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Bent Prop Blade on Used Boat


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Hey crew, I am looking at a 2004 Sunscape that looks to be in good condition, is priced well, and is somewhat close to me. In one of the pictures that I have seen it looks like the prop has a bent blade, not like a rock/ground/log hit, but more like a true bend. I had a good conversation with the owner, and also the marina that has maintained the boat, and both say it is in good condition (the owner disclosed a few things he knew were "shortcomings".

If I were to guess the prop is original, and my concern is if they have been running with a bent prop blade for an extended period of time there could be v-drive/transmissions errors down the line, and those bad boys ain't cheap. from reading previous articles it looks like i should be able to spin the prop/shaft and see if the shaft is bent, and give it a wiggle test.

I am hoping to head up and look at it this weekend, so anything else to look for to reduce the possibility a 5-7K trip to the dealership?

Am I over thinking this and Walter's V-Drive is pretty bomb proof?

Thanks!

 

Prop.jpg

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The V-drives are pretty stout unless you're surfing super heavy.  I'd ask for more images of the prop.  They have a weird way of looking bent/deformed in 2 dimensional images but are fine when you actually inspect them in person.

If it's bent a little bit but you can spin the shaft freely, I wouldn't sweat it too much.  Use it as a negotiating point.  A little play in the strut is likely for a boat of that age unless it's had strut bearing service.  That's no biggie.

Any chance you can get it on the water for a ride?

  • Like 3
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@UWSkier thanks for the feedback. Considering it is in northern WI, I probably can’t get it in the water. We have open water here, but I’d have to really do some convincing to have them let me “borrow” the boat for a weekend. 
 

Thanks again! 

 

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I agree with @oldjeep. I bought my first boat used without putting it on the water and won't buy another used boat, period.

My first boat was an inboard/outboard with a pretty deep draft. The outdrive really hung down in the water, so I was always hitting things (i was really inexperienced). I had three props so I could have one on and two in the prop shop for rebuilds. :biggrin: I never had to do any repairs to the outdrive.

I hit something with my Echelon one time going 25 mph. It was hard enough to bend guide fins, bend the prop shaft, shear off the rudder and crack the hull. The transmission didn't suffer any damage. Granted, the Echelon is an inboard.

My point being, it takes a lot to damage these marine transmissions and drives. On the other hand, a prop doesn't get bent from spinning in water; it has to hit something. Check the prop shaft for any bending or damage. From the picture, that's not much of a dent in the prop. It could be the owner scraped it on a boat ramp while loading/unloading.

Edited by Jobe1850
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@oldjeep you peeing in my Cheerios? I only want to hear what I want and none of this “sound advice” nonsense!

I thought about that challenge. I’m not sure how to work that with a winter sale. Give them a 50% deposit and pull it far enough south to get it in the water(we have open water here)? I don’t think they have any offers higher than mine, so I might have some leverage, but there’s plenty of risk on both sides with that endeavor. 
 

I could write up a contract with some teeth, pay them their money, and hope I don’t have to take them to court? 
 

I also realize I am jumping the gun a bit, but I am fearing the summer without a boat.  

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3 hours ago, rakr said:

@UWSkier thanks for the feedback. Considering it is in northern WI, I probably can’t get it in the water. We have open water here, but I’d have to really do some convincing to have them let me “borrow” the boat for a weekend. 
 

Thanks again! 

 

So make the deal  contingent on a sea test.  That is done all the time.

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Posted (edited)

@Eagleboy99 would that be handled through a contract, and I pay them after? Any input on details would be? 
 

I thought about using an escrow agent to hold the money, title. 

Edited by rakr
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12 minutes ago, rakr said:

@Eagleboy99 would that be handled through a contract, and I pay them after? Any input on details would be? 
 

I thought about using an escrow agent to hold the money, title. 

A buddy of mine bought  a boat in the dead of winter up here.  He put a couple thousand "in trust" (escrow?) with the dealer's lawyer, contingent on  a water test in the spring.  Locked in a good deal, but was covered if he was not happy with the boat.  April came and he tested it and finalized the deal.

Edited by Eagleboy99
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@Eagleboy99 private party is trying to buy a new boat, so I’d have to turn it around pretty quick. I’m going to try to see if we can put the money/title in escrow and find open water... 

anybody have an idea if it is a super bad idea to run the boat in 35 or below water? I would imagine it would be ok.  I know I’d have to get it winterized pretty quick once we are done. 

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3 minutes ago, rakr said:

@Eagleboy99 private party is trying to buy a new boat, so I’d have to turn it around pretty quick. I’m going to try to see if we can put the money/title in escrow and find open water... 

anybody have an idea if it is a super bad idea to run the boat in 35 or below water? I would imagine it would be ok.  I know I’d have to get it winterized pretty quick once we are done. 

Should be fine  - we run boats up here all year round.  In the water, it is unlikley to freeze. Sitting on the trailer on land, OTOH...

 

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12 hours ago, rakr said:

Chatted with the owner about using an escrow agent(lawyer). We’ll see.

And it'll completely depend on the sellers state of mind.  When I bought my VTX it was middle of winter, but it was 2 years old, didn't have many hours and belonged to a promo person who had the dealer do all the service - and was in a heated garage. So I took my chances.  When I put my old boat (a 2005)  up for sale after I bought the new one - it was winter.  I had a few people say they wanted a water test, or a mechanic to look at it and my response was always - sure if the boat was still for sale when that was possible then it would be no problem but I wouldn't hold the boat, it was for sale until someone gave me the money and took the boat.  Ultimately a guy wound up buying it before water testing was possible.

Edited by oldjeep
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granddaddy55
22 hours ago, rakr said:

Hey crew, I am looking at a 2004 Sunscape that looks to be in good condition, is priced well, and is somewhat close to me. In one of the pictures that I have seen it looks like the prop has a bent blade, not like a rock/ground/log hit, but more like a true bend. I had a good conversation with the owner, and also the marina that has maintained the boat, and both say it is in good condition (the owner disclosed a few things he knew were "shortcomings".

If I were to guess the prop is original, and my concern is if they have been running with a bent prop blade for an extended period of time there could be v-drive/transmissions errors down the line, and those bad boys ain't cheap. from reading previous articles it looks like i should be able to spin the prop/shaft and see if the shaft is bent, and give it a wiggle test.

I am hoping to head up and look at it this weekend, so anything else to look for to reduce the possibility a 5-7K trip to the dealership?

Am I over thinking this and Walter's V-Drive is pretty bomb proof?

Thanks!

 

Prop.jpg

ball peen hammer and the ball on hitch as  anvil,  dont try to perfectly correct it, just bend it back a little tapping it more upright, don't get crazy, just bend a little tapping from the inner more folded portion vs tapping the outer edge first or aggressively  

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I purchased my first two Malibu's in winter with no water test based on the relationship I had developed with the sellers. both boats were great from day one and sellers were completely honest. My latest Malibu (3rd) I was able to water test and it actually had a couple of minor issues that tuned out to be related to the paddle wheel that controls the speedo being bent from his lift. This effected the perfect pass and the wedge control (both of witch he never used to pull his kids on a tube). He got the issue fixed at the dealer quickly and it turned out to be the best boat I have ever owned (2011 wakesetter VLX). I have put almost 400 hours on it and plan on at least another 400 before I move on. My point is that I generally buy boats (and cars) based on how I feel about the integrity of the seller. its always a risk but from my experience if the seller seems honest and sincere than he probably is. If that prop is causing a major vibration he would know about it.   

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@windy1 I agree with your comments. My last sale went well (awesome couple) and so far this family seems pretty super reasonable and no red flags yet through 3 conversations, and texts/emails. 
 

 It ya never know when someone is being too nice...

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electricjohn
On 1/8/2021 at 12:19 PM, granddaddy55 said:

ball peen hammer and the ball on hitch as  anvil,  dont try to perfectly correct it, just bend it back a little tapping it more upright, don't get crazy, just bend a little tapping from the inner more folded portion vs tapping the outer edge first or aggressively  

I used a rubber mallet and a tree stump.

  • Like 1
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Picked up the boat yesterday with a heathy deposit to the sellers. All went well. The boat was in ok shape, but not out of the ordinary for a 17 year old boat. Gel coat has a lot of little marks, most of it will come out with a good wet sand, a few are down to the fiberglass, unfortunately in the “color part”. Inside looked good, prop strut looks like it was repaired at some point, and the prop is definitely bent. I’m wondering if it was out too far in on the lift and bend on the cross member. Only one blade out of 4 was bent. 
 

trailering it straight to the dealer ship for eval and a water test on the river. 

  • Like 3
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Oh yes we are swapping. I have a spare from @asnowman, that is in much better shape, but last summer my wife drove the boat into a shallow spot as I was parking the trailer, so it has rough edges on it and a tiny cup on one blade. When driving it, I didn’t feel any extra vibration on my VTX. I am going to take that prop to Tommy’s and let them make the call (it is in much better shape than the one on there, the pic is pretty accurate depiction of the damage). I hope they can grab one off another boat, instead of my spare. 

P.S.  that was a “I’m sorry for what I said when I docked the boat” moment for us... I keep forgetting not everyone grew up around water and boating and “boating common sense” comes from experience, and experience comes from mistakes... 

 

 

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on our first I/O my wife forgot to raise the out drive twice when loading trashing two props. that got me my first inboard. Thanks honey 

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8 minutes ago, windy1 said:

on our first I/O my wife forgot to raise the out drive twice when loading trashing two props. that got me my first inboard. Thanks honey 

Props?  We busted the skeg twice, but you really have to mess up to break a prop like that.

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Ok, here is the info/book. 2004 LSV 21 600 hours. 

Interior looks good for an 04, I bet I could get another 3-5 years out of it before it bugged me enough to replace. 

There was a small critter in there,  it doesn’t look like he was a long term resident. Found some peanuts, ate them pooped around the joint and left. I checked as many wires and hoses as I could and it looks like there is only a few wires running under the floor, so I don’t think I should be super concerned. 

Minimal service records, current owners bought it in ‘16. They have records since ‘18. Oil changed every year, but no indication of tuneup or trans/v-drive fluid service. Owner said they changed the impeller a few years ago. 

Per the dealership it is running a bit rough, which could somewhat line up with the lack of a tuneup in the recent past. Compression test was good. 

The current owners seem super nice, spent about 2 hours with them on Saturday. They said it has been running well as long as they have owned it and I am inclined to believe them. 

Fresh tank of gas and a water test tomorrow. I am cautiously excited. Went 4 months without a boat and I was starting to get nervous! 

Edited by rakr
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