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Help buying used 4 stroke

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I'm in the hunt for a second 4 stroke out board for my 5.3m (17.5 foot) sundowner boat. Unfortunately I'm not able to outlay enough $$ for a band newy. I have found a 2004 4 stroke mercury saltwater series, tacho says 149 hrs at a reasonable price. It looks clean, dealer is reputable and I like that it is actually a yammi powerhead (mercy used them on these motors). I'm just a bit concerned that it's 10 yrs old and unsure how well previous owner looked after it. Dealer didn't do the servicing on it. Dealer said it needs a new rubber ring????? Says that's easy to fix.
Can anyone suggest the vital things I should look for when I inspect it? I don't have very good knowledge of out boards. Also, has this model got a good rep? I just want reliability to go fishing 2 weeks a year for the next 10 or so years.
Any advice much appreciated.
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  1. Wigs17's Avatar
    Just to clarify I'm looking for a "second hand" out board. First line above May read that I'm looking at putting 2 out boards on my boat, which I'm not.
  2. Lucky_Phill's Avatar
    I have alerted an Ausfish member to this blog.

    he should be able to offer some sound advice for you, but may be on holidays, so wait a while for his response.

    cheers LP
  3. Spaniard_King's Avatar
    Wigs, I would be asking to have the engine fully services and inspected by a Dealer including a full anode change and inspection. Just because it has low hours does not mean it has not deteriated internally. I have seen a low hour engine which has had poor oil change intervals suffer from a pitted crankshaft from the acid build up in the oil, the lower main oil seal went after a few hours of use. Crankshaft was stuffed... very expensive.

    If the owner wants good money for it then ask him to spend the $ to ensure its good other wise you may have to spend the $$ to save you some in the future
  4. Wigs17's Avatar
    Thanks SK all very helpful. I'll have a chat with the dealer and push for what you've suggested. Then I'll need to present to the wifey!!!!