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Newbie Wants to Understand A Few Things!

Old 07-16-2020, 02:40 PM
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Default Newbie Wants to Understand A Few Things!

OK, so for several years I have been toying with the idea of purchasing a 38 Top Gun. While I grew up around boating this would actually be the first boat that I have owned. Before I buy anything I am hoping people on the forum can help me understand costs, etc. Ideally my budget would be around $100k so I know I will be looking at boats that are not perfect and will need some work. I am not look for a boat that is the fastest, more in the line of something I can twist the key and just go - so basically a single carb set up maybe quads. I have heard that "built motors (blower/supercharged) these days do not require the type of tinkering I used to have in my "hot rod". But being new to this I am looking for something within my performance capability which right now is zero - so something with 525s or something in that range. If I didnt ask a question that I should have... Please feel free to raise the issue. Thanks!


1. How many hours do performance engines (blower and non-blower) typically last before they need a rebuild or replacement (I know there are many variables in answering this question).

2. How many hours for drives before they need a rebuild / replacement?

3. Is there an engine or drive package that should be avoided?

4. Would a survey be able to detect any issues with rot in the transom or stringers?

5. I have seen a few TGs locally that are priced well below the $75K mark, they need updating etc, does it pay to buy something cheaper if the engines are good and maybe have it painted and updated?

6. What are potentially problematic areas to look for before buying?

7. Can a TG be towed with a standard 1500 series pickup or is a 2500 required?

8. I live in Connecticut and would use the boat here during the summer and perhaps bring to FL in the winter - is anyone aware of place with rack storage in Eastern CT where it could be kept and cost?

9. Insurance costs? Any input would be helpful.


Thanks!
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Old 07-16-2020, 02:53 PM
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Lets start with #7. 1500,,,,, Hell no ! You are in 3500 territory especially considering you are talking about long road trips. I used to pull a 36 Outlaw with a 2500, it "did it " and I thought it was fine until I bought a 3500 Dually.

A 525 EFI / Bravo is a great reliable package, especially for your first boat. They did have some CMI header issues depending on the years you are looking at. More than likely they have been addressed and replaced by now. They do require valve spring replacement every 250 hours or so.

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Old 07-16-2020, 03:31 PM
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You should probably read this also. Gives you a current status on insurance....

Foremost Insurance Blows
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Old 07-16-2020, 03:44 PM
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1st post in 7 years and ya wanna buy a Gun, to many variables to answer your questions accurately beside #7.............Id look for a flat deck with 500 EFI's and bravo drives or #3's
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Old 07-16-2020, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Bfoodman View Post
OK, so for several years I have been toying with the idea of purchasing a 38 Top Gun. While I grew up around boating this would actually be the first boat that I have owned. Before I buy anything I am hoping people on the forum can help me understand costs, etc. Ideally my budget would be around $100k so I know I will be looking at boats that are not perfect and will need some work. I am not look for a boat that is the fastest, more in the line of something I can twist the key and just go - so basically a single carb set up maybe quads. I have heard that "built motors (blower/supercharged) these days do not require the type of tinkering I used to have in my "hot rod". But being new to this I am looking for something within my performance capability which right now is zero - so something with 525s or something in that range. If I didnt ask a question that I should have... Please feel free to raise the issue. Thanks!


1. How many hours do performance engines (blower and non-blower) typically last before they need a rebuild or replacement (I know there are many variables in answering this question).
5 minutes or 350 hrs.
2. How many hours for drives before they need a rebuild / replacement?
2 hours or 20 years depending on power
3. Is there an engine or drive package that should be avoided?

4. Would a survey be able to detect any issues with rot in the transom or stringers?
Yes
5. I have seen a few TGs locally that are priced well below the $75K mark, they need updating etc, does it pay to buy something cheaper if the engines are good and maybe have it painted and updated?
nope
6. What are potentially problematic areas to look for before buying?
Everything
7. Can a TG be towed with a standard 1500 series pickup or is a 2500 required?
Absolutely not
8. I live in Connecticut and would use the boat here during the summer and perhaps bring to FL in the winter - is anyone aware of place with rack storage in Eastern CT where it could be kept and cost?

9. Insurance costs? Any input would be helpful.
pretty impossible


Thanks!
Good luck

Last edited by ICDEDPPL; 07-16-2020 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 07-16-2020, 05:21 PM
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Before spending one penny on a boat sign up and take Tres Martins boat class. after that then you can ask questions.
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Old 07-16-2020, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Bfoodman View Post
OK, so for several years I have been toying with the idea of purchasing a 38 Top Gun. While I grew up around boating this would actually be the first boat that I have owned. Before I buy anything I am hoping people on the forum can help me understand costs, etc. Ideally my budget would be around $100k so I know I will be looking at boats that are not perfect and will need some work. I am not look for a boat that is the fastest, more in the line of something I can twist the key and just go - so basically a single carb set up maybe quads. I have heard that "built motors (blower/supercharged) these days do not require the type of tinkering I used to have in my "hot rod". But being new to this I am looking for something within my performance capability which right now is zero - so something with 525s or something in that range. If I didnt ask a question that I should have... Please feel free to raise the issue. Thanks!


1. How many hours do performance engines (blower and non-blower) typically last before they need a rebuild or replacement (I know there are many variables in answering this question). Assume with moderate power you’ll need to refresh top-ends ever 200-300 hours.

2. How many hours for drives before they need a rebuild / replacement?
this really seems to depend on how you drive it. There are guys that chew through Bravos like tictacs and some people get 500 hours out of Bravos.

3. Is there an engine or drive package that should be avoided?
if I was you I’d find something with fresh, moderate, reliable power. Go Bravos for drives.

4. Would a survey be able to detect any issues with rot in the transom or stringers?
unless the guys’ meter and hammer are broken, Yes. You will need a survey to insure it so no reason not to get one. On this topic, I’d shop around. Insurance on older boats seem harder and harder to come by.

5. I have seen a few TGs locally that are priced well below the $75K mark, they need updating etc, does it pay to buy something cheaper if the engines are good and maybe have it painted and updated?
depends on how comfortable you are with a bit of a project. Keep in mind every boat you buy will end up costing you money. There are always unforeseens.

6. What are potentially problematic areas to look for before buying?
Rot, moisture. I’d be careful buying something with “fresh engines” unless there are receipts. Obviously price accordingly.

7. Can a TG be towed with a standard 1500 series pickup or is a 2500 required?
No. You will be shocked at the weight. A full fuel TG on a steel trailer with stuff on board can be 14k+. That’s well beyond half ton range.

8. I live in Connecticut and would use the boat here during the summer and perhaps bring to FL in the winter - is anyone aware of place with rack storage in Eastern CT where it could be kept and cost?
Ocean Performance - aren’t they in CT?

9. Insurance costs? Any input would be helpful.
Be concerned about availability. Price can vary greatly from under 1k to several thousand. You need to do some research here......


Thanks!
comments above
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Old 07-16-2020, 05:56 PM
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Maybe look for a smaller boat for the first year too get a little time under your belt,get that dock rash out way.
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Old 07-16-2020, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by seafordguy View Post
comments above
Ocean performance doesn’t rack store at the waterfront. Between the bridges does.
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Old 07-16-2020, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Bfoodman View Post
OK, so for several years I have been toying with the idea of purchasing a 38 Top Gun. While I grew up around boating this would actually be the first boat that I have owned. Before I buy anything I am hoping people on the forum can help me understand costs, etc. Ideally my budget would be around $100k so I know I will be looking at boats that are not perfect and will need some work. I am not look for a boat that is the fastest, more in the line of something I can twist the key and just go - so basically a single carb set up maybe quads. I have heard that "built motors (blower/supercharged) these days do not require the type of tinkering I used to have in my "hot rod". But being new to this I am looking for something within my performance capability which right now is zero - so something with 525s or something in that range. If I didnt ask a question that I should have... Please feel free to raise the issue. Thanks!


1. How many hours do performance engines (blower and non-blower) typically last before they need a rebuild or replacement (I know there are many variables in answering this question).

2. How many hours for drives before they need a rebuild / replacement?

3. Is there an engine or drive package that should be avoided?

4. Would a survey be able to detect any issues with rot in the transom or stringers?

5. I have seen a few TGs locally that are priced well below the $75K mark, they need updating etc, does it pay to buy something cheaper if the engines are good and maybe have it painted and updated?

6. What are potentially problematic areas to look for before buying?

7. Can a TG be towed with a standard 1500 series pickup or is a 2500 required?

8. I live in Connecticut and would use the boat here during the summer and perhaps bring to FL in the winter - is anyone aware of place with rack storage in Eastern CT where it could be kept and cost?

9. Insurance costs? Any input would be helpful.


Thanks!
My first boat (other than my parents 17-22’ Boston Whalers growing up) was a Topgun. If you respect it and don’t try to be a show off etc you’ll be ok.

Hours depend on what motors and drivers. And it really depends on how it was run and maintained. My 525s lasted around 475-500 hours. Driver were gone through at around 250-300 hours

Look for a 525 XR boat

a good surveyor will pick up almost everything possible

stay away from big projects. Your budget will be blown in no time

thoroughly check salt water boats

1500 series definitely no

I paid just under $5000 for Insurnace my first year. It went down 50% the following year.
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