View Full Version : A couple of questions from someone looking to purchase...

03-07-2011, 03:26 AM
Hey guys, I stumbled across this site last summer as I was just getting into slalom skiing a lot. I am a 24 year old guy who is going to school full time trying to finish up my bachelor's degree in business management. I also work close to full time and even though I don't make a lot of money, I am still looking into buying a boat and was wondering what some of the costs that I am not thinking of are. I currently am using my dad's 1982 16' Baja that he bought brand new. It isn't anything special and can only hold me and 3 buddies, or 4 girls and a cooler, but it does the job and I can ski behind it. I am not wanting to sell the Baja, because it probably isn't worth a whole lot, and it doesn't owe us a dime! Anyhow, I found a REALLY nice 07 Outback with 290 hours on it for $24,00. Does that seem reasonable? Next, I would deffinately need a loan to buy it, but I don't really have any idea how boat loans work and what kind of terms they typically offer. Is it typical to have 100% financing, or would I need to put some money down so the bank only has to loan out 80% of the value? What kind of terms can I except to see? I am thinking that I can probably only afford about $250 to $300 a month payments right now while I am in school, but should be able to afford more than that once I am done. Also, how much is insurance? Anything else I am not thinking of, or just some general advice would be really nice. I have been around boats my entire life, but not a true inboard, so if you guys who know what you're talking about had any more info for me it would be very much appreciated! Thanks a bunch, lets hope the water warms up soon!

03-07-2011, 09:00 AM
Sounds to me like you don't have enough time to really use the boat and you have a boat available for when you do. I think you finish school before messing around with a boat loan. Also, you may not like that payment too much when you're waiting for ice to melt. I think maybe give it a couple of years.

03-07-2011, 11:27 AM
spoken like a true Dad . . .

which means, while it is excellent advice, he ain't gonna follow it :)

Huffer, could you make it all work? Sure you can. If you have good credit, somebody will loan you the cash. Most times, you can put minimal down and get a 15 yr loan, so your payments could be in the range you listed.

Another thought, since your a slalom guy, the 00-03 Outbacks are great boats and you might find one of those for 1/2 of that '07.

03-07-2011, 01:15 PM
I bought my first ski boat while I was in college, but my budget was $8K or less.The obvious costs are the boat payment, insurance, a tow vehicle, gas, and maintenance costs. Gas will be the biggest cost and at $4/gal, it will add up quickly.
From a different view, I would look for a nice used 90-97 MC, CC, or Malibu. You can find them in great shape for $11K or less. If you put a little down and finance for 5 yrs, you will be ahead in the long run. First, if you look at ski boats, you will find that they bottom out in value around $8-10K. Odds are, you will be able to buy a boat, use it for a few years, and then sell it for about what you paid. I kept my first boat for 5 years and paid it off. I sold it for $7500 after buying it for $8200.
Second, those older boats are a little smaller, which means they will make a good or better wake for slalom.

In a tough economy and job market, I could not recommend buying a very expensive boat. It is not a good idea. Also, check to see if your school has a ski program. I put a lot of hours on the USF Mastercraft 190.

03-07-2011, 07:39 PM
Was in the same boat as you about 2 years ago. Instead of makings your monthly payment now and buying. Save your money to make a down payment. After two years I have over 10,000 saved and was able to get a better Moomba than I wanted. It's up to you though. The one thing I hated was someone telling me not to buy a boat, when that was all I wanted :D

03-07-2011, 11:31 PM
Where are you and outback what? LSV, LS, ??

In general, buying is a bad plan. I can hardly wait to get my bad plan on the water.

They drink gas and eat money. Boat is an acronym like SCUBA, it stands for Break Out Another Thousand.



03-07-2011, 11:38 PM
As far as the boat goes - great wake and perfect for skiing and more room than a closed bow if it's the DD. I love mine and don't ever regret trading in my 90 SupraComp for the extra room. It's not a bad crossover boat as well.

Price - probably in the range depending on upgrades (stainless rub rail, rad-a-cage tower, sub and amp, ballast, ect...)

Good advice from other's on here regarding financing and shopping around.

If it's THE perfect boat and you want it bad enough - you'll rationalize anything and find a way to make it work. If it's not exactly what you want - shop around!

Good Luck!

Ian Brantford
03-09-2011, 06:29 PM
Huffer, I don't want to keep you from having fun, but there are going to be a lot more "fun" things that cost money in your first year after graduating. Hopefully they will be a series of one-time costs (such as travel or other special occasions). It doesn't matter -- there are going to be changes for which the specifics are not known yet. This is not a time to be adding to your fixed costs, especially in a way that you can barely afford.

I recommend that you see an actual financial planner -- twice. See one now, and again 3-6 months after graduating. Both visits may produce surprises. In the first visit, you'll be given a new definition for the word "afford". In the second one, you'll get an assessment of your new lifestyle. Your priorities may change and you don't want to be stuck with a large financial commitment to a not particularly liquid depreciating asset. You might instead be in need of a car, home, engagement ring, ... or another job.

In the meantime, if you can stifle the urge to jump into a purchase, you can use the time to make more contacts in the local boating community. Maybe some new friends will let you come for visit on a day trip and let you ride behind the boat with various sports -- wakeboarding, wakesurfing, hydrofoiling, tubing, kneeboarding. This might affect the boat model and features that will be important to you. You have been around boats, but I am not sure if you have been around THESE boats much, as in gotten to actually use them. I wasted years not even knowing what my options were, so hopefully community involvement will save you more time than you'll lose by waiting on financial readiness.

Also, regarding your questions about expenses, I'd say to allocate $2000 for initial gear and another $1500-2000 for fuel in the first year, Insurance may be another $500+. This will be your boat, so it's your equipment to buy too! It's much less expensive to have a friend with a boat than to be that friend.

Best wishes!

03-09-2011, 09:44 PM
yikes holy harsh advice batman... although true...

i gotta say if you're posting here and thinking about cost, well you're obviously not dumb. You just need to see the tradeoffs and decide what you're willing to do.

Don't know how that price looks, but if you've got good credit the loans can go out 15 years. Then the amount down depends on the NADA value of the boat - they won't loan you more than it's worth.

If you've already got a boat and ski, well then I guess you've got equipment under control and new stuff can take a back seat. And probably you understand/have seen the gas needs. At $4, definitely important.

Maintenance costs add up... oil and filter need to be changed every 25 hours. Winterization (300) and summerization costs. Plus any unseen issues... dinged prop, whatever.

Also need to consider storage costs or wherever you will keep the boat. Plus extra gas towing the boat.

Insurance 500ish.

And the lure of all the other crap you suddenly "need". New boards, skis, ropes, speakers, perfect pass, bust out another thousand......

Personally I went the route of waiting until I had a good handle on the purchase price and didn't have to worry. That way I could get the boat I really wanted, and allows me to not worry about gas prices... But hey, you won't be able to slalom at 34 like you can at 24......:D

03-09-2011, 10:04 PM
This will be your boat, so it's your equipment to buy too! It's much less expensive to have a friend with a boat than to be that friend.

This is the BEST advice yet!!

Another thought - STAY OFF the forum :lol:
You'll be buying stuff you never thought you'd need till logging on and reading threads.......... ha ha (really no joke)!

03-10-2011, 08:47 AM
wise advise from Kaneboats and the crew, wish I had that advise way back when-instead I had a boat and a apartment and no furniture :mad:, but I had a boat :D:D:D and since that day have been boatless for only 2 weeks in the last 20yrs, stupid prioritys I have at times

03-10-2011, 07:51 PM
why would you changed your oil after just 25 hours?? That is insane to me. The way i look at it 25 hours on a boat is like 750 miles on a car...would you change the oil in you car after 750 miles? Helll nooooo! I'd wait at least 100 hours or just do it once a season.

03-10-2011, 11:32 PM
Well I meant 50 hours - first one at 25 and then we change again every 50ish. Might be a little excessive but I think worth it. We had 2400 hours on my parents American Skier without major issues...

Ian Brantford
03-11-2011, 12:58 AM
why would you changed your oil after just 25 hours?? That is insane to me.

It's just the FIRST 25 hours. This is after initial break-in when the new metal will be casting off all manner of junk into the oil. It's called for in the documented break-in procedure.

03-11-2011, 01:10 AM
first 25 for a break in period i understand. but after that im going with once a season or 100 hours

03-13-2011, 08:52 PM
I look at it as the boat never gets to go downhill or run on flat roads. It is always under a constant strain. Add ballast and so forth and its quite a load. I change my oil as recommended.

03-15-2011, 01:40 PM
If you can do the oil changes yourself then just do it at 50hrs its like 20 bucks for the oil and filter.

If your paying a dealer then i can see waiting the 100hr but in any case it needs to be changed each season.

I started running full synthetic in my boat this year, i run full synthetic in my diesel and Claudia's car is on 50/50 till it hits 20K then i'm switching hers to full synthetic also. The prices have really came down on synthetics.

03-15-2011, 11:51 PM
Why does the manual recommend against synthetics for the first 100 hours or so??

03-16-2011, 08:37 AM
Why does the manual recommend against synthetics for the first 100 hours or so??

motor brakein has been what I was told.

03-16-2011, 10:02 AM
motor brakein has been what I was told.

Exactly, the issue with Engines is they need some time to actually Wear the parts in. When you build an engine the cylinders arnt actually smooth as you would expect. They are smooth to an extend but they do whats called Cross Hetching, its scoring the cylinders or basically scratching them in a X pattern up and down.

This is to allow them to wear in and break in the piston rings.

All the bearing in the engine need to wear in also this is part of the engine break in and is one of the reason the first Oil change is critical to be done at 20 hours, or for cars a lot of the time its 1K miles. It allows the metal to break in some, any little burs or chemicals used to make the metal last longer during assembly to be washed out in the oil.

Synthetics are super slippery compared to standard oil and so if you put them in a brand new engine then it tends to slow this break in period down and almost stop it so the engine cant break in.

Its critical to an engine it gets a break in to allow the parts to basically marry each other. Same reason when you disassemble an engine you are supposed to keep all the pistons, rings, valves, push rods, rockers, lifters, bearing, and such marked so they go back to the same location they came from.

03-16-2011, 02:44 PM
Huffer, don't let these guys run you off. I bought my boat when I was still in college, and it has been the best purchase I have ever made. I have made tons of great friends, had a ton of fun, and have even met the women of my dreams since I owned a boat. (She had just moved here and was looking for a pull.)

Financially this is what you're dealing with. I paid $20,500 for my 2001 Outback in 2005. I put no money down (I had none) and I got an interest rate of 8%. I financed it for 12 years and my payments are about $225 a month. Not the best situation, but not to bad, I didn't have a job, but I had great credit, and I had to keep my payment under $250 a month. However, I was 28 and owned a home, and the economic climate was better then.

Keep in mind, just like a car, the lien holder will require insurance on the boat. I didn't hink of this when I bought mine and had to end up buying it from the dealer so I could bring it home (it was out of state). I think mine runs about $200 a year. Also don't forget to think about towing. I had a Ford Ranger when I bought my boat, but after the first year, I knew I needed to upgrade to a full size tow vehicle, so I bought an F150. And when you tow a boat, your fuel milage suffers as well, so the proximity to the water can become an issue.

Be sure to factor in the use and maintenance of it as well. A proper yearly winterization will run you about $200 in just parts if you do it yourself (its not hard) or more if you pay someone. These boats burn about 4-5 gallons of fuel per hour. This can work out to over $1000 of gasoline a year depending on how much you use it. And there are the fees like tags for the trailer, boat registration, and property tax.

I figure that I spend about the amount of my boat payment again to just use the boat. and I have been averaging about 80 hours a year.

I hope this helps. And don't shy away from boats a little bit older than 2007. I think the Outback started using that hull in 2003. Even my 2001 is AWSA approved,and I have had very little trouble with it and I am at 500 hours. The only issues I have are the carpet and vinyl are getting pretty worn out.

07 lsv
03-18-2011, 08:39 PM
If you don't take the above advice and want to buy the boat anyway, then here are the costs the way I see it...

oil change every 50 hrs. - you can buy a pump at West Marine or similar for about $60 to reuse (and pay about $20 each oil change to do it yourself) or pay $100 to have a dealer do it.

A new impeller each season at about $40 for the impeller plus install if you don't do it yourself - directions are on one of the threads on this forum and and several other sites.

changing V-drive and tranny fluid - this is usually recommended each season as well. My dealer charges about $300 for this.

If you go anywhere except for deep lakes/rivers, you will want an extra prop at about $500-600. It ususally costs me about $120 each time I ding it and have to have it re-worked. If you damage the prop too much, then you have to spring for a new one.

I also have launch fees by me at $15-20 per launch.

Unless you have a place to store your boat for the winter, you will also have storage fees (about $600 per winter by me).

If you want to store your boat at a marina in the summer, then you will have costs for that too.

Boat insurance usually costs about 1/2 of what a comparably priced car does...

Also, you will have to ensure that enough life vests are present for everyone, which would likely result in you buying at least some cheap orange ones. Ropes also break and get run over...you will likely be footing the bill for that too (unless one of your buddies did it and will cover the cost). I had another boater cut too close after I wiped out and they ran over my handle and rope. I was out almost $200 from this).

Plus, with any boat, stuff is going to break. Most of that costs money to fix.

You will also run into where to stop with getting gear...I have an extra wakeboard that I loan out to people to use while they are on my boat if they do not have one. I also have an array of life vests for friends to use too. You might also get a bug to start making upgrades (especially if you spend a lot of time on the forum). Bigger ballast bags, pumping systems, swim deck pads, stereos, etc. all cost money too.

Reasonable loans can be had. The older the boat is, the higher the interest rate you will likely pay. Also, you can get 15 year loans (not sure how new the boat has to be). However, you will pay a lot in interest doing this. Go to a loan calculator to find this out. Also, be prepared to pay more like an 8% rate or so for that long of a loan.

I am not trying to scare you out of this, but I do want you to be informed.

03-22-2011, 09:02 PM
You might also want to see if you can find another person who is enthusiastic as you are about skiing and buying a boat with a "partner" Just get a contract done by an attorney but you could save yourself a lot of money. One thing I see no one mention is where you will store your boat. If you live in an apartment, many won't allow you to keep your boat there. You might want to see if there is a marina (yet another expense) where you can either trailer your boat or lease a boat slip. I would definitely suggest looking at an older ski boat. Even if you only keep it a few years, you can keep yours costs down, enjoy a great wake and get your feet under you in the real world. Then maybe you can buy your "dream" boat. Just a bit of advice from a 22 year boat owner. I bought my first in 1989 one year after graduating. Just bought my second new one a month ago. Payments do suck, no matter how big or small they are, but the love of the water is a lure that many of us can't resist. Enjoy!


ps I agree with Brian , don't let the fear keep you from your dream, just do your research on all the costs involved and then make your move. Be smart with your money all of your life, but enjoy as well.

Someone once told me the 2 best day of boat ownership is the day you get it and the day you get rid of it.....I say thats NOT true for me.