Best resource for new boater

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Ive decided to look for a 13-15 ft. boston whaler or mckee craft. I am new to boating, but have heard the old addage about the best2 days of a boat owners life being the days he buys and sells his boat smile Even after hearing this 100 times, Id still like to go about finding the above type of boat. So far, I have read to look for the following problems: obvious hull damage or water soaked hulls, engine compression issues, engine maintenance issues, specifically gear oil change schedule, date of last power pack, ect. When it comes to maintenance, ive read up on flushing the outboard, changing its gear oil,plugs/power pack as necessary. This will be a salt water boat so id assume washing the boat\trailer afterward goes slong with thouroughly flushing the motor....but what else comes to mind? Anyway, i know that this is a complicated area, but I plan on learning, and am a stickler for maintenance and taking care of my stuff. Im aso trying to keep it simple by sticking to boats with no wood to rott and outboard 2 cycle engines for simplicity/reliability and initial cost. Any advice or resources is greatly appreciated.
 
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Pennsylvania
First thing I would do is sign up for a Power Squadron safety course for boaters. The instructors are usually pretty knwlegeable and in addition to teaching you "the ropes" (pun intended), they will be a good source of information. You might even be able to hire one to go with you to look ata boat you are serious about buying.
 
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Look for a galvanized trailer. Get boat out of water when not using it. Get a good pair of muffs on the outdrive so you can get a good flush. You got to let it run and get up to temperature on the muffs so that the thermostat opens up and gets that salt water out of the block. Lot of people hook up the muffs and run for about 1 or 2 minutes then stop. Most new engines have computers in them and you can download that information and see what kind of use its had over its lifetime. Numer of hours is important. If you take care of the boat, you'll get a lot of fun out of it. With salt water, you got to keep the boat clean as best you can.
 
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And make sure the trailer has the pressurized "Bearing Buddies" that keep the salt water from filling the bearings when you back into the water after friving. Make sure that you clean out the bearings with fresh grease every so often as well. +1 on the galvanized trailer and the muffs for flushing. If you are trailering an outboard motor on a boat, get a "Motor Toter" that takes a lot of the weight of the motr onto the trailer and keeps the transom from repeatedly flexing as you drive down the road.
 
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Buckley, Wa.
I'm another one that advises a boater safety course. Those classes can be boring at times, but they really do teach you things that are very important when on the water. I don't know much about Boston Whalers except that they are known as a quality craft. Getting a good deal on a well taken care of Whaler will probably not be cheap. With boats....as with most everything mechanical...maintenance is the key.
 

Clubber_Lang

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Originally Posted By: Schmoe
Look for a galvanized trailer. Get boat out of water when not using it. Get a good pair of muffs on the outdrive so you can get a good flush. You got to let it run and get up to temperature on the muffs so that the thermostat opens up and gets that salt water out of the block. Lot of people hook up the muffs and run for about 1 or 2 minutes then stop. Most new engines have computers in them and you can download that information and see what kind of use its had over its lifetime. Numer of hours is important. If you take care of the boat, you'll get a lot of fun out of it. With salt water, you got to keep the boat clean as best you can.
Thanks to you (and all so far) for the info. I am keeping to a modest budget 2-$3000 tops. I will be trailering this boat but im only 2 miles from the public boat ramp. I just found a 13 ft whaler with a 60 hp mecury. Another buyer beat me to it, but for $2800 it looked very nice, even if it was a 1967 boat (96 motor)
 
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7,180
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CT
That's way to much power for a 13. Have you ever driven a boat? Find a Whaler with a 25-40 and make sure its not water logged. At that price point your going to be into well used boats so it would probably pay to look at a bunch to get an idea of whats decent. Again the trick with older Whalers is to make sure the foam is dry. Why a Whaler? 13ft Whalers are kids toys or tenders, they ride like [censored] and are wet. Their are a number of decent older lake boats on Ebay for a song. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sea-Ray-175-Spor...ower_Motorboats You should look for an ex lake boat in the 16-18 foot range. Brand doesn't really matter but condition does. Something in that size range will open up your cruising abilities and just run better and dryer.
 
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Clubber_Lang

Thread starter
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427
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Originally Posted By: hattaresguy
That's way to much power for a 13. Have you ever driven a boat? Find a Whaler with a 25-40 and make sure its not water logged. At that price point your going to be into well used boats so it would probably pay to look at a bunch to get an idea of whats decent. Again the trick with older Whalers is to make sure the foam is dry. Why a Whaler? 13ft Whalers are kids toys or tenders, they ride like [censored] and are wet. Their are a number of decent older lake boats on Ebay for a song. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sea-Ray-175-Spor...ower_Motorboats You should look for an ex lake boat in the 16-18 foot range. Brand doesn't really matter but condition does. Something in that size range will open up your cruising abilities and just run better and dryer.
My main goals are to keep the boat small for the following reasons: The size of my property is smaller, I will usually only have 2 on the boat and a max of 4, and I want a good combination of fuel economy and speed with are enhanced with lighter weight. I want a whaler or McKee craft because I like the idea of not having wood to rot. Ive read that McKee crafts are a super stout, undervalued, heavier version of whalers. Ive also considered something aluminum. Some people swear by their hull toughness--- Which figures into trying to minimize expenses in a notoriously expensive hobby. What are your thoughts on whalers vs McKee crafts vs aluminum boats?
 
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7,180
Location
CT
Woods not really the problem and older Whalers will have plenty of it. They also carry a premium because of their name. Aluminum boats are nice but they are light and get blown around by the wind and at 14ft overwhelmed in any kind of water quickly. Still for near shore they are great and can get into shallow water. If you can find one cheap enough with a motor and trailer I'd look at Carolina Skiff's. At that price point for a light fishing boat I'd look for aluminum. http://www.ebay.com/itm/14-1-2-ft-alumin...t=Fishing_Boats
 
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