VW Vortex - Volkswagen Forum banner
1 - 20 of 2273 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You may remember me from such threads as:

"Sell the tiguan and buy an fj?"
"Should I diesel swap my mk1 TT?"

Well I traded the tiguan for an e70 4.8 x5 and am in the process of parting out the TT.

Clearly I make great life choices...

So it should come as no surprise boating is my favourite activity.


Seeing the return of Barry and his amazingly detailed build threads/adventures in rebuilding things has inspired me to take TCL on my journey of buying this everyday aluminum runabout and turning it into less of a dumpster fire.

Follow along as I slowly lose my mind...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,736 Posts
In for this!

Boats are a great way to make money disappear. I got into boating a couple years ago. Got hooked on oldish direct drive ski boats.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,098 Posts
At least when it turns into a dumpster fire you should be on the water.

How much do can a little boat like that take?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,992 Posts
Looks like a '75 Mercury -- either 40 or 50 hp.

My family had one of those on our little runabout when I was growing up!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well this story starts when the better half and I bought a house on the Columbia river. Don't get me wrong, a house on the river is sweet, but this isn't Astoria. This is basically where the Columbia starts. I can throw a stone maybe 1/25th across it. Pretty cool right? Wrong... many undertows, odd currents and shallow spots.

For months after we purchased the house we envied everyone cruising up and down the river from the small beaches we could walk to. Didn't matter if it was a $100,000 aluminum jet boat with all the bells and whistles, or a 12 foot open bow with a 20hp tiller. We weren't on the river, and everyone else was...

A friend/coworker mentioned that he would sell me a boat (the one in the pictures) for $1000 canadian dollars (aka free). This ol' springbok was built by Alcan which would eventually consolidate into the now Princecraft boats. His father bought it new, they had a ton of memories in it and finally he gave it to his son. However, he is much more of an open bow/tinner style boat guy and was ok with passing a deal on to a friend. It came with a late 60s emaciated 35hp mercury.

Growing up in a lake dwelling/occasional ocean exploring family (dad had a 20ft ocean boat) boating wasn't exactly new to me. I'd navigated ocean inlets and been at the helm while many large fish
were brought aboard. However, launching my own boat in a river I'd never been on was a very daunting task. The upper picture in the original post being my maiden voyage.

The 35hp was fine for a while. It served us ok as all we did was cruise upriver to the only sandbar on the river to hangout and let the dog runaround. The lower shaft had a slight bend so it leaked a small amount of oil as the engine was in the lowered position. Most wouldnt care, but it bothered me. Lifting the engine everytime we wanted to float to mitigate oil loss and water migration into the lower leg got tiresome, as well as the fact that it lacked a charging circuit.

We enjoyed it a while as I hunted for a more suitable engine for what the boat was going to be used for...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,217 Posts
Boats was probably 3 or 4 on the list of things I expected when opening this thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,002 Posts
How much do can a little boat like that take?
How much doo can a little boat doo if a little boat could doo doo

Keeps with the dumpster fire theme.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Autocorrect got me.

How much hp can a boat like that take or handle.
The hull has a stamped max rating of 37kw or roughly 50hp.

There is no way that old 35 actually had its rated power. It was extremely temperamental, hard to start and had a pretty weak impeller. The local boat shop told me not to spend anything on it.

So the search for a bigger, newer motor began. And since I only spent $1000 on the boat itself, I could hardly justify anything remotely new. Which meant hours (arguably wasted) searching facebook groups, local classifieds, craigslist and hounding every "boat guy" I knew if they had a line on anything. Meanwhile, the 35hp got worse. The vulcanized rubber hub that the propeller is fused to started to slip. That meant under any load, the boat didnt like to move and the motor liked to spontaneously over-rev. Less than ideal for river travel.

Shortly after all that occurred I replied to an ad about a 1978 Evinrude 55hp. Stated that all the controls were there and that there were even a couple extra fuel tanks to go along with it. Even sweeter was the $500 price tag. Pulled out some cash and made arrangements to go take a look at it. Of course as all things that look too good to be true, there was a problem, albeit a small one. The boat this engine had been on previously got caught in a wind storm and was bashed into shore, only to then have a tree fall on it and complete the job. The tree had also manage to bust the fiberglass engine cover. Upon inspection it proved to be purely cosmetic, but a bit of a bummer nontheless. The gentleman the proceeds to tell me that we're actually at his parents house and they want this engine gone something fierce. "Shrewd negotiating tactics engage". We do the haggle thing for all of 2 minutes and it's loaded into the back of my truck and I'm $300 lighter.

Now, the jump from 35 to 55 seems extreme, especially when you factor in what the difference in weight between these two motors must be. 20lbs

I could live with 20lbs. Just means the cooler goes at the front of the boat now.

The 55 really woke the boat up. After cleaning the carbs out twice of course, and some new fuel line. No longer did it struggle to get on plane going up river, it got out with authority. Even when loaded with 4 people a dog and the aforementioned cooler. Fuel economy stayed roughly the same as the larger engine doesn't need to work nearly as hard while getting us where we were going faster, and it was actually in great running shape. The engine swap allowed us to enjoy that last month and a half of the season in 2017.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,971 Posts
Congrats on buying a boat, that's almost the best part of the whole experience, second only to that amazing day you finally sell it.

Congrats to your friends that get to show up & go boating on your behalf, they're the true winners.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Congrats on buying a boat, that's almost the best part of the whole experience, second only to that amazing day you finally sell it.

Congrats to your friends that get to show up & go boating on your behalf, they're the true winners.
Thanks!

We actually bought it in 2017, but I figured a build thread was in order as I've got some work slated for it this spring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,727 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,098 Posts
The hull has a stamped max rating of 37kw or roughly 50hp.

There is no way that old 35 actually had its rated power. It was extremely temperamental, hard to start and had a pretty weak impeller. The local boat shop told me not to spend anything on it.

So the search for a bigger, newer motor began. And since I only spent $1000 on the boat itself, I could hardly justify anything remotely new. Which meant hours (arguably wasted) searching facebook groups, local classifieds, craigslist and hounding every "boat guy" I knew if they had a line on anything. Meanwhile, the 35hp got worse. The vulcanized rubber hub that the propeller is fused to started to slip. That meant under any load, the boat didnt like to move and the motor liked to spontaneously over-rev. Less than ideal for river travel.

Shortly after all that occurred I replied to an ad about a 1978 Evinrude 55hp. Stated that all the controls were there and that there were even a couple extra fuel tanks to go along with it. Even sweeter was the $500 price tag. Pulled out some cash and made arrangements to go take a look at it. Of course as all things that look too good to be true, there was a problem, albeit a small one. The boat this engine had been on previously got caught in a wind storm and was bashed into shore, only to then have a tree fall on it and complete the job. The tree had also manage to bust the fiberglass engine cover. Upon inspection it proved to be purely cosmetic, but a bit of a bummer nontheless. The gentleman the proceeds to tell me that we're actually at his parents house and they want this engine gone something fierce. "Shrewd negotiating tactics engage". We do the haggle thing for all of 2 minutes and it's loaded into the back of my truck and I'm $300 lighter.

Now, the jump from 35 to 55 seems extreme, especially when you factor in what the difference in weight between these two motors must be. 20lbs

I could live with 20lbs. Just means the cooler goes at the front of the boat now.

The 55 really woke the boat up. After cleaning the carbs out twice of course, and some new fuel line. No longer did it struggle to get on plane going up river, it got out with authority. Even when loaded with 4 people a dog and the aforementioned cooler. Fuel economy stayed roughly the same as the larger engine doesn't need to work nearly as hard while getting us where we were going faster, and it was actually in great running shape. The engine swap allowed us to enjoy that last month and a half of the season in 2017.
Cool. Sounds like you got something nice there to play with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,001 Posts
Most of these replies must be from people who have actually never owned a boat before. Or bought a hunk off Craigslist, wanted to join their buddies out on the weekends, said Craigslist boat lived up to the hype and left them stranded, lol..

I think my boat is probably the one thing that doesn't cost me money (Besides the want/need to outfit it with the latest electronics and fishing toys).

Good kill OP, Those make great big water boats. I remember seeing them out trolling Lake Ontario when I was a kid. Console way up front leaves you a lot of room in the back to do whatever you want.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Most of these replies must be from people who have actually never owned a boat before. Or bought a hunk off Craigslist, wanted to join their buddies out on the weekends, said Craigslist boat lived up to the hype and left them stranded, lol..

I think my boat is probably the one thing that doesn't cost me money (Besides the want/need to outfit it with the latest electronics and fishing toys).

Good kill OP, Those make great big water boats. I remember seeing them out trolling Lake Ontario when I was a kid. Console way up front leaves you a lot of room in the back to do whatever you want.

Thats a beautiful rig!

I would second that my boat doesn't really cost me money as far as vehicles go. Religious maintenance makes it pretty reliable out there. That and a day of fun only usually costs 30 or 40 bucks in fuel/oil.
 
1 - 20 of 2273 Posts
Top