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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
back in 2004 my uncle and i knew nothing about boats, we loved fishing but knew nothing about boats, went to olympic boat center in fife and bought a brand new bayliner 175 runabout for 18k otd. salesman told us it would make a great fishing boat. we used it until 2007 and sold it due to his limitation; cant mount a trolling motor, dr's would look funny, not sea worthy. sold it for half of what he paid for.

i talked to my uncle earlier today and he wants another boat, a used one. nothing over the 20k range that is sea worthy for the straits, inner neah bay and maybe westport. looked at some used trophies and sea rangers on craigslist the prices arent too bad. but what are the most important factors to look for when purchasing a used boat? haul? motor? etc?

thanks!
 

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Well, you are going to get a lot of different opinions on this topic. You have already decided where you will use the boat, it sounds like salt water usage mostly. Do you prefer I/O or an outboard? Personally in a fishing boat I prefer an outboard and I like them to be mounted on an off shore bracket. This gives the maximum amount of room in the boat. I also prefer fiberglass over aluminum for the better ride in rougher water. In buying a used boat I think the condition of the motor is the most important factor because marine engines are just plain expensive. If possible have a marine mechanic that you trust check out the engine and do a compression check. Hour meters are a good clue as to motor usage but they only measure the time that the key is in the "on" position. Insist on a "wet" test and make sure that the boat comes up on plane easily and that excelleration is smooth. When looking at a used boat I take an ice pick or a pocket knife with me to poke around the inside of the transom and the floor area looking for soft wood. I will also put my weight on the motor looking for transom flex. Since we live in the NW and it rains from time to time I also prefer a boat with a hard top but that is just me. Good curtains and canvass will keep you dry but they don't last forever. In models I like Olympic (I own one), Glasply, Tiderunner, and I have heard that Campions are nice as well. I'm sure many others will chime in with their favorites too. Take your time and look at a few boats, surfing boat trader online and Craigs list is a good way to see what is out there. Good luck and good hunting.

Something like this Tiderunner would do probably everything you want it to do.

http://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/boa/575349983.html
 

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If you buy used be sure to have it surveyed by a reputable marine surveyer. They'll know what too look for.
 

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start with a good make ie IMO - Olympic, glas-ply, campion, uniflite arima etc. then make sure the Previous owner took good care of it which means they didnt let it sit open getting rained on all the time. boats are only water proof on the bottom! this is the thing that pisses me off about people with boats. dont let water sit in the bilge or get on the controls. steer clear of cheapo brands. bayliners of all types and sizes have quality issues. They are inferior in hull strength due to the fact that they cast the hulls rather than hand lay which is to compare chip board to ply wood, the latter being much tougher.

my dad works in the marine fab industry and tells of horror stories with them and lots of unhappy bayliner owners even with their yachts. We had a family freind who tested them in the mid 90s too and i wont go there. this will probably draw criticism from some bayliner owners who have had success with them but so be it.
 

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Bayliner boats had a major quality issue in the 80's and early 90's with their "smaller" boats...ie. up to 35'. Not sure on current models, but would assume the quality issues may have subsided a bit. It is true about the hull construction. Bayliner boats used in the Great Lakes were known to have cracked hulls and even break apart due to the short wave frequency seen in those waters.

If you are looking at a boat with an I/O, be sure to have a mechanic and/or marine surveyor check it out for you. Lots of gremlins hide in marine engines and those not well cared for will cost you tons of money you hadn't planned on spending. As others have said, look for apparent signs of rot (both wet and dry), fiberglass cracking, dead zones in the hull, overall mechanical function of all controls (especially the gauges), etc. Nobody likes to be "taken" on a bad deal, so if the deal doesn't feel right, trust your gut Tup: .
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
great information everybody!

he wants to wait until july to see what he really wants. btw, does anybody know the cost of having a mechanic look over a boat?
 

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Robert said:
btw, does anybody know the cost of having a mechanic look over a boat?
Cheaper than buying a lemon.

Seriously though,I think my friend said he paid a couple hundred bucks to check out his 21'er.
 

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does anyone have any opinions on the non monetary value of a boat inspector? I have no experience here. The reason I ask is that I paid for a home inspector to inspect my house and i think i wasted a few hundred bucks and others have said the same.
 

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Most of the inspection to be done on a boat is pretty easy for the "average Joe" to do himself. As for a home inspection, until recently home inspectors were not regulated by the state. Now they will have to undergo state certified training and pass some sort of exam to become licensed, which is a good thing.
 

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The larger the boat you're looking to buy, the more important a good, quality marine surveyor becomes. I think if you feel comfortable enough to look at the boat and make an educated decision on whether to buy it or not, then you don't need a surveyor. Want some added comfort on the decision making, hire a good surveyor. Whatever your potential "investment" is, remember it's your money. Does a few hundred bucks for a marine surveyor really dent the overall operating expenses that much when you're talking about boat ownership?
 

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Condition, condition, condition. You can buy a lot of boat for $10-20 grand IF you take your time, know what you're looking for and are ready to pounce when you find it. A great boat at a great price, sells quickly. I agree with what others have said: Buy a respected brand. Based on what you've said so far, I'd suggest Arima or Tiderunner. Both have long traditions in the Puget Sound and really are geared for fishing Puget Sound, Sekiu, Neah Bay and most importantly, they hold their value extremely well. In that price range you can probably expect to get your money back (minus what you put into it due to maintenance, etc).

A couple of questions though: You want a fishing only boat, right? What kind of tow rig do you have? How big of a boat do you think you need? How many normally will be in the boat?

Once you've decided on a brand and size, keep this in mind; a new, great looking boat with an undependable motor, is a useless piece of junk and a beat up boat with a dependable motor is a GREAT fish catching machine! FIRST AND FOREMOST, the motor needs to run flawlessly! Smooth slow idle, strong acceleration. I would again stick with a respected brand. Yamaha. Others may suggest Honda, maybe Mercury. I'd stick with Yamaha. And NO REBUILDS! My philosophy is this... if it needed a rebuild it either had a zillion hours on it (over use) and there will be problems with other things or the motor was built with poor tolerances from the factory and a rebuild isn't going to help it. In my opinion, the first rebuild means the second isn't far away!

Don't compromise. Wait for the perfect boat. They are out there. In that price range, here is what I would be looking for (I've been toying with buying a boat in the same price range for a long time).

17-19' Arima or Tiderunner
Skiptower
100-120 hp Yamaha

Now this boat is a little too much pricewise, but close to what I'd be looking for: http://www.coastsidefishingclub.com/cla ... all&page=1
 

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1- Look for a boat that suits your needs, and get to know what your needs are- For example if you are a tall guy, and the Arima hardtop will hunch and stoop, you'll have known this because you went to a boatshow or something and will have seen it first hand. (Arimas are good boats, this is an example) Consider trailering, storage, taking trips and overnighting etc... Imagine how you will use it.

2- Check the hours on the motor. You can have this checked by a mechanic, and they'll read the computer for you.

2c over and out.
 

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20miler said:
.....if you are a tall guy, and the Arima hardtop will hunch and stoop, you'll have known this because you went to a boatshow or something and will have seen it first hand. Consider trailering, storage, taking trips and overnighting etc... Imagine how you will use it.
All good advice....but that's why I'd go with the Arima skiptower versus the hardtop....plenty of headroom!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
again, great info guys. nice write up salmonseeker Tup:

A couple of questions though: You want a fishing only boat, right? What kind of tow rig do you have? How big of a boat do you think you need? How many normally will be in the boat?
well, my uncle has a ford E-350 van that he used to tow the 17.5ft bayliner, which is no problem and he has a chevy 2500 crew. i think both of these vehicles could tow a 19-21ft boat properly. as for boat size, when we fished in the 17.5 bayliner it was a little cramped for four grown guys 160-200lbs each. so a boat around 19-21ft should be good enough for an average of 4 guys.
 

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Clockwork said:
does anyone have any opinions on the non monetary value of a boat inspector? I have no experience here. The reason I ask is that I paid for a home inspector to inspect my house and i think i wasted a few hundred bucks and others have said the same.
Marine surveyors - there are 2 organizations that have recognized standards for surveyors: SAMS (the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors) and NAMS (National Association of Marine Surveyors). Surveyors that have a SAMS or NAMS affiliation have been thru a comprehensive training and education process in all facets of marine inspection.

The value of a good NAMS/SAMS surveyor? Priceless. If his expertise (cost of a few hundred $$ for a large vessel) saves you thousands/tens of thousands, it's worth every penny.
 

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Four men..... Yes, now you're talking 19-21. Luckily your uncle has the rig to tow it. On the downside, you'll probably have to purchase a little older boat to stay in your price range. Still $20k will buy you a heck of a boat if you are patient for the right deal.

The other suggestions of Olympic and Glasply are also good boats in that size. Those four brands in that size are really Pacific Northwest standards.

Arima, Glasply, Olympic, Tiderunner.... If you spend a lot of time studying and shopping those brands in the 19-21' size, you'll be well on your way to finding a great boat! Study, study, study.... Pros and Cons to each so learn about each and decide what is important to you. Then when you see that FANTASTIC deal, pounce. I think I would be happy with any of those.
 

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SalmonSeeker said:
If you spend a lot of time studying and shopping those brands in the 19-21' size, you'll be well on your way to finding a great boat! Study, study, study.... Pros and Cons to each so learn about each and decide what is important to you. Then when you see that FANTASTIC deal, pounce. I think I would be happy with any of those.
I gotta second this method. Think of it like buying a used car; only worse. Not as bad as buying a house but it is a close second. I'd start looking now. Nobody will fault you for walking away. In fact, not having the money to buy "right now" is probably a benefit. Sure you will have walked away from a good deal using 20/20 hindsight but it is better to see what is out there, what is good/bad and what everything is worth. It may also pay to see a dealer as well. Like used car dealers, they **usually** have more boats, better stuff and higher prices. They may have a couple of boats you are interested in available for a side by side comparison, something that is unlikely in a private party sale. Just be honest and say you are just looking, let them know that this is the first place you have visited and that if you see a good deal you will come back but you aren't going to marry the first good looking boat you meet wink: .

If you look at enough boats, you will be able to weed out the really bad boats by yourself. You won't have to pay anybody to do this. Then when you have settled on one or two boats you can pay to have it inspected.
 
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