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Formula/Thunderbird
 BoatUS Boat Groups/Manufacturer Forums>>Formula/Thunderbird
Subject Topic: Inspecting a 233 Post ReplyPost New Topic
 
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kitebuz
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: October 04 2005
Posts: 13
Posted: October 07 2005 at 00:00 | IP Logged Quote kitebuz

I am going to look at a '73 233F (center console) today.  I have 3 things I am not sure how to guage in looking at buying this boat:

1)  Fule tanks:  How can I tell their condition, and if they have ever been replaced?

2)  Stringers:  Is there an easy way to access them to see if there is any separation or rot?

3)  Engine/outdrive:  What to look for?  This has been repowered, but I am not sure how recently.

I will probably also get either a more knowledgeable buddy (or actually surveyor) to look at the boat once I decide if it is worth pursuing or not.

Thanks for any advice. 

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233 Double E
"Deckhand"




Joined: May 05 2004
Posts: 116
Posted: October 07 2005 at 00:00 | IP Logged Quote 233 Double E

I can't be of real assistance for what to look for as I just plain got stupid lucky with mine.  I knew about engines enough to know what parts did what and how it produces power but was entirely new to the additional components that "propel" a boat. 

Because of this, I was reserved to looking for the owner to tell me about the parts they replaced and history of components.  It helped to ask the questions in a couple of different ways as additional information they forgot about would normally come out.

I also made a big effort to ask for service documentation and made notes on what they said was the last time it was serviced, how it behaves hot & cold, what kind of oil they use, change intervals and detailed procedures they use on winterizing.  I also asked about any components they may have changed or upgraded and additionally asked for the old components if still available.  Once I got to asking about the old parts, it was like a flea market of stuff he realized he was able to clean out of his garage.

I also asked about copies of prior year state registration data, cost to insure and maintenance on the trailer.  I asked and took detailed notes on the method used for launching, trimming, retrieving and how it tows going down the road. 

(I was surprised at how many little mannerisms and procedures were needed to give it what it wants to operate correctly.) 

It is, afterall, an old boat and has certain characteristics that the current owner is familiar with.  My goal was to spend as much time as possible with the owner on it to see what he did, ask questions and take notes.

I higly recommend the surveyor to tag along or do an independant survey and (or at least) the knowledgable friend.

Personally, I do not, UNDER ANY CURCUMSTANCES, recommend purchasing with out a ride with the owner, even if the conditions are less than ideal (As long as it's still safe to be out there).

As far as the major components go, again, I can't be of much real assistance as you are looking at center c'sol. with stingers that are configured differently than mine.  Honestly, I would not be able to recognize an issue with them anyway 'cept to say that they're full of holes, I see the wood inside them, they are leaking water or they don't look lie ones on other boats I've seen.  (To me, a surveyor is the key there.)

Good luck with that....

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fshtalzF233C
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: October 08 2005
Posts: 11
Posted: October 08 2005 at 00:00 | IP Logged Quote fshtalzF233C

Here are a few suggestions I can share based on past experience. As far as the engine goes, do a compression test. Some auto parts stores loan out tools to do this. The test is easy but you should have a helper and plan about a half-hour for this. A compression test will reveal major issues. I'm not sure what to tell you about the out drive (assuming this is an I/O) except run the engine, shift it in and out of gear several times, listen to it, and when you are all done with this, open the drain plug to see if the gear oil is clear or milky. Milky drive oil means bad seals and water in the outdrive. Also, most drain plugs have magnetic ends and will attract any wear metal from gears. I have found an indispensable helper for boat inspections... a digital camera. If you don't have a digital or your worried about sticking your nice new camera in some not so nice places then pick up a disposable camera. You can stick a camera in a lot of little nooks and crannies where your head and body can't go, like under and behind the engine to check for leaks and corrosion, inside storage cubbies and behind panels to look for mold or rot, up in the gunnels to view wiring, etc. Then you can review the pics later while contemplating. I have inspected several boats with this method and a lot is always revealed. Most importantly, as Double E says, DRIVE IT!

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kitebuz
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: October 04 2005
Posts: 13
Posted: October 11 2005 at 00:00 | IP Logged Quote kitebuz

Good points, and thanks for your replies.  I went on Sat to look at the boat and seatrial.  Great ride, and the out drive and motor didn't miss a beat.  I had the good fortune to be able to get Fintage over on Monday to take a second look at the boat with me as it was the next town over from where he lives.  He's as nice and knowledgeable a guy in person as he is on these forums - big thanks Eric, and I still owe you a few cold ones.

The current owner knows next to nothing about boats in general, so it is hard to get much info from him besides what was passed on to him from previous owners and his friend who helps him with the boat.  Fintage and I did some more poking around, and it was evident that a)  there is some rot in the stringers and also likely the transom (fairly normal for a 30 yr old boat) and b) yes, a compression test would probably be wise even though the engine sounds good and functions well.

I am digesting the info, and reviewing the pics (good advise for sticking a digital cam up where you can't always see.  It is undoubtably a great boat, and I just need to balance out up front costs w/ what I will need to put into her. 

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74Formula233
"Seaman"




Joined: April 01 2004
Posts: 73
Posted: October 17 2005 at 00:00 | IP Logged Quote 74Formula233

No problem, Jonathan......

Glad to be of help....(thanks for the kind words)....

Let us all know how you make out on your "other venture" now




Edited by Sonja Lowe on September 20 2013 at 17:59
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kitebuz
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: October 04 2005
Posts: 13
Posted: October 24 2005 at 00:00 | IP Logged Quote kitebuz

Well, the "other" venture turned out to be  the one.  I went and seatrialed another '73 233C last week, and came home w/ her.  I just "happened" to have business in NC, so I "swung by" Wilmington to look at Moxie.  We had a great sea-trial going out thru the inlet in 2-3' breaking waves.  He ran it harder than I would have, and it was a blast.  What an impressive ride coming back in @ over 30 knts getting totally air-bourne over the backs of the waves.  Boat was solid as a rock. 

Here she is in her new home port in MA:

I couldn't be happier, and have already fielding a bunch of admiring questions on what is an awesome lay-out & hull, but relatively unknown. 

Thanks for your help here, and especially to Fintage for his advice and time.  I'm proud to be in the Formula club.

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72/76formula
"Seaman"




Joined: November 22 2005
Posts: 24
Posted: December 26 2005 at 00:00 | IP Logged Quote 72/76formula

congrats and a beuitful boat you got !

__________________
 
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kitebuz
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: October 04 2005
Posts: 13
Posted: December 27 2005 at 00:00 | IP Logged Quote kitebuz

Thanks!  I love the boat, and can't wait for the water to warm up again.  I think I saw your post when you 1st got Formula on the right - a 20' if I remember correctly.  Have fun with the restore.

Looks like you have plenty of rods and boat to keep you busy lol

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