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Considering a 1996 Sea Ray 210 Signature

Discussion in 'Newbie Lounge - NEW' started by Hamish, Nov 20, 2020.

  1. Hamish

    Hamish New Member

    Nov 20, 2020
    Hi Sea Ray enthusiasts!

    I have the opportunity to purchase a 1996 Sea Ray 210 Signature, a friends boat.

    The boat is almost 25 years old has been well loved and used by the family and has roughly 500 hours on the clock. The boat has had regular services and is in good condition for its age. Everything seems in good nick and working order for its age.

    Ideally I'd like a boat that is going to last my family about 10 years, maybe more and I'm concerned about the age and hours, as well as getting spares if there is a problem. The engine is a Mercruiser 5.7l.

    Any recommendations or thoughts from the community would be greatly appreciated.

    I wouldn't buy a 25 year old car, but I understand that boats are treated differently.

    Thank you
  2. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    500 hours...that thing has been barely used! That comes out to 20 hours per year. That's light duty even for a Northern boat.

    My 97 motors are pushing in on 1300 hours and I fully expect it's only half way into it's useful life with proper maintenance.

    Those 5.7 Merc's are all over the place. I'd be shocked if any of those parts would be hard to get for quite some time yet...

    And hey - welcome!
  3. BillK2632

    BillK2632 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 25, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    1999 185 Bowrider,
    Mercruiser 4.3, Alpha I
    Age and hours would not concern me - especially since you know the history. 500hrs is really nothing, my 1999 185 has 725hrs. Marine engines don't usually wear out, usually meet their maker through poor maintenance / failed exhaust systems. The Mercruiser 5.7 is a popular motor, there are probably millions of those out in the field - Mercruiser, Volvo, Crusader - there is a long list. At it's root it is a GM block that is in many trucks and cars. Parts would be no issue at all. Same for the outdrive, no issue whatsoever with Mercruiser outdrives / parts. Only think I would check out is the flooring and transom - at that point SeaRay was still using a good bit of wood in the flooring I believe - they had not started putting the fiberglass liner in yet. Make sure you don't have any problems with rotting wood. Otherwise that would be a great boat - an older one, but a good one. I see a number of SeaRay bowriders from that vintage running around LKN. One is a 220 that has either been painted or wrapped blue leaving the bottom white - it looks like a new boat - they all still look good to me!
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020
  4. Pirate Lady

    Pirate Lady Active Member

    Jun 2, 2020
    Chesapeake Bay, Middle River
    1991 250 Sundancer & Goplus 7.5' / 2.6hp outboard.
    Previous: 180BR, 220DA, 268DA, 250DA, 268DA
    7.4 Bravo 1
    Ideally I'd like a boat that is going to last my family about 10 years, maybe more

    well there your first mistake. the boat sounds fine, but if you really think you will still have this same boat in 10 years you may be delusional. all the boaters i ever met, only one had same boat after 6 - 7 years.
  5. dvx216

    dvx216 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Feb 1, 2012
    Catawaba Island,Oh.
    2000 310 sundancer 5.7
    optional electronic package

    twin 5.7 300 Hp.
    A used boat is better then one that has set. I wouldn't be worried about the motor it's the support team that if not keep up to date that will be the problem . Anything rubber at the age will be rotten if not kept current. If those thing have been maintained the motor itself will be fine.
  6. MrHappy

    MrHappy Active Member

    Mar 31, 2011
    1991 Sea Ray 225BR
    I wouldn’t worry about an older boat. I bought mine when it was 14 years old with 275 hours. It now has 635 hours.

    I talked to a car guy this year. My 1997 Suburban has the same 5.7 Liter engine as my boat. The car guy said those motors are bullet proof.

    My boat will be 30 years old. There are no rips or tears in the carpeting or the seats.

    There is one concern though. There are a lot of places that will no longer work on older boats. Three or four years ago I called a place here in Indianapolis to have them work on my boat. They asked what year and I told them, they said they would not work on it unless they had worked on it before. Luckily they had worked on it a few years before. Funny thing, when I first took the boat in to them they later told me it was bought new from them. I bought it used from another dealer.
  7. BillK2632

    BillK2632 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 25, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    1999 185 Bowrider,
    Mercruiser 4.3, Alpha I
    Probably because they don’t know how to work on it. The concept of fixing and tuning a carbureted engine - with crazy things like timing lights and vacuum gauges - is lost on a lot of mechanics (sorry “ technicians”) these days. If you can’t plug in a computer to run diagnostics they are lost or just do t want to mess with it.
  8. Espos4

    Espos4 Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2017
    Long Island NY
    2007 240 Sundeck
    350 MAG Bravo 3 W/DTS
    Another issue is that any moderate to extensive repairs can easily exceed the value of the boat.

    Simple Manifolds, risers and bellows replacement can approach or exceed the value of the boat. If the owner fails to pay, the mechanic is left with a financial mess on his hands.
  9. Hamish

    Hamish New Member

    Nov 20, 2020
    Thank you everyone for the feedback! Sincerely appreciate your time. We put in an offer and bought the boat yesterday :)

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