Jake’s Outdoor Adventures – March 20

Repowering and Rigging Your Boat (Part one of two)

by Jake Worthington

Repowering a boat with new motors can be an expensive and stressful event.  When I was named to the Evinrude Pro Staff, I had to do a complete re-rigging of the boat and I learned a lot. New motors, rigging and installation labor can easily surpass $25,000 a motor depending on the horsepower you choose. A lot of considerations need to be studied before you pull the trigger on this major investment. First, what is the condition of your boat and is it worth this investment? My decision was easy. I had a Parker 2501DV Center Console and after a quick inspection, we found no issues. However, many people have discovered rot in the transom during the installation and had to spend a great deal of time and money to repair it before the repower.

The next question is what type of motor do you want and why?  I wanted to stop having to have my motors serviced every 100 hours, which was inconvenient and expensive. I also wanted to have upper station controls added to my boat, which was a major factor in repowering also. To add rigging and a console to my boat would have been cost prohibitive because I would have had to install new throttle cables and rigging. My motors were from 2004 and after seeing what it would cost to have this done, it made more sense to do a complete engine replacement and rigging. Because of this, you are removing all the old lines, cables and electrical lines and starting over. The good news is when you replace the rigging today, the lines are all smaller and in most cases, plug and play. You get state of the art electronic gauges or icons that do more than just give you basic information. Today’s motor data can also be run to NMEA equipped electronics such as Lowrance GPS and Sonars. I can assure you that picking the engine is the easy part. The hard part comes from choosing which extras you want and how you want to use it.

Do your research, talk to other boat owners, and then visit a dealer to get their feedback. Once you have decided which brand and horsepower you want, then go to a dealer to get a quote. Make sure when you get a quote that you and the dealer are on the same page with what you want. With these new generations of outboards there are so many rigging and control options. Make sure you investigate all that is out there and get the right combo. My advice is to choose a local dealer not only because they are part of your community but because they will be the ones servicing your new motor. If you have your boat repowered a couple of hours away to save $1000, then think about the cost of hauling that boat back and forth over the period of ownership. Next month we will discuss engine selection and finishing the repower.