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Old     (beretta5spd)      Join Date: Jan 2010       03-08-2012, 7:52 PM Reply   
After a LONG week I thought I'd throw mine out there, maybe you have some too.

I met up with my dad who wanted me to come test drive a Mastercraft boat with him this week. We drove from Canada down to Texas. It ended up being 1600 miles one way. Turned out that the boat was pretty nice. I won't give out the link because it is a great boat and the owner is actually a great guy. It just turned out to be a bad experience.

There was a few things that the owner didn't mention before we drove down and that wasn't too big of a deal. One blown speaker, trailer needed new bunks, and some oil in the bilge. I asked a bunch of questions and specifically about the driveshaft seal. Always one of my first questions. He said that the shaft had been aligned a couple years ago, but wasn't sure about the seal.

Well we get the boat in the water (it hadn't been in the water since last year) and bam.... it performs brutal. Won't plane coming out of the marina and starts to miss. Open up the v drive compartment and it is FULL of water. The bilge isn't keeping up. We get turned around and get it on the trailer as more and more water is coming in. The driveshaft seal was leaking! Water is cold, it's white capping, and we were concerned about it going down.

My dad gave him an offer less than what they were previously talking about and they didn't make the deal. I had a great time with my dad, got to visit with my little brother who lives down there, and had a great time looking at the boat.

The worst part.............. was the test drive.
Old     (501s)      Join Date: Feb 2010       03-08-2012, 10:37 PM Reply   
Wow, that sucks. All the way from Canada to Texas for a leaking boat!!!
Old     (durty_curt)      Join Date: Apr 2008       03-08-2012, 10:52 PM Reply   
He still wanted the MasterCraft?
Old     (baitkiller)      Join Date: Jan 2010       03-09-2012, 4:24 AM Reply   
Happens all the time to me, but I test drive boats for a living.
Trust me it gets worse than that. A leaking shaft seal shouldn't be a deal killer unless it one more little thing in a large list of little things and the price isn't reduced.
I had a guy last year dead head a trailer down to Ft Lauderdale from Ontario. When I got to the boat we found the decks not bonded correctly to the hull grid and when I grabbed the T top I could flex the deck sections about 3" up and down. Next, there was 100' of fishing line on the outboard behind the prop, the seal was shot and the gear case full of water. Compression test showed two low cylinders from over-heating.
The poor guy towed that empty trailer back home.

About 30% of the time I get to the boat and the batteries are flat, there is no gas in it and nobody can find the keys. I have hot wired and done quick repairs to boats more times than I care to count just to get through sea trials. Been towed back to the dock a bunch and damn near burned to the water line a few times as well.

So it could have been worse, you didn't go swimming.
Old     (pprior)      Join Date: Jan 2012       03-09-2012, 7:13 AM Reply   
Baitkiller, remind me never to go on a test drive with you, brother
Old     (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009 Location: NJ       03-09-2012, 7:42 AM Reply   
Leaky seal isn't a big deal, cheap and easy fix. Misfiring could be anything from fuel injection stuff getting wet from the leaking seal, bad plugs, stale gas gummed up injectors, etc. Sounds pretty minor, but I'd be pissed about driving all that way for someone who wouldn't even make sure the boat was in decent drivable condition first.
Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       03-09-2012, 7:42 AM Reply   
We had one where we drove 4 hours (not nearly as bad as you) to meet a guy at a lake by him for the test drive....
He ended up being like 3 hours late because the trailer blew out a tire on the way over... so we had to go pick him up, get the tire and take it to walmart and of course the guy forgets his wallet.... so we had to pay for the spare.

Get it fixed and get to the lake when it starts to rain - keep in mind it is maybe 40* and windy... so the rain makes it that much worse. All of the promises of everything working was not even close -
stereo didn't work at all (not a big deal)
hydraulic ram to lift v-drive hatch didn't work so we had to crawl in to pull the pin to open it up
none of the lights worked in the boat
and when he winterized the boat last year he forgot to drain the freshwater strainer (nautique specific I think) and it was cracked causing a vapor lock that ment the boat was overheating like crazy if you were idle (cooled down when in motion and water was forced through the system).

Anyways..... all of these things that were a problem ment he was getting one heck of a lowball.... which he ended up taking. All were easy fixes (cost us less than $100 for everything to fix) but knocked of 4k from the purchase price.
Old     (MoombaRiderJ)      Join Date: Jun 2010       03-09-2012, 8:10 AM Reply   
I drove about 4 hours to a boat dealer for a used inboard, about 6 years ago when I first decided to get back into boating. Get to dealership, we drive 25 minutes to local lake/ramp the boat will not start (shop forgot to charge the battery), had to drive back and wait for the charge. Finally got back on the water and things seemed to be going really well. The dealer decided to let my wife, my dad and I take the boat out for a while without him so we could really get a feel for the boat and discuss things amoungst ourselves. Finally I pull up near the ramp area and signal for the dealer to get his truck and trailer we were ready. While he is in line I just take the boat away from the ramp (heavy traffic area w/ tight ramp space) so I wanted to allow everyone else plenty of room. He (dealer) gets the trailer in the water, I approach and part of the dual sterring cable breaks and I loose ALL ability to turn right.

Keep in mind the boat ramp has multiple outlets so there are people loading/unloading all around. Others have their boats docked all the in the same area and I loose my ability to steer at all to the right. I get hemmed up in there sideways and no way to TRULY maneuver out of the way. Boat gets slammed up against the trailer and a couple other boats. I was LIVID at that point....needless to say I didn't give the dealership any of my money.
Old     (nailem)      Join Date: Apr 2011       03-09-2012, 9:25 AM Reply   
drove from the top of PA to Florida boat looked good on land but did notice water line pretty high up on the motor. was told the boat sat out in the rain with a dead battery and plugs in. put it in the water and idle out tried to get on plain and the boat just sputtered. there was so much water in the gas I didn't think we were going to get back to the dock. on the way back I checked the tranny and V drive and both had water. I talked the guy down what I figured it would cost for a new drive and tranny but said I wanted to pressure check the motor. at this pointing I was still happy from what I was able to take him down knowing I would just be able to flush both.
so we roll to autozone to check the motor and find one dead cylinder and one at 30psi. my heart sinks againe but throw out a real low ball offer and he took it.
I ended up inspecting the v drive and tranny and both were good just needed flushed. the motor had a tulipped valve in both cylinders. saying I made out would be an understatement.


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