Buying a boat

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Big E, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. Big E

    Big E Moderator Staff Member

    Have found a 2003 18' aluminum boat with a Merc 135 that has 78 hours on it for less than $4k.

    Being that I know next to nothing about boats, what key questions should I be asking? When going to look at the boat in person, what key things should I be looking at?

    Is it unreasonable to request a test drive at this pricepoint? Should I be satisfied with just having it just run with earmuffs on or should I have it inspected by a marina?
     
  2. shawn k

    shawn k Member

    not unreasonable at all to ask to take it to a mechanic a new powerhead could cost you 4 k. ask for a compression check and to hook it up to their computer diagnostics.
     
  3. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

    Well worth the investment!
     
  4. Big E

    Big E Moderator Staff Member

    Looking more and more like its a scam. WTF goes thru some people minds?!?

    The search still continues and I'm still interested in hearing what the hive has to say about looking at a prospective boat.
     
  5. PT

    PT Physhicist

    Yep. Some people may not like that idea but there's lots of boats for sale.Just move on and keep looking. People who are trying to sell a decent boat should respect your wish to have it looked at by a tech.
     
  6. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    If they won't let diagnostics be performed there's usually a reason for the deceptiveness.
     
  7. yellowlab

    yellowlab Active Member

    I'd recommend bringing along a pair of mufflers, rachett with spark plug socket, compression tester, large flat screwdriver to open the lower unit oil screw. You can pretty much do all the testing on site, will take about an hour to do so, and should have an accurate assessment of the boats outboard. I never buy a boat without doing a water test, assuring the lower unit engages properly, the power of the boat puts and holds the boat on plane without any issues. Check the steerling, listing, handling and test the auxillary and safety items: bildge, navigation lights, horn, and make sure the trailer is highway worthy. No matter what the nicest boat you have, people tend to forget the servicing on the trailer: bearing buddies or oil bath hubs, good tires, braking system if applicable, LED submersible tailights, loading guides or operable rollers all good things to make sure are ok. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is... there are many boats out there, but many of them are dogs, can't stress the importance of finding a good outboard first and then the hull will follow...
     
  8. speyfisher

    speyfisher Active Member

    Why would anyone in their right mind part with an 18ft boat/trailer & 135 hp Merc with 78 hrs on it for less than $4k? Unless I could take that rig to a mechanic & have it checked out + put it on the water and get it up on plane, I would not even consider it.
     
  9. Big E

    Big E Moderator Staff Member

    It was a scam. Email was from a hotmail account made to look like a DoD email. Said she was in the AF Reserve and her "platoon" was going on deployment soon. She was restricted to base for special training. I thought it was fishy but played along. Asked her when I could see it and got the reply the it was all packed in a container and would be shipped to me free. I would have 5 days to check it out. All I had to do was Western Union a deposit of $1K.

    After a bit more research I see the boat posted in every major city and see posts where people actually sent their deposit and were surprised when nothing turned up.

    I sent a few choice words back and haven't heard from "her" since.
     
    speyfisher likes this.