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Author Topic:   '85 outrage 18' vs 20'- update
whalerdoc posted 09-27-2001 08:14 PM ET (US)   Profile for whalerdoc   Send Email to whalerdoc  
Thanks to all who responded to my original question. It looks as if I will have to make the decision before I even see the '2O OR. I am looking at the 18' on Sunday and I know that if I don't take the boat the owner has others who will. He has graciously held the boat till I can see it (I was the first to call and I am flying down to view the boat.) What a dilemma! Anyhow, with regard to the '85 18', is there anything in particular that I should look for beyond the basics? Anything that likes to break/give way? The boat has always been on a trailer, never in the water, so I'm happy about that. I am a bit nervous about the '85 Johnson engine - should I be? For 11k does it matter? Again, it is supposed to have a new powerhead 3 years ago. Jeez, this is driving me crazy thinking about. Any more comments or suggestions? thanks so much!
acseatsri posted 09-27-2001 08:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
The engine isn't worth much anyway- maybe 1000-1200 at most. It's probably worth more than that to you based on replacement value, though. To set your mind at ease about the engine, bring along a compression gage. Use it as the last item after you're satisfied with the boat itself. All cylinders should be within 10% of each other.
Check for soft spots in the floor, and especially around any open holes that pierce the area surrounding the floor insert, although if it's always been on a trailer, it shouldn't be much of a worry. Check the drain tubes to see that they're intact (all 4 of them). The 11K price doesn't sound outrageous, but it's no bargain either, depending on the electronics and any other goodies he's added.
Jack up the wheels on the trailer and spin them. Listen for any grinding noise. Though not expensive to fix yourself, roadside repairs are not fun. When towing, stop after an hour or so at highway speed and feel the tire hubs for excessive heat. Last but not least, MAKE SURE TIRES ARE PROPERLY INFLATED before towing. Heat is the mortal enemy of tires.
In closing, the 18' Outrage is an awesome boat for its size. I love mine!
lhg posted 09-27-2001 09:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Joe - you will notice on the '85 console that the instrument panels are very vertical, and almost impossible to read standing up. In 1986 they eased these back, to the design still being used on the current Montauks. So check that out and see if you like it.

The Reversible Pilot Seat, an extra cost option, would be a plus, since you then have the luxury of putting either a cooler seat or extra fuel tanks under it.

Check out the condition of the factory twin cable steering. These often went bad and was not a very good solution. Hydraulic steering would be a plus.

The engine you couldn't give me, but that's my prejudice. The probable reason for a new powerhead was a VRO failure, common to mid-80's OMC's, so check out that system. You may want to disable it and simply pre-mix. Value the engine at about $1000 toward your purchase. And look at how clean and free of corrosion it is. A dirty, corroded and crudded up engine exterior usually indicates that boat wasn't kept very well also. The hulls are easier to detail and clean up for selling than an old engine is! OMC's paint jobs back then have never been very good at surviving the elements, so don't expect too much in engine appearance.
But if this old engine really looks good and polished, it's safe to assume the guy took good care of the boat also.

Check the trailer carefully, not only for it's mechanical integrity, but for keel roller support. If it is an all bunk trailer, carefully check the sides of the hull for undulations. These indicate improper hull support by the trailer bunks.
A lightweight 18 is much less susceptible to this than a much heavier 25, but I've still seen it. This type of damage is almost impossible to repair without fairing out the entire sides of the hull and re-gelcoating. If the trailer is not of the keel roller design, try and determine if keel rollers could be easily added, which you will probably want to do at a later date. If not, consider the value of the trailer quite low in your offer. If it should happen to be an Easy Loader style "roller cradle" type trailer, dont' buy the boat - period. The hull will be damaged and possibly delaminated on the bottom. Many whalers were sold by unscrupulous or un-informed dealers in the mid 80's with these not-recommended trailers.

Look at the condition of the teak, but don't be put off if it's grey and badly weathered, or treated with that orange Sikken's stuff. Just assume you will have to orbital sand it to bring it back.

The front cooler seat should be an old style Igloo 86 qt model. These didn't hold up as well as the newer designs, so it may have to be replaced with a new 94 qt model.

Open up all of the round floor plates, and look at the condition of the fuel hoses and tank connections. It's safe to assume that if not previously replaced, you will have to do that, as 1985 boats did not have alcohol resistant lines and they are probably getting mushy. This is an expense you will have to do.

And finally, put your finger into all of the through hulls, feeling for ones that are corroded out. If so, there will probably be signs of leaking or corrosion where they exit the hull, indicating water intrusion into the hull at these points. These can be a pain to replace.

The boat came with a genuine BW tan battery box. Is it still there?

Is any canvas factory original Mills, or is it aftermarket junk? Same for any boat covers.

How oxidized is the gelcoat? And are there any signs of serious hull repair? Lack of bottom paint is a real plus, as it often covers up a multitude of previous sins. So be careful there.

Any of these suggestions would apply to the 20 you're looking at also.

Good luck with your purchase.

whalerfran posted 09-28-2001 05:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerfran    
Don't jump the gun on purchasing the 18'. If the owner had a serious buyer, it is not likely he would put him off to give you first crack. A bird in hand etc. You should also look at the 20'; you might prefer it to the 18'. It would not hurt to let the 18' owner know you plan to do so. This might make him more negotiable. Keep in mind that for the recreational boater, a boat is a luxury. So a boat buyer is a fairy godmother to the seller, even when it comes to our beloved classic whalers.
JAC posted 09-28-2001 07:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for JAC  Send Email to JAC     
Doc, keep in mind, there is always a better deal elsewhere. If the boat is questionable in any way don't let your emotion buy it.
I say this from the point of view of an 18'OR seller. My 18 is for sale now, too bad I'm so far away from you,and in this market, if everthing is not perfect, no one will buy unless you give it away. The folks who want a project boat won't pay and the folks who want a good whaler don't want to fix it.
You are in a buyers market, considering the season and economy, take advantage of it.
The motor if running and good compression, is worth 2500 on the used market.The hull, if good as described above , is worth 5- 7K. The trailer is worth 600 for a single, 800 for a tandem, again , if in good condition per above. Add any accessories at 50% of their new price.To pay any more is emotion.
To compare; my '87 is in excellent condition,($7K), the '87 motor has 50 hrs on a complete rebuild($4K) and the trailer is excellent with new tires, spare,etc.($800) My asking price is $11750, including VHF, GPS and other misc. stuff.
Good luck and keep in mind you can always use mine as a competitive comparison, unless the seller is on this site and knows I live 1500 miles away.
whalerdoc posted 09-28-2001 08:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerdoc  Send Email to whalerdoc     
Jim and others,
Thanks again for all of the above advice. With regard to all of the above, how much difference does it make that the boat is a freshwater boat? I have seen lots of salty 18's on the market, but very few freshwater boats. With regard to the seller, I have spoken with him enough and know that he does have a buyer who will take it if I do not. You make an excellent point, however, about the current economy and boat buying time. Also, I will heed your advice about being objective. I DO wish it had a Yamaha over a Johnson -- I just dont know too many 18's out there that are freshwater boats and have always been on a trailor -- and perhaps this is where I am wrong. Would appreciate comments. Thanks again.
whalerdoc posted 10-03-2001 01:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerdoc  Send Email to whalerdoc     
Well, just to update all of you who provided input and help - here is what I found and what i did when I went to look at the 18' on Sunday.

The boat truly was very clean. 1 2" scratch under the rub rail, one 3" gell coat insult at the bow end of the keel (trailer damage) which did not look to be too bad (although gave me pause at first), boat in great shape inside, solid transom with only the original motor, no other mountings (except transducer), 1995 shorelander (not galvanized) blue full cover (with the snaps, i think whaler installed), pedestal seats, and the 85 150 johnson which the owner spent 3k on 2 years ago to have a new powerhead installed. Engine ran very well in sea trials - i did not have a compresion guage. Gas lines were replaced 3 years ago. Fuel water separator had been put in by owner. Boat had minor electronics (finder and loran.) He had all records. Boat had never been out of fresh water. Teak DID need work. The boat had never been left in water, but it must have been uncovered at one time for the teak to get dark and faded. Teak needs quite some work, but in good shape. Anyway, bottom line was i had to decide because he had other buyers waiting. I pulled the trigger and hope i did the right thing. Part of me said wait till spring, hope to find a '90 or '91 with glass gunnels and a 150 yammy, but it might cost 15k. Hope I did the right thing.
thanks again,

JFM posted 10-03-2001 02:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for JFM  Send Email to JFM     
Whalerdoc if it is the one in Louisville it sounded nice over the phone. The guy sounded sincere and believable . The powerhead was a factory rebuild so I would feel some comfort there. I was third on the list of lookers by the way. Regards, Jay
JFM posted 10-03-2001 02:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for JFM  Send Email to JFM     
In addition to my last post, he was at 10,000 asking and I was only a LOOKER because it's in my neck of the woods. Regards, Jay
whalerfran posted 10-03-2001 04:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerfran    
Of course you did the right thing. Many happy hours on your new Whaler!
kingfish posted 10-03-2001 08:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Way to go Joe! May all your second thoughts be of the nature of, "Why in the world was I ever hesitant about this, and why didn't I do it sooner?"

Go Blue-


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