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How to check history of used boat? Boatfax?

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Old 02-23-2010, 09:53 PM
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Default How to check history of used boat? Boatfax?

I am ready to make an offer on a used boat (nothing fancy; a 23' Crownline). Does a service similar to Carfax exist for used boats? Google doesn't seem to think so, other than a website named boathistoryreport, which I am unfamiliar with. Thought I'd ask the experts. What say you?

Thanks!
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:26 PM
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No such thing that I'm aware of.
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:37 PM
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Best advise I can think of:

1. Leak down test - Not compression
2. Oil sample on your terms being right after a run...
3. drain the drive and run the oil through a paint filter $2 at home depot
4. obvious visual of the bilge. if everything looks neglected then it probably is.

All said, it's still a shot in the dark to a point. The point is relative.

ask for receipts. if it's efi then you could look at rpm history but that's only good if no one ever erased it etc... or bought a new computer..

If you ask enough of the right questions eye to eye you can start to form an opinion of the seller but it's just that - an opinion. Good luck and be savvy.

B - Bend
O - Over
A - And
T - Take it.
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by SDFever View Post

B - Bend
O - Over
A - And
T - Take it.
This is flippin hilarious.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by SDFever View Post
Best advise I can think of:

1. Leak down test - Not compression
2. Oil sample on your terms being right after a run...
3. drain the drive and run the oil through a paint filter $2 at home depot
4. obvious visual of the bilge. if everything looks neglected then it probably is.

All said, it's still a shot in the dark to a point. The point is relative.

ask for receipts. if it's efi then you could look at rpm history but that's only good if no one ever erased it etc... or bought a new computer..

If you ask enough of the right questions eye to eye you can start to form an opinion of the seller but it's just that - an opinion. Good luck and be savvy.

B - Bend
O - Over
A - And
T - Take it.
Very sage advice here, thanks. I especially like the idea of sieving the drive oil; never heard of that before.

Bend Over And Take it = instant classic
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:56 AM
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Very sage advice here, thanks. I especially like the idea of sieving the drive oil; never heard of that before.

Bend Over And Take it = instant classic
Well keep in mind that the paint filter idea is only so you can see the size and amount of debris etc.. The magnets will be the tell tale.

Pull the drive off and look at all the rubber. For the kind of boat your're talking about, you can certainly rent often and still be ahead of buying.

You can't get into boating with a strict pencil in your hand.

It's a lot like learning the guts of a computer. You got to get in there and hopelessly screw it all up before you start to figure it out. And the money; well, let's just say that the money has wings!
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:56 AM
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Hire a qualified surveyor ........
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mountainstone View Post
I am ready to make an offer on a used boat (nothing fancy; a 23' Crownline). Does a service similar to Carfax exist for used boats? Google doesn't seem to think so, other than a website named boathistoryreport, which I am unfamiliar with. Thought I'd ask the experts. What say you?

Thanks!
I ran a boat history report on a boat I'm buying in a couple of weeks. The only thing it will tell you is if it was involved in any accidents or salvage in which involved a police or coast guard report. Other than that not much info.
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by SDFever View Post
Best advise I can think of:

B - Bend
O - Over
A - And
T - Take it.
30K later.....no truer words ever spoken. If you get into boating...be ready to get INTO boating. Even after a NAMS/SAMS certified survey.....my friend and I still bent over and took it. All you can do is do the best research you can...roll the dice and pay the bill when it comes due. Somewhere in there you try to find the fun. lol
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:59 PM
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I am ready to make an offer on a used boat (nothing fancy; a 23' Crownline). Does a service similar to Carfax exist for used boats? Google doesn't seem to think so, other than a website named boathistoryreport, which I am unfamiliar with. Thought I'd ask the experts. What say you?

Thanks!

1. Inspect boat for signs of sinkage or water damage and stains inside the interior where water may have been sitting for any length of time. Look for unusual stress cracks excluding the normal ones around radiuses. When most boats sink they incur minor stress cracks that are not consistent with normal operation.

2. Fuel – check contents of filter, ask when last changed, ask how long current load of fuel has been sitting in the tank(s), when was fuel last added?

3. Run engine (preferably under load) and take sample of oil and send to Caterpillar for analysis.

4. Leak down test (not compression) – pull all spark plugs out, inspect them and test cylinder leakage at tdc. Makes notes for % on each corresponding cylinder.

5. If leak test is good for all cylinders, pull of exhaust manifolds for visual of exhaust ports on both, the head and manifold itself. You’re looking for water trails on the inside of the exhaust.

6. Pull drive off and check for rubber leaks. Pull drain plugs out of drive and check magnets. Check color and smell of oil. If present, water will come out before oil does. Check drive coupler and check splines on input shaft for knifing or lack of grease.

7. Inspect the bilge during AND after a run to look for oil leaks, antifreeze leaks, water leaks, broken hose clamps lying in bilge etc.


All the cosmetic stuff including broken door latches, damaged or faded carpet and sun damaged upholstery is also important in terms of what it costs to replace but these things are the very last thing to take interest in. A nice, covered, pretty boat is still very expensive to repair if the above doesn’t look good. This is true particularly for one who can not or does not do his own repairs. Upon arriving to check the boat out, notice if it has been stored with drive all or most of the way up. This stretches out the bellows and leaves them in the fully extended state. They usually die quicker this way. Based on common sense, if the owner did not know this than there are probably other things he didn’t know to do either… This is all just careful opinion. Many will disagree with me.
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