NEWBIE here! 80's Chris Craft AmeroSport

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by kylejb2663, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. kylejb2663
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    kylejb2663 Junior Member

    Hi Guys,

    I am a NEW member here and I do not have a boat yet unfortunately!!

    I am looking for one and so far have seen two- a 1999 Bayliner 2355 and a 80's Chris Craft Amerosport. My friend is huge into boats and would rather see me get the Chris Craft. It has twin motors, I believe they are 350's. The guy is asking $6500 for it and as far as the bay liner goes he is asking $7000.

    The Chris Craft needs some work though, the engines seem very mechanically sound and they were just tuned up- cost him I believe between 500-600 dollars. However, the carpets are horrible as is the musty smell from the cabin because it has not been vented much. It does not have A/C in it YET...

    Just looking for opinions or what I should look out for... I am not sure of the model of the Chris Craft, I am setup for a test drive this Sunday so I can find out more details. I know it's either 27 or 28 feet long-

    Thanks guys and nice meeting you all! :D
     
  2. kylejb2663
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    kylejb2663 Junior Member

    I should add it looks a lot like a 284.... maybe? I know that there is a window underneath the driver seat for a sleeping section under the boat if that helps at all LOL.
     
  3. FMS
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    FMS Senior Member

    I'd take a chris craft over a bayliner.

    Looking at a boat over 15 years old, my biggest concern is rot. Make sure the transom, stringers, bulkheads and any other wood is solid and not rotten. Check around any openings, stern drive cutout, or drain plug if it's on the hard. Fresh water boats are worse than salt water boats for rot, but either way, check carefully.

    For a salt water boat, are the engines raw water or fresh water cooled? Anything saltwater touches check for corrosion. Metal + Salt gets ugly fast.

    Give the outdrives a careful inspection. Look for any corrosion or excessive play in the transom assemblies. Check that the lube and oil look good.

    Is there an access panel to see the fuel tank and that it's dry around it?

    How many hours?
     
  4. kylejb2663
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    kylejb2663 Junior Member

    Hi FMS, Thanks for the reply!

    The boat has a been a fresh water boat it's whole life from what I am aware. Also, just to note this is my first boat. I have never owned a boat before this- HA! Sports cars and rebuilding engines is what I have always been into..boats just starting lol.

    Now, correct if I am wrong but the outdrives are what propel to the boat foward correct? Also, is there any way I can check the transom assmeblies with it in the water? He is supposed to pull the boat out this weekend as well to check for any issues.
     
  5. FMS
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    FMS Senior Member

    Right. There's a big cutout in the transom for each outdrive. The outdrive or sterndrive provides steering by a mechanical steering arm which is pushed by the power steering cylinder. Trim (to raise or lower the bow or raise the drive for trailering or level out the boat on a twin) is done by two hydraulic rams powered by a separate trim pump. Raw water is picked up by the sterndrive (depending on the drive, it may have a water pump in the drive; the impeller needs to be changed every few years) Exhaust is routed through a y pipe and the prop unless there is thru hull exhaust.

    Fresh water is much better for the outdrives. After 5 years in salt you start to see corrosion anywhere the finish has been nicked. After that you often see a horrible mess of corrosion and paint. They stand up to a lot, but once they're corroded if anything breaks working on it is a nighmare. With freshwater they might be fine after 20 years.

    It's easier to inspect on the hard. The fill plug for the lube oil on the bottom of the drive usually has a magnet. A tiny bit of metal dust is ok but any big chunks of metal on this are a concern. With the drive tilted all the way up look at the rubber bellows. There is a big one around the drive shaft u-joint and another for exhaust and a hose for water. If these start to dry out or crack and need to be replaced it can cost a few hundred dollars. Also try to move the drive side to side when it's trimmed down and check for play in the steering arms. A tiny bit is typical after 20 years, but too much is not good.
     
  6. kylejb2663
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    kylejb2663 Junior Member

    FMS, Thanks AGAIN!!!

    That's a lot of information and I feel like I can go on this test drive knowing a little more now!

    I do know for a fact that the exhaust does go through a Y Pipe-When we looked under the engine covers, it looks like a huge flex line running between the engines almost like duct work.

    Will I actually want to take that fill plug out and see if there is anything on it or would that drain everything out of it as well. I take it as there is a drain plug somewhere as well, lol.

    Also, one other question for you, when we opened up the engine covers, I noticed there was some water that was sitting in there, it was not even near where the engines are but is it normal to see water there or could that be the inkling that one of those seal's is going.

    In all honesty, would you recommend if I did buy it and test goes well anything that I should fix/replace/check right away besides the items you mentioned. I know he just had a tune up done but I cannot say what was done as I have not seen the receipt yet. I'll post back up here I am calling him tonight to firm up a time on Sunday.

    Thanks!
     
  7. FMS
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    FMS Senior Member

    On the outdrive there will be a vent screw on the upper side and a fill screw on the bottom. With the vent screw in, you can unscrew the fill screw and let a tiny bit of lube dribble out into a jar. Look at the fill screw which should have a magnet. Brush it off quickly with your fingers and see if there are any big large metal shavings on it. Then put it back in quickly and make sure the little bit of lube which you let out is pure lube and not milky with water in it to show the seals are good.

    On a boat there will always be a tiny bit of water here and there in the bilge. The less the better, but it's inevitable and the pump won't pump out every last bit. I wouldn't draw any conclusions without seeing it. The cockpit also probably drains into the bilge. One bad thing is if there are any screws put in or removed and not sealed where water accumulates that let that water into the wooden structural elements over time. Old pumps, float switches, wire clips, mounting brackets.
     
  8. kylejb2663
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    kylejb2663 Junior Member

    FMS,

    I spoke with the guy tonight and he seemed a little weird about everything. Maybe just his personality... Anyways, we are going for a test drive with him and his wife tomorrow morning. I found out that it is in fact a Chris Craft Amerosport 284 with Twin 305s.

    I asked him a few questions and he said everything is sound mechanically and if something ever happened, he always brought it in for service. He didn't seem like he knew very much about the boat though which did worry me a little bit. I had asked him what they did for the tune-up and his answer was very generic, that they changed the oil and ran some tune up cleaner through it for $500 bucks.. is this normal?

    He also was hesitant to pull it out of the lake- I guess all he has for it is a yard trailer so he said it would be a pain. Is that fishy or is that true? Like I said, I have never owned a boat but if I was selling it I would be more then willing to pull it out.
     
  9. FMS
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    FMS Senior Member

    The $500 tune up as an oil change and spray cleaner doesn't give me much confidence. Having it serviced whenever something breaks could mean it's in good shape or it could mean there is still a lot of wear and more parts are getting up there and ready to break. I prefer an owner who knows every detail and is hands on but either way you need to investigate more.

    How many hours are on the engines and drives? Figure 1000 is time for a complete rebuild unless you know more about its history.

    You'll get a better sense of it on the test drive. It's a buyer's market. Marine parts add up fast and if you make a terrible choice a $6500 boat can cost you $25000 before you know it. Don't mean to scare you, but check, test, and check again. It's more fun looking and test driving than paying for parts the day after. Yes I know this from experience.
     
  10. FMS
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    FMS Senior Member

    I'd want to see the bottom condition, transom condition looking for any cracking or hollow sounding spots, around inside the drain plug hole where wood is often exposed, the bellows, the transom assemblies and check the drive lube before money changed hands.
     
  11. kylejb2663
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    kylejb2663 Junior Member

    I agree- I would have thought he would have known a lot more details. I am going to try to get receipts from him tomorrow or at least see them-

    He didn't advise me of a time on the engines- I can say I did already feel the engines start up and it barely sounds or feels like they are running for 305s- extremely smooth, good oil pressure. I heard them when my friend was showing it to me. So I will find out a time on them tomorrow though. I will say the engine bay has to be the cleanest I have seen.

    I completely agree on Marine parts adding up, I already started looking at parts like bilge pumps just to replace for maintenance because those can be a life saver I have heard lol and prices are up there.

    I'll try to take some pictures of everything tomorrow and post them up. I'll try to check as much stuff as possible and convince him to pull it out of the water though.

    Thanks for all you're help! I'll post up tomorrow.
     
  12. kylejb2663
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    kylejb2663 Junior Member

    Alrighty, so we went out on the boat today and let me first say I was extremely impressed with how it rides... It's extremely smooth and full throttle literally pushes you into your seat and makes the boat seem like it's coming out of the water. I think at one time we were going 40 MPH or a little over at full throttle.

    The engines have approximately 400 hours on them, which I checked the hour meters to find that out rather then taking his word. Him and his wife seem extremely nice and he seemed very different in person then on the phone, he knew a lot more about the boat once we got there- so I am not sure if he has been stiffed by people before and that's why he was the way he was.

    He is the 2nd owner of the boat and the boat has been in the same marina since it was brand new- He has all the maintenance records even from the previous owner. I have not had a chance to look at em yet but will when I go back. Every year he has had the boat professionally winterized and the outdrives have been drained and filled every year. Also, from what I can see the transom is not rotted out but he couldn't pull it out yesterday but said someday if I want to come back I could to see it out of the water.
     
  13. FMS
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    FMS Senior Member

    Starting to sound better. I'm nervous any time an owner isn't hands on with exactly what is done and when. You want the owner who checks his oil every trip out not the one who ran the whole season a quart low or with water in the drive because they didn't check.

    A survey would answer any questions on the hull and drive condition - find out if your insurance will want a current survey anyway.

    See if you can bump into the mechanic who works on it.

    Good luck on getting a nice first boat that will be trouble free, at least until you're hooked ;)
     
  14. kylejb2663
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    kylejb2663 Junior Member

    Thanks man!! I finally got some insurance quotes today- ? for you guys....

    Is there a way I can find out what originally came with the boat. I now have the HIN #

    It's CCHEW024K687

    Thanks FMS for all of your help- It looks like I am definately purchasing the boat and the owners actually asked me if I wanted to attend a boating party with them with our NEW boat. They will be bringing their new huge yacht!! LOL
     

  15. Mileage
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    Mileage New Member

    80's Amerosport 284

    Hopefully you have or are still enjoying your Chris Craft. I just started looking at buying my first boat and like you have found an Amerosport 284. I'm wondering what type of fuel consumption you see when you're out on the water? Also how to you make that determination? Boats run on hours meters but the question is do you run it at 20knots, or know how far you can go on a gallon of fuel?

    Also since you bought one what was it like to insure etc. I'm putting out for some quotes now for here in Michigan and am just curious to find what other areas of the country are seeing for quotes.
     
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