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Author Topic:   New owner - what should I do/buy 1st?
ChrisCT posted 11-14-2001 09:16 AM ET (US)   Profile for ChrisCT   Send Email to ChrisCT  
sorry if this has been covered but I have only spent an hour or so reading posts so far - but could anyone help me prioritize what I should start with in cleaning up my new whaler (Ex. Inner hull, bottom paint, wood, new gadgets etc.) What should I do first? Paid in low 7K's for boat. Any help guidance would be appreciated. This is my 1st boat and matches the boat my in-laws grew up on.

Picking up boat Friday - and am already proud to be an owner and part of the community.

My whaler:
17' Montauk 1976
70HP Yamaha 1985(new lower unit and water pump)
Cox trailer (need wheels replaced)
VHF radio and antenna
New center console seat
Mechanic gave motor his thumbs up (he has worked on it for 3 yrs)
Bait station (hangs over side)

JFM posted 11-14-2001 09:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for JFM  Send Email to JFM     
Welcome aboard Chris, the first thing I would do is fix the trailer. You have to be able to get the boat to the water. Check the bearings and axle after you replace the tires. From what you describe sounds like a nice boat. Regards, Jay
Bigshot posted 11-14-2001 09:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Depends on what it needs. teak is easy, get some 2 part teak cleaner and clean it up, then either oil or permateak(varnishlike). Bottom paint, depends on conditions, a qt will do ya. You can also change colors(use tape either way, freehand looks like crap). If engine is faded or chipped etc, get some Tempo engine paint and spray her up, always the best way to spruce up a boat. Again use tape on the decals and cables, etc. Wash and wax and go for it.
John from Madison CT posted 11-14-2001 10:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for John from Madison CT  Send Email to John from Madison CT     

Glad to see we have another CT Montauk owner here. I got my Montauk less than a month ago myself. ('89 Package/90HP Yamaha, bought from Boats Inc.).
I've already made more trips to WestMarine, BoatUS and BoatersWorld than I care to remember. FWIW, I found Boater's World to have the best prices here. On some items, the difference is significant.
There is a large Boaters World in Waterford (Exit 81 or 82?) near the Crystal Mall.
Let me know if I can help. I'm in Madison if you want to come by and see my Montauk.



Chris J posted 11-14-2001 10:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chris J  Send Email to Chris J     
Assuming you have the basics covered (insurance, training, safety equipment) the first accessories I'd go for are a fishfinder and a GPS. They don't have to be expensive to be worthwhile. As for repairs and renovations, let the boat's condition by your guide. For starters, I'd:

Inspect or replace the drain tubes; they corrode and can lead water into the hull.

Decarb the engine once and spray the block with WD-40 or something similar. Inspect all the electrical connections. Remove the nav light bulbs and clean the sockets. Inspect all the fuel lines, especially where they connect to the tank.

Examine everything, stem to stern. Clean as you go along.

If everything looks OK you should just go and play and see what the boat tells you.

Draftsmanswife posted 11-14-2001 11:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for Draftsmanswife  Send Email to Draftsmanswife     
Hey Chris, I'm sencing that you are up in the northern part of the country, so be sure to winterize your boat before putting it away for the season. You can call your local BW dealer to give you trip and tricks on doing this. Congrads and "welcome to the family"...
Tom W Clark posted 11-14-2001 12:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

You are really going to enjoy that boat, congratulations.

I have owned two Montauks, one purchased new (1981), the other purchased used (1980, bought in 1986). The one I purchased new I ordered so I could get it just the way I wanted it. The one I purchased used was in "OK" to "rough" shape. It was the used boat that I enjoyed more. I had a great time fixing it up and I hope you do too.

My advice to you is put the boat in the water and use it. Get a sense for the boat and learn how she handles. It will very quickly become apparent what the deficiencies are. Screws may fall out, gear may come loose, electrical devices may not work. The motor will also tell what, if anything it needs.

When you are ready to put it away for the winter and work on it, (or is it already too late to b go boating in CT?) you will have a list of things you want to do to it. It's your call.

What I would (and did) do is take it apart. I mean really take it apart. A Montauk is a very simple boat and this is not as daunting as it sounds. I'm not talking about the motor here, but take the rails and hardware off, romeve the fuel tanks and seat, take the windshield off, take the doors off the console and refinish them. I think in 1976 the console had varnished plywood doors so you can sand them and revarnish them if you like.

If there is teak, like the bow locked hatch, do not use two part cleaner on it. Two part teak cleaner is powerful stuff and really eats up the wood. (though it does give immediate gratification by looking great initially, especially when wet). Much better to sand the wood down until all the original finish, weathering is gone and then oil with teak oil, tung oil, whatever you like but the stuff I like best is Daly's SeaFin Teak Oil, available from West Marine.

By removing as much from the hull as possible, you will have a much easier time of cleaning it and you will have the opportunity to inspect and learn how these boats were put together.

You may want to completely rewire the boat if the wiring is original. Again the boat is very simple and the wiring is as well.

All the above applies to the trailer as well, though they are not as much fun to work on. Wheels/tires, bearings are critical components. You must be sure they are OK. Trailer wiring replacement is almost a maintenance item if the trailer goes in salt water. I would not even fool with seeing if you can get them to work, just rip out the old and install new. It is very simple and can be done in two hours.

It's up to you how shiny and perfect you want this boat of yours as well as what bells and whistles you want to add. When I buy a used boat I generally just take all the electronics and sell them/throw them away and go out and get exactly what I want. Old electronics are frequently obsolete or non functional. I wouldn't spend to much time fooling with them.

David Ratusnik posted 11-14-2001 04:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Chris- A slightly different line of thought; gas/oil up and head for nearest ramp. Light'er up and go play. Learn about speed on the water, speed to plane, search for a sweet spot where the boat planes easily and try out the reverse. Pick a crab trap marker or some other floating object to see if you can creep up on it, just nudging it and then back away. I suspect your personal priorities of items to fix will come to you quite naturally. My .03. David
ChrisCT posted 11-14-2001 04:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for ChrisCT  Send Email to ChrisCT     
Thx to everyone for advice! I need to print this out so I can get to work on it. Very helpful stuff and I will let you all know how it goes. If I can get Father-in-law over I will be out Saturday testing her out based on the reccomendations.

John from Madison thx - I am in Fairfield and will picking it up at exit 70 (Lyme) hopefully tomorrow. there is a WestMarine about 2 miles away so I'm sure I'll get used to seeing them. My wife's family used to keep their old Montauk at Guilford Marina she grew up off x-it 59 a baseball's throw from Madison. thx again!

Peter posted 11-14-2001 09:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Welcome Chris. Saw that one in the Bargain News. Know that West Marine store all too well. Make sure you get all Coast Guard required equipment (life jackets, flares, etc.) because Fairfield PD likes to do courtesy inspections.

Corrosion of the shift shaft on early Yamahas was a problem so make sure you rinse it well with fresh water after every use.

If you're keeping it in the water at the marina, you'll need bottom paint. If it was kept in the water over a good part of its 25 year life, it may have a lot of bottom paint build up. You might want to sand that down, chemically strip it or have it walnut shell blasted off. Whether it needs stripping or not, if you paint, use an ablative paint. Ablatives are multiseason and don't build up like the vinyl based.

Most important, enjoy!

Macman posted 11-15-2001 07:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for Macman  Send Email to Macman     
If this is your first boat....I would advise taking a Power Squadron class (or something similar) over the winter. There is plenty of time for'll enjoy them a lot more if you feel safe and comfortable out on the water.
Think Spring!

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