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Malibu VTX - What to look for when purchasing?


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I'm new to Malibu Crew and I'm looking to take the plunge and buy my first boat!!!  I'd like to get a Malibu VTX 2009-2013.  Preferably with: All 4 Ballast(including the front), EXT CAT System, Power Wedge, MaliView & a swing tongue trailer.  Those seem to be the options that make it an amazing surf and slalom boat....I think! LOL  Is there anything else, I should look out for or you'd suggest or recommend?  Any known issues with those boats?

Also, if anyone has one for sale....let me know!

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Don't forget surf gate!

The maliviews in that year range had some big issues with delaminating, so make sure you are looking at the screens to ensure they are in good condition.  If they have been replaced recently then even better.

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RedWakesetterVLX

2011-2014 MTC have the most significant screen issues.  Just google Malibu MTC failure and you will find a lot of unhappy owners.  Fix is between 1800-2200 depending where you find one from.  Last I heard they were back ordered for months. 
 

edit:  looks like @COOP has the latest version available 

Edited by RedWakesetterVLX
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RedWakesetterVLX
30 minutes ago, gahvey said:

Don't forget surf gate!

The maliviews in that year range had some big issues with delaminating, so make sure you are looking at the screens to ensure they are in good condition.  If they have been replaced recently then even better.

2013 only year it had Surfgate from his range

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I Just sold mine.  Besides making sure everything works and the touch screen is not delaminating, make sure the slalom pole has been upgraded to the base with metal rings.  (3D hull) The green plastic mounts swell and don't work.  Any touch screen that was replaced after may of 2019 has the new screen that doesn't delaminate.  if you slalom ski you must have and fill the front ballast tank otherwise the wake has a sharp lip suitable for blowing out a knee.  With the front tank3/4 full, the slalom wake at 15 off is pretty good above 32mph.  The surf wake with everything stock and done right is ok, but has a small sweet spot.  Best to have fat friends or add some additional ballast to the rear lockers and do not fill the front ballast tank to surf.  The throttle tends to break...both magnets and the spring...leaving you stranded and out $800 unless you send it to livorsi for a rebuild.   Check the prop shaft alignment...mine was not right...shearing the seal and seizing it to the spline...2k+   Figure on one of those surfgate and wedge actuators to malfunction every year or so.  Pull the hoses and make sure the fittings  are round and not v notched.  That should give you a good start.

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6 hours ago, DrFred said:

I Just sold mine.  Besides making sure everything works and the touch screen is not delaminating, make sure the slalom pole has been upgraded to the base with metal rings.  (3D hull) The green plastic mounts swell and don't work.  Any touch screen that was replaced after may of 2019 has the new screen that doesn't delaminate.  if you slalom ski you must have and fill the front ballast tank otherwise the wake has a sharp lip suitable for blowing out a knee.  With the front tank3/4 full, the slalom wake at 15 off is pretty good above 32mph.  The surf wake with everything stock and done right is ok, but has a small sweet spot.  Best to have fat friends or add some additional ballast to the rear lockers and do not fill the front ballast tank to surf.  The throttle tends to break...both magnets and the spring...leaving you stranded and out $800 unless you send it to livorsi for a rebuild.   Check the prop shaft alignment...mine was not right...shearing the seal and seizing it to the spline...2k+   Figure on one of those surfgate and wedge actuators to malfunction every year or so.  Pull the hoses and make sure the fittings  are round and not v notched.  That should give you a good start.

Some of that only applies to 2013 and up boats

2012 and older have the Ski Command Throttle not the Livorsi

2012 and older do not have the center ski pylon

2012 and older have no surfgate

FWIW - I have never had an issue with a wedge actuator

 

One of the other differences between 2012 and 2013 VTX is a completely different dash layout.

2012 - I hated this steering wheel and installed the 2013 and up version.  Otherwise I prefer the "real" gauges to the setup on the 2013 and up

malibu-20-vtx-55046010130348486754495048674548x.jpg.2d693b743024af06309237e298c59fb2.jpg

2013

2014Steering.jpg.5717c6aa6c0ba6566bb9aee2e45b8a33.jpg

  • Like 3
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One thing to look for is - if the boat has any of that silver plasticy "vinyl" as part of the seat cushions - flip them over and also take a good look at the corners.  It gets super brittle and cracks.

Another would be to decide if you want wall to wall or snap in carpet.  The snap in is a lot easier to clean and replace if needed.  If you intend to go without carpet (pull the snap in out) , then pay attention to what color the floor is - mine is a dark blue and gets way too hot to want to have the carpet out.

Edited by oldjeep
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Thanks for the advice!  This is great info!  Now I just need to find a boat! LOL

 

Is there any advantage to the MTC versus the previous setup? Or is the only difference the LED Screen display? Is the functionality the same?  Is the previous setup more reliable/less issues?

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I would agree with OJ above, I missed not having “real” gauges in my 13, and the “carbon fiber” vinyl was pretty bad. 
 

The MTC is a nice touch if it continues to work. It controls lights, ballast, bilge, surf gate and wedge. I didn’t really care for using the MTC for the wedge control, and would have preferred a physical button. 
 

My Livorsi throttle failed,  but you can send it to Livorsi, not too bad on price, but you’ll be down for two weeks to get it back. I found that out after I paid $1200 to the dealership for a new one. 
 

I bought my 2013 primarily for the surf gates and center pylon. I ended up using the rear pylon just as much and didn’t notice a ton of difference. (When we had the center pole out, my boys just spun around it like a “dancer”). I had the green inserts, but always removed the pylon after I skied, so I never had an issue. I think the folks that have the issue with the green inserts leave the pylon in for extended periods. 
 

if I were to do it again, I would have gone with a boat without the screens, and put an after market surf system in. 
 

Our boat was primarily a lake taxi, tubing/zup boat, but we did do a good bit of surfing (so some of the automation was definitely nice), and I would slalom any chance I got,  which was not often.  

Edited by rakr
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The only real problem I have had with my 2011 VTX was the USB input in the glove box was bad when we first got the boat.  It was promptly replaced by the dealer under warranty and have not had another issue with it.  No problems with the MTC or power wedge except for a blown fuse, but that's why I keep a small box of replacement fuses in the boat.

We mainly slalom ski with the boat with some boarding, surfing, and tubing.  The surf wake is good, but as mentioned previously, the pocket is short.  It is the perfect boat for us.

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On 1/23/2021 at 1:28 PM, Steveorino said:

Thanks for the advice!  This is great info!  Now I just need to find a boat! LOL

 

Is there any advantage to the MTC versus the previous setup? Or is the only difference the LED Screen display? Is the functionality the same?  Is the previous setup more reliable/less issues?

Where are you located?  I may know of an atomic orange VTX for sale!

 

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On 1/23/2021 at 2:28 PM, Steveorino said:

Thanks for the advice!  This is great info!  Now I just need to find a boat! LOL

 

Is there any advantage to the MTC versus the previous setup? Or is the only difference the LED Screen display? Is the functionality the same?  Is the previous setup more reliable/less issues?

The previous system might be more reliable, but not as nice to use.  The 2010 gets you the older MUX system but you still get the G3 tower.  2009 and older you get the other tower - which I personally don't care for.

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7 hours ago, Malibuzer said:

Where are you located?  I may know of an atomic orange VTX for sale!

 

I'm located in Utah.  But, I'm willing to travel if I need to! :)

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