Newbie question for buying my first real boat - motor and outdrive

Discussion in 'Boats, Motors, Trailers and Towing Rigs Forum' started by nez_fer, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. nez_fer

    nez_fer Member

    I'm planning to buy what I consider my first real boat before Spring 2018. The more I search the more questions I have. I'm trying to get as educated as I can before pulling the trigger. It will be used for fishing and overnight discovery on the West coast of Vancouver Island. My target is a 20-22 ft hardtop or fully enclosed with cuddy, head, heater, stove etc. Due to budget (under $15K all in...yeah right) it's most likely going to be an 80's or 90's boat with an inboard. Examples: Bayliner Trophy, Campion Victoria, Seaswirl Sable.

    My questions are around the motor and outdrive.
    1. Will a 3.0 or 4.3 Litre motor be enough power for a 22 ft boat on West Coast or is more power needed?
    2. What is the preferred out drive? Single prop or dual counter-rotating.

    Thanks in advance.
    screaminreels likes this.
  2. Oly1

    Oly1 Active Member

    The motor is really going to depend on the boat that is chosen. Some hull designs take more power to push, therefore more power is needed. To a certain degree, a dual prop can be put on a motor which will give more (better) power than a single prop. However, you will have to spend more money, and if you had to replace it, there would be more money spent on the dual prop outdrive than you have set aside for the whole boat purchase. If you could find the right boat with a 4.3 and a dual prop within your price range, it would probably work for you. ( I don't think you will find a boat in that size range with a 3.0 litre that would do a satisfactory job) There is most likely going to be some pretty expensive upkeep and or repairs to be made on a boat in this price range though. Might want to make a budget for that as well. Better to go into this with as much knowledge as possible.

  3. kingblazer84

    kingblazer84 Well-Known Member thats a pretty good option im sure if you offered up close to what he is asking you could take that home

    not a hard top though but does have a nice top with it looks like, the 1 manual rigger would have to swapped for a electric which is no big deal
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
  4. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    Good questions, nf; and some good answers Oly. There was a lengthy discussion that might be of help on single verses twins at:

    Price range and expected boat range (and sea state) will likely determine your choice of hull. Fibreglass is cheaper than aluminum - and works well unless you expect to be trying to get on (rocky) beaches. I find the Bayliners and Boston Whalers a bit overpriced.
  5. pescador

    pescador Well-Known Member

    Get an outboard. More space usually less trouble.
  6. Corey_lax

    Corey_lax Active Member

    If you have facebook, check out a group called "Vancouver Island Boat Mart". There's a 21' Trophy on there with an enclosed cab, 4.3L. Looks like it needs some TLC and it hasn't run for a couple years but ran good before. He's asking $7000
  7. NDT

    NDT Member

    I've got a trophy 2159 with an 4.3L. Economical boat to run. Works for me and my family as I'm the only income. Cheap to purchase. About 5gph@ 22/24mph, rough numbers. It has got the Alaskan bulkhead, my wife loves that option. Be sure to get a professional inspection, don't buy a rotten boat. I'm mechanical so I've done a lot of restore work to it as well. I can do a preventive maintenance myself, but decide if you want be that involved. If not, outboard may be a better option. I've built a pod for my boat, but may leave the inboard in it another year yet.
    Good luck on your future purchase.
  8. nez_fer

    nez_fer Member

    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
  9. ericl

    ericl Well-Known Member

    My experience with an I/O on WCVI was that the rough seas caused water in the engine bilge to get picked-up by the fan belt & fling saltwater everywhere. All the cheap-ass BS automotive technology would then rapidly corrode & fail. Get an outboard or don't get anything.

    As for power, sea conditions usually limit speed to 20 mph. Most dangerous situation IMO is being in a large following sea where a wave will want your boat to "bow steer", turn you sideways & flip you (broaching). In the proper boat, going about the same speed as the wave & staying on the front face of the wave is probably the safest. Lots of power is handy in this situation.
    WCVI is not the best place for marginally designed boats. Late 70's 24ft Sea Ray converted to a podded O/B works very well out there & should be in your budget. Mine went 50 mph with a 250 Yamaha so a 200 should be just great.
    trophywife likes this.
  10. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    Bingo, eric1! Exactly. Many people ignore the bilge water issue to their peril.

    Another problem associated w the high bilge water is that it is most often saltwater and gets into both the starter (usually) and sometimes even the alternator with the water getting flung into the fan belt. Either way - you end up eventually dead in the water.

    The answer to the broaching is zig-zagging on legs - taking the zig with the least broaching - then zag to catch-up lost heading...
  11. chromatose007

    chromatose007 Active Member

    From my experience...
    Stay away from Merc stern drives. If you are looking at an inboard go Volvo. Parts on most older models are interchangeable and not that hard for the DIYer.
    Bayliners: you will probably only buy one. If you have the cash look for a tinny with a pod. If you are going plastic... buy a 2# rubber mallet and start banging hulls.
    Get to know the sound of a solid hull (ping) as opposed to a punky hull/stringers/transom (thud). Wet/punky hulls are far too common and are a 'challenge' to rehabilitate. gl
  12. SpringVelocity

    SpringVelocity Well-Known Member

    BS There isn't anything wrong with an inboard, and that wasn't his question anyway. They are both good just require maintenance. To your question a 3.0L is too small. 18 ft max on a 3.0L. 4.3L or more is what you want.

    An excellent resource to ask is Wolf. He knows a lot about inboards.

    And I have a 3.0L/ merc stern drive and its been good. Very easy to work on.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
  13. wolf

    wolf Well-Known Member

    All i can say if you have that much water in your bilge you may have bigger issues....IMO
  14. Chuck

    Chuck Active Member

    All great advice but experience is an asset when it comes to buying any boat. If you can find an individual with decent boat and salt water experience that will save you many many years of grief as well as lots of cash!! You my not catch absolutely ever issue with a boat or what you may run into with it but again will pay huge dividends. Buy the best you possibly can if your not to mechanically inclined.. And look after it and it will look after you!!
  15. bigdogeh

    bigdogeh Well-Known Member

    Was thinking the same thing...
  16. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    Really can be important to have 2 batteries - 1 for starting & 1 for bilge pumping - separated & with a 4-way switch (#1, #2 , both, & off). That way even if you get alot of rain - or your float switch sticks on - or you have leaks (hopefully not) - you can still start your engine when the one for the pump is dead. Then once you start your engine using the good battery - you can switch over to pump the bilge and charge the dead battery. If you park your boat for extended periods in the water - guaranteed it'll save your ass at some time.

    Most of the inboard/outdrive blocks are built the same design as vehicle blocks - with the starter near the bottom - near the bilge - where the water is. Not a great combination - esp for older boats that are not self bailing.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
    bigdogeh likes this.
  17. Wild Bill

    Wild Bill Active Member

    Not a bad idea to have 50% of your budget left to take care of what went south shortly after you bought it. And everything is expensive to fix if you can't fix it yourself, guessing shop rates are around $100 to $120 a hour? Sometimes it's more economical to pay someone to fix something than trying yourself. I think a sound hull is the most important thing, only people with big dreams, skinny wallets and a weak mind take on stringer replacements and a boat that is cool enough to pay someone to do it wouldn't be a budget project. Yeah I have done it a couple times and not to many regrets lol! I can build a stern drive automotive engine pretty economically, doesn't matter how bad it started off. Exhaust manifolds, risers and heat exchanger replacement is just somthing you have to spend money on every so often. Rebuilding an outboard power head depends on how many hard parts you have to buy. New drivetrains are all in the plus $20000 range so used can be a crapshoot!
    Hit a rock with your prop and quite often there is not much left of your leg to economically repair, lower unit for my outboard just shipped out today $1888 us! And I think that's a great deal for new Oem merc.
  18. Sculpin

    Sculpin Well-Known Member

    I think this here is the major problem with inboards in smaller boats that are not self bailing. Like you pointed out, it is not a great combination and the problems have been posted. In a self bailing scenario however your engine compartment should be dry and the problems posted should not be of great concern. If inboards were so terrible they would have stopped making them many years ago. Displacement, torque, and low center of gravity are pluses for the inboard engine. Just my 2 cents.
  19. ericl

    ericl Well-Known Member

    If you don't understand water in the bilge then I guess you fished a different WCVI than I did - but I did not have a self bailing cockpit. I agree with Sculpin except the part about inboards - if it is a stern drive, the engine is in the back. When you climb a 10+ foot wave, stern is down, bow is up & laws of gravity apply; reverse happens on the other side. The water sloshes. If you are an inside water boater, you have NO IDEA what it's like on the outside. Gas I/O's are low price & back in the day outboards ate gas & you couldn't get the large O/B's we can now. My neighbor ran gas I/O bow pickers in AK & said the only way they could get reliability on the gas pigs was to run roller rocker arms & pull the engines in the winter & store then inside, heated.
    If you have had good experiences with a gasser, then good for you. They are half the price of O/B power & a third the price of a diesel - IMO the ONLY reason they are still made.
    pescador likes this.
  20. pescador

    pescador Well-Known Member

    Amen. Only a guy who has to have an inboard would praise an inboard. I’ve had them and ain’t going back.

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