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Risks of buying a used bass boat W/O outboard?

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Hello, I recent found-what seems like- a good deal on a 1982 bass tracker II($1500), which currently is equipped with a trolling motor but no outboard. I am curious what the risks are of buying a used boat without an outboard. According to the seller, the fuel tank, wiring, and lines are good. I have a very limited knowledge about boats so any information will be incredibly helpful. 

Thanks 

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Just means you dont have to deal with someone else problem.  I was and still am looking for something like that to swimbait in small ponds with.  A 24v ultrex will get that little boat crusing and depending on your state laws you may be able to stay below the required registration point if you run TM only.  Each state is different and you should read your local laws.

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9 hours ago, Angry John said:

Just means you dont have to deal with someone else problem.  I was and still am looking for something like that to swimbait in small ponds with.  A 24v ultrex will get that little boat crusing and depending on your state laws you may be able to stay below the required registration point if you run TM only.  Each state is different and you should read your local laws.

Yeah your right about checking local laws. In VA you have to register for any propulsion beside human. 

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That's the kind of boat I've been looking for. I wish I could find a deal like that around here. 

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Do you plan on putting a motor on it?  Are the fuel lines ethanol resistant newer lines?  Is there any residual fuel in tank? Does it have motor controls (will limit the brand of motor)? Steering cables in good shape?  Don't forget the trailer......tires/bearings/lights.  

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9 minutes ago, TOXIC said:

Do you plan on putting a motor on it?  Are the fuel lines ethanol resistant newer lines?  Is there any residual fuel in tank? Does it have motor controls (will limit the brand of motor)? Steering cables in good shape?  Don't forget the trailer......tires/bearings/lights.  

Yes, sorry I should have included that, ideally I would like to add an outboard to the boat. I am not sure of the answers to the other questions you asked. The trailer is in good condition according to him. The boat is about 6 hours away from me so I have yet to have a chance to check it out. I will ask the seller those questions you have prompted, thanks!  

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Don't forget to check the livewell pumps (if so equipped) and bilge pump.  Check for spongy or soft flooring which could indicate a leak somewhere under the waterline.  I know it's tin but make sure the transom is solid.  Check for missing rivets or broken welds especially below the waterline.  Look at the bottom of the boat for any deep gouges or damage.  There's no way to verify if the gauges work without a motor and a water test so that's a crap shoot.  For pricing assume they don't.  

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Do you already have an outboard? Buying a used outboard is more of a gamble when you can't lake test it. New outboards are crazy expensive plus sounds like you'll need someone to rig it. 

 

A new Mercury 40hp is $4-5k plus rigging and controls. You could have $8k in a 82 tracker.

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The boat is 36 years old and looks it! What could go wrong? Everything. How many owners has this boat had?

Check the hull closely for do it yourself leak repairs and cracking around the transom.

Leaks are common with old riveted aluminum boats. 

The trolling motor is probably worn out.

The carpet need to be replaced and any wood replaced. If you are a good handy man with the skills to refurbish everything, wiring, console, steering, bilge and livewell pumps, everything you would do if it had a OB engine, including new trailer wiring, tires, bearings. Just factor the cost into your budget.

Finding a used OB in good running condition without a boat is also challenging. Aviod any OB that has been in salt water.

There are lots of used Bass Trackers on the market.

Tom

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1 hour ago, TOXIC said:

Don't forget to check the livewell pumps (if so equipped) and bilge pump.  Check for spongy or soft flooring which could indicate a leak somewhere under the waterline.  I know it's tin but make sure the transom is solid.  Check for missing rivets or broken welds especially below the waterline.  Look at the bottom of the boat for any deep gouges or damage.  There's no way to verify if the gauges work without a motor and a water test so that's a crap shoot.  For pricing assume they don't.  

Okay thank you, all solid advice! Exactly what I need. He told me their was one leak on the bottom of the boat that was patched when he bought it and does not leak. 

 

1 hour ago, Crappiebasser said:

Do you already have an outboard? Buying a used outboard is more of a gamble when you can't lake test it. New outboards are crazy expensive plus sounds like you'll need someone to rig it. 

 

A new Mercury 40hp is $4-5k plus rigging and controls. You could have $8k in a 82 tracker.

Unfortunately, I do not currently have an OB. That is good to know though. I’ve found a couple of older boats on CL with outboards that work and I figured I could maybe talk the seller into selling me just the OB 

46 minutes ago, WRB said:

The boat is 36 years old and looks it! What could go wrong? Everything. How many owners has this boat had?

Check the hull closely for do it yourself leak repairs and cracking around the transom.

Leaks are common with old riveted aluminum boats. 

The trolling motor is probably worn out.

The carpet need to be replaced and any wood replaced. If you are a good handy man with the skills to refurbish everything, wiring, console, steering, bilge and livewell pumps, everything you would do if it had a OB engine, including new trailer wiring, tires, bearings. Just factor the cost into your budget.

Finding a used OB in good running condition without a boat is also challenging. Aviod any OB that has been in salt water.

There are lots of used Bass Trackers on the market.

Tom

Thank you for all the great advice, much appreciated! There is one leak that the owner says was patched when he purchased the boat(and does not leak) I believe he is the 3rd owner of this boat. The trolling motor is supposedly in good working condition. I am not the greatest handy man but I do have a good friend that is and I’m sure would be willing to help(I would compensate him). Do you think those things absolutely NEED to be replaced or is that something I could worry about more into the future? Eventually I would love to restore the whole thing to “new” 

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It's aluminum so most anything wrong would be easily repaired, except for a couple.  Make sure the steering turns free and easy, bad steering cables can set you back a couple hundreds dollars.  From the picture it looks like there is a motor control arm sticking up.  If so, does it match the motor you plan to install, also make sure it moves back and forth freely. 

The next step is the biggie, has it been drilled for a motor?  If so, take you about a 2" long 1/2" bolt with nut and a stack of washers, and a couple of wrenches to fit them.  Put the bolt through one of the holes and tighten the nut down on it fairly tight, using the washers on each side so the threads don't bottom out.  If the bolt pull down into the transom more than the thickness of one washer, it's most likely rotted and will need to be replaced.  On some Aluminums that's not big deal, on others, it's a major deal and can cost you more than the cost of the boat to repair.

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Being as old as it is, the first thing I'd do before adding a motor is replace the fuel lines.  There's no way they're ethanol safe.

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I dont think that is a $1500 set-up.

If your motor budget is anywhere near $1500 Id look at another option. Not sure your area but on my CL quite a number of nicer $3000-3500 boat/motor/trailer for sale.

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You can buy a 17/52 used jon boat and fabricate it to that exact boat for less than 1500. No way an 82 tracker /w a patched leak is worth that. 

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They only go back to 1883 and I wouldn't have believed it but NADA says $1500 on the dot.  So a 1982 would not be far off.

 

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$4,395
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1982 Single 16 Feet
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