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What to look for on a inspection

Posted: Thu May 18, 2017 4:30 pm
by legendlc
Going to look at a 37 double cabin tomorrow. It is on the hard and probably does not have access to Power(not certain) Have never been on a Marinette so could i have some specifics on what to look for/check. I know a proper survey should be completed but as a initial inspection just looking for some pointers here. Thanks

Re: What to look for on a inspection

Posted: Thu May 18, 2017 6:29 pm
by TinChips
Here are a couple of things (not exhaustive)

- Look around the stanchions for corrosion - this is caused by the rubber gasket under the stanchion trapping water - fixable via sanding and paint
- Look at the window track. Is it aluminum or plastic? if plastic it is probably pretty beat up, cracked, and uv cooked.
- Look carefully at the paint job. Is it original? If so, new paint job is expensive. If newer, look for cracks and crazes in the corners and on hard edges. Look around the cleats for cracks in the paint/bondo.
- Look at the engines, look for signs of oil leaks. Pull a spark plug and examine the electrode.
- Look at the electronics. Are they original?
- Look under the boat. examine the hull for signs of corrosion, especially around the chines. Check the rudders for corrosion and pitting. Check the zinc (Sealloy 150) anodes for corrosion. Some is normal. Excessive is a sign the boat may be subjected to stray voltage in the water and/or lack of anode maintenance.
- Check the rudders for "slop" this is a sign the bushings have worn out. Fairly common on older Marinettes.
- Check where the head waste lines are. Sniff for odor. Any smell and the hoses will need replaced
- Look over the canvas for condition.

PS. Bring a couple of good flashlights!!
Good Luck!

Thanks, Craig

Re: What to look for on a inspection

Posted: Thu May 18, 2017 8:27 pm
by legendlc
Thanks for the words of wisdom. Been a glass boater Aluminum sounds great but just didn't know the quirks of this setup. Once again Thank You.

Re: What to look for on a inspection

Posted: Thu May 18, 2017 8:52 pm
by jralbert
I think TinChips gave you an excellent rundown of things to look at. I would go at it from a little different perspective because, IMHO, most of these items are normal wear/tear on any old boat and quite typical on aluminum M's.

For example, I would expect some corrosion at stanchion bases. That's the effect of how they were built and the fact that water collects there unless you take some preventive steps such as those described by member Jeff Perry years ago. So, count on finding stanchion base corrosion and if you don't (I'd be surprised), ask the owner how he managed to pull it off.

Sure, note electronics and expect that they may be older but the bigger question is whether they function well. New units are, indeed, more sophisticated and probably even integrate with your smart phone (so that you can run the boat from your house (:-) but I would have no problem today steering by the first GPS I bought in the 1980's (assuming it didn't otherwise die).

Most window track in some years was plastic and the sun baked it to oblivion so it will plastic have to be replaced with aluminum. Small cost here - just some time.

Original paint was awful and began to chalk after about 5 yrs. It is expensive to repaint but there have been some excellent examples of do it yourself here that ended with good paint jobs. Time (lots) and a little money.

I like the idea about oil leak check. That could be an enormous flaw if you find some leaks. In the first M we looked at, the bilge was filled with oil. No sale/no buy. Inspection over in 10 minutes.

My take is that overall corrosion is the big determinant. Lots of hull pitting, walk. Examine shaft. If pitted it's probably not isolated and that is bad but correctable (maybe with a new shaft as part of the cost). Expect zincs to be worn - that's why they are there.

I'm assuming you are about to invest in a boat upwards of $10K. Make sure you have an experienced surveyor - chosen by you, not the seller or broker - who is tough and honest. That's the gold standard of inspection. Your insurance company can recommend one - Boat US gave me a list of several and in my case, everything he reported was on the mark. In the end, the boat was in good shape, we proceeded with the purchase with eyes open.

I'd add to TinChips' list only the advice that the boat have what your family wants and expects. Is the storage useable and ample, galley in good shape and to your expectations. Oh, a late thought, look at the wiring panel. Good to be neat and orderly, bad to have lots of oddball hookups, dangling like unruly spaghetti.

Good luck as you focus on a boat

Re: What to look for on a inspection

Posted: Thu May 18, 2017 10:12 pm
by legendlc
Sounds great in my past life I was. Formula Yachts salesman so I do know a thing or too about boats. Just never been on a aluminum vessel or better yet owned one. Last boat was a Formula 34 PC. I love the fact that aluminum if cared for properly will long outlast me. And the fact these were built in KY where I live is a bit of
neat-o history. If it all works out the boat will be on Lake Cumberland so electronics right now are not a huge deal. I am a automation controls engineer so many upgrades spoken in the last post will be happening soon hopefully.

Re: What to look for on a inspection

Posted: Thu May 18, 2017 10:19 pm
by jralbert
With your experience, you are ahead of the curve. When I was looking for a cruiser, I fell in love with Sea Ray, then marinette, then Sea Ray, then Marinette. Fickle me. The Sea Ray was beamy, roomy and probably quite stable when it needed to be. But I started reading about fiberglass osmosis which was a major deal as mfr's started cutting costs and who to trust? So aluminum won out and you're right, carefully maintained (and that doesn't mean obesession with maintenance), it will outlive all of us.

Here is what I found

Posted: Fri May 19, 2017 9:46 pm
by legendlc
So looked at the big M today. Brought the family aling and had a family members graduation to get back to so thorough inspection was not in the cards. This was more like a informal once over. My report.
Hillsides nice and shiny great gloss.
Cracking around aft corners in paint nothing terrible but there.
Aft hand rail a little beat up and scratched on port side from aft bimini being left up and a storm ripped it off. Just gouges and scrapes over a 8 inch section.
Obviously aft bimini is tore up but material still there for a pattern. Fly bridge bimini in great shape.
Port rudder has 1/4 play in it starboard is tight.
Port prop has very tip of one prop ear wrinkled. I've done much worse on performance boats hitting floaters at 100mph. Cabin has had a couple of water leaks. One around door (maybe the top was left open while on the hard. Just discolored and spongy wood paneling. Carpet good and no oders. 1 leak that does worry me a bit was in the overhead switches above the lower helm. Water appears to be coming In from under footbridge and running into that control panel. Didn't have a chance to open it and swing it open but wi do. All window tracks are perfect no breaks cracks or anything all in perfect condition. Windows all slide easily. Another leak out of window next to lower helm but also could have been open window cracked open. Streaks on paneling and bottom of paneling beginning to peel apart etc. Carpet dry and in good shape. Heads no smell didn't check systems but visually looked in order. Past sniff test.
Mechanical. Engines free of corrosion no buildup I'm carbs. Fresh oil(owner had boat pulled for work done then bought a plane and never looked back at the boat) Engines reportedly turn over by hand but unconfirmed as of yet. Would think from looks of them that it is true. All hoses crunchy on squeezing them. Plugs look Fresh, oil and gas filters look new. No oil or liquid at all in bilge. Oil on motors and trans all passed look and smell test (best I could do in short time). Port heat exchanger had no antifreeze visible not sure if low, etc. Not very well versed in chrysler 440's starboard had antifreeze visible so not sure if that's a issue. Saw no winterization tags but several gallons of empty antifreeze jug and several gallons in boxes. Lots of spare parts. Plugs filters gaskets all that you would hope to see. Generator looks like hell. Motors look great generator looks like it was a salt water anchor. I don't get it looks rough but mechanically who knows. Zinc All look great no pitting on any surface no bad zincs shots rudders all look great. Working controls on flybridge port going into reverse seems a bit crunchy not sure if oiling the cables would free it up or not. No systems tested but visually worth spending the time and money for a proper evaluation and survey. Any input would be much appreciated.

Re: What to look for on a inspection

Posted: Sun May 21, 2017 12:55 pm
by jralbert
Most of what you noted is cosmetics with wear as expected. Pop would need to be straightened, not a big deal. Window leak significant but almost always easily fixable with about 5 bucks of sealant.

Someone else may comment on rudder play. I don't know whether 1/4 inch slop is out of range. Most significant find is the lack of antifreeze in the heat exchngr. A leak here is a must-fix-now item because you don't want overheating surprises. What is conditon of hull (if boat was out of the way) - (pitting)?

Re: What to look for on a inspection

Posted: Sun May 21, 2017 4:20 pm
by legendlc
Hull was surprisingly good shape. No pitting anywhere shafts were free of pitting. Zincs were all above average. Will get back to see her and bring a couple of batteries to test systems the best I can.
As far as the heat exchanger goes I looked everywhere for signs of antifreeze bilge was dry and no oil or antifreeze anywhere. I have no idea where it could have went but the fwc exchanger was empty.
That concerned me as well as the shifter on the bridge being a little stiff going into reverse. Of course it has been sitting for 4 years. I plan to go do a thorough inspection asap.
From the story I was given and the appearance of the boat it was pulled for upgrades etc then the owner passed away while it was on the hard and it just set there. Brand new seat upholstery never been sit on and now is cracked all over and canvas seat covers brand new still in the box in the cabin lol.
If anyone had any input on why a fwc exchanger could be empty on a boat sitting for 5 years please advise.

Re: What to look for on a inspection

Posted: Sun May 21, 2017 5:08 pm
by barkleydave
If you are serious about this boat.

1. Pay from a proper survey by a certified surveyor with aluminum hull experience.
2.Make offers based on survey and require engine and drive line be in good working order. (At least run on hard but in water better)

Too many variables to discuss on a forum. You will have lots of cosmetic stuff, leaks etc. Expect it and remember no matter how nice it is plan to spend an additional 4K fixings things and general upgrades. Now topside painting etc. much much more...Heck it is a boat! Break Out Another Thousand!

OH rudder play at 1/4 inch too much will work but will eventually need new rudder bearings at best.

No antifreeze in exchanger? Not a good sign might be nothing or major overheat, or worse cracked block. Check oil for antifreeze. Again engine tests, compression and running is always the best advise. Ask owner for invoices of yard work performed.