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87 Cigarette Cafe 35

Old 09-21-2021, 05:40 PM
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Default 87 Cigarette Cafe 35

Hello everyone,

I have a question and looking for some feedback.
Iím going to look at a 1987 Cigarette Cafe 35 with the intention to purchase this weekend.

I plan to have a survey done but what can I look for that's a dead giveaway from a 34+ year old Cafe hull?

The 7.4l engines are rebuilt with about 20hours pushing 560hp with TRS drives.

I don't know when or if the drives have been rebuilt. Any issues getting TRS parts?

I don't know when or if a restore has been done.

Iíve always wanted a Cigarette but.... I've been looking at newer 2008+ "go-fast boats".
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Old 09-21-2021, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by John Lupo View Post
Hello everyone,

I have a question and looking for some feedback.
Iím going to look at a 1987 Cigarette Cafe 35 with the intention to purchase this weekend.

I plan to have a survey done but what can I look for that's a dead giveaway from a 34+ year old Cafe hull?

The 7.4l engines are rebuilt with about 20hours pushing 560hp with TRS drives.

I don't know when or if the drives have been rebuilt. Any issues getting TRS parts?

I don't know when or if a restore has been done.

Iíve always wanted a Cigarette but.... I've been looking at newer 2008+ "go-fast boats".
i think number one consideration in an old cigarette would be structural inspection of the hull. Make sure transom and stringers are solid. Check the floor for soft spots.

if I were to go look at a boat these are the things I would checkÖstarting from the back. I might miss a few. These are what comes to mind.

1. Pull up and down on drivesÖchecking transom assembly swivel pins. Might be hard to do if it has hydraulic steering.
2. check general condition of the drive paint for corrosion or chaulkiness (overheating)
3. On a bravo boat I would spin the prop and listen to lower gears. Also inspect hub of prop as you spin. Can typically catch any run out issues on prop shaft.
4. Look in tail pipes for color. Can tell if itís running rich or lean. Can also catch reversion issues if there are grey spots.
5. knock tap on transom. Can also put moisture meter on it.
6. Check condition of indicator cables. old boats usually have cracked sleeves.
7. Check condition of tabs.
8. Bilge check for water
9. tap around on stringers make sure they are solid. Check bulkhead and around tanks.
10. pop cover near bulkhead to look at top of gas tanks. Sniff around.
11. check transom cut outs with a flash light. See if any water is in there. Make sure cutouts are solid.
12. inspect top of drive. Make sure itís not rusted from steering pin leaks.
13. if it has y pipes check for leaks and corrosion around the block off plate.
14. Check drive oil color and consistency
15. perform overall inspection of the engine. Looking for corrosion, leaks, etc. wonít be able to really tell health of an engine without diagnostics or running it.
16. check oil dipstick for color and levels
17. check condition of batteries
18. look at exhaust. Again wonít be able to tell health without running a pressure test
19. Check steering fluid color and levels
20. check trim pumps visually and oil color / levels
21. check under hatch for stress cracks. Old cigs used wood in sun pads. Check if itís rotted.
22. could pull a couple spark plugs to check condition
23. Check condition of hydraulic hoses from pumps to transom
24. look at interior upholstery for cracks, rips, stitching, tears
25. check floor for soft spots.
26. pull floor lids to look at tanks
27. Look at gauges for cracks and condensation /corrosion
28. check power switches under seats
29. check bottoms of captain co pilot chairs for corrosion on aluminum.
30. push into foam on seats. Many cigs used wood coring. Can find soft sports.
31. Check fiberglass for chips and cracks. Look in cowling areas and corners for stress cracks in gel.
32. Inspect overall condition of the dash. Will be difficult to guage operation of dash until using it
33. Check sliding door.
34. check rubber molding around door hatches, engine lid, etc for cracking and dry rot
35. check hoses and connections for dry rot
36. down in cabin most of the inspection will be upholstery related. Looking for cracks etc.
37. make sure ceiling vinyl is well attached not missing any hardware
38. check for cracks in fiberglass where possible.
39. check operation of sink, masserator, toilet, etc.
40. check switches and fuse panel
41. Make sure all the lights work, navigation, transom, cabin lights, etc.
42. check latches on hatches
43. not many places to check stringers down in the cabin
44. check condition of exposed wood like table tops, cooler top, etc
45. Check shifters for corrosion etc
46. check to see if halon system is rust free
47. check extinguishers in cockpit
48. Use stereo system to make sure it works
49. lift cabin seat cushions out, can inspect some stringers and structure
50. check to make sure auxiliary items work like bilge blowers, bilge pumps, etc
51. perform exterior inspection looking at gel coat, paint, fiberglass
52. Look at the very bottom of the boat
53. check rub rails for dings
54. check condition of grab handles for corriosion

im sure there are moreÖmost imprtantly take it for a spin and see how it runs.

good luck
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Old 09-21-2021, 06:57 PM
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Evidently the first thing I would do is buy Moses a plane ticket and fly him into wherever the boat is located.....

In all seriousness, his list is great. I'd post whatever boat you're looking at here and the crew typically knows it and can provide history/feedback.

Make sure you know what you want - an 87 Cafe and a 2008 or newer go fast are pretty divergent paths into boating.....
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Old 09-21-2021, 10:18 PM
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and most importantly inspect fuel tank!
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Old 09-21-2021, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by scippy View Post
and most importantly inspect fuel tank!
see numbers 10 and 26.

not many good ways to inspect fuel tanks
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