watson524

Went to see a used boat today, looking for opinions on various things

63 posts in this topic

Hi all,

The saga of new vs used continues. Went to see a very clean 2015 264 today up in CT. Has everything we'd put on it if we were spec'ing out new except underwater lights, a grill mount and trim tabs - none of which I consider big deals and can be easily added. It has the VP 380 engine in it which I'm not at all familiar with as Mercs are more popular where we are. About 70 hours on it. Overall, we were impressed that finally we found someone that seems to keep their boat as clean as we do in the used market. Since it was used in both salt and fresh water, I asked the marina guy (it's a private sale but the owner told them we were coming and it was on the lower rack accessible) what they do when they haul out and he said they only spray it down on the outside, it's the owners responsibility to flush the engine. If I'm correct, this engine is fresh water cooled from the heat exchanger "in" (i.e. the manifolds and block?) but up to the elbows it's raw water? If you aren't flushing the raw side, how bad is that?

Would like some opinions/thoughts on a few things. I took pictures so you could see what I'm talking about related to my questions. Couldn't get them to upload here even when sized down  so I put them here:

 

1.) There were multiple spots that show what I'll call salt damage. On the helm switches, various screws, cleats and even the center of the prop. What's the level of concern you'd have about this? Can the rust stains be cleaned up? In the anchor locked up front, the 4 screws into the black bumpers if you will were totally rusted. Frankly I was a bit surprised given I'd think marine grade SS would be used. I know it's not going to stop rust but I'd think for 2 years for something rack stored, it seemed a lot.

2.) The outdrive appears to have some bubbling of the paint/coating between the upper and lower unit. I assume due to salt but would that be a sand and repaint type of repair?

3.) There was a scratch in the gray of the gelcoat. Into the white but not into the glass. I would assume any good shop can color match or does the gray make it harder because it's not white?

4.) There are a few chips in the white of the arch. If I recall that's not gel coat, but actual paint? How easy of a repair is that? With the metal of the tower, wasn't sure if special treatment was needed.

5.) The boat has board racks on the tower which we wouldn't want (don't use them and they definitely show signs of the salt air). If these are taken off, are there caps that can go in the holes? I've only looked at boats with no racks on the tower and I do not recall seeing holes predrilled and plugged which makes me think the holes are only drilled when the racks are ordered/installed.

6.) My biggest concern.... in the bow there's a sizeable chunk out of the gel coat into the glass (tho oddly the rub rail shows no signs of impact - my guess is dropped anchor tho I've not yet asked the owner). Being as this is into the glass, can it still be repaired and look right (assuming a good shop). Also, back in the bow ladder locker, on the starboard side there is what appears to be a crack in the gel coat. At first I thought it was related to the gel coat issue further forward from impact but I can't see how that kind of impact could happen without damage to the rub rail. The line of dirt initially made the "crack" look bigger but we were able to scrub dirt off tho you can still feel the link with your fingernail. Is this a possible area of stress in the boat? I wouldn't think so but.... bad mold perhaps?

https://photos.app.goo.gl/5FAdRPeL2oAuUX4C2

Thanks in advance for any input.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you see rust around stainless screws that is called crevice corrosion.  That will happen in both fresh and saltwater.  Google it to learn more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2015 ?????

 

Boat is a disaster.   Do not buy it at any price.  You were warned by the condition.  Leave it alone. Beat up rental ?  Sunk also ?   Pass on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My fresh water only 2014 shows similar issues at the cleat and also drive corrosion.

The gel coat issues are minor and easily fixed, but I'm surprised someone who supposedly cared for their boat well would leave a chunk of gel coat missing down to the fiberglass like on the bow. That is prime for water intrusion and should have been fixed soon after it happened. I'd put a moisture meter on that area.

Raw water mingles with the engine at the heat exchanger, impeller/hoses, and back half of the manifolds on a VP380. The rust on the prop nut is wash coming out of the manifolds, that's an exhaust point.

2015 and earlier arch is aluminum. Paint, not gel coat, so treat like any other metal pant repair. There should be dummy bolts you can put into the rack holes, think I saw them on cecilmarine once.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, cyclops2 said:

2015 ?????

 

Boat is a disaster.   Do not buy it at any price.  You were warned by the condition.  Leave it alone. Beat up rental ?  Sunk also ?   Pass on it.

Cy, please, stop. So not true.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Toddavid said:

My fresh water only 2014 shows similar issues at the cleat and also drive corrosion.

The gel coat issues are minor and easily fixed, but I'm surprised someone who supposedly cared for their boat well would leave a chunk of gel coat missing down to the fiberglass like on the bow. That is prime for water intrusion and should have been fixed soon after it happened. I'd put a moisture meter on that area.

Raw water mingles with the engine at the heat exchanger, impeller/hoses, and back half of the manifolds on a VP380. The rust on the prop nut is wash coming out of the manifolds, that's an exhaust point.

2015 and earlier arch is aluminum. Paint, not gel coat, so treat like any other metal pant repair. There should be dummy bolts you can put into the rack holes, think I saw them on cecilmarine once.

Thanks for the info. I guess I'm surprised that things would be rusting even on your fresh water boat. We have a 30 year old boat and only 1 nut head on the stern tie down point shows any sign of any kind of rusting. They don't make them like they used to lol!

I am going to send him a note today and ask him about the gel coat issues up front. 

With the prop nut and that water coming from the manifolds, should that be a concern about the engine not being flushed after salt water use? There's a blue flush point in the engine compartment which I assume is to be used for salt flushing if a nutra salt system isn't installed and also for winterization and general running since if I recall, you can't run the VP off muffs from the outdrive?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, watson524 said:

Thanks for the info. I guess I'm surprised that things would be rusting even on your fresh water boat. We have a 30 year old boat and only 1 nut head on the stern tie down point shows any sign of any kind of rusting. They don't make them like they used to lol!

I am going to send him a note today and ask him about the gel coat issues up front. 

With the prop nut and that water coming from the manifolds, should that be a concern about the engine not being flushed after salt water use? There's a blue flush point in the engine compartment which I assume is to be used for salt flushing if a nutra salt system isn't installed and also for winterization and general running since if I recall, you can't run the VP off muffs from the outdrive?

From the factory, the internals of the exhaust manifolds are uncoated, so there will always be a bit of surface oxidation when in contact with water, fresh or salt, so rust wash there is not necessarily a cause for worry.

I guess you can ask the PO if he/she did engine flush after each use, but the only way to really tell is an internal examination of the raw water side, which requires some disassembly.

At 70 hrs and 2 seasons of use, I wouldn't necessarily say you'd be immediately due for a manifold replacement if flushing were not done, but unless you look inside, regardless of who the owner is, you'll never really know the balance of use you have left. Just the nature of salt. My previous boat was salt use, and supposedly the PO flushed after each use, but I still disassembled at the elbows to take a peak inside after I bought it. Luckily clean as a whistle.

You can use muffs on the VPs, but there is also a flush port near the oil filter. Given that it takes some time to raise the engine cover, hook up the water, flush, and reverse steps, I wouldn't assume flushing was done. Did you see water sources on the dry rack dock at the marina? If not, chances are even less the PO did flushing, and you already know the dock hands didn't do it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had initially asked if he flushed after salt/brackish use and his reesponse was that the motor has its own contained cooling system and so no “external” water runs through motor. I said my understanding was that it did up to the heat exchanger at least and out the manifolds but given his response, I think I know my answer there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup.

FYI, on the VP380, there are numerous sacrificial anodes throughout the raw water side, including heat exchanger and manifolds, so that does stack odds in your favor of abated corrosion with those few hours of use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hopefully someone knowledgeable about closed cooling system engines did the winterizations on that boat...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of what you describe is typical of a boat used in salt water. If it makes you feel better, replace the manifolds now. Replace any rusted hardware. Gelcoat repairs are easy if you have a competent gel coat guy. You should not be able to tell it was repaired. 

Adjust your price to cover the needed repairs. 

brick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Luckily, there is a great gel coat guy about 5 miles from me. The nose part actually has me less concerned than the hairline vertical crack in the anchor locker but there's no other signs of impact so my gut tells me it's tied to the nose gel coat issue or a scratch from putting the anchor away. 

Going to see what he'll do on price regardless I think since it doesn't have a trailer and is not much less than what we've been quoted for brand new, a few extra options (my problem, not the seller's I understand) and a trailer included. That may make this an easier call for us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To me, the gelcoat is not a deal breaker. That part is easy to fix. I boat in salt water and I too have a closed system. The advantages of a closed system is that it is very easy to winterize the engine. It takes me about 30 seconds, engine runs at better operating temp, no air gets into the block which promotes rust build up. My boat is now 6 years old, and maybe in 2019 to 2020 I may have to replace the risers. As to the blistering of the drives, I really don't think thats from the salt. I have twin engines and no blistering on both drives, but I do paint them every year. 

The biggest thing is that you use the right anodes in the heat exchanger and the drives for the type of water your in.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, watson524 said:

Luckily, there is a great gel coat guy about 5 miles from me. The nose part actually has me less concerned than the hairline vertical crack in the anchor locker but there's no other signs of impact so my gut tells me it's tied to the nose gel coat issue or a scratch from putting the anchor away. 

Going to see what he'll do on price regardless I think since it doesn't have a trailer and is not much less than what we've been quoted for brand new, a few extra options (my problem, not the seller's I understand) and a trailer included. That may make this an easier call for us.

A three year old boat that is almost as much $$$ as a new one? 

brick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a 2005 and I got a small container of appliance touch up paint at Lowes and that was a close (close enough) match for the white on my arch.  Any of the colored gelcoat can be purchased from Spectrum Color - I have found it to be spot on for DIY repairs.

If the 2015 is almost the same price as new, I would be tempted to go new especially with boat show incentives around the corner, nothing major to do and a new boat warranty.  Volvo made some improvements to the Gen Vs in 2016/17 including one push weatherization - one plunger push and it drains the exhaust manifolds and water pump.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

+1 for Cyclops 

11 hours ago, cyclops2 said:

2015 ?????

 

Boat is a disaster.   Do not buy it at any price.  You were warned by the condition.  Leave it alone. Beat up rental ?  Sunk also ?   Pass on it.

+1 That motor does not deliver enough torque to move that heavy boat. It seems pretty beat up for a 70 hour 2015. Have a survey done and moisture check the entire haul especially around the out drive. Not a huge fan of the VP 6.0 combo. It should have the 8.2 Merc in it... Good luck all of those little repairs can add up to big deer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If we go new, it will have the 8.2 Merc in it. Have no experience with VP but that single point drain thing Adam mentioned above is sweet, saw that in a video last nite. Tho honestly, we tend to go overboard when winterizing our current OMC that I'd likely pull the blue plugs or whatever anyway.

Apparently the bow front gel coat and glass issue is from the marina and a bad fork lift driver. I'd be pissed to levels I can't even begin to describe if that were me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Daytripper said:

+1 That motor does not deliver enough torque to move that heavy boat. 

 

I don't get this statement. There is a broader torque curve with the VVT on the 6.0 VP vs 8.2 big block. I've never, ever had issues getting out of the hole, even with 4 adults/3 kids on board and all of them sitting in the stern. And then up to a 52mph top speed on a hot summer day, with similar weight, and all our gear on board. 

Not to sound too much like a VP fanboy, but the broad powerband plus the 250-300lbs weight savings plus the ease of service (especially in the tight engine bay of the Sunesta) makes the VP a strong contender. 

 

I see you were in this thread, too, and Shep, who works on VP and Merc, seems to agree with the VP superiority:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The VP 380 is more than enough motor for that boat, unless you are contest racing it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 As a side note about amount of H P needed.

Both of my 2002 186 SSI 5.0L 220 hp carb boats have 18.5' X 8' wide hulls. NO transom extension. No trim pads. They weigh 3200 new & empty. Carry 6 + 200# seniors at least 20 gallons of gas loads of anchors & hundreds of feet of 1/2" line.  That is roughly a 5500 pound boat.  With a VERY grippy Powertech 4 SS blade.   I am on plane in 3 seconds with almost 0 bow lift. WOT is 4400 @ 45 mph   gps. Those are at the 5,500 pound weight.  The right prop beats big engines with the wrong prop every time.

Time to plane if I am alone ? is 0 seconds. Zero bow lift. The boat just accelerates level to the 48 gps very fast. The acceleration force pins me to the seat.

Edit

The 5.0L engine is so loafing on plane, that normal voice levels are plenty,  between bow & rear seat conversations

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, cyclops2 said:

 

 

Time to plane if I am alone ? is 0 seconds. Zero bow lift. The boat just accelerates level to the 48 gps very fast. The acceleration force pins me to the seat.

 

For some reason I find that impossible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 So did I the first 2 times.  But a really good biting / gripping prop does create a almost no slip conversion of torque to thrust. The 186 hull is short but wide. So getting on plane is very easy.

I sold my bought new 2002 186 2 years ago.  Heart & age. Now have a 6 stints, defibrilator & a Pacemaker.  I am great at 80.  So I bougt a second 2002 186 SSI with the Merc 5.0L .  It loves the Powertech PTC4 just like the first 1 does.  The boat buyer does water sking as a family. They love the instant on plane with several on the ropes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now