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After a year of debating what to do with regards to my guide business and going back and forth over what boat to buy, this weekend I pulled the trigger on a 2003 RF 18 with an '08 F115 with 200 hours on it. Purchased from a very nice guy, 2nd owner, garage kept in Jacksonville. It has recessed trim tabs, 5 month old Simrad GO7 XSE, stereo, new prop, gorgeous Sea Foam green and in very good shape with a few minor blemishes.

Splashing her tomorrow in the Crystal Coast, NC to chase winter reds for the next 2-3 days with a close friend. 

As for what I need to do to the boat here is the list...

-Buff and wax to remove dark staining. 

-Replace the older Minn Kota trolling motor with an i-pilot.

-Reattach the poling platform. The previous owner unbolted it on the top side and had the back brackets cut so the boat could fit in his garage.  I'll have to find someone who can do the welding. 

-Replace the Yamaha gauges. They are cracked and faded and look like hell. Can barely read them. Previous owner suggested using the Simrad and get a cable to hook to the motor for all of the typical info used on the gauges. Might be cheaper

-Replace the intake seal for the live well. 

-Replace the trailer bunks. 

-Rewire trailer. 

-Add a 4th battery. 

-Replace the old carpet under the gunnels with Sea Dek or similar substitute. I was wondering if anyone had done this prior? I think the faux teak would look great with the sea foam green hull. I'd also consider putting some blue LED lighting under there. Any tips would be much appreciated if anyone has done anything like this.

-Name her!

I'll be registering the boat in Virginia and running trips in the Chesapeake Bay as well as some in NC. I perused the forum a lot the past week and gained a lot of information from previous discussions, so thank you all for the advice. I will keep you updated on progress on the updates I will be making. 

If anyone has any tips / suggestions on anything else I should consider, I would love to hear them. 

Thanks!

-Capt. Chris

IMG_3158.JPG

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If the gauges are still working properly, I believe there are people out there that can replace/repair them for a good bit cheaper than buying new.  I know a guy at my marina showed me his gauge that he just got back that he had sent off for new glass. 

Good luck with the new ride!

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4 hours ago, knotthereelworld said:

After a year of debating what to do with regards to my guide business and going back and forth over what boat to buy, this weekend I pulled the trigger on a 2003 RF 18 with an '08 F115 with 200 hours on it. Purchased from a very nice guy, 2nd owner, garage kept in Jacksonville. It has recessed trim tabs, 5 month old Simrad GO7 XSE, stereo, new prop, gorgeous Sea Foam green and in very good shape with a few minor blemishes.

Splashing her tomorrow in the Crystal Coast, NC to chase winter reds for the next 2-3 days with a close friend. 

As for what I need to do to the boat here is the list...

-Buff and wax to remove dark staining. 

-Replace the older Minn Kota trolling motor with an i-pilot.

-Reattach the poling platform. The previous owner unbolted it on the top side and had the back brackets cut so the boat could fit in his garage.  I'll have to find someone who can do the welding. 

-Replace the Yamaha gauges. They are cracked and faded and look like hell. Can barely read them. Previous owner suggested using the Simrad and get a cable to hook to the motor for all of the typical info used on the gauges. Might be cheaper

-Replace the intake seal for the live well. 

-Replace the trailer bunks. 

-Rewire trailer. 

-Add a 4th battery. 

-Replace the old carpet under the gunnels with Sea Dek or similar substitute. I was wondering if anyone had done this prior? I think the faux teak would look great with the sea foam green hull. I'd also consider putting some blue LED lighting under there. Any tips would be much appreciated if anyone has done anything like this.

-Name her!

I'll be registering the boat in Virginia and running trips in the Chesapeake Bay as well as some in NC. I perused the forum a lot the past week and gained a lot of information from previous discussions, so thank you all for the advice. I will keep you updated on progress on the updates I will be making. 

If anyone has any tips / suggestions on anything else I should consider, I would love to hear them. 

Thanks!

-Capt. Chris

IMG_3158.JPG

 

Capt. Chris,  before you spend a ton of money on new gauges, consider letting Eric Clayton at http://gaugesaver.com redo your gauges. I was almost ready to spend the $400-500 and buy new gauges for my Yamaha until someone mentioned this guy. Depending on how bad the screen is, he can probably restore them and the LCD screens to like new condition. Check his website out. My gauges were so bad that you couldn't see anything on the display. When he returned them, they looked almost brand new (mine had some severe pitting that he couldn't quite polish out, but said he could replace the lens if I wanted). I think he now charges $75 per gauge, and that includes return shipping to you.

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These are my gauges at his shop. The top picture is my set with power to the gauges. Notice that you can’t even see the LCD display.  Bottom pic is after he refurbed the LCD screens and the outer lens  

7CC9C362-D914-49C9-9C42-16E654FA8E2B.jpeg

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Thanks guys!

Played with the boat the last three days around Cape Lookout, NC. Came up empty on fish but it is certainly very capable. 

I really appreciate the info on the gauges, that is likely the route I will take with getting them fixed!

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Knotthereelworld, could you please take some pictures of your bunks underneath the boat im going to be trying to change out my trailer on my RF18 to 4 bunks instead of 2 bunks and a v guide.

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@FSU11, Sure thing! Been meaning to get it off the trailer and replace the bunks but every time I turn around it is raining here in Virginia. Hopefully get it done next week. Just scheduled out an 11 day Florida trip to the Keys and Everglades for late March so I've got my work cut out for me to get done by then. 

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On 2/14/2019 at 1:58 PM, Fsu11 said:

Knotthereelworld, could you please take some pictures of your bunks underneath the boat im going to be trying to change out my trailer on my RF18 to 4 bunks instead of 2 bunks and a v guide.

A V guide is a must have.

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Looks like you got a great rig. Congrats! Regarding the 4 battery comment, not sure you need the 4th. Trolling motor will run great on 2, and your starting battery should be just one. If you need insurance, consider the PowerAll portable lithium battery. It has plenty power to start your outboard in case of an emergency, and it weighs about as much as a cell phone. I put my trolling motor batteries under the console in front. Hard to get them in and out, but it's a secure location. Have fun!

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57 minutes ago, Drummer said:

Looks like you got a great rig. Congrats! Regarding the 4 battery comment, not sure you need the 4th. Trolling motor will run great on 2, and your starting battery should be just one. If you need insurance, consider the PowerAll portable lithium battery. It has plenty power to start your outboard in case of an emergency, and it weighs about as much as a cell phone. I put my trolling motor batteries under the console in front. Hard to get them in and out, but it's a secure location. Have fun!

Ditto....no need on the 4th battery...

 

dc

 

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