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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
How far have you traveled to buy a boat only to change your mind when you saw it? How far have you traveled to sell a boat only to have the buyer back out? What were the circumstances? Was the boat not as advertised? Did the buyer try to lowball you after traveling all that way? What happened? Did it get violent?

When looking for my current jet boat, the farthest I have traveled to buy a boat only to come home empty handed was Sparks NV from San Jose CA (approx 250 mi each way). The boat was nice overall but the trailer had a good amount of rust on it so it was not inline with the condition of the boat. There was also a spider crack on the bow that was failed to be mentioned in our communications. It would have been a decent boat to have still, but not for the bottom line asked.

Before finally finding my current jet boat, I have lost count of the hundreds of miles and hours lost looking at boats listed on Craigslist only to discover the boats are not as advertised and owners trying to completely avoid giving a genuine description of the boat. I came across a seller describing how their boat was "beautiful" and new paint and matching interior, etc, but could not produce any detailed pictures. Instead, not taking a chance to let a nice boat get away, I took time off of work to go look at it (approx 80 mi each way) When I got there, I found bad clear coating, cheap interior missing the front engine cover, missing gauges, holes for speakers, broken jetavator cable, , etc...

In a similar note to this subject, while looking for the same boat, I found an Eliminator out of Pomona (approx 375 mi) in the PB Marketplace Boat Spam that I wanted to buy. After communicating back and forth with the seller for a week, I was going to pick it up at his asking price. He told me he was going to give me a call back with his address so I went ahead and made arrangements to head down there and pulled the cash out of the bank. He didn’t call back. He also stopped answering my calls. I guess he decided to keep it because I noticed him and his Eliminator in a few event pictures in this and the other forum.

A few weeks after that he PM’d me apologizing for leaving me hanging and letting me know it was still available. Unfortunately he needed the money right away because he wanted to buy a Gullwing out of San Diego. So I made arrangements to take a day off work and again pulled the money out of the bank. I asked him for some reassurance because this is the second time that I was going to come through on my end and he agreed by offering to drop the Eliminator off with me as soon as he knew the Gullwing was ready to pick up. The next day, no call and no answer to my calls. Cash in my hand again and got skunked again. A couple of weeks later someone posted a picture on the other forum of their new Eliminator they bought from this person. The seller also posted a few pics of the Gullwing he picked up recently. Oh well. At least I didn’t have to drive the 375 mi, but it would have sucked had I got mugged with all of the cash in my pocket while waiting for his call.

The whole ordeal of finding a decent jet boat was quite an overwhelming and dissapointing process for the most part. I am so glad I was able to find what I was looking for as it became quite stressful looking for the right one.

I have a few more stories, but it is your turn now. Surely I cannot be the only one :D

**Good Experiences May Apply As Well**
 

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I have driven (in one trip) 1700 miles (round trip) to find out that the seller was the biggest bullsh*t artist on the planet. I drove total of around 15000 miles over three years to find my boat. I wasn't going to settle for a piece of crap, even if I did drive 1700 miles. Don't feel alone I know a few people that have done the same thing.
 

· volkswagen junkie
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i did 5.5 hrs round trip. 1967 schuster 16ft.(tahiti)
boat was a small block runner (sbc) it was a home built 302 w/ camel back heads, stahl headers. the trailer was complete shiat! wiring was jacked, axle on trailer had a weld repair in the center. wheels were cambered. seller said trailer is in towable condition. yea right! glad it made it home!
 

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The biggest thing I found when looking at buying used boats is everyones opinion on good condition vary's dramatically, they arent necceserally trying to hide something or lying to you but they feel that the boat is in great condition but your idea of great condition can be completely different.
 

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Good deals?

In my experience, any boat, car, truck or anything else for that matter, need not be advertised. A good deal will be sold thru word of mouth, or sitting on a street corner with a sign and a PRICE, along with contact info. If I see something for sale without a price I just figure it isn't a good deal and the seller wants to hook you in before actually telling you how overpriced it is. I have bought a lot of parts and pieces here at PB and everything was on the up and up. BTW, NEVER buy a running boat, for a running boat price, without seeing it on the water and maybe even test driving it yourself. Tell the owner to meet you, go to a local lake/river. If you buy it, he pays the entry fees, if you pass on the sale, you pay..........I've racked up a bunch of miles lately, but the results have made it worthwhile.........Ray

PS if the owner has excuses about putting the boat in the water, PASS, period
 

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Well let's see 11 hour round trip for a nice gell, stress crack free boat (not) dry run.Next trip 7 hours decent boat, trailer not great, price to high (my opinion).This weekend drove 4 hours round trip on sat only to have the owner not answer his cell for directions (got within 1/2 mile) calls me when im back home.Go back sunday and the "nice" paint had spots sanded in several places, owner says he has the paint he will give me to fix it (boat needs total restore).That's just a few!
 

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Long Beach to Fresno to look at a 18 Spectra 2 years ago. Boat was crap, went across the street to a dive bar, best part of the trip, had a beer and then drove back home empty handed.

Those 18's are very cool. Still like to have one someday. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
..."nice" paint had spots sanded in several places, owner says he has the paint he will give me to fix it (boat needs total restore).
I ran into a few of these. Are they expecting us to cave and buy their piece of crap because we drove all that way? Those are not minor details that one could overlook and I cannot believe how many sellers out there are willing to hold back pertinent and specific information like that.

There was one where I asked specifically if there were any stress cracks or gouges in the gel/fiberglass and the owner said no that it is in great condition and very clean. When I drove the 135 miles to see it, I found stress spider cracks at every corner and some deep nicks in the corners of the transom. The engine was shiney though. Needless to say after all this time, their boat is still up for sale on Craigslist.

Granted, there were a few sellers I encountered that went into great detail with what was wrong with their boat, down to the last minor scratch. I have learned to appreciate them and greatly thank them for their time to work with me.
 

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My friend and I drove 13 hours round trip to meet a guy in Los Banos this weekend. The guy called saturday morning and said he wanted the boat he just couldnt live with out, he needed a new boat because he hit a log on the delta and craked the intake and the bottom of his boat. So my friend went home on his lunch break took numerous detailed pics the guy wanted, then the guy called back and said lets make this happen so we set it up to meet sunday morning. After all the excitement of thinking the boat was sold the guy turned down the sale due to the fact that there are two 3/8 in. holes on both stringers from old motor mounts or something and the ride plate was set at the wrong degree( which he determined by eye). After all is said and done we kind of expected that he would kick down a hundred bucks or something for gas and the hassel of believing all of his bullshit but instead just gave us a big fawk you. lesson to be learned:people are assholes and never go out of your way to do something for somebody you dont know.
 

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Basically, You are buying a 30 year old boat for not a whole lot of money most times. Like I have stated in the past:

Expect the owner of a used boat to lie about Gell, Wood rot, Trailer condition, MPH, Engine internals, Maintenence, and that odds are it is a $5000 milkshake maker. Those are generally what you get buying a used boat.

Expect to:
rewire
Re plumb
Replace at least one gasket
Change the oil (And add a drain hose)
Replace at least one guage and/or sender
replace at least one tire on the trailer
grease the trailer bearings
install some missing lag bolts to replace the duct tape holding the bunk to the trailer

When looking at boats My hopes are usually pretty low. When looking for perfection, go to the dealer and pay perfection price. I will travel far (My new limit is 700 miles one way) to pick up a boat. Fortunately, with work, I am able to travel the whole state of CA with ease and gas paid most times to get boats. I am surprised sometimes at what piles of crap people think are made of gold but it is their pile of crap.

Happy hunting everyone.

Cy
 

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My friend and I drove 13 hours round trip to meet a guy in Los Banos this weekend. The guy called saturday morning and said he wanted the boat he just couldnt live with out, he needed a new boat because he hit a log on the delta and craked the intake and the bottom of his boat. So my friend went home on his lunch break took numerous detailed pics the guy wanted, then the guy called back and said lets make this happen so we set it up to meet sunday morning. After all the excitement of thinking the boat was sold the guy turned down the sale due to the fact that there are two 3/8 in. holes on both stringers from old motor mounts or something and the ride plate was set at the wrong degree( which he determined by eye). After all is said and done we kind of expected that he would kick down a hundred bucks or something for gas and the hassel of believing all of his bullshit but instead just gave us a big fawk you. lesson to be learned:people are assholes and never go out of your way to do something for somebody you dont know.
Lesson learned, he should have paypalled you a deposit prior. That sucks. I don't drive to sell a boat.
 

· The Man
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1547 miles...one way. From Northeast Tx to Los Angeles. I was in Iraq and my wife found the boat online..I talked to the guy, he said it was in great shape, nothing wrong with it other than it needed gauges, the carpet was a bit faded and a couple of small stress cracks. Even had a member on this board go look at it and he said it was worth every penny, just might need carpet eventually. I assume since he lived so close he was a buddy of the asshole.
So my wife and sister-in-law drove all the way to L.A. to pick it up. I get home on R&R to check it out and it's pouring gas out of one of the carbs, the rubrail has some wood screws sticking half an inch out of it..2 huge cracks on either side of the bow behind the rail..got an estimate at 1500-3000 to fix it...and the pump is leaking water at the suction housing and around the shaft...plus the title is screwy..It's an Eliminator Sprint but the #'s don't match...so I'm about ready to part it out and be done with this one.
 

· mo balls than $cents$
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1547 miles...one way. From Northeast Tx to Los Angeles. I was in Iraq and my wife found the boat online..I talked to the guy, he said it was in great shape, nothing wrong with it other than it needed gauges, the carpet was a bit faded and a couple of small stress cracks. Even had a member on this board go look at it and he said it was worth every penny, just might need carpet eventually. I assume since he lived so close he was a buddy of the asshole.
So my wife and sister-in-law drove all the way to L.A. to pick it up. I get home on R&R to check it out and it's pouring gas out of one of the carbs, the rubrail has some wood screws sticking half an inch out of it..2 huge cracks on either side of the bow behind the rail..got an estimate at 1500-3000 to fix it...and the pump is leaking water at the suction housing and around the shaft...plus the title is screwy..It's an Eliminator Sprint but the #'s don't match...so I'm about ready to part it out and be done with this one.
i can help you with the tag issue cory, saab kinda stuck me on the title for the nordic, i asked several times for a bill of sales never to get 1:|err got my clean title for it last week.
 

· The Man
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i can help you with the tag issue cory, saab kinda stuck me on the title for the nordic, i asked several times for a bill of sales never to get 1:|err got my clean title for it last week.
That sucks...I'm dealing local from now on. I got the title alright, and a bill of sale, but it says "Cobra" as the make..and the HIN #'s come back to something like Classic Barnegat or something crazy like that. Got it registered but still...either it was stolen at some point or never registered until later on...I still think it'll make for a good bonfire :|err
 

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stockton to gallup, new mexico. boat is still sitting and that was 3 or 4 years ago:mad: my mistake for not checking it better.
 

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You guys are lucky. You have a chance to go and see.
I bought the boat off ebay just relying on crappy low-res pics in January.
The first time I saw the boat was May (by the time it arrived in Moscow).
By that time I couln't even leave the seller bad feedback if I wanted to.

The boat arrived as was described, in good condition for the price, although because of transportation that far there was quite a few minor damages, like the scratches and spiderwebs. The trailer was shite but I don't believe the trailer should stop anyone from buying a good boat. It takes only a few dollars to fix it and is easy to do. Even if you are short on supplies (see my other thread).
 

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You guys are lucky. You have a chance to go and see.
I bought the boat off ebay just relying on crappy low-res pics in January.
The first time I saw the boat was May (by the time it arrived in Moscow).
By that time I couln't even leave the seller bad feedback if I wanted to.

The boat arrived as was described, in good condition for the price, although because of transportation that far there was quite a few minor damages, like the scratches and spiderwebs. The trailer was shite but I don't believe the trailer should stop anyone from buying a good boat. It takes only a few dollars to fix it and is easy to do. Even if you are short on supplies (see my other thread).
I figured you would be a sure winner but you had the right attitude. Have low expectations and you will never be dissapointed. It is too bad you were not on the boards prior to have someone take a look at it prior to bidding. Oh well, there is always next time.
 
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