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Old 29-09-2014, 12:37   #1
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Carver 26 Cabin Cruiser

I have been looking at a 26' Carver cruiser which I can get for a good price from an older gentleman. It was functioning well last year but was not put into the water this year. The boat is now at a dealers. The boat has a 260 hp Mercruiser I/O. The motor looks very clean but the boat will need a lot of cosmetic work but I've done this on two other boats so it won't be hard for me.

My questions is about determining the integrity of the hull and hearing the motor run. Can the dealer set it up so the motor can run.

Is there any issues with the Carver hull that I should be concerned about?

This boat is affordable and will make a nice boat for fishing and for overnights. Sort of my camper on the water.

Any thoughts on this will be appreciated. thanks

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Old 29-09-2014, 12:49   #2
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Re: Carver 26 Cabin Cruiser

any ideas how many hours on the engine? Marine gas engines tend to wear out faster than auto engines... they are worked pretty hard. If the engine runs, check the oil filler for blow by/pressure with the cap off. Best thing is to get a compression test.
Outdrive work is expensive, not sure how you tell the condition of the OD without testing the boat though.
Typical issues with most smaller powerboats are rotten stringers (many companies use wood and lay glass over that)
The transoms often get rotten core. Many companies use balsa core, then cut the hole for the outdrive after the hull is laid up. They then install the outdrive without enough care taken to seal the core. Eventually water gets in the core. Rebuilding a transom is expensive and will likely require removing the outdrive to do it. Screw holes from depthsounder brackets or swim step brackets also can be where the transom core gets waterlogged.

Also beware of "ran great last year" statements. I've had sellers tell me the engine was rebuilt, but when I ask them face to face get things like "well, the previous owner said the guy he bought it from rebuilt it"
I think the Carver's are pretty well liked, but you need to do your home work or have it surveyed. The market is loaded with older druisers like that, so it's def a buyers market...

"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard

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Old 29-09-2014, 13:28   #3
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Re: Carver 26 Cabin Cruiser

Warning - older Carvers had cored hulls. I worked on one last winter that the hull was water logged due to improper installation of thru hulls.
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Old 29-09-2014, 18:53   #4
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Re: Carver 26 Cabin Cruiser

Excellent advice in the previous posts. You have three major, expensive areas to explore with this boat as mention, engine, outdrive and hull integrity. The dealer can run the engine out of the water with the proper 'ear muff' attachment to the lower unit.
Suggest you google 'Carver boats' to see if there is an owner's group or other information on those hulls. If you are really serious about this particular boat, you should have the hull surveyed and the engine/outdrive inspected by a marine mechanic.
You don't mention the age but if it's pre-1980, very good chance of wooden stringers /transomin addition to a cored hull. Depending on your timeline you have to decide if you want an inexpensive boat which may turn into a huge project and absorb both time and money, or look for a well maintained solid boat.
I have a GlasPly, an old Pacific Northwest brand which went out of production in the early 1990's. We have an active owner group with a forum ( Many stories of complete rebuilds from the inside of the hull. The advantage is a hand laid up fiberglass hull which provides a solid base to start. Wood stringers and transoms were used into the late 1970's but that has not deterred some avid craftsmen and boaters from doing complete restorations.

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