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23Conquest posted 11-19-2004 01:30 PM ET (US)   Profile for 23Conquest  
I purchased a 97 23 Conquest a few months back. Overall I am happy with the boat. It is a great family fishing boat, which lets me do a lot more than my prior 20' center console.

I have some issues and I would like hearing what other conquest owners have done.

1) The well-known problem with the hard top welds has been 100% fixed with a retro-kit provided by whaler at no cost. Welding would of been included if I was original owner.

2) The boat has a strong single merc 225 EFI offshore which burns more fuel/oil tahn I expected. At least twice as much as my prior 150 Carb. Does anybody have info regarding consumption/performance with a 250 4 stroke?

3) The boat does not have a ballast kit and it is bow heavy. Would adding weight to stern help the boats performance? Will it steer better at low speeds? When docked, the gas tank sits in water even when stern has no water. Driving the boat forces water to the stern and it gets pumped out but. Tank looks solid but I would think salt water will eventually rust tank. Does extra weight keep tank dry?

4) Rear 3 hatches leak. Has anyone replaced them or somehow sealed them better?

Since I like the boat, I am thinking of repowering with a heavier 4 stroke and kicker, which I assume, would probably correct almost all issues above. I hear Suzuki 250 is a great motor and I am interested to see how new Yamaha 250 4S will be.

handn posted 11-20-2004 09:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for handn  Send Email to handn     
I had a 2000 Conquest and have some thoughts on your questions.
New gaskets will help some on the leaking problem. I also had problems with bloody water leaking into the bilge from up on top of the fish box. I cut this down with soft plumbers putty.
The efi is a known gas guzzler. With a single 225 Optimax, I averaged overall 2.4 nautical per gallon. You will do at least as well with a 225 4-stroke.
I was going to put a kicker on but decided against it. The Optimax would troll all day at idle without fouling up and the 4-stroke will do better. A kicker won't turn and hold the boat into the sea in bad weather. The new engines are so reliable that it is unlikely that one would let you down. A kicker would help your stern up problem but so would another lump of lead.
I found my Conquest rode almost flat if I took all the heavy junk out of the cabin.
I could see some corrosion on the bottom of my fuel tank. I tried to cut this down by sticking the fresh water hose up under the gas tank and washing it out after every cruise.
Hope this helps.
23Conquest posted 11-20-2004 11:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for 23Conquest    
handn, thanks for info. Does extra weight make it so tank does not always site in water? Now it sits in water even when stern/bidge is dry. I was thinking of running a tube under tank and sealing. I was hoping this would not be necessary w/extra weight. Thanks again
handn posted 11-23-2004 10:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for handn  Send Email to handn     
When my bilge was dry there was no water under the gas tank.
You need to add more weight to the stern, if there is still water under the tank when the back of the bilge is dry.
On my 23 Conquest, the lump of lead was clearly visable at the back of the stern and there was sufficient space to add more lead.
The additional weight of your new 4-stroke and kicker may solve the problem. The efi is light and you may pick up close to 100 pounds with a repower.
I think sealing the tank is a bad idea because it wouldn't hold due to hull flexing and slight tank movement and would trap salt water under the tank.
This is just my opinion and I am no expert.
mustang7nh posted 12-02-2004 05:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for mustang7nh  Send Email to mustang7nh     
Had a 1997 Conquest 23 with 225 EFI.

Boat is still in the family. Fish box leaked and flooded the bilge two weeks ago on the 'rents while on Florida's ICW.

Gas guzzler? Oil Guzzler? You bet. My 250 Carb Yam is much better on my 22 than the 225 EFI was on the 23.

Bow down attitude as well, leaky hatches. So far no crack in welds, but hear this is common. Engine has developed a major vibration at mid range. Can't seem to figure it out. Never ran that smooth to begin with.

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