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  1. #1

    Default Boats with a four cylinder 3.0 inboard/outboard?

    I'm thinking of getting another boat. 17 to 18 foot open bow. A lot of what I am seeing have a 3.0 four in them. My last boat had a 5.7 in it. It was a 19 foot tri hull and was a heavy beast.
    So those of you that own a boat with a four in it, is it gutless? Will it pull skiers with others in the boat? Will it go over 30 miles an hour?
    One I'm thinking of looking at is a 97 Glastron 17 footer.
    Let me know of your experiences so I don't make a mistake.

  2. #2
    Moderator ezmobee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boats with a four cylinder 3.0 inboard/outboard?

    It's a solid motor and will perform adequately in a 17-18' boat. My uncle has one in a SeaRay 175 and has used it almost exclusively for watersports since '95. Do they prefer to take his buddies boat with the V8 when he feels like draggin' it down? Sure, but the 3.0 gets the job done. His will hit 40 MPH.
    1976 18' Starcraft SuperSport 90HP Evinrude
    Restoration thread http://forums.iboats.com/boat-restoration-building-hull-repair/18-starcraft-supersport-restoration-357767.html
    1966 16' Starcraft Jupiter 85HP Johnson
    Restoration thread http://forums.iboats.com/starcraft-boats/ezmobees-1966-jupiter-338633.html sold

  3. #3
    Petty Officer 1st Class
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    Default Re: Boats with a four cylinder 3.0 inboard/outboard?

    I have the 3.0 in my 18' bowrider and it fine. Can get up to 30 plus easy with 5 ppl on board.
    Current:
    2006 Sea Ray 240 Sundancer, Mercruiser 5.0l MPI I/O Bravo III.

    Previous:
    2010 Bayliner 185 Bowrider, 18', Mercruiser 3.0l I/O Alpha One w/ Power Steering.
    "Just Dillydally"

  4. #4

    Default Re: Boats with a four cylinder 3.0 inboard/outboard?

    What motor is the 3.0 based on? Chev, Ford...?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Boats with a four cylinder 3.0 inboard/outboard?

    I rarely see anyone post their dislike of the 3.0 and also see some fantastic claims of its abilities. The dry weight of the boat is key with a 3.0. Heavier will be less capable than lighter. I like my 4.3 in my 18 footer and believe it to be capable until I ride in the same 18 foot boat model with the optional 270hp engine and see what capable really means. I also used to think my minivan was a capable tow vehicle until I bought an suv. Again my paradigm shifted. The point being you will need to test the boats on the water to decide. My capable could be your wildly incapable. I am an advocate of the biggest engine available on any given model assuming you can locate one which is sometimes much easier said than done. After owning a v6, I wouldn't accept a 3.0 and I'm sure some v8 owners have a similar thought process.
    2003 Chaparral 183SS

  6. #6

    Default Re: Boats with a four cylinder 3.0 inboard/outboard?

    I have a Aquatron 18 footer with a 3.0. While it is not fast, it does what I want it to do. Does upper 30's on a good day. Pulls tubers just fine.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Boats with a four cylinder 3.0 inboard/outboard?

    Quote Originally Posted by rockdog57 View Post
    What motor is the 3.0 based on? Chev, Ford...?
    chev
    2003 Chaparral 183SS

  8. #8
    Petty Officer 1st Class
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    Default Re: Boats with a four cylinder 3.0 inboard/outboard?

    I have had my 16.5 ft to 35 with 2 adults and a 17p prop heading down river. I get 32 with 4 aboard heading up river.
    1987 Glassport 165rx

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Boats with a four cylinder 3.0 inboard/outboard?

    [QUOTE=rockdog57;2931408]Will it go over 30 miles an hour?
    QUOTE]

    Don't forget any speeds you see quoted need to be GPS verified since pitot speedos are notoriously inaccurate.
    2003 Chaparral 183SS

  10. #10
    Petty Officer 1st Class
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    Default Re: Boats with a four cylinder 3.0 inboard/outboard?

    mine is gps
    1987 Glassport 165rx

  11. #11
    Commander 45Auto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boats with a four cylinder 3.0 inboard/outboard?

    Jkust, that was the best post on a 3.0L that I've ever seen. You described my feelings exactly.
    Any opinions expressed above are worth exactly what you paid for them!

  12. #12
    Petty Officer 1st Class
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    Default Re: Boats with a four cylinder 3.0 inboard/outboard?

    Quote Originally Posted by 45Auto View Post
    Jkust, that was the best post on a 3.0L that I've ever seen. You described my feelings exactly.
    Agreed, I would love more speed/power, but I do love my 3.0. Its a good motor, its efficient and it reliable. In my case, its a wise choice not to have more speed/power as I would use it and I have a 1 year old and another on the way, so low to mid 30s on the water is good.
    1987 Glassport 165rx

  13. #13
    Chief Petty Officer
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    Default Re: Boats with a four cylinder 3.0 inboard/outboard?

    I have a 17.5 ft with a 3.0. Using a 19P stainless prop it runs 40 or so according to the speedo with 2 people on board. Put on 4-5 and it drops down to 35 or so.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
    Seaman bow wow rider's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boats with a four cylinder 3.0 inboard/outboard?

    i have a 3.0 volvo penta SX on a 17 foot four winns open bow. i love the 3.0. it will get me up to 40-42 mph.

    yeah it will do water sports with people on the boat. the other great thing is the fuel economy.

  15. #15
    Commander 45Auto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boats with a four cylinder 3.0 inboard/outboard?

    Boattest.com:



    Stingrayboats.com:

    You may find the MPG and engine size columns interesting.

    Any opinions expressed above are worth exactly what you paid for them!

  16. #16
    Lieutenant Junior Grade marlboro180's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boats with a four cylinder 3.0 inboard/outboard?

    Rockdog,

    I have an 18 foot Four Winns with the 3L in it. My motor is tired , at 1000+ hrs , but still gets the job done. Tubing, skiing, etc. That being said, I suffer from wanting a bit more power. It is kinda a dog getting out of the hole, but I still have fun.

    30 mph? no problem.

    Jkust- Well said.
    A boat is a hole in the water surrounded by wood into which one pours money

  17. #17
    Petty Officer 2nd Class dvandsm64's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boats with a four cylinder 3.0 inboard/outboard?

    cool graph.

    any boat is better than no boat.

    enjoy what you have.

  18. #18
    Petty Officer 1st Class 4Winns2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boats with a four cylinder 3.0 inboard/outboard?

    After using my fathers 2.5 litre 120 hp Merc on his boat for a lot of years I got my 20' with a 4.3 OMC. Big difference to me. Now I wish I had an eight in it. It can be a dog with more than 4 people on board. The good news on that is I rarely have that many people on board. It obviously comes down to preference. Like someone said here, take it out and run and see for yourself firsthand.
    Bill
    90' Four Winns Freedom 195 4.3 Cobra "Priority 1" Skaneateles, NY
    98 13' Duranautic 99' Johnson 15hp "Scoot" Skaneateles, NY
    4 Winns Restore thread:
    http://forums.iboats.com/boat-restoration-building-hull-repair/1990-four-winns-freedom-195-4-3-cobra-deck-transom-stringer-resto-612965.html



  19. #19
    Petty Officer 1st Class allpoints360's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boats with a four cylinder 3.0 inboard/outboard?

    If you get at 5.7, you'll probably NEVER say to yourself, "I wish I had that 3.0!" But if you get the 3.0, you probably will say to yourself, "I wish I had that 5.7."

    I'm just sayin', "You can't ever have enough money... or horsepower."

    Good luck!
    Rot never sleeps.

  20. #20
    Seaman Apprentice the_smoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boats with a four cylinder 3.0 inboard/outboard?

    I have a 2004 tahoe Q4 (19.5 ft) and it has the 3.0L mercruiser. 14.25X19 4 blade...

    2 adults and 2 kids it will easily to 38 mph in good conditions (gps)... tows tubes easy... kneeboarded 200lb adults not a problem.. not tried skiing yet. Had 4 adults an three kids and still managed over 30 mph easily.

    For me and my small family of two kids, I would say that it is adequate for what we want and need.

    Easiest way is to just test for yourself rather than listen to a chorus line of armchair critics..

  21. #21
    Petty Officer 1st Class
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    Default Re: Boats with a four cylinder 3.0 inboard/outboard?

    I have no complaints about the VP 3.0 in my 18' Stingray. It has enough guts to pull a two-person tube or a skier easily. GPS top speed of 45 mph in ideal conditions...still over 40 with heavy load. I love the efficiency as well. My 21 gal tank lasts all day and then some. Mechanics I have chatted with have all commented that this motor is solid and reliable and has been around a while in one form or another. That gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling.
    2007 Stingray 180RX VP 3.0 GLP-E SX-A Pulled by a 2007 Chevy Tahoe 5.3L

    "stupidity is usually painful and expensive, as it should be"
    Actual quote from my boss, "You have no idea who I think I am!"

  22. #22
    Chief Petty Officer
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    Default Re: Boats with a four cylinder 3.0 inboard/outboard?

    The 3.0L is adaquite and I'm pleased with it in our VERY lightweight (2,300lbs) shallow draft 19ft Stingray. I ski behind it (155lbs me) and she gets out of the water just fine with a full load as long as the passengers are distributed (same with any small boat).

    We had a 19ft Regal that was quite a bit heavier and with a deeper V which had a 4.3L and it was a good match, a 4cyl would have been a dog in that boat.

    I have driven other 19-21ft boats with a V8 that were a dog as I felt the extra weight of the V8 affected the acceleration.

    It all depends on the boat, hull, weight, prop, Most manufactures now are offering adaquite engine packages standard.
    -Chris
    1999 Wellcraft Excalibur 20' 5.7Merc /A1
    1997 Stingray 190RS/ 3.0L Merc --- SOLD
    2005 Toyota 4Runner SR5 V6/ 4x4
    2004 Pontiac GTO M6 5.7L

  23. #23
    Rear Admiral Howard Sterndrive's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boats with a four cylinder 3.0 inboard/outboard?

    anyone seen any stats on sound levels at the helm between same boat 3.0 vs. 4.3?
    Having repowered my hull to a V6, I can say the sound and feel is very different. Quieter at cruise. I don't know if db's or just the pitch.

    The old 3.0 turning 4K was somehow a huge issue for me. I felt "edgy" or something with an engine at that continuous pitch... drove me batty

    I found the 3.0 was ok for power if it was running absolutely 100%, but with my Mercarb, that was wasn't very often. ... if you lost 5% power, you noticed... so I was tuning all the time....
    Baba-buoy.

  24. #24
    Seaman Apprentice
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    Default Re: Boats with a four cylinder 3.0 inboard/outboard?

    I just picked up a 1997 Sea Ray 175 with a Merc 3.0 for $100 (huge score besides the huge hole in it)

    Growing up I was around boats a lot, but never really knew more than how to drive them and how to ski behind them.

    But, now that I am an adult, I don't have the money to pour into a boat (hah, yeah i know it's going to happen anyways) but I am hoping mine is as reliable as people say and as economical as people say.

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