Anyone here own a boat, or know a lot about boats?

ccoon520

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In my experience it depends on what you want to get out of the boat and when you want to use it. In general a 20' bow rider will hold 10ish people, a couple dogs and cargo. All boats made post like 1990 or something are required to have a capacity plaque or sticker that is legible and easily read for all boats less than 30' in length. So if you are interested in a boat you can go look at it and see if the capacity is enough for what you are planning to do. Keep in mind that this is like your GVWR, so include 30-50 gallons of fuel weight in your swag as well.

In general, outboards are easier to maintain and work on because you are not having to cirque du soleil around a small block chevy that is crammed under a sun deck or wedged between seats. However, you are stuck buying the parts that are sold by that outboards manufacturer and if they are NLA then you are buying a new outboard. The nice thing about inboards or I/Os is that if you need motor parts you go to your local NAPA get some parts out of a truck catalog that matches the year/generation of your motor and install it or if you need a whole new motor you go to your local scrap yard grab a 5.3 vortec out of a truck and you're ready to go.

When buying a used boat, always test drive it unless you are specifically looking for a project boat. Also bring a small ball peen hammer and knock lightly on the fiberglass inside and outside the boat if something sounds like it is dull or squishy the wood underneath is probably rotten and will need replaced. If they won't let you lake/river test it WALK AWAY. Being in the great white north shady people like to hide a cracked block under cheap new upholstery and a detail to get out from underneath a 3 grand motor replacement.

I firmly believe where the BOAT acronym comes from are people buying a shiny used one for cheap and realizing they got taken for a ride. The maintenance on a boat is very similar to a car and your biggest expense should be fuel if you take your time and really scrutinize the boat before you buy it. Last thing don't buy a boat from family.
 
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Hkb82

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10 people plus 2 dogs would be a full 20 footer bow rider I can tell ya that. Even if the says it can hold 10 people. My wife’s suv has 8 seat belts but could I take 7 of my buddies and gear to a ball tournament in it comfortably heck no. Also if I was selling my boat private and someone wanted to check the fiberglass with a ball peen hammer I’d say no chance. Well it might be a little strongly worded. I don’t think the op is looking for a project boat and that’s about the only time I’d let ya ballpeen my boat is if it’s a pos to begin with lol.
Also in my area at least this time of year it would be hard to test drive it. Most are wrapped and winterized by this point. And if it’s not then he or she is probably not taking the best care to begin with. I think Montana would be the same as your pretty north. Not great at knowing what states get snow or not. I think being a welder is a no brainer to go aluminum. I’d stick to dealers during the winter unless a private seller would hold with a deposit till spring when I could test it out. Any dealer will probably do this for you and it would save you storing it for at least one more year.
Wanna truly see how long winter is buy a boat in the fall.
 

mcmxi

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Great playlist skeet’s
10 people plus 2 dogs would be a full 20 footer bow rider I can tell ya that. Even if the says it can hold 10 people. My wife’s suv has 8 seat belts but could I take 7 of my buddies and gear to a ball tournament in it comfortably heck no. Also if I was selling my boat private and someone wanted to check the fiberglass with a ball peen hammer I’d say no chance. Well it might be a little strongly worded. I don’t think the op is looking for a project boat and that’s about the only time I’d let ya ballpeen my boat is if it’s a pos to begin with lol.
Also in my area at least this time of year it would be hard to test drive it. Most are wrapped and winterized by this point. And if it’s not then he or she is probably not taking the best care to begin with. I think Montana would be the same as your pretty north. Not great at knowing what states get snow or not. I think being a welder is a no brainer to go aluminum. I’d stick to dealers during the winter unless a private seller would hold with a deposit till spring when I could test it out. Any dealer will probably do this for you and it would save you storing it for at least one more year.
Wanna truly see how long winter is buy a boat in the fall.
Good points. Buying a boat in the winter up here does preclude the opportunity for a test drive. I can almost definitely get a better deal with a private sale based on my fact finding mission at a local boat dealer yesterday, and looking at boats on Craigslist.

If I end up buying a boat this winter or early spring it'll almost certainly be a 20' to 24' tritoon with a 150hp outboard engine. That's where I'm at this morning.
 
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mcmxi

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I'm going to look at the following boat tomorrow as part of the research phase.

2019 Crest 220 SLRC Tritoon Pontoon Boat. 150 HP Mercury Outboard. Trailer and cover included. It's a one owner boat that has only been on Flathead Lake. Not sure of the hours. The owner really needs to sell it but he owes a fair amount on the boat. It's cheaper than the StarCraft by a significant margin but I'll need to do some research to see if this would be a reasonable deal.

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GeoHorn

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I'm going to look at the following boat tomorrow as part of the research phase.

2019 Crest 220 SLRC Tritoon Pontoon Boat. 150 HP Mercury Outboard. Trailer and cover included. It's a one owner boat that has only been on Flathead Lake. Not sure of the hours. The owner really needs to sell it but he owes a fair amount on the boat. It's cheaper than the StarCraft by a significant margin but I'll need to do some research to see if this would be a reasonable deal.

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IF that is a woven poly/fabric/carpet type of flooring…..(often called “seagrass”)….it’ll be good. But if it’s vinyl or linoleum type (solid synthetic without weave)…it will BURN bare feet in the sun.
 
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RCW

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mcmxi - after looking at skeets music links, suddenly recalled I had a dream about boat shopping myself last night.

All I remember was a showroom….Didn’t see any bikinis in my dream…:confused:

Didn’t buy one, and the price was $31.00 in my dream….:oops:

That boat looks awesome! Best wishes in your endeavor! 😉
 
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mcmxi

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IF that is a woven poly/fabric/carpet type of flooring…..(often called “seagrass”)….it’ll be good. But if it’s vinyl or linoleum type (solid synthetic without weave)…it will BURN bare feet in the sun.
Thanks for the tip. I'll check on that. I'm not going to hand over any money at this point and this truly is the look and learn phase. Just getting my feed wet, as the saying goes.
 

GeoHorn

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Thanks for the tip. I'll check on that. I'm not going to hand over any money at this point and this truly is the look and learn phase. Just getting my feed wet, as the saying goes.
BTW…. those pics show us a recently-detailed boat… The shiney pontoon tubes are a give-away someone used acid on them to make them shiney again…. because if you put them in the water …in less than a week they will be dull-grey at the water-line again.
The reason I’m pointing that out… is so that you 1) know that dull pontoon tubes are no reason to turn-down a good boat…and 2) that acid (usually sulfuric/battery-acid) products work by REMOVING surface material. It won’t immediately cause any problems…but regular aggressive use will eventually weaken/thin the materials. A “patina” on the tubes is not a bad thing.
 
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lugbolt

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yeah you can go to a junkyard and buy a cyl head, but you ain't finding those exhaust manifolds, intake manifolds, some water pumps are different between marine and automotive applications, distributors, carburetors, fuel system parts/lines/hoses, front drive accessories, starter, a lot of that stuff is marine specific. Not all of it. But the main parts that commonly break due to frozen water and RUST (heat exchangers particularly) are marine specific. There were also some counter-rotating ENGINES (not just the outdrive), where they used specific starters distributors camshafts timing components water pumps oil pumps and a lot of other stuff. I have a V8 ford out in the corner of the shop that came from a houseboat, counter-rotation. It has some really weird stuff on it. Starboard side engine was junk, port side was fixable. I took the port engine and a few other parts before the owner sold the rest of the good parts and then burned and buried the hull.

Dad and I did this stuff for a long time and him and I replaced a lot of heat exchanger/exh manifolds and water pumps. And a bunch of engine blocks. Draining all of the water out of a I/O while it's buried down in that hull is an excercise in your patience for sure. And it tests how limber your body is. Then when the wrench slips off of the square-drive block plug and you lose the skin off of the knuckle, you invent new words. And even more after you realized you just dropped that wrench somewhere down in there, where it seemingly teleports to an unknown dimension to never be seen or heard from again.

some of the I/O stuff is just weird. It is automotive BASED but you ain't finding very many of those parts in a salvage yard, or napa for that matter. But it can work both ways too. Good example is the 470 Mercruiser. It's a 170hp inline 4 cyl, 3.7L displacement. The cylinder head is derived from a Ford 460, and is of cast iron. The block is aluminum and is purpose built for the application, you will not find that block anywhere but Mercruiser (it is NLA). The head, however, is NOT a 460 head, although a regular 460 head WILL physically bolt on without issue, there are some differences-particularly in how it cools the head/engine. They were vibrating noisy pigs because of their large displacement and inline 4 cyl design, with no counterbalancer to reduce nvh.

And modifying them, I didn't do much with the LS stuff but quite a bit with the old GM I-6's and the 3.8/4.3 V6's as well as the GM i-4's and a good number of small-block based stuff. Something a lot of folks don't realize is that I/O outdrives are rated by maximum horsepower. You're not going to reliably swap a 200hp rated Alpha outdrive to a 350hp V8. It will not last. Dad and I got ourselves in a pickle over this and that's ultimately why he shut down the business. Guy had an IMP (brand of boat) that was originally powered by a 250" chevy six. Big ol long thing. The 250 was trashed, guy didn't winterize is properly and broke the block. So the guy shows up with a 283 out of an impala as I remember, used of course, and says put this one in. It bolts right in, there are a few things that need to be done but more or less it falls into place. But there is a significant power difference, and the larger outdrive will not physically "bolt on" in that application, and dad warned the guy that it may not last. Guy said he'll be easy on the throttle. A week later it's back, demolished the outdrive. Dad fixed it and it lasted another weekend, came back again and dad told the guy to go pound sand. Then the sand pounder took him to small claims where he WON on a technicality, and at that point closed up the shop (not because he had to, because of "people" like that) and that was that.

I'm sure a lot of that has changed but it's worth mentioning, if someone's looking for an older boat.

i still stand behind the fact that 4 stroke outboard power is really the best option in any pontoon application, and in a lot of smaller runabouts.
 
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lugbolt

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and on outboards, since I spent 27-ish years working on them, I prefer them in this order from best to worst

1 yamaha
2 suzuki
3 mercury
4 honda
1,245 chrysler

the downside to the first 2 is that getting parts right now has been getting tough with all of the supply chain interruptions. I haven't dealt with merc too much but the boat guys at the boat shop seem to be turning them out a lot faster and in more numbers than the yamaha and suzuki's.

i would almost put #4 before #3 but merc parts are easier to get and dealers are on every corner

if you go to the coast, about all you see is yamaha, or that's the way it used to be--now with all of the supply chain crap going on that might be different. I ain't graced the coast(s) in about 3 years and I'm having withdrawls.

when I did merc I have never seen so many broken bolts in my entire life. Every time you turn around & do a bass boat impeller, one of the darn foot bolts breaks off and if it didn't it was a pump housing bolt. I don''t know what the deal is with 'em. NEVER had that issue with Yamaha-ever. Yamaha technician work was like maytag repairmen. Once they leave you never saw them again and when/if you did it was for an oil change or a water pump. Unless it was a duck hunter, they tear everything up around here.

and mercosil blocks. Don't even get me started. Brunswick (the parent company of Mercury and mariner and other brands, motorguide comes to mind) KNEW of that issue, and for small outboard customers it was a huge issue, but failed to address it; just kept on building them. Then a few years, they changed the design and mercosil finally went away on the 25hp motors (25hp was KING in this area for a LOOOONG time). And getting Brunswick to help with warranty repair? LOL! That's why the dealer finally dumped them and went strictly with Yamaha. From a financial standpoint it was a mistake because yamaha stuff just rarely showed up for repair where mercury was quite common, but from a customer-service standpoint, it was great. Everyone was mostly happy. Except the duck hunters. You can't please them.
 
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lugbolt

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This is an excellent post so thanks very much for taking the time to write it. There's so much good information in this thread and I want to thank everyone for contributing. It's incredibly helpful.

Talking of inclement weather, there are high wind warnings all the time on Flathead Lake which is some 35 miles long and 8 miles wide in places. It's "only" 360 feet deep in the deepest spots, but it's a serious lake that will kill if not respected.
yes the depth is not so much the killer but it indicates the conditions of the lake. Often on waterways like that, where it's open, 15 knot wind is enough to cause issues, and they are magnified by smaller craft-like mine. Pontoons too, even larger ones, get a little hairy in higher winds. They are like a big sail but you can't take them down when the wind gets crazy.

4 years ago lost a good friend on a lake just up the road. Small shallow lake. He was in a 1436 flat bottom with a 3.5hp red band (IIRC) mercury that I gave him. He had LOTS of experience out there on the water, at least that water. A barbecue shower rolls in like they often do here, and the wind picks up, capsizes his rig, and they found his boat in 5 foot of water and his half-eaten (turtles, coons, etc) body a half mile away against the bank. That water right there is no more than 6 foot deep at the most. I was on the water looking for him that afternoon after his wife called and said he didn't come home and ain't answering the phone. Darkness fell and the search was called for the day, then later the next day the search & rescue crew found what was left of him. Sure miss that ol guy. he was my fishing buddy. Now it's my girlfriend, but she's not as interested in fishing as he was, she fishes a little and then grabs the phone and goes shopping.

seen plenty of guys wreck on the river too, in a foot or so of water. When that happens they often get throwed out of the boat (tiller steered jons and the like) and sometimes get banged up on the way out, or when they hit the rocky river in some cases. One guy last summer drowned when he knocked hisself out of the boat in about 18" of water and hit his head, we guess he went unconscious and then the power of flowing water took over from there. He was found that day, actually where he wrecked at is kind of remote but someone at a dock downstream found his lifeless body and then went upriver looking to make sure there was noone else with him.

and when we lived on the river up north, I personally remember 2 explosions, both with no or little injury. On I/O boats with carburetors, the engine sits down in the hull and the fuel fumes from the carburetor are heavier than air so they sit in the hull. Not liquid fuel, just vapors. Hit the key, failing to use the vent blowers, boom. BIG boom, like a bomb went off and the boat disappears into pieces (fiberglass).
 
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Oil pan 4

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Boat stands for Break Out Another Thousand.
The 2 best days in a boat owners life are the day they get it and the day they sell it.
 

Hkb82

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BTW…. those pics show us a recently-detailed boat… The shiney pontoon tubes are a give-away someone used acid on them to make them shiney again…. because if you put them in the water …in less than a week they will be dull-grey at the water-line again.
The reason I’m pointing that out… is so that you 1) know that dull pontoon tubes are no reason to turn-down a good boat…and 2) that acid (usually sulfuric/battery-acid) products work by REMOVING surface material. It won’t immediately cause any problems…but regular aggressive use will eventually weaken/thin the materials. A “patina” on the tubes is not a bad thing.
I would hope that when your looking at boats at dealers they have been detailed and look their best. Not so sure this one is proof that any acid was used on the toons. It’s only a 2019 with unknown hours. For all we know it’s been in the water for 10 hours and lived on that trailer the rest of the time. I don’t think you’d find many people using acid on their 2019. That sounds more like a hardly used year 2000 boat kinda sales trick.
Very nice looking boat if you ask me. But like you I’d be looking a as many as I could in person to better know what I’m looking for. If I’m at 2019s era i would probably be sticking mostly to dealers so any warranty that could be carried over can be done by them and any issues I have I can always go back to them with. I’m not apposed to private but it would have to be several thousand to have me interested. Once you have a better idea of what you want and what they are worth even the dealer markup you’ll be able to spot and counter. The price on a used boat at a marina ain’t in stone this time of year like in the summer. Plus a good relationship with your marina goes a long way when you need them. If your in there and the service isn’t busy pick their brain a bit. Tell them your looking at boats and they will be happy to share their opinion. Can’t hurt.
Have fun shopping and when the boat for you comes along you’ll know. Seems like your already on the right track.
 

Hkb82

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Boat stands for Break Out Another Thousand.
The 2 best days in a boat owners life are the day they get it and the day they sell it.
I’ll bet most these comments are from non boat owners or people who bought a 10000 used boat that was 70000 new and wondered why it was always breaking and costing them. Maybe cause the last owner didn’t do sh** to maintain or service it. I’ve owned boats my entire life and they sure arnt what I waste the most money on.
every day I’m on my boat I’m happy. And the day I don’t have one I’ll probably cry.
 
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mcmxi

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BTW…. those pics show us a recently-detailed boat… The shiney pontoon tubes are a give-away someone used acid on them to make them shiney again…. because if you put them in the water …in less than a week they will be dull-grey at the water-line again.
The reason I’m pointing that out… is so that you 1) know that dull pontoon tubes are no reason to turn-down a good boat…and 2) that acid (usually sulfuric/battery-acid) products work by REMOVING surface material. It won’t immediately cause any problems…but regular aggressive use will eventually weaken/thin the materials. A “patina” on the tubes is not a bad thing.
I did some looking at Crest boats and it seems that I could order a similarly equipped 2023 Crest boat that is just a couple of thousand more than the 2018 that I was going to look at. There seem to be people who buy a boat on a HELOC or similar and only pay off the interest for five years and want/need to get close to what they paid (or more) for the boat five years ago. Not going to happen!

My search continues.

By the way, I spoke with my friend last night who invites me on his grandparent's boat. Turns out that the boat is a 23ft model with a 350 hp outboard! Good grief, no wonder that thing is so fast!
 
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mcmxi

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and on outboards, since I spent 27-ish years working on them, I prefer them in this order from best to worst

1 yamaha
2 suzuki
3 mercury
4 honda
1,245 chrysler

the downside to the first 2 is that getting parts right now has been getting tough with all of the supply chain interruptions.
The 2022 22ft Premier tritoon I looked at on Thursday had a 150hp Suzuki outboard engine. $74k out the door! Hmmm .... not going to do that but it sure is a nice boat. Sometimes though you look at something and think why does it cost that much. What's in it? How much material? How long does it take to make it? Am I getting good value for money? I look at a $70k pontoon boat and see $30k at most. Maybe I'm not meant to own a boat! :LOL:
 

mcmxi

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If I’m at 2019s era i would probably be sticking mostly to dealers so any warranty that could be carried over can be done by them and any issues I have I can always go back to them with. I’m not apposed to private but it would have to be several thousand to have me interested.
I was surprised to learn that the Premier (for the original owner) has a lifetime warranty on all welds anywhere on the boat, and a lifetime warranty on the deck, 10 years on all materials, and 5 years on the Suzuki motor. I guess they figure most won't keep the boat long enough to make use of those warranties.
 

mcmxi

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4 years ago lost a good friend on a lake just up the road. Small shallow lake. He was in a 1436 flat bottom with a 3.5hp red band (IIRC) mercury that I gave him. He had LOTS of experience out there on the water, at least that water. A barbecue shower rolls in like they often do here, and the wind picks up, capsizes his rig, and they found his boat in 5 foot of water and his half-eaten (turtles, coons, etc) body a half mile away against the bank. That water right there is no more than 6 foot deep at the most. I was on the water looking for him that afternoon after his wife called and said he didn't come home and ain't answering the phone. Darkness fell and the search was called for the day, then later the next day the search & rescue crew found what was left of him. Sure miss that ol guy. he was my fishing buddy. Now it's my girlfriend, but she's not as interested in fishing as he was, she fishes a little and then grabs the phone and goes shopping.
I'm sorry to hear that. I was talking with my friend last night who has a lot of experience on the water, and he mentioned some issues or problems that can occur, particularly those that are weather related. If I end up with a boat I will definitely go out on the lake with him a number of times until I feel that I'm at least reasonably competent to put my own life at risk, but more importantly, the lives of friends who come out with me.

We see this all the time where people don't take something seriously enough or give it enough thought or respect. If the lives of others are involved I'm not going to be "that guy".
 

Hkb82

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The 2022 22ft Premier tritoon I looked at on Thursday had a 150hp Suzuki outboard engine. $74k out the door! Hmmm .... not going to do that but it sure is a nice boat. Sometimes though you look at something and think why does it cost that much. What's in it? How much material? How long does it take to make it? Am I getting good value for money? I look at a $70k pontoon boat and see $30k at most. Maybe I'm not meant to own a boat! :LOL:
Just wondering the price on that used 19 titan you showed us. Just so I can have have a better idea of price where you are at compared to the new 22 footer. Electronics are a place it’s easy to spend a bunch and not really see it on the boat. That stuff ain’t cheap. To be fair you are looking at toons with 150+ho motors lol. I remember when you would see most with like a 25-60hp. Now we got crazy 350s and tri toons wow. You can bet the prices were upped just like kubota and all the others after the rona. As long as we will pay it they will charge it. I was actually told my a Polaris sales man once that that’s why their machines are so expensive. His words were cause you guys are willing to pay it. Needles to say I didn’t buy the side by side and bought from brp.
 
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mcmxi

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Just wondering the price on that used 19 titan you showed us. Just so I can have have a better idea of price where you are at compared to the new 22 footer. Electronics are a place it’s easy to spend a bunch and not really see it on the boat. That stuff ain’t cheap. To be fair you are looking at toons with 150+ho motors lol. I remember when you would see most with like a 25-60hp. Now we got crazy 350s and tri toons wow. You can bet the prices were upped just like kubota and all the others after the rona. As long as we will pay it they will charge it. I was actually told my a Polaris sales man once that that’s why their machines are so expensive. His words were cause you guys are willing to pay it. Needles to say I didn’t buy the side by side and bought from brp.
Here's the add on Craigslist.


The seller is asking $43,200 and he doesn't know how many hours are on the boat. I asked him if there's any "wiggle room" and he said not much since that's close to what he owes. Given inflation, supply chain issues, the cost of a 2023 boat, etc., I have to doubt that the boat cost that much in 2018/2019, and if he does owe that much I doubt he's paid down the principle much at all or even some of the interest. He might be giving me a line though and maybe it's paid off.

There's a nice looking Avalon for $35k, but it has close to 1,000 hours on it and it's a 2018. That's fairly high use on the motor for the age. 1,000 hours of motor use might mean a lot more hours of wear and tear. I see that some boats have an hour meter on the dash which is cool and useful.
 
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