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Discussion Starter #1
Well, looking to get back into the water...hehe

I am looking for a decent preowned bowrider somewhere in the neighborhood of 17'-21' pushing at least a 3.7L I/O or better.
I don't want any 90/120HP Force stuff or Bayliner stuff either. ;)
Looking to use it to runabout the freshwater lakes, rivers, etc here and do some family cruising and possible tubing down the road. Would consider a cuddy cabin but probably get more use out of a bowrider. Not looking to buy a new one for $20K either.
I am on pretty tight budget and don't mind a somewhat older boat depending on manfucturer and overall condition/hours etc.

Let me know your experiences with these types of boats, manufacturer opinions (Maxum, Four Winns, Searay, Ebbtide, Chapparal etc), and anything else I should be looking for.

Thanks again and happy boating.
:)

Andy
:bouncy:
 

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You might also want to keep your eyes open for an old Caravelle. I work on several of them from the early 90's. They're some well built boats. MerCruiser would be my first choice for engine and drive, but OMC cobra is good too. I'd stay away from the OMC stringer mount drives if you are looking at something from the early 80's or older. They are expensive to fix and it's getting real hard to find someone that is willing to work on them. The marina I work at is the only one in our area that will touch them.

I'd take a large standard screwdriver and a rag with me to go look at one. Check that lower unit oil. So many people neglect their drives. Look for water or metal chunks. Black oil that smells burnt could be expensive also. Take a good look at the driveshaft and shift cable bellows. Any sign of dry rot, they should be replaced. Torn bellows will definately sink a boat.

I realize where you're at it probably isn't much of a concern, but check for freeze damage. Look for cracks on the engine block and exhaust manifolds. Also check for water in the engine oil. OMC cobra drives can crack too if not winterized properly.

Make sure there are no leaks in the fuel system.Take it out and drive it. Check again for water inside or outside of the engine. Make sure it doesn't rattle or pop out of gear. If it does, it could be just an adjustment or you might have to replace some expensive gears in the lower unit.

I apologize if I've covered everything you already know. I just see so many boats that people have just bought. They get a "deal", and then I have to tell them what it's going to take to make their boat useable and safe.

Good luck and happy boating.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Not at all!!! Thanks for the refresher course of what to look for and what to check! Most of the ones I am looking at are from
1988-2000 at this point. Mostly all Mercruiser with Alpha One drives (mostly I/O) and no Bayliners. ;-)

Thanks so much!
Andy
 
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