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New guy looking at a Wellcraft Nova 250 XL

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New guy looking at a Wellcraft Nova 250 XL

Old 12-18-2017, 09:18 PM
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Default New guy looking at a Wellcraft Nova 250 XL

New guy here. A little bit of experience with boating, not much, I have owned a couple of under 20' pleasure boats. I am considering purchasing a project boat and looking for a little guidance. Any help would be appreciated.

I am looking at 79' Wellcraft 250 XL with twin SBC's. Both engines run, one rough, one okay. No idea of the condition of the drives, hydraulics or electrical. No soft parts in the interior with the exception of the captain's seat. Some gauges work, some do not. The hull looks to be in good condition, but I do not have a clue what I am looking at or for. I did notice the hull seems to have a very rough surface below the water line, not sure if this is normal? There is also a crack in the fiberglass around the door frame for the cuddy entry, about 3', on the top of the frame. Any insight on how to inspect this thing prior to purchase would be appreciated. I am comfortable performing any needed mechanical or electrical repairs, I have a pretty solid automotive background, I just want to make sure the "boat" stuff is in good or at least repairable condition before I make an offer. Not a clue what to offer either, any help? I will try to take a few pics and post them. It is on a trailer, that IMO, seems a little light duty for a boat of this size, no title for the trailer, but that should not be too big of an issue in my state.
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Old 12-18-2017, 09:37 PM
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Sounds like a project, not sure if that’s what your looking for or not. Some guys are working on there project boats for years. Was it stored outside? Was it covered? How long has it sat? Would you be willing/able to pull motors and drives and rebuild or have them rebuilt?

Might be best to have a professional boat surveyor inspect the boat. Not trying to scare or deter you, but boating as a whole, from pontoons to go-fasts, get a bad wrap when people bite off more than they can chew.
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Old 12-18-2017, 09:54 PM
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The Nova 250 is a great boat, the hull rides really nice, handles ugly water well, doesnt do anything unpredictable. With nice running 350s it should be about a 60 mph boat. Those stock 350 merc motors are cheap. and plentifull dont worry about that, the abiggest thing to check, taje a hard screwdriver handle or a little mallet and start gently tapping all over the transom, inside and out, tap on the bilge liner/tub if you can pull one of the lag bolts on the front engine mounts, and check the wood. When tapping it should sound solid and bright, it the wood core is wet/rotted it will sound duller. Gauges you mention may be bad connections or just bad, again easy and not to expensive to replace.. Drives will be alpha's should be relatively bullet proof behind a stock 350, a new aftermarket drive is only 1200. Without seeing it, somewhere between 3 and 6000 if decent condition,,,,, the rough surface bottom paint?? from what you describing, if one motor is rough, some gauges not working etcyou could be somewhere between 1500-3000.

When I bought my 77 in 2004, the transom was bad, I paid 1000 for it.
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Old 12-19-2017, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by IGetWet
Sounds like a project, not sure if that’s what your looking for or not. Some guys are working on there project boats for years. Was it stored outside? Was it covered? How long has it sat? Would you be willing/able to pull motors and drives and rebuild or have them rebuilt?

Might be best to have a professional boat surveyor inspect the boat. Not trying to scare or deter you, but boating as a whole, from pontoons to go-fasts, get a bad wrap when people bite off more than they can chew.
I am okay (and capable) of doing some heavy work, pulling an engine or drive. I just want to make sure I do not get into too much of a money pit, I know any project will always turn out more expensive then you initially allow for. I feel I would enjoy the process and have fun with it, with my family, when done. My biggest apprehension is paying too much initially and not understanding what I am looking at as far as the main structure of the boat.
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Old 12-19-2017, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by phragle
The Nova 250 is a great boat, the hull rides really nice, handles ugly water well, doesnt do anything unpredictable. With nice running 350s it should be about a 60 mph boat. Those stock 350 merc motors are cheap. and plentifull dont worry about that, the abiggest thing to check, taje a hard screwdriver handle or a little mallet and start gently tapping all over the transom, inside and out, tap on the bilge liner/tub if you can pull one of the lag bolts on the front engine mounts, and check the wood. When tapping it should sound solid and bright, it the wood core is wet/rotted it will sound duller. Gauges you mention may be bad connections or just bad, again easy and not to expensive to replace.. Drives will be alpha's should be relatively bullet proof behind a stock 350, a new aftermarket drive is only 1200. Without seeing it, somewhere between 3 and 6000 if decent condition,,,,, the rough surface bottom paint?? from what you describing, if one motor is rough, some gauges not working etcyou could be somewhere between 1500-3000.

When I bought my 77 in 2004, the transom was bad, I paid 1000 for it.
Thanks for the advice. I'm going to take a look at it again this afternoon. I will check out the transom as you suggested. Any other part of the structure I can check without the help of a professional? I will take a few pics and post them here.
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Capsized
I am okay (and capable) of doing some heavy work, pulling an engine or drive. I just want to make sure I do not get into too much of a money pit, I know any project will always turn out more expensive then you initially allow for. I feel I would enjoy the process and have fun with it, with my family, when done. My biggest apprehension is paying too much initially and not understanding what I am looking at as far as the main structure of the boat.
Just like the above poster mentioned. As long as it is fairly solid boat, and you are fully prepared and when looking at it, you feel all the little things are something your comfortable with fixing, it can be a pleasurable time fixing it up. You don't have to get all of it done at once, focus on the engines and drives, and gauges. Those are key, all the other things you can do over time. I'm like you, I have a solid automotive, and fabricating back ground, so I too am never afraid of tackling repairs and restoration work on boats. Most boats of that era will have some sort of transom rot, you would be hard pressed to find one that doesn't. If these had outboards, it would be a different story. If this boat is for the most part still supporting a lot of its original components and parts, It might be worth restoring. The 79 Nova is one of my favorites as it kinda has the walk around hull, easier access to the bow from the cockpit. The 81 and up they changed the design to make for a bigger cockpit. Awesome boat. Do what the other poster mentioned, tap around the transom for the dull sound, and hope I sounds bright all throughout. I have the 87, with twin 260 mags, and I just love it!
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