Buying my first boat

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by drphilgood, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. drphilgood
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    Location: Georgia

    drphilgood New Member

    I am looking at buying my first boat, a ski boat in the 17-21 foot range with a fair amount of power. To fit my price range, I am looking for a boat around 10-15 years old. I am capable of an external and mechanical check. However, I have been warned about stringer problems in older boats. My first choice at this point is a 1994 Monterey Bowrider, 19', with a v-8 Mercruiser. Does anyone know if this boat had sealed stringers like the current Montereys, or anything else I should be worried about?
     
  2. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    alan white Senior Member

    The other main (hidden) problem along with stringers is the transom. Usually made up of layers of plywood, older boats 20-30 years old) often have either saturated or rotten transoms. Later boats will be better built, but you might find a steal in an older boat if the seller knows/admits the problem and you're willing to tear into the boat to make the repairs. Not worth it unless the rest of the boat is otherwise worth the effort.
     
  3. drphilgood
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    drphilgood New Member

    Thanks

    Thanks for your response. Repairing the "guts" of the boat possibly beyond my ability but certainly beyond my time constraints. When I look at an older boat, how do I inspect for these hidden problems? When did it become standard to use fiberglass sealed marine wood for the stringers? All the boats I am looking at are mid-90s. The Monterey is a 94. Thanks again, Phil
     
  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Boats equipped with outdrives will likely have less transom issues, then outboards boats. The problems arise with lack of maintenance and age. A 20 year old boat can look like new, but be rotten throughout. On the other hand a well cared for 20 year old boat can be solid as a rock.

    Weeping and rust stains around fasteners in the transom, puckering around heavily loaded attachments or visible deformations on the transom are clear signs of a problem.

    Walk around inside the boat with a heavy foot. You're testing for "soft" spots, which will feel spongy or less solid. Common areas are around the driver's seat or places where something is or was attached, like a seat or table pedestal.

    You should be able to tell the difference between a well cared for boat and a "prettied up" butcher job. A mid 90's boat should have a glossy finish and few signs of cracks, no hanging wires, hoses, etc., no rust stains, shiny chrome and an engine that starts on the first crank with little difficulty, no smoke or coughing. All the cables should look new, the boat will have signs of age, but not neglect.

    Always take a boat out for a ride, before purchasing it. If you're really new to this sort of thing, bring along some one who's been around boats a long time, some one who's own boat looks great and runs good too. If a person offers an excuse to not take the boat out on the water, then forget it and walk away, because you're a novice at this sort of thing, this is your best course of action.
     
  5. drphilgood
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    drphilgood New Member

    Thank you

    Thanks for a wonderful, detailed response. You have certainly given this novice a good bit more to look at. Thanks again, Phil.
     
  6. Fanie
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Colonial "Sick Africa"

    Fanie Fanie

    I see you're looking for a bowrider... While it's fun for anyone sitting in the front while cruising, that is also the most dangerous place. Boat hits a wake or wave and the person in the front gets flipped overboard, then gets hit by the boat and drive system. I don't know about other places, but this is probably the most common fatal couse of accidents here.

    Joke is, if you make the skipper attent about it they normally have a snotty attitude. Ten minutes later the same guy wants to commit suicide because his doughter just died off'n the boat.

    Boats are great though. Most of them keep your butt either wet or dry :D
     

  7. drphilgood
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    Location: Georgia

    drphilgood New Member

    Safety first

    Thanks for the warning. It will be our first boat, but we have both been around boats a good bit. Unless we are at idle speed, just putting around, no one will ever ride up front.
    Thanks, Phil
     
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