Boat Purchase Help North-East

Discussion in 'Ask the Broker' started by Sea Ray Charlie, Dec 13, 2017.

  1. Sea Ray Charlie

    Sea Ray Charlie New Member SILVER Sponsor

    16
    Dec 13, 2017
    Not sure yet
    NA
    Hi,

    I am new to boat ownership and am considering buying a used boat for my family. I'm currently in the North-east and am wondering if anyone can recommend a good boat buyer's agent or surveyor or offer some advice on what I should be looking for other than a basic survey and sea trial.

    I currently have my heart set on a 2004 Sundancer 420 with the Cummins 6CTA Diesels located in the Boston area, but am unsure if the engines are coming due for overhaul since they are at about 1500 hours.

    Any help/guidance would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. NotHerDecision

    NotHerDecision Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 28, 2016
    Houston, Texas
    2001 Sea Ray 460 Sundancer
    2014 Seadoo 155 LTD
    2105 Seadoo 130 SE
    2013 Mercury Dinghy
    Cummins 6CTA 8.3L
    Hello! Welcome to Club Sea Ray! You have chosen a great boat and I’m sure others will chime in to help you find a broker. The 1500 hours are hardly due for a rebuild unles you have some other reason to believe something is wrong. Diesels can last many thousand hours with proper use and maintance. I would recommend you read the thread in these boats and the Cummins 6cta thread as well.
     
  3. Sea Ray Charlie

    Sea Ray Charlie New Member SILVER Sponsor

    16
    Dec 13, 2017
    Not sure yet
    NA
    Thanks so much for your reply! If you don't mind, do you have any advice on finding the thread for these boats? I did a search for the model, but nothing came back.

    Also, do you happen to know if a "Survey" would give me solid info on the condition of the engines and cooling systems or would I have to pay for a separate service to get a better picture?
     
  4. Jaybeaux

    Jaybeaux Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    184
    Jan 3, 2016
    Upper Potomac River
    420 Sundancer 2004
    Naught On Call
    Cummins 6CTA-8.3's with V-Drives
    9KW Onan Genset
    Sea Ray Charlie.....I have that same boat, same year. I'm going to assume that this boat is saltwater. If they cannot PROVE that the aftercoolers have been maintained, then I HIGHLY recommend that as a condition of sale the aftercoolers get looked at, including pulling the "element" and having an all around looksee. Just taking the endcaps off or peaking through the hole where the zincs go WILL NOT suffice, in my opinion.

    I asked for this during my purchase. Glad I did. Port aftercooler was fused even thought surveyor "peaked" and said they looked OK. The part is about $3,400.

    If the boat has the original raw water pumps on the mains, then I highly recommend changing them. The seals can fail which corrodes the shaft. If that shaft breaks at cruise speed, I'm told that you cannot shut the engine down fast enough. It will overheat, and then you have a big problem. Sherwood redesigned the pump. They are about $460. Seaboard Marine (https://www.sbmar.com) , Tony, is the God of Cummins Diesels. He has a mack-daddy water pump which runs about $750 each. There is a lot of good info on Tony's website. Learn it.

    Check for water in the hatch in the aft "stateroom". Water can get there from a few sources and cause moisture problems.

    Look into every hatch, nook and cranny. Go as far as to pour water down drains to check for leaks. (Ask me how I know that one!) It wouldn't be a bad idea to put gauges on the AC's given their age. A leaking AC can be charged up and run fine during a survey. Again, ask me how I know.

    If one set of batteries are new, then I highly recommend checking the battery charger for that bank. Ask me how I know.

    I spent my first full season of ownership getting to know our baby. I spent some time and money getting things the way I wanted them, and also establishing a "time=zero" point on the wear items: water pump impellers, serpentine belts.

    A nice project is the conversion of all lights in the cockpit and down below to LEDs. A fun and easy DIY project.

    During a survey, you will want to get oil samples from each engine and the generator. I use Blackstone Laboratories in Indiana. I believe each sample is $28.

    This list is by no means all inclusive. It's just what has come to mind this evening. Here is a link to the 420 thread. Read it! http://clubsearay.com/index.php?threads/420-da-thread.1273/

    Good luck,

    Jaybeaux
     
  5. Sea Ray Charlie

    Sea Ray Charlie New Member SILVER Sponsor

    16
    Dec 13, 2017
    Not sure yet
    NA
    Wow! Great info...thank you! So glad to be meeting such helpful folks here. I'll definitely heed your advice Jaybeaux.
     
  6. Sea Ray Charlie

    Sea Ray Charlie New Member SILVER Sponsor

    16
    Dec 13, 2017
    Not sure yet
    NA
    Jaybeaux, would you be kind enough to give me some direction on where to find the drains for pouring water into and where the water should come out...I know, probably reveals just how new I am to this...lol
     
  7. Alex F

    Alex F Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    These type of concerns are usually coming from folks moving up from gas boats and still in a process of learning about diesel applications. Unlike gas engines, diesel engine are made to last for THOUSANDS of hours. It's not uncommon to see 10K-15K or more hours in commercial applications. The key component is proper maintenance.

    Think of it this way. You're looking at 13 years old boat. At 1500 hrs that's an average of just above 100hrs per year (or per season in NE). This means to me that the boat was actually used at very reasonable rate and is what I'd expect to see in most cases for well used and most likely properly maintained (just because the owner is expecting to have her ready to go every weekend).

    On the other hand, say you find the same boat with only 500hrs. This means that she was simply a dock queen. Do you really think that such vessel was properly maintained if she was barely used? Possible......but I would worry more about a boat with low hours.

    IMO, 100-150hrs per season is a good average usage for a seasonal boat of such size. In most cases my assumption would be on optimistic side, meaning the owner loved using it every weekend and most likely cared for maintaining it.

    BTW, the Cummins 6CTAs are very reputable engines. Give them clean oil, clean water, clean fuel and they'll run forever.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
  8. Sea Ray Charlie

    Sea Ray Charlie New Member SILVER Sponsor

    16
    Dec 13, 2017
    Not sure yet
    NA
    Thanks Alex F! Funny you should mention what you did about average usage and what that translates to. I am also looking at the same boat a year older with only 500 hours on it for a higher asking price.....seems like a fair assumption that it is better to go with something that is actually being used and maintained. Been a car nut since I was a teenager, and I know that this holds true for cars as well...they are meant to be used and fair poorly if they just sit. Hopefully I'll get full maintenance records for the one with 1500 hrs on it.

    Thanks again for the info!
     
  9. NotHerDecision

    NotHerDecision Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 28, 2016
    Houston, Texas
    2001 Sea Ray 460 Sundancer
    2014 Seadoo 155 LTD
    2105 Seadoo 130 SE
    2013 Mercury Dinghy
    Cummins 6CTA 8.3L
    Definitely heed the advice and go to sbmar.com. Tony Athens has so many articles on this engine you will know a ton after spending time on that site.

    As far as your survey question... you will want a hill surveyor and an engine surveyor. Each will write you a report and give you very valuable information.

    We have a 460 of the same vintage, they are priced great in the market so you may want to have a look at them as well. I don’t think you will pay much of any more money and will have a boat that is effectively 50ft long.

    Keep the questions coming, you have a board full of boat enthusiasts on this site and some great people!
     
  10. Jaybeaux

    Jaybeaux Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    184
    Jan 3, 2016
    Upper Potomac River
    420 Sundancer 2004
    Naught On Call
    Cummins 6CTA-8.3's with V-Drives
    9KW Onan Genset
    As part of the survey, the surveyor will turn on the water, both hot and cold, in the forward shower. They will note that it is "operable". Good. What they don't/won't do, is open up the hatch in the forward part of the salon (just before the door to the forward stateroom), stand on their head, shine a flashlight through a 6" hole and visually inspect the shower drain connection while water is running. Mine has a small leak/drip, so we haven't used our shower. Not a big deal, as my shower is my storage room!
     
  11. Jaybeaux

    Jaybeaux Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    184
    Jan 3, 2016
    Upper Potomac River
    420 Sundancer 2004
    Naught On Call
    Cummins 6CTA-8.3's with V-Drives
    9KW Onan Genset
    Sea Ray Charlie....one other thing. I gather from your original post that you are new to boating. Is this your first boat?

    I've been in and around boat most of my life, but our 420 was my first boat. I graduated from Jet Skis. Some of the looks and the comments I got ranged from "are you crazy?" to "wow, nice entry level boat!"

    I employed a licensed Captain to train me. I had about 20 hours of work with him. Most of it was in and around the marina. Getting comfortable around other boats and unusual docking situations is imperative. Learning how your boat responds to your commands will make you look like a seasoned professional.

    As for crew: I have never taken my boat out by myself. I am not comfortable throwing lines or setting lines solo. I always have help for that! However, I NEVER ask for help maneuvering around the docks. People will want to reach out and "keep you from kissing a piling" or the like......DO NOT ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN. I tell people that my boat weighs in at 11.5 Tons dry. There is no way that they are going to be able to deflect that amount of mass moving less than 1 foot/second. Can't do it. So I tell them to just sit back and watch me, the dumbass, hit whatever it is that I'm going to hit because there is nothing they can do about it. After I write the check to repair any damages, I buy the beer too!

    Jaybeaux
     
  12. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Active Member

    892
    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1999 Sundancer 340
    454 Mercruiser's w/ V Drives, Westerbeke gen set
    That 420 is a dream boat for the likes of me. Someday...someday.

    I can't offer much except to say that you'll be miles ahead if you are okay with walking away during the survey/inspection process. Especially if this is the first boat you've looked at. I drove 1/3 of the way across the country to drive back empty handed when shopping for my current boat. I found my 340 two weeks later.

    A wise man once told me "they made more than one".
     
  13. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    That’s a fantastic boat for sure. A friend of mine has an 05 and I’m very jealous of the room he has in his bilge as compared to mine.
    The boat really moves along nicely with those motors too.
    The one thing that I learned this summer is that the original heads on those Cummins motors have problems with valve seats cracking and that Cummins has redesigned them a couple of times.
    I strongly recommend that you have a certified Cummins mechanic check the motors for you and if the heads haven’t been changed that you have him give you a quote for swapping them for the newest redesigned ones.
    The Cummins mechanic that diagnosed my friends cracked valve seat, and ultimately did the job for him, said they are great motors but if he were buying a boat with them in it he would factor replacement of the heads in to the purchase price and do it immediately.
    You’re better off having them done rather than taking the chance of experiencing a catastrophic failure down the road.
    My friend got lucky in that he just needed a new head and piston. The top of the piston got chewed up from the valve seat debris. Luckily his cylinder walls were okay and he didn’t have to re-sleeve it.
     
  14. Sea Ray Charlie

    Sea Ray Charlie New Member SILVER Sponsor

    16
    Dec 13, 2017
    Not sure yet
    NA
    Thanks everyone for the posts!...all very helpful. Although I have owned PWCs and been around and operated friend's boats, this will be my first to own and empty my pocket-book..lol. Excited and nervous is definitely the mantra in this process.

    Anyone have any recommendations on some checklist stuff for getting going?
    Insurance company? Boat US declined coverage due to my experience level.
    Reputable Hull & Engine Surveyor in the Boston Area?
    Boat Broker to represent the buyer in the Boston Area?
    Good Lenders?

    Thanks again for all of the help here!
     
  15. Alegria

    Alegria Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    Lancaster,PA Boat: -Sue Creek, MD
    2000 410 DA
    3126 CAT
    The two areas that will cost you the deal and money afterwards. JVM hit it, make sure you have a Cummins tech go over the engines. Also you mention Boat US declined coverage, unless you are paying for this entirely out of pocket you will need insurance coverage and your lack of experience will be noted by other carriers. I suspect you might need a documented training plan to get that coverage...

    Those two areas are key, I would ask about insurance now and get a path forward for coverage there first.

    Good Luck it is an awesome boat and year!!
     
  16. Sea Ray Charlie

    Sea Ray Charlie New Member SILVER Sponsor

    16
    Dec 13, 2017
    Not sure yet
    NA
    Thanks again! Wondering if my honesty is going to thwart my dream boat. Have a call into my local insurance agent to see what options they may provide. Anyone recommend a way to find a Cummins tech?
     
  17. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    Try NBOA and ask around about independent brokers who specialize in boat insurance in your area and let them shop around for you.
    NBOA was cheapest for my current boat, and I had my old boat insured through an independent broker for years.
    He just couldn’t beat NBOA on this boat when I bought it last year.
    He did help me out after Sandy though. My insurance increased substantially after that storm even though I had no damage and never made a claim. The company he had me with jacked up my premium because of the amount of claims in the area. I jumped up and down and the independent broker put me with a different company that was more reasonable.
    Take a power squadron or USCG Auxiliary course if you can. That will help a bit.
     
  18. Sea Ray Charlie

    Sea Ray Charlie New Member SILVER Sponsor

    16
    Dec 13, 2017
    Not sure yet
    NA
    NBOA here I come! lol
     
  19. Jaybeaux

    Jaybeaux Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    184
    Jan 3, 2016
    Upper Potomac River
    420 Sundancer 2004
    Naught On Call
    Cummins 6CTA-8.3's with V-Drives
    9KW Onan Genset
    BoatUS poo-pooed me too. I have coverage through NBOA. I have a defined layup from Dec 1-March 31, but it's winter anyway. Also, my insurance limits me to the Chesapeake Bay and it's tributaries. That's plenty of territory for me to get started.

    Checklist items:
    Spare Racors
    spare impellers (especially the generator)
    Lubricity additive for fuel (see Frank Webster's Fuel Management write up in Technical Articles section)
    collection of tools
    extra gallon of engine oil (Shell Rotella T4 15W40)
    extra gallon of engine coolant
    extra hydraulic fluid for trim tabs
    Oil absorbant pads/rags
    small 2 1/2 gallon shop vac (I love it)
    either a small bottle of bleach or a bottle of water tank sanitizer
    Dawn dish soap
    scrub brushes (long handle, short handle, hand held, and even an old toothbrush or two. They come in handy cleaning the sump in the mid cabin, and sometimes the strainers)
    volt meter
    miscellaneous electrical connectors
    extra, all stainless steel hose clamps of various sizes
    cleaning supplies

    I love the Shurhold bucket base....keeps a 5 gallon bucket from sliding all around the place. Costco here has bundles of micro-fiber towels that are nice.

    Jaybeaux
     
  20. Sea Ray Charlie

    Sea Ray Charlie New Member SILVER Sponsor

    16
    Dec 13, 2017
    Not sure yet
    NA
    Thanks again Jaybeaux for the info! Any idea what sellers typically include with the boat??? life-jackets, etc?
     

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