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Author Topic:   Worth putting newer motor on older 13?
galaxygirl posted 08-07-2002 02:45 PM ET (US)   Profile for galaxygirl   Send Email to galaxygirl  
I hope I'm putting this in the right category.

I've got a couple of used choices for a 40hp motor to replace the 1962 Johnson on my 1967 13.
One is a 2000 Merc 2cyl for $2,900, the other is a 1990 Johnson for $1,800. Is the value of a newer motor going to be worth the extra? Is there going to be that much better performance/reliability with a newer motor?

andygere posted 08-07-2002 02:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
How long are you planning to keep the boat? If you have the cash, and will be owning the boat for several years, go with the newer motor. That said, a 2000 Merc in a 15" shaft length won't have power tilt/trim. My old 13 had a non-power t/t and it was a MAJOR pain. It's pretty hard on the back tilting that motor manually. $2,900 gets you pretty close to a new Tohatsu 40 hp with oil injection and power t/t (to my knowledge, the only 2 stroke 40 available in 15" shaft with power t/t). On the other hand, the 1990 Johnson may have power t/t, just make sure it's a 15" shaft. A 20" shaft is too long for your hull and will not perform well at all.
galaxygirl posted 08-07-2002 03:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for galaxygirl  Send Email to galaxygirl     
They are both 20" shaft with PTT. I am planning on putting extensions or jackplate on as in cetacea.

I may only keep this boat for 1-2 years, I picked it up fairly cheap ($750 including trailer) but can't help myself buying extras. A hundred here, a hundred there, pretty soon you are talking real money!

My main concern is reliability since I will take this boat up to the Apostles and don't want to be caught between islands. Is there a significant improvement (i.e. 50%) between a 1990 motor and a 2000 motor?

Bigshot posted 08-07-2002 04:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
condition dictates that answer. I would personally use a 25-30hp on older 13's. Plenty of power and will run circles around your old 40. Also a lot cheaper and lighter. Those older transoms can be weaker than they look. That old 40 will probably compare to a modern 25 in power. You can get a new 25 for about $2000 and you do not need PTNT on a 25 or 30hp. You will also get back your money on resale.
JFM posted 08-07-2002 05:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for JFM  Send Email to JFM     
BS, this is one I don't agree with you on. You won't get your money back on a re-power.

Also the 1990 @ $1900 is too much.

I wouldn't want a 13' without a 40HP. I like the extra power for water sports and to hull my gerth around.

I do agree you don't need power T/T on a 40.

Regards, Jay

JFM posted 08-07-2002 05:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for JFM  Send Email to JFM     
make that $1800 for a 1990 is too much.
JBCornwell posted 08-07-2002 05:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Hi, GalaxyGirl.

Well, I both agree and disagree with Jay.

I agree that $1800 is far too much for a 12 year old engine.

I disagree about power. I've had a 40 (OMC looper) and a 25 on a 13 and, though not as fast, the 25 handled a lot better and would go 25mph which is danged fast in a 13 foot utility boat.

I do agree with Bigshot: 25-30hp is plenty for the 13 unless you are always running on flat water, in a big hurry and with far to go.

Look for an '80s 25 or 30 OMC on ebay.

Good luck.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

galaxygirl posted 08-07-2002 05:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for galaxygirl  Send Email to galaxygirl     
I've read tons of the articles here about repowering and decided that since I'm going to be hauling more than light loads the 40 would be better. There are definitely good arguments all around, but this is the only boat I have so it has to fill more bills. I'm planning on beefing up the transom since it is old and spider-cracked.

So 1,800 is too much for a y1990? Is 2,900 too much for a y2000? These are both remote motors not tiller. Maybe I'm buying at the wrong time but I would like to get some boating in still this season.

JBCornwell posted 08-07-2002 08:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     

In that case I think I like Andygere's suggestion of the short, T&T, remote Tohatsu/Nissan 40.

Bulletproof reputation, usually lighter and less expensive than comps.

Good luck.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

Bigshot posted 08-08-2002 09:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
On a $750 boat with a spidered transom I would NOT put a 40 on it unless you are willing to take a big gamble on that transom. I ripped off transom on a 1962 13' with a 25hp and damn near lost the engine. Just my $0.02
andygere posted 08-08-2002 01:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
If the strength of the transom is in question, I would not put any motor on a jackplate. It will add considerable stress to the transom by increasing the moment arm. Even a few inches of setback can make a big difference in the static and dynamic loads on the transom. I'd still suggest a 15" 40 hp (With less than 40 it will be a dog out of the hole), and while not essential, the t/t sure is nice if the boat will be beached or run in shallow water.
galaxygirl posted 08-10-2002 11:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for galaxygirl  Send Email to galaxygirl     
Ripped the transom OFF? Yikes.

I was already planning on adding some support to the transom and now I am sure of it. I'm not altogether sure that the difference between a 175lbs 40hp and a 130lbs 30hp is going to be all that reassuring. I have an idea for a tubing/space-frame type support from the engine well bulkhead to the transom that will be cheap since I have all the stainless tubing. This should stiffen it substantially. Plus possibly adding some unobtrusive glass gussets in the transom hull intersection. Haven't decided on that yet.

I may also look at one of the Johnson 35hp's that are a little lighter.

scarlson posted 08-10-2002 06:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for scarlson    

My buddy put a 40 hp merc on a 13' with spiderweb cracks. At $750 I would question the extent of damage. You either stole the boat, or you got what you paid for. I think you ought to get the boat surveyed before you dump more money in it. Spider cracks can mean serious hull integerity problems or they are surface blemishes, or somewheres in between. Pay for a decent survey and decide if additional investment is warranted. Can you get out what you are putting in!

galaxygirl posted 08-10-2002 06:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for galaxygirl  Send Email to galaxygirl     
Well, I rather stole the boat from a friend.... The damage appears rather cosmetic, although I may drill a hole or 6 and determine if the rear plywood is rotten.
I would also never spend 200+ dollars to survey a 13 foot boat. I know more than a little about boats and fiberglass but mainly through my decades racing sailboats. My other boat is a 30ft racing yacht built out of carbon and divinycell. If I felt it needed it I wouldn't be afraid to sawzall off the transom and start from scratch! But I was kind of hoping to keep this 13 somewhat with the original stock feel.

What I know jack squat about is motorboats in general and motors specifically. How much they cost, how they hold their value, which are good and which suck, etc.. I am so happy to find such a great website with great discussions on just exactly the topic I love.


scarlson posted 08-10-2002 07:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for scarlson    
As Jimmy Buffet says (with all deference to jimh and his hate of ALL CAPS) WELL EXCUSE ME FOR TRYING TO BE HELPFUL you are self contained to say the least. If you are so self knowledged in boating why do you deign to request info from such peons as US!
scarlson posted 08-10-2002 07:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for scarlson    
It's pretty obvious that the GALXY you inhabit is rather self centered. Ettu Brutte
galaxygirl posted 08-10-2002 07:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for galaxygirl  Send Email to galaxygirl     
Hey Scarlson, I'm sorry if I offended you. Really. I appreciate your opinion as well as all the other great opinions I read here. All I was saying is that I know enough about fiberglass to be dangerous but I don't know anything about powerboats and motors.

Please forgive me if my tone offended.

scarlson posted 08-10-2002 07:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for scarlson    
I will put it to a question?

Should in your face apologies be accepted?

scarlson posted 08-10-2002 08:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for scarlson    
I'm not known for being vindictive. But I have a problem with people stating their assets as ability to operate the boat. Ownership doesn't impress me. I have had as much problem with milion dollar yatchts running me down as problems with PWC. I'm just curious what races and standings galexy has with her appartently expense racing yatch?
sport15er posted 08-10-2002 11:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for sport15er  Send Email to sport15er     
Where do these anonymous-no-email-address-posted-opinion-bs'ers come from anyway? Welcome aboard galaxy.
(edit at will jimh)
maverick posted 08-11-2002 07:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for maverick  Send Email to maverick     
Hi, GG -

I think your questions and postings were quite appropriate, and I will for now, as I hope you do, ignore some responses of less than a helpful nature. Each of those speaks for itself, which is a humiliation to the unknowing poster. That aside, let me mention what I did on a recent 13 I bought for peanuts. It's a 1970 with notched transom. Pretty ugly with stress cracks. First, in my experience of owning several Whalers 13-18.6, stress cracks are indicative of the gelcoat only. Look carefully for other than these before worrying, and even then, based on the experience you mentioned, you can probably fix without a lot of trouble. For the motor, I've repowered new several times on different Whalers - I've bought old crummy looking packages with decent hulls, done the cosmetics, and then bought new power, controls and steering (the important stuff). I've rewired and refinished, and while labor intensive, is pleasurable and worth it at 5 cents an hour! My current 13 has a new old stock Johnson 25 on it, which runs about 25-30mph and is very thrifty on fuel. I am pleased with this size and get acceptable performance. I paid $1875 for new motor, plus controls and extras. Prop and tank were included, w/electric start, no power trim, has remote hookup. Here's the deal when shopping for new power - always ask the dealer if they have a new old stock, as this one was a year old but still in the box. Cash and carry, dealer was glad to finally move it. Good deal, too. I would not use old power unless I had no other choice. Hope that helps, write me if you need more detailed info. Best, the Mavster

Sammy posted 08-11-2002 11:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sammy  Send Email to Sammy     
Hi GG,

Take a look in today's Star Tribune 'outboard marine engines' section 492...if you're not tracking it already.

There are a few that might be a fit for your 13'.

What's your timeline for needing the repower?
If you need it immediately, then you may be better off following previous advice of buying a new non-current. It is getting toward the end of the season here and a hungry dealer may want to move inventory.

If you have some time, keep looking for a decent used unit. There are a lot of outboards in this area that just don't get used a lot - so persistence and patience can pay-off.

When you find one that may be a candidate - have a shop check it out - compression, push rod rattle, a pressure test on the lower unit, etc. The shop charge shouldn't be bad, and then you have a good idea of condition. In the HP range you're looking at, transporting it shouldn't be a problem.

I ran a 25hp and 15hp on my '69 13' Standard (tiller, no console). The 15hp ('97 Merc)moved it surprisingly well with me and a couple of kids. I'm not sure I would have gone much more than a 25-30hp with the tiller - it cooked with a 25. I know there are a lot of folks running 40's on 13' Sports
- bet they're wild at WOT on glass. But in a good chop (i.e.Apostles - frequently), you will probably want to throttle it back a bit.

Good Luck!

Tom W Clark posted 08-11-2002 01:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
If you want a 40 hp on your boat then that's just fine. It's a little silly to think that if a 40 hp motor will rip the transom off the boat a 25 hp will be a better choice. If the transom is no good then NO motor is acceptable.

Spider cracks are in no way an indication that the transom is no good. This is not to say that the transom is necessary OK but cracks in the gel coat are a pretty common thing in boats this age. It should be noted that in the case of CSW the transom was totally sound and strong in spite of the fact the boat was an real mess. It was one of the most beat up 13's I've ever seen, yet there was zero dry rot in the transom.

galaxygirl posted 08-11-2002 01:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for galaxygirl  Send Email to galaxygirl     
Thanks for the advice folks. I don't know what that guy is talking about with the "in your face" stuff. Apparently he doesn't know you can pick up a sailboat - especially a racing sailboat - for less than a used datsun pickup.

If I was full of dough why would I be asking about used outboards and 30 year old hulls? Let alone talking about covering myself with fiberglass shards and epoxy. Again.

No pass the grey poupon here.

I hope this isn't the place to come and get flamed....

browning20ga posted 08-11-2002 05:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for browning20ga  Send Email to browning20ga     
"galaxygirl" Good post and good replys from the troops except that one goofus. I wouldn't even consider coments from or respond to anyone who flys off the handle like that for no reason and who is to "chicken" to fill out his profile. That is a pet-peav (?) of mine, this guy must be in the witness protection program or hiding from the FBI. I'd like to see "jimh" make all entries in the profile mandantory. I respect you for asking questions and considering the replys and for not being afraid to get your hands dirty and do the work yourself, your OK in my book.
Bigshot posted 08-12-2002 12:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Who knows what was buggin him but don't worry about it. All I was stating is that weight does not stress the transoms, HP does. On an older 13 I would want it to last as long as possible and therefore I would use a 25-30hp. Plus a 25 will do 30mph, a 40 will do biggie. The hull is VERY efficient. The only benefit to a 40 is waterskiing and hauling 4 people etc around. The 25 will get pretty weak with 4 adults where the 40 will handle it better. I have a 25 on mine and consider it plenty for that size boat. My bud has a 40 Yamaha and with just us in them he does not "blow me away" he actually is quite upset that my 25 does so well in comparison. A deal like above for $1800 is in my opinion what you should seek. But to each his....I mean her own:) Good Luck!
GlennGlenn posted 08-12-2002 03:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for GlennGlenn  Send Email to GlennGlenn     
I just upgraded my 1987 13 SS to a new 2001
Johnson 50 HP (2 stroker) with trim and tilt and GPS has me doing almost 50 MPH on less fuel and no smoke either. The old 40 HP Johnson was a great motor but tired. I'd put no less than a 40 HP with TNT on it; 30 and 25 are not enough. As they were going out of business almost 2 years ago, you could get OMC motors for a song, now they're a lil more that Bombardier owns them. I can ski, tow and even have the new 4 blade plastic prop that is adjustable pitch for skiing and it pulls real hard.
GlennGlenn posted 08-12-2002 04:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for GlennGlenn  Send Email to GlennGlenn     
I do agree you don't need power T/T on a 40.

Regards, Jay

I disagree Jay, my 1987 13 SS really gets the nose out of the water with the trim Whalers tend to run nose (bow) low anyway with power applied and the trim really gets the bow up for speed; In a prior post I indicated almost 50 MPH on GPS and a 11 3/4 X 19 Michigan Wheel; People are always surprised.


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