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Purchasing a 88 242 ls. What to look for?

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Purchasing a 88 242 ls. What to look for?

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Old 07-13-2018, 12:28 PM
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Default Purchasing a 88 242 ls. What to look for?

Hi all! Very new to this forum but Iíve been around boating for a while now. Been looking to ďupgradeĒ to a different boat for the last few months. Started with a 86 18ft sea Ray Seville. Good learning boat but rode like crap and was too small. Specially in the barnegate bay.
what Iím looking for:
Room for family
Ride quality
Speed (to an extent)
Quality of boat.
All of this has led me to searches for a formula. Preferably a 242. Fits all the above factors well. Now What Iíve found. Itís a 1988 242 ls with a 454 mag and bravo one. Have not seen in person but the listing has it in amazing condition both interior and exterior. Downside is the block is cracked. Upside... I have another 454 block waiting for it and the asking price is low enough at 3gís where Iíll have no problem with putting the engine work in.
What I wanna know is what are some common problems or things I should be looking for when I go to check it out? Such as common hull spots or stringer issues, interior problems, electrical, etc. and maybe some tips on how to check. Also if it does have some of these problems should I just turn away or are there some decent fixes to be made if I go ahead and purchase anyway. For how clean it looks in the pics I find it hard to believe Ill turn it away when Iíve seen similar condition 242ís in running order going for 20gís. Looking forward to hopefully joining the formula owner family and would greatly appreciate your words of wisdom or advice Thanks!
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:58 PM
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My Boat: 1989 Formula 242 LS hp500 punched out to 509
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The hulls like most all parts of these boats are well built. They cost what they cost for a reason. Pure quality all the way through. One reason I love a formula over most anything else. Electrical on these is over kill on the size of wiring, but check terminals and grounds for corrosion. Check the stringers, transom, bulkhead at rear of fuel tank, in the cabin, and anywhere you can. Check the transom assembly for play at the gimble ring. Tap the transom around any bolt or screw. Give the bottom of the hull a good look to make sure they havent went bouncing on rocks or hitting the trailer. I'm sure others will chime in with better info. There are some places to start.
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Old 07-15-2018, 01:13 PM
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My Boat: 1996 Formula 330SS, 1991 242SS
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242SS would be better for family boating as it has more cockpit space, but a bit less cuddy cabin space than the 242LS. The LS tends to be a faster boat.

Look at the main bulkhead that is directly in front of the engine to see if there are signs of water retention/rot. You should also be able to look forward from the engine bay into the fuel tank bay. the main stringers are along both sides of the fuel tank. Take a look at those to see if they are solid.

An ice pick or sharp screwdriver is a good tool to use in checking to see if things are solid. May as well check the transom while you are poking around.
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Redneckcustoms13 View Post
The hulls like most all parts of these boats are well built. They cost what they cost for a reason. Pure quality all the way through. One reason I love a formula over most anything else. Electrical on these is over kill on the size of wiring, but check terminals and grounds for corrosion. Check the stringers, transom, bulkhead at rear of fuel tank, in the cabin, and anywhere you can. Check the transom assembly for play at the gimble ring. Tap the transom around any bolt or screw. Give the bottom of the hull a good look to make sure they havent went bouncing on rocks or hitting the trailer. I'm sure others will chime in with better info. There are some places to start.
Originally Posted by tpenfield View Post
242SS would be better for family boating as it has more cockpit space, but a bit less cuddy cabin space than the 242LS. The LS tends to be a faster boat.

Look at the main bulkhead that is directly in front of the engine to see if there are signs of water retention/rot. You should also be able to look forward from the engine bay into the fuel tank bay. the main stringers are along both sides of the fuel tank. Take a look at those to see if they are solid.

An ice pick or sharp screwdriver is a good tool to use in checking to see if things are solid. May as well check the transom while you are poking around.
thanks for the advice guys. Iíll be headed up there this Saturday. After talking to him on the phone turns out he has a 272 for sale Also. 1988 with twin small blocks. Part of me is leaning towards that one as I am a huge fan of small blocks and from what Iíve read I can expect better fuel consumption from them. Not as much top speed but thatís not really a priority for me. Either way both hulls are in the same great shape. Just depends on the engine issues probably as to which one Iíll go with as the 242 block is cracked and apparently one 350 in the 272 is not running.
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Old 07-17-2018, 04:16 PM
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242 is even a little small for the bay. I got a 292 Fastech and boat in the same waters. I pick and choose when to head out. Its not so much weather but wake from boat traffic to Tices on a weekend can get brutal. Combine that with a SSW wind above 10mph you'll be wishing you had the 272 over the 242. If you have a family or like to take people out the 242 cockpit is going to get small quick. Very few had bolsters in place of the 2 captains chairs. Sunpad is much bigger on the 272 giving you that extra room to escape when anchored. Small blocks will get you better fuel consumption while cruising but she's going to be a slug coming out the hole. These hulls are heavy, I'd want BBC power in either setup.
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Old 07-18-2018, 06:15 PM
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My Boat: 1988 Formula 272 Sr1 twin 320 EFI's previous was 88 242ss 7.4 bravo before that 85 f3-22LS 5.7
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My 272 with small blocks snaps on plane and hauls all the way past 65. I have the 320 hp efi motors. Factory Aluminum efi intakes and aluminum emi exhaust. Light in the stern. Much lighter than a pair of 7.4s.
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Old 07-19-2018, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Splitdecision271 View Post
242 is even a little small for the bay. I got a 292 Fastech and boat in the same waters. I pick and choose when to head out. Its not so much weather but wake from boat traffic to Tices on a weekend can get brutal. Combine that with a SSW wind above 10mph you'll be wishing you had the 272 over the 242. If you have a family or like to take people out the 242 cockpit is going to get small quick. Very few had bolsters in place of the 2 captains chairs. Sunpad is much bigger on the 272 giving you that extra room to escape when anchored. Small blocks will get you better fuel consumption while cruising but she's going to be a slug coming out the hole. These hulls are heavy, I'd want BBC power in either setup.
same train of thought I had. Unfortunately though the 272 has alphas so swapping in big block would be a bit pricey.

Originally Posted by oconnor marine View Post
My 272 with small blocks snaps on plane and hauls all the way past 65. I have the 320 hp efi motors. Factory Aluminum efi intakes and aluminum emi exhaust. Light in the stern. Much lighter than a pair of 7.4s.
what outdrives?
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Old 07-19-2018, 08:35 AM
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I cant say the difference of ride in 272 vs 242. I can say that with 4 adults in mine weekend before last we were hitting 8 footers and having a blast. Smashing 4-6s with the tabs down riding smooth. Yall must have some rough bays. We were in Pensacola bay going to the blue Angel's air show and there were literally thousands of boats for traffic.
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Old 07-19-2018, 09:01 AM
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The bay is so open between 37 & 72 bridges that boats can go in every which direction they please. You don't have to stick to the ICW makers if you don't want. I'm not talking 18ft ski boats either. I'm talking 30-50 foot Sea Rays, Silvertons, etc. that are just plowing through pulling some big wake. Between 10am to 12-pm its just a made dash from north and south to get to their spot on the bay. If your out during this time your constantly getting hit by waves at every different angle. Can be fun at times but not every day. It gets old having to be on the wheel, throttles, tabs, trim at all times. I love to just set the sticks and let her run. Which is why I try my best to hit the water by 8:30-9:00 to beat all the boat traffic and I get a nice cruise in before anchoring for the day. Wind is also calmer in the morning and picks up by early afternoon. By 3:00pm, right before wind direction changes (it really is like clock work), I've had my share of sun and I'm ready to head back home to beat the 5:00 rush from the same 30-50ft SeaRays.

I agree the more weight you put on the more solid the ride will be but usually its half tank of fuel with just 2 adults on board. I try my best not to beat her up though. I grew up on this bay in a 19ft cuddy & center console. This was back when 25-28 ft cabin cruisers were the biggest boats on the bay. Only had a handful of boats over 30ft. Now 35+ seems to be the average size and EVERYONE has one.
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Old 07-20-2018, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Redneckcustoms13 View Post
I cant say the difference of ride in 272 vs 242. I can say that with 4 adults in mine weekend before last we were hitting 8 footers and having a blast. Smashing 4-6s with the tabs down riding smooth. Yall must have some rough bays. We were in Pensacola bay going to the blue Angel's air show and there were literally thousands of boats for traffic.
Bravos
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