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Author Topic:   Converting to Bracket and Outboard from I/O
steelhead5 posted 10-19-2004 06:39 PM ET (US)   Profile for steelhead5   Send Email to steelhead5  
I have a lead on a fair condition OUTRAGE 22 Cuddy that has a beat up old [VOLVO-PENTA] I/O. Is it really feasible to repair the transom to the point you could convert it back into a outboard boat? Also, if you did a 100% replacement on the I/O, what sort of cost is involved, in general terms? Thanks to all for the help.
LHG posted 10-19-2004 06:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
My guess: it's a LOT less expensive to replace the I/O.

A full transom boat like an I/O would need to have some large holes repaired in the transom, the elimination of the motor well and box inside the boat, the addition of a transom bracket, about $2000, plus an outboard engine purchase and rigging work.

David Pendleton posted 10-19-2004 09:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
I agree with Larry.

Besides, an I/O is way better than an outboard, even two.

(I'll run and hide now...)


David Ratusnik posted 10-20-2004 02:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Steel- A new single 25-inch set back positive float bracket will run approx $800, full/dual set up around $1500. With labor the idea gets costly. Add a new engine $10-15K.

Wild thought. If you could locate a healthy rebuilt OMC Seadrive (C) you would save the bracket cost. The BoatTrader mag seems to have these from time to time. If healthy, the engine should cost you $4-5K and keep the project costs down and you on the right side of the dollars (not upside down). Just a thought- maybe nuts. .02 David

bsmotril posted 10-20-2004 04:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
It is not hard at all to patch that hole, and it will be a LOT cheaper than redoing that IO in the long run. Especially if you plan on keeping the rig for a while where parts availablilty is going to be a problem the older it gets. It is entirely in the realm of do it yourself if you can do basic fiberglass bodywork. The hi- level plan is:
Remove the IO
Bevel the outside edge of the hole to a 45 degree angle with a circular or sawsall and mitre gauge so the beveled edge faces out the stern.
With a grinder or sander, remove the gelcoat for 2-4 inches around the hole both inside and outside, and deep enough so it will be flush when 4 layers of tape and glass are added later.
Get a piece of Marine plywood big enough to cover the hole. You may need to laminate a couple of layers together with epoxy to make up the thickness of the hole.
Cut a plug to fit and bevel the edge to match the hole.
Glass on two inch glass tape over the seam inside and out
Repeat with 4 inch tape.
Repeat with 6 inch tape.
Repeat with a final layer of fine mat that covers the whole shebang and overlaps the edge by another 2 inches, again inside and out.
Fill, mold, and finish with spray gel-coat.
Mount your bracket and outboard.
doobee posted 10-20-2004 04:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for doobee  Send Email to doobee     
A good bracket will be a worthwile endeavor. The boat will perform much better, the cockpit will drain better, you'll get a lot more room in the cockpit, you'll have tons of storage space, you reduce the fire hazard, and you won't have to worry about the lower unit being continuously submerged in salt water.

Look into Stainless Marine, Gill, or Armstrong. I looked into a single engine bracket with platforms for a Hiliner 22. I think the retail cost was around $1300.

whalersailer posted 10-20-2004 05:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalersailer  Send Email to whalersailer     
I'm going to have to agree with the naysayers on this one. My reasoning has nothing to do with the cost of the project. My main concern would be the strength (or lack thereof) of the filled transom. I/O boats are designed to have the load of the engine and its thrust borne by the engine stringers - not the transom. Simply filling the hole in the transom and bolting on a bracket without further substantial structural enhancements to the entire transom would be a recipe for potential disaster.

If it was my boat, I would seriously look into repowering with a diesel I/O that would bolt right in.

Good Luck,


jimh posted 10-20-2004 08:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
My advice would vary depending on how you planned to use the boat. If it will be a salt-water boat and kept in the water, replacement of the I/O is a good idea. If the boat will be used in fresh water and be sailed from a trailer, the I/O is a good choice.

I would think that for an OUTRAGE 22 you would want to convert to a bracket and a 225-HP engine. This means an outlay of about $15,000 for the outboard and at least $4,000 for the bracket and associated hull repairs. You can probably buy TWO I/O power plants--I mean two engines and two outdrives--for that price.

If you wanted to re-power with twin outboards the costs would be even higher.

Also, you have to consider that situation with the interior of the boat. The I/O model will be different from a Sea Drive model. You will have to do something about the old engine box. This will cost money, too.

In the end, you will have a boat that has undergone quite a major conversion, and as a re-sale prospect this will affect the value. It will probably not be easy to get your investment back on all those modifications, certainly more difficult than someone who just installed a new motor (either outboard or I/O) and didn't totally re-rig the boat.

It is hard to recommend what to do, as a great deal depends on you and your situation. If you have someplace to work on the boat for a few months, have the time to perform the work, can accomplish the work in a professional manner, etc., you might be able to make this conversion for much less cost. You might be able to find a nice used outboard motor that will run for a decade for $5,000. It is hard to predict.

Binkie posted 10-20-2004 08:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie  Send Email to Binkie     
You can but a used gill bracket for $300-$700. They have been around for years and don`t wear out.
c_mccann posted 10-20-2004 09:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for c_mccann  Send Email to c_mccann     
What's your budget? How much do you love this boat? I have a thing against I/O's for the obvious reasons, and I have a bracketed Honda 225 on my revenge 25 and like it. You are talking a lot of $$ and work to redo this boat, I agree that that transom may not be strong enough for a outboard, check if the I/O version has a different transom than the OB versions. I'll say you'd really like the simplicity of an OB setup- more cockpit and if you get a 4-stroke OB (the only ones I reccommend) you'll love it more than the boat. Plan on 20k out the door- fill transom, glass work, deck work, outboard, bracket, motor rigging, etc. DO NOT DO A SEA DRIVE,or any other OMC product- they are tough to get parts for and break all the time. Plus they smoke, knock and suck fuel. You could save $$ by finding used brackets/ motor/parts, but the cost of the glass work is a wild card. Bitchen fish box, though....
John W posted 10-20-2004 09:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for John W  Send Email to John W     
If you want an outboard boat, buy an outboard boat. You will save money & have a boat designed for the power you have on it. I would be very skeptical of someone's IO conversion if I were buying a used boat.

As jimh said, IO's make a lot of sense if you don't have to keep the outdrive in saltwater. IO's are cheaper than outboards to replace, and easier to maintain yourself. But if you want an outboard 22 outrage, keep'll find one.

where2 posted 10-20-2004 09:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
Just Go For It! That engine hatch will make one HUGE fish box!! Ask the guy with Bob's converted Rage, he's got more storage than he ever wanted in a 15' Boston Whaler!

Some nice geometic shapes between the stringers and the transom bracket bolts should put the engine forces to the hull nicely...

David Ratusnik posted 10-20-2004 11:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Steel- Recently, I have looked at a 22' Cuddy mid '80's Outrage with a 350ci Merc and Merc outdrive. The boat was converted to the IO power. Converted from an OMC SeaDrive setup. If the one you are looking at came to life as a SeaDrive then the rear of the boat/transom internals may remain for a return to this form of power.

If money is no object, nor resale, then screw it and just rebuild the transom hole, fill in the engine compartment, put on an Armstrong bracket and swing a new V6 4 stroke. .02 David

tarbaby posted 10-21-2004 01:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for tarbaby  Send Email to tarbaby     
I have done the conversion you are thinking about. After all the money and time I invested I would still do it again. It is a project that I am proud of. Most people don't believe me when I tell them what I did. They have to get onboard and look into my fishbox and see the old engine stringers and still they think it came that way from the factory.

The transom wood and fiberglass layup is the same on an I/O boat as it is on an outboard boat. And also the same as a Sea-Drive boat. I assure you the transom is plenty strong to hang an Armstrong bracket.

I decided to do the change after I was left stranded in Bogue Inlet. The "black engine" was always trouble for me and I didn't trust it. The boat only had 100 hours on it when it blew. The boat had been stored for many years in a big garage and I thought I was lucky to get it. I got it in a divorce sale for cheap from a disgruntled wife. The novelty of pissing her husband off was gone and she just wanted it out of there. An older engine with only a few hours on it is just as bad if not worse than one with too many hours. I now have an outboard that starts every time and I gained 15 mph. The boat acts like a much bigger boat with a bracket. With a bracket you can tilt the engine up higher and get it out of the water.

Another idea would be to remove the stern box, fill in the hole in the floor and cut the transom down and hang the engines from there. It would cost less than a bracket for sure. Resale would be better with a bracket though.

It will be a nice winter project for you......DO IT!

andygere posted 10-21-2004 05:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
You'd be much better off to buy this boat, pay the shipping and have the real deal on day one:

Even if it cost you $3k to ship it to CA, you'd still be well under market value for an original and unadulterated Outrage 22 Cuddy. If this is the model you want, I'd give some serious consideration to this boat.

I ran the numbers on converting a Sea Drive Outraege 22 Cuddy a few years ago, an easier conversion by far, and final costs did not come close to comperable outboard powered Outrage models that were available on the market. If you like the full transom, look for a Whaler Drive model.

David Ratusnik posted 10-21-2004 08:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Andy- Totally agree with your $$ analysis. Also, assuming Steel could handle all the labor himself and buy healthy Seadrives, he still has a cobbed-up boat. Resale to the crabbers unless he's lucky. David
JeffreyJ posted 10-31-2004 09:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for JeffreyJ  Send Email to JeffreyJ     
Hello all,

I did this to my 1993 Bayliner Capri 2452. The price tag was $4000. Plugging the hole was simple and cheap, about $400. The bracket was another $1000. Installation of the bracket, labor, and the other required parts was the rest. I used the one from Stainless Marine. It was an aluminum one.

It's easy to say you'll convert and I/O, but things that you don't think of need to be fixed or replaced, like the wiring harness might be too short and you need a new one. Also on mine, the steering cable was not long enough, so I had to get a new one of those. Fuel lines need to be replaced, etc. Also, the bracket needs to be installed just right or you will have power problems.

Looking back, it was probably not the thing to do. Here in FL, the water is really harsh, and my boat was in the water all the time. Corrosion was eating my IO bad (even with new zincs). I thought that if I got the engine out of the water, with a bracket, it would help. Well what happend is the corrosion ate the bracket! I should have moved marinas, because there was definately some electrolysis problem where I was.

I finally wound up donating the boat to charity. They say the two best days of a boat owner's life is the day they buy the boat, and the day they sell it! :) That's why I am shopping for a new one. But one that will be on a trailer.

Hope this helps and happy boating!


TexasWhaler posted 11-01-2004 10:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for TexasWhaler  Send Email to TexasWhaler     
Since we're on the subject, here are some before and after photos of a 25' Whitewater center console that went through the I/O to outboard conversion.

Apologies for it being non-Whaler.

highspeed_jd posted 11-06-2004 03:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for highspeed_jd  Send Email to highspeed_jd     

That ol' boy did one hell of a job restoring that rig. I don't even want to know how much that set him back.

alkar posted 11-06-2004 01:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for alkar  Send Email to alkar     
I love seeing work like that. That's a class job. I'm sure it wasn't "cost-efective", but it is a work of art.

Thanks for sharing.


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