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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, 11:28 AM
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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, 06:58 PM
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Location: Mobile, Al
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, 12:13 PM
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Location: Cape Cod, MA
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, 05:59 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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