View Full Version : buying 1985 19' 240 hp-problems?

04-13-2007, 08:25 PM
I've found a deal to good to be true? Will be demonstrating april 16th. What do I need to watch out for and scrutinize? I'm very familiar with boats, especially mercruisers. I've always had one, but have dreamed of the Matercraft. Any help out there?

04-13-2007, 08:36 PM
Welcome to the MC TT board. You will find a plethora of information and some teriffic people on here. In re: to your question, I have enclosed a link to our FAQ thread for your edification. This is a good starting point and covers many issues in purchasing used MCs. I recommend you read through this thread first and then address any specific and/or follow up questions in this thread. That said, good luck with your purchase.



04-13-2007, 11:21 PM
First off an '85 is going to have issues, it is over 20 years old. You own boats, you know.

That Mastercraft is the third year with no wood in its construction, you will not have to test stringers for rot. The hull is hand laid. The drive line is as simple as it gets, it has no computers, under the hood it looks like an old Mustang. Engine life can be considered 2000 hours if properly maintained. It is not unusual to find boats of this type with as little as 300 hours on them. They are shallow draft, rough riding, handle like a sports car and don't have a lot of interior room. Do a search here for Stars and Stripes.

I bought an '85 two years ago and it needed some work, mostly cosmetic, rubber hose replacement, carb overhaul, fuel system cleaning, gauge repair. They are a solid simple design that if you feel comfortable with inspecting an I/O with wooden stringers, there is much less to concern you with this type of layout. There is solid support with other owners, and merchants like Skidim who cater to these designs. I didn't do any of the tests outlined thoroughly above but it turns out the guy was honest in everything he said, the rest of his toys were immaculate. It is good to be getting a test. I wouldn't necessarily expect perfection. If you have a smooth vibration free ride, and there appears to be no hull damage, then even if the engine bogs a bit due to a crapped up carbeurator these boats offer a solid value and you end up with a classic besides. Hopefully the hours will be low too. Check the oil in the engine and tranny for fresh and full, cross your fingers and good luck.

04-14-2007, 09:28 AM
The 85's are great boats, all the ones I was ever in also creaked. What does that mean? They just had a creaking sound when driving them, I think from being all fiberglass in the early years. But they are my favorite year.

04-14-2007, 12:50 PM
Thanks for the reminders on how to check a boat out. One last ? is I know nothing about the tranny. What type is it? Like an auto? How does it work. Like an automatic/

04-14-2007, 01:35 PM
The 85 will have a Borg Warner Transmission. Either a 1:1 ratio with a 13x13 prop or a 1.52:1 with a 14x18 prop. If it has the 1.52:1, it is know as a powerslot and has more out of the hole power.

It is a hydraulic transmission (simular to a automatic) but is a single ratio. Check the transmission fluid to see that it is clear and not milky or burnt. There is a transmission cooler as well and you want to make sure it is ok. If the boat has been properly winterized it should be ok.

Things to look for on the engine.

Freeze plugs: Take a look at them and see if they are intact. Replaced freeze plugs is a sure sign it wasnt winterized properly at one point.

Water Pump: Look at the water pump, look at it and see if the paint looks burnt. Sure sign it was ran once with a bad impellor and overheated the engine.

Look over the exaust manifolds for signs of rust and water leakage.

Check out the FAQ on this site, lots of good info there.