Buying a Boat

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Topic Author
fishmonger
Posts: 667
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:20 pm

Buying a Boat

Post by fishmonger » Fri May 04, 2018 10:09 am

I understand the bullets may start flying on this one, as boats in general are very un-Boglehead. Bottomline is I'm an avid fisherman, as our my kids, and I think the time is right. Plus I can afford it.

I'm looking to buy an older model Boston Whaler, 17-19 feet, price range $10-15k. I may be open to comparable models, but my family has owned Whalers in the past and their quality and resale value are well established. That being said, what should I be looking for/what questions should I be asking when checking out used boats?

Please stay away from the "don't buy a boat you'll never use it" responses. I'm very comfortable making the purchase and all that it entails.

renue74
Posts: 1870
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:24 pm

Re: Buying a Boat

Post by renue74 » Fri May 04, 2018 10:14 am

My dad has owned boats for nearly 30 years. He goes through one every 5 years or so and gets antsy and sells/buys a different one.

He's lived in St. Augustine, Fl, Myrtle Beach, SC and now just moved to Anderson, SC. He always has a boat.

I'm told a Boston Whaler is great.

The one thing he always says..."buy a boat that one person can handle, because you want to be able to take it out when you want to go." If you go with other folks, they may not want to go when you do. With a smaller boat, you can handle getting it off the boat ramp without having to rely on anybody else.

Jack FFR1846
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Location: 26 miles, 385 yards west of Copley Square

Re: Buying a Boat

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri May 04, 2018 10:19 am

I assume you're going to be in the ocean, because that's where Whalers live.

You'd want a marina to thoroughly inspect it. Salt water does horrible things to boats. Constant maintenance can mitigate some and slow down the damage, but you want to know if you've got a $10k bill to re-engine a "new" boat or if you're good for a few years.

Look into insurance.

Where are you going to leave the boat? That's a bit big to trailer every weekend (what I did with a little Four Winns bow rider). What's that cost. My son's girlfriend's family has a sailboat on Long Island Sound and mooring requires membership to a club and is in the 4 figure a year range. Where will the boat be all winter (if in a snow climate) and what's that cost.

Registration of the boat will go by where the boat is primarily used. So if you live in Michigan but are using the boat in Florida, you'd register in Florida. That becomes important in the case where you primarily use the boat in a high tax state as you'd register and pay taxes to that state.

If you have not done so, take either Power Squadron or Coast Guard safety course. The result is a certificaste that acts as a license anywhere in the US. I did this while waiting for the first season in my new boat and spent a couple hours a week for 6 weeks learning. Very worthwhile.

Whatever you think it's going to cost a year.....double that.

In our case, we found that we could rent a boat for far less than what it cost to own a boat, so I sold it. If we want to rent, it's easy enough to reserve, pay for gas at the end and go out for the day. You might want to look into that. It could be well under what a boat costs to own. There are a lot of boat use clubs where boat owners join together with boat users who want to rent. I've been on a boat where one of my reps in upstate NY was a member. We went out for maybe 4 hours in the evening and at the end of the trip, he didn't even have to refill gas. It was included in the rental. There was a yearly membership fee for this shared boat club.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

smitcat
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by smitcat » Fri May 04, 2018 10:23 am

I actually have an initial set of boat questions for when I call a boat for sale myself. YMMV but these have worked well for me to sift out the ones I was more interested in pursuing before I spent any time or money visiting them...

- Are all those pictures of your boat?
- Are the machinery hours TT?
- Do you have a full list of all items and options that convey with the boat?
- Are there maintenance records and are they up to date?
- Do you have a full history of the boat? Has it been damaged, partially submerged or seen heavy repairs?
- Can you send me 40-50 hi-res photos of the boat including all of the machinery?
- What is your cruise and max speeds and at what rpm do you see those?
- What currently does not work on the boat?
- Where is the boat currently and in what condition is it stored?
- Do you own this boat or maybe is it under an LLC or partnership? Do you have 100% rights to sell the boat unencumbered?

I would suggest some visits to the Boston Whalers owners site as there were a few models that were problematic and your choice of Mercury outboards will affect your maintenance as well.

smitcat
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by smitcat » Fri May 04, 2018 10:28 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 10:19 am
I assume you're going to be in the ocean, because that's where Whalers live.

You'd want a marina to thoroughly inspect it. Salt water does horrible things to boats. Constant maintenance can mitigate some and slow down the damage, but you want to know if you've got a $10k bill to re-engine a "new" boat or if you're good for a few years.

Look into insurance.

Where are you going to leave the boat? That's a bit big to trailer every weekend (what I did with a little Four Winns bow rider). What's that cost. My son's girlfriend's family has a sailboat on Long Island Sound and mooring requires membership to a club and is in the 4 figure a year range. Where will the boat be all winter (if in a snow climate) and what's that cost.

Registration of the boat will go by where the boat is primarily used. So if you live in Michigan but are using the boat in Florida, you'd register in Florida. That becomes important in the case where you primarily use the boat in a high tax state as you'd register and pay taxes to that state.

If you have not done so, take either Power Squadron or Coast Guard safety course. The result is a certificaste that acts as a license anywhere in the US. I did this while waiting for the first season in my new boat and spent a couple hours a week for 6 weeks learning. Very worthwhile.

Whatever you think it's going to cost a year.....double that.

In our case, we found that we could rent a boat for far less than what it cost to own a boat, so I sold it. If we want to rent, it's easy enough to reserve, pay for gas at the end and go out for the day. You might want to look into that. It could be well under what a boat costs to own. There are a lot of boat use clubs where boat owners join together with boat users who want to rent. I've been on a boat where one of my reps in upstate NY was a member. We went out for maybe 4 hours in the evening and at the end of the trip, he didn't even have to refill gas. It was included in the rental. There was a yearly membership fee for this shared boat club.
Long Island sound boater here as well...
No real problem with us towing up to a 24' with twins - I guess it depends on what you feel is 'big'. We did have problems towing our 38' boat but that was only 4-5 times a year as it spent most time at the mooring. Our moorings are owned by us but the larger one requires a crane to set and retrieve which costs about $800 a season on average (some years more when chain needs replacement).

Topic Author
fishmonger
Posts: 667
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:20 pm

Re: Buying a Boat

Post by fishmonger » Fri May 04, 2018 10:30 am

Thanks for the replies.

I should add that it will be in mostly freshwater, with the occasional trip to the salt (I live 2 hrs from the coast and also have a family place on Cape Cod). I'm planning for the first year to moor it on a lakeside dock - already figured out rental fees.

bob60014
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by bob60014 » Fri May 04, 2018 11:44 am

Look for cracks in the fibreglass
Check all electrical, pumps, gauges, etc. Also look for crazy splices.
Ensure the are no snags in the steering.
Have a marine mechanic take a look at the engine for proper operation ($150-250 well spent imho)

magicrat
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by magicrat » Fri May 04, 2018 11:48 am

Make sure it has the right size engine. Too much and the stern is heavy, too little and you don't have enough power when you need it.

smitcat
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by smitcat » Fri May 04, 2018 11:58 am

If you must have a BW check these sites out and do research on the make/model/ and power so you know ahead what to expect.
I had owned a Whaler a while back and while your statement about holding value is absolutely true I felt they were overrated and had limited choice in outboard power. Depending upon the year you choose to look at you can also look at the performance bulletins for that boat/power combination at Mercury marine.

http://www.whalercentral.com/Boston_Whaler.php
http://continuouswave.com/whaler/

cashmoney
Posts: 353
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by cashmoney » Fri May 04, 2018 5:49 pm

fishmonger wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 10:09 am
I understand the bullets may start flying on this one, as boats in general are very un-Boglehead. Bottomline is I'm an avid fisherman, as our my kids, and I think the time is right. Plus I can afford it.

I'm looking to buy an older model Boston Whaler, 17-19 feet, price range $10-15k. I may be open to comparable models, but my family has owned Whalers in the past and their quality and resale value are well established. That being said, what should I be looking for/what questions should I be asking when checking out used boats?

Please stay away from the "don't buy a boat you'll never use it" responses. I'm very comfortable making the purchase and all that it entails.



If feasible take at least 30 minute ride in boat because the engine can seem fine running on trailer but you never really know until you get it under stress.

jehovasfitness
Posts: 553
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:26 pm

Re: Buying a Boat

Post by jehovasfitness » Fri May 04, 2018 6:29 pm

Why would boats be un-BH? Perhaps this forum makes it seem to not enjoy life until you're old and retired. I dunno

il0kin
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:19 pm

Re: Buying a Boat

Post by il0kin » Fri May 04, 2018 6:45 pm

Are you open to aluminum boats? A 20-22 foot deep V Lund or similar would handle some offshore fishing in the proper weather. Much lower maintenance cost on aluminum vs fiberglass.

GW208
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2016 11:53 pm

Re: Buying a Boat

Post by GW208 » Fri May 04, 2018 7:37 pm

Don't rule out Grady Whites if you come across a nice one. I just sold my 94 208 Adventure last week and I thought it was a great fishing boat. I felt perfectly comfortable 40 miles out fishing albacore on good weather days and it had a small cuddy the kids could lay down in if they get tired.
Good luck with your search.

Wellfleet
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Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:18 pm

Re: Buying a Boat

Post by Wellfleet » Fri May 04, 2018 7:42 pm

At least price a new 17 foot Whaler Montauk. I think I saw a base model for $20-25k. That way no worries about the engine that will be $10-15k when it dies.

Family has had all kinds of small boats and we like Japanese engines the most-Yamaha, Tohatsu, Suzuki.

texasdiver
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Location: Vancouver WA

Re: Buying a Boat

Post by texasdiver » Fri May 04, 2018 9:30 pm

Spend some time on the Hull Truth web site. Basically the bogleheads site for boats. Lots of serious expertise and advice there and a good classified section of boats for sale where you can find some good deals

https://www.thehulltruth.com/

2comma
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by 2comma » Fri May 04, 2018 10:10 pm

When I was a kid growing up on the Chesapeake Bay in the 70's I had fond memories of Boston Whalers. Back then they had a cathedral hull, were wide in the front, stable and fairly low freeboard. This made for a fast lightweight boat with great utility but it could beat you to death going into chop. The only issue with the sandwiched foam core, which made them unsinkable, was if the hull got compromised and water would eventually deteriorate the core making for a very poor structure. That would be my only worry with that hull. The other worry of course is the engine because that's where the major expense is. I read they stopped making the cathedral hulls in 1996 in favor of more V shaped hulls. They've changed a lot since then so it would depend on how old a boat you're going for.

There is a DIY boat repair forum on iboats.com. Most of them are repairing older fiberglass boats that got water in them and rotted the wood supporting structure. I can't remember anyone there working on a Whaler, so maybe that's a good sign, but it might help to search/ask there if anyone has any experience with Whaler specific hull issues.

As a lifelong boat owner I'd look for a boat that was stored out of the elements and where it's obvious the owner was fastidious about doing outboard maintenance. You can get a good idea by just looking at the boat and talking to the owner.
If I am stupid I will pay.

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StevieG72
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by StevieG72 » Sat May 05, 2018 3:45 am

Boglehead boat owner here.

Do it! Great memories with friends and family.

My advice is to look for an older boat with a newer motor.
The motor is where the money goes, they are expensive.

I was able to find a 22’ Center Console with a Suzuki 4 stroke motor. 1997 Boat / 2013 Motor ( motor still under warranty until 2020) for $15,000

I have had this boat for 3 years, no major unexpected expenditures.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

skime
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:24 pm

Re: Buying a Boat

Post by skime » Sat May 05, 2018 5:14 am

If you're going to be in freshwater and the ocean, I'd look at either Pursuit or Grady White. They ride much better than a Whaler. The Whaler slaps through the water. That's fine for flat water lakes/rivers. But if you're in an ocean chop, you want a deep v hull. Things can go bad in a hurry on the water. You want the best hull and motor you can afford.

Whatever you buy, you should seriously think about repowering. Current Yamaha 4 stroke outboards use almost no fuel and run forever. Maintenance is almost nill. They are unbelievably reliable. That's what you want on the ocean if you're not running twins. Just remember all it takes is one breakdown in the wrong situation and trouble can arise quickly.

Stay away from inboard/outboards.

Boating is a fantastic way to spend time with your family. You'll have days that you'll never forget. Go for it!

Doroghazi
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Location: Columbia, MO

Re: Buying a Boat

Post by Doroghazi » Sat May 05, 2018 7:22 am

First looking at the headline I was going to give the standard dismissive quotations of boat stands for Break Out Another Thousand, and "How do you make $1,000,000 in the boating industry? Start with $10,000,000". But, you aren't buying some
$150,000 show-off boat, you're buying a reasonable piece of reacreational equipment. And if your kids like to fish, it's great quality time when they are "stuck" in the boat with you. You said you can afford it, so I presume you are paying cash.

smitcat
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by smitcat » Sat May 05, 2018 7:54 am

Doroghazi wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 7:22 am
First looking at the headline I was going to give the standard dismissive quotations of boat stands for Break Out Another Thousand, and "How do you make $1,000,000 in the boating industry? Start with $10,000,000". But, you aren't buying some
$150,000 show-off boat, you're buying a reasonable piece of reacreational equipment. And if your kids like to fish, it's great quality time when they are "stuck" in the boat with you. You said you can afford it, so I presume you are paying cash.
Ahhh - but some of us have had many boats that we have used extensively for many great memories and did not find them 'expensive'.
Life is about choices and peoples choices vary greatly.

rudeboy
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by rudeboy » Sat May 05, 2018 3:54 pm

I own a 1977 Catalina sailboat. It was $1900, plus another $300 for rigging/electric motor. I pay a yearly fee for a marina slip of $1300. These are the only expenses I've had.

It's a great hobby, and the expense comes out of my annual fun fund.

I'm actually writing this while sprawled out on the bow right now. Storm clouds have just passed, clear sailing from here 8-)

ACA
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by ACA » Sat May 05, 2018 4:42 pm

We are boat people. Have two and love everything about them. Our kids spend countless hours on the lake. One is a pontoon that is 16 years old and the other a 3 year old Mastercraft. Both have been extremely reliable.

Buy well and they are reliable, affordable and offer many great memories.

Soon2BXProgrammer
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer » Sat May 05, 2018 4:50 pm

my grandfather, father, uncle, cousin and I all each own our own TideRunner's. (local puget sound made fiberglass boat).

great boats, very sea worthy, low maintenance.... find yourself a good mechanic though, if you have an old motor. (like my 1980 motor).

its great that we all own boats.. we all go out and our whole family can fish, tour around, etc.

Doroghazi
Posts: 33
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Location: Columbia, MO

Re: Buying a Boat

Post by Doroghazi » Sat May 05, 2018 8:06 pm

smitcat wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 7:54 am
Doroghazi wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 7:22 am
First looking at the headline I was going to give the standard dismissive quotations of boat stands for Break Out Another Thousand, and "How do you make $1,000,000 in the boating industry? Start with $10,000,000". But, you aren't buying some
$150,000 show-off boat, you're buying a reasonable piece of reacreational equipment. And if your kids like to fish, it's great quality time when they are "stuck" in the boat with you. You said you can afford it, so I presume you are paying cash.
Ahhh - but some of us have had many boats that we have used extensively for many great memories and did not find them 'expensive'.
Life is about choices and peoples choices vary greatly.
Nobody I knew growing up could afford a boat.

michaellarimore
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 8:19 pm

Re: Buying a Boat

Post by michaellarimore » Sat May 05, 2018 11:20 pm

I bought a 1989 whaler outrage 22 in 1991(when it was 3 years old) - Best thing i ever did(almost)...
It is still a great boat today after 29 years...Got a new Yamaha 225 in 1999.

My advise, don't go too old- You will spend more time fixing it than fishing with your family.
A little more :moneybag up front will save you a lot of sweat, time and money in the long run - Life is shorter than you think...
Make certain that you have a reliable engine - Get it all checked-out BEFORE buying it!
It would be great to find something still under warranty.

smitcat
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by smitcat » Sun May 06, 2018 6:22 am

Doroghazi wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 8:06 pm
smitcat wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 7:54 am
Doroghazi wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 7:22 am
First looking at the headline I was going to give the standard dismissive quotations of boat stands for Break Out Another Thousand, and "How do you make $1,000,000 in the boating industry? Start with $10,000,000". But, you aren't buying some
$150,000 show-off boat, you're buying a reasonable piece of reacreational equipment. And if your kids like to fish, it's great quality time when they are "stuck" in the boat with you. You said you can afford it, so I presume you are paying cash.
Ahhh - but some of us have had many boats that we have used extensively for many great memories and did not find them 'expensive'.
Life is about choices and peoples choices vary greatly.
Nobody I knew growing up could afford a boat.
Coincidentally - nobody we knew could either, including us.

High Income Parent
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Contact:

Re: Buying a Boat

Post by High Income Parent » Sun May 06, 2018 6:50 am

You could ask the seller to send off an oil analysis if there is a boat you really like, They cost about $40 but could give you an idea if there is imenent need to repower a prospective purchase.
Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work. | | C. S. Lewis

Paddygirl
Posts: 44
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by Paddygirl » Sun May 06, 2018 8:51 am

I wouldn't buy a Boston Whaler. Although they hold their value, they are rough riding and very expensive for what you get. All recent boats are standardized to come with foam flotation as a USCG rule. Never buy a boat until you test drive it ON THE WATER. It may not have the steering you like, it may not go on plane or it may list to one side if you have two or three people on it. If you plan on mooring it in the water, be sure to look at the position of the scupper holes in the back - as many builders put scupper holes that are not positioned correctly and water will not run out of the boat when it rains. Take a bucket of water and throw it in the boat to see how it drains. Do not buy an I/O, I would strictly go with an outboard motor: Suzuki, Honda or Yamaha outboard 4 stroke fuel-injected motor. Stay away from any carpet in a boat. Use the boat as much as possible. Things go wrong with a boat that is not used on a frequent basis. Plus, if the fuel sits in the tank too long, the E-10 gas will not be stabile that long and can foul things up. I regularly put new fuel in and/or add a fuel stabilizer like Startron. Have the boat professionally maintained by the dealer. When you winterize it, keep the fuel tank 7/8th full over the winter with added fuel stabilitzers. Take a Coast Guard Auxillary boating safety course. Never let your gas tank go below half full because the floats in the tank can stop up and give you a wrong reading on the fuel needle dial. For fishing boats, there are many good ones. Sea Hunt, Maritime Skiff, Parker, Judge, Jones Brothers, etc. but they are not cheap either, however, they ride better than the whalers.

Soon2BXProgrammer
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:30 pm

Re: Buying a Boat

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer » Sun May 06, 2018 9:45 am

smitcat wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 6:22 am
Doroghazi wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 8:06 pm
smitcat wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 7:54 am
Doroghazi wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 7:22 am
First looking at the headline I was going to give the standard dismissive quotations of boat stands for Break Out Another Thousand, and "How do you make $1,000,000 in the boating industry? Start with $10,000,000". But, you aren't buying some
$150,000 show-off boat, you're buying a reasonable piece of reacreational equipment. And if your kids like to fish, it's great quality time when they are "stuck" in the boat with you. You said you can afford it, so I presume you are paying cash.
Ahhh - but some of us have had many boats that we have used extensively for many great memories and did not find them 'expensive'.
Life is about choices and peoples choices vary greatly.
Nobody I knew growing up could afford a boat.
Coincidentally - nobody we knew could either, including us.
the type of boats my family owns including me.. are older but in good shape fiberglass boats.. the boat itself is near indestructable... yes.. they soemtimes rot.. but.. you just cut them apart and repair them.. (or atleast that is what i did on mine).

i blew my engine last year.. for my mechanic to rebuild it, it was 2k. or it was 15k for a new motor.. so... of course i rebuilt it..

a boat is not that expensive.. it is about the same cost as a used car.. (mine is worth 5k or so with the rebuilt motor)..

yes that is out of reach from a lot of families.. what was more expensive then the boat is the depreciation on the vehicle i had to buy to launch it.... LOL

i will need to do trailer work at some point.. but.. it won't be that bad.

the challenge is the size of boat... as you go from say 17-18 feet... into the 20's the prices go up a ton and fast...

buy the size of boat you need .... nto more..

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Sandi_k
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Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Buying a Boat

Post by Sandi_k » Sun May 06, 2018 11:49 am

If buying used, beware pink slip scams.

We were looking for a used bowrider in 2013, and had finally found one that met our criteria. We exchanged pics, etc., and DH was about to drive 500 miles to buy and tow back. So couple of days before the excursion, I sent a text to confirm that DH could have the boat inspected by a local mechanic, then the seller would drive to the DMV for the ownership transfer before the cash was handed over. No pink slip, no cash.

We then got a flurry of excuses - that the boat was in AZ, the pink slip was at his "summer home" in NorCal, the Bill of Sale would be sufficient, etc. The problem was that with a two-state sale and no pink slip, it's impossible to know if it's a stolen boat.

So we offered to use an escrow service for the purchase, where an outside agency held the funds until the pink slip was FedExed and available for signing over to us. And that was the end of that negotiation...

My advice: ask for pics of the pink slip with their name on it before entering into long sale discussions. Apparently, this is a common issue.

smitcat
Posts: 5818
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Buying a Boat

Post by smitcat » Sun May 06, 2018 11:58 am

Soon2BXProgrammer wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 9:45 am
smitcat wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 6:22 am
Doroghazi wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 8:06 pm
smitcat wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 7:54 am
Doroghazi wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 7:22 am
First looking at the headline I was going to give the standard dismissive quotations of boat stands for Break Out Another Thousand, and "How do you make $1,000,000 in the boating industry? Start with $10,000,000". But, you aren't buying some
$150,000 show-off boat, you're buying a reasonable piece of reacreational equipment. And if your kids like to fish, it's great quality time when they are "stuck" in the boat with you. You said you can afford it, so I presume you are paying cash.
Ahhh - but some of us have had many boats that we have used extensively for many great memories and did not find them 'expensive'.
Life is about choices and peoples choices vary greatly.
Nobody I knew growing up could afford a boat.
Coincidentally - nobody we knew could either, including us.
the type of boats my family owns including me.. are older but in good shape fiberglass boats.. the boat itself is near indestructable... yes.. they soemtimes rot.. but.. you just cut them apart and repair them.. (or atleast that is what i did on mine).

i blew my engine last year.. for my mechanic to rebuild it, it was 2k. or it was 15k for a new motor.. so... of course i rebuilt it..

a boat is not that expensive.. it is about the same cost as a used car.. (mine is worth 5k or so with the rebuilt motor)..

yes that is out of reach from a lot of families.. what was more expensive then the boat is the depreciation on the vehicle i had to buy to launch it.... LOL

i will need to do trailer work at some point.. but.. it won't be that bad.

the challenge is the size of boat... as you go from say 17-18 feet... into the 20's the prices go up a ton and fast...

buy the size of boat you need .... nto more..
We must have had maybe a dozen boats over 15' by now - most with twin engines and have never blown one yet. Since we bought all of them used and do most all of our own work when we sell they mostly go for more than what we bought them for. During many seasons we spent more than 65 nights on the boat and have journeyed for 2 weeks at a time about 1,200 nmiles per season. Always a lot of fun and an adventure which often we cruise with many other boaters with kids. Certainly not for everyone but it can be a great experience for parents and kids.

smitcat
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Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Buying a Boat

Post by smitcat » Sun May 06, 2018 12:06 pm

Paddygirl wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 8:51 am
I wouldn't buy a Boston Whaler. Although they hold their value, they are rough riding and very expensive for what you get. All recent boats are standardized to come with foam flotation as a USCG rule. Never buy a boat until you test drive it ON THE WATER. It may not have the steering you like, it may not go on plane or it may list to one side if you have two or three people on it. If you plan on mooring it in the water, be sure to look at the position of the scupper holes in the back - as many builders put scupper holes that are not positioned correctly and water will not run out of the boat when it rains. Take a bucket of water and throw it in the boat to see how it drains. Do not buy an I/O, I would strictly go with an outboard motor: Suzuki, Honda or Yamaha outboard 4 stroke fuel-injected motor. Stay away from any carpet in a boat. Use the boat as much as possible. Things go wrong with a boat that is not used on a frequent basis. Plus, if the fuel sits in the tank too long, the E-10 gas will not be stabile that long and can foul things up. I regularly put new fuel in and/or add a fuel stabilizer like Startron. Have the boat professionally maintained by the dealer. When you winterize it, keep the fuel tank 7/8th full over the winter with added fuel stabilitzers. Take a Coast Guard Auxillary boating safety course. Never let your gas tank go below half full because the floats in the tank can stop up and give you a wrong reading on the fuel needle dial. For fishing boats, there are many good ones. Sea Hunt, Maritime Skiff, Parker, Judge, Jones Brothers, etc. but they are not cheap either, however, they ride better than the whalers.
Although I share your thougts about carefully checking the options to Boston Whalers (and we owned one) there a few things we veiw differently.
- Some BW mdels have a depper V and ride soft as competitors
- We had good experiences with IO's but they were mainataned well
- Although we have mostly owned Yamaha 4 str outboards the newer Etecs are certianly a great option and possibly superior
- Dealers may have outboard tecs certified for your outboard or maybe not, but certified independents are a great option.
- We never put extra fuel in during winterizing, the less weight and degrading fuel the better
- If your gas float gages have problems fix them, having to keep fuel in the tank and losing range are not a recomnended solution

Happy boating

btenny
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by btenny » Sun May 06, 2018 12:19 pm

I second the issue of making sure you get a signed pink slip and a sales title transfer document with the sellers name before handing over the cash. I bought my current boat and paid cash (over $14K). Then the buyer said they did not have the title in their name. When they bought the bought the boat from another friend he signed the title but they did not transfer the title or boat to their name. So in order to get a signed title for the trailer and signed sales receipt (with the boat vin number) I had to haul the boat and make the seller go with me to find his friend at a town 50 miles away. This was a big mess. I had already test drove the boat and hooked it to my car and agreed on the price. But then we spent 4 hours running around to get the good documents for the boat and trailer. l almost said forget it 2-3 times. My wife suggested I get a better price for all the trouble.

Be careful out there. Good Luck.

Soon2BXProgrammer
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer » Sun May 06, 2018 8:54 pm

smitcat wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 11:58 am
We must have had maybe a dozen boats over 15' by now - most with twin engines and have never blown one yet. Since we bought all of them used and do most all of our own work when we sell they mostly go for more than what we bought them for. During many seasons we spent more than 65 nights on the boat and have journeyed for 2 weeks at a time about 1,200 nmiles per season. Always a lot of fun and an adventure which often we cruise with many other boaters with kids. Certainly not for everyone but it can be a great experience for parents and kids.
I had a cylinder fail.. its a 1981 motor.. so 37 years old... was bound to happen, was only a matter of time, i have no idea how many hours where on the motor.... i mean i bought it used, and i put 100s of hours on it... and it didn't look like it have ever been rebuilt when it was taken apart... i mean.. it kept running and i drove it back to the launch with a bad cylinder.... (i could have used my kicker, but that would have taken much longer).

gotta love good old 2 strokes. even with a cylinder down.. they will run. (albeit poorly)

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fishmonger
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by fishmonger » Wed May 09, 2018 10:17 am

Thoughts on Johnson motors? They never seem to get the rep that Honda, Yamaha, Merc, etc get. But I've been on the lake plenty of times and have seen ANCIENT Johnson motors still running, albeit of lower horsepower

Dan3141
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by Dan3141 » Wed May 09, 2018 11:20 am

There is no better way to waste money then boat. We have one and we love it.
We always had boats and as long as I can take it out I'll have one.
Money is there to be spent and enjoyed.

Now the cost of maintaining the boat is not to be neglected. To give you and idea we average 4k a month in boat related expenses. That covers fuel/insurance/maintenance/haul out etc.

Find something you can afford, buy it and enjoy :)

btenny
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by btenny » Wed May 09, 2018 11:25 am

Dan you must mean $4K a year in expenses. Correct?

barnaclebob
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by barnaclebob » Wed May 09, 2018 11:26 am

il0kin wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 6:45 pm
Are you open to aluminum boats? A 20-22 foot deep V Lund or similar would handle some offshore fishing in the proper weather. Much lower maintenance cost on aluminum vs fiberglass.
Not a boat person yet but maybe someday. Why are aluminum boats cheaper to maintain? I'm aware that wood which is encapsulated in fiberglass can and does rot but what about a hull with no wood on it?

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djpeteski
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by djpeteski » Wed May 09, 2018 11:36 am

fishmonger wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 10:09 am
...Bottomline is I'm an avid fisherman, as our my kids, and I think the time is right. Plus I can afford it.

I'm very comfortable making the purchase and all that it entails.
I only disagree with one thing about your post: This is not un-boglehead. You have earned money and taken care of business. You and your family should enjoy some of it. Good work.

Now if you were deep in consumer debt or had underfunded retirement the story is very different. However, I feel that is very far from the case.

Good work, enjoy your boat!

white_water
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by white_water » Wed May 09, 2018 6:44 pm

Owning the right boat isn't un-Bogleish IMO. It's your choice to spend your fun money as you wish. Enjoy.

Caveat: if you can, and esp. if the boat was moored at a dock, pencil out the weight of that model Whaler, that outboard, that trailer, add in a fudge factor for fuel. Weigh the used boat on a truck scale. Foam core hulls can be saturated from leaky thru hulls or defects. It should show up on the weigh-in.

GW208
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by GW208 » Wed May 09, 2018 7:02 pm

fishmonger wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 10:17 am
Thoughts on Johnson motors? They never seem to get the rep that Honda, Yamaha, Merc, etc get. But I've been on the lake plenty of times and have seen ANCIENT Johnson motors still running, albeit of lower horsepower
I have an 84 9.9 Johnson that still runs like new. The 94 175 Johnson on my recently sold Grady was still running good as new so I wouldn't be concerned about buying one. You will want to check regulations in your area though about restrictions on older carbureted 2 stroke motors. Several lakes in our area have banned them and will not let you launch.
Last edited by GW208 on Wed May 09, 2018 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Soon2BXProgrammer
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer » Wed May 09, 2018 7:27 pm

fishmonger wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 10:17 am
Thoughts on Johnson motors? They never seem to get the rep that Honda, Yamaha, Merc, etc get. But I've been on the lake plenty of times and have seen ANCIENT Johnson motors still running, albeit of lower horsepower
i love my 1980 115 johnson... you can see the old commercial:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxVH5sKUlPg

yes, it finally broke down on my last year... but for 2k, i had it completely rebuilt.. and its ready to go.

Dan3141
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by Dan3141 » Thu May 10, 2018 10:46 am

No...
Boats are an expensive hobby. 4k a month is for years where nothing goes seriously wrong. We had maintenance bills of 70k few times.

D
btenny wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 11:25 am
Dan you must mean $4K a year in expenses. Correct?

Paddygirl
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by Paddygirl » Fri May 11, 2018 10:21 am

Buy a low maintenance boat, simple. Open center or dual console with no bells and whistles to break. Outboard engine, depthfinder, GPS, lights. You don't need a lot of fancy stuff. My first Honda engine lasted 10 years and was going strong when I upgraded to a higher 115hp. I have had this outboard now for 5 years. So, in 15 years, I have NEVER had a problem with my Honda 4 stroke engine. Ever. Its quiet, sips fuel and the best thing is that you always have confidence that you won't get stuck out on the water somewhere.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by Sandtrap » Fri May 11, 2018 11:05 am

fishmonger wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 10:09 am
I understand the bullets may start flying on this one, as boats in general are very un-Boglehead. Bottomline is I'm an avid fisherman, as our my kids, and I think the time is right. Plus I can afford it.

I'm looking to buy an older model Boston Whaler, 17-19 feet, price range $10-15k. I may be open to comparable models, but my family has owned Whalers in the past and their quality and resale value are well established. That being said, what should I be looking for/what questions should I be asking when checking out used boats?

Please stay away from the "don't buy a boat you'll never use it" responses. I'm very comfortable making the purchase and all that it entails.
Used to have Boston Whalers. They are double hull so check for water intrusion and hollow spots or any delamination or bubbling of the outer shell, deck, etc. Also front winch/anchor bolt eye is solid anchored with nor evidence of past repair. Also, the transom, any evidence of past repair or damage. Classic models can have beautiful woodwork. Old and uncared for woodwork can be restored or replaced so figure in costs. And, of course, check the engine(s), steering cables, and other mechanicals.
If ocean and open water then the bigger the better, deeper keel the better.
If trailered and most of the time no help launch and retrailering, then don't buy anything so large that it can be handled solo.
Great choice in boats.
aloha
j
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

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Nestegg_User
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by Nestegg_User » Fri May 11, 2018 1:21 pm

Soon2BXProgrammer wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 7:27 pm
fishmonger wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 10:17 am
Thoughts on Johnson motors? They never seem to get the rep that Honda, Yamaha, Merc, etc get. But I've been on the lake plenty of times and have seen ANCIENT Johnson motors still running, albeit of lower horsepower
i love my 1980 115 johnson... you can see the old commercial:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxVH5sKUlPg

yes, it finally broke down on my last year... but for 2k, i had it completely rebuilt.. and its ready to go.
...but what if she wants a bigger Johnson? (couldn’t resist, saw the youtube)

surprised that DW mentioned that there was a small boat for sale on her drive into town; it was for use on the nearby reservoir, it was a 14ft alum with only a 15hp and no canopy. I said that it would likely need a 20-25 hp and would be best if it had a canopy (or one could be retrofitted). {we’ve already got a truck that could easily handle it. I’m guessing that maybe it’s time to start getting toys: in retirement we’re under 2% wr now and we haven’t even started SS, so costs aren’t an issue at this time}

SouthernCPA
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by SouthernCPA » Fri May 11, 2018 2:49 pm

I live on the gulf coast and have always had or had access to a boat. I bought my current boat 3 years ago and use it as often as possible. In the summer this is nearly every weekend. It's really a lifestyle. We fish, go to islands/sandbars, cruise to dinner/bars on the water. We enjoy entertaining our friends on it as well. If you can afford it and truly love the water, do it. Some folks are "boat people" and some aren't.

Mine is a 22 foot center console with a 200hp Yamaha 4 stroke. It has served me well and maintenance is minimal because I keep it on a trailer and not in a slip (I live 2 miles from the marina). If you're running in saltwater, flush the engines after every trip and give it a good wash to get the salt off everything. Keep it waxed and put metal wax on all stainless rails, hand grabs, etc. Only run ethanol free gas - moisture in the gas tank + ethanol turn ethanol gas into trash that will gum up a fuel system..been there done that. Finally, stay on top of your fuel water separator changes and you'll avoid many problems.

I love boston whalers. A family member has a 17' Montauk and it's great for bays and calm days, but in the GOM chop, I prefer something a little larger than 17'.

Boating is pricey, but the memories with friends and family are worth it, in my opinion. We only get so many trips around the sun, so budget to do what you enjoy. We are looking forward to taking ours out to sit on our barrier islands with a grill and adult beverages this Sunday. :sharebeer

Soon2BXProgrammer
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer » Fri May 11, 2018 4:32 pm

Nestegg_User wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 1:21 pm
Soon2BXProgrammer wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 7:27 pm
fishmonger wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 10:17 am
Thoughts on Johnson motors? They never seem to get the rep that Honda, Yamaha, Merc, etc get. But I've been on the lake plenty of times and have seen ANCIENT Johnson motors still running, albeit of lower horsepower
i love my 1980 115 johnson... you can see the old commercial:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxVH5sKUlPg

yes, it finally broke down on my last year... but for 2k, i had it completely rebuilt.. and its ready to go.
...but what if she wants a bigger Johnson? (couldn’t resist, saw the youtube)

surprised that DW mentioned that there was a small boat for sale on her drive into town; it was for use on the nearby reservoir, it was a 14ft alum with only a 15hp and no canopy. I said that it would likely need a 20-25 hp and would be best if it had a canopy (or one could be retrofitted). {we’ve already got a truck that could easily handle it. I’m guessing that maybe it’s time to start getting toys: in retirement we’re under 2% wr now and we haven’t even started SS, so costs aren’t an issue at this time}
12/14 foot aluminum's if they don't have much in them, are really light and a 15hp 2 stroke can push them pretty well...

one note 1992 and older 15's are really 9.9's that have tuned exhaust and a bigger throated carb and run to a higher RPM. (it does really produce 15hp though, but you run the motor hard, and doesn't idle the best)..

1993 -2002 (sold until 2007) --- have a much bigger block, designed for 15hp, and the 9.9 model is just detuned.

the "big block 15's" as some call it, can really push a small light craft.

Ependytis
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by Ependytis » Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:16 pm

My dear friend always says do the math. So this is how I figured $100 per hour to own a boat. Your results may vary. My initial estimate was pretty close.

Cost per day for the boat
License- $200
Depreciation- $2400 -10% per year
Insurance- $300
Gas- $2240 -average owner uses it 14 days*10 gallons/ hour* $4/gallon *4 hours/day
Maintenance and repairs- $1200 -5% of boat cost
Storage- $600 -$50/month
Trailer depreciation- $100 -10% depreciation
Cost/day- $503 -for 14 days use
Total- $7040

Own truck- F-150
5 year costs- $33675 -Edmunds 5 year cost
10% for boat use- $3368
Cost /day- $241 -14 days of usage

Grand Total- $10408 -Both boat and car
Cost/day- $744 -14 days use
Cost/hr based on 7 hr/day-$106

OldBallCoach
Posts: 256
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Re: Buying a Boat

Post by OldBallCoach » Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:37 pm

fishmonger wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 10:09 am
I understand the bullets may start flying on this one, as boats in general are very un-Boglehead. Bottomline is I'm an avid fisherman, as our my kids, and I think the time is right. Plus I can afford it.

I'm looking to buy an older model Boston Whaler, 17-19 feet, price range $10-15k. I may be open to comparable models, but my family has owned Whalers in the past and their quality and resale value are well established. That being said, what should I be looking for/what questions should I be asking when checking out used boats?

Please stay away from the "don't buy a boat you'll never use it" responses. I'm very comfortable making the purchase and all that it entails.
I have a 190 moutank with a 150HP Honda on it. Solid and safe. I use it on Lake Michigan and have never even thought about any issues with this set up. We ski, tube, and drive it all weekend with the kids and grandkids...best money you will on a boat is with a Whaler..enjoy it and the fish will fear you!

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