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The smart buyer: Trouble spots to check with older boats

The transom is a potential problem area with an older boat.Buying used can be an attractive option for those looking to get into a “new” boat at a more affordable price. Depending on its age and condition, you still might have to put some money into the boat to ensure your safety and enjoyment. And if you wind up spending considerable money on the boat, it could be that it is no longer a more affordable option than buying new.

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Ready for a refit?

How to determine if your boat is a good candidate for an overhaul, and how to find the pros whose work won’t disappoint you

Gordon Reed had an overhaul done on his 1965 Glastron V-171 Crestflite.Dollars and cents drive many backyard boat projects. Jeff Koenke didn’t have the money for a new boat, so he found a 1984 Boston Whaler Outrage 250 that was damaged in Hurricane Katrina and restored it.
“I paid $3,500, which isn’t a whole lot, and I have the title,” says Koenke, 46, who is from Sarasota, Fla.
The restoration took about two-and-a-half years, and he has around $30,000 invested in the project.

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‘Sustainable passion’ is a key ingredient

The owner of this 1963 Ensign hired Metan Marine of Halifax, Mass., to restore the sailboat after the company restored his 23-foot 1976 SeaCraft center console.We’ve all seen them — the pollen-covered, leaf-filled, forlorn-looking boats sitting year after year on corroding trailers in boatyards and backyards.

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A tale of two very different refits

Boat restorations vary from project to project. Some boats might be structurally sound, but need updated wiring and electronics, plumbing or a paint job. Others might be weak in the knees and require a complete rebuild, starting with nothing but the bare hull. A 1994 Marlin 350 and a 1970 Formula 233 represent two different types of refits.
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DIYers: You’re going to need some epoxy

Soundings asked three of the owners who completed restorations to identify a few tools and materials they used.

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