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1998 Sunsetter 21'... First Purchase, Really Need Some Help


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If you couldn't already tell by the username and title, this would be my first boat purchase if by a stroke of luck I can get some info from you guys.

Found a 1998 Sunsetter on Craigslist recently for under 10k.. Too good to be true right? (according to my old man, if it seems like it then it usually is)

Anyways I haven't had the chance to look at it in person but from the research I've done on here it seems like it could be a great all around hull, the only thing that has me really confused is the motor in this thing.

Per his or hers description - "Boat and trailer,good condition,350 Chevy crate engine 300 hp 50hrs ,Monster Tower,will consider all realistic offers"

I can't for the life of me find any info on what this engine could be. I can hardly even find anything about a "Chevy" marine engine. All I really see is GM MerCruisers but I have no idea if that is what this person is talking about or if it is some sort of frankenstein rebuild. Can one of you kind folks please help out a hopeful new boat owner? I already know this isn't looking good from the start but at this point I really am more curious than anything. Thank you guys, and trust me, I'm nowhere near purchasing this one.. Just looking for Information!

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Most likely scenario is (1) that this seller is not well versed in the marine terminology and brands, and (2) with the terms they are using, that the engine was replaced recently due to freezing (or other) and they replaced it with a GM (Chev) 350 (5.7) Block, and put the marine parts back on.  This would have been the standard engine block to use.  They probably aren't aware to list if its a Mercruiser or a Indmar, they just know its a "Chevy 350 crate motor!"  Photos will help.   Probably not a Frankenstein motor but its always a possibility.

 

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20 minutes ago, PaulH86 said:

Most likely scenario is (1) that this seller is not well versed in the marine terminology and brands, and (2) with the terms they are using, that the engine was replaced recently due to freezing (or other) and they replaced it with a GM (Chev) 350 (5.7) Block, and put the marine parts back on.  This would have been the standard engine block to use.  They probably aren't aware to list if its a Mercruiser or a Indmar, they just know its a "Chevy 350 crate motor!"  Photos will help.   Probably not a Frankenstein motor but its always a possibility.

 

Okay thank you for clearing some things up for me. I haven’t heard back from him yet. I’ll post the Craigslist link if that is okay?

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That listing doesn't give me a warm tingling feeling.   If you do pursue make sure its legit and not a scam.

Other notes - most likely used in salt, probably not a "Monster Tower" but not that big of a deal.  Not sure about the engine.

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Looking at the ad I would warn you that this may be a pretty big leap for a first boat purchase. Doesn't look like a scam but there's a reason the price is so low - there are a lot of things you'll need to address to make this something you'd be happy with. If you're not scared of that and have the skills to do it then go for it. But since this is your first purchase I'm assuming you may not and you may not know what to look for on a test drive to be sure it's a good boat.

Here's what you'll probably have to deal with at minimum:

Tuning the carb, gauges not working, wiring problems, upholstery/carpet replacement, rub rail replacement (looks like the nose has been hit causing the rub rail to become dislodged), misc. electrical gremlins with the accessories (stereo, blower, bilge, lights, etc.) Not to be a negative nancy but want you to be aware of what you're getting into. Ask me how I know... 

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@BoatRookie - there are differences between a marine engine and an automotive version.  Specifically, marine engines have different water circulation pumps, core plugs, distributors, starters and fuel system components (depending on carb or FI) to address water corrosion and spark issues.  In addition, the camshaft on a GM marine engine is different than the automotive version of that engine.  The base engine is from an automotive supplier (most likely GM or Ford) and then finished by a marinizer (Indmar, Mercury Marine, PCM, Crusader) to be installed in the boat.

In the case of the ad you are referencing, link is inactive so I did not look at it, you would want to determine if an automotive or marine crate engine was used.  GM and Ford offer what is called a crate engine, basically a complete engine for use to replace one that has a problem or needs a rebuild.  Crate engines are popular as it offers an easy R&R of an engine in need of repair.  There are numerous variants on crate engine theme from mild to wild depending on what you are looking for.  

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