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Author Topic: BCB Checklist for buying a used boat  (Read 396 times)


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BCB Checklist for buying a used boat
« on: January 04, 2019, 04:41:10 PM »

Here is the BCB check list:

1. Check the trailer tires for condition or age and wear. That cost hits many new to you owners too soon. We don't care much about moderate aged tires, though old cracked one are not good. Let condition be your guide.

2. Trailer bearings many over grease so check the bearings for heat when towed. If the wheels have grease plan on repacking the bearings with a new double lipped seals, one V lip faces in and one V lip faces out to prevent water from going in. Many rebuild trailers with automotive seals and they do not prevent water intrusion when cooling happens submerged.

3. Check the brakes for operation and brake fluid. Many older trailers sit long periods and a brake system can take some jingle to fix. The brake fluid develops (absorbs) moisture sitting and the lines or master cylinder / wheel cylinders rust creating problems.

4. Don't worry about lights not working as most older used rigs have busted lights and harnesses, just plan on about $150 to get the lights in shape if they have issues. Most can handle it themselves though 12 volts is easy as pie and it messes with some folks.

5. Pop the drain plug on the Gearcase and check the fluid for water. Be quick as no boat owners want their lube drainin out.

6. Look at the drain plug area for corrosion. That generally shows corrosion or degradation from charging the batteries with the hatches closed. Hydrogen gas and other vented gasses from charging ages components in the bilge, hardens hoses, crystallizes wire shrouding, causes corrosion and makes maintenance a major necessity.

7. Upholstery cracking can be an expensive item. We suggest a local upholstery on older boats. They just often look like home brew jobs instead of factory.

8. Engines we went right by. Bleed lines and hoses should be supple and flexible. Most do not check these and they should be replaced when aging. Engines with belts also should have good belts and no rubber shredding. Ethanol destroys these hoses and older engines should have new fuel lines in ethanol resistant style. Fuel primer bulbs produced since around June of 2012 should be ethanol resistant, those before were not ethanol resistant. The lines may be, though the bulb and valves were not.

9. Have a qualified mechanic do a pressure or leak down test on the powerhead, print a tech report or label the power head with poundage of each cylinder to be sure there are no rings or piston issues.

10. Cables on steering are an expensive replacement so be sure the steering cables are in good shape and smooth both directions lock to lock turning the wheel. If they are bad plan on replacing the whole cable system and not just cables.

On hydraulic systems check for leaks or slop and be sure the steering is not leaking at seals on helm, cylinder on engine, or connections to cylinder and pump parts. Steering is a serious matter.

11. Propeller: often people will not be ale to make a boat run when other issues prevail, so they go to the propeller trying to improve performance which won't solve the issue. Figure out what propeller the rig has commonly and be sure that they have a similar prop. If not they may be masking issues you will pay for later. You can't regain performance in a water logged hull through a propeller.

12. Transoms and floor come to mind now as checking a transom is as easy as moving the Gearcase up and down. Remove the transom saver and bounce up and down on the top of the cavitation plate while angled on trim setting. The transom will move some though should not move excessively.
On the flooring that's a hard one... Check of lots of of remounted items in the bilge, new holes and old holes left open without sealing.

13. Check the propeller shaft, spin it to be sure it is true. A little wobble is fine, less than 1/8" or 1/16" though we would use that for negotiations on the price.

14. Just figure about $1000 to $1500 bucks or more for new carpeting if it's worn. You can go higher or lower depending on carpet, labor and other incidentals you feel you need while your doing it.

15. Batteries: Most folks just assume batteries need replacing, though they shouldn't and batteries are expensive today. Take a voltmeter with you and learn how to use it to test the batteries when you get there.

16. Charger: be sure to check the charger for operation on all batteries.

17. Trolling Motor: The trolling motor shaft on steel models should be checked for operation at the lake. A bent shaft will bind up when turning under high speeds.Also check the brackets for excessive wear that allows creaking and popping that will drive you crazy in medium range fishing.

18. Electronics: Wow what a range. Electronics are personal and usually used rigs don't have top tier so don't expect it. Plan oing in on selling the ones on the boat for half what you think they are worth should you plan on upgrading.

19. Gelcoat: what a variation here also. Every brand has variables and uses have varied greatly as well. Even those with the best resins can be cracked up by An abuser. The range here is very large and the area of damage would be our concern. Transoms can have hairlines, though not deep swelling cracks. Hulls on stumps and large waves will develop hinging and impact crazing, though not major popped out cracks.

20. Blisters: Oh, Oh the dreaded blistering. If it has what we would term small pimples under the bunks then we wouldn't let that bother us too much. Just keep it drier in the future and you should be fine.

21: Gouging and chips: this one is in your hands as we hate to see gouged and demolished hulls. They can water jacket and causing what looks like delamination in the hull. We would plan on covering the chips with Gelcoat or something. You can not leave boats manufactured after 2003 with major chips or you could have major problems with your entire bottom.

22. Check the Bilge: if it is oily and greasy, then they really don't care about servicing and taking care of that boat. They may just be busy and have not had time, though it is definitely an indication of the care shown. Clean bilges with no wire issues are usually better cared for.

This should be enough to give anyone plenty to look at on a used boats condition. It all varies depending on you, knowing the if and much more.

Hope this helps in new to you boats!

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