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View Full Version : Malibus's vented stringers revealed! w/pics


Bouyhead
08-31-2011, 08:51 AM
So I'm tearing into my new winter project, a 04' LXi that I bought to fix up & flip and man o man is this boat laid up quite different than my 96' Prostar. Vented hollow stringers? I guess thats a good thing, something needs to flow in there to dry them out. Need to pull the tank on this boat? Better give yourself a few hours to do it. Operate in salt water? Then this isn't the boat for you, not a soldered connection to be found, all crimp connecters bow to stern. Anyhow, ski boat projects are hard to come by in the Tri State area and this was to good a deal to pass up. Besides Iv'e been through a couple of Prostars and I wanted to get into the inner workings of the competition.
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2RLAKE
08-31-2011, 09:11 AM
thank god we own MCs ... we are all better people!!!

agarabaghi
08-31-2011, 09:12 AM
jesus... what happen to that boat? it looks trashed...

snork
08-31-2011, 09:19 AM
Yep, looks like a Bu

aquaman
08-31-2011, 09:43 AM
what in the world is a "vented stringer" ???

DemolitionMan
08-31-2011, 09:47 AM
what in the world is a "vented stringer" ???

I believe that it is hollow.

bamabonners
08-31-2011, 11:08 AM
I don't get it. You obviously have a neglected boat that looks like it has been trashed and you blame this on malibu?! I don't see the connection here.

2RLAKE
08-31-2011, 11:40 AM
because its fun?

Bouyhead
08-31-2011, 11:44 AM
I don't get it. You obviously have a neglected boat that looks like it has been trashed and you blame this on malibu?! I don't see the connection here.

You don't have to "get it" but maybe I can be of some assistance. I know the boat was neglected, I bought the boat in it's current condition and I'm not blaming Malibu, just trying to shed some light on how the competition is not built as well as MC. Comparisons & build quality between BU & MC has come up a few times on this forum and I'm just trying to shed some light on how BU's are constructed differently. I drive and ski behind the big three and they all have a place in the ski boat market and they all have something to offer. Lot's of different requirements for lot's of different folks. I guess this thread was geared more toward the guys that have a little more expierience w/ boats than getting them started & changing oil.

Bouyhead
08-31-2011, 11:48 AM
because its fun?

Yeah, that too!!! If i can't be skiing,driving, or coaching i want to be puttsin' around in a ski boat!! Hence my singnature.

aquaman
08-31-2011, 12:00 PM
Great project.......and the BU vs MC comparison is interesting.

jamisonsbrodie
08-31-2011, 02:52 PM
Did the boat become submerged? What caused the damage? Other than crimp connectors, where do you see the quality differences? I have owned and worked on both and both seem to have similar issues. I too ski and drive all 3 brands on a regular basis.

Miss Rita
08-31-2011, 03:35 PM
Vented stringers sounds interesting. A hollow tube (square or round) will be stronger than a solid beam of the same weight. Did they fabricate a hollow fiberglass tube the right size/shape, then glue it into the hull?

Do MC/s have solid fiberglass stringers, foam-filled stringers, or?

M-Funf
08-31-2011, 03:42 PM
Vented stringers sounds interesting. A hollow tube (square or round) will be stronger than a solid beam of the same weight. Did they fabricate a hollow fiberglass tube the right size/shape, then glue it into the hull?

Do MC/s have solid fiberglass stringers, foam-filled stringers, or?

I think a hollow rectangular carbon-fiber composite tube would be best for weight/strength/moisture resistance...It would be cool as hell, too.

Bouyhead
08-31-2011, 04:00 PM
QUOTE=jamisonsbrodie;785592]Did the boat become submerged? What caused the damage? Other than crimp connectors, where do you see the quality differences? I have owned and worked on both and both seem to have similar issues. I too ski and drive all 3 brands on a regular basis.[/QUOTE]

The boat was never submerged but always a very wet bilge. Boat saw heavy club use and was never covered, always out in the sun. One glaring difference is the BU doesn't have a traditional shaft log, they have the infamous HDS box. Lots of problems there. Not a great pic but for those who haven't seen one the box encapsulates much of the driveshaft to suppress vibration. The box sometimes delaminates from the hull causing a leak. The steering cable clamp which also bolts/pivots on the box is unique to BU. Over time it eventually will start to leak.
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Lot's of BU's iv'e been in have uneven floors behind the motor box on each side of center as this boat does.Supposedly another hull issue, lifetime warranty but still. Lots of the interior is lagged bolted in place instead of traditional T bolts. No need to go into all the little stuff because no one is making the perfect boat and they ALL have issues. But I think these are legitimate gripes that are structural in nature and effect the longevity of the boat. Heres one more pic of the boat almost all apart.

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jamisonsbrodie
08-31-2011, 04:31 PM
That looks like quite the project. That would be fun to tackle, especially for the right price. Apparently the club doesn't give a s^*# about their boats! That or the members have more money than brains.

JimN
08-31-2011, 05:22 PM
QUOTE=jamisonsbrodie;785592]Did the boat become submerged? What caused the damage? Other than crimp connectors, where do you see the quality differences? I have owned and worked on both and both seem to have similar issues. I too ski and drive all 3 brands on a regular basis.

The boat was never submerged but always a very wet bilge. Boat saw heavy club use and was never covered, always out in the sun. One glaring difference is the BU doesn't have a traditional shaft log, they have the infamous HDS box. Lots of problems there. Not a great pic but for those who haven't seen one the box encapsulates much of the driveshaft to suppress vibration. The box sometimes delaminates from the hull causing a leak. The steering cable clamp which also bolts/pivots on the box is unique to BU. Over time it eventually will start to leak.
70147

Lot's of BU's iv'e been in have uneven floors behind the motor box on each side of center as this boat does.Supposedly another hull issue, lifetime warranty but still. Lots of the interior is lagged bolted in place instead of traditional T bolts. No need to go into all the little stuff because no one is making the perfect boat and they ALL have issues. But I think these are legitimate gripes that are structural in nature and effect the longevity of the boat. Heres one more pic of the boat almost all apart.

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I bet that missing screw would make a difference in how much the box leaks, too.

captain planet
09-01-2011, 10:02 AM
Oh, I can't wait until lunch when I have the time to comment on this. :D8p

DemolitionMan
09-01-2011, 10:05 AM
I don't get it. You obviously have a neglected boat that looks like it has been trashed and you blame this on malibu?! I don't see the connection here.

Malibu owner.

Bouyhead
09-01-2011, 10:37 AM
The refurb continues. I'm going to get myself into trouble with this boat. It's really coming along nicely, I'm having a good time, & really getting to learn about the competition. Problem is when I get done I'll probably want to keep it! I know it seems like i started this thread to slam BU but that wasn't my intention. Like i said earlier, the big three all have something to offer and they all have issues. No one is making a perfect boat. I was just highlighting some of the different lay up procedures that are unique to BU. Oh yeah, and my all time favorite slalom tug? Besides my 96' PS of course is my buddies 99' closed bow Response.

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LYNRDSKYNRD
09-01-2011, 10:41 AM
Looks like it's really coming along...I can't wait to see it when your finished.

bamabonners
09-01-2011, 11:07 AM
Malibu owner.

yes, I am a malibu owner. I read many forums - not here to defend malibu. I don't know anything about the late 90s - early 2000s response so this thread is interesting to me.

The thread caught my attention because the title happens to be one of the usual points that MC salesmen always pull out against the malibu. I honestly thought it was going to be another one of those "MC is better than malibu because ..." threads, but this actually a very interesting thread and I can't wait to see the finished product. I even posted a link to it on themalibucrew for others to follow along with the rebuild process.

Looking good so far. I would love to take on a project like this, but I don't have the space and I don't think I have the knowledge.

captain planet
09-01-2011, 01:39 PM
OK, so the reason they have hollow stringers and a HDB (hydrophonic dampening box) is really a construction matter. The way malibu mounts their engines to their stringers is with thru bolts, which means you have to have a way of getting the nut and washer on the other side of the stringer....so they cut a hole in the stringer so the guy building the boat can get his hand inside the stringer to put on the washer and nut.

The reason for the HDB is to accomodate the engine position. You see, the engine position in a malibu is variable. There isn't a set place for the prop-shaft to come out the bottom of the boat, but rather an oval hole for the shaft to pass through, therefore the engine can be a little forward or a little back. That is where the HDB comes in, it is a place for water to be 'contained' when the shaft comes through the hull, then just seal the box with the shaft stuffing and laminate it to the bottom of the boat. Then just pass off the HDB as a "vibration reduction" feature.

So there you have it, the reasons for the HDB and hollow stringers in malibu boats.

DemolitionMan
09-01-2011, 02:03 PM
OK, so the reason they have hollow stringers and a HDB (hydrophonic dampening box) is really a construction matter. The way malibu mounts their engines to their stringers is with thru bolts, which means you have to have a way of getting the nut and washer on the other side of the stringer....so they cut a hole in the stringer so the guy building the boat can get his hand inside the stringer to put on the washer and nut.

The reason for the HDB is to accomodate the engine position. You see, the engine position in a malibu is variable. There isn't a set place for the prop-shaft to come out the bottom of the boat, but rather an oval hole for the shaft to pass through, therefore the engine can be a little forward or a little back. That is where the HDB comes in, it is a place for water to be 'contained' when the shaft comes through the hull, then just seal the box with the shaft stuffing and laminate it to the bottom of the boat. Then just pass off the HDB as a "vibration reduction" feature.

So there you have it, the reasons for the HDB and hollow stringers in malibu boats.

So they are half a**ing something but saying its the better way to build a boat.

captain planet
09-01-2011, 02:16 PM
So they are half a**ing something but saying its the better way to build a boat.

I'm not here to judge, I'm just here to share information. :rolleyes:

thatsmrmastercraft
09-01-2011, 02:29 PM
I'm not here to judge, I'm just here to share information. :rolleyes:

Very open minded of you.:rolleyes:

rhsprostar
09-01-2011, 02:47 PM
Very cool thread......interesting stuff.
I wish I had the time for a project like that.......good on you brother!

Did I ever mention that I had to fix a BU with a rock a few years back? It worked though..;)

Bouyhead
09-01-2011, 03:04 PM
OK, so the reason they have hollow stringers and a HDB (hydrophonic dampening box) is really a construction matter. The way malibu mounts their engines to their stringers is with thru bolts, which means you have to have a way of getting the nut and washer on the other side of the stringer....so they cut a hole in the stringer so the guy building the boat can get his hand inside the stringer to put on the washer and nut.

The reason for the HDB is to accomodate the engine position. You see, the engine position in a malibu is variable. There isn't a set place for the prop-shaft to come out the bottom of the boat, but rather an oval hole for the shaft to pass through, therefore the engine can be a little forward or a little back. That is where the HDB comes in, it is a place for water to be 'contained' when the shaft comes through the hull, then just seal the box with the shaft stuffing and laminate it to the bottom of the boat. Then just pass off the HDB as a "vibration reduction" feature.

So there you have it, the reasons for the HDB and hollow stringers in malibu boats.

I'm not here to judge, I'm just here to share information. :rolleyes:

Thank You CP! I will now consider myself totally schooled on the HDB box. I remember you making a dig about vented stringers not to long ago in another thread and thats where I got the title for this thread. I'm not here to judge either, just put the info out there for guys to understand and let them have thier own opinion. There are a few ski boat companies that have come and gone, BU has been around awhile and by the looks of things they're here to stay.

bretski75
09-01-2011, 03:12 PM
New member here, Malibu Owner, but MasterCraft and Malibu lover. No bashing from me. Just facts and maybe some opinions.

The FibECS (Fibreglass Engine Chassis System), (or hollow stringers as some people are calling it) allows through bolting the motor but may have other benefits. Granted this is marketing fluff but I have never heard anyone knocking it as a bad system or have had any issues with it since the beginning, 1993. On a personal note, it made fishing the Perfect Pass lines to the engine compartment really easy, and I can see the airflow to the engine compartment possibly being increased.

http://www.malibuboats.com.au/factory5.html

Now the HDS (Hydrophonic Dampening System), not HDB, I won't be so nice about. I havn't had an issue but I know a lot of people have. And I won't be heartbroken when they stop using it. I just don't see the advantage.

Now some Mastercraft props. 1991 - 1994 Prostar, my favorite boat of all. I hope to have one someday.

I almost forgot. Nice build by the way.

JimN
09-01-2011, 03:22 PM
OK, so the reason they have hollow stringers and a HDB (hydrophonic dampening box) is really a construction matter. The way malibu mounts their engines to their stringers is with thru bolts, which means you have to have a way of getting the nut and washer on the other side of the stringer....so they cut a hole in the stringer so the guy building the boat can get his hand inside the stringer to put on the washer and nut.

The reason for the HDB is to accomodate the engine position. You see, the engine position in a malibu is variable. There isn't a set place for the prop-shaft to come out the bottom of the boat, but rather an oval hole for the shaft to pass through, therefore the engine can be a little forward or a little back. That is where the HDB comes in, it is a place for water to be 'contained' when the shaft comes through the hull, then just seal the box with the shaft stuffing and laminate it to the bottom of the boat. Then just pass off the HDB as a "vibration reduction" feature.

So there you have it, the reasons for the HDB and hollow stringers in malibu boats.

That would be great if so many didn't need to be sealed after manufacture. They let it go for far too long, IMO, and when I worked for a MC/Bu dealer, we had to seal just about all of them at some point in the first year. That must have cost Malibu a lot.

The hollow stringers also leave a convenient way to hide cables and wire looms.

mariley85
09-01-2011, 08:43 PM
So they are half a**ing something but saying its the better way to build a boat.

incredible.

bamabonners
09-01-2011, 10:41 PM
Hollow stringer sounds good, but the variable engine mounts do not.

Side note, how thick is the hull around the running gear?

Chris P
09-01-2011, 11:31 PM
To the OP.....

Thanks for being objective. This is a very cool project and I look forward to seeing it through. I agree with your statements regarding the "big 3" as it relates to tow boats. They all have their ups and downs so to speak and they all appeal to different people for different reasons.

I regularly ski my Bu and 3 other MC boats on our lake and they are all good boats. Each has their own appeal, not the least of which being my buddy's 94 PS190. So, thanks again for being objective and keep posting the details.

Chris P
10-27-2011, 09:45 AM
Any updates with pics on this?? I'm interested to see the results of your work.

Bouyhead
10-27-2011, 10:28 AM
Any updates with pics on this?? I'm interested to see the results of your work.

Nothing new yet. I ordered new skins from Chee that should be in soon, sent out the dash pads to get recovered, and scored a Wedge W/ bracket and backing plate really cheap that I will be installing soon. Thinking about starting a new thread just about the resto.
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Chris P
10-27-2011, 02:43 PM
Nothing new yet. I ordered new skins from Chee that should be in soon, sent out the dash pads to get recovered, and scored a Wedge W/ bracket and backing plate really cheap that I will be installing soon. Thinking about starting a new thread just about the resto.
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That's great! Chee does excellent work if you follow any of the threads on TMC. I'm looking forward to seeing the restoration efforts. I hope you start a thread.

curtish
10-30-2011, 06:33 PM
I'd love to see a resto thread as well.

skisix@38
10-31-2011, 09:27 AM
A resto thread would be great! Just a suggestion FWIW.... Post the resto thread on the bucrew site and then you can post a link to that thread here. That way you may stay off the moderators "bad boy" list... Like I said- FWIW...
I'm really interested in the thread though!

strad
10-31-2011, 04:13 PM
I'm a little curious as to the advantages for being able to move the engine/trans forward and back. To me it seems like there would be an ideal location based on intended use of the boat -- so why would there be a need to incorporate the ability to move it into the design?

I mean, I can move the trans crossmember forward and aft several inches in my E30 BMW, but that's because the chassis was built to accomodate several different engine/trans combinations for the world's different markets. So I understand the logic there, but not in the boat.

captain planet
10-31-2011, 05:56 PM
I'm a little curious as to the advantages for being able to move the engine/trans forward and back. To me it seems like there would be an ideal location based on intended use of the boat -- so why would there be a need to incorporate the ability to move it into the design?

I mean, I can move the trans crossmember forward and aft several inches in my E30 BMW, but that's because the chassis was built to accomodate several different engine/trans combinations for the world's different markets. So I understand the logic there, but not in the boat.

The ability to move the engine was not engineered, it is the result of the construction method used to get the drive shaft out of the bottom of the boat through the opening available.

It is a disadvantage because you can have two identical boats with engines placed differently in each boat. This will then effect the wake characteristics differently so you can have two boats with different wakes. The tolerance for engine placment I believe is greater than one inch forward and back.