Huddle up. It's decision time.

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#1
Ugh. I need some input on what to do next. I have a 2002 Grady White 273 Chase with twin Yamaha F225s that have 525 hours on them. The lower unit fix on both was done by the last owner. I put 315 hours on them in the past two years, and they had been running like a top. I love the boat, but I had decided to make the jump to a 330 Express to do more family cruising as well as overnight fishing trips. I also like to wahoo fish in the winter, which is pretty damn cold on a center console. I had not yet listed the 273 as I was still looking for just the right used 330. Well, now I got a problem. Long and short, the port engine out of nowhere decided it had enough, and it is gonna need a new powerhead. The question is, how best to proceed. Three basic choices are:

A. Have the port engine rebuilt, and then try and sell it;
B. Replace both engines with a pair of low hour, matching 250s and then sell the boat and also sell the damaged engine for parts and the good 225 for fair value; or
C. Repower with new 250s and keep it for a five-to-ten more years (would probably dump some other money into it as well for things I want but don't have i.e., radar, eisenglass curtains, etc.).

I am leaning towards A or B, since, in my mind, I had already moved on to the 330. C is palatable to me, however, since, it will probably be cheaper to pimp the current boat out then to move up, and the purchase and operating cost of the 330 still makes me queasy from time to time. Those are decisions for me, I guess, but what I need help with is what does everyone think is economically the best choice if I decide to go with A or B?

Is a boat with a rebuilt engine more or less palatable to potential buyers than a boat with engines purchased used? I would think I would pay more for a boat with some used 2008 250s than a 2002 225 and a rebuilt 225. What do you all think? I know people don't trust used engines since their is always the risk you are buying someone else's problem, but isn't that true on any used boat? Anything else to think about?

I appreciate your thoughts and input.
 

Lsquared

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#2
New power head and stick with the plan. I am waiting for the bomb to drop on my 225's.i found a place near me that has rebuilt heads for under 5k. However the feeling would be the other needs to be done as well so people may shy away
 

PrinceofThieves

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#3
I second Legend's thoughts on sticking to the plan, as the monetary implication of this problem is theoretically minor in the grander scheme of things. Is this a headache yes, but reason to abort mission? What were the motors worth to begin with...$9K with all harnesses etc. The beginning of the decision process, were it me, starts with hard numbers on paper - get the cost of a new head and rebuild and research used motors and install, less what you can expect to get for the existing ones. There are lots of perfectly good used motors out there market (I see then all the time), reasonably priced too - the economy has been very good, financing options are very attractive and people have been taking advantage, repowering even if not really needed. Personally, when I was shopping i skimmed right past motors with one head rebuilt and F225's (but that's because i had a pair and lived the corrosion nightmare AND not in the exhaust manifolds!). Power head rebuild costs can vary quite a bit - there is a lot of labor involved and variables to he various quotes you may get. I dunno...you need to throw the numbers on paper and figure out what makes sense to you cost over time etc.
 

Paul_A

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#5
When I see a boat with twins advertised with one rebuilt powerhead my first thought is who did the work, how long will it last and what did the current owner do wrong to blow up a yamaha. My next thought is, how long before the other motor goes. No offense meant, just how I think.

If it were mine I would subtract the repair cost from average retail and try to sell it as is and if I couldn't sell it in 2-3 weeks I would explore option B.
 
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kirk a

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#6
This is a tough call, for sure. In addition to the concerns voiced by Paul_A, I'd also question why the owner is selling the boat - what else is about to go awry? Lousy timing for you for sure. As a buyer, I'd like to know what was the root cause of the rebuild.

I'd go with option A, to minimize throwing good money after bad - that said, IF you found a screaming deal on B, that would work as well.
 

SkunkBoat

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#7
Try to sell as is with a discount for one bad motor and you get out of it and move on to your dream boat.
Some people (like me) would rather pay down for it broke and have it fixed myself than pay up for someone else's fix.
Or maybe they see an opportunity to get a nice boat discounted enough that they can repower with new and sell off the old motors.

The money you don't get will be offset by the money you don't spend and the time and aggravation of getting an outboard motor serviced.

If you can't sell it that way at least you get a sense of what you'll get for it with a rebuilt motor with Plan A.

Plan B is stepping in quicksand for a boat you don't want. Don't do it. Let a buyer do Plan B.
 

Legend

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#8
I had the same issue with my 2004 225's. I did not want to sink that kind of money into 14 year old engines so I opted for option c and got 250s. I had no plans on selling or upgrading my boat so I had an easier decision on the making a 50K+ investment decision.
 
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#9
Thanks to all who have responded so far. I had not really though about selling as-is. My fear is that it would take a loooong time to sell it that way and that all the offers I would get would be low ball. Obviously I would be selling it at a discount given it only had one working engine, but I would not want to just give it away for the sake of being rid of it. It's still a good boat. How would you value it "as-is"? What kind of discount seems right?
 

SkunkBoat

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#10
Don't let your emotions about your boat cloud the issue. Been there. If you want to move up you have to do it now.

Your boat is ripe for a new repower. Even YOU are considering it.
There are different kinds of buyers out there. Some folks don't want 17 year old motors. Anyone who plans to keep the boat 10 or more years will have to repower. They are looking for a really good boat that has low value motors (that is your motors...even if they are running).
When I bought my 265 I avoided 4 strokes because (someday) I want brand new 4 strokes. I didn't want to pay for 2003 F225s.

As a buyer I value that motor at $0. Its a liability. The other one isn't much better but get a value off of NADA. Price the boat with one 17 year old motor.
I'm not suggesting you give it away but be realistic and look at it from a buyers perspective.
Its hard to do because you own the boat. Imagine you had to buy it. You had to pay money for boat, motors, electronics(old?), canvas/cushions, dings chips scratches, bottom paint, all the little broken things...
Worry about whether you are going to have to sink more money into the motors....tilt & trim rods pitted?...pumps rusty?..props dinged....BATTERIES?...fuel tanks!!!!
All the things you will look at on a 330....
 
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#12
Just wanted to give an update. I am under contract on a 2006 330 Express, and the 273 Chase is for sale as-is. I found a great deal on a set of Yamaha F300s, and they are going to go on the 330 Express when (hopefully) it gets a clean survey and gets delivered to me later this month. If I can't find a buyer for the 273 Chase as-is or hull-only, I am gonna slap the 250s that are currently on the 330 Express onto the 273 Chase and re-list it. If they are not needed, l already have decent offers on the 250s and the 225s, which will help (some) to offset the cost of the 300s.

Thanks to all for the input. This plan required A LOT of legwork and has A LOT of moving parts, but, in the end, I think it is making the most of a bad situation.
 

Paul_A

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#13
I like your plan. And the couple times I moved up to a 6 foot longer boat I was very happy with the decision.

Post pics of the 330 after the dust settles.
 
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#14
The 273 Chase is sold and on its way down the highway with her new owner. I hope he fixes her up rights and loves that rig as much as I did. I sold it as-is. Looks like I got a buyer for the 250s coming off the new boat, and my mechanic will be done mounting the 300s tomorrow. Knock on wood (a lot and loudly), we are just about back in business. Thanks again for everyone's input.
 
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#18
Today marks the end of the story. I got just got a check for the two 250s, and I am back down to one boat with two working engines (knock on wood)! I am loving the 330 so far. We haven't had a chance to fish it yet, but it did a weekend run to Bald Head, and the boys and I are camping on it this weekend. The F300s are great on the boat. So far it seems like a comfortable cruise is around 28 mph and 4200 rpm burning 25 or so gallons per hour. I would call the stats in the picture a high cruise. I have only opened it up all the way once, and I was turning 6000 rpm and running around 42 mph. It gets up on plane quickly without a lot of bow rise. It is surprisingly easy to handle around the dock, especially with the bow thruster. The wife is not in love with the site lines when on plane, but I hear that is a common gripe from the Admirals.

So, after all the dust cleared, here is my advice to any poor fellow who winds up in the same position I was in back in July:

1. I think it is best to sell your boat as-is versus repair if you don't intend to keep it long term. The time and money that would have gone into fixing it would not have been worth it. The estimate to repair the bum engine was $12k. I would have spent that money hoping I could get it back on resale, which was uncertain at best. There are buyers out there who will pay you a reasonable price for a boat with a bum engine. Not a ton of buyers, but enough. You are going to take a hit on price, but you don't need to get taken to the cleaners if you remain reasonably firm.

2. Unless you have lots of free time and money, sell the first first boat before you buy the second. Owning 6 outboards and 2 boats was a real hassle. It gave me lots of flexibility in offering the old boat with or without working engines, but the myriad of possibilities kept my head spinning. Finding a place to store outboards is difficult as well. Not to mention the joy of having two boats to deal with when Hurricane Dorian passed by. At one point I was paying for two spots in the boat yard and one spot in the dry stack. I managed to move the old boat fairly quickly, but another month of that would have me furious at myself for the wasted cash.

3. Outboard engines are easier to sell than you might think. I was surprised how many people expressed interest in them. Most of it came from people in the marine industry, however, versus people who saw them on Craigslist or THT. If you are looking to sell a good or bad motor, ask around at your local boatyard, service shop, etc.

4. The same is true for selling a boat hull only.

5. Don't panic. Put the dreams you had about the price you would get for your boat someday aside, and make a business decision. I came to that reality quickly thanks to some sound advice from people on this site. It only took a few distracted days at work to realize it was in my best interest to heed that advice, perform some arbitrage, and move on.

Thanks to all who offered their advice!
330-1.jpg 330-3.jpg 330-2.jpg 330-4.jpg
 
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