Greetings all! Since this is obviously going to be a long-haul project (it was supposed to be my retirement hobby), I figure I might as well go ahead and start a build thread. You've probably seen some some of the questions I've posted in some other threads, so I'll add links where relevant. This'll help me to keep everything organized into one easy-to-find spot. June 2020 - This all began after getting caught out on Pend Oreille Lake in one of their not-too-uncommon sudden storms in an eighteen-foot runabout, bucking some pretty good rollers. Middle of the week, so we had the lake to ourselves, a.k.a.; no one around to hear our screams for help! My hope was to get over to the cliffs where we'd be protected from the wind. Nothing doing. After taking the third wave over the bow, I figured the three young-uns don't deserve to die this way, so we caught the next wave crest, and slowly rode it back to camp. Fast-forward another 15 years, and, rapidly approaching retirement age, we went looking for a boat that would handle a bit more weather than the old Carina open-cockpit ski boat. Living quarters would be nice (read, toilet). Something the grandkids could mill around in without falling overboard. It seems that when we found a boat that fit the bill, it wasn't on a trailer. Anything on a trailer was either out of our price range, or trashed. This old girl was the closest we found that would fill our needs that was anywhere near our locale. Sitting in the PO's back yard: Tires were flat, but at least he'd been keeping it tarped. The gentleman had purchased the boat about four years prior and never launched it, so no chance of a sea trial. The engines sounded good, and the outdrives didn't seem to make any undue noise. A deal was struck. Here we are as it makes its first move: In its current home base in north Idaho. High school best bud Mark and wife Corie, along with the Admiral Allison. Thanks you two for letting us store it there and the use of your shop! Of course, we had to throw it into the water! And, we immediately pull right back out. Sure enough, water is coming in at a pretty good click from somewhere down around the transom assemblies. For those of you that have dealt with Mercruisers for any length of time, you already know that the bellows were bad. Don't leave your outdrives in the "Trailer" position for an extended period of time! When we pulled the outdrives to replace the bellows, I had it in my mind to sand them down and repaint. I was unsure what would have caused them to look so bad with the anodes still fairly much intact. More on that later. The tops were popped off to check the gear teeth and found the top bearings a bit corroded. The gear teeth looked fine, so just the bearings were replaced. After removing the bulk of corrosion, my buddy welded on a new skeg. Since the bellhousings were off, might as well install new shift cables and trim switches. More later on the shift cables... Spring 2021 - After have successfully "weathered" the first North Idaho winter without anything bursting, we ran down to Bayview to try out our handywork. But first, she needs a drink: Only put in 75 gallons/200 dollars. That works out to $2.67 a gallon. Ah, those were the days... She floats! And runs! We spent a few hours out on the lake, mostly bobbing on the waves and splashing around in the water. Summer 2021 - Remember those new shift cables? Well, the next time off the trailer, we got stuck in reverse on the starboard outdrive immediately after launching. Yep, that brand-new foreign shift cable had come apart. Trying to load a twin with only one working engine is "interesting". As noted before the flat tires when the boat was first seen, all six tires showed some sidewall duress. Not wanting to spring for six new tires all at the same time, we earmarked the two worst and had them changed. The thought process was to change out a pair a year, thus "rotating" the flow of cash, rather than one lump sum. That came back to bite me in '22. Since our time up north is limited, we pulled the outdrives and winterized the engines, and ordered a set of genuine Mercury shift cables to be installed next Spring. June 2022 - I had been told by the PO that he'd pulled the brake drums and checked/greased the bearings; 'Turns out I was lied to. When we changed the two worst tires last Summer, I noticed the bearings rumbled a bit when spinning the brake drums. Based on that, I figured the bearings should all be replaced before attempting the long haul down south. Here's what we found upon pulling the drums: Please note the pattern on the seal. Not one of them had been pressed into the hub, thus allowing water in and grease out! Two of the inner bearing cones were rusted to the shaft to the point that I thought we might have to use a puller, but we were able to get them off after a bit of coercion. Who gets released to service wheel bearings without knowing that the seals need to be properly seated? What other little nuggets of incompetence was I going to come across? All new bearings and seals went back in. Fingers crossed... Since the boat is over eight-foot-six, the whole affair needed additional running lights and flags to legally make the trip, and permits had to be obtained. As far as the permits were concerned; Idaho, fine. Washington, no problem. Oregon? Uh, no. While inquiring about a permit through The Beaver State, I was forwarded to an 800 number that put me in touch with someone who spoke almost pretty good English. After getting a quote for a one-way permit of $195, the decision was made to stay entirely in Idaho by running down the less-desirable highway 95. Fifteen minutes and 45 dollars later, we have a full twelve months of Idaho permit! Here we are, all lit up and ready to roll: The trip was somewhat eventful, as we had a blow-out on one of the antiquated tires. I knew better. Stupid... Fortunately, no one was hurt, and no hardware damage done. I told the DW that, since she was driving, she had to change the tire. Not really! She's just one to dive right in. After installing the equally antiquated odd-size spare tire, we nursed it on down to the next town where $475 and a great lunch got us four brand-new tires. Finally got Into the Mystic home! It just fits. Since there was old paperwork from the PO about an unresolved overheating issue with the port engine, plus an uncomfortably low water flow out of the prop hub, I decided to pull the exhaust risers to check for any blockage. I'm happy to report that the risers and manifolds look fine, contrary to how bad the outdrives look. Yeah, there was "some" rust, but, overall, things looked good in both the risers and manifolds looked good. Keep in mind that that pile of rust was from four risers after chiseling as must as I could through the coolant passages. New manifolds and risers are on the list for the next end-of-season prep. A look down the exhaust "Y" for corrosion. 'Happy to see only minimal fuzz. Um, shouldn't there be a little flappy thingy hanging in there? There was in the other three. Somehow, there was no sign of it in the exhaust "Y" or outdrive, so someone either never reinstalled it, or tossed it at some point when pulling the outdrive. The things you find... As for the corroded outdrives, it was recently mentioned in another thread about keeping a break around the outdrives when applying antifouling paint to the bellies of our boats. Taking that info with me, of course I found this: Yep, right up to and on to the outdrives, except where we scuffed some off. Learning all the time... Once riser gaskets and exhaust boots show up, the mechanicals "should" be done, then it's on to the indoor facilities. Spoiler alert: We believe the blackwater tank was never emptied... Stay tuned! 07/06/22 - I added a picture and note as a shout-out to Mark and Corie for letting me store the boat up north until I can relocate there. It's only because of those two's hospitality that this is possible.