Older 20' double eagle
Looking at an older 1979 double eagle with a 350 volvo with duoprop leg. Boat is older but sound. Any advice. Love these boats. Boat has low hours on repower. Price is in my opinion reasonable at around 10k. Any idea on fuel burn as I am asuming around the 8-10gph area. I have never owned a boat this old but the boat has really sparked my interest.
Make sure the transom is sound and that there are no osmosis blisters in the hull. Also, make sure the fuel tanks (it probably has two side tanks) are not leaking.
The best fuel economy should be between 3200 and 3600 RPM. My fishing buddy has the same package as the one you are looking at but single prop (I think it is a 1981 or 1982). It burns 1.7 liters per nautical mile at 3600 RPM and does 27 knots at those RPM.
If its a 20 footer its probably the 206, 20ft 6 inches. I have the hardtop 1970s; Reminds me a volkwagon camperized Van. All the comforts of home in a sardine can. Tough hull & topsides, lower gelcoat still excellent. good dry design. windows weep some in the rain, nothing serious, Volvo leg is a 280. Bullet proof. Lots of parts available on ebay. New volvo parts pricing is insane. Galley fridge stove, head in the v-berth. Strong arm steering is bothersome. Check the steering helmet pivot bolts. Grab the leg & push it side to side & see if theres any play/wear in the helmet bolts. The floor wasn't glassed overly well. Take a hammer & check for soft spots on either side of the dog house.Early wiring should be upgraded as the original drapped thru the sides & wasn't fused sufficently. My starboard tank leaked. Had to cut the rr of the cabinet out to repair it. It sat on carpet from the factory. Get rid of it. Holds wetness & rots the tank. Tanks aren't vented very well & are slow to fill or else will blow back. Invest in a good racor drainable filter. Crudded tanks are the single biggest problem area in these old boats. They like to go fast & good trim tabs are a must to get out of the hole. This one sat in a marina for yrs & has no blisters & the transom is solid. The 70s colors, orange, green & gold look dated but the structural integrity of the boat was built to last. I've never weighed the boat but have been told its #4500. Get it propped right & tuned & run it off a vacuum guage & I;d guess 7.5/8gph (I just run it)
I had a 70s Double Eagle 17.5, with volvo straight 6. Smaller boat, smaller engine, same in principle.
I loved that boat, but it was a disaster financially. Call it beginner mistakes...here's the things I'd look out for.
Inboard motors generally: if you are mechanically capable to fix on them yourself or you have access to cheap mechanics, they are good. Old ones are simple motors that a backyarder can work on. But if you need shop assistance, they can be a nightmare, because if you want to replace the motor you're into $1000-2000 in costs to pull and reinstall without even considering the cost of the motor itself. Add in the inevitable problems with broken this and that, and it gets exceptionally expensive.
Volvo vs Merc/Other: there's a fair amount of volvos out there, but there's tons of Mercs and they are way cheaper and easy to get parts for. I tried to repower with a volvo motor, only to find out the blackbox/ignition coil was gone...$1200 part for a $1000 used motor, couldn't find it used. That's a kick in the butt. Second, found out the exhaust manifold wasn't working right -- finding them used is not really an option, it's the first thing to go because of salt water corrosion, so you're looking at $2000 for that. These old motors can get expensive when they start to go...lesson learned is better to buck up for a newer one than try to mickey mouse around keeping old one alive.
FWC: you definitely want it fresh water cooled. You can add this on after-market, so it's not a deal killer if it doesn't have it.
Hull: look for soft spots, if the floor is spongy, then the hull might be full of water. Wet stringers will mean a rotten hull, which means you don't want to be anywhere near it unless you are looking for a serious project. Bang on all wood you can find and listen for hollow sounds (dry rot) or exposed wood (is it wet? has it taken on any water in past?). For example, look at all exposed wood around gas tanks, motor well, anywhere that you can access below deck. Someone told me corners are the key, that's where the weak spots are, and where problems will start.
Transom and bilge: get down in there and inspect anything you can see. Is the bilge clean and cared for, or dirty and possibly hiding problems? Bottom of the transom in motor well and where batteries are stored on boat gunwales are the main spots to check.
Outside: rap with your knuckles or a rubber hammer every few inches, listening for hollow sounds or anything different that might indicate hull isn't solid. I'm no expert or surveyor, but I think you'll be able to hear trouble spots -- and if nothing else, it doesn't hurt to have had your hands over the whole hull BEFORE you bought it. If you do find problems, a surveyor might be $300 well spent (I don't know what they do, but when I got my current boat inspected, they reported results from a moisture meter, that can tell how much water is in the hull...good tool for hidden nightmares).
Future options: if the hull is super, but motor goes, you can consider plugging the transom hole, putting on an aluminum pod ($2500ish), and getting an outboard. Advantage to this is you gain all the deck space of the motor, with the high transom right to the stern.
The end of my Double Eagle was fixing the floor (solid hull), attempting to repower and failing, and hitting the wall financially and family tolerance....sold it for pennies on the dollar to a guy willing to take on a project, and I hope to see it out there someday (but last I talked to the guy, it is sitting in HIS yard waiting time/money to get it done...
All the points are good but if your in doubt get a survey done on it for a couple of hundred bucks as you will need one anyways for insurance. But do what Juan said and get a survey only if you are truly serious about one of the boats you look at.
I had the 20.6 double eagle for almost 12 years and was a boat that was great on the westcoast and loved it very very tough as I relpaced the stringers and transom (overkilled it with fiberglass)
but that thing will out live me now LOL.
Guy I sold it too loves it and I repowered it with a V-8 instead of the ol 250 straight 6. went like you know what.
Good boat for the money for sure cant beat hand laid fiberglass.
Good luck Wolf