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What's it worth

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Thinking about upgrading to a newer boat in a few years, my 1993 echelon closed bow just doesn't have enough space for friends and family. My boat is a semi complicated situation, and I am looking for some thoughts on what it could be worth. I bought the boat 4 years ago in rough shape and not running. The previous owner did not take care of the boat at all, and failed to winterize it. I got it running pretty easily, only to find out the block was cracked on each side. I did a compression check and since the results were good, I decided to try patching the block with epoxy. Fast forward to now and the boat has been a reliable work horse for us every summer. I understand that most buyers will not be interested in a boat with a cracked block. I myself have been waiting for this repair to give in, once it gives I was committed to dropping in a rebuilt long block. Here are some more details about the boat.

interior condition 6/10 some discoloring vinyl and imperfections, carpet is ok but not great.

hull 7/10

monster tower with 2 swivel wake/surf racks

sony cd deck with alpine 6.5 speakers in boat

12" sub and amp

dual batteries

I have kept up on maintenance since purchase and there have been plenty of new engine/maintenance items.

So given the condition of the engine block, what could this boat be worth? Looking for honest opinions, no need to hold back.

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Well, it's a 9-11k boat in great shape (depending on location) so subtract what is wrong from there.

Engine 2.5-5k unless you find the right DIYer.

Interior couple hundred to 2k depending on how many pieces need replacing.

Hull cleanup/repair, graphics, rub rail replacement, etc.

Unfortunately a universal tower, stereo, dual batteries, etc. add little to no value to most buyers.

Don't be misleading, but sometimes less is more to open the line of communication. If you just put up an ad that says "cracked block" I wouldn't expect much response. Stating "needs attention" and explaining when asked at least gets them to see how easy and open you are to deal with. Immediately offer a water test after letting them know the issue so they can see it's usable as is.

As a seller I'd ask at the high side and negotiate from there. Asking price was good enough to get me to call on my boat (no pics of a faded out red boat in the ad--just "1994 Malibu open bow ski boat" and a price). Negotiated to what we both believed to be fair at 2k less once I got eyes on it as it also needed a prop, trailer tires, and a cover besides the wet sanding.

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Yeah I agree that saying it has a cracked block immediately will turn me away and I'd never even call someone local. I'd say something along the lines of "runs strong all day but does have some issues".

You could always offer a 2-4 week buy back agreement with a 5-10% penalty if the engine does tank on them. I'd only offer that to people willing to water test it though and only if they're starting to pull out of the deal. Sometimes that's enough to get people into the deal and assure them that it'll be fine.

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I appreciate the advice guys, and I totally agree. Its not going anywhere yet, so I have some time to figure out what I am going to do. Maybe this winter I will get the itch and drop a new motor in. I will start a new thread if I head down that path.

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I feel your pain on the limited space of the Echelon. Ours was the perfect boat for our family of 2 adults and 3 kids. Then the engine went. It was out of commission for the summer of 2013 and 2014. During that time my two sons grew at least a foot each in height and shoe sizes around 13, big long arms, etc. So now here we are in 2015 and it's essentially 4 adults and a 9 year old daughter. Surfing is pretty much no fun with bags all over. Wakeboarding is doable, so is footing. If we go out with anyone my limit is 5 adults (driver, spotter, 1 in jump seat, 2 in rear seat) and that is about it. And if they are not boat savvy it's kinda clumsy.

That said, we are keeping the Echelon because at the end of the day we don't use it all that much (40 hours per season?) and can't justify jumping to a $20k V-drive. There are too many other things to do here with Lake Michigan and tooling around on other peep's boats.

So back to your boat. I'd list it at $7,500, and go no lower than $6k. It's end of season and the engine is a tough one to get around. Your biggest selling point is at that price pretty much ALL other boats in that price range will have wooden stringers/floors. You should stress that yours is 100% composite (stringers, floor, seat backs, gunnel panels, everything). And play up the unknowns that people might find with other 20+ year old boats that have wood in them. If you find you are striking out, have some printed online options of long blocks. "The boat runs fine, you just did a water test with me. But, if you are worried, here is a reman long block for $2,500. Put a new engine in a no-wood boat and you are good for another 20 years." or something like that.

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I am strongly considering dropping in an updated vortec longblock. Local shop just quoted me $1500 for a longblock (intake to oil pan). Transfer over old usable parts, add an electric fuel pump, and it seems like a decent upgrade for the cost.

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