The big old 80's 340 owners thread

Discussion in 'Sport Cruisers' started by Keith the Cop, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. Monty848

    Monty848 Member

    37
    Dec 6, 2017
    89 sundancer 340
    Previous boats;
    79 O’day 37,
    71 Coronado 30,
    69 Morgan 24/25
    Hobie 16
    T-454 mercruiser
    Kohler 5E
    Caribe RIB
    Yamaha 2.5 4 stroke
    Badly fouled props will cut your thrust. The heavier the fouling, the worse it gets.
    I'll refrain from the dipstick question, only because I have a Sundancer, with v drives and you have straight trannys. This photo is immediately after hauling out for the season on 10/15. I launched 5/23 and, had no reduction in power. If you've got hard fouling, especially on and around the hub, it can be like using a prop half size, or worse, and well, these old girls have got some big old bums to get up and move! You'll need full props. 2018-10-15_11-04-50_971.jpg
     
  2. C Coleman

    C Coleman New Member

    11
    Oct 20, 2018
    1987 SeaRay 340 EC
    7.4L 454CI x 2
    Yea, that looks perfectly clean for just after a haul out. I live in New Orleans so I am in Lake Pontchartrain so the water is brackish (more salt) so barnacles grow pretty fast. When I feel the bottom I feel lots of barnacles. I don't see any on your boat. I just did not think it could affect performance THAT much but I stand corrected. I plan to get the props reworked when I do the bottom job and the zincs changed. What else should I be looking to do when I do the haul out and bottom job done? It will be going right back in the water after. Thanks everyone for the warm welcome and good info, keep it coming.
     
  3. Monty848

    Monty848 Member

    37
    Dec 6, 2017
    89 sundancer 340
    Previous boats;
    79 O’day 37,
    71 Coronado 30,
    69 Morgan 24/25
    Hobie 16
    T-454 mercruiser
    Kohler 5E
    Caribe RIB
    Yamaha 2.5 4 stroke
    Talk to locals and see what works in your boating area. I'm in southeastern Massachusetts, so the same products that I use may/May not be the best in your waters.
     
  4. northshore

    northshore Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jan 17, 2011
    Cleveland, OH
    1989 340 Sundancer
    Raymarine E90W Radar/Chartplotter
    Twin 454 Mercruiser 340's
    Welcome to you both. Just for info, below is the flooring that the Admiral had put in ours.

    There was a joke about our boats being the Miami Vice boats due to the pastel colors - it is what is..

    I was a bit intrigued reading that you had 5.7's installed! if they are putting out over 320 hp, the weight difference between the big and small blocks I think it would make about a wash.
    I'll second the 'get the bottom cleaned and see what happens' sentiment

    upload_2018-10-20_19-51-55.png
     
  5. Monty848

    Monty848 Member

    37
    Dec 6, 2017
    89 sundancer 340
    Previous boats;
    79 O’day 37,
    71 Coronado 30,
    69 Morgan 24/25
    Hobie 16
    T-454 mercruiser
    Kohler 5E
    Caribe RIB
    Yamaha 2.5 4 stroke
    Very nice! Real tea teak or something else?
     
  6. northshore

    northshore Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jan 17, 2011
    Cleveland, OH
    1989 340 Sundancer
    Raymarine E90W Radar/Chartplotter
    Twin 454 Mercruiser 340's
    Thanks - Nuteak
     
  7. Monty848

    Monty848 Member

    37
    Dec 6, 2017
    89 sundancer 340
    Previous boats;
    79 O’day 37,
    71 Coronado 30,
    69 Morgan 24/25
    Hobie 16
    T-454 mercruiser
    Kohler 5E
    Caribe RIB
    Yamaha 2.5 4 stroke
    Thanks!
     
  8. NorCal Boater

    NorCal Boater Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 24, 2008
    Covington, LA
    Cobalt CM23
    GM SB 383" Stroker" Alpha Gen I
    Mr. Coleman, welcome to the forum. I live in the New Orleans area as well and keep my boat in Madisonville. I owned an '89 340 Sundancer for 4 years and I am pretty familiar with your model as well. I have a few questions for you....
    1. Did you have your boat surveyed by a professional marine surveyor prior to purchase? Did you sea trial the boat (test ride)?
    2. Do you know the HP of your engines? Are they stock? Unless they have been built to higher performance standards I doubt they are much over 260-270 HP
    3. Do you know the size (diameter and pitch) and condition of your props?
    4. Does your boat have trim tabs? Are they functioning properly?
    5. How long have you owned your boat?
    6. Do you know the history? Where it was moored prior to your ownership?
    Your answers to these questions can help us help you.
    So a couple of points....
    • The late 80's 340s are a great boat but they have some idiosyncrasies that make them unique.
    • They are a heavy, wide vessel with small props and prop pockets. They need horsepower and more importantly....torque, to get them moving. I have yet to see a 340 of this vintage that performed well with small block (SB) motors.
    • I asked about where you more the boat and where it was moored in the past because if you are in Lake Pontchatrain it is true the water is brackish. But I have never seen barnacles grow on a hull in brackish water. My boats sits in pretty much the same water (The Tchefuncte River) and I don't get barnacles.
    If I were in your shoes I would....
    • Have the boat hauled and the bottom cleaned (great time to have it painted)
    • Take your props to a prop shop that has "Prop Scan" equipment and have the props repaired (if needed), balanced and trued. Also ensure you have the correct props on your boat
    • Find a Professional Marine Surveyor and have your boat inspected. These boats had problems with the stringers getting wet and rotting. Another area to have checked is on the foredeck around the hatch and rail stanchions for soft spots, another area of concern.
    • Make sure you engines are in proper tune. All ignition components, carburetor and timing need to be set to recommended specs. You might consider hiring a good marine engine/drivetrain mechanic to inspect.
    That should get you started. With the SB engines your boat is going to be a sluggish performer so you need to make sure everything is clean, tuned, and functioning properly. I look forward to your responses.
    Shawn
     
  9. Monty848

    Monty848 Member

    37
    Dec 6, 2017
    89 sundancer 340
    Previous boats;
    79 O’day 37,
    71 Coronado 30,
    69 Morgan 24/25
    Hobie 16
    T-454 mercruiser
    Kohler 5E
    Caribe RIB
    Yamaha 2.5 4 stroke
    C Coleman, Norcal covered it pretty thoroughly and he's in your area. Best of luck, they're great boats !
     
  10. C Coleman

    C Coleman New Member

    11
    Oct 20, 2018
    1987 SeaRay 340 EC
    7.4L 454CI x 2
    NorCal, thanks for your response and concern. Its good to know someone near me that can give valuable advice.

    1. I did not have the boat surveyed by a marine surveyor. I did take it on a sea trial and it performed great at that time. The boat came from the Gulfport, MS area and had previously been in Pensacola FL from what I understand, and before that was in LA. The reason why I know this is because I had the serial numbers on the engines traced back to the installer at Marine Power (I forget where, maybe Lacombe) and they gave me info about when they were installed (2009) and other info. The hour meter shows about 180 hours and is working fine. The motors run exceptionally well, have never had a problem (yet) and the boat really seems to be well taken care of mechanically. I'm not sure about the transmissions, they may or may not have been reworked with the motors in 2009. I was asking before how to check the levels in the trannys (cold vs hot) because it is up to the lines at cold.
    2. I do know the HP of the engines, its 330 HP each. Sorry I think I misspoke before. That would make them the 7.4L 454 motors.
    3. I do not know anything about the size and pitch of the props. When have it hauled out I will have them reworked for sure. There are barnacles all over the bottom of the boat and the props and rudders (although I do feel smooth hull in between in places). There was also a different kind of barnacles on the trim tabs and the cylinders that work them. It was true ocean barnacles (from FL I guess) and they were on there very thick. The ones that look like little clams. All the way around the tabs and on them also. I thought this may have been stopping the tabs from working correctly but when I removed them and tested the tabs they are fine and work fine.
    4. I do live on the lake itself and I do see barnacles growing on the poles on my docks. I'm not sure if this translates to them growing on hulls but they do grow on posts in the water. It is not like the ones I pulled off the tabs, these are like little craters with hard edges. These are the ones I feel on the bottom of the boat and on the props and shafts and rudders. The guy I bought it from was afraid of the boat and did not ever take it out. He did however tell me he had a diver clean the bottom every month at the marina he had the boat moored at. I'm not sure if he really did, if so the guy definitely missed or was not concerned about the tabs or below the swim platform.
    5. The stringers you are taking about, could they be rotten and causing this problem. I thought about that before. Which ones are the ones that usually fail? Where are they located on the boat. The boat does not as far as I can tell list to one side or the other and sits in the water well. Water line is 2-4 inches below the exhaust holes on the sides.
    6. Do you know a good marine mechanic in the area, I have a few in mind.

    Let me know what you think, thanks in advance
     
  11. C Coleman

    C Coleman New Member

    11
    Oct 20, 2018
    1987 SeaRay 340 EC
    7.4L 454CI x 2
    Also, I forgot to mention, I purchased the boat in March of this year so have had it for 8 or so months.
     
  12. NorCal Boater

    NorCal Boater Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 24, 2008
    Covington, LA
    Cobalt CM23
    GM SB 383" Stroker" Alpha Gen I
    Thanks for the thorough response. It sounds to me like you need the bottom cleaned really good and new anti-fouling bottom paint applied. That bottom and running gear will seriously harm your performance. If you keep your boat on the South Shore and are near The Rigolets you could be in much saltier water than me on the North Shore a mile up river. The only bottom growth we see here is some slime.

    I've only lived here for 2 1/2 years moving from California. When I lived in Southern Cal we not only had the bottom of the boats painted with an ablative paint, we also had a monthly bottom cleaning service to remove the growth. I don't know if that service is available where you are or if it is needed.

    Stringers are the big beams you will see in your engine room that are about 4" wide and 10-12" tall that run parallel the length of the boat. There are holes (called Limber Holes) spaced at the bottom of the stringer to allow any water to migrate from outside the stringers, into the bilge, where the bilge pumps can remove the water. In these vintage and models the Limber Holes were lined with short pieces of PVC pipe that was not glassed in and allowed water to attack the raw wood of the stringer. You should always have boat professionally surveyed pre-purchase as checking the hull and stringers for moisture is one of the tasks they perform. Have this done when your boat is out of the water. And I would have it done right after the bottom is cleaned, before bottom paint.

    Could rotted, wet stringers cause you plaining issue? Sure, but it would really be more about the added weight of water soaked components. The fact that your boat is not listing either way is not really an indication of anything. These boats have gennys on one side, water tanks on another, holding tanks, etc. One low water tank or a full holding tank could cause the boat to list, or not list, one way or another. Another thing to have checked is whether your fresh water tank is sound and not leaking. They are plastic and have been known to leak occasionally saturating the foam in the hull.

    As for a mechanic, as I said, I have only lived here a short time so my experience is limited. I recently discovered a shop in Kenner that I am extremely pleased with. At the moment I no longer own a cruiser but rather a classic 1985 Cobalt that I have restored. Pier 21 Marine in Kenner did some engine work for me and I could not be happier. The owner is Billy Allen and he previously owned Precision Marine in Kenner as well. I trailered my boat to them and to be honest I do not know if they do dockside engine work or not. Call them and ask. The Number is 504-305-5300, ask for Billy Allen and tell him Shawn Murphy recommended them. In 50 years of boating they are probably the most honest, capable people I have ever worked with. They are also the Gulf Coast Service Center for SeaStar Hydraulic Steering Systems. Tell him what you have and what you are looking for and he can tell you if he can help you.

    Good luck and let us know what you find out. And stay in touch. We might run into one another someday.
    Shawn
     
  13. C Coleman

    C Coleman New Member

    11
    Oct 20, 2018
    1987 SeaRay 340 EC
    7.4L 454CI x 2
    NorCal thanks for the info. I will take pics and post when I have the boat hauled out at the end of November so I can get your opinion.

    Cheers
     
  14. NorCal Boater

    NorCal Boater Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 24, 2008
    Covington, LA
    Cobalt CM23
    GM SB 383" Stroker" Alpha Gen I
    Not sure where you plan to haul it but it should be someplace that will pressure wash it while it is in the TravelLift. that crap is a bear to remove when it has a chance to dry.
     
  15. Razzle Dazzle

    Razzle Dazzle Ship shape and Bristol Fashion SILVER Sponsor

    72
    Jul 2, 2016
    United Kingdom and Florida
    Sea Ray Express Cruiser 340 1989 Mercruiser 7.4
    Mercruiser twin 7.4 Gas powered
    Where can I find a good air conditioning engineer in the area of Daytona Beach for my 1989 340 Express Cruiser? Also a good upholstery person. The best AC person is too busy to work on my boat this November.
     
  16. C Coleman

    C Coleman New Member

    11
    Oct 20, 2018
    1987 SeaRay 340 EC
    7.4L 454CI x 2
    NorCal, I am happy to report that I took my boat out the water the week after Thanksgiving and there were plenty of barnacles all over the boat and running gear. I spent 3 days grinding, pressure washing and preparing the bottom. Then I put 2 coats of anti-fouling on the bottom and dropped it back in the water. It runs like a champ now. I was so relieved to discover that was the problem. Here are a few pics, I hope you can see them

    Cheers
     

    Attached Files:

    northshore and JC3 like this.
  17. NorCal Boater

    NorCal Boater Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 24, 2008
    Covington, LA
    Cobalt CM23
    GM SB 383" Stroker" Alpha Gen I
    I am very happy to hear that the performance issue has been solved. The work you did looks awesome and I really like black bottom paint. I also like the 340s with the green color theme. Let me know if you come across the Lake next summer and maybe we can meet up somewhere. I'll buy the first round.
    Shawn
     
  18. northshore

    northshore Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jan 17, 2011
    Cleveland, OH
    1989 340 Sundancer
    Raymarine E90W Radar/Chartplotter
    Twin 454 Mercruiser 340's
    Very good to hear! That should be a big load off your mind, now you can start enjoying her!
     
  19. Nauti1

    Nauti1 Member

    33
    Aug 21, 2013
    Wyandotte Michigan
    1986 Sundancer 268 (sold)
    Mercruiser 260,alpha1
    Hello all,

    Well I guess I have 7 footidis. Started out with a 1985 20’ Baja then moved up to a 1986 268 Sundancer , just sold that, now I’m ready to buy a 1988 340 EC upon successful sea trial in the spring. I’ve read all the posts on this thread and I have to ask, is there anything else to look out for with this boat? The wife and absolutely love the layout of this model and the current owner has constructive form of OCD with this boat (very clean and well kept) plus it’s within my budget.
     
  20. northshore

    northshore Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jan 17, 2011
    Cleveland, OH
    1989 340 Sundancer
    Raymarine E90W Radar/Chartplotter
    Twin 454 Mercruiser 340's
    Welcome - For the most part, these are pretty solid boats but please get a survey. If you have read through this thread, you have seen the good the bad and the ugly. Starting out with a boat that the previous owner has taken some pride in is a huge plus. Good luck!
     

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