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Would you buy a beater boat? 2007 247


TallRedRider

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So I figure the sorts of responses I might get, but perhaps someone can shed some light on my thought process here.

I found an abused boat. Might be able to get it for pretty inexpensive, but frankly not sure that it would justify the risk.

The main points are these. The gel coat has obviously been abused. Looks like it was often tied up and left to bang against the dock.

Interior is in surprisingly good condition given the bad gel coat.

The prop and drive train appear to be in good condition.

The prop has been repaired once.

I would never consider this sort of thing ordinarily, but the boat is local to me, so I don't have to drive 500 miles to check it out.

I have proof that the oil was changed 3 times in the last 2 years, and the current owner put about 200 hours on it. So I have proof that the oil changes averaged 70 hours or so apart, worse than the recommended 50 hours, but at least it has been done. The last oil change was last spring. The current owner is the second owner. The current oil looks a lot like tar, but the dipstick was full. 8.1L engine.

If the seller is willing to come down adequately in my mind, and a compression check comes out OK, I might buy it. I also would need to waste some time on an extensive test drive to be sure that everything else is in good working order.

Give me your random thoughts on abused boats like this.

Here is a small taste of what I am talking about....and this sort of thing is all over the boat..My best guess is about 5K in gelcoat to look like new.

smallcorner2.jpg

smallcornercracks.jpg

Edited by TallRedRider
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That's your biggest problem.

How about have a lab run an oil analysis?

Gelcoat is one of those things that you will most likely pay to have repaired, little nicks and stuff you can DIY but large sections take alot of skill to get right.

Just how "right" is the price?

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Biggest question I would have to have answered before answering is.... how cheap is it?

I would TOTALLY buy a boat like this if the price is right. :biggrin:

This is usually my rule when looking at "salvage" vehicles. (Not saying this is salvage but it sounds like if it was mine, and it had been stolen and returned like this someone would be writing me a check for replacement value...)

If I could buy, and repair the boat to my standards and have less than 50% of what it would cost for a mint one, I would buy it

Just my 2 cents

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That's your biggest problem.

The oil is a current concern. The last documented oil change is a year ago. No way of knowing how many hours on that oil change. What damage might be done, and how might I evaluate that? Or is this just something that might cause a motor to seize 100 hours down the road? And how easy is it to get a new 8.1L block?

How about have a lab run an oil analysis?

Gelcoat is one of those things that you will most likely pay to have repaired, little nicks and stuff you can DIY but large sections take alot of skill to get right.

Just how "right" is the price?

That is part of what I am deciding on. I have in my mind what it might be worth, but part of me says to just run away and spend what is necessary to get a boat without question marks on the drive train.

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The oil is a current concern. The last documented oil change is a year ago. No way of knowing how many hours on that oil change. What damage might be done, and how might I evaluate that? Or is this just something that might cause a motor to seize 100 hours down the road? And how easy is it to get a new 8.1L block?

If the current oil looks like tar, it would seem to me that at some point, the oil wasn't changed for a long time. Also, I think the 8.1s had an oil consumption problem (or was it the HHs?) Either way an old used car sales trick is to change the oil so that prospective buyers look at it and it looks good, like the engine has been taken care of. But, in your case, you know that the motor went for at least 70 hrs. between at least 2 oil changes. To me, that's a bad sign.

If the first or, second owner let that slide, what else did they let slide mechanically? Dropping a new motor in there would be cost prohibitive for sure. One way to "look" at the engine internals for problems is to remove the oil cap and shine a flashlight at the valve train. If if looks sludgey, run away. If it looks pretty clean and mostly brown, maybe give her a shot. Or, have a mechanic check it out.

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martinarcher

If the current oil looks like tar, it would seem to me that at some point, the oil wasn't changed for a long time. Also, I think the 8.1s had an oil consumption problem (or was it the HHs?) Either way an old used car sales trick is to change the oil so that prospective buyers look at it and it looks good, like the engine has been taken care of. But, in your case, you know that the motor went for at least 70 hrs. between at least 2 oil changes. To me, that's a bad sign.

If the first or, second owner let that slide, what else did they let slide mechanically? Dropping a new motor in there would be cost prohibitive for sure. One way to "look" at the engine internals for problems is to remove the oil cap and shine a flashlight at the valve train. If if looks sludgey, run away. If it looks pretty clean and mostly brown, maybe give her a shot. Or, have a mechanic check it out.

Good call.

With the aluminum in the newer engines (the 8.1 included) frequent oil changes are even more important. Aluminum is a softer material and the abrasive used oil can do damage to the rod bearings as well as the cylinder walls and top end (valves and cams). That said, 2 oil changes in a 70 hour run isn't too bad and certainly wouldn't turn the oil to tar.

If I were you and the price is right, get a sample of the "tar" oil and send it to Blackstone Labs and have it tested. If the iron, aluminum, and other metal content of the oil is not too bad, go for it. You are right on the compression check. Make sure you test each cylinder and they are within spec and close to each other.

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It depends on your lifestyle. If you are a detail freak, There Is No Way Baby.

Of our main 3 man crew one of the guys has a 1991 Sunsetter he bought new.

He does not take care of it other than he does have it winterized every year. That's when the oil gets changed and so forth.

I have the big red rollaway toolbox so therefore I am a mechanic and I fix things on his boat when necessary. It gets vacuumed at my house or when I take the shop vac to his storage spot. He paid to have it detailed a year ago, the first time in 5 seasons that we have become ski buddies.

The truth is we enjoy using his boat as much or more than my cherry old Spyder and Dennis perfect PS 197. Partly because Dennis has a coniption if somebody eats a sandwich on his boat or drops a crumb on the carpet. I enjoy being on the water so neither extreme really bothers me.

My point is even though I clean my boat after each usage in my home garage, the boating experience is not really any worse in a boat that has not been kept perfect.

It's really about enjoying boating with your friends and family. So, if you can live with the defects in this craft go for it.

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Some good insight here, and I'd check into all of those things. But to answer your original question, I would absolutely buy a "beater" boat if it were the right boat at the right price. Heck, I've done it ;). Well, my boat wasn't a "beater" in the same sense as the hull and interior were in good shape. But it had a cracked block from freeze damage that required a new long block, and the price reflected accordingly to also encompass any unknown problems. At some price, the math works out. It did for me and it may for you, but that's where your homework comes in.

Two things to keep in mind: first, it will cost more than you initially think to fix. Second, it won't be worth as much as equivalent boats to a discriminating buyer if you go to sell it because it has some level of history. Build your fudge factor around these 2 points after you've done your homework thoroughly to honestly assess the problems. Then, have fun! I love working on my boat. I get to make it just how I want it and the process is very satisfying.

Edited by ecadwell
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If I were you and the price is right, get a sample of the "tar" oil and send it to Blackstone Labs and have it tested. If the iron, aluminum, and other metal content of the oil is not too bad, go for it. You are right on the compression check. Make sure you test each cylinder and they are within spec and close to each other.

this strategy might give you another 3 weeks to make a decision. this doesn't sound like the kind of 'deal' that you want to just jump into. if you still ' to 'need' have this boat in another month then forge on with the decision process. if it sells out from under you then that is just a 'sign' that it wasn't meant to be.

not sure what you are built like but would you consider NOT doing any body work? in lots of ways i would love to run a beater. who cares if the crew beats it up with their ski. those docks are not nearly as challenging if you don't have fret bumping them a bit too hare. no need to wipe it down after each outing; it's a work boat.

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I bought a boat that was mechanically sound but had some dings and dirt. It looks better now than when I bought it plus has an extra 270 hours. I have some gel coat repairs to make to some small dings (nothing like pic one) but it is a great boat and was a great price. My plan is to keep it for a long time making upgrades along the way.

As others have suggested test the oil. do some math with a 20% or so fudge factor and see if it will work for you. Also look real hard a t the damage in pic 1 it looks more like a fiberglass repair than a gel coat repair. A simple tap test will tell you if there is delamination within the area. but it looks like it may have been crushed, Fiberglass will spring back to its orginal shape though without any structural integrety.

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Two things to keep in mind: first, it will cost more than you initially think to fix. Second, it won't be worth as much as equivalent boats to a discriminating buyer if you go to sell it because it has some level of history. Build your fudge factor around these 2 points after you've done your homework thoroughly to honestly assess the problems. Then, have fun! I love working on my boat. I get to make it just how I want it and the process is very satisfying.

Good insight...I have learned before that everything costs more than I expected...gotta keep that in mind.

not sure what you are built like but would you consider NOT doing any body work? in lots of ways i would love to run a beater. who cares if the crew beats it up with their ski. those docks are not nearly as challenging if you don't have fret bumping them a bit too hare. no need to wipe it down after each outing; it's a work boat.

In fact, I was considering just that. I would fix it all eventually, but start with only the locations where bare fiberglass is showing. Get the most important things going first...like the stereo.

Also look real hard a t the damage in pic 1 it looks more like a fiberglass repair than a gel coat repair. A simple tap test will tell you if there is delamination within the area. but it looks like it may have been crushed, Fiberglass will spring back to its orginal shape though without any structural integrety.

I think maybe so. The screen is bent slightly. There is a similar mark on the opposite rear corner too. Might be where the houseboat rubrail hit the boat or something like that...I imagine a poorly tied off boat with the front nosing outward so the rear is touching, then a big wave lifts the rear of the Malibu into the houseboat rubrail, and you have a mark like that.

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The additional thing here is that I came home lamenting how someone mistreated an otherwise beautiful boat...and her response was: 'looks like a good project boat for you, offer $XX'. Having her support in this is important.

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The current oil looks a lot like tar, but the dipstick was full.

When you say "looks like tar..." in color or consistency?

I can't imagine having so much money that you don't give a s#!+ about a nice boat. :crazy:

As has already been said...get that oil tested at Blackstone Labs. :thumbup:

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That's your biggest problem.

Agree with Pete - oil that looks like tar on the dipstick is a bad sign. Plus, after 70 hours of run time, oil will not look like tar. After 50 hrs of run time in my boat, the oil looks slightly darker brown than the new tan-ish color when you first pour it. It's not even black at that point. If I ran it to 70 hrs (and I've run close to that many hours to finish out a season), it would still not be black. Strange. If it is sticky, nasty, dark black in color, something is not adding up.

I love a good deal and a good project better than anyone, but that boat would have to be a REALLLLLLLLLYYYYYYYYYYY good deal to make me want to buy it. Projects usually end up costing a lot more in time and $$ than planned, so make sure you factor in the hidden issues that may pop.

Good luck, keep us posted!

-- Mike

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Agree with Pete - oil that looks like tar on the dipstick is a bad sign. Plus, after 70 hours of run time, oil will not look like tar. After 50 hrs of run time in my boat, the oil looks slightly darker brown than the new tan-ish color when you first pour it. It's not even black at that point. If I ran it to 70 hrs (and I've run close to that many hours to finish out a season), it would still not be black. Strange. If it is sticky, nasty, dark black in color, something is not adding up.

I've got to agree with that. If the oil looks like tar, something is up besides being 20 hours over on an oil change interval. I would be surprised if oil would look like tar had it not been changed the entire 200 hours of the engines life.

Blackstone Labs will have the results of an analysis to you in a couple days if you overnight them a sample. They have instructions for getting a sample to them on their website if you don't want to wait to have them send you a sample container.

Might be the best $25.00 you ever spent.

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What was the air temperature when you looked at the oil? If it had been below 40 degrees for a few days that would affect the consistancy and color of the oil. Just a thought. Regarding the Gel coat, that damage won't have any affect on how the boat performs on the water, it will just be an eye sore. I do like the idea others have mentioned about owning it as a work boat that you don't need to worry about.

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'A lot like tar' means that the oil was very dark. It seemed to gather on the dipstick a fair amount heavier than usual. It smeared all over the upholstery very easily when I wiped it off, however. (just kidding!). It was not frankly clumpy, and it was 50 degrees outside with the engine cold.

I am not worried about this boat disappearing anytime soon, but I have been in touch with a few owners of other boats that I also find very attractive, and worry about those boats disappearing while I drag my feet with oil analysis and all. But I suppose there are always other boats out there...

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price is the main thing, how much do they want? Anything can be restored to new for a price, price out the parts and labor that you need and weigh out the risk factor of the engine vs the money you would save building this back to new yourself. If it is anywhere in the ballpark of what this boat would cost in great condition then I wouldn't risk it. Spend a few extra thousand to sleep a night, but on the other hand if your saving 25k on this boat then do it!!

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I just went thru this same issue. I passed on a boat that needed quite a bit of work as I didn't have the time. The one I ended up buying I took to a Malibu dealer and had them run a full service on it before I purchased it. They went thru the entire boat, electrical, mechanical, etc. and gave me a 2 page detailed report which helped me make my decision. This was all after I had taken it out on a lake and ran it thru several tests on the water.

Good luck.

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All that matters is the price. Anything is either fixable or replaceable. As some will recall I bought a 247 shell with no engine or interior and have put it back together. Many people questioned the wisdom of that and it would have been foolsih to do so if the boat was not able to be had for so cheap. That said have we had issues and unforseen costs, sure. Worth it, I think so. So, what matters is not that it was a "beater" but rather what you can get into it for and what it will cost to fix the issues.

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Ditto price. You should look at the known problems and price them out. For instance "5k in gel repair, 2k in stereo, 1k in trim pieces," etc. Also factor in a replacement engine and tranny rebuild, even if oil test is good. Add total and subtract it off of a blue book listing, or off of a Craigslist average of 10 other boats. Then knock $10k off of that (tougher resale after you fix it). Then there's your number. Offer him that, if he takes it you know you are safe. Cuz at that point, worst case, you fix everything and need to move it, you can still get what you got in it. If you love it and hang onto it, you are way ahead. I think that's how I'd approach it, or something like that. That's pretty much how I approached my boat, although the repairs were no where near that level.

But yes, anything is fixable. Anything! All depends on price. My wife knows better than to advocate any project vehicles for me, good for you!

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Ditto price. You should look at the known problems and price them out. For instance "5k in gel repair, 2k in stereo, 1k in trim pieces," etc. Also factor in a replacement engine and tranny rebuild, even if oil test is good. Add total and subtract it off of a blue book listing, or off of a Craigslist average of 10 other boats. Then knock $10k off of that (tougher resale after you fix it). Then there's your number. Offer him that, if he takes it you know you are safe. Cuz at that point, worst case, you fix everything and need to move it, you can still get what you got in it. If you love it and hang onto it, you are way ahead. I think that's how I'd approach it, or something like that. That's pretty much how I approached my boat, although the repairs were no where near that level.

But yes, anything is fixable. Anything! All depends on price. My wife knows better than to advocate any project vehicles for me, good for you!

Has there even been a description of the repairs needed?

I don't know that budgeting a replacement engine is quite needed either. Tar-like oil because it seemed dark and thick? Not saying that's good but if the guy has proof of the oil changes then I'm not sure that a new engine is needed.

Edited by 85 Barefoot
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is this the boat in Utah for about 50k if so i think the price is very high for that boat if you want a boat that has not been abused as much there are two 247's in Atlanta that I looked at.

one is a red boat they are asking 52 but I bet you could get them down to high 40's its problem is there is stress cracking in the gel coat around the swim deck rudder box and strut, a sales lady at a dealer down there told me to run from the boat but she was trying to sell me the same boat but in blue, the dealers gel repair guy who used to work at the Tennessee plant said that is was probably just from the gel being sprayed too thick when the boat was built and if it was not stored in the water that I wouldn't even have to fix it. other than that the boat was very clean and nice and looked like new this was for sale by a private party

the other boat is the blue one it did not seem to be taken as good of care of was not as clean but would probably clean up to look like new it was 55k last fall and is now down to 51k i walked away from this one because i got the service records and the underwater gear was replaced twice due to hitting stumps on lake lainer both times requiring gel repair the frist time the total bill was 12k which they said was inflated cause it was an insurance job but who knows this boat was and still is on consignment

now i walked away cause i knew i could get a 08 dealer demo boat at a real good price and thought i would be better to spend the extra money and be the first owner of my boat

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