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KOIV

Opinons on 88 malibu Skier

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KOIV

Hi all. I'm looking for some expertise on a late model Malibu. I have had boats all my life but other than a 22' Toyota Epic, I don't have a ton of knowledge on this era of tournament boats. I have looked at Brendellas, Mastercrafts, Centurions etc. I have found a yellow, 1988 19' Malibu Skier for sale. I have not seen it in person. I have talked to the people and of course it is super clean! LOL. Finish and gel coat are in good shape, interior is really nice and the motor was professionally rebuilt and has 50 hours on it. They are asking 10,995 and I feel that is high. The salesman said he thinks his party (on consignment) would still be intersted at $9995. I booked it out and avg retail on NADA is about $8000 including trailer. I figured someone here would have some tips and things to look for. I know dry rot in the floor is a must to check for. What else? Any high problem areas? Were these "top of the line" ski boats in 88? What are your thoughts on the price and what would you pay if it is truly in great condition? Let me know and thanks for the help. I hope this one works out! I will be looking at it tomorrow.

Edited by KOIV

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bound4er

Before I bought my '99 Lxi I owned an '88 Skier. I loved it! In its day, it was a hot boat (I had the grey with the 4-color accents). My only complaint was that on larger bodies of water, it was pretty pounding from other boat waves. I sold it in 1999 with around 250 hours on it for $12,000. If you could get this boat for $9,000 - $10,000 and it is "truly clean", it would offer a lot of pleasure at a pretty fair price.

The most important thing is to water-test it. How does it feel? Excessive vibration at low speed? Does the engine run smooth? Check the packing gland - is it dripping about every 10 seconds? How well does it go in-and-out of gear? If you can, have someone pull you on a ski run. Of course, look over the outside and underside for cracks or other signs of damage. Same with the inside. When a late model boat has been well cared for, you can almost "feel it" as you are looking it over. Good luck.

Dave

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KOIV

Thanks Dave. I think all boats have common things to check for but yeah, with the direct drive, I will be sure to water test it for vibration and the like. I knew about the packing gland, although if it is bad, not a big problem. I was more concerned with dry rot and any inherent problems with that particular model. Did you have any floor problems or engine mounts going south on you? The stringers are common problem areas. That is a little tougher to check. I know exactly what you mean when you say you can "feel" a well taken care of boat. that is the way mine and my father's four boats are. his 89 Chaparral Villian III looks like it came off the show room floor. Thanks again.

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bound4er
Did you have any floor problems or engine mounts going south on you?

KOIV, no problems at all. This fits in that "well cared for" category again.

Dave

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NorCaliBu

Dry rot in the stringers is hard to detect until it is extensive. Check around the motor mounts, a remote mounted fuel filter / water separator (if one has been added),...anything mounted on the stringers gives water an entry point. Put a wrench on the motor mount bolts and see if they spin freely. Look for excessive sag in the floorboards too...that's not cheap to fix. Look for damage underneath around the tracking fins, prop shaft, rubber box,...

Don't buy it without a water test and while the boat is off the trailer...inspect the trailer too. Check the condition of the bunks, make sure the electrical is all working,...

$10K sounds high to me unless the boat is stunningly immaculate. Which I kind of doubt since the boat has enough hours on it to require an engine rebuild, even being careful a boat takes abuse over time. I would say ~ $8K sound about right...maybe $9K if it's really nice and no problems at all.

Good luck...keep us posted. Oh, and Welcome.gif

Edited by NorCaliBu

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88Skier
Dry rot in the stringers is hard to detect until it is extensive. Check around the motor mounts, a remote mounted fuel filter / water separator (if one has been added),...anything mounted on the stringers gives water an entry point. Put a wrench on the motor mount bolts and see if they spin freely. Look for excessive sag in the floorboards too...that's not cheap to fix. Look for damage underneath around the tracking fins, prop shaft, rubber box,...

Don't buy it without a water test and while the boat is off the trailer...inspect the trailer too. Check the condition of the bunks, make sure the electrical is all working,...

$10K sounds high to me unless the boat is stunningly immaculate. Which I kind of doubt since the boat has enough hours on it to require an engine rebuild, even being careful a boat takes abuse over time. I would say ~ $8K sound about right...maybe $9K if it's really nice and no problems at all.

Good luck...keep us posted. Oh, and Welcome.gif

What he said.

I've had mine since 1992. The floor is plywood, so it is fairly easy to tell if it has rot. The hatch in mine went first. It should be easy to tell if it's been replaced. On mine, the floor under the rear seat, and around the gas tank is rotting. I have also replaced the wood on the observer's seat. That should also be easy to check for rot, or to see if it's been repaired. Great boat, but they're know for floor rot, so check it over.

It's a great boat. It drives, and handles well. The wakes are excellent if your a good recreational skier. Probably not up to par if you're a tournement skier used to new boats.

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JasonK

I think the price is a little high. Does the owner know how many hours are on the boat (or how many hours were on the old motor). It's closed bow isn't it?

Some questions I'd ask: Why was the motor rebuilt and who did it? Does he have receipts? Is anything in the engine compartment rusting? Is there an engine warranty? Is the boat cover in great condition, fit perfectly, and is trailerable?

How important is a stereo system to you? Does the boat have one? That could make a big difference in price.

If it has a few scratches, a little rust and no warranty, then it's not super clean.

My 1990 is holding up great. It had 120 hours and was super clean and all original when I got it in 01 for 12.500. After the abuse I put it through, it's still great and looking good. No floor problems, but did get the carb rebuilt.

My gel coat is starting to blister after keeping it in the water for 6 summers though. I had it acid washed and I didn't wax it enough. :(

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KOIV

Thanks guys. The sun is out today up here in Portland so I plan on looking the boat over this morning. You guys have confirmed what I thought about all the trouble areas. That is one thing I don't know... total hours on boat. I will find out. The seller does have $3500 in receipts for the engine rebuild. The ad says 350, I didn't know they used the Chevy block. Nice. I thought the popular block in that era was the Ford 351. Doesn't really matter. If it is really nice and clean, and everything checks out... I think a small premium over average blue book is justified. Avg retail books around $8030. I think I will start there and go up to 8500-8900. Heck, the boat new in 88 was 15K!! I'm not giving him 10K 19 years later. My offer will be subject to water test approval.

Edited by KOIV

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NorCaliBu

Thumbup.gif Way to go into it with clear eyes and a solid plan. Thumbup.gif

Too many people let their desire for a boat cloud their vision and they end up "not seeing" the problems that they don't want to see and then end up with piles of problems to deal with down the road. Good luck today. :)

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KOIV

thanks Nor Cal... I would love to have the tournament boat for Shasta! Tired of the big outboard costing me an arm and a leg to fuel it up! Love my Chaparral and I will never get rid of it, just a little board with it and want something different. I will use both boats all year long. an 8500 tourney boat is a lot of bang for the buck plus I'm old school and still like to carve turns on my HO! I will post back later today. If anyone is interested you can find the boat on boat trader on line in Oregon.

Edited by KOIV

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NorCaliBu
Tired of the big outboard costing me an arm and a leg to fuel it up!
If you don't like feeding an outboard you're not gonna like feeding a V-8. Shocking.gif What's the GPH burn rate on your outboard?

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KOIV

That big 2 stroke really sucks it down. I bet the ski boat will get 25% better fuel economy. The problem with owning a really fast boat is that I drive it fast most of the time. I forget the gph. I know it is as bad is my dad's 24' with a 454 mag! This 98 Merc is NOT an Optimax or 4 stroke like they have nowadays. It is EFI, but even that in 98 wasn't too miserly!

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NorCaliBu
The problem with owning a really fast boat is that I drive it fast most of the time.
:lol: Same problem I had with my crotch rocket. Thumbup.gif That's why I had to sell it when we started our family. Yes.gif If it can go fast...why wouldn't you? Biggrin.gif

My Sporty (which is a similar hull to the skier) burns about 3 - 4 gallons per hour skiing.

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KOIV

Well... the Malibu was really used! It had been moored in the water so underneath the water line was closer to the original color of the grey hull. Above that was really washed out. It would take a lot of wet sanding to make it look like a boat that was stored inside it's whole life. The supposedly clean interior had rips in every seat! It was so dried out that upon sitting, I put more rips in it! Everything else looked OK. The yellow hadn't faded. One thing I thought was odd is that the 350 was rebuilt at only 147 hours!! What in the heck did they do to it?? hte paper work said it had a rod knock and that is why it was rebuilt. There was also an offer on the table for 10,500 and I said sell it! I wasn't even going to make an offer. They did have a super clean, yellow 1990 Supra with a brand new black, full sunbrella top complete with side curtains and aft curtain. This boat had been take care of. It was a 9 out of 10. the only problem was that they were asking 14,000 and high blue book, in great condition, was at 10,200 and that is the offer I made subject to water test. We will see but the owner needs to come back to reality. He probably only paid 15 when it was new! The interior, carpet, flooring , exterior and engine were really nice. You could eat off the carpet or engine block. It had the 351 with 411 hours. I checked out all motor mounts and suspect areas to find zero dry rot. the owner took really good care of it. We will see.

Edited by KOIV

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