1976 SeaLark 24' Inboard Resoration

Discussion in 'Inboards' started by larkinja, May 4, 2016.

  1. larkinja
    Joined: Aug 2010
    Posts: 24
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Michigan

    larkinja Junior Member

    Good Morning Everyone!

    Hope this is the right place to post this. I purchased a 1976 SeaLark 24' Inboard boat last night. Hoping to get a few suggestions on this thing.

    I have owned many boats over the years, but all IO's. This is the first boat I have ever had that is inboard.

    The motor, I believe is basically shot. The owner sold it as a cracked block boat. It had oil in the water last fall. They disconnected the heat exchanger for some reason in their attempts to troubleshoot it. It then went through a Michigan winter, supposedly inside, but who knows. So I am banking on putting in a new long block at minimum.

    Never had any experience with a closed system or heat exchanger. Any way to find out if it's any good?

    The last unknown for me is the transmission. Again, never had an inboard, so never had any reason to learn about them. I assume it has a direct drive. Anyone know anything about the transmissions from that era? How would I go about identifying what it is so I know what I have?

    Other thoughts are if I should just replace the same long block, look at updating it with newer vortec, or maybe even MPI. Although not sure of the implications of an engine swap in terms of bolting up to transmission, exhaust issues etc. The exhaust seems to go simply straight back from the risers into a baffle and out the transom.

    This boat is so fricking simple and the entire floor is fiberglass and removable in 3 pieces! I have never seen a boat easier to work on.

    First thing we are going to do is pull the floor out, and remove the engine. Pull the fuel tank to inspect. Basically remove as much as we can. Clean the crap out of the hull and check for any issues that might need repair, and then go from there.

    Any thoughts or suggestions are more than welcome.

    Attached is a photo. Sorry it's pretty crappy, was dark by the time we pulled out last night.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 13,953
    Likes: 486, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    With a closed system, you can test it for leaks with a standard automotive pressure tester. It attached to the cap (identical to a radiator cap) and puts pressure in. If you fill the system with water, the leaks will show.
     
  3. larkinja
    Joined: Aug 2010
    Posts: 24
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Michigan

    larkinja Junior Member

    Great, do I need to cap it off anywhere else for this to work. Wouldn't the pressure just push the water out the other end?

    Sorry if this sounds like a stupid questions, just don't know much about them yet.

    Thank you for the response!
     
  4. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 13,953
    Likes: 486, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    A closed system is just like a car. Instead of a radiator there is a heat exchanger. The anti-freeze runs on one side of the pipes and raw water on the other.
     
  5. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 473, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Given the costs of a junk yard long block, you might just save the trouble and spend a few hundred bucks. Though checking out what you have is simple enough, it could just be a blown head gasket. Run through the usual diagnostic procedures, including a pressure test.
     
  6. larkinja
    Joined: Aug 2010
    Posts: 24
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Michigan

    larkinja Junior Member

    Yeah I figure we will pull it and check it over. It is currently hydro locked, so cant even turn the crank. I would certainly think head gasket. Of course the previous idiot ran raw water into it and then let it freeze, so not holding high hopes. If I put a long block in it would be a re-manned one, not a used one.
     
  7. larkinja
    Joined: Aug 2010
    Posts: 24
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Michigan

    larkinja Junior Member

    I've been asked a couple times already today why I would want to put money into a boat like this. I have a 330 Sundancer, so I'm not looking for anything to "hang out" on. I am a diver, and 3 of my buddies are as well, and my dancer is not great for diving. Well, the boat is great, but I am slipped in Holland on Lake Michigan, but not in an area great for diving. It takes to long and to much gas to go anywhere worth diving. There are a ton of dive sites 4 hours north of us, but way to hard to trailer that boat. I'd also like to take it south for Florida diving at some point as well, so the closed cooling is appealing. Most modern small boats just don't make good diving boats. I have a 17' searay as well, and it's just outright a horrible dive boat. No floor space, and it's really too small for Lake Michigan. CC's are great but more money that I would like to spend just for diving. This boat has a huge deck for a 24' and it is completely open. Even better than a CC from a layout standpoint in my opinion. And I LOVE the inboard. Not sure why, maybe just because I have never owned one, but they just seem so simple and low maintenance. All this boat needs to do it hold all our gear and get us reliably to dive sites, and ideally always start when it's time to head home. :) Reliability is going to be the most important thing, so I don't mind shelling out for some new running gear.

    I got this boat super cheap, so I'll pull everything and make sure the boat is even worth putting the effort in first before buying anything. Floor, stringers, etc.. all seem very solid for a 40 year old boat, but won't know for sure till we go through it. I am certainly not out much if it turns south once we get into it.
     
  8. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 473, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    You'll love the inboard until you need to back up and can only steer in one direction.
     
  9. larkinja
    Joined: Aug 2010
    Posts: 24
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Michigan

    larkinja Junior Member

    Ahh yes, I have head that!
     
  10. 7228sedan
    Joined: Nov 2009
    Posts: 326
    Likes: 9, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 60
    Location: New Jersey USA

    7228sedan Senior Member

    "Steer"... that's funny :)

    You learn to use it to your advantage. The prop walk on my 72 Luhrs is as good as having a sterndrive boat hard to port in reverse.
     
  11. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 473, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Yeah you'll learn to like planning your efforts in reverse to port. 270 degree swings of the boat's butt is sexy.
     
  12. 7228sedan
    Joined: Nov 2009
    Posts: 326
    Likes: 9, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 60
    Location: New Jersey USA

    7228sedan Senior Member

    It definitely makes you look good when you nail the landing :)
     
  13. larkinja
    Joined: Aug 2010
    Posts: 24
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Michigan

    larkinja Junior Member

    Can't wait to try. Any other suggestions for the project
     
  14. 7228sedan
    Joined: Nov 2009
    Posts: 326
    Likes: 9, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 60
    Location: New Jersey USA

    7228sedan Senior Member

    Once you dig in, let us know what you have/find. Off the top of my head you're likely going to want to replace the mounts, service the stuffing box etc. What transmission is in there?
     

  15. larkinja
    Joined: Aug 2010
    Posts: 24
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Michigan

    larkinja Junior Member

    Actually, that was one of the questions asked earlier. How do I identify what transmission I have? I'm sure I'll know more once I get it out.
     
Loading...
Similar Threads
  1. holdenglenn
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    3,797
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.