What to look for?
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What to look for?

  1. #1

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    Default What to look for?

    Hey guys Im relatively new to the boating world but have been around cars for as long as I can remember. I need some help determining what to look for in a used boat that is for sale. It is a friend of a friends boat and I just do not want to get into a huge project replacing most of the hull or whatever. The boat is a 1978 Baja jet boat. It has an olds 350 with the jet drive and that all seams to check out fine. My main concern is the integrity of the boats hull. I have been looking for info on this boat but found little and nothing is better than experience. If anyone has any insight, please drop a line.

    Thanks alot everybody.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member H20MOFO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSinister68 View Post
    Hey guys Im relatively new to the boating world but have been around cars for as long as I can remember. I need some help determining what to look for in a used boat that is for sale. It is a friend of a friends boat and I just do not want to get into a huge project replacing most of the hull or whatever. The boat is a 1978 Baja jet boat. It has an olds 350 with the jet drive and that all seams to check out fine. My main concern is the integrity of the boats hull. I have been looking for info on this boat but found little and nothing is better than experience. If anyone has any insight, please drop a line.

    Thanks alot everybody.
    I'm not familar with baja. Pics are helpful. I'd keep looking for something with a bbc or bbf in it. Also try to stay away from panther jets. Check the condition of the stringers, and if possible stay away from 1/4 stringer boats. Also you didn't mention your goals. If you want to do 100 you're going to have less hulls to chose from than if you're only looking for 60-70 mph.
    Another Hot Boat refugee

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    Senior Member 4trax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSinister68 View Post
    Hey guys Im relatively new to the boating world but have been around cars for as long as I can remember. I need some help determining what to look for in a used boat that is for sale. It is a friend of a friends boat and I just do not want to get into a huge project replacing most of the hull or whatever. The boat is a 1978 Baja jet boat. It has an olds 350 with the jet drive and that all seams to check out fine. My main concern is the integrity of the boats hull. I have been looking for info on this boat but found little and nothing is better than experience. If anyone has any insight, please drop a line.

    Thanks alot everybody.
    I like mine, this is the 2nd one I have owned. The first one was a 1977 with a 460 Ford.









    I went in and got recircumsized again........I lost 10lbs. & was able to save the lives of 3 children in the burn center.........but it's not my fault they turned out to be dickheads.

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    Thanks and my goal for the boat is just to do 60-70 mph but mainly just a fun boat to drive nothing extreme like 100mph (well at least not with this boat lol) About the stringers, does every boat have them and how would I go about checking them. I did notice the engine mounts to a part of the boat but that is all I could see regarding the stringers. The jet drive is a berkley i believe and the boat runs and drives great. I am worried more about the stringers and the cosmetics for the time being and the im going to bbc chevy territory, just because. Thanks again

  7. #5
    Cas
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    Back a few years, a few of us came up with a guide of sorts on what to look for when buying a boat. Here's the list we came up with and by no means is it complete for all boats. It was put out there more as something someone could print out to take along so as to remember what to look at.

    1. Manufacturer
    2. Who has title to the boat, and is the paperwork/documentation up to date.
    3. hull condition
    a. check for stress cracks, if there's a lot, stay away.
    b. was the hull painted, find out why. The hull may have been damaged, fixed and then painted. Since you don't know how it was fixed, I would shy away from it.
    c. bring a 4 ft long straight edge to check the bottom for hook and/or rocker. The way to do this check is to lay the straight on the bottom of the boat from the transom forward. If there is a gap between the bottom of the boat and the straight edge, the boat has hook. If the straight edge "rocks" the hull has a "bulge" that is referred to as rocker.
    d. bow flex, were there any supports/bulkheads removed under the bow?
    e. check the transom and stringers for rot - this can be tough to do since both areas should be covered in fiberglass. Look closely in areas where there are thru bolts ie: motor mounts in stringers, where pump hole is cut. Bolts that are sucked into the stringers or transom are usually an indication of rot.
    f. check the keel line - lots of scratches or worn out areas mean the boat was beached a lot.
    4. Interior condition, not only the upholstery but check the frames for possible rot.
    5. Interior wiring/gauges- check for corrosion, splices and overall condition.
    6. Engine condition - fire it off and listen. If I'm looking for a project, the engine sometimes isn't that important as it'll be freshened up anyway.
    7. Drive Condition
    a- jet pump - crawl underneath and look at the impeller, any damage visible? chunks out of the impeller means possible issues inside. Check the oil for water and check the driveline the best you can.
    b- check the nozzle for play. If excessive, it will need nyliner bushings at a minimum.
    c-outdrives and out boards- I'm not very familiar with these but have been told to check oil levels, oil color, check props for dings and dents (cracks), check the leading edge of the lower units for evidence of impact and the bottom of the units for major scratching or wear.
    8. Cables - make sure the steering wheel turns freely, the forward/reverse and the throttle cables move easily. Any cuts in the sheathing?
    9. Trailer - overall condition, tires, wheels, do the hubs have bearing buddies, lights, and wiring.
    10. Price - what's the asking price and how much will be needed to put into it to make it a good solid running boat?

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    Senior Member Delemorte's Avatar
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    ive never shopped for a boat, mine was given too me.. However i have been over every inch of that sucker and this is my word of wisdom.. Its all fixable but the part that scares me the most and seems to be the biggest PITA is rot or fixing cracks in the hull...


    The hull is the foundation of that thing. If its not rock solid i would shy away.,
    Quote Originally Posted by jetboatperformance View Post
    the ensueing fire would likely be extinguished by the sinking however

  9. #7
    Boat Nut sleekcrafter's Avatar
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    search the video archives, Shoemaker did a "how to" buy a boat bit
    Upper Midwest Power Boat Association
    DRAG BOAT RACING UMPBA #926


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