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New Malibu Owner - What NOT to do? Tips & Tricks?


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co99tj
Posted (edited)

Hi All - thanks to everyone on this forum and all of the amazing information here - we are excited to be joining the Malibu family and just received our new boat that we are currently breaking in (per the guidelines in the owners manual).  

During that break-in process, I realized that these new boats are SO advanced with so many systems and settings, that I find myself worrying about making a mistake with the settings and inadvertently screwing something up just due to a lack of knowledge or experience with surf gates, wedge, etc.  

With that in mind - I thought maybe the community here could share some things to look out for with new Malibu owners - mainly what NOT to do - but also any tips and tricks that you've found for optimum performance.  I've checked the manual for this information, but it seems to be very vague and generic in these areas.   

Just to start that - here are a few questions:

1. Surf Gates / Speed: Are there any redundancy systems for Surf Gates in relation to speed?  For example - if you forget that the surf gates are out and throttle up to 17MPH - will they automatically retract?  I don't foresee this being an issue - as the "Go Home" button makes everything easy with draining ballast, etc. - but just wondering if that's a potential area for damage if something is forgotten (not sure what speed the gates are rated to)?

2. Surf Gate Deployment: Can the surf gates be deployed while already at surf speed OR should they be set at idle and then deployed on throttle up?  In other words - is it safe to be cruising at 11MPH with surf gates in "center" and then deploy underway?  I assume that should be fine - as that's what the side switching option gives you anyway - but just wasn't sure if there was anything to consider there.  

3. Wedge Limits: Are there any speed or usage limits around the wedge either in 1-6 or Lift settings?  I believe the Wedge is also designed for use at wakeboard speed - so just wanted to see if using the down positions at ~23MPH was safe and/or if there are any speed limitations for the same in Lift position?  

4. Acceptable Range for Vitals: Are there any specifics on what should be an acceptable range for things like engine temp, oil pressure, battery voltage, etc.?  My engine temp seems to be running right around 168-170 underway - but not sure what to look for (short of warnings or alarms on the dash) for acceptable operating range?  

5. Drain Plugs: This is my first boat with both a center and transom drain plug (last boat just had the transom plug).  Should BOTH be pulled every time out of the water OR is the boat designed to drain just to the center plug and the rear / transom can be left installed?  

6. Surf Gate Turning Direction: In my prior boat, I always turned INTO the surfer - i.e. the surfer was on the inside of the turn as this was the best wave quality.  During the break in testing, it seemed like (a) the wave quality with surf gates was much better OUTSIDE the turn and (b) the boat was more responsive and much easier to turn with the wave to the outside vs. the opposite direction.  We don't have any restrictions on direction at our lake - is there a preference you all use on turns with surfer inside vs. outside?

7. Battery Switch: In my last boat, I had a dual battery setup similar to this - with positions for Batt 1, Batt 2, Batt 1&2, Off.  I was told to NEVER turn that switch with power to the boat on (even accessory power) as it could short the systems.  Is that the same here?  For example - if we're listening to music with the engine off but screen / stereo on in Batt 1 position, can we then turn to Batt 1&2 without powering everything down in order to start the engine?  

If there are any other things that CAN be done with the boat (i.e the system won't prevent it) but should NEVER be done, I'd love to know about that in advance! 

Thanks for all the great info here!

Edited by co99tj
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1) i believe Surf Gate should retract at 13mph automatically (not sure if this is a setting you can change or not). 

2) no problem being at surf speed and then deploying -- thats essentially what is done during a wave-transfer from left to right. 

3) Wedge down beyond 25mph (?) i think will throw an alarm, but not necessarily stop you from going faster...drag forces get large, don't know anyone that's ripped off a wedge, but could be tempting fate there.  some folks try it for ski-wake; i can't speak to effectiveness

5) if stored on level ground, i think center plug is lowest point, so could only remove that one in theory. (someone else may correct me if that's true on all Malibu's though)

6) when surfing, best to drive straight as much as possible.  Because of drag from Surf gate, its always easier to turn slowly away from the surfer but they will lose push too.  

7) never heard the advice you were given; should be fine to switch from 1 to 1+2 like you describe

  certainly strong opinions about towing tubes from the tower (or towing tubes at all!) -- would be hard to list all possible bad ideas on a boat... :)

 

 

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Will only comment on the ones I have knowledge about and that differ from @CaptainMorgan.

1) If it didn't retract you would notice as boat wouldn't handle well.

3) again, you will notice if wedge is down past surf speeds

4) the temp gauge should be the one you watch the most, and it will vary depending on water temp.  For example in 70 degree water I run lots cooler than in 90's. I think you will get familiar with where all of these will stay for your particular circumstances.

5) I only ever pull the center, never have any water come out of rear.

6) Are you talking about picking up a down surfer or riding?  Gates will retract when you throttle back when surfer is down, so not a concern.  If during surfing, drive strait.

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On the battery switch control, my 2016 manual says:

"Battery 1 is the “house” battery or main battery. It should be rated at least 750 cold cranking amps (cca), and a spiral cell battery is preferable. Battery 2 is the back-up battery. Normally, when the battery switch is not OFF, it should be set on “1.” However, if Battery 1 is somewhat drained or sluggish, turning to “1+2” can be very helpful in providing sufficient power to start the engine and begin the natural recharging process. After the engine starts and runs for a few moments, return the battery switch to “1.” The electrical system is not designed to run at optimum efficiency on “1+2.” On rare occasions, it may be necessary to turn the switch to “2.” For brief periods of time, especially if Battery 1 is non-functional, you can run on “2” for limited periods of time."

I have 730 hours, and I've rarely been on 1+2 or 2. I use number 1 until I find myself with a low battery warning that has been "earned" by a long session hanging in a cove. I just replaced my original batteries this spring, and I probably didn't even have to. I'd recommend following this method. This also shows that there's no real concern to go from any setting that is "on" to another "on" setting. You'll have to re-boot the boat if you switch it past the OFF slot tho. 

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co99tj

Thanks guys - this is very helpful already.  

To clarify a couple things:

Surf Turning Direction: We have a pretty small lake - so we often have to take multiple "laps" for a surf pull and turn at both ends of the lake with the rider still surfing.  In the past we would do this turn with the rider inside the turn - but it feels like the Surf Gates like to turn with the rider outside the boat and the wave looks to me to almost get bigger on the outside in the turn vs. inside (the inside turn looks to wash out the wave a bit).  

Battery Switch: I was actually a little confused here but did a little research on the forum and found out that I have battery "Option # 3."  I was wondering why I only had (3) positions (On, Combine, and Off) vs. what I'm used to with (4) (1, 2, 1+2, and Off) - but it sounds like this is actually a feature that may come in handy.  If I understand correctly, this system now has a voltage regulator - so I should really never need to use the "combine" switch unless, for some reason, there's an issue with the cranking battery.  From what I understand - in the "On" position, the boat will automatically conserve the cranking battery - even if the house battery is completely depleted - and then charge both with the alternator when running.  From the sounds of it - I can just always operate the boat in "On" and will never need to use "Combine" unless there's an issue - do I have that right?  Someone also said never turn the switch with the engine on - so I think that answers that question - but my plan is just to always keep things in "On" and may never use the "Combine" option if my assumptions above are correct.  

The strange part is I can't find any information about the battery system in the 2023 manual - but I see extensive info in the 2021 manual - so not sure if I missed it, but appreciate all the info and assistance.  

 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/29/2024 at 11:21 AM, CaptainMorgan said:

1) i believe Surf Gate should retract at 13mph automatically (not sure if this is a setting you can change or not). 

2) no problem being at surf speed and then deploying -- thats essentially what is done during a wave-transfer from left to right. 

3) Wedge down beyond 25mph (?) i think will throw an alarm, but not necessarily stop you from going faster...drag forces get large, don't know anyone that's ripped off a wedge, but could be tempting fate there.  some folks try it for ski-wake; i can't speak to effectiveness

5) if stored on level ground, i think center plug is lowest point, so could only remove that one in theory. (someone else may correct me if that's true on all Malibu's though)

6) when surfing, best to drive straight as much as possible.  Because of drag from Surf gate, its always easier to turn slowly away from the surfer but they will lose push too.  

7) never heard the advice you were given; should be fine to switch from 1 to 1+2 like you describe

  certainly strong opinions about towing tubes from the tower (or towing tubes at all!) -- would be hard to list all possible bad ideas on a boat... :)

 

 

What he said.   And yes lift mode no balast isn't bad if you want to ski one amd don't need a lot of speed as your just a mediocre (or worse ) free rider.   Then again if you wanted a real flat wake you'd have bought a different boat.  The warning he mentions is a beep and screen notification it goes away when you slow down.

Edited by MustGoFast
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