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Hey everybody, I have the chance to buy a 1989 ranger 390v as my first boat and was just wondering if it's worth the 3000$ they guy is asking. It has a johnson 150gt and comes with a tandem axel trailer. It runs fine and has new carpet.

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Seems like a lot for an almost 30 year old boat.  But, if it's in good shape, and gives you years of good times, then it's worth it.

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What kind of electronics are on it. If the depth finders are old, you may have to spend a lot replacing them.  Has the current owner been using it, or has it been sitting for a while? Did you try offering say $2,500?

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I have an early '80s no name boat with the same age Mercury 50. I have a hard time finding anyone to work on the motor for maintenance or or other repair. You might want to call around and see if there are marine mechanics in your area that will work on this era. In fact it would be a good idea to have a marine mechanic go over the engine and boat before you buy it. Fewer surprises this way. 

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I have some newer garmin depth finders that my uncle gave me and will help me install. The guy who's selling  it  is running the boat right now in tournaments. I nada guided the boat and its listed between $2,700 to $4,000. I was gonna offer $2,750 but I'm not sure how firm he is on the number. Are there any boats that you guys would recommend as a starter boat that's not terribly expensive? 

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As long as the motor runs well and has no issues (you should get it checked out because anybody half wit can polish a turd for a short while), there's no soft spots on the floor, transom/hull cracks it's a fair price. Older Rangers hold their value pretty well. 

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First that was one of Rangers best hulls.  His price is in line and so is your offer if it is in good condition. That motor was well liked. A friend of mine has had 3 of the 300 series boats over the years.  Another friend and member on here Kris just paid about that for his 300 series Ranger and it is about the same year.  Just remember BASS ran those 300 series boats all over this country,  Good Luck I think you will be happy with it.

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great boat,had one till it got stolen. had a 200 on it. the 150 will run just great on that hull.great riding boat,pretty good price if everything checks out.good luck.

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Price depends a lot on condition, but it also doesn't take much to be worth $3,000 anymore. The 300 series Rangers are good hulls. The only down side is the console is slightly low, but aside from that I had no other complaints with mine, and my dad had no complaints with his either. 

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I'm not saying not to buy it as I haven't seen it. However, in 2003 I bought a 1987 Ranger 363V from a local seller as my first boat. Here is what happened:

  • Batteries that he swore were in perfect condition didn't charge.
  • Charger he sent with it didn't work. (Got a brand new, 3-bank charger from the manufacturer for around $40 on a $300 item. I think this was Dual Pro and they had fantastic customer service!)
  • Foot controller popped off on an electric-only lake. My father in law had to hold it down while I got us back to the dock. Windy day, too.
  • All electronics failed within three months. Cockpit controls, fish finders, etc...
  • Trailer tire came off while driving. Turns out the seller had the wrong size tires on it (am I going to verify the tires before buying a boat/trailer? No.). This resulted in a two hour drive home using only 3 lug nuts on the spare as the studs on the one that came off were all bent. Plus I'm lucky I didn't kill any other drivers with the tire rolling down the street uncontrolled at 50 mph.
  • Boat was not registered properly. Now this was partially my fault as I didn't know to follow through as he'd lost the title and gave me POA to get a new one.
  • Engine would only start after 20 minutes of haggling with it.
  • Took forever to get up on a plane. 
  • Neither livewell worked after the electronics went out.
  • He didn't tell me the boat had a plug...which is really my own dumb fault and was quite embarrassing at the boat ramp when it started sinking.

There were a number of other, minor issues with the boat that aren't worth mentioning.

So the thing had a bad electrical system, however it was a first boat and I had no idea how to fix this stuff. It was trial and error. Especially with the electric, which I never actually fixed. 

If I was to give advice to a first time buyer I would say to buy as new as possible as there is likely less that will be wrong with it. Buy from a dealer and not a local. A dealer, while maybe not perfect, does have a reputation to uphold. Check the little things like maintenance records. 

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On 8/11/2016 at 4:46 PM, Romaniello2993 said:

Hey everybody, I have the chance to buy a 1989 ranger 390v as my first boat and was just wondering if it's worth the 3000$ they guy is asking. It has a johnson 150gt and comes with a tandem axel trailer. It runs fine and has new carpet.

 

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I have purchased a 1987 Ranger 360V for my use in tidal water from a dealer in Harrisburg. PA, Lakeside Marine.  They had it on their website for a touch over $3000.  I have been dealing with them for several years and got it for less than that.  It needs some TLC, replace the carpet and do some work to the seat. I haven't started some of the work that it needs because I am working on finishing my aluminum boat.

You said that this person is still using it for tournaments.  Being an ex-tournament guy it is a good chance that this boat has been well maintained.  I don't know of any self=respecting guy, tournament person or not, that would take the chance on getting stranded out on the water anywhere.  The Johnson Fast Strike, Johnson GT 150 (this is on my Ranger) and the Evinrude matching models are solid performers.  Mounted on the Ranger 300 Series people used to call them Ranger's Hot Rods.

I think that sounds like a pretty good deal to me.  You are putting on electronics and will it need other things, probably.  It is a 1989, the boat is 27 years old?  I know you have been sent an article that has lots of info that you can use to make this decision.  Good luck with your choice.

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Looks like it sat out quite a bit as the fiberglass is oxidized. That's why it has that chalky white look to it. It could use a good cleaning and some fiberglass restoration work, but if it's a solid boat aside from that, it wouldn't be the worst purchase. 

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Check out Bryan's posts on his website about polishing up his Ranger R70. It turned out amazing so it brought more money when he sold it.  A lot of his old posts will give you a how to for your project. Kris of course can give you tips also since he is doing it all to his Ranger as well.

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Here's the thing, if the clear gel is damaged through UV, all the way through to color, no polishing, wet sanding, wax, compound, etc. will bring it back.  Only fresh gel will do it, and it's expensive.  Learned from experience. ;)

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Same as any older boat the most important thing is the motor, check compression and check lower unit fluid, as well as making sure she's pumping a solid stream of water. Unless the boat was run onto a pier that hull should still be solid.

$3000 doesn't seem too bad if the motor runs well. I can't say for sure but being a 1989 you're probably going to have to throw some money into it day one to get it where you want it. Hopefully that Gel can still be saved, clean it good with some degreaser and then hit it with a wool buffing pad and some course compound and hopefully you can get some shine back into her.

I scooped up a 1989 360V about a month ago for $2500 and had to put about $600 into it before I even took it on the water between new steering cables, new battery, new trailer bunks and carpet and a used 24v trolling motor. The gel cleaned up surprisingly well with a decent buff to put some shine on it for the rest of this year before I do it more thorough this winter.

Just really try to look over the boat hard before you pull the trigger on buying it, I was dumb and forgot to check the steering and didn't notice the throttle cable on the hotfoot was bad either. Overall love the boat though, and since it's already a 1989 you don't really have to worry about it depreciating in value too much, as long as the motor still runs well you should be able to get that $3000 back in a few years if not more if you work on it.

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3 hours ago, Romaniello2993 said:

I don't know if this is a stupid question or not, but is cleaning it up strictly an aesthetic thing or will cleaning it up help keep the fiberglass in good shape and keep it from degrading?

I'd say Both -  but the method & products that are used also play a role here.

After 27 years, depending on the above and the boats storage history, there may be various level of degradation throughout.

Hard to undo time.

A-Jay

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I recently bought a 1991 375v for $4500, and I'm quite happy with it.  Generally speaking, its well-used, but in good shape.  On mine, the motor had a recent rebuild (verified), which was the main selling point for me.  Batteries only have a couple seasons on them and still run strong.  The hull is solid - it just needs a few minor gel-coat repairs. The electronics are outdated, but in good working order.  The carpet on mine is worn and needs replaced, but I'm not too concerned about aesthetics.

I guess, if it were up to me, hull and motor condition would account for 90% of the value of the machine.  The rest of it is either an accessory that can be fairly easily removed and replaced or simply aesthetic.  If you can, have a specialist look it over and verify motor and hull condition.  Other than that, its like buying anything else used, you're kinda rolling the dice one way or another.

The one good thing about old Rangers - they were built pretty solid.  As long as it wasn't wrecked or run into rocks, there's not likely to be anything wrong with it.

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