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Old 17-03-2010, 17:44   #1
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New Boatowner (Maybe)


I have a little experience on sailboats and am now looking to buy my own. A 1988 Hunter 33.5. Yanmar engine has 2000hrs. the owner says it was serviced in the fall of 09. I noticed the oil filter has a date of 08 on it. Also the water for cooling is sweet and salty tasting and is quite brown in colour. He say's it runs great and it started fine and sounded good. Should I be concerned with what I described?


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Old 17-03-2010, 18:01   #2
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08 might be the manufacture date. Is it hand written or stamped on?

When I did sea trials I started the engine cold (warm engines can hide faults) and I motored for 2 hours at high power. I checked fluids at the start and at the end for quantity & quality. I ran in forward and reverse. You could have a professional mechanic do a complete work up, but you still may not know everything. After the purchase all fluids and filters were changed.

My sea trials were about 4 hours on day one. On day two I took the family for 2 hours. Not being able to sail the boat with the family would have been a deal breaker.

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Old 17-03-2010, 19:19   #3
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In Caulder's book there is a very detailed section on how to do your own inspection of the engine.
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Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:51   #4
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Aloha and welcome aboard!
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:15   #5
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Didn't put an offer in because the owner was making excuses when I asked for the maintenance records. Still looking.
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:50   #6
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Hi Suza and welcome!! Buying a boat can be a frustrating experience and I am sure you know this already, but just a reminder that a good surveyor and comprehensive survey can make your purchase a lot more secure. Once you have found the boat of your dreams (and there may be several along the way), cough up the bucks for a haul-out survey and questions such as the soundness of the engine will be answered. It may seem like a waste of money if you end up not buying the boat, but the survey will uncover at least a few "unknowns" that can be negotiated off the price. Also, the cost of a survey is far less than a new Yanmar or repairing dozens of unseen blisters. Ask around for a referral of a surveyor. Some are excellent and others scammers. Never use the borker or sellers referral!!!! Best of luck with your new boat.
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Old 10-04-2010, 13:29   #7
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Rover gives terrific advice...invest in a surveyor, it could save you thousands. My parents bought a hunter 31 last fall, they bought it in the states and drove 8 hours to see it... They liked the boat a knew if had some minor issues, and was dirty but it wasn't until it was delivered to Canada and they started to empty it that they came across a few issues. A leak, they don't know if the engine will run. some rotten wood, fortuately easily repairable- but still. Also, if you aren't sure the seller is being honest - walk away. There are tonnes of boats on the market - and you will find the boat of your dreams.
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Old 10-04-2010, 14:00   #8
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Should I be concerned with what I described?
Since you know a little about boats, you need to take a step back and look at the things you really do know about, then add the things you could learn about. From that perspective add one more - Hiring a boat surveyor to examine the details of what they know about.

When big business spends big money they hire folks to help them understand. Surveyors do that service. Talk to a few and hire the one you like. You can know who you like and who you don't. If you are giving them money - get one you like. Worry about what you know. You know how much money you have and you may know how much you have to spend and all the things you might need and want.

Sellers may know and not say or they may say and not know. It won't matter after you buy the boat because it's yours! No one here can really know more about the boat than you can write. You are not sure about things BUT you want to be sure. Wanting to be sure means you can try to be sure.

For this much money - buy some advice from someone that will spend a day working at what they do most days. They can tell you the good and the bad as well as here is something to know if you were to buy the boat. Many boats are not so bad as to run away from. Ones worth buying may have things about them you need to know. I like to say look for the reasons to buy the boat as much as the reasons not to. We all want a boat we can love.

Maybe you just need to look at more boats. Looking at boats is a great experience. You won't know what you'll learn and that can be a fun thing. Getting more comfort helps. Having better dreams is not a bad idea either. It's more about why you should buy this boat rather than why you shouldn't. I'm thinking a very long list of good reasons. You could get a new oil filter just because you wanted one! Not the bigger picture I think.
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:35   #9
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I appreciate all the good advice I'm getting here. I've been told it's a whole new world in the boating community with new friends being made constantly. Thanks.
When it comes to deprication, I'm being told that a boat in the 80s has pretty much depriciated for the most part, so I'm wondering what the approximate age a boats depriciation starts to slow. Any ideas?
They've taken quite a hit over the past 2 years but are now starting to rise again somewhat.


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