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Old 26-03-2016, 14:09   #46
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Re: Cons Of Buying Used; For A Newbie

I like to believe I did it the right way. I took dinghy sailing lessons, then bought a 24 ft sail boat with an outboard, kept it for 2 years, then bought a 30 ft sail boat with a Diesel engine which I kept for 30 years.

I had taken a few power boats for test runs over the years but was bored after a very short time. Start small and cheap and you will discover where you want to end up. Start big and expensive and you may always regret it.
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Old 27-03-2016, 08:37   #47
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Re: Cons Of Buying Used; For A Newbie

When looking for a used boat, what is the oldest one should consider? I am thinking in terms of on board electronics like GPS, Radar, electric head,...

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Old 27-03-2016, 09:09   #48
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Re: Cons Of Buying Used; For A Newbie

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When looking for a used boat, what is the oldest one should consider? I am thinking in terms of on board electronics like GPS, Radar, electric head,...
That very much depends on what you want / need. For instance, if you don't need or want a radar, why care much about the age of the radar a boat has installed?

Another consideration is asking / sales price: if an offer that accounts for the costs of replacing electronics is accepted, it's no longer a concern. If electronics should be replaced or not mostly depends on the buyer; one person might only want a boat will all the latest bells and whistles, another may like the KISS principle and not care much.

When looking at a boat, it's best to focus on the boat itself, not things that can so easily be changed (removed / added / replaced) like electronics. And whatever you feel is relevant, you consider in your offer.
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Old 27-03-2016, 09:19   #49
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Cons Of Buying Used; For A Newbie

Again age isn't the necessarily the determining factor.
My boat turns 30 next year, Radar, radios, AIS,autopilot, windlass, all exterior lights, etc. are about a year old.
I'm not selling her, but due to illness and other things life throws their way, I've seen such boats go up for sale.

Course we could say 2 to 3 years is the sweet spot, big chunk of depreciation, most bugs should be worked out, yet not old enough to begin wearing out unless severely abused, and severs abuse is usually pretty obvious.
Depends on what you are willing and able to pay, how big a hurry you are in and how much of your own labor your willing to put into it.
If you want turn key now and don't mind the price look for a new demo boat or one one or two years old.


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Old 27-03-2016, 09:38   #50
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Re: Cons Of Buying Used; For A Newbie

If you get serious about cruising and can find a boat with a horrible diesel, it might be to your advantage. Enroll at the community college on engine repair and rebuild yours. You'll know everything about it and your confidence level to repair anything on the boat will go up.
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Old 27-03-2016, 10:09   #51
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Re: Cons Of Buying Used; For A Newbie

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Originally Posted by Wolfgang6 View Post
When looking for a used boat, what is the oldest one should consider? I am thinking in terms of on board electronics like GPS, Radar, electric head,...
Focus on the boat and not the accessories. New electronics aren't that expensive compared to major boat repairs.
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Old 30-03-2016, 16:47   #52
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Re: Cons Of Buying Used; For A Newbie

In the last few years, I've purchased a couple of used boats. Perhaps I can share a few observations.

1. Engines -- outboard or inboard? If the latter, gas or diesel? Diesel engines can be trickly. Well maintained, they'll live well past you. However, because diesel maintenance can be expensive, many "back yard mechanics" try to do it themselves or short-cut annual maintenance requirements. Does the owner have good maintenance records? If not, be wary, and have an engine specialist look at the boat.

2. Batteries? You're going to need to get these swapped out pretty frequently. How well has the electrical system been maintained? Does the wiring look like "by the book" or has the owner jury-rigged a lot of stuff that's going to blow fuses every time you're off shore?

3. Necessary gauges? Do all of the electronics (gauges, sonar, radar, plotter, etc.) on the bridge work? Are they all accurate? Does the compass work? These can be pretty expensive to fix.

4. Has the owner pulled the boat regularly for bottom paint and zincs? Was the boat shore kept, covered? Or was the boat kept in the water? If the latter, salt, brackish, or fresh?

5. Is there a generator? How well maintained?

6. Do all of the misc accessories (refer, ice maker, etc.) work? These can be massively expensive to repair. A dorm room refrigerator is about a hundred bucks. A small refer on a boat can be $1500 or more.
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Old 10-04-2016, 06:09   #53
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Re: Cons Of Buying Used; For A Newbie

Thanks for all the insights, I have learned alot from the many post. I now have a question about the engine when getting an older boat. Concern here is that I don't want to get a boat with an engine that has been greatly improved in a newer version.

The boats I have been looking at use the Mercruiser 350 Horizon 300HP FWC. For the 2000 models to the 2008 or so, they all use the same. I know the 2016 now have a different Mercruiser (8.2 Horizon DTS ETC). So I assume that the older Horizon has been retired.

Was there a major change in the Horizons ? Should I bother to try find a newer boat with the new engine ?
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