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Help with buying my first bass boat

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I was wondering if anyone could give some tips on buying a bass boat.  New vs. Used, what to look out for, motor inspection,etc. I was planning on spending around $15000. I found a 2000 procraft superpro 210 with a 225 opti for what I was looking to spend. What should I be looking for when I go look at this boat? Thanks Jeremy

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Well, I certainly don't have a ton of experience, especially in regards to the motor, but as a whole the big thing when checking out a used boat is just like a used car.  You can go to NADA and get the book value prices just like blue book for cars.  

As far as the boat itself, check it out thoroughly.  Make sure everything works as it is supposed to before you drive off with it.  Make sure the motor cranks, trolling motor/electrical systems work.  Check out the condition of the console and dials, see what condition the upholstrey and carpet is in.  You can also check out the decks, and the hinges to any storage areas to make sure everything feels nice and sturdy.  If it is fiberglass you'd probably want to look over the hull really well for any kind of damage.  Everything from cracking gelcoat on the paint job to more serious issues like big chips or cracks in the hull.

I think the big thing would just be making sure everything works.  I've had a couple friends that very foolishly just assumed the trolling motor and other items worked, only to get out on the lake and find that the motor needed some work, or the trolling motor wiring was bad or shorted out.

As far as new/used it is all in your tastes and what you are trying to get out of it.  I bought my boat brand new for the price you quoted.  But, my boat is an aluminum and isn't anything fancy.  So it is all about what you want and what you can afford.  I now know that I could have been a bit smarter and gone with something gently used and loved it every bit as much as the new boat I ended up with.

Just shop around, gather opinions, and see what feels right for you.

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I have posted this before so here goes.

If it is a used boat:

Make sure the title to boat and motor are clear.

Do not under any circumstances purchase an underpowered boat. check the rating plate and buy one that has a motor on it that matches the HP rating or close to it.

Do not buy it unless you have an on the water run

Keep it in the water a while to make sure there are no leaks

Check all electronics

Check all switches and pumps(Bilge, Livewell, etc).

Walk the floor checking for weak spots

Look the transom over good at all points for water to enter(Drain, livewell pumping openings, around the bolt holes drilled to mount the motor) Any dark spots around these will be the first signs of rot. Grab the bottom of the lowerunit and lift up hard on it to see if the motor gives. If you are able to lift the motor up any at all walk away. The transom is weak and to repair it correctly will run about $4,000.00.

If it is a fiberglas boat do not inspect it during a rain

Check the steering to make sure it is easy to turn and has no play

Get under the boat and look for repaired areas

Run a compression check on motor. All cylinders should be within a few pounds of each other. If one cylinder checks a lot lower than the rest walk away. I would advise a leakdown test on the cylinders also. To repair a V-6 Mercury the cost in Houston runs $600.00 a hole.

Examine the trailer checking the wiring, axles, hubs, and any corner that was originally welded

Request all service records and list of any other work done

Pay someone that is a licensed mechanic or inspector to go with you or be allowed to take the boat to a shop of your choice and pay them to do an inspection of the boat

for the $15,000.00 you are willing to spend you can buy a dadgum nice rig

Good hunting and good luck

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If the Opti is a 2000 MAKE SURE IT HAS BEEN UPGRADED. That was the absoulute worst year for the Optimax. I have an 2001 and It blew fist sized holes through the block when the wristpins and connecting rods let go. Mercury actually knew there were problems with those years and replaced my powerhead with a new not remanufactured 2005 and upgraded the computer. The older ones were not called POPTIMAX for nuthin. Good luck!

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