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Thread: Alaska and Gas Sterndrives

  1. #1

    Default Alaska and Gas Sterndrives

    A few questions for the forum.

    I'm a outboard guy.. I've never considered a boat with an IO. But in a quest to find a new boat for my growing family, I'm running into the issue that a lot of the boats I like, are an I/O. I understand I could do a conversion to outboard, but not really interested in breaking the bank. Outboards aren't getting much cheaper either.

    How many hours do you typically get from an inboard? I have excellent Merc service in town. Is the Merc Cruiser stuff good? What kind of fuel consumption do you get on a 300HP Inboard and a 24' boat? How is the reliablity? In the event of a repower, what kinds of costs are associated with a swap out? I'm guessing the labor would be much less with an outboard. Anybody have any real numbers that it took to repower?

    Thanks guys. Just trying to do my homework.

  2. #2
    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    A few questions for the forum.

    I'm a outboard guy.. I've never considered a boat with an IO. But in a quest to find a new boat for my growing family, I'm running into the issue that a lot of the boats I like, are an I/O. I understand I could do a conversion to outboard, but not really interested in breaking the bank. Outboards aren't getting much cheaper either.

    How many hours do you typically get from an inboard? I have excellent Merc service in town. Is the Merc Cruiser stuff good? What kind of fuel consumption do you get on a 300HP Inboard and a 24' boat? How is the reliablity? In the event of a repower, what kinds of costs are associated with a swap out? I'm guessing the labor would be much less with an outboard. Anybody have any real numbers that it took to repower?

    Thanks guys. Just trying to do my homework.
    My biggest complaint about an I/O is the motor hump in the middle of the back deck taking up the serious fishing space.

  3. #3
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    I am repowering two boats right now, both inboards. I had an outboard rebuilt several years ago then sold it a while later. Outboards are harder to work on after going through both. Tighter spaces and less availability of parts. If something goes wrong out on the water you are hanging off the back of the boat making repairs. They also place more weight aft of the boat than an inboard. Inboards give more room inside the boat and seem to take less configuring. Kind of plug and play sort of thing. I am not sure of the price differences, it seems they are close when considering and inboard and outdrive/jet.

    Most big inboards are a marinized chevy 350, and there are millions of them. Parts are easy to get mostly. Repairs and maintenance can often be done without going into the shop. They sit inside the boat and are better for weight and balance. They usually give more HP than an outboard. A new rebuilt fuel injected Mercruiser 350 with advertised 300+ HP will run you 9-10k. Rebuilding one is much less expensive if all of your pieces and parts are in good order, such as the exhaust and intake manifolds. Look online and you can find prices on short blocks, partial long blocks and a drop in crate motor (short block is the motor and heads, a long block is mostly all put together). I have heard tell an inboard will get you to 1000 hours, often more depending on maintenance and use. Others will have more to say about that.

    www.Michiganmotorz.com is a nice resource to find out prices, minus labor for install of course.

    Good luck finding the least biggest hole to throw your money into. What boat do you have now, what are you looking at getting? How much work do you want to do? What is your budget? When do you want it? Where are you going to use it?

  4. #4
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    Our Seasport is a 24 footer with the 496 ci/ 375 hp. Running along at 25-27 mph we average 2-2.2 mpg with three adults on board and tons of fishing gear and full fuel tanks (120 gallons). Have no idea how long the motor will last but we will be moving into our 9th season with it on ZERO repairs or issues. I been told 3,000 hours is easy to obtain if proper maintence is accomplished. My wife loves the dog house and usually puts a lawn chair on it to fish from. The dog house is only about 6 inches above the deck and we never viewed it as taking up any space. Just a slightly higher floor in the middle of the boat.
    Replacing an inboard is cheaper than a comparable powered outboard. Priced a 300 hp outboard lately? Bet they are pushing 20 grand. But an outboard does not require an additional out drive like an inboard does.
    Winterizing is super easy, connect a funnel to the intake, start the motor and pour in 3 gallons of rv antifreeze. When the last of the antifreeze is in the motor shut it down. $15 and 15 minutes. Every person has a different opinion of what is best for them and there family but the reason we went with the inboard is because we like fishing off the back of the boat and love the heater and defroster while running. When we troll for silvers or cruising for black bears we use the Yamaha kicker that pushes us along at 4-5 mph and only burns 1 gallon per hour. Our boat is quiet, warm, comfortable, sleeps three easily and carries 25 gallons of water as well. It is the right choice for us. And just as many people will say it would be the wrong choice for them.
    Enjoy the search.

  5. #5

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    Thanks DaveD.

    I'm thinking about a 24-26ft Osprey or Seasport. It'll be used out of Craig on Prince of Wales. Mainly family fishing duties, but it could be called up into some light charter duty. Budget is to get the most, for the least.

    I currently run a 19' Pacific, and a 31' boat (not mine) for charter season. I'm no stranger to boats, just inboards.

  6. #6

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    We have a 2005 24' Seasport with the Volvo Penta 350/300hp. She runs rock solid at 24-26 mph at about 2.2-2.3 mpg with a full load. Plenty of power to get up on step and she sounds really sweet crusing along at 3400 rpms. I'll be selling her this spring and she is fully loaded (including all the fishing and shrimping gear, radar, walas, new trailer etc etc). PM me if you are interested. She is under covers right now....
    Ruby at the end of a good day.

  7. #7
    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    I repowered a 21' glasply, did all the work myself. It had the original volvo 200c 305 in it when I bought it. It was still running when I bought the boat, but for my own piece of mind I wanted a new engine. I put a marine power 350 in it, cost about 10 grand. I still have the motor, it's in my 28' glasply now and still runs good. The older outdrives on these types of boats are what I wonder about. The 280 on my 21' boat lasted the 4 years I had it, but the last season I ran it, I started to notice some milky oil and the tilt quit working on it. I think the outrdives are realiable, but require maintenenance and occasional rebuild. Inboard engines are very reliable IMO, they will need new exhaust risers from time to time.
    Responsible Conservation > Political Allocation

  8. #8
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    I've had three a 302 and 351 ford and a 350 chevy, liked the power,didn't like the gas engine in a closed in compartment,make sure you run your blower long enough before starting. I never got over 1000 hours on any of them before having to rebuild them. They are cheap to rebuild though.

    Run 225 four stroke suzukis now 2200 hours and counting no problems.

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