Trying again, round 2 tomorrow evening..

Jimbo3067Jimbo3067 Member Posts: 23

found a boat and talked to the broker. After round 1 I have a more determined attitude (wont be taken advantage of) and know the RIGHT questions to ask so that my time is not wasted. Not in a hurry and broker said I could stay on the boat and check everything out. He prefers I spend several hours on the boat. Said the boat has been for sale for 2 months and OWNER VERY MOVITATED.


We will see how willing he is to sell as I pick every little thing apart and the price drops for my offer.   :)


Broker said the boat is in excellent condition but wants me to be very careful on the motor. It has only about 260 hours on a 13 year old boat. Been kept in dry storage when not in use.


Keep ya posted...wish me luck.




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    212rowboat212rowboat Member Posts: 2,591 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2013
    Get an oil analysis.. :-) Blackstonelabs.com...

    Carb'd or mpi? If mpi (which means it'll have a computer) have it scanned.. buyer pays for that if you walk, you do if you buy.. call it insurance..

    Look at intake manifold and see if bolts have been out.. the whole thing is painted, and the broken paint will tell you if it has.. same thing with exhaust manifold, but harder to see..

    check to see how old clamps are on hoses, and if they are of different sorts, which may tell you if there has been servicing there...

    If you come down to liking the rig, and are about to pull the trigger: Pull fuel filters first, and cut them open.. look for debris that shouldn't be there (ie paint, ect).. see if they appear like they're newish or oldern' dirt..

    Look for wiring outside of the harness(s) that doesn't look OEM. Look under engine to see if their is anything stained, or corroded.. inspect battery for corrosion or strange wiring (jacklegs go straight for Ye ol battery, and jacklegs make other shortcuts elsewhere that things like this tattle about)..

    If you can, pull the pcv valve out of the valve covers and air hat... Shake valve.. if it rattles, it's good.. if it don't, it is bad. Inspect that hose for wet oil.. only oil vapor should make it through to it.. stick pinky finger in valve cover and see if there is crud.. stuck pcv's indicate heavy blow by.. heavy blow by indicates worn rings.. worn rings indicate lowish compression.. low compression indicate worn engines.. don't buy a worn engine- shake that pcv valve... :-)

    Above all, spend the $25 for the oil analysis.. on your form, write and tell them what you're doing.. you will find out more about that motor that way than any other..

    Oh yeah.. kick the tires.
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    bat32bat32 Member Posts: 161 ✭✭✭
    Wow Drew can you come with me on my next purchase.  Great advice!!


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    mvnmvn Member, Moderator Posts: 744 mod

    I hear Drew is opening up his own marine survey business with discounts to ROC members!!


    Good,  fast,  cheap.... pick two. 
    2019 MTX20 Extreme

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    212rowboat212rowboat Member Posts: 2,591 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2013
    Thanks guys.. a couple more things, and hopefully Al will present himself to set me straight if I'm wrong.. but..

    If that thing has faria gauges, ask if they've been replaced or repaired.. the hours may be wrong.. if its an mpi (and computer controlled ignition and fuel delivery) have the tech who scans it for you to check the hours AT THE PCM, and trust it over the gauge... I THINK you can grab hours from the thunderbolt ignition (carb'd engine), too, but of that I'm not certain..

    If you discover the intake manifold has been off (broken paint), ask seller why whilst you contort to where you can see the exhaust manifold bolts too.. if they've both been moved, chances are the heads have been off, too.. people don't just yank heads for entertainment (unless you're me) :-), so the seller is likely to brag about work done.. if he clams up, clam up your wallet...

    Also of note: pcv's get old and stick... It happens, and it can happen w/o blow by being present, but if its sticky or stuck- make for certain and get that analysis.. the analysis will tell you things like h2o or salt present, which could indicate blown head gaskets, or exhaust fumes turn residue present, which indicates worn rings... A matter of fact, just have the tech do a compression test on the thing, both wet and dry.. it shouldn't vary a lot between the two, and you don't want more than 10% difference between the best and worst cylinder... Since plugs will be out for such an event, have him 'read' them.. and take a pic for us!! A lot can be told about reading plugs.. put new ones in it.. if you buy boat, you pay for all of this- if you don't, seller does... That's the way I'd approach it to him.. if he's good to go, he shouldn't argue much.
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    frodo13056frodo13056 Member Posts: 212 ✭✭✭
    edited July 2013
    One of your other big concerns should be the condition of the engine coupler, gimbal bearings, hydraulic system (that raises and lowers the outdrive) steering link on the outdrive (if it's a mercruiser drive), steering / throttle / shifter cables, seawater pickup pump impeller, etc. Engine coupler: it's bolted on the back of the engine and its the connection from the engine to the lower unit . There should be 2 zerk fittings located 180 degrees apart. Older couplers may have a single fitting and you may need to "bump" the engine to rotate the crankshaft so you can see the fitting. The coupler must be greased frequently ( mine get greased mid-season and end of season). Usually very tough to get to so lots of folks just ignore that maintenance. Failure to keep the coupler greased will result in an ueventual coupler failure and requires that the out drive and the engine be removed to replace it. When you check the zerk fittings, if they show fresh grease, then they were at least greased recently. If no grease is present, then I'd suspect that regular greasing has not been done. A spun coupler leaves the boat dead in the water. Hydraulic system- check color of fluid, if murky looking, could be an issue. Check that the drive(s) move freely up and down to full in / full up positions and watch the trim guage to verify that it accurately shows the drive position. When the drive is in the full up position, that's the perfect time to do a visual on the shifter / u-joint / exhaust bellows. Check for cracks, etc. Steering pin - on the Merc drives, there is a diamond shaped forged steel steering pin at the top of the drive that is connected to the steering ram inside the boat. The steering arm that connects to the forged steel steering pin is cast aluminium and is notorious for wearing to the point where it becomes dangerous to drive the boat due to excessive slop. You can check the condition of the steering pin / steering connector by swinging the drive left to right. You should have about an inch or so in either direction. If you have several inches of play, it could be that the wear is to the point where you would need to replace the steering arm and that is a pretty expensive fix. On the Merc drives, you will see a stainless bar at the top of the drive with 2 nuts. Behind that thin bar, you'll see the steering pin setup. Those nuts should be torqued to 40 ft/lbs and should be checked every season - again, a very overlooked maintenance item. The steering arm is held in place by a U-Bolt and if those clamp nuts loosen, then that wear acclerates. Also check the bearings for wear by rocking the lower unit up and down. Again, you should have a little play but a lot of play is not a good sign. Steering / throttle / shifter cables: easy check - crank the steering wheel lock to lock slowly and "feel" for any rough spots. Same with shifter - a bravo 3 drive can be shifted forward / reverse without the engine running and you can spin the prop by hand to verify gear engagement / disengagement. Bravo 1 and Alpha drives aren't supposed to be shifted unless the engine is running. Run the throttle up and down to verify smooth range of the throttle cable. Seawater pickup pump is tough to tell but you should hook up water muffs to the lower unit and run the engine to normal temp (around 170-180 degrees F) and watch for water flow at idle and while increasing engine rpm. A trick I've seen is that folks will increase the **** flow where the flow is essentially force feeding the engine which can mask a worn seawater pump impeller, so keep water flow at a medium rate - not enough to force feed the engine but not low enough to starve the pump / engine. There are a ton more tips for checking the engine out as well. Good luck!!
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    aero3113aero3113 Member Posts: 8,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Check the oil pan for rust!
    2008 330EC
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    seguirseguir Member Posts: 170 ✭✭✭

    Before I bought my boat, I asked to see the engine report, even though the engine only had 27 hours on it.   It shows everything and double confirms all in order.   It even breaks down the engine hours per 1000 RPM's so you can see if it was abused.

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    Michael TMichael T Member Posts: 7,227 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The scans can tell you a lot. Mt friend owned two marinas he sold some hot dog a $ 25K  outboard. The guy brought it two weeks lated saying it was junk. The techs scanned it. The hot dog had been running it brand new right from his dock to redline. My friend told him to get lost. the guys lawyer called. My friend faxed him the print outs. never heard from him again. As the guys have said your eyes on the paint and some print-outs will be priceless. By law you can ask a dealer or broker if there is anything negative about the boat that they are aware of and say before money changes hands you will want it in writing. You will get one of three answers. No comments - run away. Comments that may cause you to think twice or negotiate a better deal. Or a clean bill of health report. In most states and all Canadian provinces the courts view disclosure as very important and a dealer or broker will be in big trouble for failure to dosclose. Even a private seller will be in trouble if they knowingly sell junk. All that aside the comments you will hear after asking the question will be very insightful. Happy hunting! MT
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