Boat Trailer and Other Assorted Bits

I wasn’t planning on a boat trailer this early in the Tango 17 build but the opportunity presented itself. I picked up a “project boat” for $200 bucks which includes a serviceable trailer, a loveless 15’boat and a 50 HP Mercury 2 stroke outboard. My main interest is the boat trailer but with any luck, I’ll manage to recover a bit more from my small expenditure.

Boat Trailer Condition

It’s a little rough but nothing that a small investment in parts and labor can’t address. I haven’t had a chance to check the wiring out but that’s not a huge effort. But at a minimum, I’ve identified the following repairs or updates:

A Sad Little Boat

The boat itself is a 1973 Imperial bow rider tri hull which has seen better days. There may be a part or two I can use but otherwise, I’ll be donating it to charity or finding it a final resting place somewhere.

Mercury Outboard

The jury is out on the condition of the Mercury outboard although the seller claimed it ran at some point. Honestly, if it works, it’s icing on the cake. Its remote controlled but the Mercontrol side- mount remote controls and cables were sitting on the cockpit floor in a pile. The insulation on the electrical cables is badly worn but I think some electrical tape will allow me to at least attempt a test fire. If that succeeds, then I’ll take it from there.

I decided to pick up a copy of Cheap Outboards – The Beginner’s Guide to Making an Old Outboard Run Forever by Max Wawrzyniak. Max doesn’t pretend that you’re going to take a derelict outboard and turn it into a shining jewel. What he does is this. First, he helps the beginner through identifying the right brands of outboards to look for. Second, he covers basic repairs and tuning that could turn a cheap yard sale buy into a serviceable and inexpensive engine.

Worst case, I sell the outboard and buy something else either used or new. Based on one of Max’s recommendations, I’d look into a used Johnson 35 hp two cylinder outboard. If that doesn’t pan out, I’ll go with my original intent – to buy a new outboard. The lightweight Yamaha 25 hp 4 stroke looks quite attractive but I’ll save any further analysis for a separate post.

But for now, the next step is to pull the motor which means I need an outboard stand. I should be able to build something out of scraps of lumber and plywood.

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