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VIP Owners Review

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  • VIP Owners Review

    Greetings VIP owners. I'm looking at buying a 1997 Deckliner with a 350 Mercruiser. I'll use it for cruising the lake, pulling the kids on a tube (skiing/wakeboarding when they get older), and a little fishing. This will be the first boat that I own.

    I'm wondering what your experiences have been with VIPs, especially the 1997 era models. If my research is correct, VIP is no longer in business. Has that been an issue?

    Many thanks in advance!


  • #2
    Re: VIP Owners Review

    i own a 1997 vip valiant bowrider. I got the boat in excellent condition it was well taken care of.

    The boat seems to be built well, sturdy, and rides great on the water. I have no complaints about craftsmanship thus far. only thing i don't like is that the boat is old enough to fall out of the new era of "wood free boats" i have wood bases in the bow seats, rear seat, and motor cover, which i'm not crazy about, but hey you can't have everything

    The vip brand is certainly not top of the line, however its far from bottom of the line. Its a good manufacturer for mid level boats. (as with any boat if it is well taken care of there shouldn't be any issues regarding this). I mean you could have a crownline that has been neglected and a bayliner that's immaculate, works both ways. In that case i'd have to choose the bayliner.

    As far as the manufacturer being out of business, they sold out to another company, i can't recall the name right now but as i understand it, the new company is now building boats under the vip brand name. (i want to say the company is brunswick, but i could be wrong)

    From my experience most of the components regarding the construction of the boat have been pretty generic when compared to other brand boats of its kind, thus the need to get "vip" parts is usually non existent. the power package, usually mercruiser for these boats, parts can be accessed easily at any marine places.

    The only trouble i've heard of that people are having due to the old company going out of business is getting windshield replacements, which i don't think you should have to worry about on the deckboat if i'm not mistaken

    all in all, i'm very happy, mine has been a great boat, and i would reccomend the vip brand to anyone who asks.

    hope some of that helped
    JB
    1997 Vip Valiant Mercruiser 5.7

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    • #3
      Re: VIP Owners Review

      one other thing i forgot to add: if the boat your looking at 1997 with the mercruiser 350 it should be carbeurated, as 1998 started the fuel injection era. The fuel injected 350 puts off 250 HP whereas the carbeurated model puts off 210. I have the carbeurated which is plenty of power, however an extra 40 horses would be nice when i got a full boat pulling up a wakeboarder. even so it still gets the job done.

      Just thought i'd add the tid bit that a year newer(1998) give you the fuel injection and a significant step up in HP.

      The fact that its carburated though allows for cheap and easy repair if and when problems arise, The bill will be high on some fuel injection repairs if they arise.
      JB
      1997 Vip Valiant Mercruiser 5.7

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      • #4
        Re: VIP Owners Review

        Just to clarify, the company building VIP, Deckliner, and BayStealth boats is Caddo Manufacturing, LLC. We did not buy the old Vivian Industries, Inc. company. It is a new company started in the same manufacturing facility along with some of the equipment that was auctioned in a public auction. We employ a few of the old Vivian Industries employees (about 15 workers), me being one of them. They were retained because they knew how to build the products that we intend to sell. None of management is employed here from Vivian Industries.

        Personally, in my opinion, I liked the wooden made boats better than the No-Wood versions. I think it is simply public stigmata that wood is bad. The wood that was used in the boats of that era made by Vivian Industries was very high grade and was told to last 50 years laying in a mud puddle. The boats today, do have more style and a sleeker look, but they are also more difficult to manufacture. Require more processes to assemble and repairing for bumps and scrapes are more tedious.

        Granted, over the years, things get better because manufacturers learn newer and cheaper ways to do things and what things/processes to stay away from.

        If I had MY say, we'd still be making a version or two of boats that contain wood. Especially the small fishing boats (14 foot) that only need engines in the 50hp or so range (think 80's).

        Boats nowadays have to be manufactured to automobile standards. People will only look at features and finish that compares to a luxury car (or so they tell me). I still don't see why a boat made for function wouldn't sell well.

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