Jump to content

Welcome to TheMalibuCrew!

As a guest, you are welcome to poke around and view the majority of the content that we have to offer, but in order to post, search, contact members, and get full use out of the website you will need to Register for an Account. It's free and it's easy, so don't hesitate to join the TheMalibuCrew Family today!

In the market for a new boat


Recommended Posts

I've been following this forum for several years and renting boats during my summers. First would like to say this seems to be the most active boating forum on the internet with tons of great information for people getting into boating as adults, thank you to all the contributors.  We've decided the convenience of having the boat on the dock and being able to go whenever we want has finally outweighed the (sometimes) inconvenience/limitations of renting.

 

It's too bad the market has gone nuts, but it's still the right time for us.  Family of four, 95+% of the time surfing and I suppose the other 5ish% will be used to cruise around, hang out on the water,  and dock downtown occasionally. Most of the time it will just be 2-4 of us but will occasionally have visitors of up to 10 people.

 

I live about 3 hours away from my cottage where the boat will be kept year round. It will go onto a lift in May and come out in October, stored locally indoors near the cottage over the winter.  I have a Malibu dealer in both locations.  The Malibu dealer near my primary residence has been fantastic and accommodating when called upon for information. The one near my cottage is a new Malibu dealer and had nothing in stock all year; the salesman seemed bothered to help me when I went in with my son, and had very little product knowledge. Took down some very brief hand written notes when I visited them this summer (I was a serious buyer in my mind but potentially didn't come across that way I suppose), and haven't heard from them since.  Honestly less than impressed with the first experience and haven't been back there since.  Concerned that if I were to buy from my primary residence dealer that I'll have to deal with the one near the cottage for warranty/winter storage.  No interest in towing it back and forth.

 

I also have a very large volume, and excellent Nautique dealer near the cottage.  I have been on several G23's over the last few years and have to say I'm quite comfortable with them and am leaning that way.  I'd be going into a 2018-20 G23, so the 2nd gen hull, but I am confident that boat will more than meet our needs for the next few years as far as surf wave progression and creature comforts. Newer Malibu's have been more and more of a rarity on my large lake.  This dealer used to carry Malibu but stopped about five or six years ago. Nautique/Mastercraft now seem to dominate the newer sport boats on our lake, so I have not been on as many Malibu's.  I do love the look of the Malibus but it's not fair to compare older Malibu's (2008-2013) to the newer boats of other brands.

 

I've also considered a new Tige 23zx/Supreme SL - both dealers near the cottage seem fine - but haven't been able to get out on a Tige and the SL's are back ordered until spring of 2023.  I'm looking to secure something for next spring and I can't get my head around buying something I haven't been out on the water on, even though I quite like the Tige boats and they seem like a relatively good value.

 

So, after spending so much time on a Malibu forum as a first time boat buyer I'm looking for advise.  I know I should probably test a newer Malibu with the dealer near my primary residence but I hate to waste his time on a cold October day as my uncertainty about the other dealer is a problem that I haven't been able to overcome. I'm ready to pull the trigger and there's a G23 in stock that has all the options and the colours we're looking for.  Thanks in advance!

Link to post

I have owned a 2016 G23 and also a 2019 Malibu 25 LSV.  My best boating buddy has a 2019 G23.  So I have some experience with both.  2 weeks ago, I surfed a 2021 G23.  

Random comments in no particular order:  I like the surf wave better on the 25 LSV.  But the surf wave was never something I complained much about on the G23.  It is good in its own right.  I am sure that you will see comments if you start a thread on Planet Nautique that most owners are happy with the boat.   I prefer the G23 wave to the 23 LSV.  

You are spot on to be concerned about dealer service.  I loved my Nautique, but I got tired of the subpar dealer and finally took my money where my mouth was and bought a Malibu.  I do not regret that.  Having a solid dealer support is really important.  You are buying a boat first, but you are buying the dealer a very close second.  I would not waste the time of the dealer that you know will not be the one to service your boat, no matter how good the deal is.  

I would never buy a used boat without a demo.  And although I have done it, I don't think you should buy a new one that way either.  But for sure on the used boat, there are just too many horror stories.  

 

  • Like 2
Link to post

It may worth talking to your “home” dealer and seeing if they can work some sort of service deal for you.  They wouldn’t be selling out of market technically and I personally use a dealer away from my “cottage” and near my full time residence and don’t regret that.   *knock on wood* I have had no major issues so towing for an off-season for a few minor things has never been an issue for me.  And you could still potentially pay the cottage dealer for basic things like an oil change if you aren’t a DIYer.  

Link to post

I'd go give the dealer near the cottage a second chance. Let them know you are serious and see how they respond. Maybe the salesman was having a bad day, maybe he no longer works there because of his work ethic, or maybe they really are a sub-par dealership and that helps make your decision easier...only one way to find out.

Link to post

I am happy with my Bu, but the first two years were rough.  I'd have sold if it weren't for my dealer.  If you are buying something with warranty, I think the dealer is vital.  if out of warranty, you can always find an independent to work with.

Link to post

My take, admittedly with very, very little knowledge:

I can see how a guy that earns his living selling new boats (probably heavily slanted towards commission for his earnings) could become "cranky" or not-so-welcoming to a potential customer of his product that he doesn't have available to sell anyway.

Frankly, and making uneducated assumptions here, if I were a new boat sales guy, I might have stopped answering the phone a while ago. The only people calling are those that have already bought and are complaining that you "lied to them" about spray/delivery dates, or people that want to buy stuff that you don't have available to sell to them. How many times can you tell the same guy that his delivery date has been delayed by all the stuff you already told him last call, without getting a bit dissolutioned by the whole thing? What about the guy that walks into your showroom (serious buyer or not so serious), but you know that you only have bad news for him - Super high pricing, and delivery hopefully in time for 2022 boating season, but you aren't even confident that you aren't "lying" to him again when you share the  info that you are being told by the factory.

I'd guess that it kinda sucks to be a new boat guy these days. Maybe it was one of those days. I'd give the guy closer to where the boat will live another chance. Having a service relationship closer is better, so I'd aim for that.  

Link to post
1 hour ago, BigCreek said:

My take, admittedly with very, very little knowledge:

I can see how a guy that earns his living selling new boats (probably heavily slanted towards commission for his earnings) could become "cranky" or not-so-welcoming to a potential customer of his product that he doesn't have available to sell anyway.

Frankly, and making uneducated assumptions here, if I were a new boat sales guy, I might have stopped answering the phone a while ago. The only people calling are those that have already bought and are complaining that you "lied to them" about spray/delivery dates, or people that want to buy stuff that you don't have available to sell to them. How many times can you tell the same guy that his delivery date has been delayed by all the stuff you already told him last call, without getting a bit dissolutioned by the whole thing? What about the guy that walks into your showroom (serious buyer or not so serious), but you know that you only have bad news for him - Super high pricing, and delivery hopefully in time for 2022 boating season, but you aren't even confident that you aren't "lying" to him again when you share the  info that you are being told by the factory.

I'd guess that it kinda sucks to be a new boat guy these days. Maybe it was one of those days. I'd give the guy closer to where the boat will live another chance. Having a service relationship closer is better, so I'd aim for that.  

Well, respectfully, I disagree with all that.  It is their job to move boats - that means dealing with tire kickers, customer service and complaints, supply issues, etc.  Most buyers would appreciate honesty if there is nothing to sale and the salesman could work on an order for next year.  Or the alternative is - you have a bad interaction and then a potential buyer doesn’t even want to walk back into your dealership.  I agree in giving the dealer another chance, but disagree with giving them a complete pass for the initial interactions.  

  • Like 3
Link to post

I find it amusing that people keep talking about buying from a dealer that will do your service.  My experience has been far from that. I have three different places I call home so I have a lot of options to buy a boat. My last Malibu boat I bought from one of our local dealers as new. My neighbor bought a one year old used demo elsewhere for a fraction of the price I paid.  Both of our service experiences have been equally terrible at the same place. They do Average work at best, have poor attention to detail and are vastly overpriced.. Even my sales guy once said “yeah our service department kind of sucks.”  Obviously,  everyone has a unique experience but I don’t think this should dogmatic statement for making Purchacing decisions.  

Edited by RCorsa
Link to post
Posted (edited)

@TallRedRider - Thanks for responding and I agree with everything there. It's great to get some feedback from someone that has had first hand experience with both brands.  Appreciate your contributions here and on the other forum. 

13 hours ago, vaporbluebu said:

I'd go give the dealer near the cottage a second chance. Let them know you are serious and see how they respond. Maybe the salesman was having a bad day, maybe he no longer works there because of his work ethic, or maybe they really are a sub-par dealership and that helps make your decision easier...only one way to find out.

This is totally fair and I've definitely considered it. The issue is I'm now back home until May, and don't have any boats in stock to look at. Tough to justify a trip back in November (or later) just to look at one in a showroom.

13 hours ago, RyanB said:

I am happy with my Bu, but the first two years were rough.  I'd have sold if it weren't for my dealer.  If you are buying something with warranty, I think the dealer is vital.  if out of warranty, you can always find an independent to work with.

Agreed...

2 hours ago, BigCreek said:

My take, admittedly with very, very little knowledge:

I can see how a guy that earns his living selling new boats (probably heavily slanted towards commission for his earnings) could become "cranky" or not-so-welcoming to a potential customer of his product that he doesn't have available to sell anyway.

Frankly, and making uneducated assumptions here, if I were a new boat sales guy, I might have stopped answering the phone a while ago. The only people calling are those that have already bought and are complaining that you "lied to them" about spray/delivery dates, or people that want to buy stuff that you don't have available to sell to them. How many times can you tell the same guy that his delivery date has been delayed by all the stuff you already told him last call, without getting a bit dissolutioned by the whole thing? What about the guy that walks into your showroom (serious buyer or not so serious), but you know that you only have bad news for him - Super high pricing, and delivery hopefully in time for 2022 boating season, but you aren't even confident that you aren't "lying" to him again when you share the  info that you are being told by the factory.

I'd guess that it kinda sucks to be a new boat guy these days. Maybe it was one of those days. I'd give the guy closer to where the boat will live another chance. Having a service relationship closer is better, so I'd aim for that.  

This is possible but I think it's more likely he didn't think I was serious enough.  If your scenario is true I'd actually find it worse as a consumer.  Take the Nautique dealer who had two 2022 G23's in their showroom this August. They were honest and up front immediately "I'll sell you either of these boats, but the reality of the market is that I can't give you possession of either of them until we get a replacement.  Here is the time frame we expect a replacement but that will likely be delayed because of Covid.  If you order one from the factory we are expecting delivery next July and that could be delayed, I can't promise anything after what we saw last year...".   Knowing the reality up front and it being presented in a  professional and honest manner is all I want or can expect as a consumer.  The guys at both dealerships are working in the same boat market and same area but one dealership has taken a different approach and is trying to adapt. They appear to be interested in treating people fairly with long term business being a priority vs selling out of all the boats now and then having a bad attitude about it (not saying that's what happened here but given your scenario).

46 minutes ago, hethj7 said:

Well, respectfully, I disagree with all that.  It is their job to move boats - that means dealing with tire kickers, customer service and complaints, supply issues, etc.  Most buyers would appreciate honesty if there is nothing to sale and the salesman could work on an order for next year.  Or the alternative is - you have a bad interaction and then a potential buyer doesn’t even want to walk back into your dealership.  I agree in giving the dealer another chance, but disagree with giving them a complete pass for the initial interactions.  

Couldn't have really said it better.  It's an intimidating and expensive process never having owned a boat before. I've prioritized honesty, a fair deal, strong communication, longer term relationship, and dependability after the purchase.

Edited by Zac
Link to post

A dealer relationship is meaningless until you need the kind of help only a dealer can provide (warranty, flipping for a new boat every year or two, etc.).

Link to post
2 hours ago, RCorsa said:

I find it amusing that people keep talking about buying from a dealer that will do your service.  My experience has been far from that. I have three different places I call home so I have a lot of options to buy a boat. My last Malibu boat I bought from one of our local dealers as new. My neighbor bought a one year old used demo elsewhere for a fraction of the price I paid.  Both of our service experiences have been equally terrible at the same place. They do Average work at best, have poor attention to detail and are vastly overpriced.. Even my sales guy once said “yeah our service department kind of sucks.”  Obviously,  everyone has a unique experience but I don’t think this should dogmatic statement for making Purchacing decisions.  

True.  I don't think that buying from the local dealer assures good service.  I bought from my local Nautique dealer and got subpar service.  I am sure it would have been worse if I bought a Nautique elsewhere and tried to bring that in.   Circumventing the local dealer and buying elsewhere is a way to increase the odds of bad service at least 2-3X.  

Link to post

Well a dealer is required to provide warranty work per the manufacturer regardless if you purchased the boat from them.  Regarding boat flipping, that is an absolute joke IMO as the dealer will always want a pound a flesh with the sale and to make maximum on the new boat as well.  When I went to sell my Malibu for a new one the dealer offered me 31.25% less than I sold on the open market in one week with a $100 on Boat trader.com They actually told me “well the used boat market is kind of slow so we have to offer a pretty low price given the risk of used boats”.  Mind you this was on a 3 year old Malibu in perfect condition with around 200 hours.  :)

Link to post
BlindSquirrel
7 minutes ago, RCorsa said:

Well a dealer is required to provide warranty work per the manufacturer regardless if you purchased the boat from them.  

This is true... I think... but have read plenty of guys on here complaining about extremely long wait times to get their out of market boat fixed. The dealer will put the guy that bought from them first 99% of the time... every time. So if you need something fixed mid season... good luck.

Link to post
26 minutes ago, BlindSquirrel said:

This is true... I think... but have read plenty of guys on here complaining about extremely long wait times to get their out of market boat fixed. The dealer will put the guy that bought from them first 99% of the time... every time. So if you need something fixed mid season... good luck.

How can you verify this about dealers not doing warranty work for people or jumping the line for in house purchases? You’d have to have pretty inside information to confirm this. It sounds like fake forum internet information.   I just can’t imagine any dealer admitting to this and opening themselves up to the potential legal issues, especially since they get paid well by the manufacturer to do the work?  

Link to post
BlindSquirrel
8 minutes ago, RCorsa said:

How can you verify this about dealers not doing warranty work for people or jumping the line for in house purchases? You’d have to have pretty inside information to confirm this. It sounds like fake forum internet information.   I just can’t imagine any dealer admitting to this and opening themselves up to the potential legal issues, especially since they get paid well by the manufacturer to do the work?  

Lol. Okay, you're right. :blush:

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
1 hour ago, RCorsa said:

How can you verify this about dealers not doing warranty work for people or jumping the line for in house purchases? You’d have to have pretty inside information to confirm this. It sounds like fake forum internet information.   I just can’t imagine any dealer admitting to this and opening themselves up to the potential legal issues, especially since they get paid well by the manufacturer to do the work?  

100% accurate.

  • Like 2
Link to post
3 hours ago, RCorsa said:

Well a dealer is required to provide warranty work per the manufacturer regardless if you purchased the boat from them.  Regarding boat flipping, that is an absolute joke IMO as the dealer will always want a pound a flesh with the sale and to make maximum on the new boat as well.  When I went to sell my Malibu for a new one the dealer offered me 31.25% less than I sold on the open market in one week with a $100 on Boat trader.com They actually told me “well the used boat market is kind of slow so we have to offer a pretty low price given the risk of used boats”.  Mind you this was on a 3 year old Malibu in perfect condition with around 200 hours.  :)

So, my dealer experience couldn’t be more different, both front and back end, pre or post COVID insanity.

I have to chuckle at the fact a dealer told you the used boat market is currently slow and risky, as if a guy selling/shopping quarter million dollar boats is incapable of visiting a few websites and quickly ascertaining real time market conditions. How silly, that dealer would likely not earn my business.

 

Link to post
3 hours ago, RCorsa said:

How can you verify this about dealers not doing warranty work for people or jumping the line for in house purchases? You’d have to have pretty inside information to confirm this. It sounds like fake forum internet information.   I just can’t imagine any dealer admitting to this and opening themselves up to the potential legal issues, especially since they get paid well by the manufacturer to do the work?  

When you buy from a dealer you develop a relationship with your sales person.   I have had my dealer go out of there way to save a holiday long week at our cabin because I had my sales guys contact information.  Unless you develop a relationship with a new dealer you are getting the service centers voicemail on a weekend.  You see the "shout out to my dealer for saving my weekend" posts on facebook pretty regularly.

I'd maybe give your cottage dealer another shot to see if they were just overwhelmed at that time but just remember someones communication and customer service is usually best before they get your money and rarely gets better after they get your money. 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
2 hours ago, ahopkinsVTX said:

He didn't say they won't do the work. They will, just after they get to everyone that bought a boat from them in territory. You don't need inside information to see that or understand it. Just search here or Facebook. Is it exaggerated? Probably, but if you can somehow buy a new boat from outside your territory, you could have a very difficult time getting the boat serviced at your local dealer in a timely fashion. That is the dealer relationship everyone emphasizes. 

I’m sure you are right that some of this happens depending on which part of the country you live in and dealer/service availability.  Maybe Ive just been lucky and haven’t had problem ridden boats and I’ve never needed some rush weekend warranty work in the last 12 years of owning boats. Generally if I need something fixed (rare) Ive just called, made an appointment, and brought the boat in at the scheduled day/time.  Granted Ive always had newer model boats from reputable companies, keep the boats in top notch condition, and upgrade them frequently  so its really no different to any car Ive bought honestly?  After all, given the rates dealerships charge for service, I would assume they typically want the business they get paid for?  That said I guess individual experience varies. 

Link to post

Hmmm.  Some dealerships buildings house two independent businesses, one for sales, one for service.  This has been the case at two dealerships I have used.  So yes there is a relationship between the sales and services under that one roof, but they are separate businesses and at times definitely act that way.

Know what you are getting into.  Ask those questions up front!

Link to post
21 hours ago, hethj7 said:

giving them a complete pass for the initial interactions

If I gave you that impression, I apologize. 

Service nearby where the boat lives is important. I would overlook the bad feeling I got from my initial interaction from a fraction of the staff at that place, and hope that my second was better. I would do this so that I could have the best situation for me - service nearby. Nobody gets a pass. Next time I'd approach a different salesperson with hopes that I just caught the wrong guy at a bad time.

While it's best to get a warm fuzzy feeling from the guy that sells you the boat, it's my opinion that it's the service guy you want the relationship with. I understand that often these dealerships are small enough that the sales guy morphs into a service contact guy, especially when it comes time for warranty work or getting me to the front of the line in season. 

Bottom line is - the OP said he's got a 3 hour tow to service if he burns this bridge over the bad feelings from a single interaction with they dealer that is close. I'd probably overlook a bunch of bad feelings to avoid that tow for the rest of the time I own the boat. 

 

Link to post
4 minutes ago, BigCreek said:

 

Bottom line is - the OP said he's got a 3 hour tow to service if he burns this bridge over the bad feelings from a single interaction with they dealer that is close. I'd probably overlook a bunch of bad feelings to avoid that tow for the rest of the time I own the boat. 

 

I will buy a different brand before towing it for service. I have no interest in towing back and forth and won't be doing it. 

You make a good point about the relationship with the service person vs salesman. 

  • Like 2
Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...