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Potential first boat...


Waiting4deerseason

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I'm very new to this scene but have liked wakeboard / direct drive (i.e. non stern drive) boats for a long time. Think it's finally time I purchase my first boat and I found a '87 sunsetter for $5,700.... I personally think its a tad high n am not willing to go over $5k but am wondering what you all think of these '80's boats. Seems like every one on here has a mid 90's or newer.

Interior is fading fast and that's ok cause I have grand delusions of creating my own anyways. Motor has 980 hrs on it and said it "runs like a top".... ( grain of salt) which is no biggie either cause I have an "engine in waiting". I don't do much water sports but I love the openness of this boat n the opportunity to change int without being locked in.

Questions are how do they ride? Potential missteps with the 80's boats?

My sister had a crown line stern drive boat that took forever to plane n get to speed... Everyone to the bow n wait a quarter mile for it to get on top of the water.... Anyways that's why I am drawn to the direct drives...

Thx in advance

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Inboard props are def the way to go. A lot better quality and a whole lot more power. My first boat was a 89 bayliner cuddy cabin capri I/O, everyone cram into the cuddy cabin, we gotta get on step!... good thing im a mechanic too. My DD i have now was a cash buy, didnt wana finance for the same reason you dont, adding some goodies and selling it to fund a nice down payment on a V-drive next year. Like already mentioned, make sure its ok structurally, with no major probs. Not sure what they used for the stringers in that year of boat. Maybe someone on here does, but things like through holes that someone drills in them to run wires or hoses and not properly sealed with glass can let water and moisture inside the stringers and rot them out. Good luck with your purchase.

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We had a 1989 Sunsetter for 23 years. It had wood stringers and we had to replace one of them after owning it for about 15 years. The problem turned out to be the stringer drain hole at the transom. The hole was not sealed from the factory on one side, the other side was fine. Ended up costing us about $4000. So make sure and check the out. I am sure the '87 will have wood stringers. To check for wood rot, all you have to do is drill through the fiberglass of the stringer so you can poke a ice pick in the wood. If it goes through the wood without much force they are rotten. Do this in several areas then seal the holes up when done.

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$5-6k is pretty much the basement on a running inboard unless it's totally clapped out. "87 will have wood, but will also have simple electronic gauges, carb Chevy Mercruiser, and will be pretty easy to keep on the water mechanically. So as long as the floor and trailer are solid I say go for it. Everything else is easy.

There are a few older Skiers and Sunsetters on here, including our reigning King of Modifications martinarcher's beauty.

I'm on year #6 with our first inboard, choose right and it will do what you need for a long time. That's a very versatile hull for all sorts of watersports.

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We had an 89 Ski Sanger for 7 years and loved every minute with it. Had compliments everyday we took it out. My thing with older boats is that how they appear and how they run and the owner all determine in the quality of the boat. If some portion of an older isn't taken care of it's likely the other components aren't as well. If you were willing to leave the boat out all summer uncovered, would you have been worried about changing the oul in a timely manner. Food for thought.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

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Wow thx a ton guys. I really hope I'm going to b able to pull off that 'drill n ice pick' thing. All excellent ideas n things to keep on mind. I'll keep you all posted on what happens. Thx again

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Bad wooden stringers is a big deal..they could cost as much as you paid for the whole boat if you have to replace them. pay very careful attention to those.

the cost of a new interior, engines, trannys, trailors are all things that could also add up later to be really expensive if you need to replace them as well . so while you may pay less upfront you may find your self spending more down the road. so be careful.

So if you can find a way to plunk down a few thousand more up front, you might save yourself more later on..

you might even be able to get yourself into a late 90's boat without the wooden stringers.

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