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I have a 1999 Malibu Sunsetter LX. On the bottom of the boat, there are Tracking Fins. I have had them ripped off a number of times by driftwood. When I contacted Malibu, they said that they have never heard of that happening. I know of many people on the Internet that say it has happened. The boat fills with water every time and a new fin cost $130, plus you have to find the hardware. The hardware is a 7/8 inch long stainless steel bolt that screws directly in to the fiberglass on the bottom of the hull. Does not seem to be a very good system.
I own a 2002 Malibu Wakesetter VLX. This boat comes with a factory installed device called "The Wedge". This device was designed and engineered by Malibu. No other boat manufacturer uses such a device. The device is attached to the transom of the boat. The purpose of the device, when deployed, is to make the wake behind the boat larger.
The device basically looks like a foil that, when in the down position, sits about 10 inches or more below the hull of the boat and just behind the rudder. While boating with the device down, we struck a submerged object. The direct impact to the nose of the wedge foil resulted in the transom ripping open and the sinking of the boat.
Basically, in terms of safety, the device is poorly engineered. There is no shear pin or other failsafe incorporated into the design that will allow the device to release upon impact. All the stress of an impact is transferred to the mounting area of the transom (hull). Additionally, the hull is not reinforced in the mounting area to withstand the additional stress. I spent several weeks trading email, voice mail, and telephone calls with Malibu. The bottom line is that Malibu's official position is that they accept no responsibility for the damage to my boat, even though they attached their poorly engineered device to the lifetime warranteed hull of my boat.
I have already discussed the issue with a lawfirm but because no one was injured or killed, yet, they were unwilling to take the case even though they stated that it is a very good one. I have also discovered that there are many Malibu owners out there who have also experienced damage from this device.
Damage Resulting: $15,000 to $20,000 in damages to the boat.
Malibu Boats Company Information
- Company Name:
- Malibu Boats
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