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New to boating, hoping to join the Rinker family! Help!!

TokyoXTokyoX Member Posts: 11
Hi everyone! My name is Lu and in the next few days I will be making my first "major" purchase when it comes to a boat. I am completely new so all the constructive advice is super appreciated. To give a little background story, I am a 29 year old entrepreneur and own my own car dealership. I am not into water-sports can certainly enjoy it. I plan on using the boat on weekends to lounge and hangout, at times show clients a good time and not so much long distance cruising or intensive water activities. 

I've done extensive research and found that I really liked the style, design and most of all the reviews I've dug up on Rinker boats. I came here today to ask for advice and guidance so that I can hopefully make my first boating experience a good one and a enthusiast for life and not be a part of the many horror stories I've heard surrounding boat ownership. 

I'm currently under contract on a 2004 Rinker Fiesta Vee 270 with a 300hp single Merc 350 with a B-III outdrive. The boat has approximately (420 hours) scanned on engine but (472) hours on the meter on the dash... 

First question, is that normal? I've heard that can happen sometimes if the key stays turned. 

Now, just to save time on this piece of advice, I will 100% get a surveyor to look at it this week and give me a professional feedback but would like to learn more from you, the actual owners!

A few other questions are:

1. Is this boat reliable?
2. What is your opinion on the single engine? I've hear they are underpowered but I also don't plan on doing too much "speed" activities and more of a short trip anchor and hangout type of use.
3. What are common problems with this boat?
4. How much should I be paying a surveyor for a boat like this? 
5. Is it a good boat for a first time owner? 
6. How is the handling?


Deal breakdown:

Located in Florida.

Seller wanted $21,900.
We've gone under contract at $20,000

The boat looks fantastic cosmetically and was kept dry on the back of the owners house on a lift at his dock. Seems to never have been bottom painted either.

I quickly brought a mechanic over to take a look overall and was made aware it's a buyable boat but to leave it in top share would need the following done: 

Water Pump
Alternator
Crank Pulley
Intake Manifold (Not readily needed but advised to do eventually)
Spark Plug (I requested)
Water Intake Hose Kit
Outdrive Gasket Kit
Labor @ 10Hours 105xH

Totaling recommended work: $3700 ($2700 without intake manifold).


Any Advice? Thank you in advance!

I've attached photos of the boat. 
 




though I 


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    TokyoXTokyoX Member Posts: 11
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    Aqua_AuraAqua_Aura Member Posts: 2,577 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2020
    Welcome to the forum!! There is a few others with this same boat so I am sure you will get lots of help when they all get back online tomorrow as most of them seem to be easy coast as you are. This should be a perfect size boat for you and I think a survey should be about $400 ish from what I remember when I bought my 280 EC. I may be off though. 

    The only thing I can think of on your boat is if the swim platform has been raised so it doesn't drag, I may be thinking of a different model and I'm sure someone more knowledgeable can get the correct info. 
    1997 Bayliner 3988
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    TokyoXTokyoX Member Posts: 11
    Aqua_Aura said:
    Welcome to the forum!! There is a few others with this same boat so I am sure you will get lots of help when they all get back online tomorrow as most of them seem to be easy coast as you are. This should be a perfect size boat for you and I think a survey should be about $400 ish from what I remember when I bought my 280 EC. I may be off though. 

    The only thing I can think of on your boat is if the swim platform has been raised so it doesn't drag, I may be thinking of a different model and I'm sure someone more knowledgeable can get the correct info. 
    Sweet thank you!! I've heard about the platform as well. I will definitely ask.
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    Cableguy GregCableguy Greg Member Posts: 5,016 ✭✭✭✭✭
    That year boat had the higher swim platform. 
    2008 280 Express Cruiser, 6.2MPI, B3, Pittsburgh, PA "Blue Ayes"
    Go Steelers!!!
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    aero3113aero3113 Member Posts: 8,907 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Welcome to the forum. There are a lot of 270 owners on here that will give you plenty of info. The boat looks to be in great shape. If it’s in just as good shape mechanically you’ll be way ahead of the game. And at $20K your basically stealing it!!
    2008 330EC
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    rasburyrasbury Member Posts: 8,282 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi Lu and welcome and good luck with the survey. I have the same exact boat but mine is fresh water cooled and I have the generator which is nice but don't use it as much as I thought but that's a different topic.

    It looks to be in fantastic shape- I really try to stay after mine and it does not look that good. Perhaps current owner is retired or could afford to have it cosmetically maintained- it looks great and the price good from what I would know.

    Yes, not a water rocket but the cost of keeping up with two motors and out drives for my boating was not in the picture. I also did my research and sought this boat. Flew out to TX to look at one, found mine up in the panhandle in a lift also, one owner boat. Some boat designs I saw in this size had much less deck space and a little more cabin space- I really like the 270 design as we spend little time below other than to sleep and it's very comfortable. Also, the single motor you can actually get to- if you look at some of the twins you'd have to pull the motor to change a starter. It does ok- will run nicely at 25 or a little higher and will plane out in 6 seconds or so. You start adding people you may have to move the weight forward to get planed out- or I need a tune up which is over due. I can't really think of anything I don't like about our boat. Make sure there are no gas smells from a leaking tank which all boats are prone to in our year boats...not pretty. No leaks to the bielge are acceptable and do find out when the manifolds we're done. Surveys from my experience are making sure everything operates and the hull is solid- they are not mechanics and do compression checks etc. on the motor so if you have the ability, you might get a mechanic to really look at the power train but with the hours...mine was 100 so I figured worse case he missed an oil change.

    Good luck! It's a lot to take in for a first boat but I have no regrets! I don't even have onefootites after 5 years.
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    LaReaLaRea Member, Moderator Posts: 7,619 mod
    The boat is in pretty good shape.  Not perfect ... the engine room has not been kept clean.  Sometimes a dirty engine indicates other lapses in maintenance.  But I'd say you got yourself a great boat for the money.  Welcome to the Rinker family!

    Don't worry about the discrepancy in engine hours.  As you've heard, sometimes the hour meter will run when you turn the key to "accessory" to play the stereo.

    The labor seems a little high, but I agree 100% with doing preventative maintenance.  Ask the mechanic to clean the engine room as part of those 10 hours of labor. 

    Are you going to keep the boat in the water?  You'll need bottom paint, and that won't be cheap.  And you'll definitely need to touch up any corrosion on the outdrive.  Corrosion prevention is a big deal on the Bravo 3.
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    reneechris14reneechris14 Member Posts: 3,134 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Welcome to the forum the 270 is a great boat and 20k for an 04 is a graet deal. I would not look at the intake manifold but would change exhaust manifolds and risers if they are original. The 04 had the higher swim platform but the stock 22 pitch props seem to make the motor work a little to had look at hill marine 4x4 20 pitch props then if you have more then 2 people on board the boat will still get up and go. A lot of people have chased leaks on this boat the port windows and the mounting if the windshield are things to look at in this boat I dont see any stains on the carpet under the circuit panel so maybe this boat is dry for now. Handing and drivability is great compared to any other 27' boat but get some schooling before you just throttle up go.
    2005 Rinker FV342  Pawcatuck river,Ct
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    GMSLITHOGMSLITHO Member Posts: 1,562 ✭✭✭✭
    I have the same year and model great boat I wonder why he recommends the intake manifold to be replaced .I think most of the stuff on the list there you should be able to do yourself 
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    Handymans342Handymans342 Member Posts: 10,375 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I don’t see a heat exchanger. Am I missing it? That means it’s fresh water cooled so be prepared to have heaps of corrosion issues and have heaps of money in the bank. Make sure that everything that has a switch works before you go out and learn your boat 
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    aero3113aero3113 Member Posts: 8,907 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2020
    @Handymans342 you mean Lu’s engine is raw water cooled not fresh water cooled.
    2008 330EC
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    PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 3,919 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Does he recommend the intake manifold replaced because its raw water cooled as part of pre maintenance? 

    It is a good looking boat.
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    Handymans342Handymans342 Member Posts: 10,375 ✭✭✭✭✭
    aero3113 said:
    @Handymans342 you mean Lu’s engine is raw water cooled not fresh water cooled.
    Raw water, fresh water same thing the boat floats in. Closed calling is the proper definition when using a heat exchanger. 
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    raybo3raybo3 Administrator Posts: 5,468 admin
    Raw water cooling systems draw water from outside the boat (seawater or lake water). Water is pumped from the source to the engine block then the engine circulation pump forces the raw water thru the engine block and the water is expelled thru the exhaust.

    Most newer marine engines use an enclosed cooling system. This means that there is a small tank on the top of the engine that uses a combination of fresh water and coolant. This fresh water is circulated through the engine and through a heat exchanger. The fresh water, in this system, absorbs the heat of the engine.
    2002 342 Fiesta Vee PC Point Of Pines YC Revere MA. popyc.org     raybo3@live.com
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    Handymans342Handymans342 Member Posts: 10,375 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I was right again @rayblow3. Hahahahahhaha
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    212rowboat212rowboat Member Posts: 2,591 ✭✭✭✭✭
    i too call it closed loop cooling, or open.  

    if that intake manifold is toast, i'd be thinking the entire engine is.  if the exhaust manifolds need new gaskets, then you need new manifolds... that crank pulley being in the condition it's is tells me the bilge was either full of water past that point, or, the boat sank at some point.  most likely it was standing water in it based on the remainder of the boat. 

    a new engine- an MPI 350 built by mercruiser and with a closed cooling system can be had for around $10k total... if you're going that far you should consider at least a big block and if moving mounts for a big block you may as well consider a 496 or 502.... putting around is fine and fun- but... you NEED that power to push that boat when you need it... throttle has gotten me out of far more trouble than it has gotten me into.  i'm a speed demon of sorts, so me saying that means something.  most cruiser types STILL NEED that power at times... again- you could be chasing a breaking wave or getting out of the way of idiots... 

    the boat is worth it, i'd guess, if it were dropped to around $15k- that is the current owner donating the $5k toward repowering that you will match... there isn't any way around it after just seeing the pics of that engine and seeing and reading the tell tale signs.  it's toast.  at the absolute minimum i'd perform a leak down test on each cylinder... not just a compression test but a leak down test. 
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    PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 3,919 ✭✭✭✭✭
    A 400 dollar survey wont get you a leak down test.  To do that properly anyway, especially with hydraulic lifters
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    Aqua_AuraAqua_Aura Member Posts: 2,577 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2020
    After zooming in on the engine bay pictures that does look very bad and usually pictures don't show much but I can see a lot. It kinda look like the battery cables were replaced and not much else so did they do this cause they were also very corroded and just did the minimum to make it run. You can see the exhaust are rusty all the pulleys the alternator has rust on it and a lot of the screws are corroded. Even the hatch lift motor housing is rusted. 

    The rest of the boat looks good though. Might be a good opportunity to get a deal and repower with a new bigger engine. 
    1997 Bayliner 3988
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    Handymans342Handymans342 Member Posts: 10,375 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes it’s totally common to see that pulley and a lot of other metal rusted over the years of being in a salt water area. 
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    aero3113aero3113 Member Posts: 8,907 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The engine doesn’t look too bad. It will get like that if not looked after in salt water. If the flame arrester cover and hoses were clean it would look pretty good. You’ll have to sand and paint the pulleys and hatch actuator. I would be more worried about the water in the bilge. It’s kept on a lift so hopefully it’s just rain water. When the boat is in the water look at the back of the motor where the steering arm is, check for any water dribbling in. Also check around the transom assembly and all hoses for leaks. I would think the surveyor will look these items over.
    2008 330EC
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    WillhoundWillhound Member Posts: 4,190 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I also just figured salt air. Even the whitish film on the hoses and flame arrestor cover.
    As far as the suitability for what the listed uses are, I  think it's great. As a 270 owner I'm biased though. I find the power in my older EFI to be more than adequate and I beleive the MPI version has a few more horses. A good size starter cruiser. Nice and beamy for a "27 foot" boat which in reality is closer to 30. Handles heavy water well enough and less expense than a twin.
    Get a survey for sure, usually $300 to $500 or so for a boat that size. But they won't look at all the mechanical elements unless you find a surveyor that does both hull and mechanical. Or hire a marine mechanic for a couple of hours to check over the engine and drive. Insist on a sea trial and if possible bring the mechanic with you. There are some out there that specialize in sea trials and can even give you pointers on the operation of the boat. Good luck!
    "Knot Quite Shore" - 2000 FV270 (Sold)
    2018 Cherokee 39RL Land Yacht (Sorry...)
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    raybo3raybo3 Administrator Posts: 5,468 admin
    edited May 2020
    I was right again @rayblow3. Hahahahahhaha
    No your not @Handyjob look at what you said and look at what I posted. Key word being "heat exchanger". Raw water cooling does not have a heat exchanger. Stick to RV's.........
    2002 342 Fiesta Vee PC Point Of Pines YC Revere MA. popyc.org     raybo3@live.com
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    Aqua_AuraAqua_Aura Member Posts: 2,577 ✭✭✭✭✭
    After looking at prices people are asking 20k does seem to leave a lot of room for improvements. 
    1997 Bayliner 3988
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    PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 3,919 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The rust on the outside leads to broken bolt heads and busted knuckles.  Not a deal breaker, just an inconvenience.
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    GMSLITHOGMSLITHO Member Posts: 1,562 ✭✭✭✭
    also ckeck the play in the drive from side to side 
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    LaReaLaRea Member, Moderator Posts: 7,619 mod
    Other important pointers for a new boater:

    1)  Take a boating safety course.  Find a real one, not one of those free 30-minute online classes.  You need to learn about safety, navigation, anchoring, boating laws, being responsible for your wake and much more. 

    2)  Practice docking.  There are lots of threads here about this topic.

    3)  Are you in the US?  Sign up for a free Vessel Safety Check by the Coast Guard Auxiliary (http://cgaux.org/vsc/ ).  They will help make sure you have all required safety equipment.   
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    Handymans342Handymans342 Member Posts: 10,375 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @rayblow3, I have closed cooling on my truck with a radiator. Bahahahahahahahhaha
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    trip_ntrip_n Member Posts: 747 ✭✭✭
    how long have you been looking ?
    how many boats have you looked at ?
    270s a great boat
    if i was in florida i would prefer closed cooling
    i would prefer a generator 
    my 2cents
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    rasburyrasbury Member Posts: 8,282 ✭✭✭✭✭
    As I mentioned above a survey is not a mechanical inquiry on the motor- if it gets down to the wire get a mechanic out to look at it. As far as I know other than Al, the rest of us are arm chair quarterbacks and I'd bring someone in that can open that hatch! Yes, the closed cooling would be great and was on my list when I purchased but I'd think not a deal breaker. Plenty of boats out there that are not, that's for sure.I did not catch the manifold comment and think I took that for exhaust/riser components...why would an intake manifold ever need to be replaced?? Get it checked out and then make your offer, unfortunately by that point you do have money tied up in it even if you walk away- seller might figure there is a sucker out there that will pay his price, and there probably is! 
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    TokyoXTokyoX Member Posts: 11
    Thank you all for the advice, we’re still under contract. I see some of you talking about a survey, seems like everyone I call around here are quoting me at low end $650 up to $1200 (which I find unreasonable) @ $40/ft 

    most offer hull and structural, compression and oil sample testing and electronics.... one even offered “thermal” imaging 

    I’ve requested all the available service records from the owner and he’s provided me with these, (attached) some are super old so I don’t think I should even count it right? 

    I’m planning for the Survey on Wednesday 5/27 from a reputable surveyor near me at about $850 includes all mentioned above, And sea trial. I’ll have to pay the marina an extra $210 to pull it out. 

    —— on the flip side I just came across a gentleman who’s HOA is telling him to get rid of his boat due to their no boat parking policy so he’s against the wall on a 2004 Glastron GS249, don’t know hours and when I looked at it it was dirty and quite a strong smell of mold inside but he started it right up (muffs) and will let me check it on the water on Sunday (bringing my mechanic) 

    the thing about this one is that it comes with a trailer when the Rinker does not and I can take it for a really low price based of the current comps on the market ... and would have plenty of room to overhaul it 5-7k budget.. so now I’m trying to see which would be the best bet As I’m always for “getting it done myself” and knowing what’s been done then believing Invoices. 

    Anyone know anything about the 2004 Glastron GS240 ? Any advice... I’d be getting it at a VERY aggressive price.


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