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V-Drive Purchase Questions

BigChevy1955

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Hi, I'm looking to buy a V-Drive, preferably a Howard or Sanger with a BBC. I've never owned one before and I am wondering what I should look for to make sure it is in good running condition. I don't want to overlook something and get stuck with things I need to repair... etc. I hope you guys with V-drives can help me out before I buy. Thanks!!
 

74 spectra20 v-drive

74 spectra20 v-drive
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a lot of variables here, what type of V drive? are you looking for a flat or cruiser? you can find some decent boats for your budget but its going to take a lot of searching and you can definitely find some crap for ten grand as well. If you are not savoy in these find a friend who is and make sure to take them with you to look at the boat. you also need to be realistic, there is a lot of cool stuff online and its gets expensive quick as well digger points out.
 
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cofooter

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From my limited experience:
Make sure it has all the parts - v-drive parts are extremely expensive to buy separately if you can find them
Make sure the parts are good and working - see above
Make sure all wood and glass is good and there is nothing falling apart - delaminating/rotted
The engine will likely be the least of your worries and/or the cheapest part to fix.
 

BigChevy1955

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Thanks for all your answers guys! I'll have to do a lot of searching and just hope for the right one to pop up somewhere. I think my biggest concern would be with the actual v-drive part because they cost like $4000 new. I see what you guys are saying about the costs that can come up. Do v-drive units tend to develop problems frequently?
 

cofooter

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Thanks for all your answers guys! I'll have to do a lot of searching and just hope for the right one to pop up somewhere. I think my biggest concern would be with the actual v-drive part because they cost like $4000 new. I see what you guys are saying about the costs that can come up. Do v-drive units tend to develop problems frequently?
You can get rebuild kits for them or send them for refurb for less than the cost of new...... used they go for 600 -700.
 

welldigger00

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Thanks for all your answers guys! I'll have to do a lot of searching and just hope for the right one to pop up somewhere. I think my biggest concern would be with the actual v-drive part because they cost like $4000 new. I see what you guys are saying about the costs that can come up. Do v-drive units tend to develop problems frequently?
If you are a hotrodder, or drag racer you’ll fall in love. They require constant maintenance. I’ve had the interior(two front seats, and a bench) out of my boat three times this summer. The ride that they give is second to none. I’d find a running boat, like the blue spectra for 25k. Spend more money up front for a running boat. You’ll go broke trying to make one run.


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Outdrive1

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It took me over a year to sort mine out. But there’s nothing like one with big power. They are not every weekend boats. Like it was said before, they require a lot maintenance. My 21 Schiada is a day and night better ride than my 24. Lee Spindler told me they are a man’s boat. That’s pretty much how I would describe one.


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BigChevy1955

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Yeah, I'm a hot rodder so to be able to combine my love of hot rods and boats is pretty cool. I've always been a fan of v-drives, I just have to find the right one. I just fear bringing it home and driving it only for some huge, costly problem to arise... but I guess that's the nature of the performance game.
 

welldigger00

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Yeah, I'm a hot rodder so to be able to combine my love of hot rods and boats is pretty cool. I've always been a fan of v-drives, I just have to find the right one. I just fear bringing it home and driving it only for some huge, costly problem to arise... but I guess that's the nature of the performance game.
Lol, just ask Paul if costly problems will arise. Plan on it. It’s the same as saying, I like jeeping, but I don’t want to break an axle.


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renodaytona

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I'm literally in the same "boat". I told the wife I want another boat and it has to be a v-drive, she said why do you need 3 boats! :D My pops has a Lee Mize Shovelnose Hydro and it is simply bad ass. I rode in a buddies v-drive a couple weeks ago and got the itch to get one. Of course this will all have to happen after I get the Daytona back on the water which is all in play now.
 

BigChevy1955

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Lol, just ask Paul if costly problems will arise. Plan on it. It’s the same as saying, I like jeeping, but I don’t want to break an axle.


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I totally get it. I don’t think I can be swayed away from these boats... their too badass to turn down. I’m not gonna let these worries prevent me from buying because I could wind up getting one that’s really good, but I have to be practical about what I buy. And of course, I’ll have to keep repairs in mind
 

lenmann

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Carpet. You must inspect the bulkhead, stringers, transom and anything else made of wood and encapsulated in fiberglass to look for water damage and rot. Often these are covered with glued down carpet.
 

cofooter

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Carpet. You must inspect the bulkhead, stringers, transom and anything else made of wood and encapsulated in fiberglass to look for water damage and rot. Often these are covered with glued down carpet.
Right, very few 30-40 year old boats that are free from rot.........
 

oldschool

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Check anything chromed especially the strut, rudder or prop. Like others have said, look for rot. I had my C500 rebuilt this season with new gears, $2500, and the rudder needed to be replaced, $750, you get the idea. Check the prop shaft, $$$$. These things can really snowball quickly, especially if you are throwing horsepower at it. IMHO, you are money ahead spending more on a solid boat then replacing everything, unless it's really cheap. I doubt I could sell my boat for even half of the money I have in it.
 

Jed-O

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Everyone here has given great advice. But it still boils down to the brass tacks. A boat, especially a V-drive is a hole in the water that you throw copious amounts of money into. B. O. A. T. = break out another thousand or several...
Buying anything marine related is a gamble even if you inspect it with a fine tooth comb (I'm sure you already know this) but it is ten times worse with a V-drive.
Parts are available but only from a few suppliers.
As Welldigger00 stated, prepare for lots of maintenance and I see you have no issues with turning a wrench. Carry a bag of tools capable of working on anything on the boat with you at all times with the exception of an engine hoist. I happen to carry mostly "Great Neck" tools from Auto Zone (it was a close walk from the channel when Damn Boat would fuck up) they are cheap and surprisingly resilient to a marine environment with a lifetime warranty.

Hope you find an awesome ride. And good luck with your search!
 

MOUZER

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#! dont buy anything with delamed floors or stringers...........no soft spots.....squeeze the stringers front to back with your hands make sure the glass is stuck to the wood....tap on floors same thing .....thats the money..4k plus to get that crap fixed for a safe hull...
 

Dansblown73Nordic

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Rule #1: never buy a flat bottom with painted floors ......
Funny you say that because I just had someone send me pictures of a Daytona Eliminator and the floors are covered in Rug. I never even responded because I think the same thing you do.
 

BigChevy1955

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A long time ago, when I first started paying attention to v drives, I was so surprised that the floors were wood and not metal or fiberglass.
 
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