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Old 07-13-2018, 03:01 PM   #1
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Marine Trader

I might go look at a 34' Marine Trader 5 hours away. It is a double cabin, two heads and the Ford Lehman 120. Any tips on what to look for? It is a '79 and they're asking 25k. Thanks for any help folks.
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Old 07-13-2018, 03:37 PM   #2
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Soft decks and stringers. I take a small phoenolic hammer with me to tap out the decks and stringers. You will hear a sharp tap on good decks and a dull thud if they are waterlogged. Also look at the fuel tanks for corrosion. Look at the wiring and see if it has beed hacked on by an ignorant owner. Good luck. Happy boat hunting.
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:18 AM   #3
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Add leaking windows.
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:36 AM   #4
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At $25K, half the worth of the boat is the engine.

Look for a maintenance log and if you don't know diesels well, consider an engine survey when the time comes.

A lot of things may be on last legs but still look OK and function. Easily ten grand or more worth in just parts.... New things poorly installed or not maintained fail prematurely.
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:45 PM   #5
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I've had my 1977 34' Marine Trader for 25 years now.

Everything these guys are saying is true.

And also true about their boats.

But theirs are butt ugly.
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Old 07-15-2018, 05:54 PM   #6
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My previous boat was MT34. I work for a year on land to replace all plywood. Upper deck and all around. The engine will run forever if maintain. You will have 2 steel tanks - make sure that they have no leak. The only way to get them out is to remove engine and transmission. Check if you have bronze shaft. If you have bronze shaft, then look for pink spots - oxidation. Replace shaft as I did. Two porthole on bow are leaking most of the time due the fact that they are installed backwards. One they done, they are good boats.
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:16 PM   #7
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Thank you.

Thanks for the input everyone. I'll let you know what happens.
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:39 AM   #8
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Instead of tapping with a hammer, pick up one of these to check for moisture..
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Extech-I...O210/203449681
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Old 08-05-2018, 05:03 PM   #9
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Be sure fuel tanks have been replaced. If teak decks are still down they will leak, windows will leak. Is there an engine log and how many hours. Regardless have survey done on the vessel. It is well worth the money. 25k sound on the high side unless it has very low hours and everything replaced. I have a 1983 DC that had 580 hours , new fuel tanks, new plumbing, new AC, new windows and I paid 19k
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Old 08-05-2018, 05:30 PM   #10
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Thanks for the idea. Do moisture meters work in the rain? Or if the deck is wet?
I think tapping with a plastic hammer is good because materials can be soft or deteriorated from previous moisture intrusion, but currently dry.
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