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Old     (King12)      Join Date: Jul 2012       10-12-2014, 8:23 PM Reply   
Hello everyone,

Starting the search process for a wakeboard boat for next summer, and feel like I'm not quite finding all the possibilities, and am a little unsure of the process. The plan would be to really move towards a purchase around January.. Is that a decent time of year for both purchasing power and finding something that fits me? My experience has always been with my father with trucks and fishing boats, and we made big scores early December as Christmas time started to stress out some fathers.

Currently I've been looking around Craigslist in my area (central nc) and out to around Georgia or so, I have never towed a tow boat before but haven't had problems with 8-12k pound hay loads so I ink I can handle it. I've also heard onlyinboards to be a good source, and of course boattrader was easy enough to find through an Internet search. Any other big time ways to find something? Maybe going to marine shops and just asking? Calling dealerships?

Lastly, I'd like to really know my options to more efficiently dial in my search, I wish We could reach a little higher but it's looking like around 20k is the mark, maybe a couple thousand more fore a significantly better piece of equipment. This boat will be run in saltwater. I understand that's not optimal, but it's flat out going to happen, at least 50% of riding will be in Wilmington, I have found exactly 0 saltwater series boats in my search. Have heard of some being very diligent with service and washing their boats after every dip in the hell water and being alright, I guess Iwe will have to risk it, most likely will be moving to another boat in around 4 years.

My current shortlist of possibilities are, in kind of an order... Prostar 205v, x10(02-03 or so) , San 210 (01-04), centurion elite v (understand this is not well loved) air nautique 216

My girlfriend and I will be using this to try to really enjoy ourselves, and times with family and friends. I am not really a boat ride kind of person, but it will need to do that. I'd say 70 wakeboarding 30 cruising

Any help would be greatly appreciated

Last edited by King12; 10-12-2014 at 8:23 PM. Reason: Auto correct
Old     (nailem)      Join Date: Apr 2011       10-13-2014, 6:28 AM Reply   
When I bought my boat I used searchtempest.com it is a Craigslist search engine. Plug in what you are looking for and distance and it will search all Craigslist ads. Good luck.
Old     (King12)      Join Date: Jul 2012       10-13-2014, 7:52 AM Reply   
Ah! Thanks!
Old     (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       10-13-2014, 3:07 PM Reply   
I'm in High point NC and if your willing to drive I found two really good deals on my last and current boat in Knoxville but your not going to find any salt water ones there. When I was looking Ocala (I think that's how you spell it) Florida was a good place to look that had good deals.
Old     (Orange)      Join Date: Jun 2012       10-13-2014, 3:17 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by King12 View Post
Hello everyone,

Starting the search process for a wakeboard boat for next summer, and feel like I'm not quite finding all the possibilities, and am a little unsure of the process. The plan would be to really move towards a purchase around January.. Is that a decent time of year for both purchasing power and finding something that fits me? My experience has always been with my father with trucks and fishing boats, and we made big scores early December as Christmas time started to stress out some fathers.

Currently I've been looking around Craigslist in my area (central nc) and out to around Georgia or so, I have never towed a tow boat before but haven't had problems with 8-12k pound hay loads so I ink I can handle it. I've also heard onlyinboards to be a good source, and of course boattrader was easy enough to find through an Internet search. Any other big time ways to find something? Maybe going to marine shops and just asking? Calling dealerships?

Lastly, I'd like to really know my options to more efficiently dial in my search, I wish We could reach a little higher but it's looking like around 20k is the mark, maybe a couple thousand more fore a significantly better piece of equipment. This boat will be run in saltwater. I understand that's not optimal, but it's flat out going to happen, at least 50% of riding will be in Wilmington, I have found exactly 0 saltwater series boats in my search. Have heard of some being very diligent with service and washing their boats after every dip in the hell water and being alright, I guess Iwe will have to risk it, most likely will be moving to another boat in around 4 years.

My current shortlist of possibilities are, in kind of an order... Prostar 205v, x10(02-03 or so) , San 210 (01-04), centurion elite v (understand this is not well loved) air nautique 216

My girlfriend and I will be using this to try to really enjoy ourselves, and times with family and friends. I am not really a boat ride kind of person, but it will need to do that. I'd say 70 wakeboarding 30 cruising

Any help would be greatly appreciated
The best time of year to buy a boat is geographically dependent. If you're someplace with a bad winter, its difficult to buy a boat until spring as they're all winterized. Sellers aren't in the market because the boat is out of site / out of mind and you would have to buy the boat without testing it anyway. Arguably the best time to buy in those locations is at the end of summer so the owner doesn't have to deal with winterizing / storage and you can still fully test the boat. If you're located someplace where boating is possible 12 months a year, you might be able to buy at any time of the year, but the end of summer may still have the most used boats to choose from.

One thing you'll find with boats is it is difficult to find the true market value because there aren't good sources like Kelly Blue Book or Edmunds for autos. You can see what people are asking on craigslist, boattrader, onlyinboards, etc., but that doesn't mean they actually got their asking price. My experience is most sellers are asking way too much - dealers because they want room to negotiate and individual owners because they don't know any better. Don't be afraid to offer less than the asking price if that's what you think it's worth.

If you're in a saltwater area, I'd recommend either buying from another city that does not have salt water or bring in somebody who is really experienced with salt water boats to help you evaluate a boat before purchase. Salt water can chew up a boat pretty fast if not well maintained, so you want somebody who knows what to look for.
Old     (King12)      Join Date: Jul 2012       10-14-2014, 9:30 AM Reply   
Is there a normal amount for boat offers that is probably too much to offer and disrespect the owner or is it more of a situation based kind of thing. Like 10 or 15% off the asking price ( i mean unless its a steal).

How do I go about finding someone to come out and check a boat out? Do mechanics usually go out to boats for a fee or do i take it to them before purchasing (what i've done with cars)... what about if you find something in another state? Just look up reputable shops in the area?
Old     (boardman74)      Join Date: Jul 2012       10-14-2014, 11:12 AM Reply   
Offer(% off) really depends on asking price. I offer what I feel the boat is worth regardless of what they are asking. If they are overpriced(many are) it may seem like a low ball offer but its really what the boat is worth in the current market. People overprice for a few reasons. But if they are knowledgeable they may because people expect to negotiate some and lets face its some uneducated buyer may roll up and pay it. Me personally I try to price my stuff fairly so it sells quickly. Don't want to be wasting time fielding a thousand phone and emails. Wasting cabin time sitting at home to show the boat etc.

Many mechanics are mobile and can go with you to check it out. Others you may have to take it into them. If the boat is far away I'd go look at it first and lake test if possible. If it looks good then have it checked out locally to where its at. Like you said find a reputable shop in that area. I say see it first because people aren't always honest and pictures don't tell the story. Its amazing how good you can make a turd look in pictures. You don't want to pay to get something checked out and then show up and it isn't what you want.
Old     (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009 Location: NJ       10-14-2014, 3:08 PM Reply   
Watch CL, onlyinboards.com, and eBay. Check eBay sold listings to get an idea of what is a fair price for boats in whatever condition. After you watch for a month or two you'll get a good idea. searchtempest is the only half decent CL aggregator still around, CL shuts them all down with legal threats... Sucks but at least the junky searchtempest interface more or less works alright, even if tedious. I would not even entertain the idea of a dealership unless you are set on a specific boat and it's so rare you can't find any for sale within a reasonable drive, they are overpriced and too much hassle.
Old     (Orange)      Join Date: Jun 2012       10-15-2014, 1:25 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by King12 View Post
Is there a normal amount for boat offers that is probably too much to offer and disrespect the owner or is it more of a situation based kind of thing. Like 10 or 15% off the asking price ( i mean unless its a steal).

How do I go about finding someone to come out and check a boat out? Do mechanics usually go out to boats for a fee or do i take it to them before purchasing (what i've done with cars)... what about if you find something in another state? Just look up reputable shops in the area?
It's very situational and depends on how the seller priced the boat to begin with. There is no offer that should offend the seller if you present it politely, but you want to avoid making an offer so low that you can't reach a price you would have found acceptable (i.e., if they are asking 40K, you don't want to offer 30K just to test them if you would have been fine paying 36K). Be aware that most owners are not professional salesmen and are not comfortable or skilled at haggling. Sometimes they will make an ultimatum and won't know how to compromise from that ultimatum without feeling they lost face in the negotiation, so you may have to help scoot them along.

As for inspections, you should have the seller bring the boat to a local mechanic. Many will offer a "pre-purchase" inspection that you likely would have to pay for (though it is negotiable). It may be worth having the owner send you all service records in case you can discover a red flag before you commit to the inspection cost which could be a couple hundred $$.

If you buy a boat out of your area, you will have to think about how to safely complete the sale. Neither buyer or seller are going to be interested in trussing the other completes the deal and doesn't run off with either the boat or the cash, plus you want to be sure they can deliver the title. Your choices are to travel to the owner to complete the sale, use an online escrow service, hire a lawyer to act as the escrow agent, or just cross your fingers and hope they don't rip you off. You can ship a boat using something like uship.com for about $0.70 to $1.00 per mile. Study the state... some states have titles for boats and some don't. Don't forget about the trailer as there often is a title for the trailer as well.

It is possible to buy a boat across the country, but it's a little trickier and there is more risk. You can cover some of the risk for a cost (boat inspection, escrow agents, etc), but it will require some effort on your part as well as some transaction cost.
Old     (King12)      Join Date: Jul 2012       10-22-2014, 1:54 PM Reply   
Thanks everyone!! These tips have helped me wrap my head around this stuff a lot! Do people often get new trailers? I see a lot of older boats with single axle trailers, while little bit newer ones have dual axle trailers with surge brakes.. Is it common for someone to upgrade to a dual axle for better trailering? He surge breaks seem like a great idea
Old     (Orange)      Join Date: Jun 2012       10-23-2014, 1:30 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by King12 View Post
Do people often get new trailers? I see a lot of older boats with single axle trailers, while little bit newer ones have dual axle trailers with surge brakes.. Is it common for someone to upgrade to a dual axle for better trailering? He surge breaks seem like a great idea
Often get new trailers? Sometime but it's not common. Some boats don't come with a trailer like lake communities where the boats are always on lifts and you don't need to pull the boats out for servicing. Other times the trailer is just in poor condition. Sometimes new trailers come in because the trailer is in super poor condition (trailers rarely get the kind of maintenance and upkeep the boats get, plus they are very prone to corrosion problems both for the frame/structure and the braking systems). I haven't heard many discussions of replacing a perfectly functional trailer just to go dual axle from single axle, but I'm sure somebody must have done that.

I'm going to guess most of boats you look at have surge brakes, even the single axels. The main advantage I think you would find for dual axels is one you hopefully never have to experience other than theory: safety. Single axle trailers split the load between two tires while dual axles split the load between four tires, so a dual axle trailer should be less likely to blow a tire. If you do have a blowout, dual axle trailers have some redundancy where a single axle trailer could be in a world of hurt. Trailer tires are a weak spot.. they don't last long.

If you trailer a lot, a dual axle trailer might be worth it - I know it would be worth my peace of mind. If you trailer your boat once at the beginning of the year to take it to the lake and once at the end of the year to take it back to long term storage, you might get away with a cheaper single axle trailer with no problems... just drive slower and don't ignore tire conditions.
Old     (King12)      Join Date: Jul 2012       10-23-2014, 7:31 AM Reply   
Thanks! I only have experience with triple axel hay trailers and a single with dads little skiff. So singles with a 3k# boat were worrying me, sounds like it will be ok.
Old     (Orange)      Join Date: Jun 2012       10-23-2014, 9:08 AM Reply   
It's all relative to what you're doing. A single axle trailer for a 3K# boat is probably great for short hauls, but I'd prefer a dual axle if I were going to tow it across country. If you get a single axle, you may just have to pay more attention to tire conditions, replace them a little more often, and be prepared for a few more blow outs. A lot of people have singles for smaller wakeboard boats, so it can work.
Old     (Blueliner)      Join Date: Sep 2013       10-24-2014, 1:29 PM Reply   
If trailering is a big part of your towing experience look for boat with a dual axle.I had a blow out with my dual axle boat mate trailer (Moomba XLV) in the spring when I first got the boat, on a secondary highway. Some guy had to pull up beside me to tell me it just blew out! I only began to notice something was wrong up to 2 minutes after it had blown. I was able to make it to a nearby farm a mile or so away to pull completely off the road and change the tire, not sure how this would have worked with a single axle. also make sure you get a spare...immediately ...I learned the hard way...that's another story. For my one long haul of the summer I take two spares!
Old     (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009 Location: NJ       10-24-2014, 2:35 PM Reply   
For the most part boats used in salt will have newer or non-factory trailers. From waht I've seen even back to 70s and 80s boats new trailers are not common, usually factory trailer unless it was originally bought by someone living on a lake with a lift or boathouse or some scenario like that. That's a red flag to inspect the boat much more closely for salt related damage and wear though.

I think most people would prefer a dual axle. Carry a hefty ratcher strap and if you get a flat or bearing failure you cna strap an axle up and carry on with care. I have a tandem and on long trips I carry a spare, spare bearings/races, and some heavy straps. Never had to use any of it, but I hate the thought of being stuck far from home and having to leave the boat on the side of the road which I try to find parts, likely on a Sunday in the middle of nowhere.

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