RE: OMC Boats for Newbies [omc-boats] New Member

From: Gregory B. Fell <gfell@...>
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2004 11:21:27 -0500

Hey Lee - I was reviewing web site. Great job BTW. On the "stringers" page
you state that the boat should be trailered with the unit up. My owners
manual (1969 Sportsman 155) says to trailer with the unit fully down.

Gregory B. Fell
The Fell Law Firm
3300 Oak Lawn Avenue, Suite 700
Dallas, Texas 75219
214-219-4218 - fax

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-omc-boats@... [mailto:owner-omc-boats@...]On
Behalf Of lib1@...
Sent: Thursday, July 22, 2004 10:30 AM
To: omc-boats@...
Subject: Re: OMC Boats for Newbies [omc-boats] New Member

Welcome aboard, Joe! I think you can learn a lot by hanging out here. Let me
take a humble stab at de-mystifying the legend of OMC-Evinrude-Johnson
boats. Especially if you're new to this or didn't live thru the sixties
boating era.

1) These boats all share one thing in common: Excellent build quality. They
were all solidly built in the same Waukegan, IL factory, using expensive
methods and materials. If you look at the relative weights of boats in
comparison to boats of similar length, you'll be surprised to find that they
weigh some 10 - 20 percent more. Other than styling and color options (and
personal brand loyalties aside), Johnson and Evinrude boats are from the
same mold (I mean parent company, OMC).

2) Basically there were only four, possibly five hull designs. By length the
are: 14.9', 16.2', 17, and 19. There were two versions of the 16.2 hull. The
later versions (68 &up) were redesigned with a 4-inch deeper deadrise in the
hull, which resulted in deeper freeboard or higher sides and transom. The
17's came out first and were only offered by Johnson and OMC. Evinrude
followed with the 16, then the 14.9, then the 19's. I have no production
data, but the 17's seem fairly rare, as do the 14.9's. The 16's and 19's
seem to be more popular. If you find a boat but aren't sure of it's exact
model, use my handy-dandy guide to look up it's model/year number at:

How do you go about selecting the best hull size to fit your needs? That's a
tough one, but it's going to determined largely by your towing vehicle and
storage requirements and possibly the type of water you want to run. The
early 16's and 14.9's are able to be 20-foot-garage-stored, without
resorting to special folding trailer tongues. Later 16's also depending on
height restrictions.

3) Next you need to think about power options, Outboard vs.
Inboard-Outboard. If you lean toward Outboards, your choices will be pretty
much the early (64-66) 16.2 Evinrudes, possibly some hard to find (65) 14.9
Erudes, with a few very rare (63-65) 17' Johnsons. Outboards have the
advantage of being easier to change out, with many more options available.
The I-O route is pretty much a given with the post-66-67 models and larger
boats. OMC offered the 2-stroke, V4, the 4-cyl. 120, the V6-150/155, and a
V8 (either a 300 CID-Buick or 307 CID Chevy). The downside to the OMC I/O is
they need TLC, and parts can be hard to come by and the guys that know how
to rebuild them right are all getting on in years. Properly respected and
maintained the OMC electric stringer can provide years of service. But it's
also driven a lot of previous boaters out of the sport. It's probably, no --
it is --- the weakest (most expensive to properly repair) link in these

4) Lastly you should consider learning about the various Johnson vs.
Evinrude boats trim, color and top deck designs. Do you want a closed or
open bow? Do you prefer the racy lines of the Playboy, Caprice or Reveler vs
the practical aspects of a Sportsman or Seasport? IF you don't are about
ugly (IMHO) check out an Explorer or FrontRunner, if you can find one.

5) Lastly -- ask yourself if you really are ready for this adventure.
Restoring a 40-year, boat or anything for that matter, can be rewarding or
frustrating depending on your mindset. There are a lot of technical things
to look out for when trying to find the perfect boat, but I would always
choose, condition over all else. Soft goods, like tops, covers and
interiors, while expensive -- are fairly easily restored, replaced, or
repaired. Fiberglass integrity of these boats, particularly when compared
against their peers of the time, is usually not a problem, but can be
difficult to detect (check for soft floors or transoms). Mechanical systems
are usually suffering from years of storage or worse neglect, but they can
usually be brought back to life with the right tools and experience. I would
however not recommend you try to rebuild a OMC electric stringer as a DIY
project. Find someone who knows these lower units inside-out and all the
minor mods and improvements that were made to them over the years. I've also
got some OMC electric stringer & prop info posted at:

Don't forget the trailer, as well. Most of these boats came with a
factory-designed, matching heavy-duty trailer, but these also need attention
to tires, bearings, brakes, rollers, winches, lights, etc.

Hope this has helped. It can be a lot of fun and it's rewarding when other's
see and ask about your unique piece of history out on the lake or river.

 welcome aboard, Joe!!

Lee Shuster
Salty Lake City

----- Original Message -----
From: "Joe McGill" <jmcgill89@...>
To: <omc-boats@...>
Sent: Wednesday, July 21, 2004 6:19 PM
Subject: [omc-boats] New Member

> Hello,
> My name is Joe McGill, and I don't own an OMC boat, but am seriously
> considering buying one in the very near future. I joined this list to
> as much as I can about these neat little boats before I make a purchase.
> Thanks in advance for any help!
> Joe
> _________________________________________________________________
> Is your PC infected? Get a FREE online computer virus scan from McAfee(r)
> Security.
Received on Thursday, 22 July 2004

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