Newbie Boat, No Engines, 3 Options.............

Discussion in 'Gas Engines/Drives/Transmissions/Props' started by The Saintly One, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. The Saintly One

    The Saintly One New Member

    18
    Oct 9, 2018
    Sea Ray Sundancer 290 1992
    No Engines But looking at an Outboard Conversion
    As some of you may have read I bought a 1992 Sea Ray Sundancer 290 for £5000 with both V6 engines removed because they were Kaput. Rest of the boat is in tip top condition and the previous owner spent alot of time on the interior accommodation.

    I have recently seen a few Sea Ray Sundancer 290 1991-1993 were fitted with single 7.4l Mercruiser engines producing 300hp which I didn't realise was an option anf diven the boat has one surviving stern drive leg I now have 3 options

    My 3 Options for re-powering are:

    1) Source 2 Inboards and Stern drive Legs and Re-Install - Approx Cost £15,000 and pretty much financially out of the question

    2) Professional Aesthetically Pleasing would look the muts nuts Twin Outboard Conversion £3500 plus a pair of Outboards Approx £4000

    3) Fiberglass Up Both Stern Drive Exits, Convert To Single Engine Mount and Install Single 300HP Engine with the single surviving stern drive that came with the boat Approx Cost of Engine £5000 plus fiber glass work

    Thoughts!!!
     
  2. Korkie

    Korkie Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    265
    Feb 2, 2016
    Leonardtown, MD Potomac River / Chesapeake Bay
    340 Sundancer 2006, Garmin 7612, xHD Radome
    Merc 496 Mags, Bravo III Drives
    If it were me, figure a way financially to restore it back to original, option 1. Having had a single 28 foot with a 7.4 (way under powered) and now have twins in a 340, the twins are the ticket. Gives you piece of mind that if one gets sick, the other can get keep you moving. Better maneuverability. Plenty of power, no matter the load. Yes - more costly, but that's boating.
     
  3. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    Option 4 - see if you can sell her for the 5k you have into it and start searching for a 10k boat with operational engines???

    I feel like your estimates to convert this rig to outboards are way low. If you're getting those quotes in writing be sure those are fully hooked up, re-rigged, running in the water.

    My last thought - any conversion away from the factory setup will severely impact your ability to someday resell this boat. Very few people will want a 290 Sundancer converted to a single engine. And losing access to your swim platform (outboards) is also troubling for many buyers.

    Sell sell sell.....sometimes the most expensive boat is a "nearly free" boat.
     
    JVM225, Espos4 and hottoddie like this.
  4. Little Ducky

    Little Ducky Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2017
    Chattanooga TN/Dickson TN
    1998 SeaRay 290 Sundancer
    Twin EFI 5.0L w/Alpha 1 drives
    Stick with twins.

    If you do any of the other options your boat will ultimately be worth less then the 5K you originally spent.

    You put 10-15K into the boat to bring it back up to what it originally had now your boat is worth 27-30K.

    Does the boat have an operating generator?
     
  5. Ididntdoit

    Ididntdoit Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2007
    Newport, RI
    300 Sundancer
    5.0MPI Bravo III
    if the surviving leg is an alpha I wouldnt do it - there were some 268s made with that setup in the 80s, but they had a special gearset and still often blew when pushed in such a heavy boat - I would attemt to find used parts and return the boat to its original configuration, as far as the outboard conversion is concerned, i would think you would need a pair of 175s at minimum to move that thing - not sure if you can get serviceable ones for as cheap as you think - but if you can, go for it - its been done before!
     
  6. BillK2632

    BillK2632 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jun 25, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    1999 185 Bowrider,
    Mercruiser 4.3, Alpha I
    If you are up for a project and just like the boat that much go for it -- I would only replace with twins in the original configuration. A dock neighbor had a 95'ish 290 with a 7.4, way underpowered and a bear to handle.

    Personally I think you could find a nice 290 or similar 30' twin engine cruiser in that year range that is in good shape runs well for what you are going to have in the boat when you are done.
     
  7. Happy Dayz

    Happy Dayz Active Member

    406
    Jun 26, 2017
    Sarasota, FL
    '06 260 Sundancer, 6.2, BIII, Kohler 5kw
    79' classic Kona Family Cruiser jet boat..
    6.2 w/ BIII, 502 w/ Berkekley
  8. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Active Member

    195
    Sep 12, 2009
    IL
    281
    V8
    More likely than not, your remaining stern drive won't handle the new engine HP. So that's probably not going to work well for you. I would be looking for a pair of drop in motors and drives and be done with it. Problem is even after spending the money, you'll still have a 26 year old boat. You'll need to keep it and use it a lot to get your money back. Good luck.
     
  9. The Saintly One

    The Saintly One New Member

    18
    Oct 9, 2018
    Sea Ray Sundancer 290 1992
    No Engines But looking at an Outboard Conversion
    I do plan on keeping it and using it not bothered about resale tbh. More just a plaything for local river Cruising which in the UK is severely speed restricted.
     
  10. Todd320

    Todd320 Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    572
    Jul 21, 2016
    St. Petersburg, FL
    2007 Sea Ray 320DA
    Twin V-drive 5.7L 350 Horizon
    I would install twin outboards if you can. The low maintenance of the outboards is a great option. Way more money than you are planning to spend, since I think it is going to be more expensive than inboards, but just my two cents.
     
  11. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.

    I agree.
     
  12. NorCal Boater

    NorCal Boater Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 24, 2008
    Covington, LA
    Cobalt CM23
    GM SB 383" Stroker" Alpha Gen I
    I also agree....if you can find someone stupid enough to buy it. I've just finished a 3 year restoration of a much better boat and I am into it over $16,000 and that's with just one engine and outdrive.

    You are in for a whole shitload of trouble and I doubt you will be able to sell it. It will be a Frankenstein. dump it as fast as you can.
     
  13. The Saintly One

    The Saintly One New Member

    18
    Oct 9, 2018
    Sea Ray Sundancer 290 1992
    No Engines But looking at an Outboard Conversion
    OMFG here we go again. I didn't ask for any other options I asked how you would Re-Power it option one option two option three. I quite frankly find it rude and unhelpful when people don't read the question. If you don't have an awnser to the actual question then don't bother commenting Re-Power it that's your perogative but it's not your boat and you didn't buy it you are making presumptions that I don't have a clue what I'm doing.
    And this constant argument about not being able to sell it.......... Why is that a consideration.??????

    Sorry to be blunt but I've just had exacy the same responses from people on an English forum and it just bugs me please please please read the question and if you don't have a awnser to the question don't bother awnsering

    And you pretty much just called me stupid for buying it. What a lovely welcome to the Sea Ray Community
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
  14. The Saintly One

    The Saintly One New Member

    18
    Oct 9, 2018
    Sea Ray Sundancer 290 1992
    No Engines But looking at an Outboard Conversion
    Thanks for those that have awnsers so far with helpful awnsers. Forgetting for one moment out and out power because unlike you lucky sods in America we just don't have the room unless we go out to sea here in blighty to really blast about. Should I go for one or two outboards ie what will be more economical, manoeuvrable, practical etc etc
     
  15. The Saintly One

    The Saintly One New Member

    18
    Oct 9, 2018
    Sea Ray Sundancer 290 1992
    No Engines But looking at an Outboard Conversion
    Inboards and Stern drives in the UK are very expensive I suppose you just have more of them over that side of the pond keeping costs down.

    Outboard conversion is a quote from a professional who does a few of these each year. Outboard are fairly plentiful and the sundries that need to be done I can source and do my self
     
  16. Todd320

    Todd320 Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    572
    Jul 21, 2016
    St. Petersburg, FL
    2007 Sea Ray 320DA
    Twin V-drive 5.7L 350 Horizon
    I am a big fan of outboards. Owned one for 14 years and the maintenance and repairs were minuscule compared to inboards I have now. Max I ever spent in a year was 500$ towards repairs or maintenance services (200 hp Yamaha).
    Easy to access, dependable (would sit for 4 months and always would start on the first crank as long as I charged the batteries up!), and gives you access to some really skinny water! Never a spot of rust or corrosion in 14 years, always used in saltwater every single year.
     
  17. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    Sorry, chief. Just trying to be fiscally helpful. Good luck with your project. I hope you'll post some pics when you get done.
     
  18. white glove boat

    white glove boat Member

    44
    Aug 29, 2016
    Texas
    2001 310 DA T 350 mag Horizon 63 IV V drives( 2007), C80 gps 4kw Radome with overlay,
    2007 Mercruiser 350 mag Horizons and ZF Hurth 63IV V drives 18"x19" Nibral medium cup props
    go with twins option 2 , on a river you may need the control that twins will afford you , since you don't care about resale the outboards are the only good option (from your list ) if that price is accurate .A single anything may make her an unruly beast ,( I know because the 270 with a single big block I owned was an unruly beast !) especially in rivers. As I see it that option makes sense. My opinion is that any twins are better than any single on a boat that size both from a safety as well as a maneuverability standpoint this coming from a person who has owned and operated both. I would love to see the finish project myself . I think Searay is actually doing a big twin outboard cruiser with the outboards concealed so the theory is sound as long as the shop can hammer it out well.
     
  19. NorCal Boater

    NorCal Boater Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 24, 2008
    Covington, LA
    Cobalt CM23
    GM SB 383" Stroker" Alpha Gen I
    Saintly, I'm sorry if you are offended. There isn't a month that goes by on this forum where someone new comes in and asks, "I bought this boat and...." I personally have been on this forum for 13 years and have been boating for 50. I've owned boats from 10' to 52' and several in between. I've also made a living in the marine repair business. Therefore, I am not just picking on you. So many people, like you, come in the forum and ask for advice. We presume you ask because you feel there are experienced boaters here that can truly help you. And when these experienced boaters, like myself, give you honest advice based on our years of experience, knowledge and wisdom you get pissy because you don't like the advice. In the end, you are going to do whatever you want anyway.

    The early '90s 290 is a good boat but it needs twin engines to make it perform as it should. There are people on this forum that have 270 Sundancers with a single 454 that complain about the performance and Bill K even relayed personal knowledge of a 290 with a single 454 that does not perform and that had a Bravo II drive. An Alpha with a 454 will not survive. The 290 weighs more and is wider. If Sea Ray didn't think so they would not have offered the boat with 2 different twin engine packages. The boat needs twins and you've heard that from several responders on this forum....but you don't want to listen. This is solid recommendations from many years of experience and we are trying to save you heartache and money. And in the end....you asked. I can only assume you heard the same from the British forums as well.

    As for resale, no one keeps a boat forever. And when the time does come to sell it you want to be able to. But no one will buy a butchered up boat that was turned into something it was not meant to be. If you want a boat with outboards go buy one. Don't try to turn something into something it wasn't supposed to be.

    Lastly let me ask, did you have the boat surveyed? Were the stringers tested for rot? The transom? Foredeck? Floors? How are the rest of the systems? Until I had the answers to those questions I wouldn't spend another quid on the boat. And that is the best advice you have received....solicited or not.

    Good luck
    Shawn
     
  20. Handsome Transom

    Handsome Transom Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    256
    Jan 26, 2018
    Penetanguishene Ontario Canada
    1989 SeaRay Sundancer 268 454 Bravo
    454 Mercruiser bravo drive
    Nice product by the looks of things I perused the bravo conversion on the link cool stuff. I am curious as to the cost . Any idea . Lol I guess if I gotta ask I can't afford it especially considering my old 89 268 is probably worth less than the cost if one of These drives
     

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