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Boat buying stories


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anyone have good boat buying stories?

 

Was thinking back to when I was looking for my first boat in '92. Was testing a used Ski Brendella just outside of Tampa FL at a MC dealership. Idling the boat while salesmen sat on the motor box, he told me to go and I did. Unfortunately for him, he forgot to hang on and ended up on his back squished between the motor box and the back seat staring at the sky. Boat goes to neutral as he basically had disappeared from my view, he unwedges himself, popps up and says "may fault... totally my fault....shoulda been hanging on". What a salesmen!!! To bad for him, I didn't buy the boat. He probably coulda used the extra money for his chiropractic bills after being folded in half like that.

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Bought my first boat from a ski school... It was 1988 and I bought a 1987 Magnum Skier with 23 hours on it. Not long after that, we were cruising across a lake on a rather rough day and there seemed to be a lot of rattling going on. Once back to the dock, I climed under the bow and looked around. Seems the ski school attached the windshield with 2 nuts and left the other 22 studs just sticking through the deck. Glad I looked!
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When test driving an inboard flightcraft w/Razor1...me driving, him skiing. The guy says "wow, your brother is a really aggressive slalom skier!" "Yep, breaks ropes all the time" says me. "No way" he says just as his rope gets snapped mid pull.
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Back in 2007, I Purchased my boat in Florida, on a consignment deal. (2005 Malibu Sportster LX) Enjoyed the chain of lakes for a few days and towed it home back to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada approximately 2800 miles with a toyota tundra that I liked so much after that trip I had to abandon plan to flip the truck. Lol. My ski buddy and I still have so many amazing memories from that trip! Everything went so well and the truck and boat drive like they were made for each other.

"Do Better..."

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Spring of 1966, burien, wash. Dad & mom took us kids into the crestliner dealer showroom. Selected a 15 foot Fiberglas crestliner tri hull open bow with the new Johnson loop changed 55hp 3 cyl. We wanted a boat light enough to be towed with my older brothers 66 mustang, which he still owns. What a thrill, as a 10 year old kid to experience that and watch my dad negotiate a cash deal, along with double skis and other options. I learned to ski behind that boat, and us kids had a lot of fun boating and skiing together.
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Bought a 1997 SeaRay "sea rayder" 16 foot jetboat. (yes I as into balls at that time, but had a membership at a private lake, with club boat, so didn't care) Took it out for a sales demo. I was 20 or 21 at the time. Told the salesman, "I heard you can slam these things in reverse?!!!" Told him I was gonna try it. Boat submarines, fills with water, both of us get soaked. Water is running out the bow. said "well, guess you sold a boat!!" Sold it 4 years later for $7500.. oh well.. it was fun.. basically a huge jet ski. could do 50, and spin out like crazy. Ahh youth...

 

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Lesson #1: Get a new battery at the start of each season.

Lesson #2: Change impeller at start of each season.

Lesson #3: Put old impeller in glove box to save some poor guy that didn't know lesson 2 and save a wasted afternoon towing him in.(it will save his afternoon also).

Lesson #4: Zip tie a V-Belt on the lower water pump support in good position to install without tools. It will save an afternoon several seasons down the road.

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It's early 1996, I'm 25, and I get my first real bonus at my first real job. So I go down and buy a brand new 96 Ski Nautique. Never owned a boat, let alone seen a slalom course before. It goes in the water once and on the way home the right wheel falls off the trailer and I damn near soil myself. We manage to jerry rig it to get it to my dad's house and I call the dealership the next day and say WTF, The wheel fell off! The jerk at Sail and Ski says "You greased the bearings right?" I'm speechless. I ended up having to call the trailer manufacturer directly because S&K put up such a fight on warranty of it. 16 years later I'd still like to punch Buzz at Sail and Ski in the nose.
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I think I shared this one on another thread. Have a buddy that drove from FL to TX to buy a Gekko OB he got a good deal on. Checked everything out and I believe put new tire on trailer for transport back to FL. Not far out of town, the leaf spring of the trailer broke sending the axle sideways as the rig was still moving forward. Boat slid half way off the side of the trailer and scraped it's way down the tar until the truck came to a stop and and the boat did as well when the nose hit the back of the SUV. Local police had it removed from rd and placed in a towing yard. Buddy got a car trailer to hall boat and trailer back to FL. In mean time put insurance on it. This is no lie. When he drove into the towing yard the yard owner had the boat hoisted in the air ready to load only he had it strapped wrong and SNAP, infront of my buddies eyes the boat cracked along the freeboad just infront of the back seat. Rest of the story is long but short version- insurance repaired the boat and you can't even find the 2 foot long half inch wide all the way through crack . Was a long while before they were able to use that boat though. Progressive ins was good to them.
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I bought my '93 Mastercraft in the fall of '09. Drove to Seattle, picked it up, and drove it back to Bozeman, MT. Just as I was coming down the backside of Lookout Pass in near white out conditions, a trophy Mule deer jumped out in front of me. I veered away from him and everything looked rosy until he leaped back towards me. I don't think his rack missed my boat by more than an inch or two... and I had no insurance on the boat at the time. I had no problem staying awake for the remainder of the trip.
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In 2000 I went with my parents to an in-water boat show to make sure they did not buy anything with a BIGGER wake than the 21' Celebrity cuddy cabin boat we were skiing behind. I was also 5 months away from getting married and still did not purchase a place to live. While listening to the salesman try to sell them a 23' Crowline, I saw a 1998 MC Skier 19 in the shop, still dusty. I interrupted the salesman and asked him about it. To quiet me down so he could continue his sale, he said that boat was about $16k with 40 hours on it. I wrote him a check for a deposit, my parents bought some other behemoth, and I let my fiance know we were the proud owner of a real ski boat. She was speechless. Still have the boat and the wife.
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My Dad bought our first real ski boat in '88. Prior we were hacking it up behind an outboard Switzer which was really fast and covered in metal flake...still think it was cool as hell.

He bought a new '88 Ski Centurion Warrior Barefoot Comp w/a big Yamaha after talking with Mike Siepel. There were no dealers so a distributor set up the boat and shipped it. We were amazed at its sleek lines on arrival.

We put her in the river...myself and the mechanic from the marina while my Dad parked. He says the way to break these in is to give 'em hell and stuffs the throttle. It leaps so fast I almost all out of the seat as we go barreling under a bridge at 50 mph with a right hand turn that follows only it won't turn right. He pulls the throttle but these things don't slow quickly. As we approach shore I elect to bail out on the shore side to try to catch the boat before impact about the time he jams reverse. Even though we were really close to shore the water was deep so I go over the side expecting 2 feet of water and disappear as he pulls away backwards...it was about 8 feet deep. Kind of a funny site according to the mechanic.

Distributor put the steering arm on upside down which caused a mechanical impediment to a right turn.

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So my dad's buddy buys his first boat - a brand new Sylvan I/O pos. I get a call to go help him at the boat landing, as the nose was dipping into the lake like you wouldn't believe. Turns out, he did not disconnect the trailer from his boat, but rather from his truck instead! Picture, if you will, a trailer at a 90% angle from the bow of the boat, sinking into the lake. Priceless!! Even funnier, I know of one other guy that did the same thing!
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We bought first boat when I was in High School. Was an old jet boat with a 454 engine in the back. After overhauling it a couple of times and sparking a fire in the back we called it quits for 10 years. Bought a Malibu in Texas and hauled it back to Alberta (30 hours of driving) with my Dodge Grand Caravan. Was alright in the flats of Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, but the mountains of Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana were not so good for the van. Van still runs but I think I aged it prematurely by about 10 years on that trip.
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Picked up a brand new Malibu Sportster from the dealer and went straight to the lake. Was so excited that I didn't notice the sign at the end of the ramp warning about shallow water. Drove the back of the trailer right off the ramp and into the big hole created by powerloading. My little Ford Escape was getting pulled into the water until I could jump in the boat start it up, create slack and un-hook it from the trailer. Ended up having to wedge a pair of combo skis under the trailer wheels to get it back onto the ramp.

 

Almost lost boat and truck in first 45 minutes of boat ownership.

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In '88, my buddy worked at a MI MC dealership (the big one). One day this long haired, greasy looking dude walks in with a cigarette dangling. He was interested in one of those "Masterskier's, or whataver you call them". So my buddy showed him a new 190, in which he sat in the driver's seat, while ashes from his smoke blew onto the dash and floor. He asked, "you got a blue one?". My buddy says, "yes we do". "I'll take it. Have it delivered to my house. I'll have someone come over later with the cash." Later that day, an assistant to Mr. Bob Seger showed up and paid in full! The delivery story is really funny, as it involved Bob, some high speed boat driving and Jagermeister!
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In early 1994 a buddy and I started thinking about partnering on a used boat for about $3k. Withing a month we had justified multiple upgrades and were looking at new Mastercrafts. A new baby caused my buddy to drop out of the deal and my wife and I along with our 2 young daughters took delivery of a new 94 MC 205 from California Skier. Our salesman was a very cool guy who is otherwise known on BOS as The Ghost Skier. Still have the 205 with 1195 hours as of last Sunday. Lots of great times.
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@baha , sounds like 1195 hours of family fun to me. That's what it's all about. I have a 196 but still have my Dad's '91 Centurion Falcon Barefoot. I can't believe the number of good family memories tied to that boat over the years.
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@6balls. Evey week for work I drive by a barefoot Centurion just sitting next to a house out in the middle of no where far far from any body of water. Sad really.. FL sun and rain and all. Been tempted to stop in and see if he'd part with it for next to nothing. But sence I have nothing, the offer would less.
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@6balls Have you got the Centurion out of the shed yet, to start the Stargazer project?

 

I just did an image search for "Centurion Falcon Barefoot", it's a pretty cool looking boat. The stepped section in the underside of the hull is interesting and the option of open bow is pretty cool. It does look like it would be a little heavier that my Flightcraft. Any idea how the wake compares?

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@Ryno, it's wake is not quite as good as your Flightcraft as it is a bit heavier, but it has a ton more people and storage space. I've driven/skied the Flighty, and I would say it's the superior barefoot boat and the Centurion is the better slalom boat due to superior tracking.

I've got a tilt helm, hydraulic steering, a fuel injected Yamaha 225, and just reupholstered it from original...it's mint. As far as it's appearance, the main color is light blue with the charcoal/gray/black accents. Thankfully none of the purple/pink stripes so common in the 5 color gels back then.

@Wish, Centurions this old are worth next to nothing despite condition. Mine isn't worth selling. If s'one bought her for market value they would have a lot of boat for the dough.

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@6balls I've heard other people complain about the tracking of the Flightcraft, but my boat has awesome tracking. In fact it gets pulled around less through the course than most inboards I've driven. It think that's because my ski pole is rear mounted (only a couple of feet ahead of the outboard).

I like the look of the platforms on the back of the Centurion, as the look longer than the ones on my Flightcraft. Mine are only good for helping you climb into the boat, and not large enough to help put a ski on. Maybe I need to rig up an extension of some kind, as putting on my double boot ski is a pain.

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My first inboard was after I saw one at the show ski regionals in Oxbow Mass. It was a beautiful 1988 Ski Eliminator with 7-color gelcoat...very california style graphics. Never drove one or skied behind one, but I ordered one over the phone from the factory anyway. $15,500 brand new on a tandem Eagle trailer. It was delivered to my workplace 4 weeks later. Ran that for 6 years then bought a new '94 prostar.

My latest buy was a find on onlyinboards.com. My '93 Prostar 190 Limited Edition that I picked up in Arkansas after a 40+ hour drive round trip by myself. I am in the process of making her nicer before she hits the water in a few weeks. I cannot wait!

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In 2001 we had a lot of snowfall here in VT. In the spring I went to check on my ’88 MC Powerslot that had been stored in my parent’s barn, only to realize the shed roof off the barn had fallen down onto the bow of the boat. I found a replacement boat a ’98 Moomba Boomerang in FL, so a friend and I flew down and rented at Ryder truck to tow it back. We stopped for fuel and to switch drivers early one morning (2:30), some where in Georgia. We pulled out of the fuel station and waited for a green light to turn left so we could return to I95. After we cleared the intersection a car following us got hit by somebody running the light from the other direction. We stopped to ensure everybody was okay and the boat didn’t get hit. I left my business card with the Asian American gentleman who got hit, his English wasn’t very strong. Almost a year later I got a call from his attorney, apparently the guy who hit him blamed it on the guy who had followed us through the green light, fortunately we where easily able to straighten things out over the phone.

 

The ’98 Moomba was a great fun boat, which was later replaced by a ’99 MC SportStar, which my brother towed north from FL. He got a flat on the trailer on that trip, so along the way be bought a spare inroute. Unfortunately the loose wheel tipped over in the truck and locked it while he was getting fuel, locking the keys in the truck.

 

I am currently without a boat and hope to be looking for a CC 196, once our new house is complete.

 

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I haven't had a "normal" boat pickup story yet!

 

In 2002 I bought a 1990 Ski Nautique off of eBay, sight unseen. Red/Black color combo, nice tandem trailer. Problem was that the boat was in Phoenix and we live in Chicago. Drove out there with my Dad and my brother- had one stopover on the way there, then got there, test drove it, skied it (first time EVER driving an inboard and first time skiing one since first learning to ski), packed it up and drove it home in one straight shot- something like 32 hours straight. The leaf springs on the "classic" Cherokee were FLAT after that trip and the car was traded in shortly thereafter. We drove through the Ozarks in torrential, zero visibility rain- the kind where no matter how fast the wipers go, they can't keep up. I'll never forget how the old man just plowed on through that storm while I cowered in the passenger seat! He had to have some stones to keep driving through that. I was positive we wouldn't make it home. That boat went on to somebody CT after 3 great seasons, fully crossing the United States (Twice if you count the initial trip from the factory!).

 

In 2006 I purchased our 00 Ski Nautique, in January. Had a nice warm day for the test drive in Indianapolis but the sales rep locked his keys in the car on the boat ramp! He had to have his wife deliver another set. When I went to take the boat home it was snowing like crazy, causing some pretty white knucked driving all the way home to Chicago.

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So, back in 2004 when I purchased my 91 MasterCraft Prostar 190, I bought from a family friend and avid slalom skier, who bought it new and taught me to ski for the first time behind it back in late 91. Anyway, back to the story. I drive from Florida to West Virginia to get her after getting a call at 10:30 at night asking if I wanted the boat (duh!) as he had back/neck surgery and wanted to get rid of her to avoid the temptation. About 7:00 am in Virginia, I am on my way back from WV to FL with my new pride and joy when some guy heading the opposite direction decided to jump the median and come straight at me, I hit the brakes and pull the wheel as hard right as I felt safe (with a ditch about 3 feet to the right of the road). As he goes by me in my lane I was in 9 seconds prior, I look at my mirror as I watch my boat slam into the right guild pole and fender on the trailer and the wheel about to go into the ditch, I turn back left and get the trailer back straight. I pull off the next road so I can change my shorts, inspect my boat for damage (thank goodness there was none) and calm down a little. Luckily, the rest of the trip was completely uneventful except for a few people coming up to look at the boat at gas stations.
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@ Broussard....it's not fun ducking under it.....unless the wife is in the observers seat then my head always seems to go toward her lap! Seriously, it serves no purpose for me (I don't even have a net for it) and it's a head knocker when working around the engine. Looks cool though......you don't see many of those. It's hanging in the garage for now.
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