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Old     (srich5)      Join Date: Apr 2016       01-13-2017, 10:35 AM Reply   
Hey everyone,

I am looking to buy a used bu or MC, probably something for around 40-45k. I am really wanting something that has a quality interior and I can feel good about the seats and what not holding up to normal abuse.

Also, I want as much of a worry free boat as I can get and I understand that is tough when buying used but any input on maybe which boat is slightly more reliable than the other would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Shane
Old     (skiboarder)      Join Date: Oct 2006       01-13-2017, 10:48 AM Reply   
I'm a Malibu guy. And both brands will give you a lot of bang for you buck in 40-45K range. In my years of experience, at about the 5 year mark is where the Malibu's Mastercrafts and Nautiques start to separate from the pack in top to bottom build quality. They all use industry-best materials.

The only difference in quality will be the care that was given to the specific boat you are looking at, IMO.
Old     (srich5)      Join Date: Apr 2016       01-13-2017, 10:55 AM Reply   
I had a Calabria Pro V before this and I started to notice little things starting to wear out at the 400 hour mark. Seats were made with a thin vinyl that was easy to rip and there was a lot of wood in the boat and I noticed screws coming out and things like that on the transom rear locker. I want to avoid all of that if possible.
Old     (dvsone79)      Join Date: Dec 2012       01-13-2017, 11:03 AM Reply   
I'm an MC guy. My '99 still has all original vinyl except the sun deck which was redone when I converted it to a 3 piece. The rear bench needs reupholstering. Other than that it's still going strong. Engine is at 1150hrs and counting. I've also spent a lot of time around Nautiques. I would add that to your list. Haven't been on a Bu so I can't really comment on them.
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       01-13-2017, 11:25 AM Reply   
One of my neighbors has a 2010 mc which has held up considerable worse compared to my other neighbors 08 bu with 300 more hours. We use and abuse the boats in the same fashion.


Go with the Malibu.
Old     (hunter991)      Join Date: Jul 2016       01-13-2017, 12:58 PM Reply   
an MC guy here. My 06 still looks like new. I do take care of it however, but MC "in my opinion" is way ahead on resale and quality over BU.. Just my opinion. I ride in alot of boats, and to be honest the best two for quality are Natique and MC. Bu a distant 3rd. Flame me all you want, but i think you will find the same.

That being said, if you don't take care of it, it will fall apart. I keep my interior clean and conditioned from the sun. I wax my boat etc.... But if you go and look at the boats used and or new, you will see a difference. Its not that i don't like Malibu, i do, they make a great boat, but when you are talking about higher quality MC will have that over the BU.
Old     (cbarguy1)      Join Date: Dec 2012       01-13-2017, 2:16 PM Reply   
Both are top tier boats and like others have said, care and storage will have a lot to do with the interior condition and reliability. For example the interior in my 2008 xstar is holding up much better than my friends 2010 23 LSV. But that doesn't mean the interior is better, just that mine hasn't seen as much abuse. This has been my experience in boats.

92 Ski Nautique owned until 2006. Interior was flawless when I sold it. Only mechanical issue was a failed starter solenoid.
2006 MC 197 owned until 2012. Interior was flawless except for an area where the vinyl was stretched too tight and the stitching tore out. There was also a bubble in the dash vinyl that was fixed under warranty. Only mechanical was a failed fuel pump.
2008 Xstar still own. Interior is flawless except for an area where the vinyl was stretched too tight and the stitching tore out. Only mechanical was a failed fuel pump.

So in my experience MCs are great except they stretch their vinyl too tight sometimes. The fuel pump failures were partly my fault. If you run out of fuel, the pump will overheat and then eventually fail.

In your price range you should be able to find a pretty good top tier boat but you will be on the edge of where they start to drop off pretty fast. If you can raise your budget by $10k or so your options will be a lot better. And as in all cases when buying used, focus most on the condition and owner history, boring is good. Getting exactly the color and options you want should be of less concern. A good used boat can last forever but a bad one can cost you a fortune.

My only BU experience has been friends boats. They have been great except for the occasional electronic display issue. IMO from an overall quality standpoint the top boats stack up like this:

1. Correct Craft aka Nautique
2. Mastercraft
3. Malibu
4. Everything else

BTW, this thread is guaranteed to degrade into a brand war in the near future.

Last edited by cbarguy1; 01-13-2017 at 2:25 PM.
Old     (Bakes)      Join Date: Mar 2010       01-13-2017, 5:52 PM Reply   
Really depends on how they take care of it. I just sold my 1998 Tige 2200v this summer and most people who didn't know anything about boats thought it was new or a couple of years old...not 18 years old. And lets be clear, most people are not enamored with the quality of vintage 1998 Tige interiors. On the other hand, my buddy kept his Supra out on the lift all summer long and it was absolutely trashed by end of summer....it cleaned up for about $2,000 but 5 yrs of that and it will be hard to clean up.

In short, take care of your boat and it will take care of you for the most part. Leave it out in the sun, rain, grime, snow, multiple freeze thaw cycles, don't put vinyl protectant on it, don't clean and buff after each use, don't do the required maintenance at the required intervals, ride it hard and put it away wet.....and you will have problems.

I say look for the boat with low hours and that has obviously been well taken care of and you will set yourself up better than just buying a Nautique over a Mastercraft.
Old     (Ttime41)      Join Date: Nov 2011       01-14-2017, 8:33 AM Reply   
My advice: figure out the year that Malibu went public and do not buy a boat from that year or any year after. They are certainly not what they used to be.
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       01-14-2017, 8:58 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ttime41 View Post
My advice: figure out the year that Malibu went public and do not buy a boat from that year or any year after. They are certainly not what they used to be.
Does the same logic apply to mc?
Old     (cwb4me)      Join Date: Apr 2010       01-14-2017, 9:10 AM Reply   
Like said above how an owner takes care of his boat is far more valuable than the brand. No manufacturer will hold up to "abuse". Normal use is a better term to use. My top priorities would be how the owner maintained the boat, where he stored the boat,whether he trailered the boat for long distances or not. Also if you won't be doing your own maintenance is there a dealer close by to service it and do they have a good reputation. I've owned and ridden behind almost every brand of boat in the wake/surf market. How the previous owner took care of the boat is more important than the brand.
Old     (Ttime41)      Join Date: Nov 2011       01-14-2017, 1:18 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by simplej View Post
Does the same logic apply to mc?
In my opinion, their quality weathered that storm a whole lot better than Bu
Old     (michridr69)      Join Date: Dec 2008       01-16-2017, 8:09 AM Reply   
im a Malibu guy. And ill never buy another one.
Old     (davez71)      Join Date: Oct 2007       01-16-2017, 8:36 AM Reply   
To be honest I don't think that you will have any problems with either. They are both two of the top brands and make a great boat. Each company has things that are better than the other but they both build great boats.

I owned to Malibu VLXs and the were great trouble free boats. My latest VLX was an 2005 that I kept for 7 years. We have hardly zero issues with the boat and put close to 500 hours on it in that span. My buddy purchased my 2001 VLX and had it up until this past summer when it got flooded and totaled.

After that, we made the switch to MC (2012 X45 and 2015X23) because we wanted a Saltwater Series and didn't want any carpet like the Malibu's had/have. In 2012 Malibu's Salt Series were not on par with MC as they really were the only manufacturer offering this package. I also find that the MCs ride a lot better in the rough water due to the hull designs and they feel like a heavier boat. Malibu tends to have a flatter hull which is great for low speed wakes but it makes it ride a bit rougher.

Both Company build quality boats and which ever one that you choose you will be very happy with. In the 40K-50K price range you can get into a nice boat from each company in very desirable years. My 2005 VLX sold for 3K less that I paid for it when I sold it in 2012 and I probably could have broke even if I didn't want to sell it so quick. My 2012 X45 sold in two weeks at the going market value and that was with the stigma around the 2012s.

The biggest thing to me would be finding a well taken care of boat. Both company's produce a superior product and its really personal preference and what fits your family's needs.
Old     (xstarrider)      Join Date: Jun 2007       01-16-2017, 10:04 AM Reply   
As mentioned. In the era you're looking due to price point both are going to produce s solid, reliable product top end product. You'll notice the MC bling factor just a touch . In the years you'll be at MC started adding billet aluminum accents, snap out carpet ( Available X2 and XStar )), diamond stitched interiors. TheJL stereo components in the MC also beat BU. Bu kept the lines simple, classy and functional. Bu used a different build method. MC had one piece molded top decks, and BU used a different method which gave Bu's a much quiter cabin regarding engine noise.

I don't know if I agree with the fact the Bu's rode rougher in general. I think MC had one or two models that may have had slightly better ride( the x2 and arguably the X30. ). But both company's hulls were pretty flat. Power plants are pretty much both rock solid. Styling was little different.



All in all I wouldn't hesitate on snatching a boat from either mfg that was clean and well maintained
Old     (davez71)      Join Date: Oct 2007       01-16-2017, 11:53 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by xstarrider View Post
As mentioned. In the era you're looking due to price point both are going to produce s solid, reliable product top end product. You'll notice the MC bling factor just a touch . In the years you'll be at MC started adding billet aluminum accents, snap out carpet ( Available X2 and XStar )), diamond stitched interiors. TheJL stereo components in the MC also beat BU. Bu kept the lines simple, classy and functional. Bu used a different build method. MC had one piece molded top decks, and BU used a different method which gave Bu's a much quiter cabin regarding engine noise.

I don't know if I agree with the fact the Bu's rode rougher in general. I think MC had one or two models that may have had slightly better ride( the x2 and arguably the X30. ). But both company's hulls were pretty flat. Power plants are pretty much both rock solid. Styling was little different.



All in all I wouldn't hesitate on snatching a boat from either mfg that was clean and well maintained
Some MC hulls are no were near as flat as Bu. Every Bu is completely flat in the rear, hence the low speed clean wake, where as most MCs still carry the V to the rear in some degree, i.e the X2, X25, X35, X45. These boats will ride a lot better in rough water than the BU.
Old     (srich5)      Join Date: Apr 2016       01-16-2017, 12:35 PM Reply   
I appreciate all of the great info. Trying to decide right now between a 07 23 lsv with the 8.1L and 1100 hours or an 08 x15 with 330 hours. Just off of hours and look, I am definitely leaning towards the x15. They are both priced at 45k. The bu replaced the engine at 400 hours.
Old     (malibu23lsv)      Join Date: Feb 2012       01-16-2017, 2:11 PM Reply   
I would choose Malibu for this reason (if you're main concern is upholstery). Malibu and Axis use one of the best threads you can buy for marine called Solarfix. Most manufactures won't spend the extra money on it because it's crazy expensive (from a quick web search, it's over $110/spool compared to $20 per spool nylon thread). It resists stains and won't break unless it's cut. All of Malibu/Axis seams are lock-stitched, including the pleat. Which means if a thread does break for some reason, it won't completely come apart across the entire stitch line. MC, on the other hand, does not use the same quality thread and all pleat, including diamond pleat, is chain-stitched. Meaning, if the thread gets broken, it's only a matter of time before the entire stitch line is gone. As far as vinyl quality, most all OEM marine vinyl basically comes from a couple of suppliers with quality topcoat protection and thickness. Therefore no real advantages brand to brand as far as vinyl goes.
Old     (xstarrider)      Join Date: Jun 2007       01-16-2017, 4:22 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by davez71 View Post
Some MC hulls are no were near as flat as Bu. Every Bu is completely flat in the rear, hence the low speed clean wake, where as most MCs still carry the V to the rear in some degree, i.e the X2, X25, X35, X45. These boats will ride a lot better in rough water than the BU.

Dave. You are completely correct in you hull comparisons with those newer models which are way above the price point the op is looking for. So those comparisons due the op no good. He's not gonna find any of those models in his 45 k price tag except the X2 which I referenced. My comments were directly based on the era and price point he would be comparing. Not the current boats or later year lineups That are way above his price point

Last edited by xstarrider; 01-16-2017 at 4:27 PM.
Old     (Fixable)      Join Date: Oct 2012       01-16-2017, 6:18 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by malibu23lsv View Post
I would choose Malibu for this reason (if you're main concern is upholstery). Malibu and Axis use one of the best threads you can buy for marine called Solarfix. Most manufactures won't spend the extra money on it because it's crazy expensive (from a quick web search, it's over $110/spool compared to $20 per spool nylon thread). It resists stains and won't break unless it's cut. All of Malibu/Axis seams are lock-stitched, including the pleat. Which means if a thread does break for some reason, it won't completely come apart across the entire stitch line. MC, on the other hand, does not use the same quality thread and all pleat, including diamond pleat, is chain-stitched. Meaning, if the thread gets broken, it's only a matter of time before the entire stitch line is gone. As far as vinyl quality, most all OEM marine vinyl basically comes from a couple of suppliers with quality topcoat protection and thickness. Therefore no real advantages brand to brand as far as vinyl goes.

Last I knew, MC was using Tenara thread. Also one of the best, if not the best marine thread available. Also, MC has French seams on almost every seam in the boat. Lock stitch, or not, it's hard to beat the durability of a French seam. Although, when I was at the factory in 2011, they were lock stitching at least most of the interior seams as well. Can't verify the stitching on the decorative pleated areas, as I didn't look that closely.

With the exception of a year or two of having poor quality vinyl (Malibu had the same), both manufacturers have exceptionally durable interiors.
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       01-16-2017, 6:40 PM Reply   
I will respectfully disagree-

That same 2010 x25 I mentioned earlier has every diamond stitch blown out and several seats torn open from normal in/out.
The vinyl and stitching has also stained brown from the cover. Again normal usage, 14 week season, 100 hours a year.


Additionally, the x15 wakenis a let down IMO
Old     (Fixable)      Join Date: Oct 2012       01-16-2017, 7:49 PM Reply   
Everyone has a story about that other boat that fell apart........ my '09 LSV split seams on the rear seat and sun pad from stepping on them. Not to mention, there are Is very frequent mention on TMC about that exact problem. So much so, that several of them use something to place on the seat to step on. Luckily for me, they were repaired under warranty at the time.

The cover staining is a well known problem, and effected every brand out there at the time. This is also a well beaten up subject on TMC.

I can't confirm anything about a 2010 or older. With the exception of my brothers prostar, that is an 05 with 1000 hours and all original upholstery that is still perfect (although he is crazy anal and super careful with everything. His whole boat still looks brand new) My first MC was an 11, and I had them till 2015 with 0 interior issues. I have now moved into a G23, and I can't say I have continued to have great luck with vinyl. Replaced 2 seat covers in my G in its first year. Vinyl surface failures in the softer of the two vinyl types. Turns out, I can't allow people to wear jeans for early and late season riding in the G. The rivets raise hell with the soft faced vinyl.

There are horror stories with every brand. I'm sure there are tons of stories about MC vinyl failures, just like any other. I just think it's pointless to split hairs over quality between any of the top 3. The only useful information, will be witnessed when the OP looks at the boat. You will be able to tell how the interior has faired so far, and how it will be at least a couple years down the road.

Last edited by Fixable; 01-16-2017 at 7:57 PM.
Old     (brit_rider)      Join Date: May 2004       01-17-2017, 4:37 AM Reply   
As a boat dealer who deals in both new and used... Honestly there isn't a huge amount to tell them apart.

Wiring is fairly similar... on the older stuff that was all Indmar it's damn near identical. Engine reliability is identical.

The vinyl on the Malibu definitely outlasts the MC's.... Particularly the 2000-2010 boats seem to suffer badly from cracking whilst a similar year Malibu does noticeably hold up better.

For me, the Malibu's also drive better for what it's worth but equally, there will always be a big fan base for the Mastercrafts.

Mastercraft seemed to adopt a Gel coat floor before Malibu in many models which would be a plus for me as carpet can suck, particularly on a boat a few years old.

Other than that I guess my biggest issue when buying would be past maintenance and care. That's what matters most. I'd much rather have the little old ski boat that works faultlessly every weekend than the big posh wake boat that is constantly in the shop.....

Mike
Old     (davez71)      Join Date: Oct 2007       01-17-2017, 7:50 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by simplej View Post
I will respectfully disagree-

That same 2010 x25 I mentioned earlier has every diamond stitch blown out and several seats torn open from normal in/out.
The vinyl and stitching has also stained brown from the cover. Again normal usage, 14 week season, 100 hours a year.


Additionally, the x15 wakenis a let down IMO
The sun pad on my Malibu VLX turned brown because of the top. As Fixable said, this happens to all manufactures.

Malibu vs MC is a coin flip. You cant go wrong either way. The main concern would be the condition of the boat and the records on it. If one boat already had an engine replaced, I would walk away and find a new boat out there because there are a ton.
Old     (on_wi)      Join Date: Feb 2013       01-17-2017, 8:26 AM Reply   
There are lots of boats available in that price range. We see you want a nice interior and something mechanically sound. As the thread shows, the general consensus is this is primarily dependent on how well a boat is cared for. Every manufacturer has the occasional problem, but buying used should allow you to avoid those. Look for maintenance records. Talk to the local dealer who the seller visits. (I do most of my own maintenance but my local dealer still knows about my boat bc I ask them questions, purchase fluids etc. there). And have inspections done on the mechanical systems by a professional and by yourself.

But, those are things we cannot help you with being that they are in person. Tell us more about how you are going to use the boat, the type of crew you will bring, how long you'll stay on the water on a given outing, trailer or lift kept, and where you are generally located and we may be able to point to either a best model for your conditions or a good used option.
Old     (cbarguy1)      Join Date: Dec 2012       01-17-2017, 2:13 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by michridr69 View Post
im a Malibu guy. And ill never buy another one.
What happened to BU and when? A new model used BU is on my short list when I replace my x*
Old     (srich5)      Join Date: Apr 2016       01-17-2017, 3:46 PM Reply   
Thanks W.S.

I primarily will use the boat here in Colorado. I normally have a good sized crew onboard (6-10). We typically wakeboard in the mornings for a little while, attempt to surf until about noon and then end up listening to music and drinking a few cold ones until evening when we ramp up the riding again. My wife also loves to tube but I do not think many boats can go wrong tubing.
Old     (on_wi)      Join Date: Feb 2013       01-18-2017, 7:41 AM Reply   
I'm not familiar with elevation requirements. Do you need a larger engine? Plan on going big with ballast? Doesn't seem like there are a lot of boats in Colorado. Willing to travel for the right fit?
Old     (srich5)      Join Date: Apr 2016       01-23-2017, 9:37 AM Reply   
Yes, absolutely. It is difficult to find a good boat in this region.

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