Possibly going to buy

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#1
Hello all just getting on the forum here looking at buying a 1989 23 gulfstream with twin 150 Yamahas 2000 on the bracket. started and ran fine compression 120 to 115 Did the first inspection yesterday moving forward to sea trials on sat any thing I should look for here some things I noted already on the transom a strong back was installed were the bracket was mounted. I'm assuming to help minimize stress and prolong life. One gauge was broken for fuel consumption. Also the deck just forward of the transom midship was soft opened the hatch and it was a void space. Onwer said thats normal is that correct?Every thing else seemed pretty good. Asking 18k what do you all think. I have lots of experience with CC but not alot with walkaround
 

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Fishtales

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#2
If you can swing it, get a survey. Could be ok, could be a boat with a lot of issues. Transom, stringer and soft decks are the things to look for.
 
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#3
those compression numbers sound solid.

you are right on the edge of a boat big enough/ costly enough to justify a survey i think. your call.

by void space do you mean the centre bilge coffin areas (below the main deck) covered by large hatches? grady divides this bilge into compartments and the fuel tank layouts varied. it is normal i think for those hatches covers to get a little soft over time. you can brace them from underneath pretty effectively using treated lumber, or you can remove and recore the hatch if necessary.

i would check the anchor locker area and make sure the bow eye is not letting moisture in that is causing dry rot.

i would poke the main stringers with an awl anywhere i can access them front to back to check for rot and get my head right down into the bilge and rear compartments and do the same wherever i see wood. feel around the bottom of the deck from the bilge if you can.

if you are saying here is a single giant backing plate on the inside of the transom bracing the bracket, you should carefully check for moisture around the edges on both sides, as that could be a moisture trap. i might use a moisture meter there, although i am suspicious of how useful those are.

i like to drill a few 1/8" small holes in a transom from the inside without piercing the glass and inspect the wooden drill tailings that come out to assess a transom but not all sellers will go for that (it is easy to fill after with caulk or epoxy but i understand their reluctance).

i use a small wrench to tap the transom from the outside and the deck listening for changes in sound to indicate wet areas.

the condition of filler hose, vent line, fuel tank and lines might be an issue especially if any are original.
 
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#4
I bought a pre-owned Marlin 30 but first ran into hull moisture and delamination issues on the older hulls I was considering. I did spring for a survey on what I thought was the perfect boat at the perfect price, but it failed the survey because of hull side delamination. The surveyor advised me to buy an Electrophysics Moisture Meter ($150 on Amazon) and use it on any other boat I considered before paying for another survey. The boats with transoms around 15%-18% moisture and hull sides between 8%-15% moisture were the candidates for another survey. I did run into owners and brokers that would not let me use a tapping hammer to check the hulls, but I was able to use the moisture meter without them noticing. Saved me from making a BIG mistake.
 
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seasick

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#5
I am not familiar wit that company. The kind of gold standard is the Tramex unit. It is expensive and trustworthy in the right hands. I would like to know if anyone else has experience with the Electrophysics models.

Interpreting any readings can be a bit complex and experience is important. For example, just because yo get a high reading in a spot does not necessarily mean there is a major issue. How far the reading extends is important to know. A high reading around a penetration such as a thru hull mounting screws or wireways can mean that there is water intrusion caused by poor sealing. That is not a show stopper. There are spots on boats and specific spots on specific makes/models that almost always have high readings. Many Grady locker covers fall into that class. Boats that have sat on the hard for long periods may not show serious moisture issues. The experience of the surveyor is often crucial to both interpreting a high reading or just knowing where to look for one.
Never the less, an accurate relatively low cost meter could be a useful tool not so must for new purchase surveying but for routine preventative maintenance.