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Thoughts on a 95 355

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Topic author Liechtenstein
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Thoughts on a 95 355

Postby chpsk8 » July 5th, 2018, 9:40 pm

I've been looking at a 95 355 that appears pretty clean. Has had some updates as far as furniture and carpet goes. Not perfect, but has those fun projects that I like to work on.
Any thoughts on what I should be looking out for that would be unique to the 355?

This one has 454's and I believe they are throttle body injected. He said they weren't fuel injected, but not carbs either. Impellers were replaced within the last year. When I started it, the port motor took a little longer to fill the muffler than the starboard side. Clean oil, didn't see any leaks, but haven't completely rolled around in the bilge to get to know them.
The genny started right away and appears to be used regularly. It was pretty much silent.
The bilge where the motors are was fairly clean. The shaft seals had a couple drips if even and have been replaced recently.
I've read about the Aux gas tank. The owner implied it's empty and not used. I hadn't read enough before that conversation so I'll probe more next time.

There was water in the bilge in the galley. It was clean water, so I'm assuming either AC condensation or plumbing leak. Is that common?

The heads are electric (push button on the wall). They sounded strong. I was really looking for vacuflush, but if it works, I'm ok if I know what to look for as far as maintaining. Are parts still available?

Where's the water heater, pump and water tank? Are they easy to see?

The hull looks really nice, no dock rash, reasonably polished. I did notice that there wasn't a storage compartment on the swim platform. Instead there was a place to store fenders. I'm thinking I could add a dock box with a pad to sit on.

The anodized aluminum around the windows was really faded. Not sure what options there are for making that deep black again. I've vinyl wrapped a lot of car parts, so maybe that's an alternative. 5 years is usually all I get with black though. Given the age of the boat and the state of the caulking I'm sure I'm in for some rebedding projects.

AC units were blowing cold, fridge was cold enough plugged into shore power to have ice cream.
There was a cooler in the main outside seating area where the little sink is. Is that normally a cooler, or is that an ice maker or mini fridge?

As I walked around to the bow I noticed some standing water in the port walkway towards the bow. It was a little orange so there's been some staining and that water is probably there normally. Is that a standard "design feature"? Any remedy?

We're looking for something with good bones and plan to have this one until the kids move on in 8-10 years. Our current boat we've had for 5 years and it's time to step up.

Any advice on what I need to look at would be excellent. Thanks!

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Re: Thoughts on a 95 355

Postby RGrew176 » July 6th, 2018, 2:48 am

Welcome Aboard. Sounds like you have given the boat a good looking over. A survey and sea trial will tell you a lot more. There are other things that will give you more information such as an oil analysis. Good luck, hope it goes well.
Rick Grew

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Re: Thoughts on a 95 355

Postby Viper » July 6th, 2018, 6:52 am

Welcome aboard.

The aux fuel tank is definitely a concern in these. Saying that it wasn't used could mean a couple of things; didn't have the need to or it's leaking which is not uncommon. I would have it pressure tested. It'll likely be the recommendation in a survey anyway.

Speaking of survey, I can't stress enough the need to have one done. Your insurance company will likely ask for it and it may come in handy in the final purchase negotiations. Deficiencies listed can be prioritized in a list for you to tackle a little at a time. While a lot of potential buys that are moving up from another boat will have some experience on what to look for, you don't know what you don't know and this isn't where you want to learn the hard way.

Take her out for a sea trial and see how she does at wide open throttle, what rpm that is and does it meet spec. It'll also afford you the opportunity to note any vibration if present that would be an indication of running gear issues, poor alignment, etc. Run the generator under full load for half an hour to ensure it's operating properly.

Check to ensure the heat setting of the air conditioners also works.

Water in the forward bilge is not uncommon. Could be anything from rain coming in from the anchor locker, to a fresh water system leak, AC condensate, etc. Some searching will need to be done to make that determination.

The hot water tank is under the dinette table behind an AC unit. I've seen fresh water pumps in a few different areas but on the bulkhead behind the engines seems to be a common location.

I'm used to seeing an ice maker on the aft deck. Not everyone has the need for one though.

Don't know the model of toilet you have but in general there are still parts available for the common ones used of that vintage. If the boat smelled perfumie when you stepped on board, I'd caution that they may be hiding the smell of permeated waste hoses. Again, a common occurrence with any brand of that vintage. The remedy is to replace the hoses.

Where is she located and where will you be boating? If she has spent her life in salt water, there are several concerns you'll want to consider. The exhaust manifolds for example will likely need to be replaced depending on their age. After 5-7 years thy're on borrowed time and is an expense you should budget for if this is applicable in your case.

Best of luck. Keep us posted.
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Re: Thoughts on a 95 355

Postby g36 » July 6th, 2018, 8:06 am

doesnt sound like a bad find from your description, i have a 405 which is a bigger similiar design of the 355. if the engines are throttle body then they are fuel injected. are they crusader xli blue motors or something else volvo red or merc black? sea trial will give you some more helpful info and i would, as suggested discuss and find out about the back tank. i actually have 2 under the swim platform and i use them reguarly. also a good survey is a must. best of luck
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Topic author Liechtenstein
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Re: Thoughts on a 95 355

Postby chpsk8 » July 6th, 2018, 11:24 am

Thanks for the tips guys.
We're in MN so this one is all fresh water use from new. Hasn't left the area so it's been mostly on the Mississippi.
The motors were blue, so I'm assuming crusaders.
Good call on cycling the AC through the heat cycle and also taxing the genny for some time. Those are two things I don't want to have issues with. I looked at another one that had a dead genny and the thought of hoisting it out of there to fix it didn't sit well with me.
The Aux tank stumps me a little. Sounds like it's rarely used and in a tough spot to fix. Personally I'd rather have a second water tank so I could take a longer shower.

For sure there will be a survey involved. I want it more to know the bones are good and then to set up a project list of things to work on. It's an old boat, I get that there's going to be stuff to fix, I just don't want big impending doom type stuff to work on. I'm selling a 1990 Dancer right now and have to laugh at some of the expectations people have.

Thanks again, I'll post more as we progress
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Re: Thoughts on a 95 355

Postby Cooler » November 7th, 2018, 7:24 pm

Hello chpsk8, sorry for the late response but better late then never. I have a 95 Mariner 330. The heads are Raritan Crown models. Almost no maintenance required, the only caution there, is make sure your hold that button down for a good 8 seconds. If you short flush, the macerator could plug up. Use liquid conditioner only. Most likely, the water source for the head is your freshwater holding tank. Raritan did not want to draw water from outside to avoid seaweed or other junk from plugging water source. The engines are Crusader, best in the business. They are easily good for 2500 hours before any thoughts to rebuild. They will burn fuel, even at idle. Above all, avoid ethanol gas. The engines will burn it, but the fuel injectors could get plugged up from the ethanol. That will create pre-ignition detonation condition. The clear water in your bilge is A/C condensate, which goes to your shower sump. Your sump may have a bad float, or bad pump. Check float first. If you do use the shower, get the same brand float. It has a low profile to stay under the sump filter. You probably have all this figured out already, but if not....

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Re: Thoughts on a 95 355

Postby mjk1040 » November 8th, 2018, 5:43 am

Sounds like you may have found a jewel. A survey should ease any reservations. Most of what you have listed are to me common issues with this model Carver. I'll bet the forward bilge water is hot water heater issue, most likely the relief valve seeping by or shower sump as mentioned above. Then again depending on the final purchase price it may be a steal. Good Luck with your choice and hope you get to enjoy her! Welcome aboard!
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