First time boat buying questions

Discussion in 'Newbie Lounge - NEW' started by SolidSnake, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. SolidSnake

    SolidSnake New Member

    Feb 16, 2017
    '04 Sundeck 240
    6.2 Merc Bravo III

    Okay so I am new to this site. I also read the entire 240 sundeck thread from start to finish. :smt038 Been hanging around a bit reading threads. So Hi yall! Forgot to post in the intro section but nervous about this...

    I am looking at my first boat purchase... I have been looking at prices and whatnot since last October. I found this one linked above. (it is also posted on boat trader and his own website) To me from my research, why is this boat priced so low with trailer and all the other add ons? It is also a 2006 with only 100 hours? I emailed the guy he said the boat is still avaliable. Then asked if it is the original motor, was it dry stored or slipped and if it had 1 owner also if the bow cushion and snap in carpet comes with.. My other questions when he answers me will be tables, maintenance, and of course can i sea trial/survey it. ( I know you should ALWAYS do that)

    I am just not sure if he will even go any lower on that price and if he will hold on to it for me if I gave like 1k deposit (that is refundable) for a week? I live in IL and I would have to drive 10 hours to go look at it and do the testing...

    I can type a novel here but I am sure I can reply to people with other questions...

    What do you guys think the almighty gods of the sea rays...Worth?

    It to me seems like a too good to be true type thing for being priced that low with those hours on a 10 year old boat.:huh:

    P.S. Please if you are in the market don't steal my find!!!! :smt043
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2017
  2. northern

    northern Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    West coast Vancouver to Alaska
    380 Aft Cabin 1989 GPS and Charts by Nobeltec
    Twin 454 strait shaft
    Rent different boats this summer and see what you like.
    There will always be boats for sale.
    What is your budget for a boat (Initial cost and operating cost) and what are you going to do with it.
    The purchase price is only part of the cost of boat ownership.
  3. Yochach!

    Yochach! Member SILVER Sponsor

    Aug 22, 2016
    1997 330 da
    Twin 7.4l mpi
    V drive
    Twin 7.4l mpi
    V drives
    I think that is a pretty good deal. When I was boat shopping last year I found myself looking at comps in similar condition and vintage to see where the market is like you are doing. Ultimately I purchased from a private seller and it was a very fair negotiation on both of our parts. Looks like this one is from a dealer and at least with my experience "being in automotive sales" and my personal experience purchasing my boat, the private sellers are much more inclined to negotiate. It never hurts to throw a lowball offer in and at least with a dealer you aren't offending anyone by doing so. If it were me I would maybe open him up with taking 20% off "$6k" and go from there and stick to a final number in your head that you wouldn't want to go over. Also don't be an "emotional" buyer meaning have a mean poker face no matter how much you like this boat don't let the dealer see that as stated above there are always others for sale.

    Oh and welcome to CSR!! make sure to put some pics up once you get her!.
  4. cigars01

    cigars01 Member

    Sep 1, 2016
    Lake Lanier,Cumming Ga
    1981 Searay 310 Vanguard Express Cruiser.
    Twin 454 Crusaders Direct Drive
    You can also check NADA to see if the price is in the correct ball park.
  5. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    The 24 Sundeck is a great boat so it will be hard to make a mistake here......if the sundeck style of boat fits your planned use and if its mechanical condition and service history are good.

    However, don't get fixated on price, and I don't know if this is a good or bad price because I haven't checked. Too many times a buyer that concentrates squeezing the last dead president out of a deal misses out on a great boat because they only saw $$ and didn't consider condition. On a 10 year old boat you frequently see a wide swing in values, as much as 40%.......the pristine low time boat with a maintenance history that looks and smells new will bring a premium while a barn stored winter home for mice and squirrels brings a lot less.

    You can use the NADA guide (usually a little low because it is a lenders guide) to bracket values. You can also use some of the national listing sites to bracket asking prices. You won't know what the boat you found will bring until you go look at it and evaluate its condition then step up and negotiate your best deal. Don't try to leverage the seller with "NADA says your price is high" because it conveys that you are just a price shopper or a tire kicker. You will find that part of negotiating is convincing the seller that you are a serious buyer looking to give his baby a new home and a statement like "I love your boat and want to buy it, but it is a little over my budget, can you help me a little on the price?" works a lot better than pitting the seller against a computer system he can't negotiate with.

    One caution on this particular boat, however, is the engine hours. With 111 hours on the hour meter and an 11 year old boat, the average is about 10 hours per year which is really low. That indicates to me that the boat has not been used much and may have been "red-shirted" a few summers along the way. The engine and outdrive will likely need to be fully serviced and checked by a Mercruiser mechanic before you write the big check.

    Good luck with it; she is a pretty one...........
  6. chuck1

    chuck1 Super Moderator TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 3, 2006
    North GA Mountains
    Looking For Next One
    Looking For Next One
    Agree with Frank on the Hours. Hint: When Frank speaks listen:)
  7. Creekwood

    Creekwood Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 26, 2009
    Oakville and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    '97 330 Sundancer, Raymarine C80 suite with radar, Mercury 310 Hypalon w/8hp Yammie 2stk
    2X 454 carbs w/ vDrives
    My biggest advice is to not get to "horny" about any particular boat. Don't let spring fever drive you to a bad decision or a rushed decision.

    Boats are way too easy to buy, and can be hard to sell. You have the cash and you have the leverage position. Don't give your leverage away.

    Also, most sellers are liars to some degree or another. Take EVERYTHING they say with a large grain of salt and scepticism. The vast majority of sellers will NOT tell you anything bad that you don't find yourself. Do not worry about offending the owner. Be a prick if you need to be. Ask to see all of the maintenance records. Any good boat owner keeps all maintenance records. If he says he does not keep them, he is either a complete liar, or an owner that did not maintain the boat. Either way, if there are no records, be very very careful. If he says that he had XYZ "completely rebuilt" two years ago, and he does not have all of the service records for what was done, you should assume that NOTHING was done.

    Don't cheap out - get a competent surveyor and a mechanic to inspect with you. They will not have "their horns on" if you know what I mean, and will be objective. Good luck. Shopping for a boat is a lot of fun.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
  8. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    I drove 12+ hours to walk away from a boat. Best worst road trip ever. Got some Yeigngling out of the deal though.

    There's nothing to lose by going and looking at it. Make a road trip out of it and enjoy the process!
  9. SolidSnake

    SolidSnake New Member

    Feb 16, 2017
    '04 Sundeck 240
    6.2 Merc Bravo III
    Yeah the hours were my main concern. It barely got any use. I plan to use the boat for basically everything you can do. Small time wake boarding, skiing, tubing with friends, taking the dog out and just trolling around on different lakes and rivers.

    I have been on boats many times in my life and always wanted one. Well Since I am the type of guy that does tons of research on something before I buy, I also like to future proof things in a way... I stumble upon the 240 sundeck. TONS of room, one of the best boats out there that you can buy. Longevity if maintained and just all around fun boat.

    Future proof to me meaning that sure i can get a smaller speed boat since it's me and my dog at this time.or a fishing boat.. But at least I will have the room for friends family and to be able to have a good boat for a few years. I love everything about the sun deck. The head compartment I think is nice for those crazy women who don't want to pee in the water or behind a tree. lol

    For me I would have to see if he wants a trial and survey (or allows one cuz if not See ya!) but also I would have to drive 10 hours south on a Friday AFTER work, and go look Saturday to be home on Sunday.. It's a lot of work for me but to find a good deal is what matters. I can't afford a new boat and So far my budget is around 30k which is like the max...

    My big concern was the low hours on an 11 year old boat but everything on it is clean. Cleaner than most boats I have seen and for the price it just seems odd due to other pricing out there. Boats with the 5.0 in it go for more WITHOUT a trailer. Since I have done tons of research, I know the basics. Just figured I would ask you all for your opinions.

    Haggling is gonna be a problem I know for sure since it is priced so low and the guy I am sure is not gonna wanna go down in price. I would like to pay 26k for it but doubt he would go that low so I was thinking maybe 28 or EVEN 29 at most but ask him if he can sell it for a price to where the taxes and fees come out to 29. I am just not sure. Just got to talk to the guy.

    Waiting for his response to my second email then I will go from there..

    Sorry this is long I am not good at explaining things properly without writing a lot :p
  10. SolidSnake

    SolidSnake New Member

    Feb 16, 2017
    '04 Sundeck 240
    6.2 Merc Bravo III
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
  11. Stingrayaxe

    Stingrayaxe Member

    Oct 29, 2015
    Crystal Lake
    2009 SeaRay 205 Sport
    2008 GMC Envoy
    5.0 Merc Alpha 1
    I don't think it's a dent. It looks like a gutter to let water run off the swim platform. There is another picture showing a matching "dent" on the other side. 'Glass doesn't dent without some splintering. Price seems reasonable compared to others on Boattrader. Too bad there aren't many to look at in Illinois right I watch to snow coming down!
  12. tdgard

    tdgard Member

    Jun 4, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    05-270 Sundeck
    496 w/Bravo III
    It is a water channel. You can see them clearly on mine.

  13. jonsm114

    jonsm114 Member

    Sep 4, 2015
    Defiance, Mo
    1996 400 Express Cruiser
    7.4 MPI Mercruisers
    after price settles, write in contract that a survey is required. Any negatives discovered are negotiable and should you decide to walk, all earnest money returned. You will be out only cost of the survey.

    Once you get the boat, service everything. I would do complete tune up, plugs, wires, the works. Impeller, filters, oil, engine and drive service.

    Have fun...
  14. SolidSnake

    SolidSnake New Member

    Feb 16, 2017
    '04 Sundeck 240
    6.2 Merc Bravo III
    That doesn't seem like a water channel... I can't find it on another boat that I have looked at... I understand the splinter part. Just seems odd.. Yeah not on the swim platform, right next to the controller.


    I also plan on servicing everything once I bring it back to IL. I am in Aurora and no snow here :)

    What else sucks is gonna be trying to get him to hold it with a deposit. Of course refundable hopefully and he don't screw me but I would have to drive on Friday after work at 5PM drive 10 hours there then try and get a surveyor and sea trial if he allows it on that Saturday then drive back if I buy it and be home Sunday late... Its gonna be a pain.

    He also has only answered 1 email from me yesterday when I asked if it was still available. He answered YES! so I asked a couple more questions in another email and he has not answered. I sent another one today stating "sorry was tired yesterday and just read now that it comes with the tables." and still no answer.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
  15. tdgard

    tdgard Member

    Jun 4, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    05-270 Sundeck
    496 w/Bravo III
    Bizarre. Looked right over that the first time.
  16. tdgard

    tdgard Member

    Jun 4, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    05-270 Sundeck
    496 w/Bravo III
    You should get your mind around this taking more than one weekend. Come down & look it over, get the survey, and then go home. Digest what you learned then make the decision. Maybe he will knock a little off to get you to come back down instead of having to send your check back to you.
  17. juggernaut1

    juggernaut1 Active Member

    Apr 19, 2015
    Perth, Western Australia
    2006 38 Sundancer
    8.1S / ZF 63V Drives
    Looks like a speaker mount pad. I would expect one on the opposite side as well. I see these in my arch on my boat.
  18. SolidSnake

    SolidSnake New Member

    Feb 16, 2017
    '04 Sundeck 240
    6.2 Merc Bravo III
    I agree to this completely... It is just hard to drive 10 hours down and back then have to go back again... But I do agree with you to basically second think it... Like looking at a car or house or really anything... Go look then go home and think and if it was meant to be it will still be there.. If it gets sold oh well keep looking.

    Reply to jugger, I didn't really see one on the other side. I dunno...
  19. MrHappy

    MrHappy Active Member

    Mar 31, 2011
    1991 Sea Ray 225BR
    There's thousands of boats for sale in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan,Indiana. Probably a stupid question, have looked on Craigslist(any large Great Lake city) or

    It it took me a year to find my third boat. Of course I had a boat to use when I was looking. It shoudn't be hard to find an anal boat owner with a beautiful boat just for your family.
  20. Woody

    Woody Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Nov 20, 2007
    N. Wisconsin/Lk Superior
    2005 420DA
    Cummins 6CTA8.3
    Your wondering about what you think is a low price. You’re hoping it’s a really good boat for a steal of a deal. Yet you’re talking of haggling for another few thousand bucks.

    Why stress yourself before you’ve even made verbal contact with the seller. For all you know the boats junk…. or maybe it’s so nice you’d be willing to pay more than he’s asking just to get it.

    -get on the phone, talk to the seller
    -if the call goes well get down there and look at the boat
    -take your checkbook with you and be prepared to make your offer and hand over some earnest money
    -offer contingent on survey and sea trial
    -If they accept your offer, set up survey and sea trial

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