Possible deal on an 89 Malibu Skier - Seeking info

jim_sjim_s Posts: 30 Baller
Was owned by a friend who sold it to a friend of his, who hasn't really used it. There's a possibility of purchase for not a lot of money. (This would be my first DD boat, and primary goal would be good wake for slalom.) Haven't seen it, so not idea about actual condition, but I'm told it's decent, and runs well. Is the 89 Malibu Skier a decent ski boat? Any particular things to look out for? I'm assuming this would be wooden stringers and floor? Other thoughts or suggestions to consider in this possible deal? (It's probably a bit of a long shot, but if it were to be a reasonable first DD boat for relatively cheap, I'd work toward making it happen. (I am told it's closed bow, which is unfortunate for the purpose of family activities...)



  • LoopSkiLoopSki Posts: 1,006 Mega Baller
    the brown and orange ones are fire! Lol
  • jim_sjim_s Posts: 30 Baller
    >>the brown and orange ones are fire! Lol

    Should I interpret that as a thumb down?!? :-)
  • NashotahNashotah Posts: 21 Baller
    I owned one many years ago. Good slalom tractor. Decent but not great build quality, nothing like a Nautique of that era. BUT…. if it’s cheap, do it. The wake is pretty good. Low but a bit hard. Tracking is not good so if you are into serious shortline, forget it. Interior room is SMALL
  • jhughesjhughes Posts: 1,234 Mega Baller
    Not a great boat IMO. Better than no boat, but not great.
  • foxriveratfoxriverat Posts: 633 Crazy Baller
    2000 Malibu Response LX 2019 65 HO Syndicate Omni Vapor Bindings
  • skibrainskibrain Posts: 283 Crazy Baller
    Great link! What a blast from the past.
  • AndreAndre Posts: 1,910 Mega Baller
    Get a MC from same era...
    My ski finish in 16.95 ...but my ass is out of tolerance!
  • MDB1056MDB1056 Posts: 1,111 Mega Baller
    @jim_s - plenty of great old boats still in service. Depends on what you’re wanting to do. Many of us are still running 80’s and 90’s boats that work just fine for our needs. There is always something “better” out there but do you need it? The 89 Skier should be a very decent slalom tug and unless you’re a serious short line skier serve you fine. Yes likely wood in it so check carefully floors and stringers. Power is likely a GM 5.7 Mercruiser- great easy to work on power plant. If you buy it right and are one who can work on it yourself it can be a great boat for you. If you’re not one to tackle DIY items then maybe pass on an older one that may have some needs. Let us know…….
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,972 Mega Baller
    Wood construction on the floor and stringers so definitely check for soft spots. They're awesome looking vintage boats though and are decent to ski behind.
    boats are like girlfriends you love them however there is another one around the corner - bananaron, July 21, 2020
  • AndersonAnderson Posts: 65 Baller
    @foxriverat thanks for sharing the link to the Waterski 1989 boat tests. Wow - hard to believe there were that many companies building slalom capable boats back in the day. Their RETAIL prices ranged from $35-$50K in today's dollars, in case anyone was wondering. I know new boats have a lot of new features vs. these old tugs, but wow!
  • jim_sjim_s Posts: 30 Baller
    Thanks for the info, all! After learning a bit more about the boat's history and current owner, I'm a bit less enthusiastic about the opportunity. Apparently the guy (a first-time boat owner) just about sunk it once, due to not knowing he had to put the drain plug in... And apparently the transmission fluid had gotten a bunch of water in it, and had been making some type of persistent ticking noise, though the claim is that it's better now that the fluid has been replaced. The floor has been partially replaced, and some of the upholstery is sort of just vinyl roughly stapled over foam padding. I'm Ok with a fair bit of DIY stuff (I've replaced floor and stringers of my current boat, and re-did the upholstery myself), but I'm not sure I'm looking for a big DIY project at present. I may go check it out in person at some point, but I'm thinking this is probably not the one I'm looking for.
  • MDB1056MDB1056 Posts: 1,111 Mega Baller
    @jim_s - if you’ve done all that on your current boat , doesn’t sound like anything you couldn’t handle on this one. If you buy it right ( which may not be possible in todays market) you could be fine. At least check it out to make an informed decision . Can always make an offer- worst can happen is no. I bought an 83 MC for $2500 that was listed for $6k . By the way…. What is your current boat?
  • jim_sjim_s Posts: 30 Baller
    edited July 11
    @MDB1056 - yes, I suspect that the majority of what would need to be done is within my technical means, but from a time perspective, I'm not sure I want to take on a big, long-running project like that. I'm still toying with the idea, and you're right - seeing it in-person would likely provide the make-or-break moment. I suspect I could get it for a few $k, but the primary motivation for getting a DD boat is to improve my course skiing (my present Bayliner OB is leading to some bad free-skiing habits that I have to then spend a full set having to undo whenever I get back into the course and need to start turning with some urgency, vs hanging out on the outside waiting for the putt-putt boat to catch back up, LoL). If I spend the rest of the season working on a project boat, I'm not going to be improving much in the course either though.
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,972 Mega Baller
    Not sure where you're located or what your budget is, but there are some decent boats on ski it again for under 10 grand that would get you started in a DD and that you could ski right away without needing to put in a ton of work.
    boats are like girlfriends you love them however there is another one around the corner - bananaron, July 21, 2020
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