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Old 05-31-2020, 05:10 PM
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Default Any knowledgeable boat people here?

Hey y'all. Just wondering if I can find some info before I start calling around to the shops.

My dad owns a boat, a Fisher, I think 12 or 14 feet long aluminum, probably about the year 2000, outboard Mercury 35hp motor, forward steering console. I was the last one to consistently use this boat, about 4 years ago, and it functioned perfectly, zero engine issues whatsoever, in fact, in the entire life of this boat.. Since then, my dad has stored it in a friend's yard, with zero maintenance or anything like that, for about the last 4 years.

He was just recently confined to a wheelchair at 70 years old, and he decided to give me the boat. I love it, and I want to do any necessary maintenance since it's been sitting for 4 years. What kind of stuff will need to be done? Flushing oil and gas I assume. What more? Any idea of cost for this, at a normal boat maintenance shop?

Thanks in advance. The boat is very similar to the attached pic.
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Old 05-31-2020, 05:15 PM
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Cost are going to depend heavily on your area, mechanics rates can fluctuate a lot. Without needing any hard parts replaced, in my areas I would think a shop would charge somewhere around $500-600 to "go over it's then complete flushes and fills.

But flush fuel and oil, if it's carbureted you'll probably need to open it up and clean it out. You'll most likely need a battery as well. If it has hydraulic steering, check the fluid and grease fittings on that as well.
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Old 05-31-2020, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by EmuDetector View post
Cost are going to depend heavily on your area, mechanics rates can fluctuate a lot. Without needing any hard parts replaced, in my areas I would think a shop would charge somewhere around $500-600 to "go over it's then complete flushes and fills.

But flush fuel and oil, if it's carbureted you'll probably need to open it up and clean it out. You'll most likely need a battery as well. If it has hydraulic steering, check the fluid and grease fittings on that as well.
Thank you. Yes, definitely will need a battery. So $500 in Virginia will translate to about $32,000 in California.
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Old 05-31-2020, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Bagelbites View post
........ . So $500 in Virginia will translate to about $32,000 in California.

2cyl or 4? If 2 then try fresh gas if it runs awful then clean it out by running a whole can of sea foam in a gallon of gas. Otherwise carb rebuild.
4cyl oil change plus above. Don't forget to check lights and grease wheel bearings.
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Old 05-31-2020, 09:40 PM
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Good time to check and snug down all the screws and bolts on the seats, steering console, flooring, anything mounted, etc.
Also, for cleaning, here are two words that might help: "Magic Eraser"
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Old 05-31-2020, 10:07 PM
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The acronym for boat is break out another thousand.

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Old 06-01-2020, 05:55 AM
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It's a 2 stroke? I bet you won't have to clean the carb or anything. Change the gear oil, new battery, fresh gas, and go fishing. There are some grease fittings back there too, but there really isn't much back there that you shouldn't be able to do yourself as long as the carb doesn't need cleaned and if it does it probably wouldn't need more than the bowl removed and sprayed with carb cleaner. The most common problem I've seen with sitting boats is cracked fuel lines. I don't think you are looking at any more than just routine maintenance. Less than $ 200 around here.

I will do it for $500 plus airfare and hotel, and save you $29,000, but you have to take me fishing.
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Old 06-01-2020, 06:15 AM
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You know what BOAT stands for right? Break Out Another Thousand
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Old 06-01-2020, 09:22 AM
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If there is one thing that does the most damage is ethanol. Every fuel line and carb gasket will have to be replaced if it is not ethanol resistant already. I'm not sure when CA made this mandatory, but I am sure it is by now.
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  #10  
Old 06-01-2020, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Scooterjim View post
It's a 2 stroke? I bet you won't have to clean the carb or anything. Change the gear oil, new battery, fresh gas, and go fishing. There are some grease fittings back there too, but there really isn't much back there that you shouldn't be able to do yourself as long as the carb doesn't need cleaned and if it does it probably wouldn't need more than the bowl removed and sprayed with carb cleaner. The most common problem I've seen with sitting boats is cracked fuel lines. I don't think you are looking at any more than just routine maintenance. Less than $ 200 around here.

I will do it for $500 plus airfare and hotel, and save you $29,000, but you have to take me fishing.
Lol, you've got a deal. I don't even know if it's 2 or 4 stroke. I'm going to take a look at it next week, I also have to change a flat tire on the trailer.

Thanks everyone for your input. Lile I said, this boat has always run so perfect and never needed anything aside from normal maintenance. I think it's got many years before I have to start breaking out another thousand. I have a lot of memories on this boat and I can't wait to get it back in action.
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Old 06-01-2020, 11:34 AM
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You've been given some good advice. I've been a boat owner for 30 plus years. Start with the trailer, check the bearings for wear, rust and grease check tires for cracks or rot mostly on the side wall. Replace battery and gas check all gas lines and filters. Replace water impeller and lower case oil. Run some sea foam in the fresh gas, when you start it let the motor idle for awhile don't rev it up. Make sure the tilt/trim and steering isn't frozen. When you get ready to splash it be sure the plug is in.

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Old 06-01-2020, 11:55 AM
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If it's a 2 cycle engine, see if it has an automatic 2 cycle oil system. Oil is mixed with the fuel as it's consumed. If it is, make sure you have plenty of 2 cycle oil in the oil tank. There will be no crankcase oil, it dosn't have a conventional crankcase.
If it's a 4 cycle engine. Drain and refill crankcase with fresh oil.
In either case, drain out the old gas, 4 years is too long. If there's an inline fuel filter, change it. Replace the lower unit oil. Check all your hoses for dry rot. Replace the battery.
Search all around the engine mount to the transom and grease every grease nipple you come across, look carefully. Spray all your moving parts with WD 40 or the like. You can google grease points etc for that engine. Make sure your steering works smoothly, watch where engine parts slide across each other as it's turned and swipe some grease on there as well. If it were me, I'd replace spark plugs as well. Just make sure you get the correct plugs. Take your old plugs with you.
If your engine has a "garden hose" hook up, screw your hose on and turn it on and start motor. If it doesn't, get a pair of "ear muffs", they'll cover over the water intake ports at the bottom of the engine. If you start the engine, go easy on it at first, let some !!!! loosen up in there before reving, and don't rev too high with this set up. Make sure as it's running, water is squirting out the "pee tube", located up at the top of the motor. If not, it may not be pumping water, turn it off. If that's the case, make sure your garden hose is supplying good supply of water and your muffs are correctly covering cooling water intakes. Start her up, still no water out of pee tube, take a thin wire and run it down the pee tube. Bee's and wasps love to build mud nests in those little tubes. Especially sitting for 4 years. If you still don't show water, the water pump may be bad.
Never run it long ( couple minutes) without cooling water. You can also lower the prop into a trash can full of water, just make sure it's full.
If you're careful, while it's idling, you can gently shift it into forward and and reverse (low RPM) to check gears and shifting system. If you do this, it will blow water out of trash can so keep proper supply to that.
If it's a 2 cycle engine, either auto oiler or gas and oil premix, don't use ether to help start. You'll score the cylinder walls, possibly, not worth the risk.
Remember, you can google all this !!!!.
A good running outboard is a delight, one that's hard to start, doesn't run right, stalls, smokes etc is a nightmare.
Probably for a couple hundred bucks, you could have all this done at a shop. Personally, I'd rather have an idea of what my engine is all about.
Be safe on the water.

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  #13  
Old 06-01-2020, 02:58 PM
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I confirmed with my dad that it's a 4 stroke. One local boat shop quoted me at $550 for a 100-hour maintenance, not including any carb work, and about $120 for a battery. They said carb work might not be necessary.

I'm inexperienced at working on any types of engines unfortunately, or else I'd love to save the money and do it myself. After it's up and running, I'll google and YouTube to do the maintenance myself, but I'd feel more comfortable having a shop do it this time around. I'll be so happy when it's done and I have this boat back on the water.
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Old 06-01-2020, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by mike_i View post
When you get ready to splash it be sure the plug is in.
The first time my dad let me take the boat out on my own, I was 16 or 17, went with a buddy to camp at Icehouse reservoir up here in the mountains. I didn't even know there was a plug, so the stern was filling with water and I kept pumping it out with the bilge pump. When I finally put the boat back on the trailer and saw the water pouring out if the hole, I realized what had happened. Jeeeeeeeez
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Old 06-01-2020, 06:34 PM
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If the gas was run out of the carb when it was stored you may get lucky. If gas was left in it by now it has become like varnish and gummed up everything. Fresh gas, new battery, You do not have to buy one from a boat dealer, Give it a try to see if it will start. Get a friend that knows a little about boats to help you check it out.
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Old 06-01-2020, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by georgeinsc View post
If the gas was run out of the carb when it was stored you may get lucky. If gas was left in it by now it has become like varnish and gummed up everything. Fresh gas, new battery, You do not have to buy one from a boat dealer, Give it a try to see if it will start. Get a friend that knows a little about boats to help you check it out.
The boat was previously stored at another friend's house, who took really good care of it and did all maintenance himself. I wouldn't be surprised if he drained the gas. One time I came to pick up the boat with a friend's pickup, and the electrical connections from truck to boat didn't match up, different type of connector. So he made a connector on the spot and saved our fishing trip. He was super handy and a great guy. Served side by side with my dad in Vietnam.

Unfortunately he passed away, and then my dad put it in it's current location, where it hasn't been touched. We'll see, fingers crossed. Thanks for your input.
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Old 06-01-2020, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Bagelbites View post
Hey y'all. Just wondering if I can find some info before I start calling around to the shops.

My dad owns a boat, a Fisher, I think 12 or 14 feet long aluminum, probably about the year 2000, outboard Mercury 35hp motor, forward steering console. I was the last one to consistently use this boat, about 4 years ago, and it functioned perfectly, zero engine issues whatsoever, in fact, in the entire life of this boat.. Since then, my dad has stored it in a friend's yard, with zero maintenance or anything like that, for about the last 4 years.

He was just recently confined to a wheelchair at 70 years old, and he decided to give me the boat. I love it, and I want to do any necessary maintenance since it's been sitting for 4 years. What kind of stuff will need to be done? Flushing oil and gas I assume. What more? Any idea of cost for this, at a normal boat maintenance shop?

Thanks in advance. The boat is very similar to the attached pic.
I do the maintenance on the 2-stroke Force 120 I have. Here's a general list of what to do:
https://www.bornagainboating.com/out...-been-sitting/
  • Remove the Spark Plugs & Oil The Cylinders, Replace Plugs if Needed.
  • Check the Condition of the Gear Lube.
  • Disconnect the Fuel Line From the Boat & Check the Condition of the Fuel.
  • Connect a Separate Fuel Tank with Brand New Fuel.
  • Check the Oil Level or Fill the Oil Injection Tank.
  • Connect To a Fully Charged Battery.
  • Start and Run the Engine on a Garden Hose.

EDIT: Since it's a 4-stroke, definitely change the oil...

Two additional things I'd recommend: change the lower unit oil completely. Run some Seafoam mixed into the new gas (follow directions on bottle). It'll clean up deposits very nicely.

Functionally in an old outboard like that, you shouldn't have too many problems if you only run fresh fuel into it. For the first tank, I actually would RECOMMEND an Ethanol-based fuel, as it absorbs water. Run it through completely in the next few months (or just use a half-tank if the time is going to be longer). After that, just run ethanol free.

If it's garage stored, not such a big deal about the Ethanal fuel, but it can be rough on seals in outboards if around water where it can absorb it.

Skippy

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Old 06-01-2020, 09:43 PM
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How many inches down did that show on the AT Max?
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Old 06-04-2020, 01:59 AM
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"a boat is a hole in the water, into which you throw money"

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Old 07-10-2020, 12:15 PM
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Just wanted to give an update here. The trailer tires were sunk into the ground about 6", both tires were in bad shape, lots of dirt and grime in the wheels, bearings and stuff. I was able to dig it out and tow it to the street, where I had a flatbed take it to my car mechanic's shop for work on the trailer. New tires, clean/lube everything, new brake lights, a little electrical work, and the trailer is good.

The owner of the shop is a friend of mine. They normally don't do work on boats/motors, but he did it for me. Cleaned/rebuilt the carb, he said it was in pretty bad shape and the oil and gas all around was really nasty. New battery, spark plugs, other minor parts, and now the motor purrs like a kitten, just like I remember from years ago. Can't wait to get her on the water, maybe next weekend.

The interior is still really dirty and grimy, so my last step will be to have it professionally detailed.
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