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Author Topic:   Removing sea drive outboards
specktrout posted 06-16-2003 12:10 PM ET (US)   Profile for specktrout   Send Email to specktrout  
Lately, I have been doing a lot more offshore fishing and feel I have reached the limits of what my Montauk can handle. In looking at bigger boats, I have come across several 22 to 25 ft mid to late 1980's revenge models which are real bargains. Several of them have the OMC sea drives which, given their reputation, probably helps explain the low price. However, these boats do come with the full transom which I really like. Has anyone out there removed the sea drives and replaced them with twin engines on a bracket (Like the armstrong brand)? If so, how much repair work was required to the transom? -(I understand the sea drives require some large holes for mounting) Thanks for any info.
lhg posted 06-16-2003 05:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
It can be done, and I think someone here has actually done it, but it is expensive. Figure $1000 for transom/hull repair, $2500 minimum for dual engine bracket, $1000 for new rigging controls, $15000 for twin 150HP carbed engines, the cheapest way to put twin V-6 power on a Whaler, other than used. Figure more for if new technology engines are desired.

I would only do it if the boat itself is really excellent, or you will then spend another ton fixing up the rest of the boat.

Smallfrye posted 06-17-2003 10:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for Smallfrye  Send Email to Smallfrye     
Spec, what kind of price are you finding for the 22's w/ sea drives ? I'm looking for an OR or Guardian to refit w/ a bracket. IHG is right, the boat needs to be in good condition and at the right price to make sence.
hauptjm posted 06-17-2003 11:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
I agree, $20,000 minimum to bring you up to brand new spec. Of course, 75-80% of that is the cost of new twins. If the boat is in very good condition, or can be brought up to the appropriate condition relatively easy, then do it. You'll have one heckuva great rig. If you could find one in the $8-10,000 range, you're looking at $30,000 for a boat you can't touch on the new-boat market for under $50,000. And I would feel a whole lot better about being in 80ís Revenge with that kind of set-up than almost anything you could buy today.
specktrout posted 06-17-2003 10:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for specktrout  Send Email to specktrout     
The prices I was considering were all within the 10-15,000 dollar range (asking price). I found several with little to no prior aftermarket modifications, no bottom painting and -at least from pictures- no serious cosmetic flaws. I have an '89 montauk which was a little rough looking when I first bought her and given the depth and quality of the whaler gelcoat used, it is truly amazing what a thorough cleaning and buffing will do to a whaler. I agree that to make this worthwhile, one would have to wait for a clean hull worthy of the effort, but if one could be found, it might be an affordable option.
doobee posted 06-17-2003 11:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for doobee  Send Email to doobee     
To go from seadrive to bracket should require no transom modification as it was the same plug used to build Whalerdrive models. Do not get a tubular frame bracket. Get a bracket that becomes an extension of the hull, like the Whalerdrive was.
jimh posted 06-17-2003 11:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Converting one of these older Sea Drive boats looks to be quite a project, but the end result is a great set up.

The asking price of many of the Sea Drive equipped boats is often below market because everyone knows the Sea Drive is a white elephant. You can often get the hulls for relatively bargain prices.

As LHG points out, at that point you are about to spend a minimum of $20,000 on the conversion and repowering. If the rest of the boat is worth that kind of investment, it may be feasible. You will end up with a classic Boston Whaler with excellent performacne, great classic style, and a full transom. A boat like that new at today's prices would be $60,000 to $80,000 or more.

You may even be able to defer some costs by selling the Sea Drive(s) to someone who needs them for parts.

Re the transom repair: yes, you have to fill some fairly large holes once you remove the Sea Drives. These probably need some structural reinforcement--they are too big to just be cosmetic repairs.

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