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Shopping for 1988 to 1991 Santiago 34 or 38

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Scurvy Dog
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Shopping for 1988 to 1991 Santiago 34 or 38

Postby Vetterman » February 3rd, 2014, 11:06 am

I am in the Toronto area and have started shopping for a 1988 to 1991 Santiago 34 or 38. This would be my first boat.

I like the floating living room layout of this model and the flybridge and was wondering if any current owners of this model or anyone who recently shopped for one what lessons did you learn - what should I look for??

Not concerned about interior - I know alot have already been upgraded and new cusions, curtains etc is not a major thing - as a new boater I am more concerned about the expensive repair stuff that I do not have enough experience or knowledge to notice.

Should I be concerend about internal ribs or framing?? Is anything done in wood that can rot over time??

I see alot of this model in the Florida area at very good prices - cheap enough to afford shipping - never really looked into that, so mabey that is just a bad idea and avoid it - but are there any concerns about a salt water boat that would be used in fresh water like the Trent system??

I am seeing prices rannging the mid 30's to low 40's with a few that spike to 60's or as cheap as under 20. Is a 1989 38' santiago at 59K overpriced compared to a 34 at 35k???.

Any advice is much welcomed as I begin this process - thank you.

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Vessel Info: 1995 Boston Whaler Rage15
1987 3697 Carver Mariner
1988 Cougar 46 Kevlar Vee offshore
1969 15' Glasspar / 1967 Johnson Electromatic 85
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Re: Shopping for 1988 to 1991 Santiago 34 or 38

Postby waybomb » February 3rd, 2014, 1:35 pm


The one thing you need to do, no matter what, is pay for a survey of whatever vessel you intend to buy. A good surveyor will check everything for you. Engine checks are usually a little more costly, but a complete survey can save you big headaches later on. You DO NOT want a boat with a bad hull or rotten core. You really need to ask around for a good surveyor. You need to find one that everybody complains to be too damn picky for his own good. That's the guy you want. The one that does not accept anything questionable.

Also be aware, salt water boats are less valuable than fresh water boats, generally. Salt gets into everything and starts corroding the metals. I am not saying to not buy a salt water boat. I am saying be aware of the possibilities such as electrical gremlins.

Being in Toronto, you should be able to buy a boat on any of the great lakes and drive it on water back to your home port. It would be a wonderful trip as well. If you have concerns piloting yourself, hire a captain. A captain can teach you quite a bit in a two-to-four day trip!
1969 Glaspar Avalon /1969 Johnson Electromatic 85
1987 Carver Mariner
1988 Cougar Kevlar 46' with triple blown 572 ci
1995 Boston Whaler Rage
Past - 1988 2807, 1989 4207 Aft
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Scurvy Dog
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Vessel Info: 1989 Santego 30
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Re: Shopping for 1988 to 1991 Santiago 34 or 38

Postby airdvr1227 » February 12th, 2014, 10:50 am

Just bought our 1989 Santego. One thing I noticed is the fender storage at the rear is poorly designed. It allows water to get into the structure of the swim platform. Ours is somewhat compromised but not enough that it will need fixed right away.
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Re: Shopping for 1988 to 1991 Santiago 34 or 38

Postby Solana » April 3rd, 2014, 12:08 am

We have a 1990 Santego and most come with 454 big blocks with Mercruiser manifolds. The first thing we needed to do was to get rid of those darn things and replace them with Crusaders. Don't worry about the expense, if it's not already too late, it'll save your motors. The retrofit is very minimal and can be easily handled by any competent marine mechanic. Ask around, most everyone I. The know will say "yes" to the retrofit and ASAP!

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