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My Wife And I Are Interested In Buying Our First Fishing Boat. We Are Limited In Funds So We Have To Keep The Price At $4000 Or Under. We Have Found A 1995 Carolina Skiff( 19 Ft ) With A 1995 Johnson 88 Hp Motor. The Boat Comes With A Trailer, 2 Spare Tires, Trolling Motor, Ice Chests, Anchor, Compass, And Fishfinder. I Don't Have A Lot Of Details At This Time But I Would Appreciate Any Advise About What To Look For When Checking Out This Boat. I Don't Mind Having An Older Boat But I Am Concerned About The Reliability Of The Motor. Should I Have A Certified Mechanic Check It Out? I Would Really Like To Take The Boat Out And See It Run. Is This Asking Too Much? If Anyone Has Experience With This Type Of Boat And Especially This Type Of Motor Please Give Me Some Advise.
Need Help
Ana
 

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That DamnYankee!!
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If a seller wont take you for a test ride run, don't walk, away. Try to schedule your test ride on a day with less then ideal conditions. Any boat will be pretty smooth & dry riding on a clear calm day, it's how the boat runs & handles wind & chop that you want to find out.

If you have a compression gauge certianly take it with you and use it. Not sure what the comp should be on that motor but all cylinders should be within a few Lbs of each other. If you're not comfortable doing this yourself then a mechanic is a good idea.

Jeff
 

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From the old school
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Yea have her checked out by a mech. We had a 88 on a pontoon boat and to say the least it was bullet proof, best outboard we ever owned next to my current motors.... don't want to upset my Hondas now do I.
I wouldn't buy a boat if you can't take her out and run it first, and pick a cruddy day to see how she runs in the wind and chop see how wet you get.
Doesn't sound like a bad deal to me on the surface you just got to check her out.
 

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I agree completley with the test ride.

I sold a 1993 baymaster a couple years back, and asked people if they wanted to go for a test ride. I think this is the reason I sold it to the second guy I took for a ride.

An outboard may sound ok while running, but that can be a different story once you put it under an actual load.

another thing...corrosion is failry normal on saltwater boats, but there shouldn't be very much under the engine cowling.

I don't know much about carolina skiffs, but look around the transom area for extensive cracks... you never know.


good luck with your purchase
 

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Done Wit Dat
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Test drive for sure. Those 88 and 114 V-4 OMC engines are GREAT, but have it checked anyway. I have twice made the mistake with motors of just having them run on a hose. Both engines were great, but both had shifting issues I didn't know about until I was on the water. - Coach
 

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I just bought a used boat that was listed here. I was on a budget also and it took a long while before the boat I wanted and could afford came along. I did not have a mechanic look at it, did not test drive it in advance, just listened to the motor on the hose, in gear and out, sounded fine and I bought it. I did pull the bottom drain plug and drained about 40 gallons of water from between the hull and floor. It was fresh water that went through some screw holes in the floor where the live well was mounted. (remember the rains last month?) I have since drilled and filled the holes with 5200 and it fixed the problem. I have had the boat out a couple of times now and other than the fact that it doesn't catch fish, it runs great. Try to not to rush into the first boat, good deals come along all the time. The more you shop, the better you know the market and a good deal when it comes along. Good luck.
 

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Time to make the Donuts...
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I ran a 19ft Carolina Skiff for seven years...

It was one fish catching machine. The boat is tough on you on windy days though. Experience will teach you how to run it on rough days and keep you from getting too wet. They are all around great boats and virtually unsinkable. I've tried...

If you have any other questions feel free to email me at [email protected]

Good luck and like some of the other said...don't rush into your first boat.

James
 

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Boatright custom flats
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I think you'll be pleased with Carolina Skiff. A buddy of mine has one and loves it.

DEFINITELY take it for a test ride. I bought a boat back in '93. It was only a couple of years old, but the owner said he was having engine problems, so I bought it CHEAP. I took it home and it ran like a champ on the trailer with a water hose. I put it in the water and it didn't even have power to make a wake. Took it back home and pulled the head off. The middle cylinder had a hole in it the size of a half dollar, and there were needle bearings on top of the piston. The engine was trashed. Although, it was one of the junkiest outboards made. It was a Force
 
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