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Tips on Buying an Older Boat

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After 10 years without a boat, have decided to get back into the market for one. Kids are of the age they need to experience boating fun & safety like I did as a youngster (and better fishing).  Have decided an aluminum 17' or 18' deep vee is what we need to cover all the ways we will use a boat for years to come. The part I am struggling with is where is the best value. A new fish/ski setup is over $30k, out of my price range, and can't use it enough to justify anyways. On the other end are 20-25 year old boats/motors in a $4-10k range that still seems expensive for the age.. Plus, with buying aluminum you get into riveted vs all welded and how much wood is inside those older boats. 5-15 year old boats seems you might as well buy new or take a chance on an older/cheaper one. Should I even entertain the idea of a 20 year old carbuerated 2 stroke? When testing a boat on the water, what are some small things to look for that could mean big problems beyond the obvious? How much in scrap are these old boats worth, because that must play a role in prices on the low end. Looking at a 1995 18' Lowe that has had some hull work with a 115 2 stroke. Guy won't go below $8500. To me, that's more like a $4500 boat, but maybe I am just in fantasy land instead of the other way around. Any pointers or things to run fast from are appreciated.

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Yeah 8500.00 is way steep.   

I have a very clean 1989 18' Lund deep V with 90 Johnson and a 9.9 kicker that would be a good one for you to consider.   It will sell for 4k if I can ever get the titles straightened out.  I've had it in storage for going on 3 years waiting for a probate ordeal to finalize. 

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