Hi. We have a 28' Aluminum (Bruin) we run out of Whittier. It has a 1994 Mercruiser (Ford/International) 7.3 liter 270 horse turbo diesel, pushing a Bravo III outdrive. Only 1300 hours on the engine. The boat weighs 12K on its trailer, so 11K+ lbs of boat. The top end was 32mph with this setup, we cruise at 25 or so. Its an oddball engine so parts have been hard to come by/expensive, and now through mysterious circumstances we've let her run dry of oil, so the engine is seized. Top end is now drifting speed.
I am certain someone has been down this road, so I am seeking your counsel.
1. Is it possible the engine could be rebuilt? (20 years old, loud and an oddball, so only if this is dirt cheap)
2. Should I get a Cummins or some other diesel that bolts up to a Bravo III? I have heard a diesel repower would be $30K. Maybe a cold fusion reactor at that price.
3. Is it time to switch to outboard(s)? I have no idea what it would cost to have outboard brackets added to the transom, and if I went that route could I just clean out my diesel tank and add gas, or are there other factors. Lots of room in the holds for tanks, though.
Unless there is a cheap option I am not thinking of, finances dictate that we have all winter to find the solution.
Fuel economy, range, service/parts, noise level (she's loud) are all considerations. I have yet to call a shop - looking for advice there too. Thoughts, recommendations, opinions? Thanks.