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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not talking the mega- dollar Moomba or Mastercraft variety- although I would take one if I could afford it! We have a very short season here and as well, we camp a lot. Pulling a boat AND a travel trailer would always mean taking 2 vehicles.

That said, I'm still on the lookout for a boat strong enough to pull an adult skier or a tube with 2-3 kids. Has to seat 5. Open now preferred. Age no matter but I'd like to stay out of the 70's! Friends of ours bought an early 80's fibreglass Edson with a 70 HP merc outboard that seems to do the trick.

I've been looking and have questions. What should I stay away from? Are there any demons out there that I should strictly avoid? There's just so many choices. Evinrude, Merc, Johnson, inboard, outboard, etc. I'm trying to keep this buy to 3500$. I know that's not a lot but we have a tight budget and a 2 week trip coming up. I don't want to throw money away on a rental (350-500$ per day) but don't want to get saddled with a heap, either.

Any stories to tell? Advice to give? Anecdotes? Experience? This is all new to me so any advice is appreciated. I'm a flatlander. This boat will be used in freshwater lakes only, BTW.

THANKS!!
 

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I have been around ski boats all my life if you buy a boat for $3,500 you will spend the same amount dealing with repairs and dissapointments from the previous owners deferred maintenance. My buddy picked up a used 94 Ski Nautique 19ft closed bow for $4,000 but dropped another $2,000 to get to get it right. This is the kind of deal to look for and be patient during the winter months when owners see less value of boat ownership. I have owned outboards, I/O's and direct drive Master Crafts and Ski Nautique’s. Find a 94-95 Nautique and I will tell you why “no wood”. No wood in the stringers and the motor is mounted to steel plates instead of the engine mounting right to the stringer. The wood floors on boats always rot under the carpet but again "no wood” also the seat cushions and backing are plastic with stainless steel staples so no rot or rust. Finally the boat is direct drive so there is no outdrives and the accompanying problems just a motor, transmission that is inside the boat and a shaft to turn the prop very few moving parts and easy to service and repair instead of a $100 an hour marine mechanic. The Nautique has a swim platform on the back which is great for kids to play from and its easy to get in and out of the boat also it's easy putting on a ski or wake board . There is no outboard to work around and no outdrive to get injured on. If you can find a boat with a tandem axle trailer that's much better especially when get a blow out and you can tow on one wheel and tire that will get you to a shop.
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for that, Stewart. Indeed, I have seen postings where 'needs a new floor' or the like are common repairs. I appreciate your insight and while I have looked at a lot, have not seen 1 Ski Nautique. I'll keep my eyes opened.

I agree about looking for a boat on the winter. Alas, the '57 occupies one side of the garage and the Corvette, the other. No space to fix a boat although I think it would be a blast!

Again, thanks for your valuable advice.
 

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A boat and or a lake lot is a hole in the water that you throw money in, the best day is when you buy it, the better day is when you sell it. Yep i have experience.

Two broken toilets in the house, a pontoon party boat drawing water in the tube, electricity went out on the dock, 5 trips to the store 35mi away, yep its all about the fun weekend. Don't let that stop ya.:anim_25:
 

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Recently sold a fibreglass fish/ski boat. The most expensive equipment was the engine, make sure its in good working order and preferably a 4 stroke as opposed to a 2 stroke.

Check the hull make sure that the floor is not spongy and bouncy. If I was to do it again I would get an aluminium hull not fibreglass :anim_25:
 

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have heard this many times. happiest 2 days in a boat owners life, the day they bought it and the day they sold it. :anim_25:
 

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I think I would consider a fish/ski boat. Most are fiberglass or composite. Not expensive. :anim_25: bowtie-trifive :gba:
 

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Inboard/outboard is the way to go with a V-6 or V-8 if you want to ski. In your part of the world, watch out for a cracked block.
I don't understand not enjoying a boat for years and years.
An inboard/outboard is like a classic car, keep it covered or garaged, put Stabil in the winter and take it to the lake when you want to. No special maintance required. Can't say that for an outboard, at least the older outboards. I think fuel injection and electronic ignition have improved them since I worked on them.
 

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First off I would recommend an inboard or IO, but stay away from 4 cylinder engines. They are cheap, but you will not be happy with lack of power.

My present ski boat is a mastercraft 210 which is an expensive boat, however I bought it with a cracked block and bought it very cheap at an auction. Not a big deal to put a new engine in a boat, if you are inclined to do a little extra work.

Another choice is an outboard, they seem to run forever as long as the oil stays in the lower unit..
 

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I would buy an inboard/outboard boat. Try to find one with a Chevy 350 engine for reliability and ease of buying parts from local auto parts suppliers and not your local marina. Try and find a faded fiberglass one. You can wet sand and buff fiberglass to make it look new.

I had a 1989 Rinker closed bow. I think it was a 20 1/2 footer with a 350 and it flew. I wet sanded it and it looked new.
 

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The reason the blocks usually crack is because they weren't winterized. These motors have freeze plugs and if they're not pulled before winter...that freezing water has no where to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

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Hummmmm ... had to choose between a boat or car ... cars won ... :sign0020:
Cowboy :flag6:
:gba:
bowtie-trifive
 

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Topdog, you mean the 3.0 Mercs? I thought they were a good engine? Reliable and fuel efficient. But thanks for the warning. What don't you like about them? Some put out like 135 hp so I thought they were OK?

I may have to up the budget to around 10k. Or trade the Corvette.
16.5 ft. is a little small for a ski boat and I think you would be happier with a larger engine. I had a 120 HP I/O in a 18 foot Larson and it was a little weak pulling me out on a slalom ski.
 

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4 cylinder ford here in boat its little slow compared to buddy's v6 boat. have not had any issues with 4 cylinder maybe cause its built with Chevy parts :sign0020:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
16.5 ft. is a little small for a ski boat and I think you would be happier with a larger engine. I had a 120 HP I/O in a 18 foot Larson and it was a little weak pulling me out on a slalom ski.
Good to know. I hadn't considered boat length so much. Definitely want to stay around or above 17'. I'm not the one skiing, let's get that straight. But my 16 yr old son is like 170 lbs. What do those numbers mean to the amount of power I should be looking at?
 

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I'm with Stewart White, I owned an 86 Nautique for 16 years, great boat , excellent quality. If I were going to get another one it won't have a wood floor or stringers.
 

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Topdog, you mean the 3.0 Mercs? I thought they were a good engine? Reliable and fuel efficient. But thanks for the warning. What don't you like about them? Some put out like 135 hp so I thought they were OK?

I may have to up the budget to around 10k. Or trade the Corvette.

Here's one I'm looking at.

1999 Campion Allante 525 on Kijiji http://www.kijiji.ca/v-powerboat-motorboat/edmonton/1999-campion-allante-525/1082151191
There is a ski boat on our lake with the 3.0 l I/O. It runs above water exhaust which is a crappy sound. and he really has trouble trying to plain the boat when pulling a skiier or tube. The older carb version had all kinds of vibration issues and really no power. The 3.0 on our lake runs fine if you are not attempting to pull a skier or tube. Not My choice unless you want to go
cheap.
 

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The reason the blocks usually crack is because they weren't winterized. These motors have freeze plugs and if they're not pulled before winter...that freezing water has no where to go.
You do not pull freeze plugs to winterwise an inboard. You remove the water intake hose and poor 5 gallons of RV fluid into the hose with the engine running.
 
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