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  1. #1
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    Default Buying a boat in winter?

    I have an awesome opportunity to buy a boat very very cheaply. However it is winter here in the midwest, and we cant exactly hook up a garden hose to hear it run.

    Anyone gamble on buying a boat in winter? What did you do when you looked at it? I was thinking of having him start it up dry, and just replace the impeller come spring, but then id have to re-winterize it and it is freezing here, not exactly what i want to be doing.

    He lives in a huge house in a nice neighborhood, and in my experience, means that he was more likely to maintain it well, then the guy living in a shack in the hood. The guy has had it for sale all winter at $3000, and keeps it in a heated garage. With all the snow we are getting, he just wants it out of his garage so he can park in it. He just changed the listing to.... first 1500 gets it. He has a cottage up north, and thats the only time he uses it.

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    1993 Starcraft eurostar
    3.0 mercruiser and alpha one drive
    Original interior, good shape
    Always covered or stored in garage
    Beautiful trailer

  2. #2
    Petty Officer 1st Class 75TowerOfPower's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a boat in winter?

    You should be able to run it on a nice day we will have and then since it's in a heated garage it shouldn't be a big deal since it won't freeze.

    And ask him hey if something is wrong with the motor you can come back and get you money when you can run it. If you want to get the deal then have him sign something saying that and if he won't sign it then you know something might be up with it. If he is confident in the motor running and everything being right he will sign it.
    1997 Crownline 202 BR
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Buying a boat in winter?

    Thats a good idea having him sign something.

    Well the problem with starting it up, is that i wouldn't be keeping it in a heated garage..... so i'd have to re-winterize it. The fact that the guy winterized it AND is keeping it in a heated garage tells me he most likely takes good care of it.

    I just thought of something, if a dealer winterized it, the motor would have to be in running condition for them to run antifreeze through it. Sooooo if i see the bill for the winterizing, and its done by a dealer, we should be good. It might also note on there if the dealer found anything wrong with it.

  4. #4
    Seaman Apprentice Hiya Bayaya's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a boat in winter?

    Good advice from from 75, but just because he has it in a heated garage does not mean he really took care of it, if you think he has money cause of the neighbourhood he lives, might mean he left the boat at a marina in summer and the boat in water, you did say so check for rotten wood, stand on interior floor and feel the floor for potential soft spots, check anodes, blisters on gel coat and if the engines runs perfect, thats the half way point, after all, it is a 1993 boat, dont be fooled by exterior looks, inspect it.
    Good luck

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Buying a boat in winter?

    you are thinking correctly. the best opportunities entail risk.

    I doubt he'd give you a money-back deal; I wouldn't, except for maybe a couple of days.
    I don't know anything about pricing, but also consider worst case: if you had to repower it, is it still a good deal? A 1993 I/O hull in good shape is valuable to the owner (you) even though the condition won't add significantly to the sales price. So a good hull can be worth repowering.
    A man of constant boat tinkering.

  6. #6
    Chief Petty Officer dorelse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a boat in winter?

    I have purchased a boat in the winter. Knowing what I know now, I was foolish doing so, but...ended up being a great boat.

    Honestly, all the signs of the boat being treated well are there...keeps it in the garage, the condition of the interior tells you a lot about the boat. If its as nice as you say, not cracking, not weathered, etc...the only way it'd be that in that good of shape (for a 1993 boat) if it was always covered, etc.

    $1500? I'd probably roll the dice. Sounds like its an opportunity for you...when April/May rolls around, he'll be able to sell it for $3k no problem.

    Yeah, I'd pull the trigger.

    Now...the biggest concern would be...how do you get it home without it freezing up? Or was it winterized properly? Sometimes guys with heated garages don't always winterize it as well...I'd hate to have the block and/or outdrive freeze up on you as you tow it home.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Buying a boat in winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hiya Bayaya View Post
    Good advice from from 75, but just because he has it in a heated garage does not mean he really took care of it, if you think he has money cause of the neighbourhood he lives, might mean he left the boat at a marina in summer and the boat in water, you did say so check for rotten wood, stand on interior floor and feel the floor for potential soft spots, check anodes, blisters on gel coat and if the engines runs perfect, thats the half way point, after all, it is a 1993 boat, dont be fooled by exterior looks, inspect it.
    Good luck
    I know for a fact that it was left in the water at his lake lot. But it was always covered (according to him). I am going tonight to look at it. I did not know about the blisters in the gel... im assuming if it has blistering, that there is water trapped in it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Home Cookin' View Post
    you are thinking correctly. the best opportunities entail risk.

    I doubt he'd give you a money-back deal; I wouldn't, except for maybe a couple of days.
    I don't know anything about pricing, but also consider worst case: if you had to repower it, is it still a good deal? A 1993 I/O hull in good shape is valuable to the owner (you) even though the condition won't add significantly to the sales price. So a good hull can be worth repowering.
    It is a risk. There is a dealer selling the identical boat for $6995, and the salestatus is pending. I could part out the engine worse comes worse, and sell the trailer for at least $500. So as long as the floor isn't soft, and the transom doesn't flex, and now blisters..... i think i'm gonna do it. Here is the ad.

    http://toledo.craigslist.org/boa/2225316949.html

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Buying a boat in winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by dorelse View Post
    I have purchased a boat in the winter. Knowing what I know now, I was foolish doing so, but...ended up being a great boat.

    Honestly, all the signs of the boat being treated well are there...keeps it in the garage, the condition of the interior tells you a lot about the boat. If its as nice as you say, not cracking, not weathered, etc...the only way it'd be that in that good of shape (for a 1993 boat) if it was always covered, etc.

    $1500? I'd probably roll the dice. Sounds like its an opportunity for you...when April/May rolls around, he'll be able to sell it for $3k no problem.

    Yeah, I'd pull the trigger.

    Now...the biggest concern would be...how do you get it home without it freezing up? Or was it winterized properly? Sometimes guys with heated garages don't always winterize it as well...I'd hate to have the block and/or outdrive freeze up on you as you tow it home.
    It was winterized. Thats another sign that he maintains it well. Having a heated garage AND winterizing it means he takes no chances. See above for the ad.

  9. #9
    Chief Petty Officer dorelse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a boat in winter?

    Saw the ad...go get it.

    Even IF you had to repower it (bad engine, etc.) you'd still be ahead.

    Maybe in the spring you can tow it back over to his house and he can go through the boat with you, his starting procedure, etc, etc...
    My Boat:
    1978 Glastron Carlson CVZ-18
    Project Thread - http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=357939

    1986 Bayliner Capri 1600 - SOLD
    Project Thread - http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=338265

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Buying a boat in winter?

    i've bought both my last boats without a water test, in the middle of winter. (it was below zero daytime high when I pulled the last one home!) COMPRESSION test, can't stress that one enough. Even if you do decide to start it without water, don't judge it on how it starts. The first start of the season is supposed to be hard, that means there was plenty of fogging oil, as well as the fact boat carbs generally like warm weather, not below zero.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Buying a boat in winter?

    Yeah i'm gonna get it, as long as the floor and transom is solid. I have a 1982 imperial with a rebuilt merc 120 in it. Worse comes worse ill yank it out of there and drop it in the starcraft. The trailer is very nice too. Thanks for the help!

  12. #12
    Chief Petty Officer dorelse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a boat in winter?

    Yeah, $1500 for that? Nice boat, great price. Follow up with some pictures when you get it home! I wonder what kind of looks you'll get towing that in the snow...
    My Boat:
    1978 Glastron Carlson CVZ-18
    Project Thread - http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=357939

    1986 Bayliner Capri 1600 - SOLD
    Project Thread - http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=338265

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Buying a boat in winter?

    Will do! Yeah we got an ice storm last night, people are gonna think i'm nuts. The only thing cosmetically that i see (he sent a BUNCH of very detailed pics) is the waterline stain, the paint is chipping toward the back where it was in the water (not gel coat, just surface paint). Im gonna anti-foul the bottom anyways, since it will be docked in lake erie.

  14. #14
    Rear Admiral Fireman431's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a boat in winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by dorelse View Post
    Saw the ad...go get it.

    Even IF you had to repower it (bad engine, etc.) you'd still be ahead.

    Maybe in the spring you can tow it back over to his house and he can go through the boat with you, his starting procedure, etc, etc...
    ^^^^ What he said...
    2001 Carver Voyager 374 'Stick's Competition'

    Something tells me I should be on the water....

    If I answer your upholstery questions, it's only because I've been doing it 20+ years...

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Buying a boat in winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireman431 View Post
    ^^^^ What he said...
    Yeah im jumping on it. This is a dealer, but still...... http://boats.iboats.com/1993-starcra...71/700401.html

  16. #16
    Chief Petty Officer dorelse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a boat in winter?

    ryanr623 - curious if you were able to get the boat?
    My Boat:
    1978 Glastron Carlson CVZ-18
    Project Thread - http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=357939

    1986 Bayliner Capri 1600 - SOLD
    Project Thread - http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=338265

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Buying a boat in winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by dorelse View Post
    ryanr623 - curious if you were able to get the boat?
    Sorry, forgot to update everyone. The pics were NOT recent. The lounge seats were coming apart at the seams.... still a good deal, but it was smaller than i thought. Would be a GREAT investment for someone, but i don't want to have to deal with it. Floors and transom solid though.

  18. #18
    Chief Petty Officer dorelse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a boat in winter?

    Those back-to-back lounges take up a lot of room...and yes, I don't know what Lake Erie is like...but that's a small boat on a big lake!
    My Boat:
    1978 Glastron Carlson CVZ-18
    Project Thread - http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=357939

    1986 Bayliner Capri 1600 - SOLD
    Project Thread - http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=338265

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Buying a boat in winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by dorelse View Post
    Those back-to-back lounges take up a lot of room...and yes, I don't know what Lake Erie is like...but that's a small boat on a big lake!
    Take a look at my other thread, let me know what you think of the boat/price.

    Lake Erie is a big water, shallow lake, which makes going from 1 foot to 6 foot waves about a 30 second process. Whips up FAST. I go out 5 miles and its 12 feet deep. My imperial is pretty deep, and 17.6 feet long, and even that is cutting it sometimes.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Buying a boat in winter?

    I realize you're passing on this deal... just in case you find another like this... what I would've done in that situation is that if all checks out from visual inspection, if I wanted to buy it, the deal hinged on me seeing it run/shift etc. I'd ask him to put it on muffs in his garage, and that I'd need to use his shop to re-winterize it afterwards. With a 3.0 it's not a big job. A couple drain plugs on the engine, disconnect some hoses and add antifreeze, remove battery. An hour tops, including cleaning up after the job. That hour would give me a lot of piece of mind. If it doesn't run or otherwise seems to have major mechanical issues, the re-winterizing is his problem... If all is good, it's your problem.

  21. #21
    Lieutenant Commander 25thmustang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a boat in winter?

    I bought mine without firing the motors. They did need a bit of parts to get them working right, but the money I saved seemed justified.
    Boat: 1987 29' Cruisers Inc 297 Elegante. T/270 Crusaders. (SOLD)
    Boat #2: 1984 34' Silverton 34C. T/270 Crusaders. Westerbeke Gen.
    Updating Thread: http://forums.iboats.com/boat-restor...vy-534493.html
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  22. #22
    Lieutenant Joshua Nichols's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a boat in winter?

    Well looks like he sold her.... I only paid a grand for my boat.. By-far the best boat deal I have ever made and I have made a few winners.. Sometimes ya gotta jump on the good deals when you are a po boy like me fix the little stuff and go boating


    87 Four Winns 170 Horizon 4.3 OMC COBRA"Only Child"
    only thing GM I own.. Of course it's the only one that gives trouble..
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    Hope all you want.. It won't get it fixed..

  23. #23
    Petty Officer 3rd Class AgentJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a boat in winter?

    i bought mine in the winter, jan 1 infac. but itwas abrand new one. i dont know if i would by a used on in the winter with not beingable to take it out first.

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