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I would like your opinion on flooring and a boat purchase.


I would like your opinion on flooring and a boat purchase.

Old 11-18-2020, 10:57 PM
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Default I would like your opinion on flooring and a boat purchase.

Hello ,
I am new to THT and looking to purchase a boat. This will be the second boat I have owned. My first boat was a 5 year old 21 foot Boston Whaler Outrage and it was rock solid and very clean but these days my budget is very small and I'm looking to downsize as bigger boats mean bigger everything which means bigger cost and more work to maintain. My primary use will be for fishing in the bays or sound.

I looked at 1997 Aquasport 175 boat and the whole fiberglass floor felt like memory foam when I walked around the boat and when I mentioned it to the seller that the floor felt soft. He said there are a few soft spots. I knew this one was bad and lost all confidence in this boat.

My question comes from a 1972 Mako 17 that I am interested in. I know it's old but have read that this boat was built with solid construction. The hull has the original gel coat and there are no major or minor spider cracks with the exception of some cracking above the rub rail on the side of the boat. (I assume from a low impact hit at the dock). I do not see any blisters or bubbles and the transom is solid. When I lift and pull on the motor the boat shakes the trailer and the transom doesn't flex. When I look at the bilge the fiber glass is very clean and the fiberglass looks very intact and solid and hard. I do not smell any gas under there but i am sure that the tank is gone since it's old and original and looks corroded when I look at it under the console. The boat is using external plastic gas tanks and I am ok with that. My question is with the floor. I believe it original since it is yellow. It feels pretty solid. I'm 175 pounds and I bounce up and down as a walked around and it wasn't soft. I wasn't jumping up and down though. There was a little flex in a few areas but it wasn't soft. The floor wasn't 100 percent flat but it wasn't a wash board either. I was wondering if this indicates an issue with the floor or are the stringers underneath compromised because of the age of the boat.

My question is can the stringers and floor be seriously rotted underneath? Should I run away from it because of the age of this boat? Can this boat be used for a season or two or should I run away from it? I just don't to want to have to rip out the floor at least not this year but if I do I will also replace the tank with a plastic one. Has anyone ever ripped up a floor like this and not have to replace the stringers? It starts right up and it has a slightly under powered with it 50 HP 2002 Mercury. At under $4500 with a trailer is it ok or should I look for something better? I'm willing to double my budget to get something better with a trailer and I am also willing to redo some minor work like rewiring the boat and cleaning it the Mako to give me confidence. Can the floor be fiber glassed over as is or if I want to improve the floor do anything without tearing it up?

I can only get a boat under 18 feet because that is the maximum size I can keep in my garage on my property which is a necessity. Any recommendations on if I should buy the Mako boat or not what to do with the Mako if I get it. Us it as, suggestions on what to do with the floor if anything. I like boats like AquaSport 175, SeaHunt 171, SeaCraft 18. I would also like recommendations for boats in that size that has high gunwales can cut through chop or get me home safely when the seas pick up. My budget is $9 to $10K for a good boat with a trailer but I fear that if spend that much, the boat will still be 20 to 40 years old and if I spend that much and if something like a gas tank goes bad in a year it would be a costly or very time consuming task.

Please let me know if getting the Mako is a good idea because I can rework a lot of stuff like the electronics and rigging but cannot easily cut out a floor and changing the gas tank that easily. Also let me know if you think the floor presents any issues. Again any recommendations on a different boat would also be appreciated.
Thanks in-advance.
Old 11-19-2020, 11:19 AM
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I think my concern is with your expectations as to what 17’ boat can do
“when seas pick up” indicates you are hoping to get offshore on 17’ boat
I would be very cautious as far as that goes unless you meant inlet or River swell picks up

as to the mako I believe if will be underpowered specially for somewhat offshore trips

IMO 10k won’t get you 18’ (which would require 90hp for proper propulsion)
with 10k budget you are more likely looking at 16’ boats

Old 11-20-2020, 10:43 PM
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I’ve gone out on a 17’ boat but not too far.. like 10-15 miles. You have to be mindful of conditions and know when not to go and especially when to turn back.

as to transom and floor. Yes, squishy or bouncy are indicators but also late stage indicators. Try the tap test. When you tap with a ball peen hammer, screwdriver, bolt etc. you should hear a high pitched tink, tink sound. Not a deep hollow thud sound. Water intrusion changes the sound. I’d also have a surveyor with a moisture meter check it out.

ive been restoring a 72 seacraft and I’m telling you. I love old boats but they can take a LOT of Work, TIME, and ALL YOUR MONEY. Check bulkheads, stringers, transom, deck. Anything can be done. Just do you want to and can afford it?

things will always be worse than they look but if you love it go for it.
Old 11-21-2020, 04:55 PM
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A boat that old has a very high probability of rot which may be hidden on a solid old school layup, and a 38 year old motor, well, it's anyone's guess when she could go. Could be the first trip, could be ten years from now.

With a $10k budget you could easily find a much newer Key West or similar bay boat with newer power and built from composite materials. I would keep looking.

Here's a quick example I just typed in that was posted a few hours ago. No affiliation, but illustrates the fact you have more options than you think. https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...2603499111340/

Last edited by CuzzA; 11-21-2020 at 05:00 PM.
Old 11-22-2020, 10:45 AM
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I've been on boats my whole life but only recently began working on them. Having said that I will give you my opinion. My boat is 16 years newer then the Mako you are looking at and I bought it assuming I'd have to replace some stringers and the transom. I highly doubt that Mako does not need some stringers replaced. Without replacing the stringers I don't see how you could possibly firm up the floor of the boat. Growing up, my family had a 16' fiberglass tri-hull boat with a 65 johnson on it. That boat was well balanced. I would think a 17' Mako (which is a heavier boat) with a 50 is going to dog.
Old 12-02-2020, 08:34 PM
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Thank you for all of your replies. I have noted most of the things you have said and have increased my budget to 12k plus 3k to change out a few things and perform some maintenance. What I meant by seas picking up is what can happen on even the calmest days with variable winds when the land mass heats up faster than a body of water an you get a sea breeze or you get a wind against tide at the inlets. Even bays or the sound can get choppy at times. I do and have fished 3 to 5 files offshore on the local wrecks and reefs in my old 21 Whaler Outrage on some snotty days and on another person’s 17 foot tri-hull on exceptionally nice days. Although I do not have that much experience in owning and buying boats I do have a lot of experience of being out on the water in the local waters and 50 to 70 miles off shore in big boats. I have a lot of respect for the ocean often too scared to do something foolish.

My primary use will be fishing the bays inlets and near shore local wrecks and reefs in the 3 to 10 mile range depending on the boat, the confidence I have in the reliability, the weather condition and maybe a few other things.

I’m going to start a new thread since I have found a 1998 Grady White 180 sportsman with a 1998 Yamaha 130 two stroke with a trailer for just under 10K. I also found a 2012 Sea Hunt Triton 177 with a 2012 Yamaha F90TLR four-stroke with 210 hours on it and an aluminum trailer for under 12k (I answered the ad for the Sea Hunt but have not heard back yet, so I am not sure if it is for real.)

Here is a description of the Grady White from my viewing of the boat. The hull looks very good with a few scratches on the bottom of the hull from the trailer and a few stress cracks on the cap near the rod holder. The anchor hatch and front storage hatch has a few chips. The gages need replacing. The hull floor and transom seem rock solid. The gel coat will buff right up. I called Grady white and gave them the HIN and they told me that the gas tank is a poly tank made by MOELLER MARINE PRODUCTS. The trailer looks like I should get a new axle and leaf springs. The engine is running rough and the owner said the person filling the gas poured 4 stroke oil in the 2 stroke reservoir and it fouled the plugs. He said he stopped him before he emptied the whole bottle and that it was running great before. He says he will get it fixed (change the plugs again and change the fuel filter) and have me out for a sea trial. I would do a compression check before I would decide to actually take it. I can rebuild the carbs and change out electrical parts myself if the engine needs it. I cannot rebuild the engine myself though. The wiring looks original and a bit messy but it doesn’t look like it has been touched. It wasn’t done as well as it was done on my previous Boston Whaler which also had a Yamaha on it. I would plan on retracing the wires and rewiring a lot of in and replace the fuse panel with breakers. This boat seems like it will clean up nice and with some work it can be pretty reliable or am I hopefully wishing?

Since I haven’t seen the Sea Hunt in person I cannot say how good it is but it looks very clean in the advertisement and the description is very good. The advertisement almost makes it seem like it is a turn-key boat. My dilemma is which one do I choose? Many times I have read the choice is a mid-range quality boat vs a high quality boat but how does the age difference come into play? Can a 22 year old 2 stroke be more reliable than an 8 year four stroke? How much would one cost to rebuild over the other. Were the rust issues in the Yamaha four strokes resolved by this year?

Safety, boat handing, soft ride, good stability on drift, economy and dryness is important to me. Resale at some point is also important to me but I’m not sure when. Since both boats are used, most of the depreciation has already taken place. Repowering the Grady White with a 4 stroke 150 HP can also be an option if I really like it and decide to keep it long term since, I know you will never get the money back on a repowered boat so it has to be a long term decision. Although it’s expensive to repower it can be finance for a long term at a very low monthly payment. What would you do and why?


Old 12-02-2020, 08:59 PM
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So I’ve never road any described but they seem to fit your desirable purpose

Not knowing the conditions of the hull and motor etc on both I would go with the newer SH and better fuel economy of 4 stroke

But this is because I just don’t know the conditions the boats are in

If you choose GW than definitely only after professional survey

you just don’t need unexpected costs
Old 12-03-2020, 07:01 AM
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I suggest you hunt for a 17’ Boston Whaler Montauk. Preferably with a 3 cyl. engine. It’s about the smallest boat you can buy that will handle offshore waters safely.
Old 12-05-2020, 08:03 PM
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Thank you. I had an 21 foot Bostton Whaler Outrage and although I felt safe I wish it had more deadrise and I think a Montauk would have even less but I'm sure that isn't a comparison because of the size difference. Years ago I rented 17 foot Cobia in the keys and on the that rode really nice in the chop if you just trimmed down and went faster.

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