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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,
I am looking into purchasing my first powerboat. I live in Central Wisconsin and have really only searched Craigslist. My price Limit will be in the 15k range.... I just really want something that looks nice and sounds good...and something that will do around the 60 mph range. I'll post up a few links of boats I have found and let me know what you think. I am very new to all of this! Any help is greatly appreciated, and thank you in advance!
1996 Checkmate: http://rockford.craigslist.org/boa/1228186633.html
1997 Baja: http://appleton.craigslist.org/boa/1233017259.html
Some Concord I found: http://lacrosse.craigslist.org/boa/1226510147.html
1997 Stingray: http://appleton.craigslist.org/boa/1225290817.html
1993 Mariah: http://appleton.craigslist.org/boa/1194259981.html
 

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Hello everyone,
I am looking into purchasing my first powerboat. I live in Central Wisconsin and have really only searched Craigslist. My price Limit will be in the 15k range.... I just really want something that looks nice and sounds good...and something that will do around the 60 mph range. I'll post up a few links of boats I have found and let me know what you think. I am very new to all of this! Any help is greatly appreciated, and thank you in advance!
1996 Checkmate: http://rockford.craigslist.org/boa/1228186633.html
1997 Baja: http://appleton.craigslist.org/boa/1233017259.html
Some Concord I found: http://lacrosse.craigslist.org/boa/1226510147.html
1997 Stingray: http://appleton.craigslist.org/boa/1225290817.html
1993 Mariah: http://appleton.craigslist.org/boa/1194259981.html
If I had to pick from your list I would go with the Checkmate.

I've had freinds that have had them and they all seemed to hold up well.

What kind of boating do you want to do?

Do you have a family ie. kid's?
 

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I would think that your choices should be limited to meet the terms you laid out. Big block power allows for more upgrades if needed later, and should get you going faster. The other thing is that dark colors on a boat may look cool at first, but the deck gets hot quickly in the sun, and you'll be barefoot, in a swimsuit, that kind of thing, and the hot deck won't be welcome. A triple axle trailer will get some tire scrub, may be a bit difficult to turn in tight spots. Just things to think about.

The Checkmate and the Baja fit these descriptions. I wouldn't buy a small block-powered boat again.
 

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Hello everyone,
I am looking into purchasing my first powerboat. I live in Central Wisconsin and have really only searched Craigslist. My price Limit will be in the 15k range.... I just really want something that looks nice and sounds good...and something that will do around the 60 mph range. I'll post up a few links of boats I have found and let me know what you think. I am very new to all of this! Any help is greatly appreciated, and thank you in advance!
1996 Checkmate: http://rockford.craigslist.org/boa/1228186633.html
1997 Baja: http://appleton.craigslist.org/boa/1233017259.html
Some Concord I found: http://lacrosse.craigslist.org/boa/1226510147.html
1997 Stingray: http://appleton.craigslist.org/boa/1225290817.html
1993 Mariah: http://appleton.craigslist.org/boa/1194259981.html
Have you looked at any West Coast boat builders?

You might be surprized what you can get with a little shipping.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Like I said, I am new to all of this! I will try looking at all the sites you guys suggested. Thanks!

I don't have a family. Just me and my girlfriend and friends would go boating. I'm still young :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here, skip the smaller boats (I don't think you'll be on flat water rivers like many here) and get a steal on something that just needs a little elbow grease.

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/list...roker&&hosturl=labmarineinc&&ywo=labmarineinc&

I don't think you can get more boat for less! A survey of course is worth it's weight in gold on something like this.
ahhh a good ole Fountain! :) What a boat for the price.. I'm looking for something under 23 though... I want to be able to run the smaller lakes around here too. Any Ideas on top speeds for the 20' Outlaw w/the 350 and the 22' Checkmate with the 454?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Also I don't really understand the concept of trim tabs.. Are they that big of a deal? The outlaw doesnt have them, and the checkmate does.. Anybody that can explain them..?
 

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I've owned a few of those midwest production boats so I would say:

The checkmates will likely have the best workmanship. The glass work is pretty impressive for the price, they look good and they're real solid boats.

Surprisingly, the Stingrays have the fastest hulls. The 220 SX will hit 63 mph with a 350 MAG, according to factory tests. http://www.stingrayboats.com/products/1998/power_perf/98power.pdf
I believe it is the only one of the group that will crack 60 with a small block, which might be appreciated when gas goes north of $4 gallon again. (Of course you won't have the acceleration of a big block and the Stingray hulls do prefer trim tabs for getting on plane quickly)
One of the cool things about Stingray is that full performance data is available on their website. They test each hull with a variety of prop and engine packages and publish the results. (I wish all manufactures did that!).

Having said all that, the most important thing for a first time buyer looking for a 10+ year old boat is condition and previous maintenance. In this economy, you should be able to find a real cream puff. Look for an owner that is fussy with all of his stuff. (in addition to the boat, look around at the condition of his house, cars, toys, etc.) If someone was too lazy to drain the block and properly winterize the boat, you could could be looking at a set of manifolds, risers, or even and engine block. If they didn't maintain the drive, have leaky bellows, or didn't change the lube, you could be looking at expensive outdrive repairs.

As a fist time buyer I would highly recommend a marine survey, or pre-purchase inspection. On an older boat this service can pay for itself many times over. Even if you find something wrong, but still like the boat, you can work any problems into the sales price. Remember, no matter how fast a boat might go - it goes exactly 0.0 with a broken motor or drive.

Good luck and have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well...
I decided to go with the 20' Outlaw. The owner was a real good guy, and definitely took care of it! I love how it sounds with the Corsa mufflers. Final price was $14,500 when he started out asking $16k. I plan on getting the boat on the 8th. Thanks for everyones help!
Andy
 
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