cello72

1995 signature 27

18 posts in this topic

Hi newbie here purchasing a 1995 signature 27 with a 7.4 carb Volvo penta drive.getting thenboat for a great price what are the key issues to look for in that model/year/drive combo?

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My opinion of all these buying of old boats is.

DO NOT.  YOU must be able to do what ever is needed.

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I may just be armchair engineering this, but that trailer looks woefully inadequate for that boat.  

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The first thing to do is to find a competent and reputable boat mechanic.  Preferably someone with gray hair.  

The second thing is to do as much preventative maintenance as possible.

-Find out where all of the impellers are and replace them.  (In the engine and in the drive if applicable for that year)

-Check oil pump and coolant pump, replace if necessary

-Replace all hoses and belts

-Pull Drive

-New Gimbal bearing and bellows

-Align Outdrive

-New Zincs

-New Spark Plugs and Wires

-Have the carb looked at.  Rebuild if needed.

-Have the risers looked at.  (Especially if the boat was in salt water) Replace if needed.

-If you have closed cooling, replace the heat exchanger.

-For Generator, replace coolant impeller, have the whole unit looked at and serviced.

-For A/C, replace coolant impeller, have the whole unit looked at and serviced.  

-Check the hoses and valves for the toilet and waste tank. Make sure everything is tight. 

-Get Boat /U.S. tow insurance.  Its cheap.  

Of course, you might not need to do ALL of the above immediately, depending on how well it was maintained by the previous owner.  But it would be a good idea to at least budget for them over the next few years.  Being stranded is not fun.  However, the items below are not negotiable.  Almost every new boater forgets them.  I recommend making a checklist and pasting it to your steering wheel.

-PUT THE PLUG IN BEFORE YOU LAUNCH.  HAVE SOMEONE ASK YOU IF YOU DID IT, EVEN IF THEY SEE YOU DO IT!  

-TAKE THE SAFETY STRAPS OFF BEFORE YOU LAUNCH.  PUT THEM IN A VISIBLE LOCATION.

-SHUT OFF THE MOTOR AND RAISE THE THE THE OUTDRIVE BEFORE PULLING THE BOAT OUT OF THE WATER!

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I think I have done almost everyone of those items wrong. Or not even done them until it was too late.

Terrific post about the care & feeding of a OLD BOAT.   NEW noise or smell or leak ?   Check it out immediately !!  

Billy

Post any web stores you may use & the brand of parts you use.  That is ALL IMPORTANT in a repair or replacement of a problem by a D I Y.

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One other thing to consider, and there may be some here who disagree, is that for the most part, boats are not like cars in that they have "good" years and "bad" years.  You tend to get "good" boats or "bad" boats regardless of the year, brand, or model purchased.  (Of course, brands with a reputation for quality statistically tend to have less "problem" boats than those that have more of a reputation for price.) . Boats aren't mass produced like cars are, so you get more variation in the shape of the hull, the alignment of the engines, the installation quality of the various systems and components, etc.  I have known people who have bought a brand new boat and spent most of their first or second season with the boat laid up for warranty repairs, or problems that just won't go away.  I have known people who have bought older boats who never had a problem other than regular maintenance and the odd repair.  

As far as I am concerned, buying a used boat that was maintained by a fanatical owner who retained all of their service records is as good or possibly better than buying a new boat with a warranty.  With the used boat (and requisite fanatical owner), you get to see if there was a track record of reliability and regular maintenance.  You also get to see if that owner was constantly having to fix a recurring problem.  That's what I did when I purchased my boat, and I haven't had any real problems other than items that were just simply overlooked.  (My boat mechanic with gray hair had no problem diagnosing and fixing the problem, and I was on my way.)

On the other side of the coin, I would look carefully at an old boat that is being considered simply because it is a "good price", unless you are EXTREMELY handy.  (I.E. you have no problem tearing down an engine block and putting it back together. Also, having enough knowledge of carpentry to remove and replace rotten bulkheads and stringers, plus enough knowledge of fiberglass installation to re-glass the carpentry work when finished.)  Some people are just trying to get rid of a problem that doesn't seem to have a solution.  Boats are lots of fun.  I've been around them all my life and love them.   ......but they really can become "a hole in the water into which money is thrown" if extreme care is not taken during the selection and purchase of a boat.  

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Thanks Billy..... that is exactly what I was looking for. I was going to use a car analogy but your last teply answered that before I could even post it! Yeah I'm wondering about the trailer myself I can't find any weight/ spec. Tags on it.Are there any stamped serial numbers or identification on ez loader trailers?

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Billy ,I have worked as an ASE cert. Mechanic,carpenter,electronics technician and the list goes on LOL. finally settled in Radiology. I've built motors heads and houses.I should have the handy part covered it's just the time part I may not have!

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Just now, cello72 said:

Billy ,I have worked as an ASE cert. Mechanic,carpenter,electronics technician and the list goes on LOL. finally settled in Radiology. I've built motors heads and houses.I should have the handy part covered it's just the time part I may not have!

Time has to be factored in. If you plan to do your own repairs and the boat needs lots of work, be ready to spend weekends wrenching instead of sitting on the hook with some cold ones.  Money and/or time is something that always needs to be factored in.  Are you buying the boat to enjoy, or as a new project?

As far as that trailer goes, see if you can find a serial number.  I believe trailers have titles just like any other vehicles.  If you can't find a serial number on the trailer, the title will have it. Call the manufacturer and see if they can give you the specs.  

As another poster mentioned, that trailer might be too small for that boat.  For a 27' cruiser, I would expect a tri-axle trailer.  I have a 265 SSi with a tandem axle like that one, and I have frequent wheel bearing failures. I am guessing that the original owner didn't buy enough trailer for my boat. As a result, I don't trailer it long distances. That boat and all of the tight corners at the launch ramp put LOTS of stress on the wheel bearings.  If you buy that boat, you should learn how to replace bearings if you don't already know.  If you plan to travel far, possibly upgrade the trailer.  If you are storing the boat near the ramp, and don't plan on going on any long trips, it should get you by. (Should)

 

 

 

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I wasn't planning on towing it far I live close to the Hudson and near by lakes 15 mins in either direction the longest would be 45 min ride to CT. I just want it to be safe last thing I need is an axle snapping in the road or some other catastrophic failure.The boat was taken by the shop for failure to pay storage and winterizing for two years or so I'm told... you know the old "grandma drove it 2 miles to the grocery store and back on Sunday's". The shop selling it seemed  pretty legitimate so I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt, but one would think he would know the trailer seems under rated for a 6k+ boat

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27 minutes ago, cello72 said:

The boat was taken by the shop for failure to pay storage and winterizing for two years or so I'm told... you know the old "grandma drove it 2 miles to the grocery store and back on Sunday's". The shop selling it seemed  pretty legitimate so I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt, but one would think he would know the trailer seems under rated for a 6k+ boat

Cello-

I hope that I don't sound harsh, but this boat has all of the markings of a potential nightmare. 

If the owner wasn't paying his storage bills, it is also likely that he did not have enough money to sufficiently maintain it either. 

There are so many expensive things that can be wrong with that boat.  You can be dealing with anything that I listed in my previous post, or worse!

They told you that the boat wasn't winterized for two years??  It could have a cracked block, a cracked coolant line for the genny or A/C.  These are problems that can potentially sink the boat.  (I've seen it happen)

Dont forget, the shop has an old boat and an unpaid bill.  They can say whatever they want when they're trying to sell the boat.  Once you give them your $6K and they sign the title over, it's your problem.

 

If I were in your shoes, I would keep the money and run!

 

 

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I must have miss stated in my earlier post...replying and working bad combo lol. No the boat was winterized and stored for for the two years properly by the shop.The gas was changed motor tuned up out drive serviced and fluids done recently in prep for sale.Also I mean 6000 lbs weight not price sorry for the confusion.

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1 hour ago, cello72 said:

I must have miss stated in my earlier post...replying and working bad combo lol. No the boat was winterized and stored for for the two years properly by the shop.The gas was changed motor tuned up out drive serviced and fluids done recently in prep for sale.Also I mean 6000 lbs weight not price sorry for the confusion.

Well that makes a world of difference!  

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On 9/6/2017 at 4:48 AM, Billy said:

 

-Get Boat /U.S. tow insurance.  Its cheap.  

 

I was told that also but after price checking I found that my own insurance with AAA Was way less.  BoatUS wanted 695 a year for it I paid 253 through my own insurance which also has SeaTow and covers pretty much the same as usboat .253 for full coverage ain't bad

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Thanks to all who noticed the trailer being undersized. Returned it to the seller and now have a 6 1/2" aluminum I beam bunk under it with 5200# axles..

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