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1990 Boston Whaler 13' Super Sport Purchase

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1990 Boston Whaler 13' Super Sport Purchase

Old 12-04-2019, 08:15 PM
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Default 1990 Boston Whaler 13' Super Sport Purchase

Hello everyone! New member here and wanted to get some thoughts on a possible boat purchase. I've found a 1990 Boston Whaler 13' Super Sport with a 40hp Evinrude with tilt and trim. The boat looks to be in good condition, seller says the he had the carbs rebuilt on the engine last summer and it runs like a champ. Trailer looks to be in good condition also. Selling is asking $3500 and I'm guessing that I can get it bought for less if I showed up with the cash. Always thought Whalers were cool boats. Currently we boat with my parents on their 29ft Nordic on a lake in Illinois. Next year, our son will be 5 years old and he wants to start tubing and doing more stuff on the water and I thought a 13' Whaler would be a good boat for me, my wife, and our son to take out while my parents left their boat anchored. The seller says that the fiberglass is in really good condition and it has been stored with a cover on it. I will attach some photos, but I wanted to get some more experienced perspectives on the boat, the condition, and my intended use for the boat before I made any big decisions on purchasing. Looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts.

Looks like I can't post photos until I have 10 posts. So I guess it's going to be hard for me to add photos for a while. Sorry...





Old 12-04-2019, 08:32 PM
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For $3500 its not worth a survey. Have a mechanic look at the engine. Thirteen foot is small for a family of three. Can you post a link?
Old 12-04-2019, 08:58 PM
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I donít have a link. The guy sent me the photos by email. Older retired gentleman that bought it from a friend as a winter restoration hobby, but looks like he only did minor restoration and nothing to the fiberglass.
Old 12-04-2019, 11:20 PM
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I have one. They're a ton of fun on flat water and you can definitely tube and ski a smaller person with that power and two people aboard. Mine has a yamaha 40 2s 3 cyl and my wife (120lbs) can single ski behind it with 3 people aboard. yes they ride hard in rougher water, but you just can't be in a rush when it get sloppy. You'll need some drag off the back if you're thinking about fast towing it behind the p's boat.
Old 12-05-2019, 02:22 AM
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Great little boat, I've had 2 of them.

1. If the boat was left in the water at a dock, or mooring, it may well have soaked up some water over the years, and be a headache.

2. If it was trailered, you could be a lucky guy, assuming the engine checks out.

Tom Clark is our resident Boston Whaler expert. Hopefully he will be along soon. Do exactly what he says. Good luck.
Old 12-05-2019, 06:42 AM
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Thanks for the replies so far, big help. I'm hoping to get my post count up to 10 so I can post the photos. The seller said that it was never kept in the water unless it was being used. It has been trailered back and forth to the lake. Seller said he actually bought it from his friend who bought it new and only used it on a lake with a 25hp limit. He said that the previous owner always had the 40hp motor, but put decals from a 25hp to make it look like his boat was at legal. He assures me it that runs like a top, but if I go look at it, I'll bring a tub so we can fill it with water and I can see and hear it run.

As for the intended use, we would definitely not be towing it behind my dad's boat. When we go to the lake with my parents, we pull a camper and camp at a campground right on the lake. There is a sand beach where we camp and several people that camp will also beach their boats and tie them off overnight. I was thinking of doing the same. That way me and my son could take early morning boat rides when the water is calm and before everyone else gets out on the lake. Then we would mostly be using the Whaler for pulling tube and stuff. We'd be going to a cove or area where few boats would be. I know it's not a "pleasure cruise" type of boat, but we could probably do those kind of boat rides in the mornings. I also thought that since my parents like to anchor out all day and my son will still just be 5 years old, having another boat would give us the option of taking us all back to the camper if he gets bored or tired of being on the water. That way my parents can still stay out on the water longer if they didn't want to come in early just for us. And we have dogs that we leave in the camper during the day, so if we were on the water for a long time, I could run back to the camper with the little boat and let the dogs out to do their business and then come back out again.
Old 12-05-2019, 07:35 AM
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if it's in any sort of decent shape (wood, no glass damage/water issues) and the engine compression tests OK, $3500 is a fair price IMO. I should clarify that that would be a fair market price. Whether it is objectively worth $3500 is another matter, but that is generally what this boat would get on the market, in good shape as mentioned.

Last edited by HarborRd; 12-05-2019 at 07:43 AM.
Old 12-05-2019, 07:36 AM
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It's a very good buy if it is in good condition. Running an engine in a tub of water is not much of a test. If possible you should launch the boat and give it a good on-the-water-test. Lacking that, a compression test will be useful.
Old 12-05-2019, 07:51 AM
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You canít really go wrong if it is as you describe. A freshwater boat like that may well be a gem.

The Super Sport model has a LOT of varnished mahogany, so if you like to varnish fine, or if it is in great shape fine, but if it needs fresh varnish, start now and you might be ready by summer.

Great starter boat, though you will out grow it quickly, but thatís OK; those boats hold their value like no others. The next boat will seem so much smoother riding!
Old 12-05-2019, 08:13 AM
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it is a great little boat
the 40 hp may be too much for your son if you intend to let him go out alone.
if it is clean and in half way decent shape you can keep it and get your money out of it in a couple of years
Old 12-05-2019, 09:05 AM
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Thanks everyone. With my son being only 5 years old this summer, it will be several years and lots of practice before he ever gets the reins by himself. But we are an outdoor family and he was riding his first 50cc ATV on his 3rd birthday. He is 4 year and riding a 50cc dirt bike without any issues, so we do expose him to things early. But he would get a lot more practice before every piloting a boat on his own.

I was thinking of just renting a covered storage at the lake during the summer months and just keeping the boat there since we would be towing a camper too. I'd bring it home and store it at my house during the off season. I'm hoping to get my post numbers up so I can share photos. I think the boat looks very clean, but I'm certainly no expert.
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by LuckyPenny View Post
Thanks everyone. With my son being only 5 years old this summer, it will be several years and lots of practice before he ever gets the reins by himself. But we are an outdoor family and he was riding his first 50cc ATV on his 3rd birthday. He is 4 year and riding a 50cc dirt bike without any issues, so we do expose him to things early. But he would get a lot more practice before every piloting a boat on his own.

I was thinking of just renting a covered storage at the lake during the summer months and just keeping the boat there since we would be towing a camper too. I'd bring it home and store it at my house during the off season. I'm hoping to get my post numbers up so I can share photos. I think the boat looks very clean, but I'm certainly no expert.
If it's a nice boat and the wood is complete you can't really lose on it if you re-sell it in a couple years. Anything less than that price would be a great deal.
Old 12-05-2019, 10:57 AM
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Iíve had my 13 since Ď81. Just took it out of Ďstorageí again after 15 years. Have a 35 evinrude on it all original.

Also have 3 / 5 yo boys. Almost the same day I sold my 31in June...I picked up the 13 from mechanic. From then on every weekend thru September the whaler was attached to the car. Bought a new trailer (old was Ď81 also and tired) and itís been a total blast.

Quite a downsize but the kids love it. So much I picked up a 16 Dauntless too lol (couldnít help myself and tons of room).

The 13 is so stable and simple and takes nothing to load up. I also get a kick out topping off with 2-5 gallons lol! The 5 yo loves to jump in with the scrub brush at the end of the weekend. Iíve sort of engrained it that itís their boat . They are perfect height to sit and even stand and learn to run the boat. It paddles like an oversized SUP. Iíve spent a hours just paddling around sand bars with the kids exploring. One lake is pretty rocky so we just lift the motor and paddle away...

as Iím older the ride is....what it is. I use 2 folding WM go anywhere seats in the bow. Makes mom a little more comfy Windy days even slow youíre gonna get wet.

But on some smooth /some chop water they are tons of fun.

dogs love them too haha






Last edited by PERSISTENCE_22; 12-05-2019 at 11:12 AM.
Old 12-05-2019, 10:58 AM
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'13 whalers are great little boats on a calm day just running the kids out to the sandbar.




Old 12-05-2019, 11:25 AM
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For $3500 you can run it a couple years and sell it for the same price. Pretty low risk purchase.
Old 12-06-2019, 09:15 AM
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Thanks everyone. I appreciate all the feedback so far!
Old 12-07-2019, 09:04 AM
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I got a wild hair about 6 months ago and bought a 14' McKee (basically the same boat as the Whaler). It is fun to have a boat that is hop in and go. Wanna go to the on the water restaurant? Hop in and go, almost always dock space for a 13-14' boat. Quick trip to the sandbar, hop in and go. Light tubing, skiing etc., hop in and go. For $3 grand as long as the motor is not an anchor that is a good deal IMHO.

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Old 12-07-2019, 09:35 AM
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If its in nice shape, I wouldn't plan on cash getting the price much lower....and if you don't move quickly, it might not still be there.
Old 12-07-2019, 01:36 PM
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I'm with flyau - it's a decent price. I restore 13 Whalers, working on#8 now and the key to checking the boat (someone mentioned a compression test - that's a definite) is the condition of the brass drain tubes. If they're corroded, the transom is likely wet. The lower one is about 14in long so stick your finger in from both ends and then use a flashlight to check the rest. Any rough spots can indicate trouble.
I bought and restored one similar to to the one you're describing except it was an '88 and paid $4200. The mahogany needed to be completely redone and there were lots of cosmetic issues so $3500 for yours seems ok.
Good luck, they're fun boats
Old 12-08-2019, 05:06 AM
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edited....started different thread

Last edited by Keith B; 12-08-2019 at 01:35 PM.

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