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  • Outboard Motor Restoration

    So I just had the idea spark of possibly starting a sort of outboard restoration side-business. Something I do on my own free time when I get a chance. I've worked as a mechanic on older model outboards, (requiring less cpu diagnostic equipment) and am confident in my diagnosing/troubleshooting.
    Kind of like House flipping I want to find old motors that are for sale for cheap, and want to fix/sell them.
    I'm not sure where exactly to start as far as finding old defective motors, (I can probably find local boat shops and find out.) But i've checked craigslist and only seem to find motors for sale. Just curious any opinions on this if people have insight on the best way to find defective motors to flip or if this seems like a viable business model.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Funny you asked because that's what I do. It's my hobby, not a business.

    I have bought motors at garage sales, on E-bay (for a real classic collector), and local Craigslist. I was up to 69 as of yesterday, but just today my son dropped off a 1956 Johnson that he saw on the curb on garbage day. So, I guess there's my Winter project.

    Local boat shops usually don't have them for sale. If they get in a classic collectors item, the owner usually hangs it on his wall. Others they won't even take in trade in the first place. I started 30 years ago. Today, based on some ads in the internet people think they are worth more than they actually are. Just follow up on the ads - they never get sold.

    People looking for an old motor to run usually are looking for cheap. Till you figure in the parts needed, and add a couple dollars an hour for your time, most likely you will exceed the price point that most consumers are willing to pay.

    In the end you might end up with a good running motor, but it may look like crap. If you add paint and decals to bring it up to pristine condition, you can add another $125 to the mix.

    Nice hobby, but IMHO not a business model if you expect to have an ROI.

    Click image for larger version

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    2019 SeaRay SPX 190 OB & Mercury 150 4-Stroke & Merc 5.0 Kicker
    2017 Boston Whaler 150 Montauk & Mercury 60 ELPT Command Thrust & Merc 3.5 Kicker
    2015 Yamaha FX Cruiser HO
    1964 Sea Nymph 14R & 1970 Evinrude Sportwin 9.5
    1960 Mulray 100 Dinghy, equipped with Beaver Oars
    1952 Lyman 15' Mid Steer & Evinrude Big Twin 25
    69 Outboards: 1919-2019, representing 11 manufacturers
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    Member ACBS, LBOA, AOMCI

    Comment


    • #3
      if you want to make a small fortune restoring boat stuff...... start with a large one.

      if you try to make a living at it, like Jim mentioned, you will need to learn to eat the inventory.
      Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

      1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - https://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

      Past Boats
      1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
      2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheeseheads in Paradise"
      1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

      What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

      Comment


      • #4
        Here on the Jersey shore, not many will buy an older motor. Also, the aluminum alloys are eventually negatively affected by the salt. The steel components are immediately affected by the salt.

        Comment


        • #5
          What the above posters all said...
          think of it as a nice time consuming hobby that gets you out in the shed,

          but thats about it... not many folk want to pay for old motors or the repair bill,

          got three british seagulls and one redband 50 hp that will just end up as wall hangers

          Comment


          • #6
            If you want to make a $ 1000 on fixing motors you start with $2000.------In most areas shops won't touch / work on older motors.------Most folks today do not repair their own stuff.-----There is a very limited market for old stuff.

            Comment


            • #7
              Now, after all of the negative reviews, I will say that there is a fair market for collectables. A pristine one could bring a high price, but only from someone that collects them. But since they are few and far between, even buying a junker will cost you a bundle. A 1950's 3 HP Johnson does not fall into that collector status.
              2019 SeaRay SPX 190 OB & Mercury 150 4-Stroke & Merc 5.0 Kicker
              2017 Boston Whaler 150 Montauk & Mercury 60 ELPT Command Thrust & Merc 3.5 Kicker
              2015 Yamaha FX Cruiser HO
              1964 Sea Nymph 14R & 1970 Evinrude Sportwin 9.5
              1960 Mulray 100 Dinghy, equipped with Beaver Oars
              1952 Lyman 15' Mid Steer & Evinrude Big Twin 25
              69 Outboards: 1919-2019, representing 11 manufacturers
              -------------------------------------------------------------------
              Member ACBS, LBOA, AOMCI

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by JimS123 View Post
                A 1950's 3 HP Johnson does not fall into that collector status.
                Neither does a late 50's Gale 12hp with Goodyear decals on it.....
                Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

                1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - https://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

                Past Boats
                1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
                2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheeseheads in Paradise"
                1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

                What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Scott Danforth View Post

                  Neither does a late 50's Gale 12hp with Goodyear decals on it.....
                  I used the Johnny as an example just because it was on my mind, after finding one in the garbage the other day at the end of someone's driveway.

                  Actually, most Goodyears WERE made by Gale, so in and of itself its not an oddity. However, because of its limited production numbers it will have some value to niche collectors.

                  Advertise it on AOMCI.org and someone will snap it up long before a CL reader will show interest.
                  2019 SeaRay SPX 190 OB & Mercury 150 4-Stroke & Merc 5.0 Kicker
                  2017 Boston Whaler 150 Montauk & Mercury 60 ELPT Command Thrust & Merc 3.5 Kicker
                  2015 Yamaha FX Cruiser HO
                  1964 Sea Nymph 14R & 1970 Evinrude Sportwin 9.5
                  1960 Mulray 100 Dinghy, equipped with Beaver Oars
                  1952 Lyman 15' Mid Steer & Evinrude Big Twin 25
                  69 Outboards: 1919-2019, representing 11 manufacturers
                  -------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Member ACBS, LBOA, AOMCI

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What are you looking to do restore 50s and 60s stuff? There is no money in that unless you donate all your time. If you want to make money buy cheaper 78 and up stuff in the smaller hp ranges. Fix it up and resell it

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JimS123 View Post


                      Advertise it on AOMCI.org and someone will snap it up long before a CL reader will show interest.
                      its going on the wall. Dad and I fished with this motor for years. it does run, however needs coils, an impeller, and a crank seal. while it would cost a fair amount to get it running in tip-top shape, It cost me less to buy a '72 Mercury 20hp with a broken pull cord to push the fishing rig. and with the motor on the wall, its not hurting anything.
                      Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

                      1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - https://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

                      Past Boats
                      1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
                      2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheeseheads in Paradise"
                      1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

                      What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Scott Danforth View Post

                        its going on the wall. Dad and I fished with this motor for years. it does run, however needs coils, an impeller, and a crank seal. while it would cost a fair amount to get it running in tip-top shape, It cost me less to buy a '72 Mercury 20hp with a broken pull cord to push the fishing rig. and with the motor on the wall, its not hurting anything.
                        I misunderstood. I thought your comment was meant to show it had no value either.

                        I have a bunch on my wall as well. Some were ones that Dad and I worked on together, or fished with over the years. In those cases, the "value" is priceless.
                        2019 SeaRay SPX 190 OB & Mercury 150 4-Stroke & Merc 5.0 Kicker
                        2017 Boston Whaler 150 Montauk & Mercury 60 ELPT Command Thrust & Merc 3.5 Kicker
                        2015 Yamaha FX Cruiser HO
                        1964 Sea Nymph 14R & 1970 Evinrude Sportwin 9.5
                        1960 Mulray 100 Dinghy, equipped with Beaver Oars
                        1952 Lyman 15' Mid Steer & Evinrude Big Twin 25
                        69 Outboards: 1919-2019, representing 11 manufacturers
                        -------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Member ACBS, LBOA, AOMCI

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          it doesnt have value in a monetary sense. I priced what they are going for, and its less then what the parts would cost to simply do maintenance. however the sentimental value is priceless
                          Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

                          1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - https://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

                          Past Boats
                          1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
                          2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheeseheads in Paradise"
                          1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

                          What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Just picked up a 1973 6 HP fisherman with broken recoil and broken shift handle.------And a 1970 Evinrude 18 HP stuck and with 1/2" reach sparkplugs.-----No money spent so far and both will come apart for inspection.-----Dealers just can not repair these economically and owners walk away and buy a new motor.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sign up today
                              A few years ago i rescued a 22.5 hp 1939 evinrude from a fella for 90 bucks.Fresh gas and 3 pulls later i had a great running motor.Now years later after sitting for years and steadily increasing in value i figure 91 bucks tops.

                              Comment

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