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Pre-purchase advice

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ccawthorn1 View Drop Down
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    Posted: March-12-2019 at 2:16pm
Hi all, I am new to CCF and forum.
I am considering the purchase of a '78 Correct Craft Mustang 17 with a Ford 302 - going to see it in a few hours ... the current owner has owned for 2 years. He replaced the interior, gauges and steering wheel and from the pics it all looks very nice. The exterior seems to be in great shape as well. He indicated that the cutless bearing is new. He said he has not anything to the motor other than change the oil as needed, and redid the carburetor.
This would be my first boat and I've been looking for something under $10k that I can just have fun with on the central fl chain of lakes with my kids wakeboarding, tubing, etc. The owner is asking $5k.
I am not really mechanically inclined so I would rely on a local mechanic for servicing, etc.

My main concerns are reliability - possibly getting in over my head with something that I can't afford to fix or update, and access to parts in the future if needed.   
A local mechanic told me to make the motor has a serial #, to test run it at 4600 rpm for at least 10 minutes, to check the oil and tran fluids for milkyness, and to make sure the temp stays under 160.
Assuming all this checks out today ...
Anyone been in the same boat before, or have any advice on making a wise choice?
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sport1999 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sport1999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March-12-2019 at 2:42pm
honestly since you are new to boating I would be all over a nice 93-99 ski nautique or even sport nautique with a focus on finding a gt40 engine. These older ski boats can be a lot of work with aging interior, carpet, stringers, etc. these guys make it look easy. Going cheap doesn't really save you money. Buy something that is well maintained first and foremost. Good luck and you can definitely find something to fit your budget. Be patient.
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ccawthorn1 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ccawthorn1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March-12-2019 at 3:21pm
Thank you for insights, I greatly appreciate it!
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camron18 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote camron18 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March-12-2019 at 4:15pm
Do some research on signs of rot in the stringers. if the previous owners have not replaced the stringers before, chances are you will be needing to do them soon. stringers are not a cheap or easy job.

what i would look for is: make sure the motor mount bolts are tight and dont free spin when you try to tighten them, tap along the stringers with something solid like a socket or pocket knife. it should sound solid, if any spots seem to sound dead the stringers are rotten. also soft spots in the floor ect.

if he has redone the stringers and floor in the past make sure he has documented work and he didn't just put a band aid on it for a year
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SNobsessed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March-12-2019 at 4:33pm
Since you are new to boats, I would take it to a marine shop for evaluation.     It might seem like extra money to spend, but in the long run you will be ahead.     It is 41 years old - it could be a money pit.
“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March-12-2019 at 4:33pm
Cyrus,
Welcome to CCfan.

Cameron is correct that you need to be concerned about the stringers. Here's a video by Tim That will give you a good idea on checking the condition without being invasive. I never trust going by how well the engine lags hold into the wood. It's too localized plus, they can even be rusted in giving you the impression the wood is good.


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Keep it original, Pete
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Orlando76 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March-12-2019 at 4:55pm
That’s not the Mustang the guys been struggling to sell on Rose Ave is it? When you say you’re trying to keep it under $10k, sounds like you have a $10k budget. I too would look for something a bit newer if you’re not mechanically inclined and familiar with boats. The difference between older boats and 90’s+ is rot. The rest is the same. There’s a few ok 90’s boats around right now in the $8k range. The GT40 is a great motor but honestly being 20+ years old, the electronics and moisture is getting to them so I would stick with a carburetor IMHO.
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Duane in Indy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Duane in Indy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March-12-2019 at 5:09pm
Originally posted by ccawthorn1 ccawthorn1 wrote:

A local mechanic told me to make the motor has a serial #, to test run it at 4600 rpm for at least 10 minutes, to check the oil and tran fluids for milkyness, and to make sure the temp stays under 160   Anyone been in the same boat before, or have any advice on making a wise choice?


Not the most sound advise in MY opinion.   I own a '78 Mustang.   My engine has had substantial work done to it for performance gains. My boat is also lighter than production models of that year.    4600rpm may be a bit much for a first timer.   Get to know your boat and what it likes and does not like before taking it to that speed for your first fast ride.   Not sure what he means by serial # of the motor. Probably won't find one. Good luck, but be aware that boat could be a real handful till you learn it.    Best to take someone knowledgeable with you for appraisal
Keep it as original as YOU want it
        1978 Mustang (modified)
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MrMcD View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MrMcD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March-12-2019 at 11:26pm
I have owned tournament Ski boats since 1982 and would never run one at 4,600 RPM for 10 minutes. Maybe 1 minute and then I back off. I am not willing to put that much strain on an engine for that long. Some might but I would not.
I think 1993 or 1994 was the year Ski Nautique eliminated wood from the stringers and replaced with fiberglass stringers.   These newer boats will never have rot, they ride better, turn better, are a little safer and have a better wake with more storage. I owned a 78 and now a 95, it was a very good upgrade.
If you happen to prefer the style of the older boat I understand that completely and would support your purchase.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Duane in Indy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March-13-2019 at 7:43am
Originally posted by MrMcD MrMcD wrote:

   These newer boats will never have rot, they ride better, turn better, are a little safer and have a better wake with more storage.
If you happen to prefer the style of the older boat I understand that completely and would support your purchase.


Also bear in mind that the '78 Stang is a flat bottom boat
So did you buy it or not??????????





Keep it as original as YOU want it
        1978 Mustang (modified)
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ccawthorn1 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ccawthorn1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March-13-2019 at 10:22am
I checked out the boat yesterday. Owner took us out for about a 30 minute ride. The boat is in very nice shape and seemed to run very well. We checked the fluids and they seemed fine. I am arranging for a mechanic to go back with me to do an inspection.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jonny Quest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 5:45pm
For about the same money (maybe up to $12,000) you could get a 1993+ Ski Nautique. In 1993, Correct Craft went to an all-composite boat -- eliminating wood and wood rot. It is very common for me to see good value non-wood boats in the $10,000 to $12,000 range.

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