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NEED Advice on 1999 Malibu Sunsetter VLX


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Looking for advice...

I am looking for my first boat and I am going to look at a 1999 Malibu Sunsetter VLX for $20k. The boat Has new malibu decals, trailer has been redone, tower with one wakeboard rack, 4 kicker tower speakers, bluetooth radio, three fat sacks, has a newer 350 motor with about 150-200 hours. Looks to be a pretty clean boat and in good condition. No perfect pass or wedge which are setbacks because I plan to use it to surf but also wakeboard.  

What are some things I need to be looking for? Are these a good year model? I originally wanted an 03-04 Wakesetter lsv 23 with perfect pass, etc. but they are extremely hard to find in my area that arent overpriced.

Let me know what yall think!

Edited by tmo166
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Update...I went and looked at boat this afternoon. The boat was overall in decent condition. It was wrapped with new decals about a year ago and buffed, polished, etc. so the outside gel coat is in really good shape. The motor hatch was recovered a couple years ago and looks really good and matches well. The boat has been upgraded to automatic ballast fill/drain so thats nice. Stereo seemed to work well and speakers are newer. Interior was probably a 7/10.

BUT NOW the negatives, the trailer is not the original and does not have a title, There are a couple little spots on the seats that have mildew stain on the tops and the seams are splitting on the top of the rear bench seat, the speedometer does not work (single speedo cluster), speakers on top of dash dont work.

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Overall sounds like a close price. Especially with a low hour engine. Getting the cabin speakers going will be easy. Trailer title just some hoops to jump thru.

Steve B.

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BlindSquirrel

Looks/ sounds good. I’d use the no title as a negotiation tool on the price. Offer 19 because of it.... for your troubles. Then take it straight to a tire shop and put the white letters on the tires in!

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A V-drive under $20K that looks to be in as overall as good as shape as that is?   That's a winner in my book! 

If you end up doing Perfect Pass, that non-working speedo won't matter.   Just remember to plug the pitot tubes at the transom so you don't get water running up to your desk.   

Edited by hethj7
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Looks like it is in good shape.  If it were me, I would definitely get it on the water and test everything out.  I purchased a 1993 low hour boat last spring and it has cost me about double what I paid for it to get everything working right and the trailer fixed etc.  Speedo shouldn't be too expensive.  Perfect pass can be 1-2 grand I think depending on which one you go for. Some states don't require you to register the trailer.  If you do need to register, you'll have to either find the VIN number, or take it to the DMV for an inspection and they'll assign it a VIN if they can't find one either.  Make sure you have a bill of sale showing that you purchased the trailer and are the owner.  New vinyl is $5-9k depending on where you go.  Wrap looks decent, but I'd be curious what's underneath.  Good luck!

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One nice thing here in Idaho is that trailers weighing under 2K don't require a title.

Did the seller say why the speedo wasn't working? Could be as simple as a clogged pitot. Happened to me a lot on the lakes I skied in Kentucky and Idaho - always lots of leaves, weeds and other gunk in the water. I carry a paper clip to clean them out while on the water then disconnect the hoses and blow them out when I get home. Maybe not the recommended or correct way, but it works for me.

Depending on how deep and set the mildew stains are, you might be able to get them out with a white vinegar and water mixture. I've had good luck using Formula 409 on vinyl. There are also many commercial products, like Star Brite Mildew Stain Remover. I've heard some people having success using Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I've had a harder time removing sunscreen stains.

A quick web search shows 2000 model year VLX prices around $19,900 with trailer. NADA on a 1999 basic VLX with tandem trailer is a little over $18k. Don't know what your local market is, but I'd be tempted to set $18k as my starting point and go lower if I found additional issues. See if the seller will tell you who did the engine replacement and go talk to them. 

Like Sixer says, get it on the water if at all possible. I bought my first boat (used) without trying it out and regretted it. Before I bought a brand new boat, I had the dealer meet me at the lake so I could try it out. Would you buy a car, new or used, without a test drive?

It looks nice in your pictures. Good luck!

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If you're in NC all you need to get a trailer title is a notarized bill of sale for the trailer itself and the VIN if I remember correctly. Ran into the same problem when I bought mine out of SC where they don't title trailers. Guy gave me a manufacturer's certificate of origin but that's it...never ended up getting it titled but I did try.

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I sold my .99 VLX with trailer two years ago for $20.5K....Started out at $23K.  It had 900+ hrs on original engine and 4yr old interior.  I owned it for 19yrs and one of the roomiest interiors of that age.   
Price seems reasonable if engine was done right and checks out.  Gauge could be a number of things....possibly simple fix like others said.  (Try the left/right pitot selector Switch just below the gauge)  Ditch the pitot speedo for GPS for a few hundred $.  Not having A manual wedge on that hull would not be a big deal for me.... plumbed ballast system would be much better money spent IMO.   excellent slalom and wakeboard wake....surfable with ballast and wake shaper.  

Trailer looks a little rough....hard to tell how much rust I can see, but finding a decent trailer for less than $3,000 might be hard.   
 

hope this helps. 

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7 hours ago, Jobe1850 said:

One nice thing here in Idaho is that trailers weighing under 2K don't require a title.

Did the seller say why the speedo wasn't working? Could be as simple as a clogged pitot. Happened to me a lot on the lakes I skied in Kentucky and Idaho - always lots of leaves, weeds and other gunk in the water. I carry a paper clip to clean them out while on the water then disconnect the hoses and blow them out when I get home. Maybe not the recommended or correct way, but it works for me.

Depending on how deep and set the mildew stains are, you might be able to get them out with a white vinegar and water mixture. I've had good luck using Formula 409 on vinyl. There are also many commercial products, like Star Brite Mildew Stain Remover. I've heard some people having success using Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I've had a harder time removing sunscreen stains.

A quick web search shows 2000 model year VLX prices around $19,900 with trailer. NADA on a 1999 basic VLX with tandem trailer is a little over $18k. Don't know what your local market is, but I'd be tempted to set $18k as my starting point and go lower if I found additional issues. See if the seller will tell you who did the engine replacement and go talk to them. 

Like Sixer says, get it on the water if at all possible. I bought my first boat (used) without trying it out and regretted it. Before I bought a brand new boat, I had the dealer meet me at the lake so I could try it out. Would you buy a car, new or used, without a test drive?

It looks nice in your pictures. Good luck!

I plan on test driving it, I would never buy without doing that. I think my starting point will be 17,500 and let him counter offer. 

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6 hours ago, jtrezon said:

I sold my .99 VLX with trailer two years ago for $20.5K....Started out at $23K.  It had 900+ hrs on original engine and 4yr old interior.  I owned it for 19yrs and one of the roomiest interiors of that age.   
Price seems reasonable if engine was done right and checks out.  Gauge could be a number of things....possibly simple fix like others said.  (Try the left/right pitot selector Switch just below the gauge)  Ditch the pitot speedo for GPS for a few hundred $.  Not having A manual wedge on that hull would not be a big deal for me.... plumbed ballast system would be much better money spent IMO.   excellent slalom and wakeboard wake....surfable with ballast and wake shaper.  

Trailer looks a little rough....hard to tell how much rust I can see, but finding a decent trailer for less than $3,000 might be hard.   
 

hope this helps. 

The trailer has been repainted black and carpet replaced on runners on trailer. New lights but the brake system has a leak so therefore does not work.

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LateNightSalami
10 hours ago, jtrezon said:

I sold my .99 VLX with trailer two years ago for $20.5K....Started out at $23K.  It had 900+ hrs on original engine and 4yr old interior.  I owned it for 19yrs and one of the roomiest interiors of that age.   
Price seems reasonable if engine was done right and checks out.  Gauge could be a number of things....possibly simple fix like others said.  (Try the left/right pitot selector Switch just below the gauge)  Ditch the pitot speedo for GPS for a few hundred $.  Not having A manual wedge on that hull would not be a big deal for me.... plumbed ballast system would be much better money spent IMO.   excellent slalom and wakeboard wake....surfable with ballast and wake shaper.  

Trailer looks a little rough....hard to tell how much rust I can see, but finding a decent trailer for less than $3,000 might be hard.   
 

hope this helps. 

Where did you go to have the interior redone and how much was it? We wanted to redo the upholstry on the engine compartment covers on our 08 VTx but Tommy's of Detroit quoted us at $2600 ($1300 per piece). Which seemed pretty high especially considering it wasn't even any of the seats.

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46 minutes ago, LateNightSalami said:

We wanted to redo the upholstry on the engine compartment covers on our 08 VTx but Tommy's of Detroit quoted us at $2600 ($1300 per piece). Which seemed pretty high especially considering it wasn't even any of the seats.

Yikes! That is a very high price IME.

  • Like 1
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11 hours ago, LateNightSalami said:

Where did you go to have the interior redone and how much was it? We wanted to redo the upholstry on the engine compartment covers on our 08 VTx but Tommy's of Detroit quoted us at $2600 ($1300 per piece). Which seemed pretty high especially considering it wasn't even any of the seats.

Can’t really compare prices because I had bought an entire set of skins from Chee back around 2005 before he disappeared.... used two seats and held on to the rest for a while before I had enough reasons to do it all.  A local shop did the carpet and installed the skins for around $2500.  To keep costs down, I took every piece apart and brought them 4-5 pieces at a time during the off-season.... then I re-assembled everything back myself after carpet was done.   I would definitely go that route again if I ever do another.  

Tough work by yourself, but I learned every square inch of that boat....satisfying winter project. 

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