How To - Buying A Wetbike

Parts Needed, Tools Needed, Before You Begin, What To Look For, What To Avoid, THE Phone Call, Schedule A Meeting, At The Meeting, Negotiations, Closing The Deal, Before You Leave

Topic:                           Buying a Wetbike; A quick guide

Expertise Required:      Beginner

Estimated Time:            not applicable

Parts Neeed:               You will need the following parts:

      • Maybe a jump box and/or gas can

Tools Needed:             You will need the following tools:

      • Compression Guage
      • Spark Plug Wrench
      • Flatblade screwdriver
      • 10mm wrench
      • Starting Fluid

Before You Begin:         Have an idea of what you're looking for (features) as well as price

      • Make a decision on hull type (fiberglass or metton) and motor size (50 or 60hp)
      • If looking for just parts, then the rest will not apply
      • Take a minute and assess your usage (single or double trailer, cover, etc)
      • Will you be doing service yourself or through a shop or dealer?
      • Be aware of your state's title/registration requirements
        • Texas is notoriously difficult to register used boats/WETBIKE
        • Many other states are tightening up their requirements as well
      • Once you find something that meets your needs, do some research:
      • What kind of price are things going for? Bluebook and street price
      • What are they going for in my area

What To Look For:           Reviewing for sale ads - what to look for:

      • Usually, the more information the better
      • Clear pictures - and lots of them.
      • Video of recent outing is good too
      • WETBIKE should be in current working order
      • Current Title and Registration in seller's name
      • Current registration on trailer in seller's name
      • Clear, concise description of condition of WETBIKE and/or trailer
      • Any known issues should be listed
      • Service history available
      • Current contact information (phone number is best)
      • Offer to lake-test prior to completing sale

What To Avoid               Reviewing ads - what to watch out for:

      • Vague or misleading description of condition
      • Unusually low sales price
      • Selling item for a friend - or a relative
      • No title or paperwork
      • Selling with just a bill-of-sale but says it's easy to register/title in your state
        • Check for yourself in your State - don't be fooled
      • Blurry pictures - or ones taken from 20 feet away
      • Contacts that are available via text or email only
      • Someone who constantly mentions the price - ala trying to show how much of a bargain the sale is

The Phone Call:              Talking to the seller via Telephone or Email - things to ask:

      • WETBIKE - is it currently in operating condition?
      • Are there any spare parts that will be part of the sale?
      • Is there a title and/or registration available?I
      • Is it current - AND - in the seller's name?
      • Will it need anything (maintenance or parts) prior to hitting the water for the weekend?
      • Drivetrain - need to inquire about the following specific things:
      • What are the compression numbers for each cyl. (dry and with oil)?
      • How many hours does the motor have on it since last major service (if any)?
      • What was done at this service (top end, rings only, major overhaul)?
      • Who did the service?
      • What do the spark plugs look like (any pics available)?
      • How long has it been since the spark plugs were replaced?
      • Are the carbs clean?
      • How long has it been since they were cleaned/rebuilt?
      • How long has it been since the fuel filter(s) were replaced?
      • What condition are the fuel lines in?
      • Have they been changed since the advent of Ethanol in fuels?
      • Pump - what condition is the wear ring in?
      • Pump - what condition is the impeller in?
      • Pump - when was the last time the gear lube was changed?
      • Nozzle - what condition are the vanes in?
      • Nozzle - what condition is the shaft bushing in?
        • Reach underneath and try to wiggle driveshaft up or down. Any movement?
      • Hull - what condition is it in?
        • How does the paint look (honestly)?
        • What condition are the decals in (honestly)?
        • What condition are the foot mats in (honestly)?
        • Are there any areas on the hull that require repair (either fiberglass or metton)?
      • Skis - what condition are they in?
        • Front - is it flattened (sitting without support)?
        • Front - are the front edges ragged?
        • Front - are there any cracks on the underside?
        • Front - are there any visible cracks or delamination visible?
        • Rear - are there any cracks around the pump mounting holes (both sides)?
        • Rear - are there any cracks running up from the rear of the ski?
        • Rear - does the ski look flat or "bowed-up" (when looking from the side)?
        • Rear Skeg - what condition is it in?
        • Rear Ski Brace - either H-Beam or Individual Legs - have they come loose and "worked" themselves into the fiberglass?
        • Any visible repairs?
      • Trailer - is it currently registered/licensed?
        • What is the condition of the trailer (finish and mechanical)?
        • Are the bunks in good shape (new carpet needed?)?
        • Does a wetbike (or two) fit on the trailer properly?
        • Will it need new tires prior to travel?
        • When was the last time the bearings were serviced (not just using the bearing-buddies)?
        • Do all of the lights work correctly - including license plate light?

Schedule The Meeting:    Arranging to meet seller:

      • Negotiate a time and place - be there a couple of minutes early - never late.
      • Never go at night - unless WETBIKE is in a well-lit garage

At The Meeting:               The meeting - looking over the potential purchase:

      • Don't talk price until after full review/approval of unit (after checkout ride if possible)
      • Take tools so that you can do a compression check, look at fuel filters, etc.
      • Take a lanyard with you too
      • Take a water hose kit and impact driver - to run unit on hose
        • Run unit on water hose until up to operating temperature
      • Visually confirm the status of the paperwork for WETBIKE and trailer (if part of sale)
      • Visually inspect trailer condition thoroughly.

Negotiations:                    Negotiating the deal:

      • Cash talks
      • Avoid any talk of trades or swaps
      • If you followed the above, you should have a feel for the seller - and whether he/she is willing to negotiate the price
      • Negotiating the price is fine - but don't be disrespectful. If you piss of the seller, game over.

Closing The Deal:               Closing the deal:

      • Be sure to do the money thing first - then the paperwork (that you already approved earlier)
      • Make sure to fill out a separate Bill-of-Sale
        • Should include the year, make, model, HIN, and motor serial number, selling price, seller info, sales date and buyer info
      • Make sure to fill out the title correctly - be sure to get signature on back (if needed)
      • If in Texas, fill out the PWD-143 and any other forms properly. These require the seller's information - AND - signature.
        • Don't forget to fill-in the purchase date and price before you leave. If you forget this step, then the TXPWD will tear up your paperwork and make you fill out another - which requires a visit back to the seller.

Before You Leave:         Before you leave for your trip home:

      • Make sure you have everything - check twice. Paperwork, spare parts, accessories, etc.
      • Make sure WETBIKE is secured to trailer properly - including the seat.
      • Make sure trailer tires are aired up fully (especially the 12 inch and under ones)
      • Be sure you have all contact info - and that seller has yours
      • Thank the seller. Look him/her in the eye when you shake their hand





Copyright 2011 Capt'n Obveeus


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