Questions to ask when purchasing a boat.

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bearded_tinman
Posts: 9
Joined: 07 Aug 2016, 16:39

Questions to ask when purchasing a boat.

Post by bearded_tinman » 08 Aug 2016, 10:43

Hey guys, brand new to the forum. Also a fresh noob to the boat mod community. I have yet to pull the trigger on my first boat, mostly because like anyone on a budget, i want to get the best used boat I can find in my price range. Im looking to spend between $300-$500 on an aluminum v hull. At this point, I'm not too wrapped up in what kind of motor I'm going to be pairing it up with. Hoping to just find a skeleton of a boat, and a trailer for now to work on over the winter. Now my question to all of you guys is, what are some good questions to ask potential boat sellers during the "dickering and dealing" process of buying a used boat. I've been working in the sales industry for years, so as long as I have some knowledge on what to look for and look out for, i should be able to talk a seller down to my price range. Also, im sorry if this thread isn't exactly a bot mod thread, and ive also searched through the forum to try and find a tgread touching base on this topic but couldnt dig anything up. Id also like to use this thread as a geberal questions and thoughts thread as i start to dive deeper into my future boat mods. Thanks in advance. Any and all input is appreciated. Links to other threads regarding this topic is aso appreciated!

Xtremeboats
lckstckn2smknbrls
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Joined: 05 Oct 2008, 12:14
Location: Algonquin Il

Questions to ask when purchasing a boat.

Post by lckstckn2smknbrls » 08 Aug 2016, 10:49

You need to know what your state laws are concerning the legal transfer of ownership. Ask if the seller has the titles for the boat, trailer and in some states the motor.
1971 14' Ward's Sea King Jon Boat / 1983 Mariner 25HP

bearded_tinman
Posts: 9
Joined: 07 Aug 2016, 16:39

Questions to ask when purchasing a boat.

Post by bearded_tinman » 08 Aug 2016, 12:06

lckstckn2smknbrls wrote:You need to know what your state laws are concerning the legal transfer of ownership. Ask if the seller has the titles for the boat, trailer and in some states the motor.
That is a good piece of lawful information. Much appreciated. But on that note, i was looking more for things I should I guess look out for as far as the boats condition goes. I.e corrosion, rust, transom condition. Id like to have a fair amount of knowledge before I decide what i think a boat should cost before making an offer.

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DaleH
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Joined: 12 Dec 2014, 14:32
Location: Eastern Mass

Questions to ask when purchasing a boat.

Post by DaleH » 08 Aug 2016, 12:32

Not listed in any order ...

Was it trailered? How far typical trip? Boat trailer may not have properly supprted the hull, could have damaged it. Turn it over and check area 3' forward or more from the transom, using a long straight edge. If you can stick a finger in anywhere under the straight edge, the hull could have a bend.

Was it ever stored in water? Ever used in salt water? How stored when not used?

Ever sink? Ever hit anything?

Otherwise YOU should be able to 'walk it down' stem to stern - make a checklist - don't get all googly eyes at your 1st boat - be critical! Take a good look at chines, cleats, seats, seat bases or supports, ribs, gunnel edge, transom knee support, transom wood, any additional holes added anywhere, etc., ...

Turn it over - check all rivets fore to aft. Look at small details. On boats Condition dictates price ... and value, as a well-cared for older hull would be a better buy than a new/flashier but abused hull YOU would need to repair.

Have ca$h and don't appear TOO excited ,,, until she's yours! Good luck
#1) 1st tin rebuild, 18' Lund http://forum.tinboats.net/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=36583
#2) 25' Parker refurb from EMPTY hull http://www.classicparker.com/phpBB3/vie ... p?f=15&t=6
#3) 16' V-tin rebuild http://forum.tinboats.net/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=36465
#4 Procraft SV14
#5) 16' Starcraft entirely NEW Transom Skins http://forum.tinboats.net/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=37548

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richg99
Posts: 4967
Joined: 27 Nov 2010, 09:36
Location: Houston, TX & Crossville, TN

Questions to ask when purchasing a boat.

Post by richg99 » 08 Aug 2016, 17:45

Having bought and sold a few boats over the years....the best question that was first asked of me...and I then used it from then on...

What's the lowest price you will take?

Then shut up and wait for the answer. I was surprised that the answer is often LESS than I would have offered...and I had expected to even bid a bit higher.

As far as condition...the answers above are good ones.

You also might go to Harbor Freight or Northern Tool and buy a compression gauge. If the motor's two cylinders are each close to one another in compression, then that is a good sign.

End of the season is often the best time to buy. People realize that they didn't use the boat much and don't want to bother with storing it for another
winter.

Don't be shy about seeing a boat sitting in a yard and knocking on the door to find out if it might be for sale. Lots of people let them sit for years before getting them out to sell. As mentioned above, be cognizant of the legal aspects in your State.

In TX, you need all three licensed/titled/registered Motor; Trailer; and Boat. In Wisconsin and TN, the trailer doesn't have to be licensed at all. Every State is different.

Look up, and print out in advance, the State forms and have a set with you when you go shopping. Prepare a "Bill of Sale" covering all three items (I use three separate Bills of Sale to cover each item.) Have two copies, one for you and one for the seller. Just print them out, but leave the details to be filled in when you find the right boat.

Check very carefully that the boat has a HIN number on the stern, up in the upper right (starboard) corner. The only boats that won't have one were built prior to 1972 ( I think). If the plate or etching looks like it has been screwed around with, leave quickly. It's most likely been stolen at some time.

Understand what the HIN number tells you. The last two digits are normally designating the year of manufacture. You'd be shocked how many sellers honestly don't know what year the boat was made.

Pulling cash out ( in safe places ) when negotiating can work to your advantage.

Good, well priced boats don't last long. Over-priced boats and bad conditioned boats may sit out for sale for a year or more.

If at all possible, try to get the seller to take you on a trial run. It is called a "sea trial" when you are buying a much larger boat.

At the very least, have the seller run the engine in the driveway with water muffs on. If the seller starts the engine without water muffs on....just drive away. That boat has been abused. Just a a few seconds of running a dry motor can ruin not only the water pump impeller, but can also over-heat the engine.

If you see any melted wires under the engine cowling, run away. The engine has already been over-heated at least once before.

Hope this helps..
regards, richg99

bearded_tinman
Posts: 9
Joined: 07 Aug 2016, 16:39

Questions to ask when purchasing a boat.

Post by bearded_tinman » 08 Aug 2016, 21:53

DaleH wrote:Not listed in any order ...

Was it trailered? How far typical trip? Boat trailer may not have properly supprted the hull, could have damaged it. Turn it over and check area 3' forward or more from the transom, using a long straight edge. If you can stick a finger in anywhere under the straight edge, the hull could have a bend.

Was it ever stored in water? Ever used in salt water? How stored when not used?

Ever sink? Ever hit anything?

Otherwise YOU should be able to 'walk it down' stem to stern - make a checklist - don't get all googly eyes at your 1st boat - be critical! Take a good look at chines, cleats, seats, seat bases or supports, ribs, gunnel edge, transom knee support, transom wood, any additional holes added anywhere, etc., ...

Turn it over - check all rivets fore to aft. Look at small details. On boats Condition dictates price ... and value, as a well-cared for older hull would be a better buy than a new/flashier but abused hull YOU would need to repair.

Have ca$h and don't appear TOO excited ,,, until she's yours! Good luck

bearded_tinman
Posts: 9
Joined: 07 Aug 2016, 16:39

Questions to ask when purchasing a boat.

Post by bearded_tinman » 08 Aug 2016, 21:55

richg99 wrote:Having bought and sold a few boats over the years....the best question that was first asked of me...and I then used it from then on...

What's the lowest price you will take?

Then shut up and wait for the answer. I was surprised that the answer is often LESS than I would have offered...and I had expected to even bid a bit higher.

As far as condition...the answers above are good ones.

You also might go to Harbor Freight or Northern Tool and buy a compression gauge. If the motor's two cylinders are each close to one another in compression, then that is a good sign.

End of the season is often the best time to buy. People realize that they didn't use the boat much and don't want to bother with storing it for another
winter.

Don't be shy about seeing a boat sitting in a yard and knocking on the door to find out if it might be for sale. Lots of people let them sit for years before getting them out to sell. As mentioned above, be cognizant of the legal aspects in your State.

In TX, you need all three licensed/titled/registered Motor; Trailer; and Boat. In Wisconsin and TN, the trailer doesn't have to be licensed at all. Every State is different.

Look up, and print out in advance, the State forms and have a set with you when you go shopping. Prepare a "Bill of Sale" covering all three items (I use three separate Bills of Sale to cover each item.) Have two copies, one for you and one for the seller. Just print them out, but leave the details to be filled in when you find the right boat.

Check very carefully that the boat has a HIN number on the stern, up in the upper right (starboard) corner. The only boats that won't have one were built prior to 1972 ( I think). If the plate or etching looks like it has been screwed around with, leave quickly. It's most likely been stolen at some time.

Understand what the HIN number tells you. The last two digits are normally designating the year of manufacture. You'd be shocked how many sellers honestly don't know what year the boat was made.

Pulling cash out ( in safe places ) when negotiating can work to your advantage.

Good, well priced boats don't last long. Over-priced boats and bad conditioned boats may sit out for sale for a year or more.

If at all possible, try to get the seller to take you on a trial run. It is called a "sea trial" when you are buying a much larger boat.

At the very least, have the seller run the engine in the driveway with water muffs on. If the seller starts the engine without water muffs on....just drive away. That boat has been abused. Just a a few seconds of running a dry motor can ruin not only the water pump impeller, but can also over-heat the engine.

If you see any melted wires under the engine cowling, run away. The engine has already been over-heated at least once before.

Hope this helps..
regards, richg99

bearded_tinman
Posts: 9
Joined: 07 Aug 2016, 16:39

Questions to ask when purchasing a boat.

Post by bearded_tinman » 08 Aug 2016, 21:58

Does anyone have any pointers on what to LOOK FOR and what to LOOK OUT FOR on boat trailers???

lckstckn2smknbrls
Posts: 4304
Joined: 05 Oct 2008, 12:14
Location: Algonquin Il

Questions to ask when purchasing a boat.

Post by lckstckn2smknbrls » 09 Aug 2016, 09:44

bearded_tinman wrote:Does anyone have any pointers on what to LOOK FOR and what to LOOK OUT FOR on boat trailers???
Rust!
Most anything else can be fixed.
You want the trailer long enough that the transom is supported and that the trailer can be jack knifed with out the boat hitting the tow vehicle.
1971 14' Ward's Sea King Jon Boat / 1983 Mariner 25HP

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richg99
Posts: 4967
Joined: 27 Nov 2010, 09:36
Location: Houston, TX & Crossville, TN

Questions to ask when purchasing a boat.

Post by richg99 » 09 Aug 2016, 09:55

(The suggestion about tapping with a hammer was contributed by another poster on another thread, but I can't find it to give proper credit)

Take a small hammer along. Tap the frame. You'll hear a dead sound if the frame is bad.

I almost always immediately replace used trailer lights with leds. Best $100 I've spent.

Find the VIN. Should be on there, often in two different places. richg99
Last edited by richg99 on 09 Aug 2016, 13:38, edited 1 time in total.

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DaleH
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Location: Eastern Mass

Questions to ask when purchasing a boat.

Post by DaleH » 09 Aug 2016, 10:00

lckstckn2smknbrls wrote:Rust!
Most anything else can be fixed.
Just 'watch out' for how much needs to be fixed! I bought a used one once for only $100 and wanted to "go thru it" to make it truly road worthy. Shopped around for parts and after new axle, fenders, brackets & mounts, etc., ... forget it! So I sold it off for $50 profit and bought a new one for $600, w/ 2-yr warranty.

The parts I was looking for were at least another $300 ... and thus when I factored in my time and labor, it was far 'cheaper' for me in the long run to pay up-front the extra $200 for MANY more years of trouble-free trailering.

In regards to the original question, I specifically left out info to assess value of an OB motor, as it has been discussed here quite at length before ...
#1) 1st tin rebuild, 18' Lund http://forum.tinboats.net/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=36583
#2) 25' Parker refurb from EMPTY hull http://www.classicparker.com/phpBB3/vie ... p?f=15&t=6
#3) 16' V-tin rebuild http://forum.tinboats.net/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=36465
#4 Procraft SV14
#5) 16' Starcraft entirely NEW Transom Skins http://forum.tinboats.net/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=37548

bearded_tinman
Posts: 9
Joined: 07 Aug 2016, 16:39

Questions to ask when purchasing a boat.

Post by bearded_tinman » 09 Aug 2016, 17:53

Can anyone tell me what years this mirrocraft deep fisherman and this sea nymph k are?
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bearded_tinman
Posts: 9
Joined: 07 Aug 2016, 16:39

Questions to ask when purchasing a boat.

Post by bearded_tinman » 09 Aug 2016, 17:54

Mirrocraft deep fisherman 11
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image.jpg

bearded_tinman
Posts: 9
Joined: 07 Aug 2016, 16:39

Questions to ask when purchasing a boat.

Post by bearded_tinman » 09 Aug 2016, 17:54

Mirrocraft deep fisherman 11

bearded_tinman
Posts: 9
Joined: 07 Aug 2016, 16:39

Questions to ask when purchasing a boat.

Post by bearded_tinman » 09 Aug 2016, 18:00

And of course any pther additional infor on these two boats would be awesome!!!

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