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Advice on a project boat. 1997 Carver 320

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Advice on a project boat. 1997 Carver 320

Old 01-13-2018, 09:42 PM
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Default Advice on a project boat. 1997 Carver 320

Hello friends and Captains,

Boat in question is a 97 carver 320 with twin merc 350's. 350hrs each engine. The way it sits, it is cosmetically superb for its age. Main issue is that engines are not running.

Port Engine is basically disassembled due to a bent valve - total rebuild or replace. 260hp Merc 350. Starboard works as owner claims but fuel pump is shot and I cannot test it.

refrigerator does not work, and genset is also not getting fuel due to some other issue (not the previously mentioned fuel pump issue)

owner claims that he can start good engine by pouring fuel into carb, and also genset can be started with alternate fuel tank or a temp tank (I have not witnessed anything run yet but I just looked at the boat.

Owner is discounting 10K for these repairs. My question is, is 10K enough to replace a Merc 350? and replace fuel pump?

I am handy but not enough to replace a marine engine. Has anyone done replaced an engine? How much should I budget for an engine and how much (separately) for installation at some local marine shop (not the dealer) approximately.

Boat is in Houston TX Area.
Old 01-14-2018, 06:34 AM
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A 20 year old Carver where nothing works? Good luck...
Old 01-14-2018, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by mobinakhtar View Post
My question is, is 10K enough to replace a Merc 350? and replace fuel pump?
Probably.

Is $10,000 enough of a “discount” on a boat with 3 non-running engines? Not EVEN CLOSE.
Old 01-14-2018, 08:09 AM
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Short answer no

It would be foolish to just take his word that “it is just a fuel pump “

So look to see what that Boat sells for in working order and decent shape.
Then get prices on two rebuilts and a genny. Maybe fuel tank flush. Sounds like

Then subtract.

Bet you are at almost give away and further bet owner is not at give away point yet
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Old 01-14-2018, 08:41 AM
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How much is he asking? The boat has probably been sitting for years. That’s how you get bent valves. The manifolds and risers are probably due for a change out. 20 year old small blocks are probably past their useful life.
Old 01-14-2018, 11:42 AM
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Original ask was 25K. Now at 20K. I was figuring 15K as my initial offer, but seriously I am thinking this is barely a hull with furnishings. It will take a good 15-20K to bring everything to life as boat has not been started for 1.5 years - yes a fuel tank flush did cross my mind.

As much as I like the boat, I cannot make financial sense of it. In great running condition, they go for 25-35K max. I also cannot imagine engines being fixed overnight - its also figuring out 2-3 months of mechanic turnaround and marina fees etc at $400/month while I cannot use the boat.

I may pass this one up. Seems to be consensus so far.

32/35LOA was not what I was looking for but seems roomy enough for our needs. a 35/37LOA might be better suited to my wants (not needs). 40 be ideal
Old 01-14-2018, 02:40 PM
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depends on what you want to do with a boat....in good running condition it's relatively slow while being a gas hog....removing the engines and hanging a pair of 50hp 4 srokes will make it a comfortable slow cruiser and economical to run and upkeep.....trying to restore it to it's original condition doesn't make any sense....there are tons of old gas powered cruisers sitting in marinas all over the place...there is a reason why this is so.....
Old 01-14-2018, 03:54 PM
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This boat would be expensive to run when and if it was fixed. I would walk away. A few years back I got a 32' Carver with good running Volvo Diesel for 18K. (There were only a few of the diesel ones built--and they were experiments.). Too bad, since the diesels were far more economical to operate, and had great longevity.

If you could do all of the mechanical, and had the time, they it might make some sense at 15K....Figure on at the least pulling the fuel tanks when you had all of the engines out. Most sense would be to replace the tanks, and put new crate motors in. But then you still may have issues with the gear boxes/V drives.
Old 01-14-2018, 04:13 PM
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I agree. My needs at the moment are just going out into Galveston bay with family and cruise around. No long distance cruising at all. So the fuel-economy is not my concern. I have a waterfront beach house so I don't need that "condo on the water". Just need a nice boat to stay out for 6-7 hours with my two daughters and wife. Also looking at Sea Rays. The requirement is a good size head, and a place to lay down if someone gets seasick. I am looking at 32+ because that size is usually devoid of causing claustrophobia. I do like the roomy feel of carvers.
Old 01-14-2018, 04:52 PM
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Reminds me of "I got this boat for free and still paid too much"
Old 01-15-2018, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by mobinakhtar View Post
I agree. My needs at the moment are just going out into Galveston bay with family and cruise around. No long distance cruising at all. So the fuel-economy is not my concern. I have a waterfront beach house so I don't need that "condo on the water". Just need a nice boat to stay out for 6-7 hours with my two daughters and wife. Also looking at Sea Rays. The requirement is a good size head, and a place to lay down if someone gets seasick. I am looking at 32+ because that size is usually devoid of causing claustrophobia. I do like the roomy feel of carvers.
Ps
you will learn- the hard way- that if someone gets seasick... the LAST place you want them is laying down below!!

Old 01-15-2018, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by slickster View Post
there are tons of old gas powered cruisers sitting in marinas all over the place...
Have you been boat shopping lately? It's frustrating AF! I spent last summer looking for boats just like these for a friend of mine. Inventory is low, prices are high and the good boats sell fast.

Originally Posted by mobinakhtar View Post
I have a waterfront beach house so I don't need that "condo on the water".
Carver made a 31 express in that era, but a 32 can either be the 320 Voyager or the 325 Aft Cabin? The aft-cabin is the very definition of a condo on water. The voyager isn't far behind.

You sound like a better candidate for an express.
Old 01-15-2018, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by rocksandblues View Post
Ps
you will learn- the hard way- that if someone gets seasick... the LAST place you want them is laying down below!!

yep! ...and the second-to-last place is up on the bridge of a small, tippy boat.

Fresh air, being close to the boat's COG, near the stern and looking at the horizon or land are all key.

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