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i planning to buy my first boat in about 6 months.i plannin to buy it used. what cc do u guys prefer.i know theres tons of boats out there but are there any that stand out and are worth the extra $$$?
 

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re: used boat

for your first boat, you've got to decide whether you want a center console(c/c), cuddy cabin, walk around (w/a),or walk through (bowrider)...
price ranges will run from 3500 to 9k, for anything decent.
lets say you're gonna buy a 21' cuddy,
you're gonna need a minimun of 150-175 hp to push it up on plane without too much work on the motor. better to be overpowered than underpowered. however if you're looking at a boat like the on mentioned and it has a 200-225 hp on it, you'll have to check on the transom to see if it has any "stress cracks" in/on/around it. a good starter boat that you'll enjoy, learn from would be a boat not too much bigger than a 21'.
its practical on gas, enough room to have 2-4 people on it, typically strong enough to "break most inlets", and easiest to work on... good luck on yer choice! just remember one thing, and you'll avoid alot of headaches, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!!!
sellin' my 1990 20 sportcraft c/c, 200 hp. yahama,96 9.9 evinrude kicker. lots of extras...8600-
 

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Used boats

Buying your first boat used is an excellent idea; if you've never owned a boat before, you're going to have a whole different perspective a short time after owning. Most likely you will decide after the first year there's something else you would like better. With used boats it's nice because they loose little, if any, value when properly maintained.

You've stated you want a CC, so within the realm of CC's... how much do you want to spend (allways the big question)? do you want to trailer it? what would you like to use it for?

When looking for used boats, there are some bigger $$ brands.. for one reason or another you'll see Boston Whaler, Grady White, Parker, Dusky, and others often priced above the rest.. To some extent, you do get what you pay for, but buying used isn't as cut and dry.

I've seen a dozen water damaged Grady Whites - probably sold for a premium used before dry docked. I've seen a bunch of Boston Whalers with rotten floors - same deal. Find a boat that's 10 years old that has had 3 owners and it's much cheaper than the same boat with one owner.. Some people will give you the "good as new" = "worth as much as new" BS.. never true. The prices range quite a bit, it's easy to get ripped off.

Things are worth what someone will pay for it - keep that in mind when shopping. Bring a friend with you that has owned boats, never trust the sellers word, and keep in mind that everything is negotiable; "firm" doesn't mean much when the buyer wants to sell. Buy the want adds every week and become familier with which boats have been in week after week & whats new, what's a bad & good deal etc.. don't be afraid to insult the seller with a low offer, it gets them thinking if nothing else.

My advice is to concern yourself mostly with the condition of what you are buying. Worry about the age & brand a bit, but the condition is everything when buying used. If you are buying a trailerable boat - the one that's spent most of it's life dry-docked on the trailer is generally in much better condition than anything kept at a slip or mooring.

Basic things to look for w/ boats: Be sure that every ounce of the floor is solid - if anything is soft at all, it will quickly get worse & require lots of work. Take a very hard look at the transom, knock on it with a rubber mallet. It should sound & be like a hard piece of wood; if it's soft at all, forget about that boat. Look for stress cracks, blisters, delamination, soft spots, and poorly done repairs on the hull - any of this can mean structural issues & water damage. If it's practical, take a look down in the bilge & at the back side of the transom - it should all be perfectly sound as well. Pay attention the the way the owner has stored the boat - it should be in a self draining position.

I really just know outboard engines - check the compression, look for obvious problems, evaluate corrosion, drain a little lower unit lube & be sure there is no water or chunks. Test power trim & tilt. Have the buyer leave the engine cold, start it up yourself & see how it idles etc.. Take it for an on the water test if the buyer will let you - open it up to full throttle for 20 minutes, beat on it etc.. Try reverse & forward, be sure all is well.

And this was just the condensed version ;)..

Jon
 

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re: above post...

Ha! I'd like to see a boat owner let anyone "open it full throttle" for 20 mins!!!! LMAO!!!!
if the owner lets you do that...i'd seriously look for another boat, bein the owner ran it that way himself,lmao...20 mins, HA!
 

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opening up the boat..

You never run your boat @ full throttle? On a nice day I'll run mine at full throttle for an hour at a shot.. if the ocean allows it, why not? Obviosly, within reason, a boat that does 50MPH isn't going to let you run it at full throttle most of the time.. or if it's a diesel, that's another story. Outboards are designed to be run at full throttle - if the owner of a boat wouldn't let me open it up, within reason & the boundries of the body of water, - I surely wouldn't buy it and would have to assume something is wrong.

Jon
 

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I don't know LEAKY. I've had out boards for the last 12 years and never ran mine open for more than a minute or two.They are designed to run at high rpm's but I would never run my engine for an hour opened up full.I would be afraid of blowing it up.Its just one of those things you do to try to get more engine life out of it,and if I was looking to buy your boat and you told me that I would walk away.Thats beating on it.I've always babied mine.
paulie

(This post edited by B.Attitude on 02/27/2003)
 

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food for thought

B.Attitude, I understand what you are saying, and obviously going a little easy on it doesn't hurt the engine, but I don't buy that it gets you anything extra either. 2-strokes differ in that sense, they are not hurt by constantly running at nearly full power - giving them that edge for marine use.

OMC claims the most efficient speed is just a touch down from full throttle. "Economy Range" or something like that - if your engine is at 5500 at WOT, then running it at 5300 or so is optimal..

Seriously though, if you were selling your boat, safety permitting, you wouldn't let someone open it up? You wouldn't want to open up a used boat you were testing out to buy? If I was going to take it for a test cruise, that's about the first thing I'd do - take it from idle to open & see how it likes it.

Just a little note - a friend of mine had a merc 140 - it would run and idle fine unless you took it out for a beat run.. after about 20 minutes of high RPM's one of the cylinders would stop firing due to metal pieces caught in the spark plug. The cylinder was shot and getting scraped away by the piston, but it was only noticeable after extended high RPM. By vacuming out the pieces, it would run fine again - you want to find those types of problems before you buy.

Another odd thing that can happen is due to a water leak, sometimes engines overheat at high RPM's, but not low ones - hard to fix, and hard to spot unless you put some time into running them.. My .02,

Jon
 

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Leaky,
not too sure about that statement either.I don't know about OMC,I owned Suzuki's and the ranges were 5200-5500 rpm WOT and the economy(best economical)range was about 4000-4300.Dropping down 2-3oo rmps isn't really backing down,not making much of a difference.As far as letting someone test my boat at WOT,that would be fine for a matter of a few minutes but thats it unless he had his check book with him incase something let go.
paulie
 

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as far as high rpm is concerned....
my 200 yahama does 53-5400 rpm top end,
i cruise at 37-3800. every once in a while i'll bring it up too 4200 and the bow digs right in. smooth ride! maybe once a week i'll top end it for a min or two, just to make sure i can still get there. if not i know i probally have to change the fuel/water seperator, or check the inline fuel filters, or check the plugs for fouling.
tricks of the trade. i look at it like this...i'm goin to buy a used truck, the owner says to me;
hey put the pedal down to the floor and dont be afraid to keep it there for a few mins.! lol, sure capt., sure
 

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That's where you've got it wrong - marine engines are made to run at full power for extended periods of time, automobiles just aren't. Marine engines are geared just right, with the correct pitched prop, so that they run at ideal RPM's at WOT.

How we use them, I think, much depends on how fast the boat goes. Mine tops out just below 40 MPH, in a little chop, or heavily loaded - sometimes even less than 35 MPH. I want to get to those fish ASAP! If point A to B is 25 miles, at 4000 RPM's that'll take me an hour.. at 5500 RPM's it's going to take much less.

Jon
 

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one funny thing

Pounding this subject to death, and off subject as well, but this post made me think how it's funny my boat has no optimum running speed.

Merc 115 L6 on an old 21 ft starcraft cheiftan. No matter what I do, it burns about 8 gallons an hour.. idling & trolling it burns about 4; at full throttle the fuel pump only pumps 6 gallons @ 2 psi. Not sure where those extra 2 gallons come from. So.. my optimum running speed is all out, get there as quick as possible and shut her down. 6 clyinders to create 115 HP does a very nice job, I'll bet a V4 115 wouldn't perform anywhere near the same way, but is horribly inefficient for low speeds.

Jon
 

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Outboards are made to run at full throttle? If were talking about small enging (15 h.p and under) I wouldn't argue with you a whole lot. But with bigger engines, running wide open puts alot of stress on the motor. The difference in heat generated by the engine at WOT compared to backed off just a few hundred RPM's is incredible. That's why your fuel burn goes up so noticeably at WOT. That extra fuel is being used in part just to keep the cylinder head temps sustainable. So if you don't mind burning an assload of extra fuel or rebuilding your powerheads every other season, go ahead and enjoy "life in the fastlane".
 

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one last note...

i think the age old tradition of outboards is....
run it at 2/3 power and you;ll be fine.
ie;
6000 rpm top end, 4000 will do just fine, even 45 is okay. i always try to leave 1500 "in reserve", just in case i gotta "get out of the way, or something".
so anyway, mako's are great c/c boats. and reasonable as well, cobia's another, hydrasport, c-hawk, all good.
go with a minimum of 8' beam... more width to move around the console...good luck! sea what you started!!!
 

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There are a million used center consoles out there that would be fine for you. I'd recommend you pay the most attention to the power. In used boats the engine can easily make up 2/3 of the value of the boat. My preferences are Yamaha and Suzuki. If you wind up with a really nice hull but a dodgy engine, you'll spend a lot of time sitting at the dock, and a lot of money trying to keep the engine running.
 

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Full range

When I bought my boat I haad to break in my engin 175hp Evenrude and they had me run in full throttle 38rpm's for 15 min. then move it down every 15min with out going off plane this was so the engin would have full range my 02
 
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