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Thread: About to finally buy a boat... what should I be aware of?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Anderson (Hunts Allendale County)
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    Default About to finally buy a boat... what should I be aware of?

    Hey everyone,

    I posted several months ago on here about advice for my first boat, and I got a lot of great responses. I always enjoy posting here because of all of the great info people have. Anyways, I've been really saving up money and am able to buy a boat sooner than I thought. My max budget, as in every penny in my savings, is $4500, and the boat I'm looking at buying, which is a friends of a friends, is $3800 (it's a 16 foot war eagle with a 25 Yamaha). I have read great things about both war eagles and yamahas 25 2 stroke outboards, and this one looks to be in good shape, so I am contemplating buying it. Anyways, do you guys think that is too close to my budget, considering registration, fees, etc.? What advice can you give to an almost 22 year old who is buying his first boat? Approximately how much should I expect registration to be each year, and what other hidden fees/taxes can I expect that do not initially come to mind? Do people normally buy insurance on jon boats? For all you experienced boat owners, what other costs (aside from fuel) should I be aware of? I am not sure what exactly to expect and don't want to go in over my head. I appreciate any help guys.

    (Also, I am not sure where exactly I should have posted this, but the boat will be primarily used for duck hunting so that's why I posed it here. Apologies if it should have been posted somewhere else)

  2. #2

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    tax and fee's should run you about $125.00. you will also get 2 property tax notices 1 for boat and 1 for motor, that wont be till end of year.
    I don't think you are to close to your budget if it comes with the life jackets and safety gear and remember boat means Break Out Another Thousand.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Greenville
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    BEst of luck on your purchase. I too was a bit apprehensive on buying my first boat...TAke comfort in the fact that (as with many things) buying a used rig is almost always a better value than buying new if you do your homework.
    A wise man once said there are three thing that depreciate with the speed of light
    and they all begin with the letter "m"....Mobilehomes, Motorboats and MoPar....and never believe the stated capacity is sufficient when purchasing a boat, a tent or a gunsafe ....you'll always find you need more room
    Last edited by RonSC; 05-25-2017 at 01:58 PM.

  4. #4
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    Remember life jackets and a good anchor with plenty of chain and rope.

    Will this be used in salt or fresh water? There are a LOT of hidden cost with a boat.
    Capt Rick Hiott
    Charleston,SC

  5. #5
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    Piedmont of SC
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    I purchased a 2014 G3 1954 with a 25 yammy. No regrets so far. My boat will take a larger motor but the 25hp pushed me as fast as I want to go and it reaches plane quick.


    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
    "Knowledge is true opinion." ~ Plato

    "We shall never achieve harmony with land, any more than we shall achieve absolute justice or liberty for people. In these higher aspirations, the important thing is not to achieve but to strive. "-Aldo Leopold

  6. #6
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    Two thing about a used aluminum boat can be hull leaks and motor integrity. See if you can get the guy to go with you and put it in the water and run her. That will prove the motor and possibly indicate if she leaks. The trailer is many times forgotten and can eat up a lot of money but you can do most yourself. Wheel bearings, tires, rollers, bunks and bunk carpet are potential things but as I said you can fix them yourself. Don't forget the spare tire. Batteries, wiring, and switches could be another area of concern if it has wiring which I expect it has at least lights and maybe a trolling motor. You can fix that yourself also.

    Some say a boat is a hole in the water you pour money into. I started out about your age with a used 25 hp Johnson outboard, a 14 foot polar craft, with a used junk trailer but it got me in the water. Haven't been without a boat since. At one time I had three. I have found one thing about boats. If you use them year round, keeping them maintained you have fewer problems than with a boat you only use occasionally. With a seldom used boat it seem something is broke every time you got on the water.
    "Any man who thinks he can be happy and Prosperous by letting the US Government Officials take care of him, better take a closer look at the American Indian."
    Henry Ford

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capt Rick Hiott View Post
    Remember life jackets and a good anchor with plenty of chain and rope.

    Will this be used in salt or fresh water? There are a LOT of hidden cost with a boat.
    It will only be used in freshwater. I believe life jackets and anchor come with the boat. All that I will need (or want) right away is a light bar on the front

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman View Post
    Two thing about a used aluminum boat can be hull leaks and motor integrity. See if you can get the guy to go with you and put it in the water and run her. That will prove the motor and possibly indicate if she leaks. The trailer is many times forgotten and can eat up a lot of money but you can do most yourself. Wheel bearings, tires, rollers, bunks and bunk carpet are potential things but as I said you can fix them yourself. Don't forget the spare tire. Batteries, wiring, and switches could be another area of concern if it has wiring which I expect it has at least lights and maybe a trolling motor. You can fix that yourself also.

    Some say a boat is a hole in the water you pour money into. I started out about your age with a used 25 hp Johnson outboard, a 14 foot polar craft, with a used junk trailer but it got me in the water. Haven't been without a boat since. At one time I had three. I have found one thing about boats. If you use them year round, keeping them maintained you have fewer problems than with a boat you only use occasionally. With a seldom used boat it seem something is broke every time you got on the water.
    I will definitely try to see it on the water before purchasing. So I should stay away from all of the boats on Craigslist that things like "had boat for 5 years, garage kept, only used a couple of times"? At first low hours seems attractive, but it defitenly makes sense that they might be more susceptible to problems.

  9. #9
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    Get him to take you out in it. Before loading back on the trailer give it a good inspection. Check for rusty hardware. Not a bit of surface rust, but deep heavy rust. Grab each tire, and shake them. See how much play is in the hub. Excess play could indicate worn bearings, or maybe just a loose castle nut. Does it have a trolling motor? If so deploy it, and make sure it works. Do you fish? If you do look at where will you store rods, and tackle. Does it have room? Smaller boats get small quick when you pile in the gear needed for whatever activity.
    If you can budget insurance I'd advise getting it. The cost should be pretty low.
    Don't quote me on that.

  10. #10
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    ,,,,,,trust me, two of the biggest things on a boat that are overlooked are the life jackets and anchor.
    A good anchor and a lot of rope is a VERY important safety device.
    Last edited by Capt Rick Hiott; 05-26-2017 at 09:14 PM.
    Capt Rick Hiott
    Charleston,SC

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