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Impulse purchases. Some buy candy bars or lottery tickets, I'm buying a boat. I'm new to the boating world, and will appreciate the wisdom and information of this forum. That said, here's the boat story:

A few weeks ago, I saw a 1994 Chaparral 1830 SST Sport with a 4.3L l6 MerCruiser in my friend's yard and said: "ooh, who's boat?" The response was jokingly "wanna buy it?"

And then I thought about it. And that was a mistake.

Unfortunately, my response due to my "thinking" was not: "haha, nooo- I have way too many protects already." It was instead: "how much?"

Long story short, I'm looking at a 203hp ski boat with cosmetic issues, some hull surface damage on the side from a dock collision, and the need for a comb-through tune-up. It ran last season which encourages me, and is a solid boat overall in my opinion. Most of the issues are cosmetic.

Right now, I want to clean it, comb through the engine and maintenance points, and pull the carpet to examine the wood. I will be doing everything I can myself to save money. And I'll certainly appreciate help received. I will eventually start a new thread to document my progress and engage in discussion.

Though I have zero boating experience, I am fairly mechanically inclined and have worked with epoxy before. I love learning new things and diving into unknown projects, so here we are!

So how much did I pay?

Well, that's yet to be determined. However, there have been numbers thrown out, and they seem reasonable to me- even the trailer is included which is a must for me.

I really just wanted to introduce myself today and thank you for the join. A question today is regarding how much of a deal am I getting on this boat. Well, it looks as though it may be between $500 and $700. I offered $500 today and it is being legitimately considered. 

So is $500 a deal? What are thoughts on this boat and trailer? From what I've seen, this boat looks pretty good in terms of reputation of brand and product quality. I think I'm going to love it, and I am cognizant of challenges to come... I just don't want to be throwing money away. Thoughts?

 

Thanks for your response and allowing me to join.

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Congrats and welcome to the Chap club. It looks like your project needs a good cleaning overall. Hopefully the engine and drive will not cause you any distress. Have you started the engine yet? I would highly recommend getting a good quality cover over the boat asap or get it indoors. Keep us posted on your progress. Were here to help.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the outreach! You think this is a good first boat? The engine has not been started by my choice. It does turn over, however, and I will do a compression test prior to purchase. Will be fully combed-over before running with carb clean, new fuel lines and a filter, new fuel pump, etc.

Right now though, the plan is to re-pack the wheel bearings, get it home, clean it, and assess repairs needed. Then I'll throw a tarp over it and strategize/prioritize.

Still my main concern remains: Is this boat and trailer worth $500? My impression is that it is after extensive research research it is. However, is this something a "jack of all trades" can handle with prior auto, small engine, and minor electrical experience? My main concern now is my ability to repair a gash on port side from a dock collision. Also, from the same incident, there are small chunks missing from the fiberglass lip under the (bumper?), the rubber edge protecting the circumference of the boat around the side. Just a warning, my naivety will show for a while until the terminology gets there. But I appreciate the help! Books in the mail, too. 

Edited by 1830SST

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36 minutes ago, 1830SST said:

Thanks for the outreach! You think this is a good first boat? The engine has not been started by my choice. It does turn over, however, and I will do a compression test prior to purchase. Will be fully combed-over before running with carb clean, new fuel lines and a filter, new fuel pump, etc.

Right now though, the plan is to re-pack the wheel bearings, get it home, clean it, and assess repairs needed. Then I'll throw a tarp over it and strategize/prioritize.

Still my main concern remains: Is this boat and trailer worth $500? My impression is that it is after extensive research research it is. However, is this something a "jack of all trades" can handle with prior auto, small engine, and minor electrical experience? My main concern now is my ability to repair a gash on port side from a dock collision. Also, from the same incident, there are small chunks missing from the fiberglass lip under the (bumper?), the rubber edge protecting the circumference of the boat around the side. Just a warning, my naivety will show for a while until the terminology gets there. But I appreciate the help! Books in the mail, too. 

$500. You could get double that by parting it out. You did not do bad. It will just take a little TLC.

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Chap243, where would you start here in a "cost effective" way? This season I really just want it to float and run. There will be some duct tape on the seats for a while. Also, what are your thoughts on how to repair the following hull damage from a dock collision? This is my number one concern (and upholstery close behind) in terms of learning curve.

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It looks like it can be a very good looking boat once cleaned up!

Now you say it ran last season. What comes to mind and I don't know enough about it, is the E10 fuel. In 1994 there was no E-10 so has the boat been running from year to year since 1994? I what I an trying to say, if the engine been running all these years on E-10 than your all set. If not, than hose and gaskets may need to be changed out. We have heard stories on older boats that these things break down with the newer fuel. Maybe the boat been running on leaded fuel all these years? 

If it was me, I would do a rough cost on paper to get the boat back into shape. Than, is it worth it? Go after the engine and drive first, than the wiring and helm. After that the hull and the repairs to it. As to the seats, I would just replace them. The cushion, covering, and backing are most likely shot. 

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8 hours ago, 1830SST said:

Chap243, where would you start here in a "cost effective" way? This season I really just want it to float and run. There will be some duct tape on the seats for a while. Also, what are your thoughts on how to repair the following hull damage from a dock collision? This is my number one concern (and upholstery close behind) in terms of learning curve.

Show up a pic of the hull damage and we can best advise on correcting. It could be minor, just needing a little gelcoat repair or could be structural requiring much more involvement. If you want to get on the water quickly, I’d just give her a good overall cleaning, change the engine and drive fluids and go. 

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5 hours ago, Iggy said:

It looks like it can be a very good looking boat once cleaned up!

Now you say it ran last season. What comes to mind and I don't know enough about it, is the E10 fuel. In 1994 there was no E-10 so has the boat been running from year to year since 1994? I what I an trying to say, if the engine been running all these years on E-10 than your all set. If not, than hose and gaskets may need to be changed out. We have heard stories on older boats that these things break down with the newer fuel. Maybe the boat been running on leaded fuel all these years? 

If it was me, I would do a rough cost on paper to get the boat back into shape. Than, is it worth it? Go after the engine and drive first, than the wiring and helm. After that the hull and the repairs to it. As to the seats, I would just replace them. The cushion, covering, and backing are most likely shot. 

 

Iggy, I'm well aware of the E-10 stuff. I've had ten years of small business repair experience and can tell you it's been the most counter-environmentally fariendluy and destructive issue... I now recommend electric for all minor outdoor power equipment. Anyway, I won't go there any more.

My "non-negotiable" plan is to go through the fuel system, clean oil pain and change all fluids, compression test. A carburetor rebuild is in order too, whether it needs it or not! Because I THINK this is a carbureted engine. I don't know the maintenance history, so I'm going to be starting over- especially with the fuel system. There will be electrical inspection too.

Getting excited for my new project. I can't wait for that upgraded sound system blaring over the skiing towards skiers in tow. Oh, and the 50MPH will be fun too.

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2 hours ago, 1830SST said:

 

Iggy, I'm well aware of the E-10 stuff. I've had ten years of small business repair experience and can tell you it's been the most counter-environmentally fariendluy and destructive issue... I now recommend electric for all minor outdoor power equipment. Anyway, I won't go there any more.

My "non-negotiable" plan is to go through the fuel system, clean oil pain and change all fluids, compression test. A carburetor rebuild is in order too, whether it needs it or not! Because I THINK this is a carbureted engine. I don't know the maintenance history, so I'm going to be starting over- especially with the fuel system. There will be electrical inspection too.

Getting excited for my new project. I can't wait for that upgraded sound system blaring over the skiing towards skiers in tow. Oh, and the 50MPH will be fun too.

It sounds like you have it under control.

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I have updated my original post with a full album of "before" pictures. It's rough, but I think it's solid!

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On 5/8/2020 at 2:25 AM, 1830SST said:

Impulse purchases. Some buy candy bars or lottery tickets, I'm buying a boat. I'm new to the boating world, and will appreciate the wisdom and information of this forum. That said, here's the boat story:

A few weeks ago, I saw a 1994 Chaparral 1830 SST Sport with a 4.3L l6 MerCruiser in my friend's yard and said: "ooh, who's boat?" The response was jokingly "wanna buy it?"

And then I thought about it. And that was a mistake.

Unfortunately, my response due to my "thinking" was not: "haha, nooo- I have way too many protects already." It was instead: "how much?"

Long story short, I'm looking at a 203hp ski boat with cosmetic issues, some hull surface damage on the side from a dock collision, and the need for a comb-through tune-up. It ran last season which encourages me, and is a solid boat overall in my opinion. Most of the issues are cosmetic.

Right now, I want to clean it, comb through the engine and maintenance points, and pull the carpet to examine the wood. I will be doing everything I can myself to save money. And I'll certainly appreciate help received. I will eventually start a new thread to document my progress and engage in discussion.

Though I have zero boating experience, I am fairly mechanically inclined and have worked with epoxy before. I love learning new things and diving into unknown projects, so here we are!

So how much did I pay?

Well, that's yet to be determined. However, there have been numbers thrown out, and they seem reasonable to me- even the trailer is included which is a must for me.

I really just wanted to introduce myself today and thank you for the join. A question today is regarding how much of a deal am I getting on this boat. Well, it looks as though it may be between $500 and $700. I offered $500 today and it is being legitimately considered. 

So is $500 a deal? What are thoughts on this boat and trailer? From what I've seen, this boat looks pretty good in terms of reputation of brand and product quality. I think I'm going to love it, and I am cognizant of challenges to come... I just don't want to be throwing money away. Thoughts?

 

Thanks for your response and allowing me to join.

It is not so much as to what you paid for it, it is more about how much you are willing to pay to get it to where you want it to be. Denny.

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I would highly recommend passing on this boat and buying a similar one in good shape for around $4-5k...you will thank me later. You are probably looking at a full gut, as all that wood is most likely rotted. You will spend 5k getting it back into shape alone in just materials. Labor will cost you 1,000s of hours as well. Been there, done that and never again! And worst of all, in the end the boat wont turn out like a similar sister ship in already pristine consition.

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That is the truest  D I Y advice I have EVER seen. !!!

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5 hours ago, drewm3i said:

I would highly recommend passing on this boat and buying a similar one in good shape for around $4-5k...you will thank me later. You are probably looking at a full gut, as all that wood is most likely rotted. You will spend 5k getting it back into shape alone in just materials. Labor will cost you 1,000s of hours as well. Been there, done that and never again! And worst of all, in the end the boat wont turn out like a similar sister ship in already pristine consition.

+1   It looks like there is nothing there that is good to even start with.

I would not even take it if it were given to me for free. Sorry , just my honest opinion.

Reminds me of an old saying (rode hard and put away wet).  Denny.

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Well, I bought it. $500.

I brought it home and have started cleaning with the pressure washer. WOW! What a mess. I've said some choice words about the MOSS on the carpet. I can't believe how poorly people take care of their expensive toys. Despite all this, I think she'll clean-up well. As of now I'm utilizing sunny days to clean and will be placing it under my carport permanently. I've ordered a heavy duty acid hull cleaner to take care of the stains next The plan moving forward is simply to clean, shine, and get it running. This isn't going to be a long-term boat, but will help me get my "feet wet" in the boating world. I just hope I don't also get my hair wet in the process. 

So far in my amateur inspection I've not found any soft spots in the floor, nor any cracks in the hull less two hairline cracks at the engine cover hinges. With a hammer/fist I can't find any "tonal changes"' in the hull that would suggest saturation... Of course, that's an amateur's knocking, not an appraiser. I'm not too worried about the cracks though, as the air cylinders are missing- I'm assuming some careless individual just let the lid slam backwards and cause the cracks at some point. As far as the fiberglass saturation, I guess that's a "wait and see", which will be fun.

I'm fully aware that it's a $500 boat in the shape that would be expected of a 25 year old boat that's been in the weather; and that it will have problems accordingly. Ultimately though I'm going to approach it realistically and call it a learning experience. I'll make mistakes, break things, repair them, and just enjoy it. The plan now is to continue cleaning and looking for problems, in addition to repairing the gelcoat and replacing the rub rail. I'm likely only going to "duct tape re-upholster" and just enjoy this thing as-is. Help is appreciated as I begin this boating journey. I'm hoping that I'll love the experience. After a year or two, I'll sell it and get something WAY better. In the meantime, I'm just going to hang on and watch the consequences of my impulse purchase.

In the meantime, enjoy these pictures of my "Haperr" boat (see chrome lettering port side) mid-cleaning. Next is buffing!

Thanks again to all of you for your guidance thus far.

Cleaning Pictures: https://photos.app.goo.gl/GYPvQms6izCqQmGj9 

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