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  Reasonable Expectations for a $6,000 Montauk

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Author Topic:   Reasonable Expectations for a $6,000 Montauk
Wull posted 01-08-2015 06:08 PM ET (US)   Profile for Wull   Send Email to Wull  
Hi guys. I am a longtime lurker and first time poster who is finally ready to become a boat owner--on a budget. I love the older Montauks and think they would be the perfect boat for my needs: inshore fishing and cruising with a couple of friends, with or without a dog. I am on a $6,000-budget and wonder what kind of boat and its condition I can expect with said budget. Obviously I am not going to get a pristine boat with new four stroke.

Last weekend I saw a mid-1980's Montauk, with Johnson 90-HP V4 from same year with less than 600 hour, in fair condition. The keel had some scratches to the fiberglass, however, nothing to the foam layer, and the deck had many small areas of gelcoat crazing. There is otherwise no crazing and cracking of the external hull's gelcoat. There was a single spider crackup at the bow. The rubrail, although present, could stand to be replaced. Otherwise trailer, teak, original Bimini top with Mills canvas, fuel lines, fuel tank, electronics, bilge pump, and navigation lights are all in working order. The boat is far from a museum piece, and it will take a lot of effort (and potentially money) to get it back to great condition--namely the deck. Obviously, a 30-year-old also feels like a bit of a gamble.

Would it be greedy to expect more for $6,000? Are the above conditions going to be found with nearly all mid-late 1980's Montauks?

Thanks in advance for your help. Any advice will be much appreciated.

Jeff posted 01-08-2015 09:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jeff  Send Email to Jeff     
Photo's would help to give an honest assessment of its true condition and its market value. That said, a mid-1980's Montauk in decent running condition for $6,000 is a Helluva deal.
jimh posted 01-08-2015 10:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The Johnson or Evinrude V4 engine is a very popular choice for a MONTAUK. Those engines are quite durable, and relatively simple to keep going. A concern with the engine will be if its fuel pump can tolerate ethanol-gasoline blended fuel.

Mills canvas is a big plus. A trailer--even better.

Decent MONTAUK boats used to sell for more than $10,000 just a few years ago. I don't know the market very well at the moment.

saumon posted 01-08-2015 10:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for saumon  Send Email to saumon     
Here's what looks like a clean one for $7,000 OBO:

The conditions you describe is perfectly normal and nothing's alarming. If you're not familiar with the engine, it may worth it to pay an independant mechanic for a checkup of the outboard. It's a $60-$100 well invested.

deepwater posted 01-09-2015 03:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for deepwater  Send Email to deepwater     
What you [are] describing is out of your price range of $5,000--look around some more.
tedious posted 01-09-2015 07:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for tedious  Send Email to tedious     
Wull, what was the asking price on the boat you looked at? It sounds like about what I'd expect for $6000 - a daily driver rather than a museum piece, perfectly sound, with some cosmetic defects, but well-equipped.

The 600 hours on the motor is nothing, but I agree, get it checked out by a mechanic, or at least do a compression test yourself. Parts for these motors are still readily available, and they are pretty easy to work on.

Regarding the fuel pump and ethanol tolerance, OMC supposedly started ethanol-resistant fuel lines pumps around 1986, if I remember correctly. However, on a 30-year-old motor, you may want to replace the fuel lines anyway, just for peace of mind. If you do need to replace the pump, a non-VRO version is not that expensive, if you don't mind pre-mixining the fuel.

More generally, it will take some looking, but $6,000 for a Montauk is not unreasonable, it just may take a while to find what you're looking for. There are lots of Montauks around. Remember prices go way up in the spring.


MarcB posted 01-10-2015 05:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for MarcB  Send Email to MarcB     
Last summer I picked up a 1979 Newport commercial hull with a 1979 Mercury 80-HP with tilt and trim, with dual axle trailer in what I consider very good shape for a 35- year-old boat for $2,500 (Canadian). It is intended to be a daily driver and not a museum piece. The engine was still strong with excellent compression. So far all I have done to it is service the engine, change its impeller, and change all fuel lines. I replaced one wheel bearing and painted the trailer. The Mills canvas was beyond hope, so my daughter made me a Bimini top for about $70. This winter she is re-upholstering the RPS.

We have enjoyed our boat tremendously, the best boat purchase I have ever made. Good deals can still be found. Good luck in finding your boat.

Wull posted 01-12-2015 08:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for Wull  Send Email to Wull     
Well, the Montauk on Hilton Head was the one I was looking at and I was able to get it for $6000. It seems to be in great condition and the Johnson V4 runs smoothly. It came with a like new boat cover, the original Mills bimini, all the original cusions, etc. There may be better deals somewhere, however, I feel like it was a very fair price. Thanks for the help. I'm sure I'll be posting again as more questions and concerns arise.
jcdawg83 posted 01-12-2015 10:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for jcdawg83    
Unless the boat is in worse shape than the pictures suggested, I think you made a good buy. You can pour thousands of dollars into it and get it back into like new condition, and have a great trailer queen or you can keep it clean and use it and enjoy it for many, many years. I'm assuming you live fairly close to Hilton Head. I would think you will want to use the boat enough that you will not be able to get it back to museum condition.

I have a '77 Montauk with a '99 Ficht 90. It is far from a museum piece, but it is a great boat and when it is cleaned up and the teak is oiled, I get quite a few comments and compliments on it. I might compound and wax the outside this Spring, but I'm not about to re gel coat the interior because of the crazing of the inside gel coat. The previous owner had the interior, up to about 4" on the sides, coated with white Rhino lining. It doesn't look original, but it sure does hold up well and cleans up very nicely too.

I think boats are to be used and enjoyed, not something to own me and consume my spare time working on it. I know some people enjoy refurbishing to like new condition and good for them. For me, as long as the boat is clean and sound and in good condition that is good enough.

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