Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-24-2012, 10:47 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 11
Default 1999 1800SR - Nothing but problems - Need advice

I decided to get a boat for my family. We have been borrowing a boat from my parents for a couple years but it was time to get our own.

I found this seemingly clean 1999 1800SR with a 3.0L Mercruiser and Alpha One Gen 2 outdrive at a local marina for $7500 w\ trailer.

We bought the boat about 6 weeks ago. So far we have had the following problems (dealer has been excellent and has taken care of us so far).

Note: we took the boat for a test drive before purchasing and everything worked fine, barring a couple things we didn't notice.

-rear sunpad was rotten and falling apart, dealer repaired no charge
-taking on water, found leak on winch ring, dealer repaired no charge
-misc electrical issues, bad tach, bad speedo, trim gauge not working, dealer replaced\repaired no charge
-losing oil out of the timing cover that we found had a hole in it, dealer pulled engine replaced oil pan, and valve cover gaskets along with a new timing cover and gasket, dealer only charged $300 for our trouble
-ran over a hidden tree top in water and trashed the prop, purchased a refurb prop from dealer $60
-since engine was pulled the starter now gets stuck, been stranded twice having to get a tow both times, dealer has been working on a fix
-gel coat cracking on right hull above water line, waiting for a quote

So do we just have bad luck? Is this normal BS to go through with a used boat? I have spent well over $200 in fuel just trailer the boat back and forth to the dealer for repairs. My wife and I are debating on whether to return the boat to the dealer and find something else. What do you guys think? So far the dealer has been great, that's the silver lining...

The dealer is willing to refund us the money (or most of it, we're still in negotiations) but we really like this boat and we keep thinking once they replace everything maybe in the end we'll have a solid vessel since it's all been fixed. The other thought is to get rid of it and buy a newer used or even brand new boat but our budget allows for a maximum of $15k and that doesn't go very far looking for new boats. We don't really want another used boat because we may have to start over again with the repairs.

Please give me some advice, it would be greatly appreciated.

Seth6984 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2012, 12:06 AM   #2
pascavone's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Massapequa, New York, United States
Posts: 762

Its not the boat fault is was not maintained and 13 years old, and I'm a firm believer of "beating the entropy curve".

enĚtroĚpy: The tendency for all matter and energy in the universe to evolve toward a state of inert uniformity.

So, you can make $400 boat payment and spend $4800 yr, or plan on beating the entropy curve and plan of $1,000.00 the first year and correct the problem instead of starting all over again with someone else used boat.

If you had sunk $2,000k into it the first year that one thing, but you are listing annoyances.

Things break and the captain dose do stupid things..... new boat or old boat....

your new hobby is taking on the laws of the universe, stay the course.

pascavone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2012, 12:56 AM   #3
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 11

I am leaning that way; just get the bugs worked out and take our chances that it doesn't have a major problem in the near future...

My parents are selling their boat. A 1989 Mariah 21.5' Cuddy that is in excellent shape and only 330 hours on the clock. I have kicked around the idea of buying theirs if we can get out of ours. The issue with this is my Honda Ridgeline can't pull or stop that heavy boat. We plan to keep it in a slip so we would have to borrow someone's bigger truck to take it in and out for the season (assuming our marina has an open slip). Also, the Mariah has a 5.0L V8 Mercruiser so it's hard on fuel.

So the options are: stay with what we have and ride out the repairs, exchange for a different used boat, try and get into a new boat with our budget, or buy my parents and deal with the hassle of not being able to trailer it myself.

The new boat that we could get into through our dealer is a Bennington 17' pontoon with a 50 horse Honda EFI outboard. Our dealer only sells Cobalt and Chaparral v-bottoms new.
Seth6984 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2012, 01:26 PM   #4

Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 4,656

No offense, but so far I don't see any huge problems. I don't really see any moderate problems. Everything you've described is realtively minor and most has been addressed by the dealership. Quite frankly I'm surprised they took care of the vinyl. If these are significant, I can only imagine when you do have something significant. This is not a Maxum concept you're dealing with and going from a poorly maintained 99 to a very well maintained 89 will not find you excaping these same problems. Either your Father in law has been slowly taking care of these things as time has passed, or you are going to be taking them on eventually yourself. Boats require constant maintenance and can be expensive. I dropped $6800 on a new drive this year. These things happen. just wait until you have to repower.
shrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2012, 08:57 PM   #5
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 11

Thanks for the insight. I'm thinking it was a mistake buying an American made engine, I should have known better. I've owned several american cars (new and used) along with Harley's and Japanese motorcycles. American engines are garbage compared to Euro and Jap engines. Yes, I know Merc outboards are Japanese and Chinese.

But even at that, I agree that in the grand scheme of things these repairs are minor. I guess the thought of buying a clean used boat was a pipe-dream since it's rare that anyone takes care of their machines, whether it be a car, boat, or other.

I think we'll stick it out and get the repairs done. Hopefully in the end we'll have a dependable craft.

Still thinking about a pontoon, it would be great for the kids, and they seem like they're lower maintenance.
Seth6984 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2012, 09:21 PM   #6

ss3964spd's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Fairfax Va
Posts: 1,512
Send a message via Yahoo to ss3964spd

It doesn't sound like you are having issues with the engine itself Seth. The 3.0 inline 4 has been used in boats for many years and it is generally indestructable. The oil leaks are not the engines' fault - the previous owner didn't change the oil enough and the condensation that accumulated in engine caused ate away at the stamped steel bits from the inside. The starter was doing fine until the dealer pulled and re-installed the engine.

The 3.0 isn't high tech by any stretch but it's not exactly junk either. All the other issues you've had can be traced to lack of maintenance and repairs from the previous owner(s).

I think you've been darn luckly that the dealer has been so accommodating on a relatively inexpensive boat.

Just a string of bad luck I think.
ss3964spd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2012, 04:14 PM   #7
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 11

After thinking long and hard about this; I've decided to stay with the Maxum and ride out the repairs. I agree that as long as the dealer stands behind it why not let them fix everything.

Hopefully in the end we have a dependable boat that my family can enjoy for a couple seasons until we upgrade.
Seth6984 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2012, 01:41 AM   #8
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Lower Kaskaskia River, IL
Posts: 118
Exclamation Stay with the Maxum


Great to here you have one darn good shop you are working with. The prior owners didn't take care of her like they should. I have a '92 1800SR (yeh, 20 yrs) and I bought her new. I have had more problems with the surge brakes on the trailer than the boat issues. Can't say she hasn't had a few things to fix along the 1200 hrs + on the water. The 3.0 Merc has been a champ except for the alternator mounting. Likes to crack the adjust brace or break the mounts at the block. You have to keep em maintained and do it as you go. I have several posts how I converted mine for watersports (tower & stereo, etc) so check them out plus the pics in my album (which is public). Have a great rest of the summer and more fun on the water...

Dean (deanries / "Go Big or Go Home")

deanries is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 01:23 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.