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Old 07-26-2019, 10:11 PM   #1
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30' Tollycraft Outboard Conversion

Hello,

I did search past posts to check for this so if I'm double posting please let me know.

My wife and I purchased a 1987 30' Tollycraft Sportcruiser a few years ago. The engines are sound internally but after 30 years they are completely unreliable and need to go. This is our first ever boat so the bad experiences had us scrambling to sell the damn thing and swear off boats for RV's. However the market for it where I live is slow at best. Bottom line is we will have it paid for this fall and this drastically changes our outlook.

This is the plan: Local welder who has made multiple brackets will be making an outboard conversion bracket for us. $4500. A local whale watch tour operator who changes engines every three years has several high hour but well maintained Yamaha 250 outboards for $3000 each. I'm good friends with the lead mechanic and he promised to keep me in the loop on the best ones. Another $6000. I can do fiberglass myself to close it up but I'll have to pay someone to do the rigging. Estimating I'll spend around $15,000 to go this route.

This is just the experiment. If I like what I see after a year or so I will then upgrade to new Yamaha F350's with the electronic throttles and helm control and warranty!!! I just don't want to spend $70K without somewhat of an idea of what to expect.

The real reason I'm posting is to see if anyone has done an outboard conversion on a Tolly, Uniflite, or similar???

I know financially this makes no sense. But the Tolly is our Forever Boat. To get a new boat with its size and capability we would spend over $350,000. So if I spend $130,000 over the years I'm okay with it.
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Old 07-26-2019, 10:27 PM   #2
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Lots of bigger boats have outboards these days. However, you'll need to get the weight and balance re-figured after removing midship engines and then hanging weight on the stern. Tanks, batteries and others weight may have to be moved to get your trim right. Another issue is re-salability when you eventually sell the boat after conversation to outboards.
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Old 07-26-2019, 11:05 PM   #3
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what is the total combined horsepower of the current engines ??
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Old 07-27-2019, 07:38 AM   #4
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You're right, financially it makes no sense to convert to outboard. And the points Ken E made about balance and trim.

If it were my boat and I wanted to keep her I'd start here Marine Engines Inc or similar vendors to find a drop in replacement. By the time you really pay for all involved in the change out to outboards, then replace them in a few years I'm betting the new drop ins will be cheaper. And they'll outlast your use of the boat. You say this is your forever boat. I don't think outboards are as long lived as inboards.
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Old 07-27-2019, 08:20 AM   #5
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Look at the fore / aft trim on this conversion, it has one motor where you're planning on hanging two motors. I wonder how she rides at speed?

1969 tollycraft with 2016 Suzuki 200 outboard - $25000 (Anacortes - San juans)

She's been for sale for a very long time. At least a year.
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Old 07-27-2019, 10:00 AM   #6
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There is a guy in Juneau who does brackets for boats and is a tollycraft guy as well.

https://www.brokenrudder.com/collect...board-brackets

My recollection is that he put a bracket on a 26 tollycraft. Not sure who you are talking to but I would go talk to them as well. There used to be a lot of posts from one of the owners on the Tollycraft owners website but the site is broken right now.
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Old 07-27-2019, 11:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobofJNU View Post
Hello,

I did search past posts to check for this so if I'm double posting please let me know.

My wife and I purchased a 1987 30' Tollycraft Sportcruiser a few years ago. The engines are sound internally but after 30 years they are completely unreliable and need to go. This is our first ever boat so the bad experiences had us scrambling to sell the damn thing and swear off boats for RV's. However the market for it where I live is slow at best. Bottom line is we will have it paid for this fall and this drastically changes our outlook.

This is the plan: Local welder who has made multiple brackets will be making an outboard conversion bracket for us. $4500. A local whale watch tour operator who changes engines every three years has several high hour but well maintained Yamaha 250 outboards for $3000 each. I'm good friends with the lead mechanic and he promised to keep me in the loop on the best ones. Another $6000. I can do fiberglass myself to close it up but I'll have to pay someone to do the rigging. Estimating I'll spend around $15,000 to go this route.

This is just the experiment. If I like what I see after a year or so I will then upgrade to new Yamaha F350's with the electronic throttles and helm control and warranty!!! I just don't want to spend $70K without somewhat of an idea of what to expect.

The real reason I'm posting is to see if anyone has done an outboard conversion on a Tolly, Uniflite, or similar???

I know financially this makes no sense. But the Tolly is our Forever Boat. To get a new boat with its size and capability we would spend over $350,000. So if I spend $130,000 over the years I'm okay with it.
What you post is somewhat confusing.

You probably have a pair of Mercruiser or Crusader inboards. Both brands are good engines if they've been treated correctly. How many hours on them?

If as you say... "The engines are sound internally"... then why are you wanting to completely revamp the power source for your Tollycraft?? A few thousand bucks and you can have all new peripheries put onto the engines that will run your boat well; for up to many years.

If you take out the inboards and replace with un engineered weight distributions of outboards then you are simply removing [i.e. negating] the already correctly engineered design of your Tolly.

I really cannot understand your reasoning. As at least one other mentioned in this thread... If you want to put in new power source - put back in similar engines to the originals. IMO - That's a better and more affordable plan by a long shot! Great for resale too!

Good Luck...
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Old 07-27-2019, 12:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ken E. View Post
Lots of bigger boats have outboards these days. However, you'll need to get the weight and balance re-figured after removing midship engines and then hanging weight on the stern. Tanks, batteries and others weight may have to be moved to get your trim right. Another issue is re-salability when you eventually sell the boat after conversation to outboards.
The '30 Tolly doesn't have midship engines but are Vdrives so the weight is already out back. As far as resale I am not considering it. As I said this should be my forever boat so when it sells I'll be dead or suffering dementia bad enough not to care!
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Old 07-27-2019, 12:08 PM   #9
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what is the total combined horsepower of the current engines ??
Twin 5.7 270HP Crusaders. 540HP total.
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Old 07-27-2019, 12:24 PM   #10
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What you post is somewhat confusing.

You probably have a pair of Mercruiser or Crusader inboards. Both brands are good engines if they've been treated correctly. How many hours on them?

If as you say... "The engines are sound internally"... then why are you wanting to completely revamp the power source for your Tollycraft?? A few thousand bucks and you can have all new peripheries put onto the engines that will run your boat well; for up to many years.

If you take out the inboards and replace with un engineered weight distributions of outboards then you are simply removing [i.e. negating] the already correctly engineered design of your Tolly.

I really cannot understand your reasoning. As at least one other mentioned in this thread... If you want to put in new power source - put back in similar engines to the originals. IMO - That's a better and more affordable plan by a long shot! Great for resale too!

Good Luck...
I appreciate your concern but its what I want. Faster, more efficient, ease of maintenance, 5 years of warranty. When I say the internals are good I mean the rotating assembly. But they are still 32 years old and rusty as hell from the previous owner. Due to the rust I am constantly having mechanical issues with every component but the internals. The only way to get ahead of it all is to get it all out and start new. And then I still have the old technology so I will still have about 1 NMPG or less.


They do these conversions in Florida a lot from what I see. I just can't find a Tolly that's been done. But boats of similar weight and hull type and size seem to pick up quite a bit of speed at slightly less fuel burn then inboards.

Boat people have this perverse thought of always worrying about resale. But yet often the same people who talk about it will spend huge money on old cars, booze, other little toys and trinkets that have little or no resale at all. Seriously guys in town I talk about this have blown well over $100,000 in the last few years on junk they'll never be able to sell but when it comes to their boat they stress over the price of new fenders.

I'm just looking to see if anyone has done an outboard conversion not to argue the point of doing it.
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Old 07-27-2019, 12:28 PM   #11
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I appreciate your concern but its what I want. Faster, more efficient, ease of maintenance, 5 years of warranty. When I say the internals are good I mean the rotating assembly. But they are still 32 years old and rusty as hell from the previous owner. Due to the rust I am constantly having mechanical issues with every component but the internals. The only way to get ahead of it all is to get it all out and start new. And then I still have the old technology so I will still have about 1 NMPG or less.


They do these conversions in Florida a lot from what I see. I just can't find a Tolly that's been done. But boats of similar weight and hull type and size seem to pick up quite a bit of speed at slightly less fuel burn then inboards.

Boat people have this perverse thought of always worrying about resale. But yet often the same people who talk about it will spend huge money on old cars, booze, other little toys and trinkets that have little or no resale at all. Seriously guys in town I talk about this have blown well over $100,000 in the last few years on junk they'll never be able to sell but when it comes to their boat they stress over the price of new fenders.

I'm just looking to see if anyone has done an outboard conversion not to argue the point of doing it.
Again, I say... "Good Luck"!!
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Old 07-27-2019, 12:29 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Portage_Bay View Post
Look at the fore / aft trim on this conversion, it has one motor where you're planning on hanging two motors. I wonder how she rides at speed?

1969 tollycraft with 2016 Suzuki 200 outboard - $25000 (Anacortes - San juans)

She's been for sale for a very long time. At least a year.
My boat is considerably larger than a '69. Also can't tell from the photo if the bracket was built with any buoyancy. I've talked with Armstrong and Stainless Marine out of Florida a bit and they're pretty good at getting plans that keep the balance. As I stated in my original post I don't care about resale. I want to build a boat FOR ME that I LIKE. Thank you for the post and I may contact the owner just to see how he likes it.
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Old 07-27-2019, 12:34 PM   #13
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There is a guy in Juneau who does brackets for boats and is a tollycraft guy as well.

https://www.brokenrudder.com/collect...board-brackets

My recollection is that he put a bracket on a 26 tollycraft. Not sure who you are talking to but I would go talk to them as well. There used to be a lot of posts from one of the owners on the Tollycraft owners website but the site is broken right now.
I've talked to Darren. Nice guy. He actually has the same boat as mine that he wants to convert for the same reasons. Just too much work on his plate to get it done and he wants me to put Verados on it. I'm just a Yamaha guy. Thanks for your input.
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Old 07-27-2019, 12:44 PM   #14
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Guys I appreciate your thoughts but this is just what I want to do. I honestly think there are a lot of people who want the same thing and everyone is just waiting for someone to pull the trigger. I saw at least one comment concerning the life of outboards not being worth it. Working with the tour people here like I do I am seeing incredible things. These guys run triple 300's at almost WOT for about 8 hours per day from early May to late September. Over 1000hrs a season. They do it for 3 years and change them. Many friends and customers of mine have had the take off motors on their boats for 6-7 years with very little issues. Outboards are much more reliable than many think.

Not to mention that when the weekend hits I have a small window of time to go places. If I can save several hours of time it means I get to see more and do more.

Thanks again for all your input.
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Old 07-27-2019, 12:50 PM   #15
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I've talked to Darren. Nice guy. He actually has the same boat as mine that he wants to convert for the same reasons. Just too much work on his plate to get it done and he wants me to put Verados on it. I'm just a Yamaha guy. Thanks for your input.
Okay now I remember that name. Darin seemed super knowledgeable about tollys.

I have to say that I like the idea of podding something like an old glasply. Not sure about the practicality of doing it for a 30 foot boat, but hey it's your toy. If the Tollycraft owners site ever comes back you may want to ask there. They do have a Facebook group if you wanted to try there.

If you go ahead I would be fascinated to see the results.
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Old 07-27-2019, 12:50 PM   #16
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Guys I appreciate your thoughts but this is just what I want to do. I honestly think there are a lot of people who want the same thing and everyone is just waiting for someone to pull the trigger. I saw at least one comment concerning the life of outboards not being worth it. Working with the tour people here like I do I am seeing incredible things. These guys run triple 300's at almost WOT for about 8 hours per day from early May to late September. Over 1000hrs a season. They do it for 3 years and change them. Many friends and customers of mine have had the take off motors on their boats for 6-7 years with very little issues. Outboards are much more reliable than many think.

Not to mention that when the weekend hits I have a small window of time to go places. If I can save several hours of time it means I get to see more and do more.

Thanks again for all your input.
You planning to boat in salt or freshwater. And, do you plan to have the OBs' capable of being completely out of water when tilted-up in rest position?
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Old 07-27-2019, 12:59 PM   #17
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I think there are some really nice results with a pod on an old inboard boat. Like this one.

https://www.bdoutdoors.com/forums/th...305hrs.698577/
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Old 07-27-2019, 01:03 PM   #18
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Okay now I remember that name. Darin seemed super knowledgeable about tollys.

I have to say that I like the idea of podding something like an old glasply. Not sure about the practicality of doing it for a 30 foot boat, but hey it's your toy. If the Tollycraft owners site ever comes back you may want to ask there. They do have a Facebook group if you wanted to try there.

If you go ahead I would be fascinated to see the results.
I'll post all over the place when its done. I really think it will take off once the first one is done. Probably has been done but by someone who is playing so much they never thought to post!
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Old 07-27-2019, 01:04 PM   #19
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You planning to boat in salt or freshwater. And, do you plan to have the OBs' capable of being completely out of water when tilted-up in rest position?
Nothing but salt here for me and yes they will be out of the water.
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Old 07-27-2019, 01:09 PM   #20
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I think there are some really nice results with a pod on an old inboard boat. Like this one.

https://www.bdoutdoors.com/forums/th...305hrs.698577/
Exactly! I can find many of this size boat to question but nothing as large as mine. Florida has lots of my size and weight but they are Blackfins and other brands not seen on the west coast. I have verbally heard of a 30' Tolly that had 385HP 6.0's installed that was reportedly a 45MPH boat but no word on efficiency. I only point that out because it shows my boat should respond well to more power. Thanks for the post. Very nice Glasply.
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