Malibu sportster why so cheap?

kcrosskcross Posts: 11 New Baller
I have skied behind some Malibu responses from the mid nineties and newer and love them, but I was wondering why when it comes to buying a boat are the responses so much more than the sportster. My wife loves the idea of getting a sportster because it appears they usually have an open bow, but why are they so much cheaper. I can find a lot of them with relatively low hours for ten to fifteen thousand.


  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 2,727 Mega Baller
    Sportster is a closed bow, Sportster LX has the playpen type open bow.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • aspskiaspski Posts: 48 Baller
    sportster was a more bare bones version of the response. They didn't have all the options that the responses did, but are still good sold boats.
  • jhughesjhughes Posts: 681 Crazy Baller
    I have a lot of experience with both. Sportster is a different/narrower hull, previously used for the Malibu "Tantrum" model. Extremely barebones appointments throughout. Even down to having only 2 vs. 3 tracking fins. Came as an open or closed bow. Small, hard wake coveted by barefooters. A comparable year Response is worth every incremental dime over the Sportster IMO, but the Sportster is still a good little boat.
  • KelvinKelvin Posts: 962 Crazy Baller
    Most had carbed engines as well.
    Kelvin Kelm, Lakes of Katy, Katy Texas
  • andjulesandjules Posts: 650 Crazy Baller
    edited October 2017
    I owned one for a while and enjoyed it (have also owned a Response and a Sunsetter). I'd disagree a little with @jhughes - while the predecessor Tantrum was "extremely barebones" (bench seats, weird dashboard), I thought the sportster was "basic" in ways that didn't matter that much - 4 gelcoat colours instead of 5, simpler upholstery, etc. It was carb'd. The wake was not as soft as a 98' and later Response (when the Response moved to the better-for-slalom "diamond hull"), but a little nicer than the original (95-97 Responses) given it was a few hundred pounds lighter. Like the Response LX, the Sportster LX is a walk-over bow, so even though the boat is a little narrower than average, the observer seat is still more comfortable with two than most walk-through bowriders.
  • skihackerskihacker Posts: 177 Baller
    My first ski boat was a tantrum, very bare bones but skied quite well, great on gas, absolutely useless windscreen and pretty useless in bigger water.
  • powbmpspowbmps Posts: 43 Baller
    One of the guys I ski with has a 2002. Great ski boat. Same basic features as a Response, but 4" narrower. No trunk, so only ski storage is on the floor. 310 HP carb'd motor, and only 2,250 lbs. Fast boat for sure.
  • DWDW Posts: 1,606 Crazy Baller
    @kcross : the MalibuCrew website has a resource section which includes specifications and links to brochures for review. Worth a look if you are considering one. As noted, one purpose of the Sportster was to offer a ski boat at a lower price point. It is considered an excellent barefoot boat and rides on a narrower version of the SV23 hull.
  • WIRiverRatWIRiverRat Posts: 24 Baller
    I used to own a sportster as my first boat. From a purely skiing boat I thought it was awesome. Wakes were tiny, plenty of power, spray was pretty minimal, and I was able to pull people in to 38off with no issues tracking. If you want an inexpensive slalom tug you won't go wrong. Creature comforts were pretty minimal in that boat. Seat cushions are much thinner than the response, carb'd engine (some of the later years were available with EFI), trailer was much cheaper with only two bunks and no brakes. I did have the LX with an open bow but would almost never let anyone sit up there as you would instantly take on water with any wave coming near you.
    If you are in the market for a no frills ski boat at an affordable price it would be near the top of my list.
  • kcrosskcross Posts: 11 New Baller
    Yeah What I am looking for is a good ski boat that has an open bow at a reasonable price so me and the wife can reach a compromise. I will usually just be skiing the course so what I really care about is having a good boat with good tracking and a soft wake. Unfortunately my wife is insisting that we need to have an open bow for the two times out of the year she will want to go to public lake with some friends. I think I will keep the sportster, and the sunsetters in mind. In my perfect world though I would like to still get a response or a prostar though mainly because that is all I have skied behind so I am biased. Thanks for all your help guys.
  • BulldogBulldog Posts: 958 Solid Baller
    edited October 2017
    I have a 2005 Sportster LX. It has an amazing wake, the interior quality is the same as any response of that year except for the rear trunk. The engine is a indmar 320. Reliable and easy to work on. This boat has been amazing. I love it.
    Mike Loeffler - "Someone somewhere is having a real problem today...My bad skiing is NOT one of them"
  • jcampjcamp Posts: 643 Crazy Baller
    I LOVED my 2001 sportster. Fast, fun to drive and one of the best looking boats of all time. But I would definitely not call the wakes soft.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 4,605 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I know the one on my brother's lake that we know best is significantly louder of exhaust than the Response next door. Fast boat...gotta be nuts with the EFI I've seen a few with the hammerhead 365 for sale over the years. Lower freeboard may be an issue if you've got kids compared to the Response Lx.
    Even the Response open bow is on the tiny side...the sportster even smaller.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • skihackerskihacker Posts: 177 Baller
    My tantrum had no mufflers, I don't know if the sportsters did or not but mine was loudish, I didn't mind.
  • jcampjcamp Posts: 643 Crazy Baller
    No mufflers on my 01.
  • herkyjerkyherkyjerky Posts: 12 Baller
    i have 3 buddys that have sportys,great boats,and super fast,but i wouldnt say tracking is great,but not bad
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