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Help with buying 1st. Boat!

rustytr

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Ok I'm in the market for a new-to-me boat. The only thing I know about boats is they float and the one my brother in law had was broke down a lot. I'm looking to split the cost either with my dad or a friend so I'm talking a max price of about 12-15 grand, size anywhere from 16' up, I'm not brand loyal of course so just a good recommendation on a reliable(does that word apply to boats?) make/model. Oh yeah I also prefer an open bow since I'll be using it mostly for tooling around Lake Powell, pulling the occasional water toys and skier, so a cabin won't really be needed.

Thanks!
 
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410Fortune

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Smart move my man!!!!!!! After growing up on my grandfathers boat, a couple years after he passed and making our first camping trip to Lake Powell with some friends I too wanted to buy a boat.

I finally gathered up enough $$$$$$ to buy one and started looking. I must have looked at 15 boats before I found mine.

with your price range you have some serious options.
Now you said you want a 16+ footer with an open bow. I'm guessing you will want enough power to pull a slolomn skiier that weighs 200# out of the water (if not two skiiers)

Here's some pictures of what I bought, a terriffic little boat! I;m now inthe market fora 21' inboard ski boat (mastercraft or similar) but this 76 Bayliner I have has laster 4 seasons and been all over the midwest.

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I paid $2700 for it complete with full canvas, tilt trailer, skiis, life jackets, etc...

I can tell you a couple things, outboards rule! they are easy to work on and lighweight. Evenrude outboards (OMC) kick butt. Mine is only an 85 HP (1978 Evinrude 4 cyl 2 stroke) but it is reliable and starts every single time with little maintennece. Two of my friends have the exact same Evinrude Ihave and the are the same story. I have a friend who has a very rare 1978 Evinrude 235 HP V-6 outboard and it kicks MAJOR ass!!!!!!

Evinrude is the metric version of Johnson, and theyare both basically OMC engines.

I can also tell you that BAyline boats kick ass! Poeple always tell me, that little thing is too small for POwell, etc, etc.....hahaha! Not at all, even with the 4' swells at Bullfrog (in the channel) it is as sturdy as they come.

Checkmate boats are KILLER!!!!!!!

Of course the high dollar Mariah, Sea Ray, Cobalt, Bayliner, etc...are all nice too....

Just remember a boat is only as good as it's engine.....

So now you need to decide it you want:
-Inboard (engine in middle of boat, prop under rear of boat, uses rudder to steer). Almost all ski/wakeboard boats are inboard

-inboard/outboard (engine in rear of boat, uses an outdrive through the back of the boat to steer, looks like the bottom 1./2 of an outboard)

-outboard (entire engine and outdrive are mounted on back of the boat, whole thing turns to steer)

And you need to decide what you are going to use it for

Fishing - look at aluminum hull, outboards with swivel seats

Skiing/wakeboarding only - Inboard is the way to go, Ski Nautique, Mastercraft, etc...they are EXPENSIVE!!)

All around pleasure/entertaining, tubing, skiing, fishing - Inboard outboard, or outboard.

Oh and the rule of thumb is 21'+ can handle Powell with out having to slow down for the 2-4' swells...........

Basically here is the bottom line. Once you have a boat, you will always want a bigger boat. Get yourself a good outboard to get started, learn the rules of the water and how to tow it around/launch it. Take a look around at everybody elses boats and then you will get an idea of what you really want. My fiance always tells me "Our boat is perfect, you cant sell it, we dont need a bigger boat, etc...." but you see all I want to do for the rest of my life is wakeboard, every waking moment I could spend wakeboarding. It is the best thing I have ever done in my life, so obviously with my little bayliner I can board behind her, but it's not enough of a wake to catch 6' of air, and I can only fit 3 people in there if I want to pull a skiier. So I am looking to but a 21' inboard wakeboard boat...........even a 10 year old mastercraft with a Ford 302 in it is still worth about 20K $$$$.

Do a bunch of shopping on line, there are tons of used boat sites with pictures....and remember what your truck can tow. Getting going is not the problem, my 4.0L BII could probably tow a 30' boat, but it sure wouldnt be able to stop!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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aldive

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Welcome to the world of boating....

To help you better, please provide us some information such as where you will use the boat, will you trailor her, what speed/range do you need?

Thanks....
 
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410Fortune

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Oh and remember having a boat is A LOT of work!

You are the first one up and the last one to go to bed.

Getting the gear and people all over the water, launching and landing the boat, setting anchor, hooking up the ropes, cleaning the boat, putting on /removing the cover, hooking up the trailer, mixing the gas, recharging the batteries, etc.......

Trust me you are the first one up and the last to go to bed. A good woman can really help, of course women usually come with the boat so if you are single thats nice too.....
 
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rustytr

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Wow, thanks already guys! A little more info for ya. It will almost always be used on lake powell, and towing it won't be a problem so yes it will be a trailered boat. I don't need a drag boat or anything but something that can pull a wakeboarder at a good clip and go well above 30mph without a skier. Basically I'll have friends in it to explore, boat, hangout, cruise, ski, tube you know have fun! My friend has a 25' maxim open bow that gets up to about 50-55mph, but it also has a chevy 454 in it. I've been boating tons of times with friends and family so I guess I know a little more than I said I do, and 410Fortune I hear ya with the first up, last down thing, but it's all worth it right? Of course, so what I'll do is look online and post somethings that might be worth looking at to get some opinions. Thanks guys!
 
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410Fortune

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classifieds2000.com

Lycos used boats

Ebay

theboatdoctor.com <---------------wonderful site!

You dont go over 20 mph with a wakeboarder. 50 MPH is pretty damn fast. Fastest I have gone is 75, thats SCARY fast, water must be glass, friends 22' Allisson with a 275HP Mercury outboard, made of Kevalr, one crazy boat.......

My boat will hit 35 with the right prop and 1 person in it.
 
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rustytr

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Ok first update, how does this one sound?
1996 FOUR WINNS 200 Horizon,20,Gorgeous, Like New, 4.3 V-6 Approx. 120 Hours, Chaparral not Four Winns Bimini Top, Storage Cover, $11,900.

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another.
1998 SEA RAY, 18ft 180 bow rider, am/fm cass, exc cond, storage top, travel top, cockpit cover, fish finder, mandatory Utah water regulation equip incl, ready for water, must sell, $11,000 or make offer.
Dead Link Removed

another.(I like the price of this one)
1994, 17ft LARSEN All American, open bow, I/O w/4.3 Mercruiser, '93 trlr. w/spare tire, boat is an open bow & has rear sofa & 2 capt. chairs, $6500, 307-634-0221 or 307-630-1099.
Dead Link Removed
 
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410Fortune

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those are all nice boats! The Four Winns are some of the nicest boats around. Now remember that 4.3 L V-6 is a Chevy engine thats been converted my Mercruiser for the marine application. a 4.3L on a 20' boat like that will do well, but it's not gonna jump out of the hole or get up past 40 MPH, just because the boat is heavy.

If I was gonna spend $12K on a boat (and I'm gonna) I would be looking for something about 5-8 years old with a mercruiser 5.0L (Ford engine thats been converted by mercruiser) Of course I'm looking for an inboard that can carry about 10 people, so 21' Sport Nautique will do for me.

All 3 of those are nice boats with the Larson being the weakest of the 3 as far as hull intergrity goes.....

There are a ton of "upgrades" for that 4.3L however seeing as how it came in every S-10 and Blazer for about 15 years and it's just a 350 with 2 cylinders chopped off....

I hate Chevy so much that I wouldnt even buy a boat with one in it.....I believe (have been told, dont nknow for sure) that Mercruiser engines run backwards, meaning that they take a Chevy 4.3L block and rebuild it, flip the distributor gear around, etc, etc and it actually runs in reverse rotation from that which would be found in a car.....weird 'eh?


The trailer is a big chunck of your purchase as well, if it's over 20' and your gonna tow it with an Explorer look to get trailer brakes, make sure they are in good shape.

Boat covers and tops (canvas) gets expensive real fast as do seats so you want to make sure they are all in good shape. Also check the hull for cracks on the transom (the flat piece on the back that holds up the engine/outdrive) this is where hulls are the weakest and can cause all sorts of problems..........

Like I said I'm no expert but those are all three nice boats. You also want to find out how many hours they eaach have on them.....
just like a car with high miles, the engines dont last forever
 
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VBVA

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That 4.3L V6 is my buddy's Sea Ray (soon to be mine!), it does pretty well even with 4-6 people in it. Tops out around 45 with 2 people in the boat. We wakeboard a lot in his boat and it puts out a good sized wake (with a little weight balancing) and holds a good speed with the right prop. Some boats that I like, but remember I live in a salt water environment: Sea Ray, Maxim, Bayliner, Grady White, and Boston Wailer. Best wakeboard/ski boats are: Ski Nautique, Malibu, and Taiga. Thats about it. Good luck in your search!
 
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Fischer

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If you really want to get a good boat that is a classic and one of the first true "Speed Boats" which is great for wakeboarding and slalom. look for a General Marine, Ranger. I believe these are out of Cali. These are rare but if you can find one snatch it up. My buddy who is a incredible wakeboarder "People pay thousands for a wake like this"

I would not suggest a Bayliner as they are fairly cheaply made and you will very rarely see one, if at all beyond the age of 10 years old.

My experience has been with a 1979, 22 foot, Ranger with a 260 HP Chevy 350. This is a stock boat and will peak at over 60mph with a 19 pitch cleaver prop. (At Lake of the Ozarks, MO) it will do about 50 mph at a mile high.

---You WILL NOT FIND a stock boat that will match this performance and reliability. I would suggest a Chevy 350 block (no arguments please) they are ultra reliable. We have made countless full speed U-turns with nothing ever failing. Thus the stout Outdrive (occasoinal log as well)

-This boat is truely the Ferrari F-1 of boats in 1979 much less today. Total sleeper, has no problem racing actual "race" boats and eating them up with the opposing driver just about to crap his pants.

-Look for a Bravo-1 outdrive.

-Ask about maintainance and winterizing (every year before the 1st freeze)
--Ask how often they changed the "lower unit lube"
--Ask if they will hook it up to a hose and run it
-----Take note of the temp. gauge when warm 150 is a good range. If it runs hot the waterpump is bad.

-----A boat may look slick and new though it may have a cracked block that even the owner may not know about
---Look at the engine bay it should have nice stout motor mouints called stringers that in a stout boat will run the length of the boat.

I believe that a 4.3 liter will not have the beefiest outdtrive offered by Mercruiser. If you are spending that much money you CAN get into a V8 with a BRAVO1 and full length stringers, settle for nothing less as you will wish you got the V8 (trust me, speed is contagious)

Cutter's are very nice as well although the smallest boat they make is a cabin cruiser at 23ft. Real Teaque though (nice)

If you are set on an outboard keep in mind that the 2 stroke motors are banned on many lakes, and the new 4 strokes although sweet will empty your pocketbook faster than a teenage doughter with braces.
 
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410Fortune

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I agree that the 80;s Bayliners are kinda cheapo, but the 70's BAyliners are as stout as they come and anything after 95 is gonna be tough as well.

He's right on the $$$$, with the cash you are spending you mine as well get a V-8......................

Man I wish I got suggestions like these when I was looking the first time around....

Hey I found my boat maybe...A 19.5' ski MOOMBA with a 5.0L inboard and 100 hours.........in AZ for $10K.....we'll see....
 
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aldive

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Bayliner rightfully earned the nickname "Bottomliner" here is Florida.
 
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rvitek

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Originally posted by aldive
Bayliner rightfully earned the nickname "Bottomliner" here is Florida.
LOL - that's the boat I own now ;)

A 1984 Bayliner Trophy 1710 Fish and Ski with an 85hp outboard.

Bought it a month ago for $2500, and I love her!

1-2ft waves with my wife and I in it (to balance it out ncely), the boat will do 34mph perfectly planed. I tell you, we added an Attwood stabilizer and my boat gets on plane in seconds too.

She's slipped over at the Chain 'o Lakes in Lake County, IL. It's nice, we just drive up, drop in, and go. The only thing I don't like is putting the cover on while docking. It's hard now but we'll get the hang of it someday.

Hey rustytr, I've only owned this boat for about a month, and I can tell you that it is a lot of work. I tore down and rebuilt the motor, cleaned her outside and in, fixed up a few things and just a lot of figuring out what to do. I'd say I have fun with her now, as I have everything figured out. We cruise for a bit, drop anchor, swim, repeat. It's a blast!

Have fun and check out http://www.iboats.com if you need any help. The site rocks as far as messageboard help goes.

Ry.
 
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spiper

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DO NOT BUY A TRACKER BOAT!! They are crap! Trust me, I used to work there. All they care about is quantity not quality. Take a look at the welds around the transom of one of their aluminum boats sometime and you'll see one of the many reasons they are no good. They just had a huge recall at the end of last year because one particular model would SINK if the boat became filled 1/4 full of water. (they are supposed to still float full of water)
 
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rustytr

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All right, thanks for all the info guys it's real helpful, yet confusing at the same time. I think when I go look at the one I'm interested in I'll just take somone who knows a lot about boats.:confused:
 
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Fischer

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Honestly that is the best thing to do. There is so much that you need to look at. That and if your friend knows more about boats than the seller you may be able to hagle them down a bit. Just tell the seller if you can bring your boat mechanic friend along.
 
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410Fortune

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Just check the hull for cracks, make sure the lights work, listen to the engine run with a hose hooked up, check out the trailer for rust and tires, make sure you get one that already had a canvas top and sides (that stuff gets expensive!!) a cover is a bonus. It's also nice, most people will throw in the oar's, life jackets, skii's, etc..

Look for things like a bilge pump, anchor, ropes, bumpers, fish finder, stereo, extra props (props are expensive!!!) etc....

there really is not much to a boat, the engine and outdrive are the most importatn parts as long as the hull has no cracks.

You can ask when the last time it was in the water (stickers will tell you) how often they change the lower end lube (gear oil in outdrive), if the waterpump has been replaced, etc...

Oh and usually they will let you take it for a spin or take it for a spin. I wouldnt buy a boat unless I got to drive it on the water first...........or if it was new, but I havent won the lottery yet so a new one is a long ways away, besided why buy new? It's like Jet Skii's people buy them, use them for two years, then they sit in the garage for 5 years before the wifer finally makes you sell it........
 
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Dannyboy

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Here's my story, a few years ago when I was 19 I bought a boat that seated six, had a 120 Hp inboard outboard and went about 35 Mph tops, it is an 82 17.5 ft sea ray open bow. Room to seat 8 but not enough power. It has been rebuilt but still got crushed by a new sea ray of the same size with a 125 Outboard, that boat did 53 MPh, so outboards are much faster, better holeshot ( learened to barefoot behind that)

I thought I had it all until I bought it. Look for the little things that one boat may be a little more expensive in the purchase but would cost a fortune to upgrade the stripped down version. My wish list includes a swim platform, a cooler, a speedometer(even though they always break), stainless steel props give better power(dont chip, but will also toast the gears if you hit something hard enough where aluminum will break) a floor storage locker, nice trailer covers and I guess a decent trailer is a plus. I have no preference of bunks over rollers, but some do. I worked at a Marina for 2 summers, and am on boats all the time. Buy in the 90's and you will have a nice rig, mercruiser is a good name and nearly every brand sticks them under the hood.

Like I said, my boat holds six by law, but does not like to move fast with more than 4. You don't have to use all the throttle of a small block or big block but it is nice to have it when you have a boat full of babes and the storm is rolling in, or your buddy is on the inner tube flipping you off. Good luck I'd stay away from an inboard for your first boat, they are difficult to trailer, drive because reverse turns only one way

410 fortune, I'll be in Vail all next week and probably will hit Denver, If you want to ride, I'd love to man. U know I got cash cause as a fellow boat owner I know boats run on gas, not thanks!
 
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99explorer5.0

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Exactly .... boats and jet skis and even motorcycles usually get alot of use when people first buy them but many lose interest and sell a basically bran new item cheap. Look around ... there are many people that just want their loans paid off to break even. Good Luck with your boat and make sure you get life vests and a CB radio. Nothing worse than getting stuck with nobody around.
 
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410Fortune

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Dannyboy, wellmine being a 15ft'r its hard to entertain guests, however my buddies got a 21' checkmate with a 235 OMC V-6 outboard that we board behind, the girls usually hang out on my "cute little" boat while we tool around on the Checkmate. Let me get ahold of my buddy and see what the plans are, we may hit up this lake called Carter, it's about 45 min's from Denver and it kicks ass......you are invited for sure, you can teach me a few things onthe Hyperlite........like that no boarded superman!!!!

I'm gonna try to attend at least the BBQ, Brett and I are gonna try to make that. I doubt I can make the Holy Cross run because the 21'st is our 6th anniv and she wont go wheelin on our anniv.....
 
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