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Shoe string budget. Looking for reliability. Motor-19' Key West. I need your opinion

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  • Shoe string budget. Looking for reliability. Motor-19' Key West. I need your opinion

    I am looking around for a motor.
    Boat is rated for 100-150. According to Key West guy 70 Hp Johnson will take a while to get it to plane at 25mph IF it has a good prop.
    Here are a few motors I see around.
    According to the local marina guy the bullet proof engines are the mid 80s 3 cylinder johnsons.
    I am pretty green when it comes to boat motors.
    Here are a few I am looking at. I am looking for the most reliable and easiest to maintain.
    What are your thoughts? I put links to the ads.

    115 HP Johnson motor. "It is an older model"
    Johnson Outboard Motor 115 HP

    Mercury 85hp outboard motor, 25" shaft -
    Mercury 85hp outboard motor, 25" shaft

    185 EVINRUDE - $950
    185 EVINRUDE

    Mercury 80 hp 1980 blue band
    Mercury 80 hp 1980 blue band

    Inexpensive boat and Trailer. This one has no pics just whats below. He said it runs and has controls, but I would need to get rid of the boat.
    70 horse Johnson circa 1985.

  • #2
    Re: Shoe string budget. Looking for reliability. Motor-19' Key West. I need your opi

    You need about a 100HP motor or so, with the correct shaft length. Johnnyrude V4/V6 motors are bulletproof. That Merc is a good motor, but a bit underpowered and old for you.

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    • #3
      Re: Shoe string budget. Looking for reliability. Motor-19' Key West. I need your opi

      Johnny/Rude 3Cyl 70Hp engines are great motors, but I think they may be a little underpowered for your 19' Key West. Your boat should have a 20" transom, so that 25" Merc will be too long for your boat. The V-4 Johnson 115 would be a great choice if it is solid. These old work horses have been around for years, and plenty of parts are still available.

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      • #4
        Re: Shoe string budget. Looking for reliability. Motor-19' Key West. I need your opi

        Thanks. The johnson 115 is on a boat that I can pull some other parts off of so that might be the best bet.

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        • #5
          Re: Shoe string budget. Looking for reliability. Motor-19' Key West. I need your opi

          I think the merc would be a little underpowered as Chris1956 said.

          The Johnson 115 "ran last year" Can you test run a motor that size with muffs?

          Chris... you are on Barnegat Bay. I will be running this on the bay just for leisure. Never out of the bay.

          We've got a couple little kids, gramma and grampa. Can I rely on a well maintained Johnson like that?
          I have a 10hp nissan I can keep stowed for emergencies.
          I don't want to get washed out to sea if we stall by the sand bar. I got washed down the Niagra River out of lake Erie in 97 in an old run about that stalled and had to swim to shore with a rope between my teeth. It wasn't as dramatic as it sounds but I don't want to have to do that with kids and nervous wife in the boat. I'd be hearing about it in therapy for years, filed under "risk taking"
          I think it was that day that that old runabout officially became known as "The Toad" (the towed) 1960 fiberbout with a 1955 Evinrude 25hp(Whisper Quiet) I bought it for $175 bucks. Boat motor and trailer.

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          • #6
            Duplicate
            Last edited by chrisnj; June 28th, 2013, 04:11 AM. Reason: Duplicate

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            • #7
              Re: Shoe string budget. Looking for reliability. Motor-19' Key West. I need your opi

              FWIW - I spent 8 months looking for a good 100HP+ motor. I found a lot of junk. Don't trust anyone. My experience was the larger motors were worked to death. And most were poorly maintained and needed a lot of work to get water ready.

              Here are some things to check.

              a) compression test
              b) if the seller can't show it running, consider it a junk motor.
              c) check all the wiring for crusty broken stuff.
              d) check all the fuel lines for crusty broken stuff.
              e) check lower unit operation, oil, seal leaks and shifting without grinding.
              f) check prop for spun hub and bent shaft.
              g) if it comes with controls, assume the control cables are shot and need to be replaced.
              h) if it has tilt trim, the trim cylinders will be suspect.

              i found a lot of motors for $800-1000 that still needed $500-$1000 in parts and repairs. I didn't want to spend $2000 on a '70s motor.

              i would up with a 1975 Mercury 1500 150HP for $1k. It had 300 hours on it and needed minimal work.

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              • #8
                Re: Shoe string budget. Looking for reliability. Motor-19' Key West. I need your opi

                Chris, I once got washed onto the sand bar by the inlet. I could not hold the boat against the current, but an anchor can hold it easy.

                TowboatUS will pull you off the sandbar for a couple of hundred $.

                In the picture the Johnny 115HP didn't look too old. If you follow Calvin's list you should be OK. I picked up a very nice '93 Merc 135HPV6 for $1K, so they are avail.

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                • #9
                  Re: Shoe string budget. Looking for reliability. Motor-19' Key West. I need your opi

                  Originally posted by calvinator View Post
                  FWIW - I spent 8 months looking for a good 100HP+ motor. I found a lot of junk. Don't trust anyone. My experience was the larger motors were worked to death. And most were poorly maintained and needed a lot of work to get water ready.

                  Here are some things to check.

                  a) compression test
                  b) if the seller can't show it running, consider it a junk motor.
                  c) check all the wiring for crusty broken stuff.
                  d) check all the fuel lines for crusty broken stuff.
                  e) check lower unit operation, oil, seal leaks and shifting without grinding.
                  f) check prop for spun hub and bent shaft.
                  g) if it comes with controls, assume the control cables are shot and need to be replaced.
                  h) if it has tilt trim, the trim cylinders will be suspect.

                  i found a lot of motors for $800-1000 that still needed $500-$1000 in parts and repairs. I didn't want to spend $2000 on a '70s motor.

                  i would up with a 1975 Mercury 1500 150HP for $1k. It had 300 hours on it and needed minimal work.

                  1+
                  It is so easy to think and hope for the best ending with a lot of bucks spending and it wound't run properly.
                  Good luck!
                  Gus

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                  • #10
                    Re: Shoe string budget. Looking for reliability. Motor-19' Key West. I need your opi

                    I can get my hands on a 2000+/- Evinrude 100hp commercial for $100.
                    It was used at a private yatch club on a river to move a work platform.
                    Then it sank. They pulled it up within a day, put oil in the cylinders and put it on a rack for the last 5-8 years.

                    At $100 I can put another $1000 into it and have a pretty beefy, albeit somewhat slower(I heard the commercial has lower gearing)
                    It would have the power to push the boat and pull a tube.

                    I haven't seen it in person, but I saw a picture and it's clean. They are pretty much just cleaning out their sheds.
                    The guy said it's entirely possible that we give it a whirl and it starts, but pretty unlikely.

                    I need to get down their and check it out.
                    What say ye to that?

                    And yes I did hear the spend a grand advice.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Shoe string budget. Looking for reliability. Motor-19' Key West. I need your opi

                      The Johnson 115 is a great motor. I have the 88spl version and it is "bulletproof" to a degree at least. you can blow up any motor.
                      once they are tuned and compression is good it will last a long time with little problems and the ones you might have are easy to fix.
                      It's a possibility! On the "hunt". Sea Hunt Escape 172

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                      • #12
                        Re: Shoe string budget. Looking for reliability. Motor-19' Key West. I need your opi

                        Calvinator is correct. A truly good motor is hard to find....especially down here is rust bucket Florida. I purchased my new to me Johnson 90 up in Kentucky. The good news is that more of the the old two strokes are coming onto the market as people repower to 4 Strokes

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                        • #13
                          Re: Shoe string budget. Looking for reliability. Motor-19' Key West. I need your opi

                          Chris, I would be concerned about buying a drowned motor. Oil in the cylinders is good, but I worry about the crankshaft bearings. If it sank in nJ, it likely sank in salt water.

                          I sank my Merc 1500 twice in salt water. Both times were during a storm. Immediately upon recovery, I had to strip it down to the bearings and clean everything up. Not sure I would buy a motor like that, especially one that sat around for years with oil fighting the saltwater.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Shoe string budget. Looking for reliability. Motor-19' Key West. I need your opi

                            OK. So I finally went to the club and saw the two $100 motors.
                            One is the 100hp Commercial. It looks really clean, but I think it sank, was cleaned, then sat 5 years, then was flooded during sandy again. It looks so clean, but I know there will be problems. It has an optical injection (opti 2000 or something)
                            That one is a pass... it is junk just based on being flooded 2 times.

                            The other one looks high and dry.
                            I have the pics on my phone and it keeps dying before I can get them. But I will post shortly.
                            It is on a center console that was donated to the club with no papers.
                            It is a mid 80s jonson v6 150hp.
                            It looks like it has sat about 10 years. The lines look dry and it smells a little like varnish. But, if I get it on the boat and in a bucket I can tinker and clean it.

                            The boat has the controls which will probably need new cables, but they might be good enough to see if it starts and adjust a little.
                            Monday is a work day at the club and there will be about 20 guys there looking for something interesting to do.
                            So, I am under the impression that I can get a few motor savvy guys to help me tinker with it and if I ask around I will likely find someone who knows the back story on the boat and motor.
                            Here are some pics of it.

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                            • #15
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                              Re: Shoe string budget. Looking for reliability. Motor-19' Key West. I need your opi

                              So here are a few pics of the motor that hasn't sunk and then flooded.
                              It is an evinrude XP150. V6. What do you think?

                              Click image for larger version

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