No announcement yet.

2556 conversion to pod and outboards

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    2556 conversion to pod and outboards

    I really like my 1990 2556. The layout is EXACTLY what i was looking for.... so much, that when a boat finally came up for sale in my area on Vancouver Island, I was without a choice but to buy i sight unseen (as I was working away for months). It worked out very well.

    Some points: the 350 is rebuilt... 260HP if lucky. I tend to load the boat heavy, both for 2.5 hr trips to our cabin for long weekends as well as 4-5 day cruising trips. The motor is under powered, the fuel tank is much to small (for the trips we do). A 454cu in would crowd the engine compartment, and no room for a bigger fuel tank..... No room to add an Espar heater or small generator....etc etc.

    For the price of a new 350 MPI (300 or 320HP) with Bravo three leg= $25-30,000

    Price for new Diesel w/ Bravo three $45-50,000 (about the same in size and power as a 454 but better fuel economy) .

    Seriously, a $5000 pod, single 300HP or twin 200s, I am in price range,have much more floatation, a huge empty engine compartment that would take a large fuel tank, Espar, Generator, Etc......

    and back to the idea.... many have commented on this in the past about being a foolish idea. I would like to bring it back to the table and ask the experienced folks on here what they think.

    Is the Bayliner hull and transom too light for this?

    Will it affect balance and attitude in the water in a manner that engine tilt/trim tabs wont counter the change.

    Ugly (as someone once mentioned).... speaking of which, I did see a very old post where a member stated someone had done this and was selling it.

    I have searched GOOGLE many times with no example of a 2556 with outboards.

    PS, I have big shoulders, I can handle a whippin should you feel I deserve one with such a question.

    Lastly, I dont know of any trailerable boat of this size with outboards and this configuration (dinette with exceptional layout and views, Stand up head, Command Bridge, etc)

    Kind regards from Vancouver Island
    Last edited by Jim_Gandee; 04-28-2020, 01:10 PM.

    Ugly is relative... Ive seen the 2556 with twin outboards on it and it didnt seem to be an odd combination, but then ive also see ranger tugs with outboards.

    a different boat may be a more affordable option for you. I will agree the layout of the 2556 is almost perfect, but the 28 is not much different and has a little more room available without a major refit. but then you are back to the under power issue....

    personally, I dont feel my 2556 is under powerd with its 260hp, but then I am looking for less top speed and more economy. all I need is enough to get me on plane. (i replaced the 11" trim tabs with 24" tabs and it allows for a much slower speed and still remain on plane... as long as the boat is on plane at 6.5 to 7kts, it doesnt wander and has decent fuel economy...

    as for what you are asking, I think its do-able as long as money isnt a factor. the 2556 could benefit from having a bit more flotation in the rear, and of course it would be necessary with bracket mounted outboards.

    I dont think the oem trim tabs, mounted where they are, would work too well with additional planing surface of the pod/bracket and the outboards. it may cause cavitation with the water flow being disrupted ahead of the props...

    the transom is not much on these boats, but its plenty strong for what it was designed for.. and like was seen with the other 2556 with the bracket mounted outboards, it can be braced well on the inside to compensate for the additional forces involved...

    I would be nice to have another 100gallon fuel tank and still have room in the "basement" for lots of other items that come in handy on extended cruises....

    I say, its your boat. do it how you want, but the only advice I would give and stress its importance is... dont cut corners to save money, and do it so that the workmanship involved and the finish work impresses more than the actual project... and your boat wont be devalued.

    Salem, OR

    1989 Bayliner 2556 Convertible
    5.7 OMC Cobra - 15.5x11 prop
    N2K equipped throughout..
    2014 Ram 3500 crew cab, 6.7 Cummins
    2007 M-3705 SLC weekend warrior, 5th wheel
    '04 Polaris Sportsman 700 -- '05 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO
    Heavy Equipment Repair and Specialty Welding


      Thanks Centerline2.

      I noticed your handy work on one of your posts. Impressive creativity and workmanship on getting the most out of your boat. The large tabs really caught my eye. We are cruisers, young kids and often friends along for the tour. Getting the bow down when going slow and loaded is an issue.

      My thoughts started with upgrading the 350 to MPI or a 383.... but some issues still stood out. Fuel, and the lack of it. Im packing 4 jerry cans on the bow when we go to remote areas.

      My hopes are finding someone who has gone this route. Its definitely not a task to be done half assed or on a budget. As I am not in a big hurry, I can definitely change out the tabs, manage my weight.... and research the possibility for now


      We really love this boat, the ease to tow, the comforts, etc. Its a keeper.


        I think a outboard conversion with a bracket is doable on a 2556, it has been done on heavier boats. However as the 2556 is a flybridge(maybe little top heavy), not totally sure would do it anyway. Pretty sure the metacentric height will be reduced with the outboard vs sterndrive version, and there is a reason why the weight limitation on the acceptable load on the fly bridge is relatively low.
        Bayliner 2556 1990 project


          Curious if you proceeded with this project. I’ve been looking (online) at a few different 2556 out in Florida. They are quite affordable out there compared to the PNW.

          The only comparable boat I’ve seen is the Cutwater that now can be had with outboards. It is a little bigger, much fancier, and much more expensive, I think around 300k, US dollars.
          Huntington Beach, California
          2018 Element 16
          Currently looking for 32xx in South Florida
          Former Bayliners: 3218, 2859, 2252, 1952


            There are a few manufacturing similar sized boats with the option of outboards (Osprey, Oceansport, Cutwater/Ranger etc.) but the cost is extremely excessive compared to a good old used 2556. A guy could repower several times including an upgrade to a Bravo drive and still be way under what one of these newer (even at a used price) boats will cost $$$$$$
            Edmonds, WA
            "THE FIX" '93 2556
            Carbureted 383 Vortec-Bravo II
            The Rebuild Of My 2556
            My Misc. Projects


              All that sounds interesting, but as Dave pointed out the $$$ will get you, I have some thing in the order of 40K in my conversion to diesel including the B III X drive.
              Slightly modified 2859 6.5 Diesel Bravo III X drive
              96 Dodge 5.9 5 speed Gear vender OD.


                Did you end up installing a offshore bracket with outboards? If so I would love some pics and schematics. Thanks


                  Yes todays Aluminum boat and Fiberglass for that matter with outboards and extended transom are thought of as gold. They are extremely expensive and alot of times dont have the room or configuration you are looking for unless you pay 165-200 grand. Ridiculous!!!!

                  I will be the first one to tackle this project if noone else has!!! I put this configuration on my 20 foot glasply with a 36 inch setback and its the best thing I ever did. I was very worried about the physics of this kind of move but a little weight up front with trim tabs and it performs flawlessly!! I will never go back to an inboard. Its nice to be able to trim your motor totally out of the water when stored!! The new four strokes are so maintenance friendly I just go boat and have fun and always know the motor is going to start and perform. The old mercruiser and bravo were always a problem waiting to happen. I bought a used Yamaha 150 4 stroke with 150 hours for 8000 and I have had it on there for 3 years and now have 260 hours on the motor, I would think twin 150s would work well or a single 300.


                    I would also add that if I do this project i will probably glass in 2-3 pieces of 3/4 marine grade plywood to the transom so approx 1 1/2-2" Also would run C channel all the way across the back of the transom top middle and low. It would literally have to rip the entire back of the boat off to lose the engine or engines.