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1998 ski nautique

seveetseveet Posts: 29 Baller
I am super excited. I finally made it work to buy a 97-99 nautique. It seems like everyone raves about these boats. Is there anything particular to these boats that I should look for prior to completing the purchase? It has a GT 40. Regular maintenance has been performed. I won’t be able to do a compression test. It has approximately 900 hours. There is a link to a video of the boat below. I know the trailer looks a little rough, but it should be in the water except for winter time. Thanks



  • dvskierdvskier Posts: 715 Crazy Baller
    Nice looking boat, I had a 97. Great wakes and it will handle the chop quite well. As for the trailer you could always take it to a paint shop to have it sandblasted and repainted. Not necessary but would save you money in the long run.
  • WishWish Posts: 8,269 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Depending on how far you have to tow it home, look very closely at everything on that trailer. Last thing you want is a break down on the road heading home. Test ride it for sure. There was a list of things to look for when buying a used boat on here somewhere..any brand. It's a good resource if someone can find it and post. I own a 97 and don't think there is any particular thing to look for. A lot can be determined by a good loooong test drive and maintenance records.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • WishWish Posts: 8,269 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited April 7
    Just looked at the vid. Is the front of that motor supposed to be THAT close to the motor box lower half?
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • WDKinleyWDKinley Posts: 25 Baller
    Looks like a great slalom tug. First order of business: get the trailer bearings serviced (repacked.) Second: Make sure the engine is ready to go... It says regular maintenance was performed. If that means impeller and oil changes that's a good start.... but you need to look into fuel filter, trans fluid, spark plugs, distributor cap/wires. Then next step will be perfect pass (preferably 3 event with z box if you're running the course.) Congrats that's a beauty of a boat and will last you a LONG time.
  • BlueSkiBlueSki Posts: 878 Mega Baller
    @Wish that does look close, do you think that the previous owner pushed the engine box back to make room for a tall wakeboard pylon?

    @seveet check the wood on the bunks and the trailer steps for rot. If the trailer was wet frequently, the carpet likely held water and accelerated the rot of the steps. I say that from personal experience with my first trailer.
  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,903 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    edited April 7
    I would also make sure the tires are new. If they are older than 4 years, go get new ones before you trail the boat anywhere. Tires will rot out in 4 years and if it lets go of the tread, it will tear up the trailer and very likely the side of the boat.

    It looks like the lower half of the motor box needs to slide forward to avoid one of the engine pulleys from rubbing. Remove that piece of PVC on the pylon and the lower motor box should slide right up to the pylon.

    Looks like a well maintained boat, at least cosmeticly. A few nicks and scuffs, but that would be expected on a 20yr+ boat.
    I'm Ancient. WTH do I know?
  • MDB1056MDB1056 Posts: 621 Crazy Baller
    edited April 7
    Nice boat! +1 on the trailer comments regarding prep. If it's not been used much make sure its prep'd before any road work for the reasons stated. Don't know if those came with bearing buddies but if not present that would be a concern to bearing soundness. I've not owned these boats so may be normal but the fins look short to me. My boats are longer and swoop rearward. Curious why you cant do a compression check if you're of course going to test drive. Definitely agree with @Wish and others that the pulley is too far forward. Looks like engine box has definitely been moved back a bit , yes likely for pole over pylon. Keep us posted.
  • bananaronbananaron Posts: 486 Crazy Baller
    @Wish It looks like motor box cover is blocked by something on the pylon.A white plastic ring.I think the cover needs to be moved forward.I agree a long boat ride tells a lot about a boat.I have purchased a few and I always have a long list of things I do before buying it.Like you can pull the dipstick to ck the oil and ck trans fluid.And certainly I ck by opening the motor box cover to see if its dry and do the same after the long test drive.If anything is leaking it will usually show up after a long drive.The trailer can be worked on this summer probably will need new bunks and whatever else you find.GOOD LUCK.....ENJOY
    Ron Engblom Brainerd lakes,minnesota
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,701 Mega Baller
    Tires on the trailer. 2 siblings of mine blew tires towing the new to them boat home. Also the bearing grease if you are going very far.

    Sure can blast/paint the trailer if you want. Looks like the boat needs a nice gel detail then should be very sharp--interior surprisingly good.

    THe shocks to hold the glove box door up always go bad--the glove box door is HEAVY duty and heavy. Can get upgraded shocks at NAPA.

    Mine is in storage but agree with others there seems to be some tight relation with clamshell motor box and the motor--make sure no friction there when running. Looks to me they moved the box back so easy to move it back to be snug to the pylon like it is supposed to be.

    If the steering isn't absolute butter--replace the steering cable and the rudder grease--you will be so happy you did--will be absolute butter. If the throttle is sticky at all--same for throttle cable. These are small upgrades/maintenance but make it feel SO nice to drive.

    Pour gas in her slowly if you don't want it to puke it back at you at the pump. Don't say I didn't say so when your clothes smell like gas!

    Other than that...these things are solid like a rock. Great ski boats--drive nice, track nice, nice wake. GT40 is a strong motor.

    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • floridagmfloridagm Posts: 41 Baller
    edited April 7
    Here in orlando we called that white plastic ring a bull ring. A veteran local inboard mobile mechanic named Bull always left one after servicing, it was used to prop the motor box cover open to let it air out. It works great, just don’t travel with the box propped up on it, it will cut the carpet and trim at the bottom of the box as the box bounces up and down traveling down the road.
  • floridagmfloridagm Posts: 41 Baller
    Don’t know where you live but Ramlin does a fantastic job at trailer refurbishment. They’ll do any level you need and will do it on any brand trailer.
  • EdmundEdmund Posts: 192 Baller
    If you get the boat, replace the kill switch if it is old. Cheap, and it might save a tow back to the dock someday. They go bad even if not used.
  • StickmanStickman Posts: 36 Baller
    I have the EXACT same boat. Everything appears to be stock except the steering wheel and the rear speakers. Wheels are not original either if that matters.
  • seveetseveet Posts: 29 Baller
    Thanks for all the feedback. We’ll see how The test drive goes Sunday.
  • Nautique99Nautique99 Posts: 14 Baller
    I have a 1999 Nautique with a similarly old & crappy trailer, and I have blown a trailer tire twice. It really sucks. The first time was bringing the boat home from out of state when I bought it. The second time I was taking it to a lake with my wife and kids in the car. And here's the kicker: the jack in my F-150 isn't tall enough to get the trailer off the ground to change the tire - I ended up having to call a tow truck.

    Since you probably can't get the trailer serviced or tires replaced before you bring the boat home, my advice is to buy a large jack to keep in your car, and bring it everywhere just in case. I bought this one. It's a beast, but it's well worth avoiding the hassle - take it from me!
  • Nautique99Nautique99 Posts: 14 Baller
    I should add, the boat is rock solid though - I love it.
  • WDKinleyWDKinley Posts: 25 Baller
    Heck yeah! Enjoy
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,701 Mega Baller
    Put a little love in that boat and u will have a fantastic ride both cosmetic and performance. If I lived nearby I’d help make it perfect.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • Ski2000Ski2000 Posts: 51 Baller
    @Skoot1123 that is a sweet reverse gel coat. My buddy has it in blue.
    Nice boat.
  • seveetseveet Posts: 29 Baller
    Skoot. Absolutely beautiful. What products did you use?
  • Skoot1123Skoot1123 Posts: 2,060 Mega Baller
    @seveet - Thank you!! Last year I purchased a Shurhold Pro Rotary Polisher (this is NOT a random orbital polisher - this is what the pros use) the wool cutting pad, a foam wax pad and the polishing bonnet and the premium pad holder. I used the Buff Magic compound from Shurhold as well as their Polishing Wax. Overall I am very pleased with the products from Shurhold. I learned how to buff boats and cars when I worked at an auto body during my college years. It was fun to get back to doing that - the results are worth the effort. In order to get the hull clean I had to use straight muriatic acid - see the What is this White Substance thread for my journey there.

    The interior of your boat and the running surface (from the video at least) looks to be in great shape. Great find!

    @Ski2000 - thank you!! One other member on here has the blue reverse gel too. @storm34 I believe?
  • seveetseveet Posts: 29 Baller
    Those are beautiful boats. I have my work cut out for me. Skoot thanks for the feedback. Does anyone know of a discount code/ special deal on perfect pass?
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,701 Mega Baller
    might want to try a separate thread for that question to get the most feedback
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • GaryJanzigGaryJanzig Posts: 103 Baller
    3m restorer and wax should buff out the oxidation and scratches.
  • ToddAToddA Posts: 124 Baller
    @seveet Nice Find! We have a 1999 SN GT40, and LOVE IT! I have buddies that routinely ski behind newer boats from all brands, and they will often say, "NEVER sell this boat, it has the best wakes of all of them combined!" Now, with that being said, it does have its quirks, and obviously some compromise of interior space compared to some newer 20' inboards. I just had to replace my low and high pressure fuel pumps (one inside the FCC, and the one just below the FCC), but other than that, it has been nearly without issue. After looking at your video, I looked at our engine box, and I agree, it looks like yours has been moved to the stern somewhat, as there is less clearance in the front to your lower part of the clam shell. (FWIW)
  • LLLCCCLLLCCC Posts: 3 New Baller
    Nice buy and lots of good info on this thread, thanks and congrats. I just bought a 2001 196 also.
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