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ClemSparks
ClemSparks SuperDork
5/22/08 3:07 p.m.

hey all,

It seems that what we do here on land doesn't translate well to watercraft (at least not popularly). By that I mean, You don't see older, less expensive boats being given a second chance with a new power plant and some functional updates/upgrades.

I'd love to find an old Inboard/outboard hull and throw in a built small block V8 (even if it came with an I4) for some low dollar fun on the water. I have in mind something like an old bayliner, mark twain, IMP, or other runabout hull, but build it with some umph!

Is it just one of those, "Don't do it because it's not safe" type things? Or maybe I'm just missing the scene (since I'm so far inland).

I live near one of the largest rivers in the world...and it's way underutilized. I think it would be fun to put together a basic sleeper/hotrod boat for cheap.

Does anybody else share this interest? Are there any webresources out there for interested folks?

Thanks! Clem

mtn
mtn Dork
5/22/08 3:34 p.m.
ClemSparks wrote: hey all, low dollar fun on the water. Does anybody else share this interest? Clem

HAHAHAHA! Low dollar fun on the water? That is a knee slapper!!!

Seriously, it could be done, but boats almost always have something wrong with them that you need to fix (unless if your talking about your 14 foot jon boat) Looking for low-dollar, go into Aluminum. We bought our 85 Lund Alaskan for about 2000, and now 10 years later we have put about 6000 into it (engine rebuild, new floor, new carpeting, new trolling motor, basic maintenance). Had it been a fiberglass boat in the same condition, it probably wouldn't have been floatable. But for the most part, boats are a hole in the water where all your money goes

ClemSparks
ClemSparks SuperDork
5/22/08 3:49 p.m.

Yeah, yeah, yeah...

A boat will cost more than a comparable car...

You're right, there are lots of cheap boats because something is wrong with them. The EXACT same way I come across cheap cars (just like everyone else who does it). Get them because the labor for the next major repair costs more than the value of the vehicle.

My main thing is...these old boats with I/O drives were typically based on automotive engines. That leaves the doors wide open for higher power swaps. But I don't see a following for this in a "grassroots" fashion. Sure, there are lots of big money boys out there playing...but what's to say an '18 Bayliner with a hopped up 350 in place of the I4 or 4.3 V6 and some new upholstery and a paintjob can't be done?

Yes, you'd have some money in it...but not $20K. I'd argue it could be done for half that or less. And try buying a comparable new boat for that.

Not trying to be argumentative...I'm just wondering why there's not more of it. I guess it's probably, in part, due to the fact that you'd then have to have a truck to haul it, a place to use it, a place to launch it, a place to store it, etc.

However, that's exactly the situation many of us are in with our hobby cars anyway... (truck, trailer, storage, fuel, etc)

Clem

mtn
mtn Dork
5/22/08 3:58 p.m.

For 10 grand? yeah, it can be done. I don't know about hopping it up, I've always dealt with outboard engines.
A big part of it is that you have to spend so much time just to get ready to go, unless you actually live on the water.

IMO, I think that the best way to get thrills on water are with Jet Skis or Wave Runners. So much fun, and probably a lot cheaper than a boat.

ClemSparks
ClemSparks SuperDork
5/22/08 4:05 p.m.

True on the PWCs. I'm not at all interested in them though.

Same with outboards. Too loud and two-strokey for my taste ;).

My formula would be like this: Hull and trailer purchase: $1,000. Engine: $1,000-$2,000. Upholstery and such: $1,000. Miscellaneous (batteries, paint, hull repairs, ancillary equipment, steering and shifting/throttle linkage maintenance, outdrive repair, etc, etc, etc): $3,000 (j/k...who knows). Trailer Maintenance: $500.

Maybe I'm way off base here and forgetting something. Maybe I'm just thinking about it like all the car projects I get into. "Sure, I'll be able to fix that." All the while, forgetting how much TIME it will take ;).

Clem

Edit: Can I say that I'm REALLY unimpressed with the software automatically removing my line breaks? Makes a pseudo bullet point list like above look really crummy. Take it for what it's worth...

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
5/22/08 4:12 p.m.

I traded an IBM PC-XT for my sailboat and trailer. That's pretty grassroots. The trailer eventually died and I need to varnish or otherwise re-do some wood.

Nashco
Nashco Dork
5/22/08 4:25 p.m.

Tossing bigger/more powerful engines into an I/O setup also requires you upgrade the I/O drive(after it self destroys itself, of course). You can do boats very cheap, find a mid-80s 4.3 powered I/O for cheap, give it a good once-over, and they're pretty cheap to maintain if you're just using them to cruise the lakes and big rivers. Of course, cheap to maintain is different in boatworld, but relatively cheap. Start doing stuff to modify it and it adds up quickly; heat exchangers, even for a common 350, that are in good shape aren't cheap. Deals are out there, as with anything, if you look/work hard enough.

The big thing that makes boating expensive is that if you break down, you can't just call AAA and fix it at home. Breaking down in the water really sucks. I agree that PWC are the best bang/buck for fun on the water. If you want a family cruiser to play in the water with, I think pontoon boats are the best value. If you want to fish, find a good bridge/pier/shallow river.

Bryce

stuart in mn
stuart in mn New Reader
5/22/08 5:01 p.m.

A few years ago my next door neighbor bought a 16', fiberglass 1959 Luger "Le Continental" runabout, complete with a 40 hp Scott-Atwater outboard and a trailer for $300. He tuned up the motor and spent a couple weekends rubbing out the gelcoat, and he ended up with a pretty cool toy that drew more attention out on the lake than any of the expensive new boats. I watch the local Craigslist and similar boats turn up fairly regularly (but then again, there are more boats per capita in Minnesota than just about anywhere else. :nice: )

foxtrapper
foxtrapper New Reader
5/22/08 8:31 p.m.

[quote]I'd love to find an old Inboard/outboard hull and throw in a build small block V8 (even if it came with an I4) for some low dollar fun on the water. I have in mind something like an old bayliner, mark twain, IMP, or other runabout hull, but build it with some umph![/quote]

Um, yea. There's some real problems with that.

The first is the boat ripping itself apart from the increased power. If it's rated for 90 hp, it's built for 90 hp. Giving it 200 hp just means the mounts rip out and the hull comes apart. Hopefully it won't do that while your blasting along, but it might.

Then there's the matter of how the boat sits in the water and handles. The extra weight screws that all up and you end up with a boat that spends it time on its tail, or plowing nose first through the water. Either way it isn't fast or particularly fun.

Then there's the matter of rot. Old boats rot. Especially fiberglass boats. Lots of plywood under that glass, and it rots. Then the boat falls apart.

Then there's the feeding costs of a boat, especially a hotrod boat.

Stargazer
Stargazer HalfDork
5/22/08 9:24 p.m.

Inboard/Outboards are pretty complicated and can be expensive. You might be able to drop in a new engine, but the lower end can be a nightmare, especially on anything around $1000.

If you want cheap, outboard is the way to go. An older whaler hull might be cheap (relatively) and there's no upholstery.

Snowdoggie
Snowdoggie New Reader
5/22/08 10:11 p.m.

Anybody remember those old Glastrons they used in the James Bond Movie Live and Let Die. My cousin actually had one of those back in the day. I wonder what it would take to restore one of those today.

NOHOME
NOHOME New Reader
5/22/08 10:14 p.m.

Bring Over Another Thousand $

I have a past life working on performance boats. Advice to purchasers was that 15-20% of NEW purchase cost to operate for the season. Many did not believe. Many sold the boat next year at a big loss just to be rid of the things.

Being broke down on the side of the road is a challenge. Being broke down in the middle of the lake-ocean-river with the family on board, sucks.

Working on a boat in the garage sucks; after the 1000th time you have to jump out to get a tool, the novelty runs out. Not as fun to run in the dirveway as you have to run a hose and they are way noisy.

Trailers always need bearings cause you are putting them underwater. Ditto on the trailer lights and wires. This becomes a side-hobby.

Gotta have a truck; it and the boat will both have lousy gas mileage.

No such thing as a cheap boat part.

I do like the idea of the retro 60s hulls as mentioned above. I would go that way if I really wanted to get back into it.

Pete

JoeyM
JoeyM None
5/22/08 11:00 p.m.
Anybody remember those old Glastrons they used in the James Bond Movie Live and Let Die.

The orange and white outboard that jumped the cop car was a Glastron GT-150. My folks had one many years ago......Of course, I think I read somewhere that the movie version had a steel-reinforced transom for the bigger engine and a spring-actuated tilt so they could keep the prop down as long as possible before hitting the ramp.

atlantamx3
atlantamx3 Dork
5/23/08 1:36 a.m.

Hows THIS for grassroots... Boat made of PVC and a tarp...

http://www.instructables.com/id/Build-Your-Own-PVC-Johnboat-for-minimal-cost-and-t/

Apexcarver
Apexcarver None
5/23/08 6:56 a.m.

I got a 1972 MFG gypsy for $1 from my grandfather. $500 later in carbs it runs pretty reliably.

its bright orange and it gets ALOT of attention when i take it out on the lake. (i havent seen a boat like that in YEARS!) the only difficulty i have is that the other boats on the lake are too large. I get pounded in almost 4 foot chop if i take it out on the weekend (and a 16' 65 horse outboard just isnt safe in that crap)

that said, last year every time i took it out i burned about $20 in gas, extrapolating to current gas prices, thats $30 per time out on the lake. yes, the motor is old- however from at a glance research, it would be cheaper to get a new (used) boat then just the outboard and drive components.

I'm in the market for a snark sailboat. by the time i took that out 10x instead of the boat it will have come close to paying for itself!

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
5/23/08 7:06 a.m.

My old painter Bob traded a guy a paint job for a 28' Wellcraft built "Cigarette" with a bad 502. Then traded labor to swap a 2wd F250 cab on to a 4x4 frame for a running marine 454.

Bob uses that boat weekly on Lake Michigan. He has about $800.00 involved

914Driver
914Driver HalfDork
5/23/08 7:45 a.m.

Hmmm... You can aways find a dead Hobie catamaran behind a barn somewhere. Broken mast, needs a $900 trampoline, lost interest etc. There's a company that puts a fiberglass deck over the od Hobie trampoline which has a bench seat, steering and a motor mount. Think about how much water a cat draws. A 7hp scoots it along pretty good, a 15hp kicks butt, a 30 will flat scare the Bejeepers out of ya.

Grassroots enough?

Jack
Jack SuperDork
5/23/08 10:05 a.m.
914Driver wrote: A 7hp scoots it along pretty good, a 15hp kicks butt, a 30 will flat scare the Bejeepers out of ya.

I've water skied behind a wind powered Hobie. I like that idea - Wow!

Jack

mistanfo
mistanfo Dork
5/23/08 10:29 a.m.
914Driver wrote: Hmmm... You can aways find a dead Hobie catamaran behind a barn somewhere. Broken mast, needs a $900 trampoline, lost interest etc. There's a company that puts a fiberglass deck over the od Hobie trampoline which has a bench seat, steering and a motor mount. Think about how much water a cat draws. A 7hp scoots it along pretty good, a 15hp kicks butt, a 30 will flat scare the Bejeepers out of ya. Grassroots enough?

Any further info on this? Sounds interesting. Might even be able to replace the CLC sail/row/outboard kit that I'm looking at.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
5/23/08 1:12 p.m.

My Force 5 doesn't take any gasoline (one billion+ MPG), has no trampoline to rip and only needs the slightest breeze to really get moving. I need to find a trailer.

ClemSparks
ClemSparks SuperDork
5/23/08 2:01 p.m.

I LOVE sailing...but the sound of a v8 on the water is like... well... exactly what it sounds like, I guess.

When my daughters are old enough and I have suitable space, a wooden sailboat is definitely on our project agenda (built from plans, that is).

Clem

mistanfo
mistanfo Dork
5/23/08 3:12 p.m.

Plans built would be nice, but I no longer have the shop and the tools that come with it for this path. Annapolis is close enough that I can go to CLC and get the kit with all of the parts pre-cut. I figure that if the wife allows me to keep tires in the dining room, building a boat in the living room isn't far off. Plus, she likes boats.

slantvaliant
slantvaliant New Reader
5/23/08 4:55 p.m.

Here's a photo of my first grassroots watercraft, with the wife and friends.

Paddles with Ducks:

Capt Slow
Capt Slow New Reader
5/23/08 5:20 p.m.

CLC's sail rig for their kayaks looks awesome

Woodyhfd
Woodyhfd HalfDork
5/25/08 9:08 p.m.

When I was in college, I worked for a yacht maintenance company.

Nothing is more expensive than a cheap boat.

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