Looking at a boat (Dominator?) and I need some advice

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by oversite, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. oversite
    Joined: Dec 2013
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    oversite Junior Member

    Hi all,

    Firstly I should say that our boating experience is limited to tinnies and slower fishing boats. So Any advice or opinions are appreciated.

    A friend and I are looking at a 1979 "Dominator Flightcraftor Sun Downer" with a 200HP V6 Mercury engine.

    I have attached some pictures of what we are looking at, could someone with more knowledge then us please confirm that this is what we are looking at?

    Are there any known issues with this kind of boat?
    What about the 2stroke 200HP V6 Mercury engines?

    We are insisting that he start the engine for us before we buy it, but we are no where near anywhere we could test it on the water. is there anything in perticular we should be looking for with the engine or boat?

    The boat we are looking at is cheaper then other similar boats so we are very keen.

    In the worst case, we buy it and the engine is dead, how difficult is it going to be to rebuild (Im an amateur mechanic :))

    Thanks for any advice.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    How old is the engine, and has it been used in fresh or salt water ?
     
  3. oversite
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    oversite Junior Member

    He says that the engine was rebuilt recently <20 hours on it since. And he said only ever fresh water, which makes sense where he was from.

    Thanks,
    Oversite.
     
  4. CDK
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    CDK retired engineer

    Rebuilding an engine is expensive. If the owner pays the bill and then less than 20 hrs later decides to sell it, I bet the engine has issues, so he wants to get rid of it quickly.

    I've always traded or sold my boats when I feared imminent disaster, so I can't blame him.
     
  5. oversite
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    oversite Junior Member

    what sort of things are most likely to go wrong with a boat mercury V6?

    are they the same as the current car problems.
     
  6. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    And here I was thinking you were an upstanding character ! :D It isn't inconceivable there is a legitimate reason for selling that doesn't involve terminal problems. This is a go-fast ski-race boat, so I'd imagine the engine has had to earn it's keep, being in fresh water is a definite plus for an old merc though. For something of this age you don't want to be paying much though, because if the engine proves problematical, the hull won't be worth much, and re-powering a 34 year old boat with a new engine of similar power wouldn't make a lot of economic sense.
     
  7. oversite
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    oversite Junior Member

    Thanks for that mr efficiency.

    I was thinking that the hull was going to be the majority of the investment? its in good condition and looks nice and retro being a 1979 model.

    Its going straight into the ocean when we get it, but I dont think that we would need such an engine, we are moving up from a 3.1M tin boat with a 12HP engine!

    worst case and the engine is rubbish what would a pretty good condition hull be worth?
     
  8. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Straight into the ocean ? It may do that in more ways than one ! This boat isn't really suitable for open waters, with low freeboard and not much reserve forward bouyancy. Your best plan is to test for compression ( consult a manual for correct procedure), and check gearbox oil is nice and dark looking, if the owner declines to co-operate, keep out of it.
     
  9. oversite
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    oversite Junior Member

    Thanks again,

    Sorry straight into the ocean was incorect, it should have read straight into the salt water river.

    Im crazy, and I wouldnt take it out into the open ocean. :p
     
  10. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    You have to look at the hull too. Check the decks and floors and stringers and transom for rot. Check the hull for cracks or unfairness or deformed dents from sitting on the trailer. Does it have a heat exchanger or will salt water be running through the engine?
     
  11. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    You are quite right, he should check for rot, easier said than done, sometime though. Naturally, being an outboard, it is raw water coooled. An old merc would have been killed by salt water by now, being in fresh all its life would be a big help, but you still have to go on what you see, it may have had salt water use at some stage.
     
  12. powerabout
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    powerabout Senior Member

    they were a good boat in their day, maybe still are?
     
  13. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Have the boat looked over, after a check ride for at least 20 minutes. The person looking her over should be very familiar with this type of boat and engine.

    It's just like buying a used car or an older house, you get it inspected, preferably by someone you trust. If not that, then someone with the credentials to back up any BS.

    If you can't start it, don't buy it, if he will not take you out on check ride, don't buy it. If he makes excuses, don't buy it. Think of it as buying a house, but the owner will not let you in the basement or buying a car when the guy says it will not start because the battery is dead, but still will not let you jump it. Simply put if it smells fishy, it usually is.
     
  14. powerabout
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    powerabout Senior Member

    Ask a merc dealer to lookup the engine serial number for you so you get the engines history
     

  15. kequevor
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    kequevor New Member

    A seasoned mechanic can help you inspect the boat. There is a triggering factor why the owner wants to sell it ... better to dig deeper.
     
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