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Talk me into a Formula 233 project.

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Talk me into a Formula 233 project.

Old 01-05-2009, 10:27 PM
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Default Talk me into a Formula 233 project.

I was looking for a trailer for my Kencraft and I found one...... it comes with a 233 on it that apparently runs/ floats.

I'm planning to give it to my buddy who has the facility/time to work on it. It currently has a 225hp mercruiser (302 ford) in it.

Is it worth keeping as an I/O or will it need a bracket and outboard?

I've seen the few threads on here about guys who have and love them and I know their ride is legendary.

Seems like a good low budget restoration project.

Thoughts? opinions?








Old 01-06-2009, 09:31 AM
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Default RE: Talk me into a Formula 233 project.

Just to give you a heads up . . . there is NO such thing as a low budget boat restoration.

Especially with a old formula . . . Transom, floor, deck, core above cabin, stringers.
Even if you paid yourself $2/hour . . . . you still be ahead buying a turn key boat.

That's not including the lost opportunity cost of every weekend during 2009 and possibly 2010, missed fishing trips, family events, free time. It's easily a year long project . . . and it's almost never cheaper than buying a turn key hull. You can con yourself into thinking you saved money by paying as you go and not keeping track . . . but if you track every expense related to the project you are guaranteed to come out behind. Make a spreadsheet and do out the math . . . you'll see very very quickly that it's not worth it from a financial perspective.


Old 01-06-2009, 09:40 AM
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Default Re: Talk me into a Formula 233 project.

I would keep and run the existing motor/drive til it quits. Repowering with a bracket and a 225 OB will be $$$$$$$. I'm in the process of repowering my 5.7 Mercruiser. Will reuse the outdrive which has never given any trouble. I have obtained a 2006 Mercruiser 350 magnum (300hp) long block with 90 hours on it and now have everything I need (except maybe some hose and clamps), I've got $750 in it. Try that with a 300hp outboard. He!!, try it with a 15 horse.
Old 01-06-2009, 09:49 AM
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Default Re: Talk me into a Formula 233 project.

If it works, run it till it dies then cut her up and send to the land fill, just don't start fixing the major things (power train,Transom, floor, deck, et.)
Old 01-06-2009, 12:15 PM
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Default Re: Talk me into a Formula 233 project.

Aw c mon,go ahead restore it,you know you want to.Seriously though,here's the way i look at it.I'm finishing up a total restoration on a 1974 23'classic Seacraft.
I picked up this boat for a thousand bucks with a nice galv.trailer.I figured that i could get it totally done for around ten grand,but I'm a bit over budget and will probably be closer to fifteen grand.

It has been a huge undertaking with total repair or replacement of just about everything on it.From the rotted transom,hatches,deck,and engine beds,to lots of glass work,wiring, paint,steering,new engine, etc etc etc.
Its been a two year project,and i was only able to come in at that price,because I did every single thing myself,and was able to do some horse trading on the big stuff,like engine and outdrive.

Was it financially realistic,? Not if i include the hours and hours of labor,but I think for me it was worth it.
I know that I now basically have a new boat.
If i were to go out and buy a new 23' boat with the build quality and ride of these old SeaCrafts,it would be unaffordable to me.Even a good high quality used high end 23 footer would have been far more than what i have invested in this rebuild,and who knows what repairs it would need.

Would i do it again?probably not(I've said that before)but it started out as a labor of love,and although for a while it was a love hate thing,overall I'm in my glory with it now.I'll be splashing it this spring,and already tons of people have told me how nice it is.That's a very good feeling and worth something.

Only you know the answer,but we all know that The 233 Formulas were a very nice boat, so, if you have some sentiment for them,and the ability,and equipment and place to do the restoration ,maybe it would make sense.If nothing else it will keep you out of trouble for a while.
Old 01-06-2009, 12:21 PM
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Default Re: Talk me into a Formula 233 project.

I dont know how much you think needs to be done, but even by low buck methods thats a $20000 project
Old 01-06-2009, 12:42 PM
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Default Re: Talk me into a Formula 233 project.

I picked up a old Formula 23 Center Console with motor and tandem trailer and outdrive. Motor was not running, and outdrive was off. Thought I stole it @$1500 , brought it home cleaned it up, and started to think about what I got myself into. Listed it on ebay and several other places-took 3 weeks to sell @$1700 -Person who bought it was happy because he was a mechanic and the hull was solid to a point. If you have a running boat, use it, open the thing up and start a restore you are @ 15-20k. I loved the look of the boat and hull shape, would have been a fun boat.
want to see what you are getting into? Start taking out screws and fittings on the bow, and rails. Most of the balsa core was wet or had rotted away, leaving a empty cavity on my boat.
Old 01-06-2009, 01:44 PM
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Default Re: Talk me into a Formula 233 project.

Bigshrimp - when has logic ever had much to do w/ boating??

Financially, you will never make your money back out of a restored boat. You might get lucky (or be extremely good), and get your actual costs out of it, but you will never get a dime for your time. A good case study was the Seacraft 23 Strick sold last year - it was probably the nicest ever on the market, and he probably got what he had in on it.

As far as restoration hulls go, the Formula 233 is as good as any in that size range. When done, you will have a great riding classic, one of a kind boat. That's worth alot to some, but it has to be done for the love of the boat, not for return on investment b/c the others are right - low budget & restoration are not in the same sentence...

That said - I have a buddy who bought a '74 F233, buffed out the gelcoat, and ran it as is w/ the original engine for several years before having to re-build the head (& adding a nice hard-top & enclosure).
Old 01-06-2009, 02:25 PM
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Default Re: Talk me into a Formula 233 project.

Converting to an outboard isn't cost effective at all. If that's the hull you want, and its reasonably sound, do it. You may wind up with $20K in it, but you'll know what you have. I just went through the used boat process, and found more $15K used 20-22' CCs (a Grady and a Pursuit come immediately to mind) that had rot issues that had to be dealt with (the Pursuit less so). Only do it if you can do alot/all of the work, and plan on keeping it for a long while. If you're going to pay someone else, you're better off buying a new or close to new boat, or buying another recent restoration that was done right.
Old 01-06-2009, 03:21 PM
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Default Re: Talk me into a Formula 233 project.

im going to disagree on that point, take a older proven hull, pay someone to make it EXACTLY the way you want it, put new power on that boat and it will still cost you less then a new boat of the same quality will cost you. It wont be worth squat, but boats dont make any sense financially, they are a labor of love.
Old 01-06-2009, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: Talk me into a Formula 233 project.

I have to steal this thread to defend a 233 restoration. mine. Before I start. Why does everone get excited about 31 bertram restorations? The 233 fomula actually beat a 31 bertram in a very rough miami nassau race and won the race way back in the beginning of ocean race boat competition. and just about every popular CC got its start from a splashed 233 hull. Now 11/10/2006 I bought a 1969 233 with the IO removed for $50.00 on ebay.than I removed the two above deck fuel tanks and put a new 120 gal aluminum tank down the center for$882.75 Next I Built a full flotation bracket starting with the fiberglass engine box. I probably have less than a $1,000.00 in material in the bracket and tying it into the stringers.I rebuilt the floor and a fueltank mount for enougher $1,000.00 These are high estimates for material.I bought a 1999 ox66 250 hp with all controls and oil tank and guages for $3,500.00 around january of 2007.and a 2002 Magic trail trailer aluminum bunk dual axel $1,500.00 Hynautic hydraulic steering and hoses on ebay for $500.00 I painted it for next to nothing my self outside with a $25.00 gun from advance auto.and a portable compressor I had and still have. $200.00 in awlgrip and tape. No primer alah old hatteras paint jobs. $200.00 in deck paint and other paint. Teak covering boards on bad gunnels $300.00 rod holders I had laying around in garage. $0. Garmin gps498 on ebay $500.00 . VHF $120.00. As far as labor? thats my Love and pride in knowing I did it my way! In 7 months I had blood on the deck from lotsa Mahi Mahi and a wahoo. Towing the boat from NJ To NC. on my used trailer. For the past couple years I have been working a lot of overtime in my constuction job.[enough to make six figures] and still love to work on MY BOAT!!!$grand total $9,777.75 Oh I just sold the 99 250 that had weak compression and hung a 2003 250 hpdi for less than $400.00 difference.

Here's a link to my rebuild thread.
http://www.thehulltruth.com/forums/t...ode=1#M2346484
Old 01-06-2009, 08:23 PM
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Default Re: Talk me into a Formula 233 project.

Bly, I read your thread intently, even before this boat came up. Beautiful job... I love the teak helm pod and fighting station.

I'll take a look at it saturday, see how much I can find wrong with it. If it's not too wet and rotten I'll give it to my buddy to clean up and run all season. I figure by then he'll fall in love and get a real job so he can restore her.

Thanks for everyone's input!

Also Bly, I plan on trailering my 25' Kencraft to hatteras this spring from NJ, any tips?
Old 06-15-2010, 10:24 AM
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Talk about inspiration!

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