Re: [OMC-Boats] Hello

From: lib1@...
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2007 09:10:17 -0700

Hi Joe,

Welome Aboard! Your proposed project sounds like a ton of fun. Especially
in the Northwest with those great rivers you have.
Kinda reminds me of Willaim Least Heat-Moon's "River Horse" book. Great read
if you haven't seen it.

As you may already know OMC produced four hulls: the 14, 16, 17, and 19,
under various brand names: OMC, Evinrude, and Johnson. All variations are
documented on Phil Bunde's excellent site as well as mine own:

I spent five years in Portland, so I know a little bit about the boating
scene there combined with what you've stated you want to do. I've also done
an extensive re-powering project on on 1966 Evinrude 16' Sportsman I/O for
high-altitude, inland lake recreational (mainly skiing) use: see details at:

In my humble opinion, if you haven't yeat acquired your ideal platform hull,
you probably should narrow it down to only two choices:

1) Any of the 19' hulls will give excellent combination of load/space
carrying ability, sea-worthiness and economy of use (while still being
trailerable). They were all I/O, and Chevy powered. Either the very, very
thrifty Chevy II (153 inline four) or the ultra versatile small-block Chevy
V8 (usually in 307 form). The good thing is there's plenty of room for
adding (closed-loop) cooling kits, which are great for use in salt water but
give the added benefit of running a cabin heater. You also have access to
certified old-timer OMC electric stringer mechanics in the PDX area who can
get you as good-as-new, reliable lower unit, cheaper than converting the
hull to modern outboard power. The little 153-inline 4 when setup with a
single carb can be very economical and will push the boat onto a plane, but
it's not that great at altitude or when trying to yank up skiiers. The
19-ft'ers were made from 1966 to 1969 and are fairly common. Their draft
isn't a whole lot more than the 16's either.

2) The only other hull you should consider is the fairly hard to find 1969
16-footer and the preferred deck layout for you intended use and
modification would be the Johnson Front Runner or Evinrude Explorer. In 1969
OMC gave the 16-ft hull a four-inch deeper dead-rise. This version was only
built for one mode year. It has much better seaworthness especially under
load as the deadrise gives the boat better freeboard and makes it better
able to handle over the transom breaches. The Explorer's have about the same
floor space with the funky looking forward helm as the 19-ft's but they are
hard to come by, as there weren't many made. Ditto for the 14's The 16's
are almost as heavy to trailer as the 19's depending on engine
configuration. IMHO, the 14's and 1964-1968 16's don't have the freeboard to
take on anything but dead calm conditions on the Willamete or Columbia
rivers, they just don't have the necessary freeboard.

Regardless of what hull you choose, I would urge you to consider the
economics of conversion to outboard power. I looked into this topic
extensively when I repowered my 66 Sportsman (16) from Buick V6 to Chevy V8.
They key is finding a decent technician who still knows the OMC electricric
stringer, a very sound design (except for the original V4 -480 I/O).
Especially when you know how to operate and care for it properly. Converting
an I/O-powered OMC boat to properly support, even a small outboard will
require significant structual upgrades to the hull and transom area, due the
the floor or frame-ounted "stringer" system used by OMC on their pre-Cobra
I/O's. And modern 4-stroke outboards are very expensive. (But maybe you
already have access to one?). The same structural consideration also apply
to MerCrusier or Volvo conversions. Jet-power might be an option (especially
for river running), but it isn't very efficent or economical, for a given
horsepower output.

What ever you decide to do -- keep us in the loop sounds exciting, it's
always fun to give these old girls a new lease on life. Good Luck!

Lee Shuster
Salt Lake City

----- Original Message -----
From: "Larry Burt" <panoptic@...>
To: <omc-boats@...>
Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2007 4:06 PM
Subject: [OMC-Boats] Hello

> Hello OMC folks
> A friend of mine and I are entering into a project to convert a small
> boat to be Westfalia-like, i.e. all-weather campable. Restore the
> exterior and working parts of the boat and add a tiny galley, fold-
> down bed, curtains with extensive windows, etc, everything as light,
> weatherable, and compact as possible. We both have extensive Westie
> experience, some canoeing/small boat experience. The plan is to
> explore/visit waterways along the Willamette and Columbia Rivers in
> Oregon, maybe getting up to Washington later on.
> The OMC 14 or 16 foot tri-hulls look like a good platform. We're
> thinking to go with the smallest fuel-injected 4-stroke outboard like
> a Yamaha 40, maybe something smaller. Not sure about whether jet
> drive is a good option. Ideally the boat would be gently beachable
> under paddle power.
> Any thoughts on the suitability of the OMC platforms, engine size,
> know anyone who's done such a project, where to find a boat?
> Thanks
> Larry Burt
> Portland, Oregon
> _______________________________________________
> OMC-Boats mailing list
> OMC-Boats@...
Received on Monday, 19 November 2007

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