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When is a boat getting too old?


Dsingram

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I have a 2008, 247LSV.  We have had the boat for 8 years and love it.  The engine is over 1600 hours.  I am starting to get spurious cat alarms.  We are updating Upholstry as it fails.  The gel coat is starting to fade and we have micro cracks in the transom from the swim platform.  Sue is starting to show her age.

What usually triggers end of life on these boats, outside drunken misadventures?  Engine, control boards, electronics, hull?  Is there anything I should be watching for?  


We surf with about 5k in ballast and a suction wake plate.  Just for reference, end of life for the boat is end of surfing for me.  I don’t have the scratch to pay what these boats are going for today, so this isn’t an upgrade question.

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For the engine, I would think you're still a few hundred hours from a rebuild.  There is a member on here with a 2004 response that's got 1900+ hours on it.  I have a good friend with a 2005 23LSV that's got 1,800 hours on it.  He takes decent care of his boat, not anal like me, but good enough that it does what he needs it to.  

Fading gel coat can be managed with good polishing or a light wet sand.  It's pretty resilient when cared for well.  

Electronics....do a once over every season.  Make sure all connections are sound.  Run the hell out of it.  If you have the funds for an engine rebuild when the time comes, there's no harm in keeping "Sue".    End of life is what you allow it to be on an older boat, IMO.

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As a family with a pair of 2001 Malibus, I can assure you, Sue has plenty of good years ahead of her.  Aside from the digital center display screen, there's not much electronically on the older boats that goes to heck like on the newer models with tablet screens plastered all over the place.

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My 1997 Tantrum (830hrs) is still running like a top.  Surprisingly the 23 year old upholstery is just starting to give up the ghost and mostly just on the motor box.  Hull is virtually perfect.  With regular maintenance, i think it'll just keep going and going.... Like above post, I love how simple it is, not much of anything electronic that goes to heck.  It's my workhorse slalom tug, so many good times behind it.

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6 minutes ago, solorex said:

My 1997 Tantrum (830hrs) is still running like a top.  Surprisingly the 23 year old upholstery is just starting to give up the ghost and mostly just on the motor box.  Hull is virtually perfect.  With regular maintenance, i think it'll just keep going and going.... Like above post, I love how simple it is, not much of anything electronic that goes to heck.  It's my workhorse slalom tug, so many good times behind it.

+1  How do you think classic cars become classics?  Yup - care and feeding.  I would not want to try to replace my RLX - at least not at the prices asked today!

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1 hour ago, Dsingram said:

I am starting to get spurious cat alarms.  We are updating Upholstery as it fails.  The gel coat is starting to fade and we have micro cracks in the transom from the swim platform.

These are all excellent opportunities to both get to know your boat better and bond with friends/family with a winter project.  Don't think of these as problems, but fun projects to do with those to enjoy the boat with you and the age of your boat will quickly be forgotten.

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11 minutes ago, martinarcher said:

33 years old and still treating us right.  Take care of it and it will last you a LONG time.  Your's is just a pup.  :) 

8-16-2019 3-07-28 PM.png

Still one of the best looking square windshield boats out there!!

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If its costing more to keep then replace. Or a better boat for my sport comes around at a fair price! I guess I won't be buying a new ski tug ;)  I am thinking of selling. Without a lake I just don't think keeping it in a garage is a good way to own a boat. We are still working on replacing our dams but the price is ski hi. And still no time line yet. Working on it. I will sell my 07 Rlxi in very good shape.

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3 minutes ago, Sixball said:

If its costing more to keep then replace. Or a better boat for my sport comes around at a fair price! I guess I won't be buying a new ski tug ;)  I am thinking of selling. Without a lake I just don't think keeping it in a garage is a good way to own a boat. We are still working on replacing our dams but the price is ski hi. And still no time line yet. Working on it. I will sell my 07 Rlxi in very good shape.

No other lakes in the area?

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10 minutes ago, Eagleboy99 said:

No other lakes in the area?

Ya but we only use the tugs for skiing. And I am spoiled from walking down dropping the boats and skiing. Trailering to another lake at 5:30 am to get 2 hours of skiing. You need to be early to get the glass! I would drop the boat ski and come up for a nice breakfast.

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21 minutes ago, Sixball said:

Ya but we only use the tugs for skiing. And I am spoiled from walking down dropping the boats and skiing. Trailering to another lake at 5:30 am to get 2 hours of skiing. You need to be early to get the glass! I would drop the boat ski and come up for a nice breakfast.

I hear ya!  Walking 50 feet to the dock is about as much effort as I want.  And when done, come back and sit in the hot tub.  Then on the dock with a latte. I don't know how guys trailer every weekend with a full load of kids and what-not (BTW, I used to do that when I was single so I know the drill)

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I would say that end of life will be when something needs fixing that you don't think is worth paying for or something becomes unsafe.  No way to predict what that will be with any certainty.  If you are noticing micro  cracks where the swim platform connects sounds like you are paying attention and not letting maintenance slip.  

If you were risking getting stranded 12 miles offshore that would be one thing, with a surf boat it is a matter of one last disappointing trip ending in a tow.

If you are worried about the engine and considering a rebuild 40 years ago the trick was not to wait too long.  If you wait too long then you get past the normal wear surfaces into things that do damage that takes more machining and more heavy parts to fix.  When I messed around a little with such things to long could double the machine shop and parts cost.  Perhaps modern oil testing can mark that point in time?

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2 hours ago, Woodski said:

Scrolling through the thread and specifically seeing Martin's '87 perhaps boats are subject to an inverse relationship.  The older models will last much longer than the newer ones thanks to simplicity and lack of those pesky electronics.  I do think the sweet spot could be the early woodless models, no wood, no electronics, no cats, super basic fiberglass bathtub with a super simple iron small block.  Take care of it and it should last a long time.

That was a big thing when I got my tug. No Cat's small amount of electronics still simple. But I do think older was built better overall.  And I like the classic boat looks. 

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5 hours ago, Woodski said:

Scrolling through the thread and specifically seeing Martin's '87 perhaps boats are subject to an inverse relationship.  The older models will last much longer than the newer ones thanks to simplicity and lack of those pesky electronics.  I do think the sweet spot could be the early woodless models, no wood, no electronics, no cats, super basic fiberglass bathtub with a super simple iron small block.  Take care of it and it should last a long time.

Or aluminum, if you're into that sort of thing.

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That boat has lots of life with it. Heck, I regularly run a 2018 with close to 1600 hrs.  If it is having some problems I would take it in and have a tune up infection done on it, check things out. If you aren't a diy guy, go get it professedly cut polished out the gel coat will look brand new. 

Mid to late 2000s Malibus are some of the best boats out there for the money. 

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My 2005 21LSV has about 450 hours and  besides not having those troublesome screens the average passenger/skier/surfer cannot tell it from a much newer boat.

Suggest you get a tune up and one of @martinarcher
surf gates.  Forget about the gel coat.  Not perfect looking but will function and entertain with the best - for a lot less.

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19 hours ago, Woodski said:

Scrolling through the thread and specifically seeing Martin's '87 perhaps boats are subject to an inverse relationship.  The older models will last much longer than the newer ones thanks to simplicity and lack of those pesky electronics.  I do think the sweet spot could be the early woodless models, no wood, no electronics, no cats, super basic fiberglass bathtub with a super simple iron small block.  Take care of it and it should last a long time.

Perfectly describes my boat ;)

 

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I am probably the wrong guy to ask as my daily driver is an '85 200SX.

Faithful maintenance vs 100k new boat prices and all the wizz bang gizmos that so many complain about here - love your old friend!!

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Fun to read this thread, and a little bittersweet for me.  I recently sold our 2000 VLX that I owned for 18 years.  I babied her and she was in pristine condition for the age when we let her go.  I would often get asked at the gas dock if it was a brand new boat!  Very few issues, even maintenance related, and I was able to do all the maintenance myself.

Also, @Bozboat I recognize your tower in the pic above as that is the same tower/bimini setup my boat had.  It was an exceptionally built tower, rock solid, and looked much better than the "factory" towers of the era.  It was also taller.  Mine was powder coated black but otherwise same design.  It was from a Texas company called Tops N' Towers which is no longer around if I am not mistaken. 

 

IMG_7229r.jpg

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23 hours ago, Dsingram said:

I have a 2008, 247LSV.  We have had the boat for 8 years and love it.  The engine is over 1600 hours.  I am starting to get spurious cat alarms.  We are updating Upholstry as it fails.  The gel coat is starting to fade and we have micro cracks in the transom from the swim platform.  Sue is starting to show her age.

What usually triggers end of life on these boats, outside drunken misadventures?  Engine, control boards, electronics, hull?  Is there anything I should be watching for?  


We surf with about 5k in ballast and a suction wake plate.  Just for reference, end of life for the boat is end of surfing for me.  I don’t have the scratch to pay what these boats are going for today, so this isn’t an upgrade question.

especially if you list to surf, your boat may need the cat plumbing kit to better cool the cats.  that upgrade was necessary to avoid manifold and cat issues that get damaged for lack of cooling

became standard OEM around 2012?

no reason your boat cant serve your needs for a very long time especially for its big size,   i think in 2008 you avoid the damper plate issues as well

this forum should allow you to extend your current ride, i think a member here has gates as an upgrade to his 2008 247 from wake garage

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