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Posted: 7/3/2012 5:30:02 AM EDT
I couldn't find a place in the General section (could just be lazy) but I trust you people's valid opinions more than GD's "in" comments:

Anyone have any real knowledge of Glastron boats? 1986 model? Concerns I should look for in purchasing a used boat, albeit one from a reputable dealer (i.e. not a private seller)?
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 5:51:00 AM EDT
Coastal_Shredder may now.

He's a boat dude.... for which I will resent him for life....
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 6:09:45 AM EDT
Here is a fairly basic list of things to check on:



Here's a start:
1 On land: Sea strainers, through-hulls, anodes
2 On land: Outdrives exterior condition, transom assemblies, hydraulics, props, skegs
3 On land: Hull & transom soundings, swim platform, hull-deck joint, gel coat, bottom paint
4 On land: Full camper canvas, snaps, studs, isinglass, zippers, stitching in good condition both deployed and stowed. Boots for storage position.
5 On land: Seating surfaces, cushions, carpets, vinyl, headliner, wall coverings in cockpit and cabin
6 On land: Stanchions, anchor locker, bow pulpit, exterior hatches, windshields, ports, side vent windows, bright work, teak, ladders, companionways, storage lockers, etc.
7 On land: Full engine room & locker inspection: engine mounts, wiring, tanks, hoses, bilge areas, water leaks, scuppers & drainage, etc.
8 Negotiable: Compression test & leak-down testing both engines
9 Sea trial: Battery fluid and voltage levels, mounting & wiring, proper operation of alternator and charger on shore power
10 Sea trial: Gas, waste, & water tanks - mounts, fills, vents, pump out fittings, hoses, clamps
11 Sea trial: Galley microwave (shore power), fridge (dual voltage), sink, and stove (shore power) operation, galley cabinets & surfaces, doors & drawer operation
12 Sea trial: Stereo operation
13 Sea trial: Air conditioning & heat operation, water flow, cold air, noise level, odors
14 Sea trial: Head toilet, sink, shower operation & drainage
15 Sea trial: All cabin panel switches, fuses & wiring, etc. Pull panel to inspect.
16 Sea trial: All 12v cabin, cockpit, navigation \ hull lights, switches, and AC plugs (on shore power). Verify GFCI operation.
17 Sea trial: Electronics operation (depth, radar, compass, spotlight, synch, sniffer, VHF, etc)
18 Sea trial: Blowers (2) & bilge pumps (2)
19 Sea trial: Start up both motors (cold and hot), check gauge operation and readings, check for leaks & noises
20 Sea trial: Acceleration and performance. Check planing speed with\without trim tabs and drive trim.
21 Sea trial: I/O operation, trim & trailer switch operation
22 Sea trial: Steering & throttle operation
23 Sea trial: Top speed & max RPM
24 Sea trial: Hull stability, turning radius, skating\planing\plowing\back down issues?
25 Sea trial: Trim tab operation, fluid level, hoses & fittings



Original thread link here: http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=509835

Not all of those will apply to that boat. Glastrons are bowriders, and that's about as much as I know of em. There's not a whole lot about boats that you would do differently than cars in a certain respect; its "easy" to make it all clean and shiny on the outside, but poking your head down a hatch and looking around belowdecks can tell a lot more about the boat's history and how well it was maintained. Wiring, thru-hull fittings, etc are good places to check for corrosion.

I'm not familiar with their construction, but assuming it's some kind of sandwiched fiberglass or something. In that case, in an ideal setting, you would want to get a hull weight on it and compare to "fresh from the factory" hull weight by driving it over a truck scale or something, then subtract engine, fuel/water tank volumes, and trailer weight. If there's still some "phantom" weight left over there, you could be looking at water in the hull, which can be anywhere from painful to next to impossible to remove.

Where is it? If it's further inland, maybe you'll be lucky and it's never seen salt in its life... not that salt is SUCH a terrible thing, it just is with most boat owners who don't take care of theirs, run it once or twice a year then bitch and complain when it doesn't start right up, needs stuff replaced, costs all kinds of money, etc.

That saying about the "two best days in a boat owner's life" being "the day you buy it and the day you sell it" screams "I didn't take care of it and it bit me in the ass!" That's what comes to mind now. Working right now so I'll leave it there for now.
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 6:14:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/3/2012 7:08:54 AM EDT by treedawg]
I'm not familiar with '86 Glastron boats but a 26 year old boat is going to be problematic to begin with....

You need to examine the transom for cracks in the gel coat and signs of separation especially if it's an outboard.

You also need to pay close attention to the stringers which can rot or otherwise get damaged over time from use.

You also need to research that particular model and make sure the hull doesn't have a reputation of becoming "water logged" over time.

This is only hitting the high spots and the best I can do behind a keyboard.

HTH

TD

Link Posted: 7/3/2012 6:18:38 AM EDT
Originally Posted By treedawg:
I'm not familiar with '86 Glastron boats but a 26 year old boat is going to be problematic to begin with....

You need to examine the transom for cracks in the gel coat and signs of separation especially if it's an outboard.

You also need to pay close attention to the stringers which can rot or otherwise get damaged over time from use.

You also need to research that particular model and make sure the hull doesn't have a reputation of becoming "water logged" over time.

This is only hitting the high spots and the best I can do do from behind a keyboard.

HTH

TD



Yes. Also look for blistering of the gelcoat. It will look like bubbling under it.
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 6:50:57 AM EDT
There has never been a better time to buy a boat. Every time I go to craigslist I can find a bunch of $3K-$5K boats that would be a blast to own. All boats will have issues whether 5 years old or 25 years old. It may be worth paying $200 or whatever to an expert to look it over but I wouldn't hesitate to buy one if you have somewhere to park it.  Heres a few I found the other day:


http://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/boa/3095423604.html

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/wat/boa/3025470839.html

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/boa/3065606699.html

My neighbor and I are putting together a poor mans yacht club where we buy cheap boats and we each have use of them
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 7:20:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/3/2012 7:26:36 AM EDT by jmarkma]
Originally Posted By treedawg:
I'm not familiar with '86 Glastron boats but a 26 year old boat is going to be problematic to begin with....

You need to examine the transom for cracks in the gel coat and signs of separation especially if it's an outboard.

You also need to pay close attention to the stringers which can rot or otherwise get damaged over time from use.

You also need to research that particular model and make sure the hull doesn't have a reputation of becoming "water logged" over time.

This is only hitting the high spots and the best I can do behind a keyboard.

HTH

TD



These are the most important points, hulls are going to start deteriorating on a 26yo boat unless it was kept in a garage most of it's life even then it'll have issues. If someone didn't diligently keep any through hull fitting sealed it would be very easy for widespread rot to have started. Hopefully the boat hasn't spent extended periods in the water. Coming from MD transom rot is a common issue with boats left in the water and poorly maintained.

At the very least I'd change the water pump and fuel filters along with the lower unit oil no mater what the previous owner says unless he has service records. I'd change the pump a minimum of every two years though you could stretch it to 3 if it is kept out of the heat and isn't used often.

Please give us some details on the engine as well.

My dad talked with a USCG employee who does the testing on hulls to determine their payloads. His main thought on bass boats was about their sparkly paint, it's mainly there to aid the divers in finding the boat.
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 9:48:02 AM EDT
years ago i owned  a glastron gt150 and loved it.   plenty of glastrons in s.e.ga..   also what the others said....ultraviolet rays are the enemy of fiberglas.

on a non-boat safety issue..if you have a fiberglas ladder of any kind and it is faded then throw it away.   if you get way off the ground it could snap on you.
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 10:06:00 AM EDT
Its in Augusta and right now I'm kind of limited to how much inspection I can. I have no problem with putting money down then inspecting so that might be an option should it not work out.

I'll ask about storage for its lifetime but I imagine from the look it does not look tainted with a water line nor salt (already asked about that so I'll find out soon). Sun exposure? Very likely so is there a fix? More importantly, a fix that I'd want to invest in after spending a few thousand on this thing?

As for rot, should I look from the inside out? Would I be able to find it that way? The carpentry needs replaced (seller admits that) and with that I can't see under it from photos to see what lies beneath. My last boat was a center console and had no carpentry so I wonder if I can't just get by without it (meaning rip out the carpet). Any thoughts on that?

Link Posted: 7/3/2012 10:17:23 AM EDT
Originally Posted By kudzu630:
Its in Augusta and right now I'm kind of limited to how much inspection I can. I have no problem with putting money down then inspecting so that might be an option should it not work out.

I'll ask about storage for its lifetime but I imagine from the look it does not look tainted with a water line nor salt (already asked about that so I'll find out soon). Sun exposure? Very likely so is there a fix? More importantly, a fix that I'd want to invest in after spending a few thousand on this thing?

As for rot, should I look from the inside out? Would I be able to find it that way? The carpentry needs replaced (seller admits that) and with that I can't see under it from photos to see what lies beneath. My last boat was a center console and had no carpentry so I wonder if I can't just get by without it (meaning rip out the carpet). Any thoughts on that?



Chalk can indicate to a certain degree if/when/how often it is protected against the sun with waxing. Real simple - just find a non-painted section of exposed gelcoat and rub your hand on it. If it comes up looking like you just wiped a chalkboard, it's had a good amount of sun and no protection. That's a rough method, though - it could have been immaculately maintained for years and only in the past year or two allowed to go... and chalky gelcoat isn't a deal-killer, either. Just needs a little extra time and work to make it glassy and wet looking again.
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 11:02:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/3/2012 2:16:39 PM EDT by treedawg]
Check for rot from the inside out. Run away fast if you can spot rot or soft spots from the exterior of the hull.

There should be access panels to examine the inside of the hull for rot.

Pay close attention to the low areas where water may have accumulated for an extended period of time.

A good flash light and a mirror on a stick will come in handy.

TD
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 1:35:50 PM EDT
Hey, if the place is open on Sundays I can swing by and check it out, only reason I say Sundays, is a buddy of mine that knows his boats is off Sundays and Mondays.
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 2:07:33 PM EDT
I've owned several boats over the years. All of them have been at least 10 or more years old.  They will nickle and dime you to death if you can't work on them yourself.  

I've had to tow several boats back to the ramp this year.  Seems like the biggest problem has been bad gas and faulty carburators.  Damn ethanol kills the seals and gunks up when it sits unused.    Make sure you religiously use some sort of marine fuel stabilizer.    Over heating is another problem I see a lot of as well.

Will they let you test drive the boat?   Boats show there true colors when they are on the water.  A boat that cranks and runs in the driveway may run like crap under load on the lake.

You know the saying . . ." The two happiest days of a boat owners life are. .   the day you buy it and the day you sell it!

Good luck!
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 3:17:08 PM EDT
From experience, definitely check the transom. I just bought a boat from a friend and i have skied behind this boat a long time ago. He told me all about the issues with it. Which i pretty much already knew most of them. It does have a bad transom. I've got a patch job on it for now and this winter me and some friends are going to tear into and repair it all.

What i did was just prop the engine up on the support rod and trim it down slowly and noticed the flex in the transom. As i took a bolt out to mount my patch job, i stuck my finger in the bolt hole and yep, it was fairly hollow. lol. Wood is definitely rotten.

I've bought a service manual for the engine off of ebay and that was the best investment i've made so far. Done all the engine work myself, with some help at times. It's fairly simple if you are mechanically inclined. I was worried about touching an outboard but it's not been too bad so far.

The only reason i went ahead and bought this boat was the fact that it is kind of sentimental to me since i learned to ski behind it. It's an 89 ProCraft, but the motor blew and he bought a new 98 Mariner 115. So the motor was in fairly good shape and low hours. Plus, i got a good deal on it. lol. I don't have a lump sum of money to buy a better boat, so i will spend a little at a time and get it right over the winter.

I will "Be Out Another Thousand" over the winter for sure. lmao.
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 5:58:45 PM EDT
older boats can be worth it. I just bought an 85 bass boat and it was worth every penny I paid for it. Check for soft spots in floors and decks. Trim the motor all the way up and push down hard on the lower unit, watch the transom for any movement. If it flexes, walk away. Inspect all the thru-hull fittings for leaks etc.. I took mine to a mechanic prior to purchase since a test ride wasnt available. They will do compression check and make sure the motor is good. Cost 60 bucks. If you do get it, change water pump, oil, possibly drain fuel tank if its been sitting a while. Crawl under the boat and look at the bottom. Any gouges in the bottom near the transom or front can show its been beaten to hell and back. check steering cables cause they are expensive. iboats has a lot of info on the subjest. Good luck!
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 7:32:14 PM EDT
Refurbed many. Check the decking, specially by the bilge. Everything else can be fixed but deck rot is the next best thing to junk. Get a out drive water feed and run test the motor. If its a in/out check the bilge for oil. Check the throttle controls. Sticking or hard to move = bad/replace. If it has plane controls check for operation. Check lights for shorts or deteriorating wiring. Check the hull for bubbles, cracks or signs its failing or has been in a wreck.  Check the title make sure its not hot.
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 8:09:56 PM EDT
Brandon, I dropped you a FB message with the details to the guy there I've been talking to.

Appreciate the help and input, keep it coming. I'll post details as I learn them if this goes further down the road.
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