2001 Malibu Sunsetter LXI

tjs1295tjs1295 Posts: 116 Baller
Hello everyone. I went and looked at one of these boats today for my sister who lives out of town. I'm least familiar with Malibu, and their options. My sister has a young family of 5, and they are looking for a recreational boat. They originally wanted an inboard/outboard, but the dealer is a close friend of hers, and they just got this Sunsetter on trade. We took it out for a drive, and it seemed fine. Probably needs a new steering cable, and has some cosmetic issues, but nothing major for a 20 year old boat. They would use it for all kinds of things (except surfing), but serious slalom skiing is probably a few years down the road, if ever. Based on some things I've read, it sounds like it's a great slalom boat for it's size.

Anyway, is anyone aware of common issues with this boat? The key for my sister and her family is getting something reliable. It has just over 400 hours on it. The previous owner didn't use it much one his kids got older. I guess he'd only put about one tank of gas in it per summer for the past 10 years, and cruise around. If anyone can tell me which engine this has in it, that would be great as well. Dealer wasn't sure since it just came in, and they don't normally sell Malibu. I searched around a bit, and realize the Malibu Crew might be a good route as well, but wanted to start here. Thanks!


  • tjs1295tjs1295 Posts: 116 Baller

  • tjs1295tjs1295 Posts: 116 Baller

  • ClydesdaleClydesdale Posts: 292 Solid Baller
    Great boat. I owned a slightly older one for a few years. Not aware of any common issues. Probably an indmar monsoon between 320-340 hp.
  • buechsrbuechsr Posts: 149 Baller
    If you post a picture of the engine we can tell you. Likely the monsoon which is a great engine. Sunsetter Lxi is a great boat. I used to have one. There's really nothing "common" except perhaps a bad HDS box (hydrophonic dampening system) which is proprietary to malibu. Even if it is, its not that big of a deal. Lots of info on the malibu crew for solutions. Other than that, nothing unique.
  • foxriveratfoxriverat Posts: 612 Crazy Baller
    Great boat and yes the 320 hp monsoon is a great engine. 5.7 small block
    2000 Malibu Response LX 2019 65 HO Syndicate Omni Vapor Bindings
  • buechsrbuechsr Posts: 149 Baller
    Pics weren't up when I posted last...yes that is a monsoon.
  • tjs1295tjs1295 Posts: 116 Baller
    Thanks for the info guys!! I thought these were nice boats, just didn't know for sure. The engine didn't seem to be lacking anything either.
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 3,315 Mega Baller
    These boats were on essentially the same running surface as the Response and Response LX of the same years, which both have great wakes. The extra room is created by a cantilever design at the stern (portion of stern is not over the actual hull), which you can slightly see in the pictures.

    It is a boat that many on this forum have sought and recommended.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • foxriveratfoxriverat Posts: 612 Crazy Baller
    2000 Malibu Response LX 2019 65 HO Syndicate Omni Vapor Bindings
  • foxriveratfoxriverat Posts: 612 Crazy Baller
    @tjs1295 also here are the specs which also has links to Brochure and engine manual https://www.themalibucrew.com/index.php?/malibu_specs.html/2001-sunsetter-lxi-r100/
    2000 Malibu Response LX 2019 65 HO Syndicate Omni Vapor Bindings
  • tjs1295tjs1295 Posts: 116 Baller
    @foxriverat Appreciate the links. Will check them out. I think it had some sort of cruise control, but I din't notice until we were back on the trailer.
  • buechsrbuechsr Posts: 149 Baller
    In 2001 Malibu had a factory accu-ski system but the display is not in the pictures. Maybe there's a auxillary square perfect pass display mounted low but that would be odd.
  • tjs1295tjs1295 Posts: 116 Baller
    I forgot I did have a picture of the dash. It’s not the greatest but here it is. I was wondering what those left/right and up/down buttons were on the right hand side? Anyway, there didn’t seem to be any gauge really indicating a speed control. But I’m used to seeing perfect pass or zero off.
  • DWDW Posts: 2,403 Mega Baller
    @tjs1295 - there are a few threads on the Malibu Crew site on Sunsetters. Summary - owners universally really like them. Sounds like a very good fit to the described usage.
  • davemacdavemac Posts: 458 Baller
    If referring to the arrows immediately above the key, n my '03 Response) one of them toggles thru LED Readouts (engine hours, air temp, water temp, depth). The other fine tunes the speedometer gauge.
    I'd be curious about the small round gauge on either side of the 3 large gauges. Perhaps one of those is the factory speed control.
    Also curious about the blue cable you can see in the engine picture coming out of the bilge, going over top of engine, heading towards the throttle. Perhaps that is part of a throttle/speed control feature. I'm sure other current or prior owners can chime in. Else head over to themalibucrew.com for a vast knowledge base.
  • buechsrbuechsr Posts: 149 Baller
    One is depth and the other temps (water and air). Not related to speed control. One of the switches above the key switches pitots and the other adjusts the speedo. This one predates the switches for controlling the multifunction LCD like on yours.

    I didn't catch that blue wire at first but am similarly perplexed. It's not going to the throttle linkage and goes astern of the flame arrestor and the goes down. It's too small to be going to the starter and there's no reason it would be going to the distributor or cap.
    I'm not saying this is a good guess, but I think the transmission shift control bracket is on starboard side and am wondering if someone had to replace the shift linkage cable and either didn't have the right size or couldn't run it in the factory location?
  • tjs1295tjs1295 Posts: 116 Baller
    @davemac @buechsr Yes, the arrows right above the key. Thanks for the answers. The small round gauge on the left was the depth gauge. At least that's what it was displaying. Not sure if it displays other things. Not totally sure what the right one was showing. Also noticed that blue cable. Unfortunately the boat was so new for to the

    Appreciate all the comments. Probably have enough general info to help my sister make a decision. I'll check the Malibu Crew for specifics.
  • davemacdavemac Posts: 458 Baller
    edited September 1
    @buechsr my thought was that the blue wires you see to the stern side of the engine are the ignition/plug wires and unrelated to the blue cable coming from the bilge.
    Inquiring minds will have to wait and see...
  • WayneWayne Posts: 581 Crazy Baller
    The Sunsetter LXI with a monsoon is a fairly trouble free boat if it was maintained. I had a 2002 Sunsetter with the same engine.

    A few small nitpick items come to mind.
    - The multi function gage (temperature, oil pressure, fuel and voltage) can occasionally fail and take some searching to find a replacement. However if that one works if should be ok for a long time
    - The fuel gage in my boat never read right, it was consistent but I cannot remember if it was always higher or lower than the actual fuel level.
    - When filling the fuel tank you will usually have fuel spit out the vent before the pump kicks off. Malibu Crew has a “how to” for installing a fuel air separator. Never understood why Malibu didn’t do it on their own.
    - Check to see if the oil pressure sending unit has 1 wire or 2. The 1-wire version uses the block as a ground and can give funky readings.

    That blue cable is bothering me. I can’t remember if my boat was like that or not and I don’t have pictures of the engine to use as a reference.

    If that boat checks out for driving and usual mechanics checks with a reasonable price it will make for a very nice family boat. They ski great and with a few extra passengers and a fly high extended pylon can serve wakeboard duties.
  • S1PittsS1Pitts Posts: 337 Solid Baller
    If it has the wedge just buy it. The wedge is a wing that deploys under the swim grid to increase wake size for wakeboarding/surfing.
    You can ski shortline, trick, wakeboard and surf all on one boat. Long line wakes are good as well. I skied my buddies this morning and last year we installed StarGazer making it the perfect all around boat. When the lake chops up it slices through it with ease and gives you a nice ride. You will not go wrong.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,847 Mega Baller
    Great boat...so much better than a stern drive. A classic hull--perhaps the best skiing/driving larger boat in history. Not for sale very often. Jump on that one.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • tjs1295tjs1295 Posts: 116 Baller
    @S1Pitts It has the wedge.
  • PeterAKPeterAK Posts: 58 Baller
    @tjs1295 if your sister decides not to pursue this boat, I'd appreciate if you could send me contact info for the dealership! Thx.
    Milwaukee and Waupaca, WI -- Let me know if you are in the area and want to get together to ski!
  • tjs1295tjs1295 Posts: 116 Baller
    @PeterAK Will do. They read the feedback, and so far has been enough to convince them to check it out this weekend. Will let you know if they pass on it. I know it's not listed yet.
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,805 Mega Baller
    Great boats! Looks like that one had a relatively recent alternator upgrade/replacement done. Raw water pump is original. Look for water dripping from that while running. Easy-ish fix if it is.
    boats are like girlfriends you love them however there is another one around the corner - bananaron, July 21, 2020
  • ReallyGottaSkiReallyGottaSki Posts: 291 Solid Baller

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