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markcl

do boats wear out?

Question

markcl

as I read the adds for boats ,the best I can hope for end up about 10 years old so my ? is do boats wear out ,what do you look for in a used boat,motor and trailor?

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Giant_Jackpot

My Blue Fin (aluminum) was 20 years old when I sold it a few years ago and it was in great shape. Sure it had lots of scratches on the paint and the paint on the underside was scraped off from landing on shore but that really does not hurt the boat. Just look at the overall condition of the package. If it looks like it was beat up, then it probably was. If it looks like the guy kept it clean then check it out further.

Make sure you walk around the inside and check for rotten wood. My Blue Fin had some soft spots but I pointed them all out to the people who looked at it. Put your foot where it might not normally go like into corners or under seats and make sure the floor is sound. You can replace the floor but it’s good to know up front.

Another thing to look for is rotten wood in the transom. With the motor tilted all the way up. Pull down on the lower unit and look at the area around the lower mounting bolts on the transom. If it looks spongy then it could be a problem. Again, you can get it fixed but it would affect the price of the boat.

As for the motor, ask the guy how he winterized it and how often he changes the lower unit lube. It does not take much effort to keep a motor in good shape. Check out under the cover to make sure it looks clean.

On the trailer make sure the bearings have had good service and that the tires are in good shape. Uneven wear on the tires can mean an alignment problem that can be fixed but make sure something isn’t totally bent out of shape. Most trailers get sand blasted pretty good from normal road use so don’t worry too much about that unless it looks really bad.

Hope this helps………………..

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Steve Bakken

The one thing we see come in a lot that is age and wear related is leaky rivets and keels. In most cases, not a big deal, we just re-set the rivets or re-seal the keel. Where this can run into a lot of money is in regard to how much has to be dis-assembled to get at the leaky area. The only problem is that it's hard to detect a leak unless you have it out on the water for a while. As with what Giant said watch for the rotten transoms and floors. We get more of these jobs than any other kind of work.

------------------
Steve @ Bakken's Boat Shop www.bakkensboatshop.com

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PerchJerker

I agree with the previous posters - anything that's wood should be checked very carefully in a boat that age. Transom is the most important, floors next, seats are pretty cheap to replace if the wood is bad (plus can give the boat a nice new look). Same goes for carpeting.

Look under the boat. Don't worry about scratches and dings, but try to make sure the hull isn't warped (in the back 1/3, by the transom) from sitting on the trailer for too long.

In general, outboard motors are really solid and should last much, much longer than 10 years if they're taken care of. Buying used, I would try to get a popular motor - one that "everybody" has and that's been around for years. Check around and get some opinions on the motor -- if it's got a bad reputation, it shouldn't be hard to find out about it.

With the trailer, in addition to the tires and bearings, you want to make sure that it's not undersized for the boat. Assuming you'll be making some trips, you do not want to get stuck with a bad trailer.

Good luck. Be patient and thorough in your shopping, and you'll find plenty of good used boats.

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Surface Tension

Great tips guys. You didn't leave much for me to add. smile.gif Put a straight edge on the bottom of the boat from the stern to the next rib. If theres any indentation there it'll effect the boats performance.
For any big purchase or if you buying a glass boat hiring a Boat Surveyor to look it over is a wise investment.

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musky hunter

My Northwood Pro Tourney is going on 11 years. I bought it used, replaced all of the indoor outdoor carpet, fixed the squeak from the windshield, rebored and rebuilt the motor last summer, and am looking to paint the trailer this year. No, boats don't wear out, they just get misused. On the flip side, last I checked a new 17' Lund with a 120 merc goes for around $16,000 and up for a boat similar to mine, I've invested far less than half of that into mine plus the elbo grease. I guess it all comes down to what you can afford and how the boat has been maintained.

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Norsk Fisker

Most of us only WISH we fished enough to wear out a boat. My best deals have been private party sales. The TLC is pretty obvious when the boat gets a few years old. Great advice in previous posts.

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