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TOPIC: Thinking about purchase

Thinking about purchase 13 Jan 2016 19:36 #1

  • Kram
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Greetings,

I am not yet a Bayliner owner but am thinking about becoming one.

I am looking at a late 1980s 20 footer bow rider with an OMC drive and 351 Ford engine.

It appears to have been kept in reasonable shape.

Is there anything specific about these boats I should be weary of? The boat is seven hours away from me and I don't want to make the trip unless I am 90 per cent sure I am going to purchase.

For background, I have built and repaired boats and have spent close to five years working at a boat yard working on boats of all types and materials in a previous life. The only thing I can't do with reasonable skill yet is upholstery. I have owned a number of boats including wood, steel, aluminum and fibreglass.

Any idea what these boats are worth? I can't seem to find many for sale.

Thanks for any and all assistance.

Mark

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Thinking about purchase 13 Jan 2016 19:55 #2

  • shade2u2
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The 351 that I had was a great engine. Seemed to have more "umf" than the SBC's that I had been familiar with. It pushed a 27' 7,000 lb boat along very nice.
The OMC can be a very good drive IF the shifter adjustment is correct. They have been out of production for a while though parts are plentiful from my experience.
I bet that this combination in a 20' boat would make it a pretty fast boat.

Otherwise more specific information on the exact model, year, location, storage & care history might be needed for the experts here to offer better help. In general a boat of that age & size wouldn't be sold for much depending on the market, location and most importantly the condition. More often than not, those type of boats don't seem to be cared for very well - IMHO. Overall, you should check anywhere that there is wood under fiberglass - which is a lot of places on these boats.

This year I sold our 1997 18' bowrider with a V6 that was "really" in near showroom condition for $6,500 - to a friend.
We also sold our 1989 27' cruiser with the 351-OMC for $7,000.

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John (formerly 89 2755 5.8 OMC & 97 1850SS 4.3L Alpha I)
Now enjoying 1984 Marinette 28.

Thinking about purchase 13 Jan 2016 20:05 #3

  • Norton Rider
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shade2u2 wrote: The OMC can be a very good drive IF the shifter adjustment is correct. They have been out of production for a while though parts are plentiful from my experience.


There are not many mechanics around that understand the OMC Cobra and know how to properly adjust the shift cable. As John mentioned, they can be good drives if properly maintained, and IF the cable has been adjusted properly. An improperly rigged cable will result in gear shift dog damage.

If interested in the boat consider finding a mechanic that is knowledgeable on OMC Cobra drives and having them check it out.

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1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
Anacortes, WA

Thinking about purchase 13 Jan 2016 20:19 #4

  • Ruffryder
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All good suggestions above!
Ensure that Cobra is shifting properly,
Ensure that ESA is working,
Remove top cover, check gear / oil condition.

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Joon, Kathy, Jaden & Tristan
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Thinking about purchase 13 Jan 2016 21:45 #5

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Thanks for this information. The boat is an 89 and the owner says only 390 hours on it. It has been parked inside for the past four years.

If there is damage from a mal-adjusted shift cable, is it repairable and is it easy enough to tell on shore before the water. Is it easy enough to adjust? Are there manuals with instructions? I have never worked on one.

I imagine the carb will have to be cleaned and any fuel is probably stale and after a four year lay-up there would be impellers and fluids to change as well.

So I am planning on a little work and I don't mind going elbows deep if something is repairable.

Thanks again

Mark

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Thinking about purchase 13 Jan 2016 23:52 #6

  • canoel
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Welcome to the forum!!
Yes I agree, find someone that really really knows Cobra drives.
There is also a conversion from the Cobra to a Volvo drive, if and when yours starts giving trouble.

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Joel
1987 3818 Hino 175
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Thinking about purchase 14 Jan 2016 00:42 #7

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Kram wrote: If there is damage from a mal-adjusted shift cable, is it repairable and is it easy enough to tell on shore before the water. Is it easy enough to adjust? Are there manuals with instructions? I have never worked on one.

Thanks again

Mark


If the shift cable is not properly adjusted the clutch dogs will not engage completely. This causes the sterndrive to pop out of gear at times. Whenever this happens the face of the dogs gets worn or damaged. As this happens the popping out of gear will become more frequent. Eventually the sterndrive will not stay in gear at all. In my experience this is something that needs to be checked on the water, under load. The reason is that often it will not pop out of gear unless it is under a load.

Parts are currently available for the drives, so the damaged shift dog issue can be rectified. It does require the dissasembly of the lower drive.

Here is the best source of information on the issue as well as how to adjust the cable: www.hastings.org/~stuart/cobra/

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1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
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Last Edit: by Norton Rider.

Thinking about purchase 14 Jan 2016 11:35 #8

  • Chief Alen
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Welcome Aboard !

Yes there are many " experts " here that know your drive and engine.

I would say go for it if it were a Chevy small block, ford not so much.

Where are you generally located in the real world IE: England, Russia The good ole USA ?

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Be good, be happy, for tomorrow is promised to no man !

1994 2452, 5.0l, Alpha gen. 2 drive. Sold ! Sold ! Sold !

'86 / 19' Citation cuddy, Merc. 3.0L / 140 hp 86' , stringer drive. Sold ! Sold ! Sold !

Thinking about purchase 14 Jan 2016 16:39 #9

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Thanks again for all the assistance and information.

I read through the link that was sent and somewhere in there is a reference to Dave Brown who says it should shift with one finger. It quotes him as an expert on these drives.

As it happens I know Dave Brown because I live just 25 miles away from him. I am in Gananoque, Ontario, Canada in the heart of the 1000 Islands and he is on the Rideau Canal - my old boating area. So at least I have someone close by if there is a problem.

I don't mind the Ford block - it apparently has been well-maintained - and I have driven Fords for years - so I am jumping into this and hoping it doesn't turn into a big project or the Mrs. will not be happy.

Can't move the boat right now because of winter but will spend the next month or so reading up on information here and will post again when I pick this up.

The first job to make the Mrs. happy will be to clean up the gelcoat which is foggy.


Mark

PS that's not me in the pic - this is from the ad for the boat

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Last Edit: by Kram. Reason: added ps

Thinking about purchase 14 Jan 2016 16:52 #10

  • Ruffryder
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Reminds me my old 86 195 Capri VP 5.0. she was a beast, but everything was rotting, falling apart... floor, stringers, transom :S
351 is going to make her fly :cheer:

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Joon, Kathy, Jaden & Tristan
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Longbranch WA
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Thinking about purchase 14 Jan 2016 18:41 #11

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The seller has promised me that there is no rot or mold. The boat is always been covered and has three layers of cover on it now - its regular covers, a plastic sheet and then a winter cover.

I hate having to take someone's word but there isn't a lot of money involved and the boat is seven hours away, speeding.

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Thinking about purchase 14 Jan 2016 18:49 #12

  • rkcarguy
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What's the asking price, if you don't mind?
If the price is right, you can confirm the vitals on the engine look good on the hard(plug color, compression test, etc) and then plan on a drive upgrade worst case.
There can still be rot, even dry rot just from age. Check everything.

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Thinking about purchase 15 Jan 2016 22:09 #13

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The seller was asking $3,500.00 Cdn - which is about $3.00 US right now :( but I bought it for a little less.

The boat has been parked / tarped for four seasons - was lightly used for two prior to that - and when packed away had no known rot. It has always been kept with covers on apparently as well and maintained properly. As I mentioned before, it currently has the tonneau covers, a sheet of plastic, and a winter cover, protecting it.

The current owner is a respected professional and I trust his word.

I think it is a good enough deal, Boat, trailer, tonneau cover and bow cover, complete enclosure for the back part of the boat while underway. 390 hours on the engine and drive. No known issues with the drive. It was re-upholstered a short while before it was tucked away.

It requires a battery and complete re-commissioning and probably general cleaning and beyond that we'll keep our fingers crossed that rot hasn't made a home in the meantime.

But even that is repairable. When I worked at the boat yard we brought some pretty bizarre junk back to life through the miracle of tools, physics, chemistry and obstinence.

I'll be picking it up in March or April, whenever the weather clears, and hope to be in the water in May or June, depending on free time and work required.

Thanks again everyone for jumping in with information.

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Last Edit: by Kram. Reason: dollar sign

Thinking about purchase 16 Jan 2016 01:52 #14

  • Chief Alen
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Fresh water boat correct, might be the saving grace concerning this boat of yours.

Fair winds and following seas, and my your endeavor be successful.

PS i grew up with Fords my dad loved them.

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Be good, be happy, for tomorrow is promised to no man !

1994 2452, 5.0l, Alpha gen. 2 drive. Sold ! Sold ! Sold !

'86 / 19' Citation cuddy, Merc. 3.0L / 140 hp 86' , stringer drive. Sold ! Sold ! Sold !

Thinking about purchase 18 Jan 2016 21:11 #15

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Same guy that designed the Chevy 350 designed the Ford 351.. Personally , I like the Ford better. Its built better and is a stronger block. We used to race the 351 W and then converted it into a Clevor.. IT was so fast it was scary but oohhh what an adrenaline rush!
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twin YANMAR 6LY-UTE
producing 630 HP
ZF marine propulsion
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20" x 20 degree 4 blade matching bronze props

Thinking about purchase 19 Jan 2016 01:18 #16

  • canoel
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I agree the 351 Ford is a great engine.
The Chevrolet small block was designed by Ed Cole, who would later become the president of GM. It debuted in 1955 as the 265cu.
Ed Cole never had any association with Ford.

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Thinking about purchase 14 Apr 2016 13:43 #17

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Picked it up on the weekend and just finished washing the outside.

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Thinking about purchase 14 Apr 2016 13:47 #18

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Looking good! B)

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Rick
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"Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates." Mark Twain

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Thinking about purchase 14 Apr 2016 14:28 #19

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The 351w and the 351c are 2 different engines, the 351c was the best.

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Be good, be happy, for tomorrow is promised to no man !

1994 2452, 5.0l, Alpha gen. 2 drive. Sold ! Sold ! Sold !

'86 / 19' Citation cuddy, Merc. 3.0L / 140 hp 86' , stringer drive. Sold ! Sold ! Sold !

Thinking about purchase 14 Apr 2016 15:36 #20

  • montagc
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That's a 2150. Mine looks just like that down to the crack in the fender on the trailer, except your antenna is mounted up front, mine to teh rearopposite mine. Mine visited Canada once, Pelee island, just long enough for a photo op.;)

I have the Chevy 5 liter so I am no help engine wise.

Your outdrive and hull makes it look like the boat lived in the water at some point. It is a 27 year old boat. Unless the current owner has owned it that long, there is a good chance that someone else did not take as of good care of it as he did. You'll want to check your transom for weakness. I am 270 and can stand on mine with minimal flex.

Do not judge the shifting ease by how well it shifts on the hard with the engine on or off. The electronic shift module (ESM) stumbles the engine going into or out of gear. From what I understand, its intent is to lessen the force on the dogs during engagement and more so on disengagement. With no water resistance on the prop the gears will shift with very little effort and you will not get a good read on how it actually shifts in the water. My point is, you may want to test it all before you load up the whole family for a day on the lake!
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88 Capri 2150 305 OMC
91 and 93 Yamaha Waverunner III 650
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Thinking about purchase 15 Apr 2016 11:47 #21

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How can you tell which is which 351

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Last Edit: by Kram.

Thinking about purchase 15 Apr 2016 11:50 #22

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Re Pelee -This one has lived in Windsor all its life and I drove past the Pelee exit picking it up. As far as maintenance, the last owner of 20 years did minimal and for the past four years, none. Didn't event clean the bottom after the last time it was in the water for a few days.

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Thinking about purchase 15 Apr 2016 12:04 #23

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Kram wrote: How can you tell which is which 351


Only the 351 W was used in production marine engines. There was also a 351 M. In the end the 351 W was around the longest as it came out in 69' and stopped production in either the late 90's or early 2000's don't recall. The C and M were in the 70's and 80's.

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1997 Maxum 2400 SCR 5.7LX Bravo II

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Thinking about purchase 15 Apr 2016 17:08 #24

  • canoel
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Yes I agree with Mike. Most likely a 351w. The 351c was never used in production boats. Unless someone did a very expensive conversion, with many custom parts, yours will be a 351w.
Post a picture.

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Joel
1987 3818 Hino 175
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Thinking about purchase 15 Apr 2016 18:22 #25

  • megamark
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Windsor=small block Cleveland=big block

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1994 Capri 1950 CL
5.0 Litre Vortec Mercruiser Alpha Gen2
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