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Old 12-25-2009, 10:35 PM
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Greeting all and Merry Christmas:

I'm writing to solicit input from you good folks regarding pre-purchase inspection of a boat I'm looking at.

I have an interest in a 1998 27' Eliminator Catamaran here in the midwest. The history I have received on the boat is that it is being sold by the 2nd owner, who has owned it only for a few months. It appears to be a relatively decent boat and priced fairly. Engine is the origional 1998 454 Mag MPI with 385 hours.

My concern is there have been several modifications made to the boat and I'm a little concerned about longevity / reliability. The origional owner enjoyed poker runs and installed a Pro-charger (5# boost). As the story goes, during a WOT run the head gaskets went away and as a result the top end was rebuilt. The boat also has had the lower unit replaced. The OEM Bravo-1 replaced with a Bravo-1 XR. OK, nice, but explanation why. External (2) ram steering was added, also nice. I will look at this boat over the Christmas holidays.

Here's my question, and please don't pull any punches. What would be the best way to inspect the integrety of the I/O without putting the thing in the water? I guess an option would be running it on "earmuffs" listening for knocks. making sure it shifts in/out of gear smoothly and checking for any fine metal particals in the engine & sterndrive oil. Could a Mercrusier shop pull a computer diagnostic on the engine to tell me if there are any problems or history? I'd also like input on what to look for as a result of possible effects of the ProCharger - detonation, rods, etc.. From what I read the 454 MAG has all the good forged bottom end, but I want to be safe.

All advice is welcomed.
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Old 12-25-2009, 11:07 PM
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do,or have someone do a leakdown test on the engine,this will tell a lot about its condition,as far as the drive,drain the lube and check for any metal,the only problem with that is,the owner might have changed it allready,if that is the case,you wont see a potential problem.you said it has been in poker runs,that means it might get run HARD.generally,you must assume [espically since its a cat]that it gets run hard.as far as external steering,any boat that runs over 70 mph.should have it.
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Old 12-25-2009, 11:39 PM
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Thanks Mike:

Good advice, I'm searching for shops in the sellers area to do leakdown.
Here's something else interesting. The first owner, in trying to squeeze every mph out of the boat, reportedly read an article in Hot Boat that presuaded him to "sand" the bottom of the boat (increase MPH). I have not seen the boat yet, but will focus on this. I hate ths thought of even cutting any of the gelcoat off my old Wellcraft when I buff it to pretty it up. I'm cringing just wondering what was done to the bottom of this hull.
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Old 12-26-2009, 12:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by low buck View Post
Thanks Mike:

Good advice, I'm searching for shops in the sellers area to do leakdown.
Here's something else interesting. The first owner, in trying to squeeze every mph out of the boat, reportedly read an article in Hot Boat that presuaded him to "sand" the bottom of the boat (increase MPH). I have not seen the boat yet, but will focus on this. I hate ths thought of even cutting any of the gelcoat off my old Wellcraft when I buff it to pretty it up. I'm cringing just wondering what was done to the bottom of this hull.
low buck,i didn,t notice this was your first post,welcome aboard,i have a 26 ft american offshore with a blown 540 in it.it runs 100 plus and is a riot,if you get the cat,you will love it.as far as sanding the bottom,i have seen this in non stepped v hulls,but not in a cat.the theory is that it will aeriate the water and free up the hull a little.i did this to a 32 baja i once owned,but saw no gains.whear is the boat located?also,what are they asking for it,if you dont want to reveal that info,feel free to pm me.
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Old 12-26-2009, 04:00 AM
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The OEM Bravo-1 replaced with a Bravo-1 XR. OK, nice, but explanation why. External (2) ram steering was added, also nice. I will look at this boat over the Christmas holidays.


The B1 is rated for I think 470hp. The XR is rated at least 100hp more. I could be wrong but I think that's ballpark. So he felt he had to upgrade the drive when he put the blower on. The Procharger can dial up some serious hp gains...150-200hp.

Any boat that runs over 70mph needs dual-ram steering for safety reasons. The low performance cable steering is dangerous above 60. Either he knew beforehand that the blower would put him over 70 or he found out by driving up there and didn't like the way his steering felt. I've seen single engine boats running over 80 with single ram but he obviously felt that dual ram was the safer way to go.

My .02
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Old 12-26-2009, 04:12 AM
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I just bought a used boat early last spring in the St Charles area. I talked to the marina who had always done the work on it. I did take it out and run it and also had a compresssion test done to both motors.

If you want to know the marina and the guy I used you can pm me or email me - [email protected]
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Old 12-26-2009, 02:48 PM
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Hey Tim;

Great talking to you! I'm going to take your advice and Mike T's and get a compression test and general inspection performed by a certified Mercruiser dealer prior to "signing on the line". I'm surfing the web trying to find a shop in the vacinity of the seller. I'd be happy to hear if anyone has suggestions on what specific tests would best be done and and the price might be.

Thanks,

"Low Buck"
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Old 12-26-2009, 02:56 PM
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The drive would have been replaced to handle the extra power that the procharger added. The hydraulic steering would have been added because it is safer at higher speeds. I'm guessing its about a 90mph boat now. Really, anything over 70mph should have hyd steering.

I would have a leak down test done on the engine and have them run a scan tool on it. A leak down will tell you a lot more about the health of the engine.

What boat and where is it???? Somebody may know the boat and have more info about it.
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Old 12-26-2009, 03:57 PM
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Good talking to you Mike. Glad to see your looking for a newer boat. It sounds like you defienlty have to place to put it. You gotta make it over to table rock next summer. Have a safe trip to OK. Stop by the shop sometime.
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Old 12-26-2009, 04:05 PM
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Buyers advice: I would budget to do a new rebuild of the motor and outdrive. Basically budget for "worse case" scenario. I'm not saying anything is bad on the boat. Boats break all the time; might as well start planing for it

Do compression test, oil samples, etc.
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