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Old 26-01-2017, 19:37   #1
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1985 Hunter 23wk first time boat?

I recently graduated from school in Florida and I've been saving money to buy a boat. A 1985 Hunter 23 has come on the market in my price range and after looking at it today it seems to be in pretty good condition. I've never bought a boat before so I don't know if this is a good boat or not. I plan on keeping the boat in the water at a marina (its current location).

The boat has a fixed keel and according to the seller has a J-mast. There were no soft spots in the deck and the bilge was very dry despite some recent rain. The motor is a very old mercury 4hp but the seller fired it up and it seemed to run okay. The boat has two sails (one main, one jib) that have no rips or tears and despite some small blemishes seem to be in decent condition. The running rigging is clearly old but seems sailable, the worst is the mainsheet line. The standing rigging has no rust or otherwise visible blemishes despite what I would consider standard wear and tear. When I asked the guy about the hull he said it had been scraped by a diver in the past month and he seemed to remember that the former owner had painted it within the past 2-5 years.

My first question is: is there something I haven't mentioned that I should be looking for to make sure this boat isn't a bad purchase? I have been saving for a while and I don't want to waste it all on a bad boat.

My second question is: if I do buy the boat, what will it take to make it shine and be something I can be proud of? The hull is somewhat dirty and doesn't really shine, the interior smells moldy and the cushions are disgusting. I am not sure if the wiring works, boat may need to be rewired, and the walls are covered in some kind of brown (polyester?) carpet-like material that has secrets I'm not sure I ever want to know. What is the logical first step in getting this boat looking great again?

I've attached a photo of the boat for reference.
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Old 28-02-2017, 15:57   #2
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Re: 1985 Hunter 23wk first time boat?

I bought a 1986 Hunter 23 (yesterday) in good working order. After being pulled out of the water on Sunday, it is sitting on the trailer waiting for me to scrub its bottom and dunk it again on a different lake. I climbed aboard a couple of hours ago and am absolutely delighted with the lack of things I need to fix and the meager amount of scrubbing I need to do. However, with ever nook I examine and each cranny I scrutinize, I accumulate additional questions. I found this thread looking for more information in the fount of knowledge that is cruisersforum. Perhaps we can share notes.
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Old 28-02-2017, 16:26   #3
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Re: 1985 Hunter 23wk first time boat?

Hi Thesane, I ended up buying the boat pictured above. I am also very pleased with it but there is quite a bit of work that needs to be done on mine. People on various other threads have been very helpful and forthcoming when I've had questions and I've done a lot of research myself and found a number of valuable sources. I'm glad to hear your boat is in good shape. Please let me know if there are any questions I can attempt to answer or at least point you in the right direction for an answer.
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Old 28-02-2017, 16:44   #4
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Re: 1985 Hunter 23wk first time boat?

Thank you! I'm still discovering goodies left by the previous owner and poking about. I'm sure I will have a number of inquiries in the next week or three.
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:35   #5
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Re: 1985 Hunter 23wk first time boat?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Jaxcruiser.

Congratulations to you, & Thesane, on your new boats.
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:08   #6
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Re: 1985 Hunter 23wk first time boat?

When we got our first boat, we removed absolutely everything. Then scrubbed inside and out with an oxyclean solution. All cushions and carpet got steamcleaned.
Everything that came out we inventoried and made two piles. One pile was stuff we knew we needed, the other we weren't sure.
Over the next two seasons we went into the second pile a few times, so we're quite glad we didn't just throw it out.
Don't worry too much about buying more stuff until you sail it a bit. Take some time to really learn what you need to add, if anything.
Above all else, be safe, and have fun:-)
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:17   #7
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Re: 1985 Hunter 23wk first time boat?

Both of you guys, the first thing you should absolutely do is go at the deck and get the gelcoat to shine, then wax it. It's not just cosmetic; it protects everything underneath and once gelcoat start to deteriorate, the longer it goes the harder it is to bring back, and eventually it will fair altogether, requiring more time consuming and expensive repair.

To clean the deck and topsides (hull between the waterline and the deck). I would use Mary Kate ON/OFF, available at most marine supplies. It's basically an acid, but it will take almost ANY stain off. Keep it off your skin, and paint and aluminum if possible, or rinse those areas immediately. It's a great prep wash before compounding and waxing.

As far as the interior goes, I would pull the cushions out and wash the covers as best you can. Dry out the foam and if it's too far gone you might want to replace it although good foam is surprisingly expensive.

Go at the mold/mildew and get it out, wiping down surfaces with white vinegar as a last step; the acid in the vinegar inhibits mold growth, to a degree.

If there is a lot of mold it means moisture is potentially getting in the boat. Check every through-deck fitting; if they are hidden under headliners or in cupboards, open them up and check. If a fitting on the deck is leaking you need to fix it, not only to simply keep the water out but also to protect the core of the deck. It's almost certain that on an '85 Hunter something on the deck is leaking if the previous owners have done nothing.

Also, get a dehumidifier for the boat and leave it running when you're not there.

There's lots more to do, obviously, but those are two things I would do right off the bat.

Oh, of you can get ethanol-free gas for your outboard, do it, particularly if you don't run it that often. If you can't get ethanol free gas, put a fuel stabilizer in the gas mix. It won't cure the problem but it will help.
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Old 01-03-2017, 14:49   #8
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Re: 1985 Hunter 23wk first time boat?

Great tips all around! Thank you!
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Old 03-03-2017, 15:34   #9
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Re: 1985 Hunter 23wk first time boat?

I mentioned that I would have inquiries to submit.

So, what is this?! What does it do?! Where does it go?!

Thanks!
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Old 04-03-2017, 05:15   #10
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Re: 1985 Hunter 23wk first time boat?

Anyone?
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Old 04-03-2017, 14:32   #11
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Re: 1985 Hunter 23wk first time boat?

Another angle. I'm pretty sure it is a widget, but it could be any sort of contraption, contrivance, gadget, gimmick, jigger, or thingymabob. If I can't suss it out, I'm going to use it as a question-generator.
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Old 04-03-2017, 15:28   #12
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Re: 1985 Hunter 23wk first time boat?

Except for that ferrule in the center i'd say a

a) trolling motor mount

b) oarlock

c) muffler clamp
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Old 04-03-2017, 17:32   #13
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Re: 1985 Hunter 23wk first time boat?

Any holes on the transom where that might fit? Looks like a mount of some kind
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Old 04-03-2017, 18:08   #14
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Re: 1985 Hunter 23wk first time boat?

I've played all kinds of Tetris with it. It's all teak and shiny metal, bent at a weird and particular angle...and for a specific reason, I am certain. I'm going to use it as an incense holder for the time-being.
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Old 04-03-2017, 18:28   #15
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Re: 1985 Hunter 23wk first time boat?

It has to be important to make it that well and that specific.
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