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AJ B

Tracker 175 TF pre-owned inspection

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Hello everyone.  I need a little help. I found a 2017 175 TF locally.  It was purchased in August 2016 and is now for sale. I think the price is decent (about 13k). All original with cover and 60 Merc. Checked it out and I don't see a mark on it. Before I lay down the dough I asked the current owner if we could put it in the water to make sure everything is operational (and it doesn't sink). She doesn't know anything about boats (it was her late husband's boat), nor does she know how to operate one. Anyway, other than starting the motor and checking the bilge/pumps, what else do you recommend I look at closely?  It has sat for a bit, and I haven't owned a boat for about 15 years, so as they say, 'you don't know the things that you don't know.'

 I have read other posts here on the topic of things to check, but I was specifically wondering if there is anything specific to the Tracker I should be concerned about, and to freshen the topic. 
Thanks in advance!

 

On a side note, the warranty is transferable. I inquired with Tracker and I would be required to submit the boat to a dealer for inspection (1-200$) and then apply for the warranty transfer with Tracker (another 100$). The local dealer (Bass Pro Shops) has a 3 week waiting period/backlog. No appointments, drop off the boat and wait 3 weeks. Plus, the transfer has to take place within 30 days of my purchase. Ugh.  It would be nice if I could just get them to inspect the boat before I purchase it, but no dice. I only mention this in case anyone is wondering about the process. There wasn't much info on the 'net about it. 

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WOW !! that's a heck of a deal, I would jump on that !!!!!!

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With a boat like that, many of the important things that have to be checked out on an older boat are less important in my opinion.  I rarely believe in buying a boat without test driving it. However that is a brand new boat. It is unlikely you would have a blown motor, or anything seriously wrong with it.

So here is what I would do.  First go check with your local Merc dealer (does not have to be the Bass Pro ). Find out from the part/service dept if that motor has the ability to hook up directly to a garden hose using an adapter or do you need to use the old fashioned ear muffs.  Some of the new ones use an adapter and screw right in on the engine. Be sure to explain you do not want to just flush the motor, you want to start and run the motor.

 

I would ask her to allow you to charge up the batteries and hook it up to a garden hose. Check that it starts easily.   Make sure the steering moves smoothly.  The trolling motor can be tested right on the driveway, just be careful that you lift it up enough the prop is clear, 

Put in the light poles front and back. Turn them on and make sure things like the bilge pump and livewell pumps can be heard buzzing if you momentarily turn them on.

Lastly hook up to the trailer and test the trailer lights.  Make sure all of the lights work.

 

If all that is cool I would ask her to go take a short boat ride.  If she does not feel comfortable I would probably just purchase it with a bank check. That would give you the ability to stop payment if something was found to be a major problem once I test drove it.  I would leave with it and go test run it immediately.

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Thank you that is a good idea to do the precheck in the driveway. She doesn't have the owners manual. It's been 15 years since I owned a boat like that so that should help get the rust off before going to the lake. I'll pick up some earmuffs. I should probably drain an ounce or so from the lower unit before the start to make sure no contamination. I can't imagine anything would be wrong under its current warranty but who knows. The gas may be 3-4 months old. I'll top off the tank to get some fresh sruff in there. 

I better refresh my memory on boat launching...

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It is like falling off a bicycle LOL  Seriously i know you want to protect yourself but as we both said it is practically new. Compression testing and dealer checkout is a primary thing for me under the usual conditions, but we are practically talking a factory left over!

I liked the idea of doing much of the check out on the driveway, it shows you what works and also shows her that you are more than serious, while being respectful of her situation at the same time. She knows nothing about boats, but also fears being ripped off, that is only natural.

 

I would add say 5 gallons of fresh fuel treated with StarTron fuel additive. Today's fuel is not like the fuel you were using when you last owned a boat. Always add the Star Tron fuel treatment in the amount the bottle tells you.  It will take less than an ounce for 5 gallons but I would add a little more. We do not know if he used any.

 

I hope all goes well, she will have one less thing to deal with during this difficult time.  You will end up with a nice boat at a good price. That is a win win for both of you. 

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Ok thanks I'll pick up a bottle of that. I'll also call my insurance company to make sure the towing is covered. I'm going to float it on Friday and update. Hope my little Kia Sorento is up to the task. 

I'm assuming it uses a 2 inch ball?

Thanks again. 

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Perhaps inquire as to which dealer or where the original owner purchased & or had the boat serviced. 

Then a quick check through their service records could show if there was warranty work or perhaps 'other' service needed / performed.

As a new platform, one would not expect much but it can't hurt to look.  Buyer beware.

Also, that hull is rated for 75 hp - don't know if the 60hp on a 1,000 lb plus hull is going to perform like you hope. 

Another reason why a test ride before the purchase may be desirable.   

Good Luck

A-Jay

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Most of the 175 TFs you will find on a Bass Pro Shops lot come packaged with that same 60 hp 4 stroke engine.

 

Tracker Marine specs that boat and that engine combo to go 35 to 37 mph.  

 

The same boat optioned up to the 75 hp would have cost $1600 more and is rated at a max speed of 40 to 41 mph.  That is a max of about 5 mph.  I doubt that is an issue.

 

Good luck on the sea trial. It should be an easy boat to tow with and yes I believe all of the Trackers use a 2 inch ball.  You could call over to the Tracker dealer and ask ahead of time.  

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Thanks A-Jay. I did that. No service records or warranty claims. That is good advice. 

As far as the motor--it's way more than the last one I had (40 2s) on a similar size boat so I'm sure I won't be surprised or disappointed. I'll find out on Friday I hope. 

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$13k for a brand new 2017 Tracker is pretty dang good!  You got some great advice on here and like what was already mentioned, since its basically brand new its unlikely to have any major problems.

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Thanks for all the help fellas. I wasn't able to put it in the water due to wind and rain at lake Meade here in Vegas. But I put it thru the ringer in her driveway. Started up in 2 seconds with good water stream out the back. Lower unit oil was pure. I added 12 gallons of fuel and the Star Tron. Got a spare tire for the trailer and all the fluids to change from bass pro plus hub grease (Checked the hub temps after a 14 mile tow (84 degrees). My Kia Sorento does just fine with it. Works harder on the hill tho. 

 

It was towed all the way from Texas but the tires look pretty new (radials on trackers now thank goodness). There's not a scratch or stain on it anywhere. Even the carpet smells new. Paperwork shows it was bought 6 months ago for 19k with tax and the poor guy died 4 months ago--so sad. I paid 13 for it including the custom cover she got for the towing from Texas.  She didn't have any serious buyers. 

 

Now I just have to deal with the warranty transfer and the DMV etc but I'm very happy and glad the angst is over (as long as she floats of course). 

IMG_1327.JPG

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I am positive she will do more than float!  With the money you saved you can afford to add a few options if you wish.

If you go to upgrade electronics check out the Lowrance Elite TI units. Go as big in the rear as you can.The Elite Ti are almost as capable as the HDS but can not network to power poles, or like the 5i Motor Guide trolling motors. they also can not link to the new engines to display engine info. To me those things are not that important, but as far as the gps and fish finder imaging they are reaaly very similar. The difference in price is well over $1000, so to me getting a unit that works as good in the gps/ mapping, and has regular 2d, down and side imaging is really terrific

 

That boat is really pretty. You will be amazed how easy that boat will fish and run. MY wife and I have owned 11 boats in 42 years, some fiberglass and some aluminum/  We currently own a very similar boat to that one. Here is a picture of our Lowe Stinger 170.  It has been on tidal water here in  and lakes in MD, PA. TN, KY, VA and NC.  It gets around!

DSCN0017.thumb.JPG.68abd741e3c29adb0f6892b99954f650.JPG 

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That looks great. Yes I've been looking at the lowrance website and I'm familiar. I'm a gadget guy so it's just a matter of time. 

Im not a huge fan of the seat posts though. Unlike my previous tracker from years ago this one has those 2 3/8 inch click posts instead of the regular peg. Minor thing tho. Can't wait to go fishing again. 

 

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I mentioned them because if money grew on trees I would have 2 of the new 16 inchers, BUT it does not!  IN 43 years my wife and I have fished out of our 11 boats including 2 big fiberglass.   Those boats have had lots of different 5  and now 7 inch unit.  7 inch units are fine for standard 2d and down imaging.  Never try to use a 5 inch unit or for side imaging,

 

 Most units show a minimum of 15 feet, so try understanding what you are looking at with 15 feet being displayed on a 5 inch diagonal screen. There is no resolution.  Last April my wife and I vacationed on Dale Hollow Lake and we hired the same great guide I always hire when we go there.  He had a pair of HDS8's installed over the winter.  He also attended several days of training out west somewhere.  I was highly impressed.  Our fish were located in main lake grass beds , scattered out on main lake flats in 15 to 25 feet of water.  They had been on the spawning beds just 2 days earlier.

He could turn the side imaging to left only and look 30 feet to the left, in the grass,  We would quietly putt along till he saw several fish, set a waypoint on them, turn around and come back in closer with the trolling motor.  Many times he would point out 4 fish and we would catch at least 3 of them.  I did not have that option so all during the week I caught fish but not as efficiently. I had to fish my way down along those entire flats. I currently have an lite 7 which is now called a Hook 7. It is located at the console. I also have a Humminbird 788 at the front. It is going to be replaced by the Elite 7 and I want a new lite 9 TI at the console.  That should allow me to fish as efficiently as we did on Bobby's boat.  I also get to use the same mapping chips so that is good.  The max price ( depends on options) for a HDS 9 is $2500, the max price on an Elite 9 TI is $1000.  That is a big difference just to get options I can not use.

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That certainly brings a new aspect to fishing. The side sonar seems to be a big hit. I remember when it first became available. Sure seems like a nice setup and that would probably be helpful here in lake Meade, lake Mohave and the Colorado river. I've never fished these waters. My experience is in Texas and South Carolina. Unfortunately the striped bass that was introduced in lake Meade years ago have decimated the Largemouth and trout populations here from what I've heard.  

I intend to get something along the lines of an Elite. This boat just has the 4x on it which I was going to mount on the bow. First I'll go fishing with it on the helm before upgrading just to see what I don't see. Looks like the elite requires the 300$ transducer for all its capability. 

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Long thread so i might have missed a few things.  Nice deal on the boat.

 

If you're firing up the engine out of the water always use muffs- the garden hose attachment doesn't do much for your water pump.

 

If you haven't brought it by the local Tracker yet make sure you ask them to plug into the motor and print out your hours so you know how many are on the motor. (Merc recommends the first oil change after the 10 HR break-in period). after that either once annually or every 100 engine hours.

 

You can change your own oil without voiding the warranty (recommended to use merc or quicksilver brand 10w-30). 

If you take the cowl off their should be a decal on the top of the engine stating oil capacity, If i recall its about 3.2 qts.

 

I would be interested to know if he only had the standard 3 year warranty or upgraded to the 3+2. Most likely the Service guys wont be able to tell you the paperwork end of things, You'll need to speak to the tracker GSM or business assistant at the store.

 

from the factory that boat comes stock with a Paddle, anchor and front nav light, fire extinguisher, extra keys for ignition & compartment. It should have (3) pedestal seats along with an extra pedestal. 

 

The rope ratchet cover is not stock and had to be purchased for an extra amount which is nice for you (they cost about $545)

 

Most things to look for on these boats you probably wont come across with it being so new. keep an eye out when you walk across the deck and check for any sagging in the plywood. 

 

If you do decide to run your hook4 upfront its a pretty easy install. the boat already has power wires run for a FF behind the panel your trolling motor plugs into. you'll just have to run a transducer down the TM.

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Thanks OSOK. That is good info. Yep everything is in there that should be.  The deck is solid. I used the muffs in her driveway--the hose attachment on the motor just doesn't give me enough feedback. I got the up and down lube and grease for the hubs, and a spare trailer tire/wheel. I'm going to do a full service on it--I doubt it was done due to the circumstances. There was a good old-timer working at BPS that spent a lot of time with me going over the maintenance on these boats/engines (my last boat was old) and some other tips. He was very helpful, I'm glad I can do the service myself. He told me where to go to get some things cheaper.  I ordered a spare prop and wrench online.  I'll find out about the warranty when I finally get in touch with the Tracker folks to transfer the warranties. BPS gave me the name and number to call but I haven't heard back.  I was hoping the FF power would be there in front--thanks. It's a nice boat for sure and certainly the best I ever had (started with a Jon 15hp). Could use a cup holder at the helm tho :-)  I'm very glad my front drive Sorento has no problem with it on the roads and ramps.  I'm still considering installing trailer brakes just for safety, the axel is equipped for them. 

 

I put it on windy lake Meade today for a few hours all speeds, smooth and rough water. Rides way better than my early 90s tracker, and dry too. No leaks and that engine is quiet, and fast enough for me for sure.  I'm going to fish out of it as-is for a little while.  The trolling motor does the job, but I had one of the first minn Kota autopilots when they came out a long time ago so now I'm spoiled. I'm thinking a terrova 24v would serve me well but that can wait until I have some fishing time in it. 

 

Thanks again.

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Glad you're enjoying the boat.

 

one thing to keep in mind with the terrova (or any electric steer TM's) is that because of the way the motor stows and deploys almost the entire shaft slides through the mount so you wont be able to run a transducer cable down the shaft like you traditionally would.

 

Now you can circumvent that by simply buying one with the transducer built into the head unit for a higher cost. the downside is that most of the built in transducers are limited to your traditional 2d sonar. If you're looking to add side imaging or something similar to the Bow you're going to have to run a transducer capable of those frequencies. Which in most cases means using a cable steer unit. (fortrexx, maxxum, etc.) Or you could go with the new ultrex which is a hybrid that combines the precision of cable steer but still allows for the GPS spotlock and remote control features. 

 

*Edit* you also won't hear back from Tracker corporate on the warranty info until sometime in the week. They're closed on the weekends.

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Very nice boat.  My '08 Pro Team 170 has been beat to snot and is still going strong.  My father and I have put a ridiculous number of hrs on it over the years.  She'll be good to you for a long time!

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Hi I just wanted to complete this thread and thank you for your advice and helping me out. I had the boat out twice, once to fish, and it is solid. Motor runs great, oil smells mostly new but I think it's break-in oil so I'll change that soon.  I got a new prop (same one) and put it on so now I have a spare in the boat (the original one had a very slight ding, no dent or bend on two blades but I wanted a spare anyway). Got a spare tire and rack mounted. Inspected the hub bearings and greased. Ordered the motor manual from Mercury (original seller couldn't find any of the manuals but she ordered me the tracker one which is about useless from a technical standpoint). 

The on board charger didn't light up last night but cleaning and reconnecting the terminals fixed that. I'm headed to autozone to get a fuse kit to put in my on board tool kit (deep sockets for hubs, spare and prop, soft case, and extendable ratchet, etc, all about $50; thank you Harbor Freight). 

Second trip out (first time fishing), for the first time in my life, I forgot to put in the you know what...

In the old days I used to put the plug in before I left the house, but I found out here in Nevada you can't be on the road with the plug in because of stowaway creatures, so there went my habit pattern. Sure enough, after I unloaded the boat in the lake, docked it, and parked the trailer, I got back to the dock to hear my son say "what's all this?"  Water was just seeping onto the mid deck.  I got the bilge on and was able to reach my arm into the water to insert the plug. D@$&it !  Thank goodness the parking area was right there at the ramp. I thought you would get a kick out of that story. I know my son did. 

Finally, the boat catches fish. Nice Smallmouth on Lake Mohave. Hopefully the pictures make it here. Thanks again. 

 

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Nicely Done

Best of Luck

Congrats

A-Jay

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I am so glad to hear all went well. It is funny there are things I LOVED about my two fiberglass rocket ships, but I really catch as many fish out of my aluminum Lowe.  It has travelled from MD to PA, NC, VA, TN and KY,  Along the way it has allowed  us to fish and enjoy ourselves. It is affordable to run and that is the most important thing right now.  As for the plug, well ai have made that the first step to prepping the motor. I also have two spare plugs in two compartments just in case!. 

 

Enjoy the boat and thanks for doing the most important duty a father can do, spend quality time with your son!  These memories last forever!

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On 4/2/2017 at 0:31 PM, OneShotOneKill said:

one thing to keep in mind with the terrova (or any electric steer TM's) is that because of the way the motor stows and deploys almost the entire shaft slides through the mount so you wont be able to run a transducer cable down the shaft like you traditionally would.

There is a slot on Terrovas that allow you to run the cable down the shaft.

 

It requires some disassembly of the motor's head, and probably a helper (though I've done it by myself) but it works fine.

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Ear muffs for a test aren't the greatest , a. It or will perform different when under a load , especially gimbal bearing 

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