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What do do buying used aluminum boat. #13661539 08/09/20 03:48 PM
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AustinWader Online Content OP
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Hey y'all,
I'm going to pick up an 2017 Alumacraft MV 186 with a 90 Yamaha next week. I am going on a lake test for sure, but what else should I do? I don't know how to work with motors and it's gonna be my first boat. Should I get a mechanic to look at it real fast? The boat is in the Lake Lavon area near Dallas. If I should hire a mechanic, any suggestions? I need to get the whole ordeal(sea trial/inspection/payment/titles) done in a day so I can drive back to Austin. Thanks!

Re: What do do buying used aluminum boat. [Re: AustinWader] #13661549 08/09/20 03:52 PM
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Grease the bearings on trailer before hauling it back




When you catch a fish you feel the door to happiness open

TPWD ELITE ANGLER


Re: What do do buying used aluminum boat. [Re: AustinWader] #13661928 08/09/20 09:39 PM
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Checking the motor compression will give you a lot of information quickly. It should be ok in a boat that age if it sounds ok when it is running. Turn on the bilge pump when you are on the water. Run the pump dry and then turn it on again in a few minutes. If there is more water coming from the bilge that can indicate a leak.

The main thing is to go onto the Texas Parks and Wildlife site and print out all of the required paperwork. You need to get the seller to sign everything needed. You need a title for the boat, motor, and trailer. Do not complete the transaction before you have the titles, everything is almost worthless without them.

Re: What do do buying used aluminum boat. [Re: AustinWader] #13662785 08/10/20 04:04 PM
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Check the following before buying:
1) Compression: Make sure you see even on all cylinders and look to make sure they are within specs (specs can be found via Google)
2) Oil / gas levels and viscosity (Make sure the gas / oil is not gummed up and appears fresh
3) Registration / Title / Bill of Sale (nothing like getting there and these are not available.
4) Service history if available (Nice to have)
5) Axle for severe rust or cracks (No need to explain this one)


Check the following before hitting the road:
1) Tire wear / pressure (50 PSI and good tread remaining; look for major wear on the inside of the tire, this could be a bent axle or spindle issues)
2) Wheel bearings (Lift trailer and spin wheel, if it wobble, the wheel bearings are shot, get replaced ASAP)
3) Lights (make sure they all work with your truck)
4) Documentation (Insurance card, Registration / Title / Bill of Sale, etc)

Hope this helps

Re: What do do buying used aluminum boat. [Re: avid_basser] #13663553 08/11/20 12:26 AM
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Thanks for the replies!

Re: What do do buying used aluminum boat. [Re: AustinWader] #13663555 08/11/20 12:28 AM
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Will I be able to finish the title transfer for boat/engine/trailer in one day? I live in Austin and the boat is in Dallas. I cannot stay for the night.

Re: What do do buying used aluminum boat. [Re: AustinWader] #13663646 08/11/20 01:38 AM
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You will not be able to transfer everything, unless a Texas Parks and Wildlife office is open. If you get all of the paperwork printed out and filled out correctly, then you can do the official transfer later. You must have a title for the boat, motor, and trailer. The title must be signed on the front and back. Confirm that the seller has those. If you get there and he says he forgot one then don’t buy the boat. You need to have a bill of sale signed by the seller for the boat, motor, and trailer. There is a buying guide on the Texas Parks and Wildlife site that explains everything.

Re: What do do buying used aluminum boat. [Re: AustinWader] #13664052 08/11/20 02:17 PM
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Another easy check list item is to see if the motor jets out a strong, narrow stream of water from the underside of the powerhead.

If there is not a strong stream of water, it could be a bad impeller (two man job to change it) or the water outlet line is clogged.

If there is not a strong stream of water, this is usually an easy fix, but if pointed out to the seller, it would improve the buying price, or he/she may fix the issue for you prior to selling to keep the sale price that they want.


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Re: What do do buying used aluminum boat. [Re: gar1970] #13664152 08/11/20 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by gar1970
Grease the bearings on trailer before hauling it back

This is important advice. I neglected to do this when I bought a boat about 100 miles away. I paid for my stupidity.

Re: What do do buying used aluminum boat. [Re: avid_basser] #13664155 08/11/20 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by avid_basser
Check the following before buying:
1) Compression: Make sure you see even on all cylinders and look to make sure they are within specs (specs can be found via Google)
2) Oil / gas levels and viscosity (Make sure the gas / oil is not gummed up and appears fresh
3) Registration / Title / Bill of Sale (nothing like getting there and these are not available.
4) Service history if available (Nice to have)
5) Axle for severe rust or cracks (No need to explain this one)


Check the following before hitting the road:
1) Tire wear / pressure (50 PSI and good tread remaining; look for major wear on the inside of the tire, this could be a bent axle or spindle issues)
2) Wheel bearings (Lift trailer and spin wheel, if it wobble, the wheel bearings are shot, get replaced ASAP)
3) Lights (make sure they all work with your truck)
4) Documentation (Insurance card, Registration / Title / Bill of Sale, etc)

Hope this helps

All good advice. I would add: pull the bottom plug on the lower end unit and check for water, metal bits, and condition of grease. You can do this without losing significant lower end grease as long as you keep the top plug installed. This was another hard earned lesson for me.

Re: What do do buying used aluminum boat. [Re: AustinWader] #13664215 08/11/20 04:31 PM
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Ask the seller to either go with you or allow you with a deposit to lake the boat for a test. While on the lake give it a good check I mean check everything, bildge pump, live well pump, hydrlicks (tilt and trim), electronics, navigational lighting. When you come off of the lake and you remove the plug see how much water if any drains from the bildge. See how it handles while on the lake see if you get wet, how it takes waves. If he will not let you do this then see if he will agree to letting you take it to a boat dealer to be check out and if there are any problems with it then allow you to return it to him and get your money back. If he will not do either then take someone with you that knows boats and let him advise you. There are lemons out there so just beware.

Re: What do do buying used aluminum boat. [Re: AustinWader] #13664276 08/11/20 05:48 PM
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Definitely do a lake test with the current owner.

Every boat and trailer has its quirks, and the older the boat and trailer, the more quirks

For example, some older boats like to be started a certain way with quick1/4 second of choke when you turn the key.
There might be a certain depth the trailer should be backed for easy departure and loading
He/she may have installed an aftermarket kill switch on the trolling motor (the TM won’t operate if this switch is engaged)
What rpms or speed does the boat like to run at
Is there a speed range to avoid (my boat doesn’t like running 8-12mph). Below and above that no problem
Any other quirks during cold weather?

The owner will know all these particulars.
Ask about them and pay attention (speaking from experience)


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Re: What do do buying used aluminum boat. [Re: AustinWader] #13664312 08/11/20 06:17 PM
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If you don't know about motors and boats then yes you should have a mechanic do an inspection for you before buying.

Re: What do do buying used aluminum boat. [Re: AustinWader] #13664392 08/11/20 07:15 PM
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I called a bunch of mechanics in Dallas and they're all filled up for a month. Am I gonna have to do it al myself?

Re: What do do buying used aluminum boat. [Re: AustinWader] #13664404 08/11/20 07:26 PM
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If you post the date/time of the lake test, maybe someone on TFF will volunteer to meet you at the ramp (I’m guessing on Lavon) to help you test it.

No matter how well it tests, owning a boat and trailer will involve maintenance and repairs.


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