1978 Islander 22 I/O

66Holiday924

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Aug 21, 2017
Messages
525
I made an unplanned visit to marketplace and saw this thing hanging out there, one hour away, listed for $650 as a 1972 Starcraft "Trlr Coach"... I quickly got the admirals permission (of course), arranged to go check it out and found a 1978 22' Islander, all the wood rotted out but a perfect hull! The guy literally didn't know what he had. I ended up brining it home for $500. I think I'm going to turn it into a nice trailerable great lakes fishing boat.

First thing's first, I need to get the title transferred and the trailer registered.
 

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havoc_squad

Senior Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Mar 5, 2011
Messages
709
Down in the mid South everyone thinks old boats in poor condition are made of solid gold and not even close to NADA estimated values or local market conditions for private party sales.

This islander with a bad outdrive or bad engine in this condition would likely be listed for $2.8k to $3k.

Facebook marketplace isn't as bad as craigslist on overblown pricing.

Sometimes I think most boats in mid south listed on Craigslist is a "Make A Wish Foundation for Greedy people"
 

airshot

Rear Admiral
Joined
Jul 22, 2008
Messages
4,427
I had one years back, loved that boat....forced to downsize as I go mostly by myself since wife became dissabled. Mine was an '83 with the 140 merc, awesome lake boat, super fishing machine.
 

66Holiday924

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Aug 21, 2017
Messages
525
The boat has a 120 Mercruiser in it. If I'm going to refurbish it, I'm thinking now might be the time to upgrade to a 6 cylinder. The 120 might be good for normal use but you don't want to chance being underpowered going onto the Great Lakes. Does anybody have any recommendations for a Mercruiser 6 cylinder engine. I'm thinking the Mercruiser 165, inline 6, but I'm not sure I'll be able to get parts for it when I have trouble and it's dated. It would have to mate to a Gen 1 I believe. Otherwise, that engine seems to have a pretty good reputation. Any suggestions?
 

Lou C

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Nov 10, 2002
Messages
11,938
They are good engines but some of the parts are hard to find. You can also go with a GM 4.3 V6 Vortec which with a 4 bbl carb will give you 225 hp.
 

havoc_squad

Senior Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Mar 5, 2011
Messages
709
They are good engines but some of the parts are hard to find. You can also go with a GM 4.3 V6 Vortec which with a 4 bbl carb will give you 225 hp.
+1 to this.

If you're going to spend a lot of coin +$4k or more in I/O engine and drive, go the alpha one gen 2 route with 4.3 V6 vortec.

Otherwise best to stick with 120/140 and you could find a alpha one gen one complete donor drive system to upgrade to. Things on the GM inline 4 cylinder 3.0 didn't change much on mounting/fitment until 1991 and later(I think).

As always, do your homework to verify what I say.
 

66Holiday924

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Aug 21, 2017
Messages
525
There's not much new to report. I've been getting the trailer to a reliable condition. I don't think it's going to ultimately be the trailer for this boat but nonetheless I'll be using it a lot and it needs to be reliable. I did a quick job of hooking up lights, having new tires mounted today and I'm going to have the bearings repacked. Other than that, I've been doing some light demolition/deconstruction of the boat.

I was very pleased to see that the bench in the cabin is aluminum. I prefer the weight and durability of the aluminum and who wants to build that? I removed two fuel tanks from under the seats. They are about half full and not leaking, so I should be able to sell them, so that's welcome news.

I went to remove the engine today (something I've never done), got all the way up to the point of removing the four mount bolts, was leaving to buy a cherry picker and decided, why. I don't do this very often. I don't need that tool and I'm confident that I could get it out. So there's nothing to prove to myself. Having everything but the mount bolts on will make it an easy job for the shop and it will cost less to have them finish that job than the cherry picker. Not to mention, the cherry picker's reach is questionable. So, the boat's going to the shop to have the engine removed, trailer bearings packed, and I'm hoping they can give me an accurate description of the condition of the engine and outdrive so I can sell them.

The 4.3 Mercruiser w/Gen II seems to easily be the best option for the boat. I'll start shopping for that in a month or two when people who don't want to store their boat for the winter are trying to sell.
 

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66Holiday924

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Aug 21, 2017
Messages
525
I've been digging into what is going to be involved with switching this boat over to a 4.3 and wow... What did I get myself into. Me and my big mouth... lol... I've been looking over some of the builds on iboats (@Watermann did this on his Chief), called MerCruiser, emailing Starcraft back and forth trying to get the stringers figured out, and I have a plan. I think this is something I can do.

With that said, I have a lead on an engine. It's a 1994 4.3 installed on another boat, so I can test it, and the hour meter says somewhere between 200 and 300 hours on it, $2500. I don't know if it has the 4bbl or 2bbl but if it runs well and the hour meter looks original and is still ticking. I think it would be a pretty good deal. $2500 for an engine, outdrive, and gimbal assembly, with only 200-300 hours on them doesn't seem like a bad deal. It's on a nice trailer that I can probably get at least $500 for too.

I'm open to any suggestions or opinions.
 

havoc_squad

Senior Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Mar 5, 2011
Messages
709
I've been digging into what is going to be involved with switching this boat over to a 4.3 and wow... What did I get myself into. Me and my big mouth... lol... I've been looking over some of the builds on iboats (@Watermann did this on his Chief), called MerCruiser, emailing Starcraft back and forth trying to get the stringers figured out, and I have a plan. I think this is something I can do.

With that said, I have a lead on an engine. It's a 1994 4.3 installed on another boat, so I can test it, and the hour meter says somewhere between 200 and 300 hours on it, $2500. I don't know if it has the 4bbl or 2bbl but if it runs well and the hour meter looks original and is still ticking. I think it would be a pretty good deal. $2500 for an engine, outdrive, and gimbal assembly, with only 200-300 hours on them doesn't seem like a bad deal. It's on a nice trailer that I can probably get at least $500 for too.

I'm open to any suggestions or opinions.

Front engine stringer mounts, drilling the extra two transom assembly mounting bolt holes needed, electrical, steering, control box, and fabricating a new engine cover is about it if everything is working as expected.

The rest you would have to perform regardless of whether it was a conversion or not.

You might as well do a complete bellows and shift cable job once transom assembly is installed and verify the drive lube hose is in excellent shape or replace it.

If the transom barb for the lube hose is plastic, cut the hose and replace, don't risk breaking or damaging the plastic barb in the attempt to disconnect the hose.

I've never encountered that but I've been told certain gen 2 transom assemblies have plastic instead of metal barb and that it is a nightmare to fix.
 
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66Holiday924

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Aug 21, 2017
Messages
525
I got a little more information about the engine I'm going t look at. It's a remanufactured engine (explains the low hours). The company that rebuilt it, Vesuvio Marine Engines, has been out of business for about 15 years but seems to have been pretty reputable. I talked to a vendor that used to sell their engines and they said that everything would have been rebuilt with exact OEM parts. However, the only serial number the owner can find is for Vesuvio and I can't find anywhere where I can look them up. So, looking up parts might be hard but it's a common engine and we have the parts that are on it for reference.

The 200-300 hours on it seems like a good solid number to have. It's been run enough to know if the rebuild was good.

I'm trying to decide if I should take a chance on the rebuild, that's in good running condition, with 200-300 hours on it, or, should I hold out for something else.
 

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66Holiday924

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Aug 21, 2017
Messages
525
I passed on the engine. It was probably a good engine that would have run for years to come, but I couldn't do it without having a s/n to identify exactly what it is. When it broke down it would have been a guessing game to determine parts.
 

66Holiday924

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Aug 21, 2017
Messages
525
I ended up having a lengthy conversation with the gentleman who owns the boat, with the engine that I had given up on, and identified the s/n range that the engine would fall into, a couple different ways. So, I went and test drove it, it ran beautifully, and I purchased my donor boat. Interestingly enough it's a Thompson Calae, the same make and model donor boat that I sourced the engine for my Holiday from. Thompson Calae seems to be a good boat if you're looking for an engine. They built them with 4, 6, and 8 cylinder engines.

Something I learned from this experience that could be helpful to others who have worn out illegible s/n stickers. Sometimes, builders register the drive, transom assembly and engine they install on a boat with MerCruiser and if you have the s/n off of any of the three, they can tell you what the s/n for the other components are, if it's in their registry. So if you know the drive or transom s/n, they might be able to tell you the s/n of the engine that was installed with it.

I ended up getting the exact s/n that way. They gave me the s/n but I wasn't sure if it was for my engine or the one that was replaced. Then I found a plain white sticker (that didn't look like a s/n sticker) with that number on it, on the engine. I was happy to see that it falls into the range of s/n's that I believed it to be, through my earlier process of elimination method.

Engine = 1993 4.3LX/V6, professionally rebuilt, with about 300 hours on it, just enough to prove the rebuild was good.
 

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Joined
Aug 9, 2023
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20
I enjoyed your 78 Holiday rebuild, and I'm sure this one will be dandy too.There is a youtube channel, RMDCreations you may enjoy. He's upgrading a 22ft Islander also, but he.s using the 165 hp inline 6. He pulled the 120 out just yesterday, so he's fresh into it. He even weighed the 120 vs the 165 engines---only about 130 lbs difference. Anyway, keep up the good work and letting me tag along.
 

66Holiday924

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Aug 21, 2017
Messages
525
I enjoyed your 78 Holiday rebuild, and I'm sure this one will be dandy too.There is a youtube channel, RMDCreations you may enjoy. He's upgrading a 22ft Islander also, but he.s using the 165 hp inline 6. He pulled the 120 out just yesterday, so he's fresh into it. He even weighed the 120 vs the 165 engines---only about 130 lbs difference. Anyway, keep up the good work and letting me tag along.
Thank you for the kind words! The Holiday is doing awesome. I just looked at the hour meter the other day and I've put about 200 hours on it.

I'll have to check that build out. I'm getting ready to look more into weight myself. There is a note on one of my capacity plates that says the engine and fuel shall not exceed 1065lbs. I'm going to ask Starcraft about it.
 

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junkman306

Petty Officer 3rd Class
Joined
Sep 26, 2011
Messages
83
I enjoyed your 78 Holiday rebuild, and I'm sure this one will be dandy too.There is a youtube channel, RMDCreations you may enjoy. He's upgrading a 22ft Islander also, but he.s using the 165 hp inline 6. He pulled the 120 out just yesterday, so he's fresh into it. He even weighed the 120 vs the 165 engines---only about 130 lbs difference. Anyway, keep up the good work and letting me tag along.
I enjoy RMDs channel. Pretty good stuff most of the time.
 
Joined
Aug 9, 2023
Messages
20
Looking at your pics on the trailer, that's an EZLoader trailer and it appears the original dealer adjusted it to fit the boat correctly, none of the rollers are directly under a stake or the keel, but diagonally right beside them to properly support the hull. Just like your wonderful boat, you have a second "diamond in the ruff". Since I'm in Ohio also, and our local DMV is really strict, how did the paperwork go?
 

66Holiday924

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Aug 21, 2017
Messages
525
Since I'm in Ohio also, and our local DMV is really strict, how did the paperwork go?

I'm originally from Toledo. The paperwork is way easier in Michigan. We don't title trailers this small, just register. Being that we were on the state line, when I lived in Toledo a lot of people there would register their trailer in Michigan and get the permanent tag that doesn't have to be renewed. They used to (don't know if they still do) allow you to do that, even with an Ohio address.
 

66Holiday924

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Aug 21, 2017
Messages
525
I got the boat back from the mechanic who removed the 4-cylinder for me. I explained to the shop that I wanted to possibly sell the engine and asked them to please give me a write-up of the mechanical status of it and the drive. Everything is surprisingly in good shape for being on a boat that was last registered in 2009. The only significant thing it needs is carb work. It sounds like with a new carb, or a carb cleaning, it would be out fishing right now if it were installed on another boat. I'm going to list the whole set-up (engine, drive, transom) for $1200 and see what happens. I was able to salvage the throttle cables, controller, and steering cable to throw in too.

With that said, reflecting on my recent marketplace experiences, a tidbit of advice for anybody reading. DON'T be that guy! Don't be that guy who cant describe what he's trying to sell or the guy who says they have a "speedboat". I read that, something like "1983 Speedboat For Sale" and my brain immediately switches to baby voice mode and it starts saying "who's got a speedboat? Who's got a speedboat? You have a speedboat. Yes you do..." You're just asking to be taken advantage of. Do some homework and be able to describe what you have. The better the description (The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly), the faster it sells.

End Rant
 
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