Buying a used 1988 Regal Sebring with 4.3 Mercruiser

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Buying a used 1988 Regal Sebring with 4.3 Mercruiser

Postby Chris51280 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:43 pm

Hello fellow boaters. I'm in the process of looking into purchasing a used 1988 Regal Sebring. My parents had a boat when I was younger and would like to pass on the tradition to my kids. I repair most of the things on my cars and rebuild an older 1977 Honda from the ground up. So besides fixing some things on an older boat don't scare me. Is it advisable to buy an older boat like this? The interior upholstery is new. Maybe 2 years old. This indicates that somebody spend money on the boat and wouldn't do so if it was not worth it. What's your take? I can probably get it for less than 2k.
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Re: Buying a used 1988 Regal Sebring with 4.3 Mercruiser

Postby cbsmith » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:17 pm

It’s a 30 year old boat, so I would look it over very carefully, especially the engine and outdrive. You would also want to look for any wooden rotting in the floor, stringers, and transom as most boats built back then had a lot of wood in them.

Interior upholstery being redone is good, but keep in mind it is one of the cheapest repairs you can do to a boat. Having to do any major engine/outdrive work will run into the thousands of dollars pretty quick.

Personally, if you plan on having a boat for a while I would go for something newer.
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Re: Buying a used 1988 Regal Sebring with 4.3 Mercruiser

Postby Seven » Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:40 am

Totally agree with above but would like to add that if they put new upholstery in, did they put new carpet down? If they did, did they also put new plywood down? Check they didn't just put the new piece on top and all the wood and stringers are rotted below. To fix stringers and flooring is a VERY long process and if done by a professional very expensive in labor.
Good luck in your search. There are a few boats out there from the 80's and 90's that are very good but even more that are not good with hidden problems. I just helped a friend find a boat from the 80s. We looked at several dozens before finding a gem.
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Re: Buying a used 1988 Regal Sebring with 4.3 Mercruiser

Postby Chris51280 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:57 am

The add says new floor. I will look at it tomorrow and see how true it is
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Re: Buying a used 1988 Regal Sebring with 4.3 Mercruiser

Postby Chris51280 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:54 pm

Looked at it today. Seats are not the newest anymore. Tears in the seams. "kids". It's not the 4.3 it's the 3.7 inline 4. The woman that posted this add has clearly no idea about boats. Said she has receipts from the marina on what was done to it. She would go as little as $1500 with the boat and thats as much as she has in it. Tires need to be replaced. Otherwise it seems ok for it's age. According to the hour meter I it still works, 280 hours
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Re: Buying a used 1988 Regal Sebring with 4.3 Mercruiser

Postby cbsmith » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:13 am

I would pass on that boat. Look for something newer and in better shape.
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Re: Buying a used 1988 Regal Sebring with 4.3 Mercruiser

Postby steve & dot » Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:09 pm

Besides condition and worry over dependability and if it will be a money pit, I think you’d be disappointed with the 3.7 performance.
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Re: Buying a used 1988 Regal Sebring with 4.3 Mercruiser

Postby Chris_in_Texas » Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:14 pm

Strange enough that according to NADA in 1988 the Sebring came standard with a 5.0L V8 205HP. For a boat that heavy I wouldn't want a 3.7L engine in it. I assume its 165HP, I bet with two adults and a full tank of fuel it doesn't come onto plane very quickly. ;) All it takes is some water to get into the wood core on the transom and you have a real mess on your hands. I really hate to echo the same as others, but unless you know you are going to get a 100% project boat to play with and maybe have to scrap at the end, I would think I would pass as well.
Thanks, Chris

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Re: Buying a used 1988 Regal Sebring with 4.3 Mercruiser

Postby Seven » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:15 am

Just want to add I think the 3.7 is hard to get parts for now. Make sure you verify that first. I think it was a ford engine. Not so common anymore.
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