more options for you.  

BOAT means Break Out Another Thousand.  It is wise to plan for things to break and don't max out the budget so that you can't keep the boat running if you do run into problems.  Fortunately, many of us have years without a major repair, but at some point, it hits all of us.  

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37 minutes ago, TallRedRider said:

Since you are in the Southeast, I suspect you are not at high elevation.  You probably don't need the 550 HP engine, although it is never a bad thing.  It just might open up more options for you.  

BOAT means Break Out Another Thousand.  It is wise to plan for things to break and don't max out the budget so that you can't keep the boat running if you do run into problems.  Fortunately, many of us have years without a major repair, but at some point, it hits all of us.  

Thanks for the reply. I see many 20-23 ft. wake boats listed with ~350HP is that a powerful enough engine to throw a big wake with a crew on board? The large engines from the boats i've scouted aren't a "must have" I was just under the impression that since these are big/heavy boats they need to be amply powered? Is there a specific component of Malibu engines/computers/etc. that you've found particularly susceptible to breaking down that I should look for? Any other thoughts on the specific boats I have listed above?

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You seem to have quite a mix of boats on your short list.  Have you ridden in any/all of them?  One thing for certain (in my uninformed opinion) is that you want Surfgate if you are going to surf.  A quick tour of Boattrader.com shows 2013+ boats with the gate for not much more: in some case less that ones on your list.

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21 minutes ago, sjohn19982797 said:

Thanks for the reply. I see many 20-23 ft. wake boats listed with ~350HP is that a powerful enough engine to throw a big wake with a crew on board? The large engines from the boats i've scouted aren't a "must have" I was just under the impression that since these are big/heavy boats they need to be amply powered? Is there a specific component of Malibu engines/computers/etc. that you've found particularly susceptible to breaking down that I should look for? Any other thoughts on the specific boats I have listed above?

I have a 2010 23 LSV. I have the 350... it is not 350hp lol.. "Ilmor's GM Based 5.7 was the highest performance GM 5.7 engine from any manufacturer when tested by CARB and produced 320 HP. PCM was claiming 343 HP from an engine that only produced 282 when tested by CARB. Indmar's 5.7 Engines produced between 288 and 308 HP but as much as 350 HP was claimed"

With that stated, I live at almost sea level. I push my boat, a crew (various in sizes) and weight of 4700 lbs additional in ballast. Surfing is no problem up to 12.5 mph. for wake boarding I drop 1100 lbs and no problems. I use wedge in both. Prop will be the big player.

The LSA or any supercharged engine will suck the 93 octane quickly (I run 89 octane and it sips comparing to the LSA). The LSA will be expensive for maintenance and repairs.

Now.. I wish I had the 383 but been doing fine with the treefifty 

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2 hours ago, Eagleboy99 said:

You seem to have quite a mix of boats on your short list.  Have you ridden in any/all of them?  One thing for certain (in my uninformed opinion) is that you want Surfgate if you are going to surf.  A quick tour of Boattrader.com shows 2013+ boats with the gate for not much more: in some case less that ones on your list.

No, we haven't ridden any of them. Unsure how discerning we would end up being due to our complete lack of experience boating? Will there be a huge range in experience -- all 3 are similarly sized/year malibus? Genuinely asking because I don't know. I know the MXZ is a bit beamier/pickle fork whereas the LSVs are longer, does this translate into a significant ride difference? I had kind of narrowed to 22-24 footer because they would deal with chop better than something smaller I thought. The MXZ comes with the stock surf gate. On the ones without we were planning to install gosurfassist. But it's definitely something to keep in mind, I really appreciate this!

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2 hours ago, kerpluxal said:

I have a 2010 23 LSV. I have the 350... it is not 350hp lol.. "Ilmor's GM Based 5.7 was the highest performance GM 5.7 engine from any manufacturer when tested by CARB and produced 320 HP. PCM was claiming 343 HP from an engine that only produced 282 when tested by CARB. Indmar's 5.7 Engines produced between 288 and 308 HP but as much as 350 HP was claimed"

With that stated, I live at almost sea level. I push my boat, a crew (various in sizes) and weight of 4700 lbs additional in ballast. Surfing is no problem up to 12.5 mph. for wake boarding I drop 1100 lbs and no problems. I use wedge in both. Prop will be the big player.

The LSA or any supercharged engine will suck the 93 octane quickly (I run 89 octane and it sips comparing to the LSA). The LSA will be expensive for maintenance and repairs.

Now.. I wish I had the 383 but been doing fine with the treefifty 

Perfect, yeah I absolutely misspoke referencing the monsoon 350. I assume when you say the prop is the big player you no longer have the stock malibu prop in? Yeah, not thrilled about hanging around the pump all the time lol. I'll adjust search parameters accordingly, Thanks!

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13 minutes ago, sjohn19982797 said:

No, we haven't ridden any of them. Unsure how discerning we would end up being due to our complete lack of experience boating? Will there be a huge range in experience -- all 3 are similarly sized/year malibus? Genuinely asking because I don't know. I know the MXZ is a bit beamier/pickle fork whereas the LSVs are longer, does this translate into a significant ride difference? I had kind of narrowed to 22-24 footer because they would deal with chop better than something smaller I thought. The MXZ comes with the stock surf gate. On the ones without we were planning to install gosurfassist. But it's definitely something to keep in mind, I really appreciate this!

With all due respect, you need to get out and try some boats.  Otherwise you MAY waste 60K

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15 minutes ago, Eagleboy99 said:

With all due respect, you need to get out and try some boats.  Otherwise you MAY waste 60K

Lol I gotcha, is there any specific models you personally recommend? Of course we had planned to go check out the boats in person, I was more checking what the general sentiment to these precise model years were. It might be easier for us to be swayed by a convincing salesman so I was simply asking for a more experienced individual's advice. 

Edited by sjohn19982797
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Just now, Eagleboy99 said:

Sorry - I am a slalom guy.  But there are many surf/wake experts here.  Lots of nice 22-ish foot boats around.

I gotcha, is there a particular reason you think ~22 feet is ideal?

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47 minutes ago, sjohn19982797 said:

I gotcha, is there a particular reason you think ~22 feet is ideal?

20 ft VTX - perfect all-round machine.  24 or 25 LSV, perfect surf machine.  Divide by two...

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Desired length of boat will vary for most of us and depend on many factors like storage space, trailering vehicle, crew size, potential wave size, rough water ride, etc....

I have a 21.5 ft boat and it's great for us, but I covet a larger boat at times (23 to 25ft).  More room for crew and gear and a larger wave potential, but that also comes with more required weight and more fuel consumption when surfing among many other variables, so there are going to be trade offs no matter what choice you make. 

I have GSA installed and we have a very nice surf wave so dont get locked into 2013+ unless surfgate is a must.  I'm at 3000ft and have the 5.7 lcr base motor.  I run a high altitude prop (acme 2419) and have no problems pushing 4000 lbs ballast plus average crew at surf speed, however this prop gives up top end speed for more "torque." A larger boat with this base motor might be a deal breaker for our altitude but may not matter where you are located?  Best advice I could give is get in each boat you are considering, take your time and decide what are must haves/options.  Research this website and see what people like and dislike about the models you are considering and their reasons for it.  What may be a dealbreaker for someone else, may not matter for your use.  This place is an awesome resource!  Good luck!

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2 hours ago, Eagleboy99 said:

So 6-7K  installed?

go surf assist is great but you dont need to  do anything more than a $200 or way less suckgate.  keep some budget for repairs and boards and tubes and wakeboards and pnp upgrades or replacements, lead ballast,  it all adds up.  a 247 and a suckgate can produce a beautiful wave.  i would try to negotiate in the price of your surf assist if you must do it immediately, covid prices or no, CASH talks, ******** walks

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John,

I strongly suggest getting factory surfgate (anything 2013+).  You may not even know what granddaddy is talking about with regard to suckgate.  While its true that people can get good waves with suckgates, you do need some experience to dial it in as they can (and do) require slightly different mounting locations depending on model.  Frankly, you wouldn't know what you're looking for.  While GSA is an alternative, you simply can't go wrong with surf gate from the factory.  Limiting variables (of which there are still plenty: speed, wedge, ballast and location) makes it much easier.  Plus, surfgate boats will always have a premium for used shoppers.  In my opinion, any 350 is fine, 6.0 is fine as well.  LS3 I'm personally on the fence on.  I would not go LSA.  It  is way more complicated and no, you don't need 550 horsepower.  IF you did conclude that the 350 was in sufficient, you can prop down.  However, at your level, you don't need to nor should you be "maxing" the boat out.  You should use a bigger board, ride a smaller wave (which is still plenty) and LEARN...especially with wakeboarding.  I think you'd be shocked at how big wakes are stock.  

If it were me personally, I'd put some axises into the mix.  Simpler, less expense, comparable wakes.  When you get to the point you can actually appreciate and use the benefits of a malibu (if you do, I don't) then by that time you will have also learned a ton about your usage, size needs (up or down), power needs, and coveted features (if any).  For me, I've had 5 different boats the last 5 years: 2 bus and 3 axises.  Axis checks all my boxes.  OK, so my axis isn't the most expensive boat at the sandbar.  My ego doesn't demand that.  If yours does, knock yourself out with a Malibu.  But if this is your first boat, there's a lot to be said for simplicity but with great waves and wakes.  Axis got surfgate in 2014.

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John,

Last year I was like you a guy looking to buy my first boat. Knew that we wanted a surf boat and really liked the Malibu brand. Didn't know about The Malibu Crew at that time but you have come to the right place for any info that you could possible need. We were looking at the pre 2013 models just due to less cost to the newer models but ended up purchasing a 2013 23LSV with 355 hours. Like I've seen in other post definitely go with a 2013 or newer. Nothing is better that just pushing some buttons and getting what you want and not having to stick something to the side of the boat when you want to surf. 

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I have to agree with everyone who recommended a boat with surf gate. If you can't find a Malibu in your price range look to Axis.  You'll be fine with any factory installed motor at your elevation. Malibu/Axis dealers don't configure under powered boats.  I'd suggest going into your local and at least talked to them and tell them what your looking to buy, you'll get to know them eventually:)

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17 hours ago, sjohn19982797 said:

No, we haven't ridden any of them. Unsure how discerning we would end up being due to our complete lack of experience boating? Will there be a huge range in experience -- all 3 are similarly sized/year malibus? Genuinely asking because I don't know. I know the MXZ is a bit beamier/pickle fork whereas the LSVs are longer, does this translate into a significant ride difference? I had kind of narrowed to 22-24 footer because they would deal with chop better than something smaller I thought. The MXZ comes with the stock surf gate. On the ones without we were planning to install gosurfassist. But it's definitely something to keep in mind, I really appreciate this!

Also, I have gosurfassist on my boat. I would state that this is better than Gen 1 of the surfgate and possibly gen 2 as well. Gosurfassist also features a launch mode that is beneficial in getting a ballasted boat onto plane (not when surfing as one tab is already deployed, but for wakeboarding, both tabs deployed and at 13mph they retract).

Any MXZ prior to 2016 with surfgate do not surf well. The MXZ was designed as a wake board boat and the wake is fabulous, however the surfwave is not that desirable. Hull was modified in 2016 that enhanced the surfwave and that year on does produce a great surfwave.

The MXZ is pickle with a bigger bow seating area (less cabin seating)

LSV is traditional with a bigger cabin and less bow seating.

Malibu has changed the size of the surfgate throughout the years and the later years have a larger gate that produces a better wave. Earlier designs were smaller gates. 

I would recommend demoing the boats and demo them how you would use them. This will be hard with being new to the sport. But the truth is what you feel behind the boat, not how the wave/wake looks.

Yes I run a different prop than factory. A call to Nettles will help you select the correct prop, or Acme if you want to go straight to the dealer.

Don't let a non surfgate boat deter you. Many have added gosurfassist and ecstatic with it (I will state that those that have surfed my boat, stated it is the best wave they have ever ridden behind various different models and brands). Many use a suck gate and are ecstatic with it as well. Depends YOUR budget and NEEDS on which way works best for YOU. 

When looking for a length of boat, take into consideration on your crew size and towing capabilities of your current vehicle. You could find yourself needing to upgrade tow vehicle for the bigger boat.  I need at least 4 crew members in my boat for best wave, a smaller boat requires less weight to make a wave. I have surfed 21 ft boats with impeccable waves and 25 ft boats with crappy waves. Set up of boat will be key in producing the wave/wake.

20180729_141556_zps0kharkyn.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by kerpluxal
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OK. First time Boat owner,

The thing you need to do is to become the Captain of your Boat. Learn the rules of the road. 

Take a USCG class. You will be responsible for your crew. and anything that happens to them.

Call your Insurance Co. before you Buy. ( the USCG class Helps lower your rate)

See if the Lake you are now on allows wake enhancements devices.  

Buy A Beater, something in a 18-20 foot range with an I/O or outboard your first year out. It doesn't have to be an inboard.

Learn how to handle a boat. Put all the bumps and bruises in the Old beater boat. Then sell it. and Buy the Big one.

Everyone on this site knows what it takes to be a boat owner, but we enjoy the sport and time with the family so its well worth it.

I don't mean to be a downer, Just wanted to to state that there is more to owning a boat than most people realize.

 

Edited by Rack
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1 hour ago, Rack said:

OK. First time Boat owner,

The thing you need to do is to become the Captain of your Boat. Learn the rules of the road. 

Take a USCG class. You will be responsible for your crew. and anything that happens to them.

Call your Insurance Co. before you Buy. ( the USCG class Helps lower your rate)

See if the Lake you are now on allows wake enhancements devices.  

Buy A Beater, something in a 18-20 foot range with an I/O or outboard your first year out. It doesn't have to be an inboard.

Learn how to handle a boat. Put all the pumps and bruises in the Old beater boat. Then sell it. and Buy the Big one.

Everyone on this site knows what it takes to be a boat owner, but we enjoy the sport and time with the family so its well worth it.

I don't mean to be a downer, Just wanted to to state that there is more to owning a boat than most people realize.

 

Except for the I/O part, great advice.  You can do an inboard as a first boat.  

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