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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    We were sailors for about 13 years, loved it. Had small powerboats before the sailboats. Now we very much love our 2850 Contessa Command Bridge. Way less work, awesome layout etc. Some weekends we don't even take her out, just hang at the dock and use her for a cabin. Our marina is a mix of sail and power and we all have a great time together, no issues of what boat you have (sail vs power) we are all just boating and having fun! Hope it all works out for you.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I agree with the statement - find the drive first, then proceed.

    this boat will not sell fast, so I would first try and find a working KC drive (since you want to be in the water for $7 grand that eliminates buying a new VP drive etc). Depending on that outcome, negotiate the price of the boat.

    I am a bit of cynic, but if I really loved the boat, I would convert to new/used mercruiser or volvo powertrain from the start. But that wouldnt happen for 7 grand, even if the boat were free. I think the top price for the boat as is should be like $3 grand.

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  • Download_Complete
    replied
    rstackjd wrote:
    This has all been very helpful and informative - very glad I stumbled into this forum.

    Yes, it will be a strictly freshwater boat, and as far as I know, has always been (but something I now to verify - thank you)

    I will get a survey done before I get much further - sounds like a prudent thing to do.

    Assuming there are no major problems aside from the missing stern drive, my best estimate is that by the time it it's the water I'd be in about $5-7K depending on the cost of the drive. PLUS a lot of elbow grease, but that ok. From what I've in classifieds, it seems to me that as long as I'm in that range I'm not too far in as far as $ are concerned.

    The running debate has been power vrs sail. Based on what I expect we would use the boat for, power makes more sense to me. I had been going back and forth with the "but wind is free" thing, until I started talking to some sailing guys about sail costs. Ouch. I guess now matter how you look at it, if you're going to go boating, you're going to spend $ - it's just a matter of where!

    Bob
    Sailboats are expensive too. Need new sails? A new Chevy 350 is cheaper.

    Source the drive FIRST. Once you source one, everything else can be fixed.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I love my 85 2850 contessa sunbridge. This is the perfect sized boat for me and my kids and/or fishing buddies. The layout is great, and equivalent to a modern 30 footer.

    I have twin 5.0 VP V-8s (Chevy 305 ci) and get 1 mpg when on plane. I am messing with trim, etc, and i think i can get to 1.5 mpg. The 460 is a gas guzzler in for trucks, might be in boats too.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    This has all been very helpful and informative - very glad I stumbled into this forum.

    Yes, it will be a strictly freshwater boat, and as far as I know, has always been (but something I now to verify - thank you)

    I will get a survey done before I get much further - sounds like a prudent thing to do.

    Assuming there are no major problems aside from the missing stern drive, my best estimate is that by the time it it's the water I'd be in about $5-7K depending on the cost of the drive. PLUS a lot of elbow grease, but that ok. From what I've in classifieds, it seems to me that as long as I'm in that range I'm not too far in as far as $ are concerned.

    The running debate has been power vrs sail. Based on what I expect we would use the boat for, power makes more sense to me. I had been going back and forth with the "but wind is free" thing, until I started talking to some sailing guys about sail costs. Ouch. I guess now matter how you look at it, if you're going to go boating, you're going to spend $ - it's just a matter of where!

    Bob

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Bob,

    Before you get her on the water, take your time to know the systems and how they work.

    When you do get her on the water, HAVE someone with you that knows how to handle a cruiser (not a small boater) and show you how to take her out of the slip and back. As others have stated, you will need practice and a sense of timing.

    If it's windy, don't bother taking her out. An experienced captain won't worry about wind so its hard for you to understand the decisions they are making, and you need to practice without wind first.

    Don't take the family until you have spent time on the boat and build your confidence in handling.

    Make sure all the required safety equipment is installed and working and know how to use it. First Aid kit is a must. Others will suggest items they found are very important to cruising life.

    Know and understand how the battery system works.

    Hope this helps and ask lots of questions, we're all happy to provide advise and our experiences.

    Leave a comment:


  • dmcb
    replied
    Be sure to ask if the conversion will handle the big block Ford you have.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hello Bob,

    Welcome to the forum, much of what I know in life that is worthwhile, I learned right here.

    You might check out this link advertising a Cobra/Mercruiser Alpha I conversion; http://www.boatfixerguy.net/page20.p...ct=3&category=

    Also, you might want to call the owner, Bob Coons, and speak to him about the conversion. I haven't done business with him in several years, but I've noticed that he has been advertising this particular conversion around the Sacramento Delta for at least three years. I think he might be able to give you some advice. When I did some business with him several years ago, I found him to be very knowledgeable and he's willing to talk to you. He can probably tell you exactly what to do.

    I have the 460 engine and I generally run about 15-20 mph, which is a pretty good compromise. Your speed makes a huge difference in your gas mileage. I've been advised that if I had a smaller engine I would not be satisfied with the performance. I'm not unhappy with the 460 engine or Cobra outdrive, but I did change out the original shifter and all of the cables.

    Mike

    Leave a comment:


  • itsabowtime2
    replied
    Fuel economy? It is a boat...nuff said. :greedy_dollars:

    But really, after $150 a weekend our first season (when it was $1.79 on the water), we purchased a Sea Doo XP. Figure in 2 seasons of fuel savings I paid off the jet ski.

    Leave a comment:


  • dmcb
    replied
    Download_Complete wrote:
    A few thoughts here -

    1. You will be in fresh water. I do not know of a set of manifolds that has gone bad in fresh water, especially Lake Michigan. THe manifolds are a non-issue as far as I am concerned.

    2. The drive is the rare Dog Clutch KC drive (but not as rare as the later Cone Clutch KC) - the 7.5L is what gives it away.

    THis was extensively used on larger Bayliner cruisers, and parts are generally available, but not as much as the earler Volvo powered Contessas. However, those boats didn't get the big block in it. If you wanted something more than 260 hp in a Volvo powered COntessa, you needed to go to twins.

    I wouldn't throw this boat out of bed, but I would make DAMN sure you know what you are getting into. Hire a surveyor, and have him go over EVERYTHING. Better to spend $400 now, rather than $10,000 later. Make sure the hull is sound, and there is no rot in the stringers or transom. Make sure the fuel tank is sound - pressure test it. Check all gauges and switches. Check all electrical. Make sure the batteries are good. Do a full engine survey, compression and leak down test it, and then plan on giving it a FULL tuneup and oil change before you run it.

    If everything checks out, and you can get it at a good price (less than 5 figures, hopefully WAY less) then buy it and put a new KC drive on. You will also need to make sure the shift cables are adjusted properly (check back here for the deets, but basically, the boat should shift into and out of gear with fingertip effort...if not, it needs shift cables PRONTO).

    They sold a lot of Contessas, and they sold quite a few with 7.5L KCs, so don't be afraid of it.

    I would definitely NOT buy a Cone Clutch KC, but only a handful (if that) of Bayliners got them anyway.
    Matt, where would you get a new King Cobra drive?

    The Contessa is a great boat without question.

    I would be positive you have lined up the solution for the drive before you buy it. You may be in for a surprise.

    About fuel. I had one with twins and it really needed both.

    That said the large block OMC may move it well but it will like its gas. You will still have to work it hard and on plane you will be lucky to get 2 mpg.

    Put that in numbers, if you cruise 24 mph, you will burn 12 gallons per hour and go from there. You will have to top 20 mph just to keep it on plane most likely. Weight you have aboard will be a factor there. I had mine loaded at times I had to be 30 mph just to keep it on plane but that us unusual for most.

    If your boat was always a fresh water boat, you can forget about the manifold replacement unless it isn't properly winterized. They just do not need replacing in fresh water.

    As said get a survey. Pay attention to the possibility of rot in the stringers and transom wood core. You do not want to be faced with a repair there.

    Doug

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Would you like some 'real' numbers concerning fuel? here goes, this for a 2452 w/ 5.0 motor

    Last year I spent exactly $1250 on fuel and I used the boat 126 hrs.

    Of that, about 2 hrs, maybe 3 was on plane and the rest was just chugging along - seriously, I just putt putt.

    Consider also, that i bought almost my entire year's worth of gas (223 gallons) on land, and saved with nickle off Thursday's and my club buying card - that card saved me $180.

    So,,,,,,add about $350 to my total for marina prices only, which typically add $1 or $1.25 /gallon around here.

    And add a lot more if you run your boat hard

    I hope this helps a little

    Sarah

    Leave a comment:


  • Download_Complete
    replied
    A few thoughts here -

    1. You will be in fresh water. I do not know of a set of manifolds that has gone bad in fresh water, especially Lake Michigan. THe manifolds are a non-issue as far as I am concerned.

    2. The drive is the rare Dog Clutch KC drive (but not as rare as the later Cone Clutch KC) - the 7.5L is what gives it away.

    THis was extensively used on larger Bayliner cruisers, and parts are generally available, but not as much as the earler Volvo powered Contessas. However, those boats didn't get the big block in it. If you wanted something more than 260 hp in a Volvo powered COntessa, you needed to go to twins.

    I wouldn't throw this boat out of bed, but I would make DAMN sure you know what you are getting into. Hire a surveyor, and have him go over EVERYTHING. Better to spend $400 now, rather than $10,000 later. Make sure the hull is sound, and there is no rot in the stringers or transom. Make sure the fuel tank is sound - pressure test it. Check all gauges and switches. Check all electrical. Make sure the batteries are good. Do a full engine survey, compression and leak down test it, and then plan on giving it a FULL tuneup and oil change before you run it.

    If everything checks out, and you can get it at a good price (less than 5 figures, hopefully WAY less) then buy it and put a new KC drive on. You will also need to make sure the shift cables are adjusted properly (check back here for the deets, but basically, the boat should shift into and out of gear with fingertip effort...if not, it needs shift cables PRONTO).

    They sold a lot of Contessas, and they sold quite a few with 7.5L KCs, so don't be afraid of it.

    I would definitely NOT buy a Cone Clutch KC, but only a handful (if that) of Bayliners got them anyway.

    Leave a comment:


  • dktool
    replied
    One option for the hard to find / expense 460 exhaust manifolds is to convert to through the transom "snail" style log manifolds.There is a plentiful supply on the used market and a complete set usually goes for 100 to $150.00All aluminum.

    [img]/media/kunena/attachments/vb/668426=25831-flog5.jpg[/img]

    Leave a comment:


  • 2850Bounty
    replied
    rstackjd wrote:
    1.... Thanks bobsyiruncle that's just the kind of review I was looking for - that's very helpful.

    2... I will say that drive train issue now has me nervous. The marina buddy is getting me in touch with a guy who can look it all over, give me an opinion on the motor as well as the systems, etc.

    3... Again, I have a feeling boats are a lot like racecars, everything costs more to buy than you expect, and just when you think it's all ok
    1.... You'll want to know that GPH is rather meaningless in terms of fuel economy. We need to know distance traveled in order for GPH to mean anything of value. This is why the numbers that you want to look at, will be MPG... not GPH unless associated with a speed/distance traveled.

    2... One other note not yet mentioned..... in 1987 the KC was a Dog Clutch drive. Not until later did the Cone Clutch KC come out, and it too was short lived.

    3... Perhaps so!

    However, the engines and engine performance parts, transmissions, rear differential units, etc, are all readily available for your race car needs.

    .

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Thanks bobsyiruncle that's just the kind of review I was looking for - that's very helpful.

    I will say that drive train issue now has me nervous. The marina buddy is getting me in touch with a guy who can look it all over, give me an opinion on the motor as well as the systems, etc.

    Again, I have a feeling boats are a lot like racecars, everything costs more to buy than you expect, and just when you think it's all ok . . :sorrow: . . . lol

    Leave a comment:

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