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First time boat buyer questions


picksbigwagon

Question

I am hopefully going to be a first time boat buyer real soon and I had a few questions: How do I judge if what I am getting is a fair deal or not. I am looking at mid 80's tyee 5.3 with a 115 on the back. How do I judge the value of this boat.

The price is less than $4k, am I looking at a shot engine, ruined floor, what? How can I visually inspect a motor or tell when I am test driving it if I can test run it? I have a GPS so judging speed would be easy to do, it is an 18 footer, so my guess with a 115 and two people in I should be able to get 30-35 mph out of it if there are no engine issues.

I remember seeing something once about looking at the engine and seeing if there is any discoloration on the heads, is that correct? coloration being bad that is.......

If this is the only owner of the boat, I don't think I should be too worried about it, but if it is a multiple owner boat, I will be cautious....

I know I am asking for a lot, but can some of you help me????

Thanks

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I am no engine mechanic but have bought and sold a couple boats. The biggest thing I have been told to look out for is engine cylinder compression. Have each cylinder compression checked and see if it is in the manufacturers specification range. Also never judge a boat by the way it runs hooked up to garden hose. You need to have it in the water to see how it runs under a load. I would question the size of that motor on an 18ft boat. Especially a Tyee, they are heavy boats. The motor has to work hard to push that boat through the water. But remember what you are paying. The same new boat today would run in the neighborhod of $25,000. If it gives you a few good years and needs a new motor it's not a bad price. If it blows the same season you buy it, you could be looking at some serious money to fix it or replace it. Also have the impeller replaced if you do buy it unless the owner has recently done so. Good Luck

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You will usually not buy the ideal boat on the first time unless you are very lucky. You will only know what you need after you own one and learn from there.

But most importantly, you must check budget, value on NADA, whether the boat and trailer fits in your garage (if that is where you want to keep it), whether you want to mix oil in gas or not, what is the purpose of you getting the boat, trailer issues (some trailers can damage boats and may take a long learning curve to learn how to load the boat) etc.

USD4000 is quite a price to pay for a 80s boat. Go to NADA.com and put in the price of the boat, motor and trailer to see if you are getting a good deal. Nada price is only a guide, though, but it will give you an idea.

Just my few cents worth.

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If you're not real crazy about taking it to a marine dealer the compression check is fine.. if you want to go a step further take it to a marine dealer and have them do a leak down test on it... which basically pressurizes the cylinders and tells you how much air leaks past the rings / cylinder wall... which has been shown to be more accurate at gauging engine life.. anything over 10% is not good.. and all the cylinders should be relatively similar (+/- 3%)

Loosen the lower gear lube screw on the lower unit and see what color the lube is.. if it's a milky color water has gotten into the lower unit.. which means some seal work (which adds up quickly... if the current owner is smart he'll have replaced it already, but it'd be worth the check).

What kind of motor is it (johnson, yamaha, etc)? That'll help a little too...

Check the floor boards on the deck too.. make sure there aren't any soft spots...

All things told, $4,000 seems a little high to me, maybe something between $2,500 and $3,000 seems better.. but maybe I'm way off base..

Maybe call a dealer and have them tell you what it's worth... some dealers are helpfull this way, and some won't tell you anything..

Good Luck!

marine_man

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it is an evinrude, and the price is closer to 3000. I don't want to be to specific, I have lost out on 4 boats this spring and I don't want to lose another one. I will try and check the lube and stuff, but am I looking at a raw deal or what? Would a dealership check a boat out for me if I just pulled into the lot and asked for a check? ALso, the add claims it is a 5.3 tyee 18 footer, and NADA doesn't list a 5.3 as an 18 footer, it is a 17 footer, so I am assuming that the 5.3 stands for meters, and that is pretty much 17 feet. AM I going to have problems hauling this boat with a MErcury Mountaineer with a 5 L v-8????

thanks for all the help by the way. SInce I am here, I am truly looking for an 18 foot lund alaskan or s-18 or sc-18 with about a 50 horse tiller on the back and a flat floor not benches....anyone happen to have one or know where I can find one. I have been pounding the internet the last couple weeks........

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Check the wood in the floor and the transom too. It's at about that age where we start seeing them come into the shop for bad floors and transoms. Take a scratch-awl and pole around on the floor under the driver's seat and in the back by the splashwell. Also see if you can get any movement out of where the motor mounts on. Check the corners of the transom for cracked aluminum which would indicate excessive flexing.

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Since you are in Prior Lake and I'm in Lonsdale you can bring boat here, I'll be glad to check it out for you.

Otherwise send me an email, I might be able to do something else

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Thanks for the offer guys, but a boat that I thought was sold on saturday, didn't get sold, and I just bought it, a '89 16 foot fish hawk. since you two really know your boats, okay, steve you do, what length trolling motor would I need? a 42" or bigger? I think I will put a 55# 12v on it when I find one for the right price.

Once again, thanks for the offer.....Of course now I have the boat, I have to put aside my other idea for summer fun, fixing up that Mercedes you have on your site Valv

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Don't worry, Mercedes has been sold, I have to update site.

Send me an email, please.

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I think you probably made the right decision on which boat to buy.. I'm pretty sure I would have passed on the Tyee as well...

Trolling motor wise, I'd get a 48" shaft... that way, if nothing else you could use it on a bigger boat if you ever got one... and you won't have to worry about the powerhead of the trolling motor coming out of the water on large waves...

Enjoy the boat!

marine_man

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Took it out today for the first time and had a blast.....the engine seems to work great, I was going about 27mph with just me and some fishing stuff. Not too bad for a 40 hp on a 16 foot boat

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