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Hey crew, I am looking at a 2003 Sunscape 21LSV, 1 owner, 400 hours, well maintained. This is my first experience with Malibu and am coming from an old 20' Four Winns. I realize the market is crazy and value depends on many variables. Is there anything specific I need to be looking at on this boat when trying to determine mechanical condition or value? I have no experience with V-drives. Thanks in advance. 

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Outstanding boat!  Nothing really specific to that model.  I'd just ensure you have an opportunity to test drive it, feel for vibrations, watch the V-drive warning light and ensure it illuminates at idle but turns off at speed.  Look in the bilge for water intrusion.  Search this site using google for more info on buying a used boat.  Tons of good info here.  And don't forget to inspect the trailer closely.

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First of all, in general, a 2003 21 LSV is a great crossover boat.  SV23 diamond hull, and lower weight, make it one of the best slalom skiing v-drives on the market.  But, the v-drive configuration, along with the wedge and appropriate Fat Sac placement, also allows fair-to-good wake boarding and surfing possibilities.  Because of that, that era boat, in that configuration, tends to hold its value pretty well, especially if well-maintained.

Does it have a tower?  If so, do you know who made it?  Sunscapes typically didn't come with a tower, and, of course, also had no built-in ballast (towers, though, were often added; occasionally even built-in ballast was added, but I wouldn't expect that)  It should, however, have the manual wedge.

A good lake test should iron out any problems.  Just make sure you check all of the switches, lights, and even the stereo.  Check the bilge for any excess water (the biggest difference between a v-drive and your Four Winns I/O, aside from night-and day better handling at speed and cornering, and much more difficult maneuvering at idle speeds [no directional reverse; your stern will always wander towards the starboard side], is that the v-drive is intended to leak at maybe 10 drops/minute [allows for lubrication and cooling of the drive shaft bearing] so it's normal to have a little water back there).

 

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If you have a friend who really knows inboards, bring him along and buy him a case of beer on the way home or something.

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Great info, thanks guys! Interesting about the Vdrive warning light...nice to know. 

The p.o. did have a Skylon Swoop tower installed. It does have the manual wedge but no ballasts. It is getting a full service right now and we will be able to do the sea trial next week. Great info on the water leak on the drive, Im used to a dry bilge. 

I appreciate the info and am looking forward to joining the owners community! 

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BlindSquirrel
11 minutes ago, Tfitch03 said:

It is getting a full service right now and we will be able to do the sea trial next week. 

 

While it's there, have them pull the hours off the computer. Mine had ~100 less than the hour meter had on it. (assuming that year has the old school type of meter)

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Well, I am now the FNG. Besides dinging the prop on the sea trial, everything else went as expected so we made a deal. The Tach (shared gauge with PP) is inop so I have been reading a lot on how to fix that and I am out the money for a new prop. In spite of that I am very happy to be back in a boat and part of the Malibu family! edit: the boat only has 290 hours, not the 400 I originally thought!! 

Edited by Tfitch03
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On 6/30/2021 at 2:11 PM, Tfitch03 said:

Great info, thanks guys! Interesting about the Vdrive warning light...nice to know. 

The p.o. did have a Skylon Swoop tower installed. It does have the manual wedge but no ballasts. It is getting a full service right now and we will be able to do the sea trial next week. Great info on the water leak on the drive, Im used to a dry bilge. 

I appreciate the info and am looking forward to joining the owners community! 

It's ok if the bilge is wet. It will depend on the packing gland rope verse dripless. A rope has to leaking the bilge for it to be working correctly. Does it have a cooler behind the drivers seat that is built in? That also drips into the bilge as the ice melts. The vdrive light will go off at around 5 mph give or take. 

Some things I would ask. 

Dripless or rope packing gland

When was the last time the plugs, wires, rotor, rotor cap, impellor, fuel filter was changed. You need to know where the impellor is and how to change it. and keep an extra in the boat.  

Does it have a heater? Has the radiator ever been changed? 

Where is it stored when not in use?

Has the trailer brake fluid ever been changed? Is it bearing buddies or oil bath bearings? If oil bath has the oil ever been changed or have any of the seals leaked and been changed? 

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6 minutes ago, malibu2004 said:

It's ok if the bilge is wet. It will depend on the packing gland rope verse dripless. A rope has to leaking the bilge for it to be working correctly. Does it have a cooler behind the drivers seat that is built in? That also drips into the bilge as the ice melts. The vdrive light will go off at around 5 mph give or take. 

Some things I would ask. 

Dripless or rope packing gland

When was the last time the plugs, wires, rotor, rotor cap, impellor, fuel filter was changed. You need to know where the impellor is and how to change it. and keep an extra in the boat.  

Does it have a heater? Has the radiator ever been changed? 

Where is it stored when not in use?

Has the trailer brake fluid ever been changed? Is it bearing buddies or oil bath bearings? If oil bath has the oil ever been changed or have any of the seals leaked and been changed? 

It does have the built in cooler behind the seat. No ballasts. It was given a full service 2 weeks ago prior to the sea trial that included, cap, rotor, plugs, oil, v-drive fluid, injectors cleaned, impeller, and fresh gas. Also the trailer had a complete service including fluid flush, brake adjustment, new bunks, new winch, some new lights. Tires are in great shape and 2 years old. 

is there a way to identify visually dripless or rope packing? I can call the shop that has always maintained it since new and perhaps they will know. 

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1 minute ago, Tfitch03 said:

It does have the built in cooler behind the seat. No ballasts. It was given a full service 2 weeks ago prior to the sea trial that included, cap, rotor, plugs, oil, v-drive fluid, injectors cleaned, impeller, and fresh gas. Also the trailer had a complete service including fluid flush, brake adjustment, new bunks, new winch, some new lights. Tires are in great shape and 2 years old. 

is there a way to identify visually dripless or rope packing? I can call the shop that has always maintained it since new and perhaps they will know. 

Some of the dripless will have a water line coming from the engine others don't, it just depends on the brand. Other than the line you would have to ask. If the ropes haven't been changed for awhile I might ask them too. It's not that it hard it's just a pain in the rear. Or ask them to install a dripless and split the cost and never worry about it again. 

 

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If this is your first direct drive, and not knowing where you live, spend some time learning about winterization.  May save a lot of $ next spring.

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8 hours ago, Tfitch03 said:

Well, I am now the FNG. Besides dinging the prop on the sea trial, everything else went as expected so we made a deal. The Tach (shared gauge with PP) is inop so I have been reading a lot on how to fix that and I am out the money for a new prop. In spite of that I am very happy to be back in a boat and part of the Malibu family! edit: the boat only has 290 hours, not the 400 I originally thought!! 

You can get the prop repaired.  Most of us have a spare prop to swap when this happens.  That way the boating day can continue.

Look up prop pullers, you will need one.

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Congrats!  Nice looking boat!

Prop can most likely be repaired.  Good idea, though, to have a spare prop and kit to replace (comes with new drive shaft key and cotter pin for the prop nut, as well as tool for prop removal; hint:  don't completely remove the prop nut until the prop breaks free and slides down towards the end of the shaft).

FWIW, if you will PM me with an email address, I'd be happy to forward to you a great pdf file on winterizing your boat!  It has photographs and instructions for every key step, pretty much everything you need to know, and it has guided me successfully through every season since 2006 (even through this past year's snow-mageddon!).

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Nice looking boat.  I had a 2001 SS VLX in the past, which is basically the same boat with the SV23 diamond hull.  That was an awesome boat.

Have fun.

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Nice boat!  I am partial to a Black/Gray boat myself.  Looks really clean.  Welcome to the Crew

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Update, I repaired the prop and bought a spare to have. I took the family out a couple times last weekend and the kids had a great time! Boat handles great although it is going to take me some getting used to in reverse. You can tell from the picture that he is not having a good time! Question, where do yall attach your anchor rope?

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  • Like 2
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1 hour ago, Tfitch03 said:

Question, where do yall attach your anchor rope?

I attach to the bow hook or to the bow cleat I installed.  That project was well worth the effort.

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9 minutes ago, formulaben said:

I attach to the bow hook or to the bow cleat I installed.  That project was well worth the effort.

Funny, I attach mine to the anchor... I crack me up!  :rofl:

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Reverse will come quickly enough.  just remember that a "little back and a little forward" will spin you around nicely.  Get out in the open and practice it and before long you'll see what that means, and will be a Texas Whiz!

Edited by REHinH20
capitalization
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