I’d just unclamped the outboard from the dinghy and was passing it to my father when the wash from a passing boat loosened my grip and the engine started its swift descent to the bottom of the harbor. Luckily, the boat was on a drying mooring, and the outboard sat in the mud for four hours until the water was shallow enough for us to retrieve it. Pulling the engine from the mud, I initially thought we’d be throwing it into the nearest dumpster, but my dad and I figured there would be nothing lost in trying to see whether we could get it running again. Miraculously, after little more than an hour’s effort, the engine was back on the dinghy, purring away with barely a mark to show its earlier misfortune.
In the July issue I examined how to choose the right boat for a refit. Let’s assume you’ve gone ahead and bought a boat. The next step is to determine where the project will be carried out.
If you are refitting the boat yourself, you will need an appropriate space. I can’t emphasize enough how important a controlled atmosphere is to the success of the project.
Four-stroke outboards are more fuel-efficient, quieter and cleaner than ever. Manufacturers are also reducing the weight of these engines with their second-generation models.
Suzuki and Yamaha have added 4-cylinder 4-strokes to their offerings to complement their V-6 counterparts. The new Suzuki DF200A weighs 498 pounds, about 12 percent less than the company’s V-6 200 models. Yamaha’s new 487-pound F200 weighs 119 pounds less than its V-6 F200 and only 14 pounds more than its 2-stroke Z200 HPDI outboard.
As an adolescent and young adult, I had grown up with powerboats, including a 17-foot Boston Whaler Montauk and a 23-foot Mako 232. In my early 30s I got very lucky when I married a woman who shared my love for the sea.
Here are some recommendations when considering a purchase-and-refit boat.
• Attend the prepurchase survey for insight into whether the boat has “good bones” and is capable of accommodating your changes.
• Check out as many designs in person and online as possible to broaden your frame of reference.
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