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I am looking at buying a used (2004) North River Mariner with 130 HP Volvo penta 4cyl I/O. Seller was asking 14500. On inspection by a local service center, we found the boat has a cracked intake manifold. Apparently it was not winterized for last year. He is now willing to sell the boat for 12k to cover the repairs, but I wanted to make sure no more additional cracks are inside the block. Would you expect to find additional cracks inside the block? Or do the intake manifolds crack more easily? The seller is willing to pay to have the service center take the boat out on water and check it out further. Would a crack inside the engine show up on a test run or is it something that might go undected?

My only hesitation is will I start using the boat heavily and problems show up down the road? What do you think? This will be my first boat purchase so I am a little cautious, but hope to be on the river for the silvers. Thanks!
 

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In my opinion I would do the following, compression AND leak down test. Verify oil level on dipstick, water test for at least 30 minutes at planing speed. If it continues to run, idle smoothly, not bog on acceleration and the oil level has not increased then you can probably patch the external crack and be ok. If any of the above do not check out then negotiate for a new long block and manifold or walk away.
 

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Sounds like you got all the info you need from boat doc, but to answer your question directly manifolds do crack easier. Reason being that they are heat exchangers that run raw water through them. Because of this they hold water (without antifreeze) after the boat is shut off. The manifolds have a petcock on them and need to be drained after each use during the time of year that freezing may occur. If they are not drained, water freezes, expands, and cracks the manifold.

Did the boat you are looking at have fresh water cooling? Assuming it does, the engine should have antifreeze coolant running through it's internals and is less likely to cause damage from freezing temps.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the advice. I made a lower offer to leave some room in case a new long block is needed, but was rejected. I decided to walk away from it and keep looking. The volvo stern drive in a small North River Mariner also seemed odd (maybe another red flag). The seller has reposted the boat on Craigslist-Portland without stating the freeze damage. Do a search for "North River" and look for the seller in Hillsboro. Beware other Ifishers!

Fish On!
 
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