Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

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Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby castronova » August 1st, 2016, 5:12 am

I've posted a lot of this on my own thread in the Florida section but thought I'd start a new thread here for whoever is interested. I'm only fortunate to have this boat and all the gear it's rigged with because I can do most of the work and maintenance myself. Absolutely no chance I could afford the labor to have a yard do the work I've done to this boat. I'm lucky enough to have a good friend in Key West who has a boatyard. I keep my boat there on the trailer and he helps me with answers to my billion questions, availability of tools, and has his guys finish portions of the project that just don't make sense for me to do since they are doing all day (bottom paint, caulking, etc.).

Last summer, I have no idea why I end up doing all of this during the summer, I started by adding new electronics. The boat had a Garmin 3010C when I bought it and a Furuno 600 series depth finder with a screen that was about 5% readable. Everyone hated it, I dealt with it because new shit's expensive. After enough bitching and some help from friends I decided to replace the console flush mount kit and electronics. I don't have photos of the old stuff but here is the new.

The box in this console before was sunk in about 3", just enough for the screen and it was white with a split plexiglass cover. That split when tilted up and running was just perfectly in line with the bridge of your nose... Not safe. This box is made in North Carolina and is now used in all new Contenders. The back is black to cut glare, its angled upward to see the electronics better, and has a 6" setback to give you a nice tray for phones and wallets at the bottom. The cover is 1/2" acrylic that pivots up and then slides back under the top of the console. It also has 2 gemlux locking latches.

I went with dual Simrad NSS Evo2 7" screens. I have now also added a fusion head unit and Icom VHF with DCS tracking.

This was a lot of work but at the same time not really. We had to cut just a little fiberglass for the flushmount to fit. Then, the back of the box came separate so I took it home and templated and cut the holes for the electronics. Took it back to the boat and screwed it into the back. The box itself is screwed into from the front then the white border covers the screws and that is screwed into from inside the console so all screw holes are hidden. Pretty neat.

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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby castronova » August 1st, 2016, 5:17 am

Right before this electronic refit I had taken off the old rotting coaming bolster pads and replaced them. Only with the help of Jeromy at Spearing Magazine and Jason Gardner of Seadek. The new Seadek pads are bad to the bone. They wear great too considering how rough we are on them.

Before I added them on though I made two PVC U shaped hose holders for fresh and raw water. Before they just sat on the ground getting kicked and poked by spear tips. They are just bolted through the old holes from the pads then the Seadek went right over the top.

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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby castronova » August 1st, 2016, 8:40 am

Now came the repower. I had perfectly fine 2001 Yamaha 200 HPDI's. They ran and ran and ran. I was going to run them to death. After some thought I realized I rather sell them while they are worth something then end up dead 100 miles offshore to get back and sell them for scrap. Suzuki has been at the top of my list and the current promotions got me in the door at a very good price. I decided to pull the trigger on new 200's. My boat is an older hull not designed for 4 strokes. Or the weight of 4 strokes I should say. Engine builders are now recognizing that and a few have started to roll out 200hp I-4's that are close to the same weight as older 6 cylinder 2-strokes.

The new Suzuki df200apx is a 2.9L I-4. It comes with digital throttles (no more cables for shift or throttle), digital 4" screens, and they have what is called selective rotation. You put the motors on and with a simple plug under the cowling you can change the motor from standard to counter rotation. This is great for multi-engine boats as I can carry just one prop and if I damage mine I can change the rotation of the motor for the extra prop if need be and get home.

I de-rigged the Yamaha's on a Saturday. It took all day by myself but went pretty smooth. The following day I had help actually unmounting them from the transom with a forklift and they were gone. The following week after work I cleaned, degreased, rust removed, wet sanded, and waxed the areas for the new gear. I left the area around the round gauges as that will get covered with white acrylic.

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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby castronova » August 1st, 2016, 8:56 am

After a few weeks the motors were delivered. I hung them this last Friday, took about 4 hours as we had some problems with holes not lining up perfect. Then after they were hung on Saturday I started rigging. On the Starboard motor I took off the cowling and removed the supplied power cable and started to rig my originals as they were in perfect condition. Bad news, they are about 16" short. Fuck.

So I had to order power posts and will connect the old with the new. Should be fine. I had to order a new tie bar as well to connect the motors. The old one was starting to corrode through.

So I ran everything through new rigging tubes. I bought and added new larger fuel lines, new water separator bracket and fittings. I will have the boat yard fill and bleed the steering. The new brackets for the water separator I got are all stainless. Coated aluminum just doesn't work and gets corroded after a few years.

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I also need to add a third battery for the house. To do so I purchased a BEP battery cluster with VSR (Voltage Sensitive Relay). When the motors are running the starting batteries are charged until they reach 13.7 volts. When they reach 13.7 the unit relays the charge to the house. If any battery drops below 12.8 volts it will get relayed as well. There is an emergency parallel if you get to the boat and have drained a battery to get you up and running. Neat system. I have not installed it yet either.

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My props came in as well. They are mean looking. With the 2.5 final gear ratio on the Suzuki's I can turn a steeper and larger prop. I'm starting with a Suzuki brand 4 x 15 - 1/4 x 24" blade. In comparison with other Contenders with these motors I should be in the 53 - 54 mph range. Most of them are spinning 3 blade 23"s though. I did not want the 3 blade because all of them have cavitation issues. I may drop a few MPH top end but cruise should be more efficient and I hope to have a lower planing speed.

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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby Straz » August 1st, 2016, 9:40 am

Sounds fun JP. Congrats on the new toys.
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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby castronova » August 1st, 2016, 4:32 pm

Toys that drive you crazy. Went to install the BEP battery switches today. All my power cables have 5/16" terminals. They didn't fit. Okay, must be 3/8" because everything is one or the other. Got a drill and drilled on out. Still don't fit. It's 10mm. F*** The battery project is on hold. Ran the last 2 speaker wires and went home.
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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby castronova » August 8th, 2016, 5:48 am

I received the acrylic trim kits on Friday afternoon and installed them Friday night. They covered the old holes nicely. Not as nice as fiberglassing everything back but also much much cheaper. The digital throttles and ignition is so sweet. What a change from the old motors. I ran through the early break-in and got to the 3 hour mark where I could break 3000 and get to 4000 rpm. The props are not quite hooking up. I will need to drop the motors one hole this week unfortunately. At 4,000 I'm getting around 28-29 mph and burning around 13 gph but it's sloppy, grabbing air.

I ran WOT throttle after diving yesterday for the first time. With the 4 x 15.25 x 24" blades I hit 6288 rpm and 49.5 mph. Pretty good with a diving load including 4 guys. The problem now is grip and high cruise which starts sucking fuel. Dropping the motors one hole should fix that. Might also need to go up to 26" wheels. We'll see.

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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby Bowhunter » August 8th, 2016, 6:14 am

Nice and clean, thanks for taking the time to take pics and document your efforts.
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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby castronova » August 10th, 2016, 3:36 am

This is from the other day from my Hull Truth thread.

I went with 4 guys today. A friend who has owned quite a few sets of Suzuki's and a mechanic who installed Suzuki's for a few years and one of my best friends who brought the beer (the main man).

Both the guys who know Suzukis thought the height placement was perfect. My senses were much more comfortable with them today. At 4000 I still sat at 29 burning 13 this time. I let it warm up and turned up concentrating on mid range.

4000 29 mph 13 gph - 2.23 mpg
4300 31 mph 14 gph - 2.21 mpg
4500 34 mph 15 gph - 2.26 mpg
4750 38.6 mph 18 gph - 2.14 mpg
6200 50.4 mph burning who cares, didn't look.

This is from my memory so I could be a tad off but the high cruise and WOT is dead on for sure. I think I'm going to try the 26" four blades and leave them right where they are height wise. One thing is for sure, the 4 blades keep the bow very heavy. I cannot get it loose at WOT where it feels like it's floating even at 55% trim throwing water. The stern lift, which this boat needs is very good with these props.
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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby castronova » August 10th, 2016, 6:04 pm

This is not finished but before I show you a few photos let me show you before and where I was out half way through rigging.

With oil tanks...
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After a couple hours after removing them. Literally, hours of cleaning.
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This is what it is going to. Still some mold and wires aren't perfect but they're getting there.

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This is the battery post connection and new water separator bracket in the bilge. Also needs X-14 and will be straightened. It needs to be filled with electric grease as well.

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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby Dave Freeman » August 11th, 2016, 8:19 pm

Damn JP that's one hell of an over haul. Getting that speed and mpg is insane.
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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby castronova » August 15th, 2016, 5:10 am

The speed and MPG are getting even better with break in. Still being underpropped I have hit 53.5 while still having throttle left but being on the limiter. I've seen from 2.2 - 2.6 mpg on the last 2 trips. I got 2.4 mpg at 38 mph yesterday and 2.6 mpg at 36.5 the day before that. The Suzuki 4 x 15.25 x 26" blades will be here today and should put me right in the sweet spot. Now that I'm passed the break-in I would imagine the MPH to RPM gap will close and the top end will be closer to or exceed 55 mph. These new motors far exceed the old Yammies. The quickness these motors transfer power is insane.
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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby Jstiver09 » August 15th, 2016, 6:18 pm

Those are some crazy good fuel burn numbers!


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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby castronova » August 18th, 2016, 6:46 am

I decided to replace the t-top canvas while I'm busy getting rid of all my money. :nuts:

The canvas I had was really old and only minutes after rain it would get saturated and start to rain under the top. It was basically a shade. My tenant is a custom awning maker so he made the top for me. We used Marine Grade Vinyl from Sunbrella. Seems much more durable than canvas and will be completely waterproof. He said that is his highest grade for awnings that will last 10 years plus.

I decided to keep softening the look of the boat, white motors, now I took the black top with black string and put grey with white string to play off of the Seadek. The boat looks completely different now and I like it much better. I also replaced the VHF antenna that had cracking coaxial with new brass and copper element 6db as this is my lifeline. The AM/FM antenna I kept as it can crap out and I could care less.

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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby castronova » August 28th, 2016, 2:13 pm

A third battery is a must with these long trips I've been doing. I've taken an extra the past year or so but not connected, just an extra battery. Yesterday I finally got around to the install. I added a deep cycle to carry the accessory load. The BEP cluster I posted before has some bad reviews so I decided to go without it. I added a Blue Seas SI-ACR which is charging relay. I took all the accessory power terminals off the battery switches and put them to a power post. A ran a #6 from the house battery, to a 60 amp breaker, then looped it to the power post. Now the cranking batteries only power the outboards.

I then ran a #2 from both the starboard crank and the house to the ACR then connected all the grounds. The ACR will allow the house to drain while the starter is isolated and then will charge the house from the cranking battery when the motor is running and then parallel them. Very easy install.

I also ran the power and ground for the Wet Sounds amp so all 8 6.5" speakers are working. The front 4 on the amp are acting weird, need settings changed but didn't have time to play with it. I'm getting there. I have a neat little idea for life vest storage I'll show everyone later in the week.

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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby Freeryde » November 25th, 2016, 7:35 am

Wow awesome work! I too do all my own work. I have a 28' worldcat with 175 zukes. I have had Suzuki 4 strokes for my last 3 engines and my brother who lives in Florida has had only Suzuki also. They are amazing motors. Getting 2.5+ mpg at 35mph is a dream! My brother and his buddies run down and stay over night at the fort about once a month. Maybe you have seen them out there? He has a 36' twin vee that has a dark black/blue wrap with black 300 zukes that also have a black wrap with hogfish skeleton art. Usually 3 mid 40's semi muscle bound dudes and a 6 year old kid( my brothers son). Anyway love the thread in the Florida section and here too. The underwater pics are awesome Boat looks sweet!
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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby Bill McIntyre » November 26th, 2016, 4:11 pm

I didn't realize that a stainless water separator filter bracket existed. I'm going to pick up one of those to replace my old funky plated aluminum bracket.
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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby castronova » November 28th, 2016, 5:44 am

Freeryde wrote:Wow awesome work! I too do all my own work. I have a 28' worldcat with 175 zukes. I have had Suzuki 4 strokes for my last 3 engines and my brother who lives in Florida has had only Suzuki also. They are amazing motors. Getting 2.5+ mpg at 35mph is a dream! My brother and his buddies run down and stay over night at the fort about once a month. Maybe you have seen them out there? He has a 36' twin vee that has a dark black/blue wrap with black 300 zukes that also have a black wrap with hogfish skeleton art. Usually 3 mid 40's semi muscle bound dudes and a 6 year old kid( my brothers son). Anyway love the thread in the Florida section and here too. The underwater pics are awesome Boat looks sweet!


Thanks Joe. No, I don't think I've seen your brother. That sounds like a boat I wouldn't forget the looks of. So far I love the motors too. They are just quiet and powerful across the board.

Bill McIntyre wrote:I didn't realize that a stainless water separator filter bracket existed. I'm going to pick up one of those to replace my old funky plated aluminum bracket.


Bill, they are so much better and they are not super pricey either.
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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby Bill McIntyre » November 29th, 2016, 4:45 pm

I notice that you are using a Racor filter with a clear plastic bowl. I've always used a Racor filter of the same model number that came on the boat when I bought it, but since my boat has an inboard engine, I'm required to use a metal bowl. When I look online for those Marpac stainless filter brackets, I see that several sellers want to sell me a Marpac filter along with the bracket, but the filters have a closed bottom, with no screw on bowl. Which leads me to a stupid question.

I can't recall ever loosening that plug on the bottom of the bowl and draining water. I think I may have tried it a couple of times to see if I had any water, but since I never did I quit trying. Have I just been lucky?

So as long as the filter is the same size, do I even need one with a bowl? It would be a lot simpler to change a filter with no bowl and extra O-ring seal to mess with.
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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby castronova » November 29th, 2016, 6:11 pm

Bill, my answer to that is don't think the bowl really matters at all and would get rid of these expensive filters in a heart beat if it weren't for one reason for me... ethanol. Most the time I use marina fuel but sometimes, whenever I can or have the time, I use ethanol and make very far runs so I decided to just keep things the same. If that wasn't an option I would use standard full metal water separators.
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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby Bill McIntyre » November 30th, 2016, 6:38 am

I'm not sure I understand. My boat is on a trailer and I use gas station fuel to avoid the high prices at the gas dock, but how does that affect the need for a bowl that can be drained?
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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby castronova » November 30th, 2016, 6:55 am

The chance of getting water in the fuel due to ethanol is much higher than non-ethanol fuels. With the bowl if I'm out at the Tortugas and start getting signs of water I can drain the bowl periodically eliminating the water before it gets to the engine. If I didn't have that I would have to unscrew the filter and dump it all the time then I would lose vacuum in the line, have to pump the primer again, etc. This is my thought process, I still keep an extra filter on board at all times on top of that.

This hasn't happened yet but it is my concern with ethanol added fuel sucking water into the fuel tank. Usually this only happens after the boat sits for a while. Mine usually doesn't sit but I know people who have had these issues and my last boat had these issues. After having issues keeping the motor running I pumped out 3 gallons through my primer bulb on my last bay boat. After it settled a few hours it ended up being 2 gallons of water and 1 gallon of fuel.
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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby Kwtony » November 30th, 2016, 2:00 pm

We have 18 boats with 15 zukes that i work on here at the rental. Every single boat has a drain plug on its fuel filter. If it doesnt have one when we buy the boat, its usually one of the first things to do.
Its worth its weight in gold to be able to quickly fix a water in fuel issue.
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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby Bill McIntyre » November 30th, 2016, 2:06 pm

Thanks guys, you convinced me. I just ordered another Racor S3228TUL filter to go with my bowl and drain plug. Now I have to order one of those stainless brackets. Will the barbs and plugs from my old aluminum bracket fit in the holes?
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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby Kwtony » December 3rd, 2016, 3:03 am

All it takes is a leaky fill cap, an improperly set up tank vent or deteriorating hose to take a little seawater in before you are SOL Many times we will see water go in the tank at the fuel gauge sender. When I get on the boat, its typically the first thing I look at. Good habit to get into. Your old existing hardware should work just fine tho. You might find that the bowl and drain plug might cause clearance issues depending on how high you have it mounted but it shouldn't be a big problem.
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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby castronova » December 7th, 2016, 12:56 pm

Bill McIntyre wrote:Thanks guys, you convinced me. I just ordered another Racor S3228TUL filter to go with my bowl and drain plug. Now I have to order one of those stainless brackets. Will the barbs and plugs from my old aluminum bracket fit in the holes?


They should all be 3/8 Bill. I hope they are because they are not cheap.
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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby dam » June 1st, 2017, 11:10 am

You have nothing but respect from me :bow-blue: . Hope I could take a ride on that boat one day... :D
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Re: Bar Stroll... DIY refit and repower

Postby castronova » June 1st, 2017, 11:24 am

dam wrote:You have nothing but respect from me :bow-blue: . Hope I could take a ride on that boat one day... :D


Come on down Dam. Amadeo will be here next weekend for a tournament. Hope the weather holds, 2 nights, 2 days at the Tortugas. Join if you wish.
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