Hi there, I'm looking at buying my first jet boat in a few weeks and figured I'd join this site to find some help and advice. I grew up around boats, but haven't been boating in probably 20 years. I've always wanted to play with a big American V8, and figured this would be a good way to get that fix. I'm starting out by looking at a 1980 Baker with a mildly built 454 on Monday. It's the end of the season here in Utah, but I still want to get it out on the water before buying it; I'm sure running on the trailer doesn't mean it'll run under load. In my searching, I discovered that it used to be a member's boat here that was for sale a while back: https://www.performanceboats.com/boa...4000-00-a.html
I've yet to see it in person, and the current seller doesn't seem to know much about boats, but as far as I can tell the only difference from when Sherman was selling it and now is that it has a rebuilt engine (Mark IV block with a stock rotating assy, rectangle port heads, Edelbrock intake, and I think Banks or Glenwood headers feeding a through- transom exhaust). From what I can tell, it appears to have a Berk 12JE pump and the boat is in the same condition as when Sherman was selling it. The current seller is asking $3k. Assuming no leaks, no no odd noises, no hooks in the hull and everything works as designed, is this a fair price?
I'm basically looking for something to try jet boating out with and am not concerned if the hull is heavy or extracting the absolute last MPH out of it... yet. The current seller says it'll run 50- 55 MPH (our lakes at are between 4000 and 5500' MSL) which is fast enough for me for now, but does this hull and pump have the potential to hit 80? I did read that the JE and JF pumps are difficult to feed at higher speeds so this may not even be a good platform to build on. What say you?
Most importantly, is there anything in particular to watch for? I'm very mechanically inclined but am unaware of things specific to jet boats.
I appreciate being here and all the knowledge I've found over the past week of searching, and I look forward to being a part of this community. Thanks for having me.