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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am acquiring a 1988 Donzi fc (fish/cuddy)23. It currently has no engine at all and a "all but" brand new alpha 1 outdrive. was previously powered by a 5.7 (350) carbureted mercruiser. My buddy inadvertently started the previous motor up at the dock and let it warm up a while not realizing that the drive was in the mud. It warmed up, way up. He yanked the motor with all intentions of rebuilding or repowering when life just took him in a different direction. He wound up scrapping the engine. this is a cool little boat configured to fish. The helm is really far forward and the cockpit is huge despite the engine cover. The cuddy is small but a nice little dry storage area. I know that a complete new or remanufactured engine is going to cost about what,or a little more than the boat is worth. Given the the price of the boat and trailer(nice completely rebuilt aluminum trailer) I think I might take the plunge and buy a turn key complete engine.and bring this little boat back to life. My buddy fabricated and installed a new aluminum fuel tank and reinforced the stringers with fiberglass three years ago before he cooked the bearings. Overall the boat is in great shape. the outer hull is nearly perfect. I've been looking at 350 mpi motors that put out 300 hp. (max recommended for alpha drives). I have no need to go 50 mph. on the water but would rather have a little more power than I need than not enough. Does anyone have any suggestions on new or remanufactured engine brands and where to buy. The boat is currently at my buddies shop and he and I (mainly HE) will be doing the install. He is hands down the best mechanic that I know. I have been looking hard at the mercury plus series of factory remanufactured engines.
 

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I boat my boat a second time when I repowered in 2016. Motor, Outdrive transome assembly and transom fiberglass work.

Bought new from Michigan Motorz, complete turn key with a Delco ignition system.

Who installs it makes the difference, For me, it wasn’t Tri-States finer moments as my usual merc mechanic was recovering from surgery. They have stopped being a certified Merc shop anyway.

Good luck!!
 

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Don’t know if you can find one but my 496 (8.1L) has been a great motor. 1500 hours and good as new (knock wood!!!).
 

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Get rid of the engine box and have it fitted for a Suzuki 300 outboard on a bracket.......... Gary
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Get rid of the engine box and have it fitted for a Suzuki 300 outboard on a bracket.......... Gary
I appreciate the input. And though I would love to do the outboard conversion, that ain't gonna happen. Could probably get a bravo 3 and engine for less than the cost of a new 300 OB. and then you got the bracket, fiberglass , controls etc. Believe it or not, the engine cover on this little boat just doesn't seem so intrusive. the boat came with two little upholstered jump seats that just lift up and out of the way, for fishing.( literally just a piece of plywood with cushioning and flashy donzi upholstery). throw the seats in the cuddy and its wide open to the transom. Been really stressing the options especially with the economic uncertainty here lately.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Don't know if you can find one but my 496 (8.1L) has been a great motor. 1500 hours and good as new (knock wood!!!).
I'm pretty sure your over 300 hp. I'd have to upgrade to a Bravo for that. Thanks and I wish you many thousand more hours.:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I appreciate the input. And though I would love to do the outboard conversion, that ain't gonna happen. Could probably get a bravo 3 and engine for less than the cost of a new 300 OB. and then you got the bracket, fiberglass , controls etc. Believe it or not, the engine cover on this little boat just doesn't seem so intrusive. the boat came with two little upholstered jump seats that just lift up and out of the way, for fishing.( literally just a piece of plywood with cushioning and flashy donzi upholstery). throw the seats in the cuddy and its wide open to the transom. Been really stressing the options especially with the economic uncertainty here lately.
big little boat! donzi-fc23-2505892.jpg donzi-fc23-2505895.jpg the identical model, not the same boat. similar condition
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Still working it. Winter sucks. Have considered all options including the outboard conversion which would be ideal. I could either open up the deck or put in a awesome baitwell where the engine cover is. To much coin. I/O it will remain. Still stressing. even over a name 20200907_175153 (2).jpg cool little boat. 20201108_120535.jpg 20201108_120510.jpg .
Question: why does mercury now require a sea water pump on the engine with alpha gen 1 outdrives? I'm pretty sure I know the answer but info is not easy to come by. From what I can gather. the outdrive can't supply enough water to cool a v-8. Maybe it was a learning curve. the original engine was a 5.7 cooled by the outdrive impeller(gen 1 alpha) from the factory. Maybe that's why the original engine failed?(mud couldn't have helped:eek2:). any shared knowledge would be appreciated.
 

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I'll suggest the other option, put a baby diesel in it with a straight inboard. That is a good old hull. We fished out of a buddies a while back. That engine box was the only thing I didn't like. Came back to the dock many times litteraly knee deep in fish...
 

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Anytime you buy an older used boat, you are really buying the engine and the boat is free.......... Gary
 

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Anytime you buy an older used boat, you are really buying the engine and the boat is free.......... Gary
Gary, thats exactly what I did. And the boat still won't be worth what the engine cost....But its a cool little boat, and you only go round once. (Going by Jonzi now. Sounds just a touch less gay than christmasshad. No offense to anyone intended.) I was going to order and receive the engine myself but logistics are a nightmare. I had gettysburg marine center order and receive the engine (mercruiser 350 mpi alpha). They are going to drop the motor in and I'm going to do the final alignment and rigging. Finishing some structural stringer repair now. Engine was supposed to be a long lead time. delivery took 2 weeks from order date. I needed a little fire under my ass anyhow. A little plumbing for the sea water intake and I think I'm good. Look forward to hitting the water!
 

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I'll suggest the other option, put a baby diesel in it with a straight inboard. That is a good old hull. We fished out of a buddies a while back. That engine box was the only thing I didn't like. Came back to the dock many times litteraly knee deep in fish...
Sounds awesome. I actually looked into a couple older luhrs boats with small diesels. I like a slow boat for fishing and love diesels for the cost of running!
 

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Sounds awesome. I actually looked into a couple older luhrs boats with small diesels. I like a slow boat for fishing and love diesels for the cost of running!
Most people on here already know, every single deviation is a trade off. This VS. That. Unless you have really deep pockets, the perfect boat for all scenarios is a dream.
 

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Most people on here already know, every single deviation is a trade off. This VS. That. Unless you have really deep pockets, the perfect boat for all scenarios is a dream.
piumbing roughed in. waiting for 5200 to cure a bit. then I'll crank everything down. Can I interest anyone in 50 or so gallons of 5 year old, ethanol laiden fuel? FREE. Might even deliver. What a pain in the ass, I'd pay triple for edible corn, to keep it out of the fuel. Went and looked at the motor in the crate and I gotta tell ya, I know its just some dumb flame graphics, but I almost asked the mechanic to give me a moment alone with the motor! :pTempted to haul it home and sit it in the living room! I know what its going to look like in 5 or ten years. New bilge pump ordered. Budget holding but getting tight. all said and done I may get to add a flush mount rod holder VS. the 8 rod holders, hardtop, rocket launcher, Garmin MFD and transducer that I had my heart set on. Baby steps. Priorities. (auto pilot, radar, etc. etc. etc)
 

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Took me about two or more weeks of overthinking to get the nerve to drill a 1 5/8' hole through a perfectly good hull
! I hope everything fits. Going to need to get the old shoe horns out. the closed cooling that I had originally figured on would definitely be a no-go without some serious Mc,guivering. I'll have about 1" of forward clearance once the engine is in. Glad I didn't spend the extra $ 1200.00.
 

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Jonzi,

I've got an engine alignment tool and a GM Marine Starter sitting in their original box. Not looking to break the bank. If interested make me a reasonable offer.

Don.
 
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