First Boat - Thoughts on Mako 221 and 250 Merc ProXS..

OCPapa

Newbie
Mar 16, 2021
25
3
Irvine, CA
Name
Sam
Boat
None... yet
I'm new to boating and have been looking for a 1st boat for several months now. I found what looks like a good deal
  • 2002 Mako 221 CC with Mercury Pro XS 250hp (477hrs) for $17K.
I have a couple problems.
I have read several posts that talk about the Mercury 250 Pro XS powerheads needing to be replaced. I don't know the year of the motor.

Owner's also posted that the boat is 26ft but from pictures the back of the boat matches a 2002 Mako 221 (not a 252), so not sure if the owner knows what he is doing and if I can trust what he tells me about the boat.

Looks like boat is stored outside uncovered based on the fading I can see on the motor casing.

I will go to see the Mako tomorrow. And hopefully if it looks good the owner will let me send the boat to a mechanic to be looked over rather than sell it to the first person that is willing to hand him the money with getting it looked at.

Please let me know what you guys would do?
Can anyone confirm if the ProXS is a problematic motor? If yes then as a new boat owner should I stay away even if it is a good deal. I don't have the experience to know when the boat should and should not be taken several miles offshore yet. So I'm think I had better get a boat with a motor that is solid.

I would like to be able to fish 15-25 miles offshore and around Catalina.

I'm open to other boat recommendations. My budget is 30k and if necessary 20k for new tow vehicle. My current SUV is a Model X that can only tow 5000lbs and the range suffers when towing. What would you guys get?
 
Errin
Errin
don't buy a Mercury when you could own a Japanese outboard.
Upvote 0
Upvote 0

Shewillbemine

"should of" is NOT a thing
  • Oct 19, 2012
    2,566
    2,927
    California
    Name
    Shewillbemine
    Boat
    Chips N Guac
    If your budget is $30k, you can get a much nicer (reliable) boat than what you're describing.

    A seller who can't accurately tell you the model and length of his vessel would concern me greatly.
     

    OCPapa

    Newbie
    Mar 16, 2021
    25
    3
    Irvine, CA
    Name
    Sam
    Boat
    None... yet
    Any suggestions on a good first boat setup?Model, Year and Power that I could get for 30k? I'm trying to find something with under 600 hrs. Fishing is the primary goal. Cruising with the family is secondary.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Shewillbemine

    Shewillbemine

    "should of" is NOT a thing
  • Oct 19, 2012
    2,566
    2,927
    California
    Name
    Shewillbemine
    Boat
    Chips N Guac
    Any suggestions on a good first boat setup?Model, Year and Power that I could get for 30k? I'm trying to find something with under 600 hrs. Fishing is the primary goal. Cruising with the family is secondary.
    You'd have to start with naming a few specs of what you're looking for such as length, trailer or slipped, type/location of fishing, # of expected passengers, your boating experience, center console vs pilothouse vs walkaround, etc.

    The Classifieds here are pretty good since you can see the seller's history (usually) but you won't get a ton of hits. Keep an eye on BoatTrader, Craigslist (with a vigilant eye), websites for SeaWitch Marine, Angler's Marine, BoatHouse of Anaheim, etc. You might pay a little more premium buying used from a dealer, but there's a little more peace of mind if it's coming from a reputable location that will stay there for years. Most boats sold on BD are much older but you can find some good deals here.
     

    lougio

    Capt Lou
    Jul 19, 2014
    2,240
    2,828
    57
    San Diego, CA
    Name
    Lou
    Boat
    '03 Parker 2520 Louie-Lui II
    Any suggestions on a good first boat setup?Model, Year and Power that I could get for 30k? I'm trying to find something with under 600 hrs. Fishing is the primary goal. Cruising with the family is secondary.
    I would say go with a big name older boat Grady, Boston, Mako etc.. Their quality build holds up and I think you'll have a solid platform to start. Looks like a decent deal on that Mako. Searchtempest lets you search all of craigslist. Several years ago found a '98 GW 209 CC for $12k with trailer and Yamaha 2 stroke. That was a nice first boat/engine to deal with. Good luck!
     
    • Like
    Reactions: repo805

    OCPapa

    Newbie
    Mar 16, 2021
    25
    3
    Irvine, CA
    Name
    Sam
    Boat
    None... yet
    Thanks for the suggestions on different websites. I've only been using Craigslist mostly but as you noted things go fast.

    Target length is 20-26ft
    I'm open CC, WA, Cuddy, etc
    I would say the boat is 70% for Fishing and 30% for booze cruising. Bottom line is if the boat is comfortable enough for the family the more time I get on the boat. And the more likely I will eventually get a bigger boat and maybe a slip.

    Some examples of what I have been looking at or have checked out in person.
    BW 180 Dauntles
    GW 208 Adventure
    KW 2020 CC
    Funny thing is the more I look the bigger my taeget boat seems to get. 😅

    Older CC seem to be 90% for fishing. I have seen some newer CC with better seating and coverage that make them closer to my 70%/30% balance fishing/family

    I'm open to suggestions.
     

    hbouldin1216

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    May 10, 2012
    1,452
    1,209
    Lodi, CA
    Name
    Henry Bouldin
    Boat
    14 Gregor - Tinacious
    You're not safely towing anything that you describe with a Model X...You can also kiss any chance of negotiating the price down if that's what you pull up in.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: jbl_91762

    jayyyy

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Oct 7, 2008
    1,073
    322
    NorCal
    Name
    jay
    Boat
    '04 Sea Pro 220 WA / 225 Honda
    How a boat is used and maintained is more important than boat / motor x or y. I'd rather buy an entry level boat in great condition vs a top tier boat that's been ridden hard and put away wet.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: jbl_91762

    jbl_91762

    Member
    Sep 23, 2017
    429
    246
    51
    CHINO
    Name
    JOEY
    Boat
    KAYAK
    A MUST DO IS A SEA TRIAL! If you cant get the boat on the water for a couple hours then walk away no matter what the price. If its sound then I wouldnt hesitate on the boat if its your plans down the road are to upgrade. Your going to need tow vehicle immediately.
     

    OCPapa

    Newbie
    Mar 16, 2021
    25
    3
    Irvine, CA
    Name
    Sam
    Boat
    None... yet
    Thanks for all the input. I was able to go see the boat yesterday. Most of the gelcoat looks clean, but there were some issues.
    • There was a 4" long exposed spot on the top of the transom that was patched with what looks like epoxy. I forgot to bang on the transom and shake the motor. I know... :slap:
    • There is rust all over what I think is the hydraulic trim pump.
    • Trim switch on console does not work. Need to use trim button on motor.
    • The motor SN plate is missing so I don't know the year and SN.
    • The deck looked ok but was covered with some kind of white paint that is 30% rubbed off so not pretty when up close. Why would someone paint the deck and all along the railing of the boat? Protect the Gelcoat? Or hide something?
    Besides that I was able to get the boat sent over to Corona Marine for a pre buy inspection. I should know if the transom, motor and other stuff are OK by the end of today. I asked them to pull the SN from the plug on the powerhead. Hopefully they can tell me the year.
    I have a tentative sea trial for this weekend in Newport if inspection is ok. If not we will have to factor repairs into the price.

    Is any of the issues mentioned that are a big concern? 20210317_123157.jpg20210317_123349.jpg20210318_113452.jpg20210317_123409.jpg20210317_123453.jpg20210317_123812.jpg20210317_124033.jpg20210317_124857.jpg
     

    hbouldin1216

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    May 10, 2012
    1,452
    1,209
    Lodi, CA
    Name
    Henry Bouldin
    Boat
    14 Gregor - Tinacious
    Holy rats nest batman! That console is a fire just waiting to start. Hopefully that shop is honest with you. Signs everywhere that the boat was used hard and put away wet. Stored outside without a cover for extended periods. Personally, I would not buy it.
     

    Garrison

    Garrison
    May 21, 2008
    420
    237
    Temecula
    Name
    Garrison
    Boat
    Mikelson 43’
    Any suggestions on a good first boat setup?Model, Year and Power that I could get for 30k? I'm trying to find something with under 600 hrs. Fishing is the primary goal. Cruising with the family is secondary.
    I would much rather buy a clean, well maintained, and solidly built 1,200hr boat with a reliable motor than some of the crap 600hr boats that I see listed as “low hour”. Hours is NOT the place to start or stop the search. I sold a 1,500 hour boat last year that I would have no reservations taking 100+ miles offshore and routinely did. I knew that everything about it was in good working order, and done on time. I would expect if the next owner takes care of the maintenance as I had, he would easily get another 1500 trouble free hours out of it. For most users, that is many years of service.
     
    Last edited:

    OCPapa

    Newbie
    Mar 16, 2021
    25
    3
    Irvine, CA
    Name
    Sam
    Boat
    None... yet
    Everyone thanks for all the advice.

    You guys were spot on about looking for a better boat.

    Hbouldin was spot on that this boat was run hard and just stowed away.

    I'm glad I got it inspected. The inspection revealed the boat wasn't fit to go back on the water. Bad transom, water logged hull, bad motor, bad trailer. So many problems the guy at Corona Marine said it would cost 50-60k just to get it sea worthy. Bottom line boat and trailer was recommended to go to salvage. Yikes!

    Way worse than I expected.

    Well the search continues. This time I'm looking for a boat that is used more regularly and owned by someone who knows and cares about properly servicing snd maintaining the boat.
    Its hard to look at hulls that are over 20 yrs old and motors that are over 1000 hrs, but those would definitely be better than the Mako 221 I almost bought.
     

    OCPapa

    Newbie
    Mar 16, 2021
    25
    3
    Irvine, CA
    Name
    Sam
    Boat
    None... yet
    Now that I'm searching for another potential boat Im just curious what price is reasonable on WC in comparison to EC.
    I feel like COVID inflated used boat prices on EC and WC 30% compared to prices for similar boats when they were priced 5-10 years ago. Is that about right?
    Being on the WC it seems like prices on used boats are posted for 25-40% higher than EC prices for the same boat. For example a posting for a 20k boat in Florida will be listed for $25-29k in So Cal. Is it reasonable to pay that much more than EC prices if I want to buy a boat that is local?
    I would rather see a boat in person as someone new to boating. Am I wrong and should be willing to ship something from EC after a surveyor signs off on it.

    Can anyone chime in if they bought out of state and shipped it here?
     

    jbl_91762

    Member
    Sep 23, 2017
    429
    246
    51
    CHINO
    Name
    JOEY
    Boat
    KAYAK
    So glad you didnt get that boat after looking at pics. Also you did your homework so good for you. There are tons of threads on shopping east coast but shipping will be a bitch. (I looked into it also) Just be patient and search regularly and something will come up here in CA. I see a good boat about once a month here on BD and that sells within a few days. Other good boats are on BD also but perhaps owners dont want to give the boat away and stay real close to asking price. Good luck and whatever you do, get a boat with a 4 stroke and save your self at least 8K down the road.