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HELP!!! Purchasing First Boat

Old 11-02-2012, 05:50 PM
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Default HELP!!! Purchasing First Boat

I'm about to purchase my first boat and I need some advice ASAP. The boat is an 1987 Wellcraft Classic 192 (plus trailer), 175 HP Chevy Engine. The outside of the boat is in perfect condition. Almost looks brand new. The inside of the boat need just a little cleaning but is in good shape. Seller says it has 450 hours on the boat. Went and viewed the boat. Seller started the engine (with water hose attached and running). My friend (who's had many boats in his life) says. the boat is a good deal. Question....before buying a boat, shouldn't it be place in the water and tested? The boat is only going for $2800. My friend says for such a cheap price, putting it in the water is not necessary. The water hose test was good enough. Please give me your opinions fast because I don't want this boat to get away if it's a good deal.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:23 PM
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What is keeping your from putting it in the water? Just do it. running on a pair of earmuffs is one thing, putting it under load is totally different. I'd insist on a sea trial. $2800 is no deal if the boat doesn't perform as expected.
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:42 PM
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Sounds good, but it is a 25 year old boat. Insist on a sea trail.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:02 PM
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Your instincts are good. Follow them. Otherwise, let your friend buy the boat "as-is" for $2,800 with the understanding that he will take you out on the water for a day, and if you're still in love with the boat, you'll buy it from him for $3,000. See if he bites.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:27 AM
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Excellent reply ;-)

Originally Posted by Pez Vela View Post
Your instincts are good. Follow them. Otherwise, let your friend buy the boat "as-is" for $2,800 with the understanding that he will take you out on the water for a day, and if you're still in love with the boat, you'll buy it from him for $3,000. See if he bites.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:28 AM
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The seller has agreed to put the boat into a local lake for a trail run and he wants me to tow it away from the lake if I agree to buy it.. I don't have a problem with this. Now...a few more questions, What can I expect to pay for yearly maintenance on the boat? With a boat that size, how much will it cost to gas it up? I'm going to dry dock it for 70 dollars a month and the storage facility is one block away from the launching ramp. Good price for storage? Will Life Jackets be good enough for individuals that don't know how to swim? I know these are basic questions that I could probably read up on but I find that forums give very quick, up front and honest answers. Thanks guys.
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:32 AM
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Being new to boating, I'd suggest you take a safe boating course from your local power squadron or USCG auxiliary before you take the boat out.

I'd budget $2000 per year for maintenance. You might not need it every year, but there will be years where you'll spend every penny and then some. Depending on how much maintenance you can do yourself.

You can do the math on gas costs!

Non-swimmers? Of course they need to wear a life jacket--and 100% of the time!
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:46 AM
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If seller is doing a sea trial that's a good sign, make sure everything works, or you know what dos'nt work and needs replaced/repaired Blower, Bilge Pump, Trim/tilt, Trim/Tabs, Gauges, Electronics/VHF, and the Safety Equipment. Then probably should'nt take the boat out untill you do the USCG Safe Boating Course Or have someone with you that has. Good luck
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:21 AM
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Totally agree on the boating safety class. A lot of states make that mandatory. Don't know abut your state since we don't know where you are.
After the boating safety class, follow up with a Seamanship class.
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Buoy Scout View Post
Being new to boating, I'd suggest you take a safe boating course from your local power squadron or USCG auxiliary before you take the boat out.

I'd budget $2000 per year for maintenance. You might not need it every year, but there will be years where you'll spend every penny and then some. Depending on how much maintenance you can do yourself.

You can do the math on gas costs!

Non-swimmers? Of course they need to wear a life jacket--and 100% of the time!
100% agree.

One thing I may add, find a friend. After you do the suggestions of Bouy Scout and the others here, for you first couple of trips consider taking an experienced person that will help with the details. Like remembering to put the plug in, show you how to launch and land and other little things around the ramp, remembering to run the fan, and any other things that may come up during the trip. Some other stuff to consider are the insurances, towing, trailer, and boat. Make sure you have a way to communicate in case you need help. Have fun!!
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by robmints View Post
100% agree.

One thing I may add, find a friend. After you do the suggestions of Bouy Scout and the others here, for you first couple of trips consider taking an experienced person that will help with the details. Like remembering to put the plug in, show you how to launch and land and other little things around the ramp, remembering to run the fan, and any other things that may come up during the trip. Some other stuff to consider are the insurances, towing, trailer, and boat. Make sure you have a way to communicate in case you need help. Have fun!!
I agree. for your first couple of times take an experienced boater with you. There is a lot to learn. A boating class is a good idea also
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Old 11-03-2012, 06:12 PM
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All good advice and create yourself a launch checklist. Use the checklist for 10x past when you have it memorized.
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:08 PM
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nice boat if it runs and for how long.. One decent engine repair will turn that boat into an anchor. its not worth no where near 3 g's. You can get a boat a decade newer for cheaper than that. Tell your buddy the #1 rule when buying a boat is never say its good deal in front of the seller...
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:35 PM
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Thank you guys for all of the good advice. You have totally changed my mind about purchasing that boat. Your comments are worth their weight in gold. You guys are fantastic!!!! Now...moving on....I'm now in the market for a newer or new boat for a decent price. I'm looking for a boat that's 20 feet or less with a cuddy. I'm favorable towards Wellcraft Boats because I have heard they are excellent boats. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and I would have no problem traveling throughout the Northern California area for a good deal. Do you guys have any suggestions or comments?
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:25 PM
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Now you have time to take the boating safety class. Don't bother with an online class. They're ok and better than nothing but you will learn a lot more in an actual class.
Both the Coast Guard Aux. and Power Squadron offer it as well as other boating classes. I've taken 4 and all were we'll worth my time.
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:31 AM
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Found the USCG safety courses will see about signing up for a course. In the mean time, I'm not going to let a good boat deal pass me by so I will continue my search for the right boat. There appears to be a lot of boats for sale out there, In fact, I've noticed many of boats parked on the streets on trailers, storage facilities and in front of homes that have "for sale" signs on them. When the right boat is found, can anyone recommend a good mechanic here in the San Francisco East Bay that could check it out for me?
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by boatbear8 View Post
Found the USCG safety courses will see about signing up for a course. In the mean time, I'm not going to let a good boat deal pass me by so I will continue my search for the right boat. There appears to be a lot of boats for sale out there, In fact, I've noticed many of boats parked on the streets on trailers, storage facilities and in front of homes that have "for sale" signs on them. When the right boat is found, can anyone recommend a good mechanic here in the San Francisco East Bay that could check it out for me?
Boatbear8, congratulations! You've made the leap from emotional attachment to logical choice! Nothing can enchant you like a boat, so it's best to keep your wits about you while looking, resist the urge to buy a boat based on looks and "the deal." Step back, think logically, and maintain your cool in negotiations. Like they say, "Never let 'em see you sweat."

You are on the right track to a successful boating adventure. Get educated, do your research, and hire a competent mechanic to check the boat out for you. If spending more than, say, $5,000, you might consider hiring a marine surveyor to inspect the boat for you. They usually save you enough money on the deal to pay their fee.

Make your offer contingent on survey and sea trial satisfactory to the buyer. Then decide if you want an experienced fellow boater or an actual marine surveyor to inspect the boat with you. Either way, a mechanic should check out the engine. Caveat Emptor is the rule of the day.
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:21 AM
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IMO when purchasing a used boat, the only good deals you get are the ones that you can say.."if i spend 3k on it the day after i buy it and it's still worth more than i have in it im happy!!" You nor the seller usually knows the actual engine life left on a motor....
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:05 PM
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Great advice. I will keep you guys posted. Thanks again. Oh....one other thing...the owner of the 87 Wellcraft informed me that it sold today.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:51 PM
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What boat comes close to the 1987 Wellcraft classic 192 as far as styling and quality? The cuddy is a must. I don't want the Wellcraft to be my only option if there are other boats brands that are equal to it.
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