Useful Tips

We buy a used "duralumin"


I would not recommend it at all, unless I had a good friend who would immediately tell all the flaws of the boat that he knew about. Attention should be paid primarily to the seams, it is they most often miss, and it is on them that a break can occur. First, we look at the seam between the bottom and the side, it is usually made of rubberized fabric, it should be elastic and, of course, whole. Then we look at the middle inner seam (runs horizontally along the inner side, in the middle of the side), it is best if the owner allows him to arm himself with a sponge moistened in water and walk along this seam to see if he passes or not (if it does, then bubbles will appear on the wetted surface ) And at the end we look at the external horizontal seam, if it was not injured during operation and also does not release air, then the boat is in an acceptable condition. After that, it’s better to leave the inflated boat for a couple of hours in this condition and then look at how much it will lower, if slightly, then you can take it, the boat is in good condition, if the boat gave a strong drawdown in two hours, then there are a lot of small punctures on the hull itself (e.g. from fishing hooks) and the boat should not be taken.

Used boat showers

Suppose that using one of the above methods you have obtained the coveted coordinates of the seller, and the proposed conditions more or less suit you. The next logical step will be to go to the place of storage of the boat and see the goods with your own eyes in order to finally make this or that decision. By and large, there can be only three decisions: completely refuse to purchase, bargain about the price, or immediately shake hands.

If you put aside your own ideas about pricing and take as a basis the figure proposed by the seller, then the grounds for making this or that decision can lie solely in the technical field, that is, based on the condition of the boat. And the criteria for its assessment, which will be discussed below, we divided into two groups. The first will allow you to answer the question, is there any sense in contacting with the purchase. The second is not so fundamental, but it can provide a basis for discussing the proposed price.

But it is not in vain that they say that the first impression is sometimes the most correct, and even the most superficial inspection allows you to accurately assess what you are dealing with. For example, if only because the appearance of the boat can easily form an opinion about its owner.

If the view of the boat is neat, and, despite its considerable age, the factory paint has been preserved on the sides, the owner of the boat is probably accurate. Such a person was unlikely to fly on her on a booze to the stones, and if some minor incidents did occur, their consequences were on time and corrected.

Tattered sides, dents, cockpit, covered with long-standing strata of fish scales mixed with engine oil and sand, dangling scraps of rope, a broken windshield, a half-worn or no registration number on board indicate that this fragment of a shipwreck exploited a complete slob that wanted to spit not only on aesthetics, but also on security issues.

By the way, if the boat is fragrant with fresh paint, this should also alert you a little - not to mention the fact that the seller must have included in the total bill an additional amount that does not match the cost of the paint itself and the labor costs incurred: it is possible that serious defects are hidden under the paint layer capable of manifesting during further operation. And such "pre-sale" coatings peel off, as a rule, after the very first exits.

And another very important point that should be clarified during the preliminary negotiations: is the boat being sold registered, and are there any documents at all? The fact is that if you intend to exploit your acquisition legally, if they are absent, you will be tormented by registering the boat with the State Tax Inspectorate, not to mention the fact that you simply risk becoming a victim of fraud - such cases, alas, are not uncommon. One fine day, a real owner of a boat sold without documents may appear, and look for a dexterous seller-fistula.

To take or not to take?

We buy a boat to sail on it. But will our swimming be not only exciting, but also safe? It is precisely this question that the first group of assessment criteria designed to primarily focus on safety is called upon to answer. If the boat does not meet their requirements, then this, by and large, is no longer a boat, and it is better to refuse to buy.

The main thing that needs to be found out is how much the wear and damage acquired during the previous operation affected the body design.

As a rule, the boat offered for sale is stored on the shore, so it is possible to carefully examine it from all sides. If it is launched, it is worth pulling it ashore, since the first thing that should interest a potential buyer is the condition of the bottom.

The most vulnerable part is the lower part of the stem. It is a kind of “indicator” of the general condition of the case, and if it looks decent, then, most likely, everything else is in order. And on riveted and welded boats, it is usually equipped with an additional reinforcing pad. If the boat often flew over stones or fireplaces, or its previous owner, pestering the shore, preferred to “jump out” from the course, on the lower part of the stem you will probably find dents in the best case, and in the worst case lags, cut rivets and even rubbed places and cracks. In this case, you should not take the boat - in the absence of experience with light alloys, it is unlikely that you will be able to eliminate such damage on your own.

This is also true with respect to similar defects of the keel along the entire length from the stem to the transom, as well as the cheekbones, although they usually suffer less.

We also do not recommend buying a boat on which such damage was repaired by gluing it with fiberglass or simply pouring with epoxy resin or putty - the reliability of these measures on the light-alloy hull is extremely low. And indeed, all places bearing signs of repair deserve a particularly thorough inspection.

The next important element is the transom. On a motor boat, it works in rather difficult conditions, since it receives and transfers the emphasis of the outboard motor to the hull. For this reason, fatigue cracks may occur at the junction points of the transom sheathing and the sides of the transom knits and on the details of the submotor recess, especially if the boat was operated with a motor of the maximum permitted or even higher power.

It should be noted that a wooden or made from thick plywood under-engine board on most boats also plays the role of a power element of the transom structure. If it rotted, then the process of "loosening" the transom and the formation of cracks develops with the speed of the collapse, so the condition of the transom can be judged by the state of the board. Cracks can be invisible to the eye, but it is possible that the metal in weak places has dangerously thinned. The most primitive test method is to grab the upper cut of the transom with both hands at the motor mount and how to stagger it. If the transom at the same time "walks" a centimeter or more, it is better not to mess with such a boat.

While the boat is on the shore, it is worth inspecting the bottom trim. On duralumin riveted boats, it should be perfectly smooth. Dents indicate strong impacts and possible damage to the joints of the skin with the kit. Rivets there may be cut or loosened.

Sheathing of welded boats slightly wrapped around the frames is a common thing, because AMg is more plastic than duralumin. By the way, some wave-like cladding is noticeable on completely new welded boats - the material “leads” during welding. So if the arrows of the deflections do not exceed 3-5 mm, you should not be scared.

By the way, you can simply check the density of the skin and kit connections by simply tapping the fist upside down with the keel of the boat. If dangerous gaps form somewhere, they will give themselves out with a rattling sound. Weakened rivets may be the cause on riveted boats, and behind welds, on welded rivets. The weakest points of welded structures are the ends of welded tacks on intermittent seams, as well as the joints of the longitudinal and transverse set (burns are most likely here). Places where the seam is behind the casing or the elements of the kit can be found by the dark rim of dirt, indicating the presence of a gap.

If in the process of inspection found dubious places, it is better to lower the boat into the water and leave for some time (preferably with a load). This is the best way to determine if the housing is leaking. If such tests cannot be carried out - for example, it happens in the winter, you can use the old "kerosene test". To do this, a little powdered chalk (you can use tooth powder) is diluted with water to the density of sour cream and smeared with a suspicious place, and from the back, with a large brush or directly from the bottle, apply kerosene. Kerosene has the ability to penetrate even the smallest crevices, and immediately mark the place of the leak with yellowish stains on the chalk coating. It should be noted that a rivet seam may leak due to the drying of the sealing thiocol tape or sealant.

Reason for bargaining

When buying not only a new, but also a used car, we have the right to expect that together with the car we will get a “spare wheel”, a jack and some minimum tools. The presence of such a kit is mandatory, and if it is absent, additional expenses await us, the burden of which is more logical to shift to the seller.

New boats are also sold fully equipped, and the list of equipment and supplies is quite large. What remains of it on the boat that they offer you? What do you have to buy, order or do it yourself?

If we consider the missing items separately, many of them may seem trifles, but in total, the financial and labor costs that threaten you can be quite impressive.

After examining the boat, estimate on a separate sheet what is and what you still need. A sample list may look something like this:

  • Slany or payola,
  • Banks or soft seats,
  • Windshield (usually either missing or broken)
  • Towing rods and bitens (often broken off a long time ago),
  • Mooring ducks and bale trims,
  • Hand rails and handrails
  • Lids for lockers and luggage racks,
  • Transom water-loading scuppers (very often either passes water or is tightly clogged),
  • Remote motor control, steering device (it happens that it is there, but the cables are rusted to the rollers, and there is no “steering wheel” on the steering column),
  • Awning and arches for its installation,
  • Oars or paddle
  • Anchor,
  • Anchor and mooring ends,
  • Rescue equipment.

The list, we repeat, is the most approximate, and it is quite possible to expand - to include, for example, wheels with a carrier for towing behind a car (they were equipped with a part of Progress motor boats), a movable hard cabin (Sarepta), running lights.

We recommend that you pay special attention to the blocks of buoyancy. They must be - either in the form of foam aggregate, or in the form of metal pressure tanks. Some "craftsmen" removed the pressure tanks, using the vacant space as lockers. In this case, you will have to buy polystyrene foam in the volume corresponding to the weight characteristics of the boat and place it yourself. A quick tip: do not use the most common polystyrene foam (PS) - it is easily soluble in gasoline. It’s easy to distinguish such a foam when buying: borrow a bottle of nail polish remover from your spouse and drip on a dubious sample. If this is a PS, then acetone will instantly eat a noticeable hole in it.

If there are inspection hatches on hermetic tanks or metal buoyancy compartments, open them (gaskets will probably require replacement) and look inside to see if there is water. Whether the compartments are leakproof can also be judged by the signs of corrosion - a whitish coating on the inner walls.

And finally, a used motor boat is often sold complete with a motor. We have already told how to choose a used domestic “outboard” more than once (see, for example, the article “Some Tips for Buying a Used Outboard Motor”). And if you liked the boat, but the condition of the motor causes serious doubts, you also have a reserve for reducing prices (in the end, you can simply refuse the motor).

So, if the case is still quite solid, you are satisfied with the list of attached equipment or the costs of its purchase, and you agreed on the price, you can make a deal. Used duralumin is a very good acquisition, and with proper handling, such a boat will serve you faithfully for many years.

A. Lisochkin, D. Igumnov.

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