Malibu sportster why so cheap?

kcrosskcross Posts: 16 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.
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Comments

  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,889 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Sportster is a closed bow, Sportster LX has the playpen type open bow.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
    kcross
  • aspskiaspski Posts: 227 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    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.
    kcross
  • jhughesjhughes Posts: 1,150 Mega 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.
    MISkierkcrossdchristman
  • KelvinKelvin Posts: 1,310 Mega Baller
    Most had carbed engines as well.
    Kelvin Kelm, Lakes of Katy, Katy Texas
  • andjulesandjules Posts: 861 Mega 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.
    kcross
  • skihackerskihacker Posts: 462 Solid 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.
    kcross
  • powbmpspowbmps Posts: 140 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.
    kcross
  • DWDW Posts: 2,408 Mega 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.
    kcrossALPJr
  • WIRiverRatWIRiverRat Posts: 76 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.
    kcross
  • kcrosskcross Posts: 16 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: 1,038 Crazy 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"
    MISkierkcross
  • jcampjcamp Posts: 954 Mega 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.
    Bulldogkcross
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,870 Mega Baller
    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
    kcross
  • skihackerskihacker Posts: 462 Solid Baller
    My tantrum had no mufflers, I don't know if the sportsters did or not but mine was loudish, I didn't mind.
    kcross
  • jcampjcamp Posts: 954 Mega Baller
    No mufflers on my 01.
    kcross
  • herkyjerkyherkyjerky Posts: 13 Baller
    i have 3 buddys that have sportys,great boats,and super fast,but i wouldnt say tracking is great,but not bad
    Miltarymaneyepeeler
  • I wanna buy an older affordable Malibu for straight-up recreational slalom. Which is gonna give me the most bang for my buck as pertaining to small, soft wakes and handling? Sunsetter, Response, Sportster, or Tantrum? Caveat: it has to have a play-pen or open bow.
  • skihackerskihacker Posts: 462 Solid Baller
    Tantrum is same hull as sportster but was only made as a closed bow, sportster lx and response lx were the playpen, response lxi and sunsetter were the hallway open bow.
    Miltaryman
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,870 Mega Baller
    @Militaryman Sportster lx and Response lx both have playpen open bows. The sportster is, well, sportier cuz it's smaller. Lower freeboard, materials not as nice. Often times hard to find a sportster with EFI, and it won't track as nice, either.

    Sunsetter is great for a bigger boat, high freeboard and handles nice and has good wakes given it's size, is a walk thru open bow. Tantrum no open bow.

    I would say Response Lx. Nice boat.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
    MiltarymanMISkierAndre
  • BulldogBulldog Posts: 1,038 Crazy Baller
    I have a 2005 Sportster LX and Love it....great boat all around.
    Mike Loeffler - "Someone somewhere is having a real problem today...My bad skiing is NOT one of them"
    Miltaryman
  • Whats different on the Sunsetter Euro F 3?
  • nam1975nam1975 Posts: 151 Baller
    The playpen open bow is pretty worthless. ok for a small kid or 2. But not adults. Get a walk thru Sunsetter or Echelon if you want something much more useful.
    MiltarymanRednucleusbraindamage
  • DWDW Posts: 2,408 Mega Baller
    @Miltaryman - Malibu introduced the SV23 hull on the '93 Echelon and followed through with that hull albeit minor mods with the Response. '93 and up on the SV23 hull is wood free so no worry on rot. Your Euro F3 question - that is the previous generation hull that does have wood stringers and is not quite the ski wake of the SV23 hull. Sportster and Tantrum are smaller & stripped down versions of the Echelon / Response to hit a slightly lower price point. They are excellent barefoot machines. Sunsetter is a longer version of the SV23 hull and if you need the space a great choice. I would target an open bow Echelon (walk through hull) or Response LX for an all around great ski & barefoot boat.
    I suggest you go to the Malibu Crew website, lots of info there using the search feature and owner feedback to same question. Good luck and happy hunting.
    Miltaryman
  • MiltarymanMiltaryman Posts: 4
    edited August 11
    Sorry for all the questions, hopefully it will help others down the road as well.
    I read on someones reply in this thread that the "diamond hull" on 98' and newer Malibu Responses was the way to go for the best slalom wake. Is that feature available on other Malibu models? In addition, would a 94' Echelon 20 walk thru open bow have the same hull dimensions as a 94' Sunsetter w/the same walk thru open bow? Thanks!
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,870 Mega Baller
    @Miltaryman if you want family space, a walk thru open bow, a boat that performs smaller than it's size--go with a Sunsetter on the diamond hull.

    Hard to find but here ya go:

    https://www.ski-it-again.com/php/skiitagain.php?endless=summer&topic=Search&category=Boat_3Event&postid=60946

    Dave Ross--die cancer die
    MISkierMiltarymanbraindamage
  • DWDW Posts: 2,408 Mega Baller
    @Miltaryman - the SV23 hull updates, diamond & diamond cut are subtle changes over the years. There is a much bigger wake difference as you evaluate the different models to fit your needs. Example being the Sunsetter v Echelon. The Sunsetter is a foot longer.
    Miltaryman
  • SethroSethro Posts: 344 Crazy Baller
    @Miltaryman be certain on the year of the Sunsetter. It didn’t get the SV23 hull until 1995. The Sunsetter was a foot longer and 3 inches wider, but the sides are flared from the bottom up and most of the length is out of the water at speed…..so it’s basically the same wetted surface area while skiing as the 93-97 Echelon, just 400-500 pounds heavier.
    6ballsMiltaryman
  • Seems like most of the better priced Malibu's Ive found are on the opposite coast (west). East coast prices up & down the coast are higher...Whats the opinions on the Tige 21|? Are they comparable to the Malibus?
  • VermontSkierVermontSkier Posts: 37 Baller
    @Miltaryman the Tige 21i do not get good reviews for slalom wake. I had a friend considering purchasing one this summer and there was not much good to be said about it in terms of wake quality.

    https://ballofspray.com/forum#/discussion/25745/2005-tige-21i-ski-wake
    Miltaryman
  • braindamagebraindamage Posts: 245 Baller
    ‘99-04 Sunsetter LXi is the best for slalom and reasonable open bow playpen. Not so easy to find and they go quickly.
    Miltaryman
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