Nater Potater's Build Thread

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Nater Potater, Jul 3, 2022.

  1. Nater Potater

    Nater Potater Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Oct 19, 2020
    Southwest Idaho
    1992 300DA Sundancer
    Twin Merc Alpha I Gen II I/O's with 5.7 V8's
    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:
    [​IMG]
    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!
    [​IMG]
    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.
    [​IMG]
    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.
    [​IMG]
    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:
    [​IMG]
    Only put in 75 gallons/200 dollars. That works out to $2.67 a gallon. Ah, those were the days...

    She floats! And runs!
    [​IMG]
    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:
    [​IMG]
    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:
    [​IMG]

    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.[​IMG]
    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.
    [​IMG]
    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!
    [​IMG]
    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.
    [​IMG]
    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.
    [​IMG]
    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:
    [​IMG]
    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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2022
    NorCalRobert, 89P270, zool and 12 others like this.
  2. Phil S

    Phil S Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2020
    Taxachusetts
    2004 300DA
    5.0 Merc MPI
    Bravo III

    2022 KL Tender
    6hp Mercury OB
    Looks like a great project! Always great to see pics.

    We should do a separate "Lies the PO told us" thread :eek:
     
  3. my3sons

    my3sons Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 24, 2009
    NY (Lake Erie)
    2004 400DB, Onan 9 kw Generator, Highfield RIB,
    Cummins 6CTA M-3
    DW was driving? Am I sensing a fellow RV’er as well as boat owner? :)
    Looks like fun, looking forward to seeing more.
     
    Nater Potater likes this.
  4. wyrman

    wyrman Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2012
    Tri-Cities, Wa
    2007 310 Sundancer
    Twin 350's, V drives
    2003 Fisher 17 aluminum
    90hp Honda 4 stroke
    I applied for an Oregon permit last year. Never heard back from them, until I got a bill in the mail for it months later.
    I called them up, they said I owed since they issued the permit. I had a polite conversation with the guy until he realized they never let me know they issued it.
    They're a harder state to deal with. The guy that transported my boat from Missouri said he has a nationwide oversize permit that works in every state, except for Oregon.
     
    JHornsby3 and Nater Potater like this.
  5. Nater Potater

    Nater Potater Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Oct 19, 2020
    Southwest Idaho
    1992 300DA Sundancer
    Twin Merc Alpha I Gen II I/O's with 5.7 V8's
    I can always tell when she's ready to get the hell out of Dodge, as I'll come home from work on a Friday afternoon to find that she'd gone down to storage, hitched-up the fifth-wheel, and it's parked in the driveway, fully packed. 'Gotta love her!
     
    MoonRiver and JayhawkCurtis like this.
  6. my3sons

    my3sons Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 24, 2009
    NY (Lake Erie)
    2004 400DB, Onan 9 kw Generator, Highfield RIB,
    Cummins 6CTA M-3
    Ha, that’s funny. A while back I was on the rv forum and we were talking about setting up and who does what and I forgot where I was and said the admiral rolls out the slides etc, etc and someone called me out on the “admiral”. Turns out they had done the loop a few years before us. They live on the boat in Florida in the winter and travel around in a 5’er in the summer.
    We can’t figure out if owning both rv’s and boats makes us gluttons for punishment or just people who like to stay really busy pursuing our dreams.lol
     
  7. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    Boatless in WA
    No motor
    Gotta get more popcorn.
     
    Nater Potater and JHornsby3 like this.
  8. Nater Potater

    Nater Potater Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Oct 19, 2020
    Southwest Idaho
    1992 300DA Sundancer
    Twin Merc Alpha I Gen II I/O's with 5.7 V8's
    I just updated the post, so, if you're bored, go back over it for revised notes and more pictures, plus a very boring video. GFC, I brought caramel corn just for you!
     
    Chris-380 likes this.
  9. Nater Potater

    Nater Potater Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Oct 19, 2020
    Southwest Idaho
    1992 300DA Sundancer
    Twin Merc Alpha I Gen II I/O's with 5.7 V8's
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    SKybolt, sbw1, Sundancer and 6 others like this.
  10. JHornsby3

    JHornsby3 Well-Known Member

    Nov 10, 2020
    Sheridan Oregon
    "Steele'y Tutz"
    1992 300 Sundancer
    Twin 4.3L W/Alpha One Gen II
    Funny thing. We moved to Idaho and lived in our 1988 30' Alumalite 5'r for a year. Finally sold it to a nice older couple that said if we can live in one through a Boise winter and always have the windows open, then they needed it. And our 300DA came from up north to Oregon. Funny how those things work out.

    Alumalite and Alumascape are said to be the same. Don't know how true that is but they are made the same.

    DSC_0002.JPG
     
  11. Nater Potater

    Nater Potater Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Oct 19, 2020
    Southwest Idaho
    1992 300DA Sundancer
    Twin Merc Alpha I Gen II I/O's with 5.7 V8's
    You PNWesterners will get a kick out of this; when talking with the gentleman that Oregon forwarded me to, I told him I wanted to run freeways from Coeur d'Alene, down to the Tri-Cities, then on to the Boise Valley. His response was "what is Tri-Cities?" Game over!
     
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  12. JHornsby3

    JHornsby3 Well-Known Member

    Nov 10, 2020
    Sheridan Oregon
    "Steele'y Tutz"
    1992 300 Sundancer
    Twin 4.3L W/Alpha One Gen II
    You have to remember. He sits in an office in Salem and doesn't drive the highways. I have talked to him in detail and I have hung up answering more questions from him than what I asked him. :D
     
    Nater Potater likes this.
  13. 370Dancer

    370Dancer Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Florida - Alabama
    1998 370 Sundancer
    380hp MAG MPI Gen VI with V drives
    So I cheated a bit on the RV side. Bought an older park queen (not moving) in a RV resort an hour down the road. It is set up on where I would take it anyways, and now I don't have to worry about all the "running" issues like set up, tear down, tires, having a porcelain head, needing a big truck, and the like. The rent is a bit pricey, but no worse than a decent marina. My dock rent at home, and at this camp is free! I'm on the water, up one of the hundreds of canals, 2 mi from Charlotte Harbor, and of course Boca to Ft Meyers and beyond. Beach House can get there, and the dock is ready to accommodate her when I change out the deck boards. It's a great community, and all the amenities are brand new. Legacy Properties came in and plopped 34 million down for the park in 2021, and built it out nicely. We did some interior sprucing to make it ours.

    For the 5'er it's an Aluma-Lite, 36 XL, 1992ish. I am told that is when Harley Davison owned the brand. That means, no documentation, but I finally got my Harley......and we have to get rid of those pink and blue blinds. IMG_4514.JPEG IMG_4517.JPEG IMG_4522.JPEG IMG_4528.JPEG IMG_4562.JPEG IMG_4566.JPEG
    Now I'm doing silly stuff like TV's outside, and a pellet pusher.
    Sorry, Scof. This is what I was doing every time I was down.
     
    sbw1, MoonRiver, jmauld and 3 others like this.
  14. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    Boatless in WA
    No motor
    We like it when that happens. Keeps all those ultra-liberal desk jockeys out of the dry side of the states. Stoopid Fuggers. I mean, c'mon man, we have a quarter million people here, and you've never heard of it? Get your head out of the Portland Oregonanian and learn something.
     
  15. ZZ13

    ZZ13 Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2009
    Lady's Island, SC
    2001 400 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins 450 Diamond
    Dang. I was so excited about this thread when it started. Getting to follow the technical aspects of a boat rebuild. But now I can’t tell if it’s an RV thread or another place for the political inclined on this site to rant about people they stereotype and have never met or talked to. Or both. Oh well, back to the 6CTA thread I go to wait for another technical question there.
     
  16. JHornsby3

    JHornsby3 Well-Known Member

    Nov 10, 2020
    Sheridan Oregon
    "Steele'y Tutz"
    1992 300 Sundancer
    Twin 4.3L W/Alpha One Gen II
    Some of in the PNW have or had both, boats and RVs. And the older Alumalite/Alumascape RVs can cross over. I'm sure if we were some of the stuffy Airstream owners, it would different for you.

    Nothing about political agendas have been mentioned. Talking about the couple of guys with a third party, that handles state permitting and not having a handle on logistical matters is NOT political in any way.

    If you dont care for the banter of this little 350 mile radius in the PNW, scroll on by.
     
  17. Nater Potater

    Nater Potater Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Oct 19, 2020
    Southwest Idaho
    1992 300DA Sundancer
    Twin Merc Alpha I Gen II I/O's with 5.7 V8's
    I suppose I'm to blame for starting that by mentioning the inept gentleman in my original posting, but dangit, you should have a better grasp of the local vernacular of the areas for which you're in charge of supporting! You have to realize that I tend to color my prose in attempts to keep from it from being overly dry technicality. I do that in the procedures I'm forced to write for work (be dry, that is). If my style of writing is a bother, then I fully understand if you're inclined to ignore my posts. As for the RV's getting intertwined, as far as I'm concerned, my boat is just a water-borne RV.
     
  18. MoonRiver

    MoonRiver Active Member

    160
    Apr 11, 2021
    Spokane, WA
    1996 330DA
    Twin Mercruiser 350s w/ v-drives
    So what's next on the 300DA build project list? We got ours put back together after a full interior remodel and now we get to enjoy it. If summer would ever arrive. Had great fireworks at our marina last night, but we came home today (4 days of on and off rain gets old).
     
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  19. JHornsby3

    JHornsby3 Well-Known Member

    Nov 10, 2020
    Sheridan Oregon
    "Steele'y Tutz"
    1992 300 Sundancer
    Twin 4.3L W/Alpha One Gen II
    I keep watching the interior remodels and I sat in ours the other night hiding. All I could think of is the things I should update too. I need to stop following the remodels and put my pennies in the jar for a radar and windless. My wife is, beyond done with pulling anchor.
     
  20. Nater Potater

    Nater Potater Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Oct 19, 2020
    Southwest Idaho
    1992 300DA Sundancer
    Twin Merc Alpha I Gen II I/O's with 5.7 V8's
    Interior remodel? We need to get a couple years out of ours before taking that leap. My hat's off to you.
    No real "next" for ours at this point, since it's still not a complete ship. At this point, I don't even know if the generator runs! No, it'll just be a slow progression of tweeks until everything is up and usable. My hope at this point is getting through all of the "deferred maintenance" items this Summer, then really get into enjoying her next year. After that; who knows?
     
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