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Thread: Buying a used boat, inboard jet, things to look for...

  1. #1
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    Default Buying a used boat, inboard jet, things to look for...

    I'm looking at a 1991 Wooldridge Classic Wide Body, 20'. Has a 351, 3 stage Hamilton (would that be a 773?)

    What are some things to look for? Not the best time of year to be buying a boat, hard to test drive. With that pump can you run out of the water without damage to seals?

    Is that a good pump?

    How many hours does the 351 usually last?

    What type of cooling is better? A closed system or fresh water intake? What would this boat likely have?

    I've heard of cracked manifolds from not properly winterizing, is that an obvious thing or something you need to have it run in the water for?

    Thanks for any tips, gathering info before I take a look at it.

  2. #2
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    The 3 stage is a 773 if it is a Hamilton otherwise it is just a 3 stage. Either way a lot of the parts interchange.

    Yes all inboard jets need water for lubrication.

    A closed cooling system is better as it does not allow the silt, debris, and salt water to circulate through your engines cooling jackets. They are normally self draining as well kinda like an outboard.

    I believe most of the newer manifolds are self draining as well but not sure when they implemented the design. I know you can look at the bottom of the manifold and you should see a petcock if it is the older style that you need to drain. Well at least the ones I have looked at had the petcocks.

    Not sure on how many hours a 351w normally last but I would guess 1000 or so. They are a great motor and will hold up to a lot of abuse.

    There are plenty of people on here with WAY more experience than I am and bet they chime in sooner or later.

    One thing I will say is the 3 stage does not haul a load like the 212 does, so if that is what you are looking for either look at another boat or take into consideration that you may be upgrading pumps shortly to meet your needs.

  3. #3

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    you should beable to unhook the motor from the jet, either a drive line or a rubber donut looking thing. this can be a pain but once you do that you can start the motor and hear it run. not for an extended period of time, unless you can rig a garden hose up to the cooling system, usally right by the sand trap.. Another thing you can do is take the jet apart. Its really not that hatd working from the gate forward. Look at the staters the housings the impellers sit in those should be nick and gouge free if they are dinged up this will effect the performance greatly. Look at the impellers as you take them off some can be rebuilt if not to bad. and the shaft give it a spin if it is not hooked to the motor se whast it looks like. there is one main bearing that is a water seal as well it is on the jet right near the driveline hook up this is also a trouble spot that if not in good shape will pump water in the boat. Not lots mind you but it will.FYI i just had a complete rebuild of a 350 pushing 350 HP and it ran about $3500. if you dont "trust" the motor get a kicker it is a great mind saver. Just my .02. I did not know squat about my jet boat working until I bought it and started looking at it and asking questions. They are not that complicated. Any questions PM me. I also have a complete spare jet 773.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the information

  5. #5
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    This is one thing I actually may know a little about - I have run a 3 stage and a 351 since 1980.
    Lots of things to look for - too many to list from this laptop with a small keyboard.
    To answer a couple of your questions - Don't start the motor out of the water with the jet connected. A closed cooling system is by far the best and there are variations of that system that are better than others. The three stage is a good pump in the correct application. The hours all depend on maintenance and how it is used as well at the type of use - like salt water.

    I live in Fairbanks and could possibly take a look with you (if the boat is in the area) and the timing worked out. I have the same motor and jet set up in a constant stage of upgrade over the last 30 years.

    One thing I will add is you need to look under the floor boards on a boat that old - lots can happen to the welded structure although the Wooldridge has a good reputation for durability.

    If interested shoot me a PM

  6. #6
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    Smile 351-773

    I have been running this combination in my 18' Almar Jetstream since new in 1985. This pump has never been disconnected from the block. Somewhere heading for 1400 hours. Other than a couple of carb rebuilds, no major repairs and the engine is still running like new. Burns absolutely no oil. (thinking back..I did change out the timing chain at around 600 hours..this was recommended for preventative maint.)
    I have rebuilt the impellers twice. No other work on pump and it has run flawlessly for 25 years through sand, gravel, rocks, seaweed, rivers and ocean. Original jet bearing still spinning!
    In my view, for the proper application, you can't beat these units.

  7. #7
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    Sounds like a solid motor/jet combination!

  8. #8

    Default freshwater cooling

    Most times freshwater and closed cooling are terms used as the same- coolant flows through the block and there is a heat exchanger....as opposed to raw water cooling (open cooling)....no heat exchanger-river or ocean water flows through the block. Just to help clarify. I had a boat with a 351 and hamilton 212 and though I didn't have it long enough to put on 2500-3000 hrs, I did hear of that being possible. It may depend on whether the current engine is an automotive replacement or a true marine engine (continuous duty) as well as the obvious-maintenance. Hope it helps.

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