I bought my 32' Almar sounder last fall and I'm the 3rd owner, previous owner only had her a couple years and upgraded to a bigger boat that would fish 6 clients more comfortably. We got some good use out of her through the winter and we really enjoy the boat as is but I always have to make everything my own and I cant ignore minor issues.. I pulled the boat out and have now started working on some stuff that has needed to be addressed for some time. The boat is now around 21 years old and its still in great shape but she needs some fixing here and there. In August of 2010 the original owner had the Mercruiser Diesel stern drive pulled out and had an extended transom welded on and put two Suzuki 300's on it. The boat runs great and the motors have right around 1100 hours on them and they haven't had any major failures over their life so far, just normal oil changes every 100 hours and all is well. The boat will run around 30 mph at 3000 rpm. I don't have any good fuel burn data as of yet (wasn't exactly sure of what my tank size was until the other day). I will figure this out this summer when I get the her back in the water.
So here's what I have found that I don't like or just has been neglected over the years. The previous owner installed a Kolstrand Hydraulic anchor winch which was run by an electric hydraulic pump made by Monarch. I didn't mind this setup at first until I anchored the boat up and when I went to pull the anchor I had troubles with the pump killing my battery switch which probably hadn't been turned in years (I bought it found it in On and turned it Off nothing wrong with that right?) Well when a switch hasn't been used in a number of years it will cause problems I assure you (maybe it's because the switch was the original). So we ended up pulling the anchor with the bouy system and I changed the switch out the next day. I also didn't like the anchor winch because it blocked a large majority of the view from the helm I really couldn't effectively see what was dead ahead without moving in an odd position to see. So the winch will be removed.
Battery system, I figured out while changing the battery switch that I basically had one battery bank of two group 27 combo start/ marine batteries. This was very evident when I would turn the hydraulic pump on and the sounder would go into a tizzy and start beeping like crazy and the screen would go blank then blue and stay that way until the pump was turned off. I also found that all the terminal blocks and ground buss blocks where pretty nasty (pics will follow). So I will be completely re-wiring the boat bow to stern and installing a true battery system that will allow me and the family to do overnight trips without worry of power loss.
Speed Liner, I'd like to say if you ever want to put speed liner on the exterior of your aluminum boat DONT. Hopefully my pics will show why its not a good idea. I'd much prefer bare aluminum but I will be removing all the Speed Liner that was sprayed on the gunwales. This is something I didn't catch when I was looking over the boat prior to purchase and it's going to be a royal pain in the butt to remove.
Head, The old Jabsco Twist N' Lock still functioned just fine but had a severely cracked base with corrosion oozing out from under it. The head also had herculiner painted on the floor and what a nightmare to clean. I will be changing all the plumbing for the head and putting in a new Twist N' Lock toilet. The macerator pump was well pretty amazing looking. It hadn't functioned in years and the motor case had rusted so bad it was at least 1/4" bigger than normal size. and the Y-valve for the holding tank was stuck in the overboard position.
Interior, Water leaks galore well maybe not galore but yes she has some leaks. Caulk doesn't last for 21 years plain and simple, if you have a leak its probably bad sealant or bad caulk. I pulled off a couple pieces of caulk around the bottom of the windows that were around 6 feet long. My other major leak which is pretty significant was where all my wires went through the overhead to go up to the radar arch. The original owner clearly thought it was coming from a windshield wiper motor due to the amount of 5200 around the wiper motor stub outside (pic will follow). My fabricator guy is working on a fix for this issue that will be great, and I'll be able to add extra things easily later. So when you have leaks you end up with swollen plywood under your seat cushions, dry rotting plywood on trim panels that are covered with vinyl and bad corrosion where every stainless fastener is in contact with the aluminum. Finally on the list of leaks is the Bowmar hatch in the V-birth that has a cracked frame that leaks, and the side windows in the v-birth need new rubber molding cause they are old and have shrunk.
Helm, Lack of ease of flow, ergonomics, and just plain looks like crap. The dash was set up for a inboard motor with controls and a panel to work for that. Well the guys that rigged the new outboards, well in my opinion they could have thought just a touch harder before cutting and drilling holes. There hasn't been a mercruiser in this boat for almost five years so why the heck should there be any mercruiser stuff in my dash panel (yes I'm a type "A" personality and perfectionist lol)?
Electronics, new chart plotter, radar, maybe a second VHF radio, and a new stereo.
New interior paint light grey, White in head with grey antiskid on floor.
New toilet and plumbing, Y-valve, Macerator, and marelon ball valves for thru hull.
New Dash panel and custom dash mounted box for flush mounting chart plotter and more gauge space.
New throttle mount (not really sure what we're going to do here but it will work better than before).
New trim panels covered with new vinyl.
New wiring through out
New 5 gpm wash down pump
2 8d true marine batteries for house in a dual 8d battery box by NOCO with custom mounts under deck
2 new group 27 NOCO battery boxes and custom mount under deck
BEP twin outboard 3 battery bank distribution cluster
A slew of Blue Sea Systems parts for electrical upgrades
New gunwale paint
and more to list later.
Thanks for reading and I'm open for suggestions as what you like or dislike on your boats. Pics will follow later.