Any current or former 1980s Smoker Craft owners out there?

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Any current or former 1980s Smoker Craft owners out there?

Postby RunNgun870 » Wed Feb 21, 2007 3:59 pm

Hi guys, I'm a newer hunter here in Western NY and looking around for a good 17-20 foot boat that I can turn into hunters dream. A local guy here who has used the boat to fish with is selling 1984 17' smoker craft along with a 1984 mercury 35hp engine, trailer, 2 fish finders and a trolling motor mounted on the bow. He wants $2000 for it and said the tail lights on the trailer along with the floor of the boat needs work.. Engine runs good and boat doesnt take water so other than that it looks like it could become a duck killing machine! :yes:
So I was wondering has anyone here ever owned or currently own a similar year smoker craft? I'd be using it in large fresh water lakes. (the Finger Lakes of Western and Central NY mainly) I'd like to know of any potential problems that I should look for with this boat as well as any positive experiences too. Hopefully this will help me in my decision. Appreciate any help, thanks! :help:
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Smokercraft

Postby obageegee » Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:04 pm

Ok let’s look at this a few things at a time. First of all I assume the SmokerCraft is an aluminum boat right? If for chance it happens to be fiberglass, forget it with a 35hp motor. So assuming its aluminum, that’s a good thing. Easy to tow, easy to repair, light, lots of parts, pretty much an aluminum boat is an aluminum boat, they all leak in one spot or another, just keep it minimal.

Now the big part. Any hunter or fisherman knows that the boat is not the most expensive part of the equation, it’s the MOTOR! A new 35hp motor will set you back at least $3000-$4000 easy. So go over it with a fine tooth comb. Pull the cowl off and look for anything that looks strange or out of the ordinary, like lose or worn wires. See if you can get a “water down” compression test done at a local Marine repair shop. This will tell you if you have good compression. You are looking for at least 90% on each cylinder. If you are less than that, chances are you have a ring or two going bad. If you get good compression you can breathe a collective sigh of relief. Pulling off the heads and replacing rings and pistons is not a cheap date.

Ok so you get good compression and it seems to run good. Do yourself a favor and before you even think of putting the boat in the water, replace the impellor (water pump) and the lower unit oil, check for leaks, if the seals are bad, replace them. A lower unit is not a cheap fix either, even for a 35hp motor.

Good Luck!

Spence
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Postby kaylasbadshot » Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:46 pm

runngun870....and i think this is gregg. if so, its kevin of kevin and janice's wedding who you are doing the pictures for this august (just in case you forgot). i have a 1987 smoker craft. it is a 14 foot aluminum with a 10 hp or 18 hp outboard. when i purchased the boat it did not have a bow platform so i made one out of aluminum and attached a 65 lb. thrust trolling motor to the front of the boat. i did some deck repairs to mine as well because the wood was starting to splinter and i wanted to add pedestal seats. i primarily use the boat for fishing but have taken it duck hunting. i have a blind that attaches to it and covers up the entire boat which helps hide the battleship grey paint. as far as leaks i have not had any yet knock on wood. the boat is great on the water. i primarily launch on honeoye, conesus and silver lake but have been on keuka, seneca, canandaigua and irondequiot bay with it. you are more than welcome to stop by and check mine out to compare and we can talk more. the boat is light and easy to load and unload by myself since i typically hunt and fish alone. if they guy selling the boat allows you to take the boat and motor to get checked out i would highly suggest bayside bait and tackle. its a little bait shop and repair shop on empire across from the new macgregors and next to basil. they have do great work for my motors and i will always go back to them. i hope this helps, please get ahold of me if you want to check out my boat and talk some more.
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Hi

Postby RunNgun870 » Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:48 pm

Hi Spence,

Thanks for the great tips! Yes it is an aluminum boat. I am going to check it out tomorrow so we'll see what happens. If the engine looks good and runs how much would it really be worth as its from 1984?

Gregg
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Hi Kevin

Postby RunNgun870 » Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:57 pm

Hi Kevin, yes this is Gregg. Small world huh? Sounds like the smoker craft may be quite capable. I definitly would like to take you up on stopping by to check out your boat. I'll try and give you a call tomorrow nite. I am going to see the boat tomorrow afternoon. Do you store your boat down there too on Empire? I need to find a place to do that too because the wife doesnt want any camo boats in our sideyard :salude:
By the way Kayla looks great with that bird in her mouth, talk soon.
Gregg
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Postby Whistlerwhittler » Thu Feb 22, 2007 7:56 am

Gregg: I've got a 1983 16' Smokercraft V-hull with a 50 hp Merc. I've had it for two years and have used it for fishing and hunting. I've been happy with it, it has handled well on the Finger Lakes. The only work I've had to do is on the outboard, my friend is a machanic so I took it to his shop where we worked on it. The gaskets on the carbs were leaking gas so we had to replace those. While we were at it we replaced the impellor on the water pump and changed the lower unit oil (regular maintenance). This year I'd like to replace a bushing (I think?) where the outboard pivots left to right on the transom. There is some play there and it vibrates some. To give you an idea, I bought the boat (side console, carpeted floor, 2 pedestal seats, fish finder, compass, running lights, bilge pump, and live well without the pump), motor, and trailer for $1,500. I had been looking for a while and it seemed like a decent deal. I took mine for a test drive before I bought it. This weather may be preventing you from doing that so I would take the boat to to a mechanic to get the outboard checked out. Good luck!
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Smokercraft

Postby obageegee » Thu Feb 22, 2007 8:53 am

Greg a 35hp motor form 1984 in good working condition is worth between $600-$900, check e-bay if you want a good idea of what motors are going for $2000 seems a tad high for me. If it's electric start I might offer the guy $1500 or so. I picked up a 87 Tracker side console with a 40hp Johnson for $1500 and that was from Bryce Marine. I made a HUGE mistake and did not get a compression test. I ended up with a blown piston right out of the gate and had a $1600 repair bill. The only good thing was that I had my motor completely rebuilt .20 over so now I have a 45hp not a 40. I had the lower unit completely serviced, new carb kits, new pistons, rings, wrist pin bearings, seals and re-bored heads.

I now change the lower unit oil every season and fog the cylinders as well. With proper maintenence it should last for years to come

Good Luck!

Spence
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Motor work

Postby Dep666 » Thu Feb 22, 2007 9:55 pm

Man I hear ya about Bryce......Never had any of my motor work done there, but got a real bad vibe from a salesman about a boat I was looking at. Almost like a used car dealer...." Mingya Cuz....You gonna buy this Boat or what?" Real pushy.......Don't think I'll ever be back. As far as a reputible mechanic around Rochester....I Like Jim from RAS on 104 in Spencerport. He strictly works on Evenrude, Yamaha, and Johnson motors. Anyway the motor on my 14fter (25 evenrrude) has needed a little work this past year. Jim reallty took care of me. He gurantees his work and won't kill you on the labor. Just in case you need a good local mechanic.....
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Postby obageegee » Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:21 am

Bryce has a few good things They do have some creepy sales people there. After I picked up the boat and the piston went bad, he did offer me $500 bucks back, So I only have about $2600 into My tracker, with a completely rebuilt 40hp Johnson.

I highly recommend Silver Lake Marine, they don't have great prices on boats, but their service is top notch. The Service manager Scott is a very customer oriented and a class guy, he took care of my Tracker and kept the rebuild price down by doing it over the winter.

I also recommend Ricks Marine on 64 just outside of Naples. A friend of mine used to work for Rick and told me that he was a very meticulous guy. You can see that if you ever go in his shop. He did some work for me on a few smaller motors, but always first rate.

Spence
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