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  • Just bought a new boat, what should I know?

    I bought a new 2018 Glastron GT 185 today at the boat show, been looking at these boats for a few years and the numbers finally made sense for me. Anyways it is my first I/O boat and my first boat newer than the 70's, I've been boating for 9 years now and have a good grasp on how to handle a boat on water and at the dock. What should I know about I/O and/or boats like the one I got?

    2018 Galstron GT 185 | Mercury 4.5L 200HP
    1977 Crestliner Crusader 550 | 1977 Mercury 850 [SOLD]
    1962 Scott unknown model | 1977 Mercury 50 HP

  • #2
    Reply with the out drive's manufacturer. Probably either Merc or Volvo Penta, and engine model.

    Hopefully the boat came with the Stern Drive Mfg. owners manual. This should cover your maintenance activities.

    But maybe not. My '96 4.3 Alpha II came with full winterizing instructions. My in-laws '98 - same Merc package, said "Take it to your authorized Mercury Dealer".

    So:
    Winterizing is a must if you live where winter temps drop below 32F/0C. Again, the process depends on which engine you have. The goal is to drain every bit of raw water in the engine.
    Engine oil & filter should be changed annually.
    Out drive lube also changed annually. If low annual hours, maybe biannually, but remove the drain plug each year to check for water or milky lube.
    I don't know about VP, but a Merc out drive should be pulled annually to check the condition of the gimbal bearing, dirve shaft bellows and U joints.
    Power steering fluid level should be checked regularly as well as crankcase oil level.

    Since your boat is brand new, some of this may seem like overkill, but it's good practice. As the boat ages it will become mandatory practice.
    '96 Larson 174 SEI BR. 4.3LX 4 bbl Weber s/n 0F786604. Alpha One Gen II s/n 0F709315

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by harringtondav View Post
      Reply with the out drive's manufacturer. Probably either Merc or Volvo Penta, and engine model.

      Hopefully the boat came with the Stern Drive Mfg. owners manual. This should cover your maintenance activities.

      But maybe not. My '96 4.3 Alpha II came with full winterizing instructions. My in-laws '98 - same Merc package, said "Take it to your authorized Mercury Dealer".

      So:
      Winterizing is a must if you live where winter temps drop below 32F/0C. Again, the process depends on which engine you have. The goal is to drain every bit of raw water in the engine.
      Engine oil & filter should be changed annually.
      Out drive lube also changed annually. If low annual hours, maybe biannually, but remove the drain plug each year to check for water or milky lube.
      I don't know about VP, but a Merc out drive should be pulled annually to check the condition of the gimbal bearing, dirve shaft bellows and U joints.
      Power steering fluid level should be checked regularly as well as crankcase oil level.

      Since your boat is brand new, some of this may seem like overkill, but it's good practice. As the boat ages it will become mandatory practice.
      Thanks it is a Merc 4.5L 200 HP engine and I am not sure the outdrive model. I assumed that general maintenance would be covered in the manual, if not google and this forum should he of great help.

      I do live where it freezes in the winter (-40C the other day) so winterizing is a must for sure.

      Pulling the drive seems like it would be pretty expensive each year, is that something that should not be based off hours compared to time?

      For lube checks, I will be using it maybe 5-7 times a year so low hours for sure.

      Overall seems like a lot of maintenance compared to what I am used to with old outboards. I used to have them serviced every 3 years and then just repairs when needed which was not often unless I pushed them.
      2018 Galstron GT 185 | Mercury 4.5L 200HP
      1977 Crestliner Crusader 550 | 1977 Mercury 850 [SOLD]
      1962 Scott unknown model | 1977 Mercury 50 HP

      Comment


      • #4
        I believe the 4.5 is a closed cooling system with heat exchanger. This protects the engine block from freezing, but the the exhaust system and circulating pump still must be drained. Merc has a "single point drain" system on these engines. But you may want to see what this forum says about that. I believe extra steps beyond Merc's stated process are required.

        Pulling the out drive is within the capability of anyone with basic mechanical skills. With a new boat under warranty you could probably pass for a couple years. I'm betting you have an Alpha II, and that is not a man killer like the Bravo to remove. You trim up, disconnect the speedo tube, trim down close to ground, remove the upper steering cylinder pivot shaft. Place the shift control into full forward. Then remove the six nuts attaching the drive to the bell housing. Then pull it rearward, and off. Lots of help here at iBoats if you struggle.

        No doubt I/Os are more work than an O/B. They don't self drain, and the drive shaft assembly is complicated, needing regular inspection. But the advantages are worth it, in my mind. Quiet, more fuel efficient, and more usable room in your boat and on your swim platform.

        '96 Larson 174 SEI BR. 4.3LX 4 bbl Weber s/n 0F786604. Alpha One Gen II s/n 0F709315

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by harringtondav View Post
          I believe the 4.5 is a closed cooling system with heat exchanger. This protects the engine block from freezing, but the the exhaust system and circulating pump still must be drained. Merc has a "single point drain" system on these engines. But you may want to see what this forum says about that. I believe extra steps beyond Merc's stated process are required.

          Pulling the out drive is within the capability of anyone with basic mechanical skills. With a new boat under warranty you could probably pass for a couple years. I'm betting you have an Alpha II, and that is not a man killer like the Bravo to remove. You trim up, disconnect the speedo tube, trim down close to ground, remove the upper steering cylinder pivot shaft. Place the shift control into full forward. Then remove the six nuts attaching the drive to the bell housing. Then pull it rearward, and off. Lots of help here at iBoats if you struggle.

          No doubt I/Os are more work than an O/B. They don't self drain, and the drive shaft assembly is complicated, needing regular inspection. But the advantages are worth it, in my mind. Quiet, more fuel efficient, and more usable room in your boat and on your swim platform.
          Thanks and I am sure hoping the extra work it worth it even more so because I paid a pretty penny for the luxury of a I/O compared to an O/B they had there.

          Pulling the drive sounds very complicated for me, happen to know about how many hours a mechanic takes/charges for that? I'm a computer guy, I can build you AI but anything mechanical is beyond me.

          Single drain sounds pretty nice, I'm sure that the extra sets would be worth it, almost always are with boats. take extra care and they last forever.
          2018 Galstron GT 185 | Mercury 4.5L 200HP
          1977 Crestliner Crusader 550 | 1977 Mercury 850 [SOLD]
          1962 Scott unknown model | 1977 Mercury 50 HP

          Comment


          • #6
            Others can chime in. I've never paid a shop to touch my boat in 23 yrs. Shops are pricey. My river neighbor pays a marina $200-$250 for winterization. And I doubt this includes a drive pull. Then he pays them another $200 to recommission it in the spring. That second service is downright sucker rape.

            Your new Merc Sterndrive has permalube U joints and gimbal bearing. So you should be good for several years without needing a drive pull. But eventually the bellows will age and result in costly repairs if they fail.

            Keep your boat covered, keep water out of the boat. Watch your lube reservoir level. When it starts dropping excessively, you need to take action. The winterization, oil changes and annual drive lube checks/changes are a must. Whoever does it. Keep in touch with this fourm's Mercruiser Engines and Sterndrives forum when in doubt.
            '96 Larson 174 SEI BR. 4.3LX 4 bbl Weber s/n 0F786604. Alpha One Gen II s/n 0F709315

            Comment


            • #7
              I didn't know anything about boats or boating when I purchased my boat a few years ago. I purchased a licensed Mercruiser service manual to help me out. I hate paying someone for a job I can do myself. That manual has saved me a ton of money.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by SkaterRace View Post

                I do live where it freezes in the winter (-40C the other day) so winterizing is a must for sure.
                Is that a typo about the -40C? If not, where do you live, the north pole?
                Mariah Shabah Z202 5.7L Mercruiser B3
                Jensen Marine 1972 Cal 21 cabin sloop
                Retired EE of 45 years

                Comment


                • #9
                  harringtondav 71beepbeep

                  You guys sharing a boat? Come clean now...

                  Click image for larger version

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                  2002 Bryant 188 4.3MPI

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Maclin View Post
                    harringtondav 71beepbeep

                    You guys sharing a boat? Come clean now...

                    [ATTACH=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"medium","data-attachmentid":10700253**[/ATTACH][ATTACH=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"medium","data-attachmentid":10700254**[/ATTACH] ​​​​​​​
                    Ha. I noticed the same thing earlier when I saw one of 71beepbeep 's earlier posts. So "beepbeep", I gotta ask, is your SEI a 174 or a 190?, and what did you pay for it? Dealer or private party? I'm daydreaming about a 2footitus upgrade, and curious of the market value for my Larson.
                    '96 Larson 174 SEI BR. 4.3LX 4 bbl Weber s/n 0F786604. Alpha One Gen II s/n 0F709315

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What to know... to quote the best skipper every....

                      Quint: Front- bow, back- stern, if ya don’t get it right, I throw your *** out the little round window on the side!
                      - Jaws

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        First congrats on your new toy. You're going to have a few more painful months before spring arrives.
                        I have the GTS model with the 4.5, 200hp. Only diff is the GTS comes with a few more bling features. So far been an awesome boat. Love the engine performance.

                        Since you just bought, I can only assume it's winterized already sitting at the dealer, but it don't hurt to ask.

                        Originally posted by harringtondav View Post
                        I believe the 4.5 is a closed cooling system with heat exchanger. This protects the engine block from freezing,.....
                        Um that's not correct, they are raw water cooled and everything needs to be drained for winter storage.

                        During the summer season, I check the regular fluids, fill with gas and go boating. The winter storage is a little more complicated that an outboard, but nothing to lose sleep over. Hah, you can worry about that in 8-9 months.



                        Last edited by Cortes100; January 28th, 2019, 01:32 PM.
                        2016 Glastron GTS185
                        Merc 4.5L MPI, Alpha drive

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=Cortes100;n10700343]
                          Um that's not correct, they are raw water cooled and everything needs to be drained for winter storage.
                          [QUOTE]

                          Thanks for the correction. I misinterpreted another post. I see CC is an option.

                          See the attached Merc YouTube on the single point drain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brHZpXgTU4o Their comment that this process is for short term storage and "not part of the winterization process" has me a little concerned. The 4.5 will likely be in any new boat I purchase. Yours and the OP's boat are close to what I'd buy. I'm giving it a few more years to see how the 4.5 stacks up to my bulletproof 4.3...and to save a few more pennies.

                          Your https://forums.iboats.com/forum/engi...5l-200hp/page2 has some good discussion. Again I'm concerned about the undocumented need for antifreeze.

                          Do you use antifreeze?. If so, how do you fill your 4.5 with it? If my pockets are deep enough, I may go with CC. I'm 100% fresh water, but long term it may be worth it.
                          '96 Larson 174 SEI BR. 4.3LX 4 bbl Weber s/n 0F786604. Alpha One Gen II s/n 0F709315

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hey harringtondav, they do look alike. It’s a 1996 SEI 194 with a 4.3lx. I bought it from an older lady that had purchased it brand new. It has always been stored in a garage. It has around 320 hours and looks like new. I paid 5,700 for it a couple of years ago.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sign up today
                              Get the service manual for both the engine and the outdrive. (maybe you can get a PDF version to keep on your computer . . .

                              Read/skim through it and it will pretty much tell you what you need to know.
                              Best regards, Ted . . . . Cape Cod, MA

                              Current Boats: Formula 330 Sun Sport, O'Day Mariner Sail #3224, Sunfish
                              Past Boats: Catalina 22 Sail #10531, Formula 242 Sun Sport
                              Twin Mercruiser 7.4 LX MPI (0F802036, 039), Bravo 3's (0F806198, 199), Mercury 7.5 HP (1969), Johnson 4.5 HP (1980)

                              My Boating Web Pages: http://www.tpenfield.com

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