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used boat questions

Post By: panfishin      Posted: 6/18/2019 11:14:20 AM     Points: 7997    
Randomly my neighbor came up to me last week as told me that he was looking to get rid of his boat, I think his wife was tired of having it in storage. they have had it stored for "3 or 4 years" and the motor was redone at about that time too. He said that its a 16' tracker with a 40hp 4 stroke motor, he paid 15k for it when it was new...forgot to ask him what year it was and what model...but after looking thru the tracker models online (if everything he said was true and still lines up) I think it is a Tracker Super guide V-16 SC, or something similar depending on how old it is. He said that he would bring it by sometime next week for me to take a look at.

So my question for you boat owners, since this would be my first time buying one if all looks good, is what should I be looking for as far as potential issues to look for on a walk thru of the boat? besides the obvious one of making sure that the motor will start up, especially after he mentioned that it was re-done :) and make sure that the trolling motor works.

I was surprised that my wife was so quick to jump on board when I told her about it since we just had baby girl #3 last week. Probably because it is a lot cheaper than the brand new 18-20' boats that I was doing my research on...Potentially a good little starter boat to "get my feet wet" so to speak.
 Reply by: Ajax5240      Posted: 6/18/2019 11:31:11 AM     Points: 29347    
Lots of things can go south when it sits for a few years like that. Seems people tend to 'round down' when stating how long something sat.

The fuel in the tank and engine is likely turned to junk by now. Will need to be drained, cleaned, and filled with fresh gas. Fuel system in the engine likely needs a good cleaning and tune up. batteries are all likely flat dead, depending on the trolling motor, you could be looking at 2-5 deep cycle batteries at about $80ea. trailer bearings should be done before driving any distance, trailer tires have a 3-5 year shelf life.. They may be shot too..

Running a boat engine on a hose tells you very little other than that the engine runs. Only real way to test a boat is on a lake, run it on plane, check that it doesn't overheat.. forward and reverse work, shift smoothly, steering cable moves smoothly, no leaks, bilge and live well pumps work, lights and electronics, etc..

I certainly wouldn't load all the kids and wife up for the maiden voyage.

have an experienced boat owner with you when you check it all out.
 Reply by: GoNe_FiShIn_11      Posted: 6/18/2019 12:31:23 PM     Points: 11531    
Yea what he said. That sums it up pretty well. Get ready to drop a little bit of cash. You will find something you will want to fix.

Make sure trailer lights work. If not already, I would change over to led trailer lights. Don't have to worry about lights burning out due to the water.
 Reply by: panfishin      Posted: 6/18/2019 12:48:52 PM     Points: 7997    
Good stuff! He did mention that he knew the batteries were shot and would be replacing them.

I was thinking that it would be a good idea to ask him if we could run it down to Chatfield for a quick test drive. Weíll see next week when he brings it by.
 Reply by: Ajax5240      Posted: 6/18/2019 12:57:27 PM     Points: 29347    
Donít even turn the key on with that old gas in it. If nothing else, drain the gas out and get some fresh stuff in there with a can of SeaFoam.

Impeller is probably dried out too, likely should install a new one before starting it up. Make sure it runs on a hose before heading to the lake.

Donít be the guy at the ramp trying to figure out why it wonít run or pump water.

Drain and fill the lower unit of the outboard with some fresh oil would be wise too before a test drive

No point ruining any part of the boat while test driving it
 Reply by: GoNe_FiShIn_11      Posted: 6/18/2019 1:56:13 PM     Points: 11531    
I would pick somewhere a little less busy just in case of issues. Who knows he may have kept it in running condition just never brought it out. Cover the bases before you go. Less hassle down the road.
 Reply by: RogBow      Posted: 6/18/2019 2:13:40 PM     Points: 1663    
All fluids, regrease everything, change impeller and batteries, check lights, check tires. Spray a bit of Sea Foam in the cylinders and check the plugs. Fresh fuel and swap the water separator. Anti siphon valve is likely done, you can get a new one of those or mod the existing one. All this before you even try to start it.
 Reply by: Ajax5240      Posted: 6/18/2019 2:22:04 PM     Points: 29347    
One other thing to add in there. Less on the maintenance side of things...

A 40hp on a 16í boat at our elevation would be close to under powered in my opinion. I have a 17.5í tracker with a 90hp, canít imagine having less than half that power. Load that boat up with the family, fuel, batteries, etc and you may find yourself wanting for more power.

This may be a good time to look at what else is out there. May be a better rig, ready to hit the water for the same money unless he is giving you some sweetheart deal
 Reply by: FXA0      Posted: 6/18/2019 2:31:16 PM     Points: 165    
If you are not an experienced boater/mechanic, put the onus on the seller to sell you the boat and show you that it is in working condition... unless it's a bargain you can't pass up... then again, you should be suspicious. I am not a mechanic, but have owned 3 used boats. What I check:

1. Does the motor run? Again, the buyer should be in a position to show you that. A test drive is a good idea.
2. Is there any damage to the hull? Look around and below the boat.
3. Are there any soft spots on the floor?
4. Is the transom solid? Shake the motor. The whole boat should be moving with it, not just the transom.

There's plenty of youtube videos about what to look for when looking at used boats.

In my opinion, owning a boat should be fun. It should not a project or a second job. If it's going to be a project or a second job, I'd rather just be on shore.
 Reply by: Gunny Airborne      Posted: 6/18/2019 5:48:32 PM     Points: 4095    
Ajax is dead on.
I bought the last tracker v-15 bass pro had and up graded to 40. Top speed 25 at chatty.
Now I own a pro v 175 combo and up my hp to 115 and dragging my grandkids around is a pain .40 mph at Chatfield , 30 if Iím lucky up ant grand lake.
So, you, wife and kids- slow,slow slow.
Oh and I took my v-15 up to turquoise lake and thought something was wrong, nothing was, it was the altitude.
My max speed there was 10-15 mph. Crazy.
 Reply by: esoxrocks      Posted: 6/18/2019 7:21:03 PM     Points: 2495    
Underpowered for CO IMO. May get by on the front range fishing by yourself or one friend but altitude will be another story. I have a 17í Deep-V with a 115 and I donít like how it performs at altitude. Take that same 40hp to WI and you can pull your kids around the lake all day.
 Reply by: morry      Posted: 6/19/2019 7:35:31 AM     Points: 211    
A few other items for consideration:
1. current registration in order to launch and test
2. have all safety gear, through cushion, life vests, horn or whistle,
fire extinguisher
3. spare trailer tire, jack and lug wrench

Have fun!

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