Re-Power 1992 Sundancer 290

Discussion in 'Sport Cruisers' started by The Saintly One, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. The Saintly One

    The Saintly One New Member

    25
    Oct 9, 2018
    Sea Ray Sundancer 290 1992
    No Engines But looking at an Outboard Conversion
    I live in the UK and our Cruising boat usage is somewhat different to your US playgrounds added to the fact we pay stupid amounts for fuel that an original like for like 7.4ltr Merc is going to be prohibitively expensive. So with that in mind what is the Minimum size single Engine I could put in a 1992 Sundancer to still get her up over the hump and onto the plane????
     
  2. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    I'm sure someone smarter than myself will chime in but I believe you could get V6's in the 290. 4.3L's if I recall correctly. Those would save you some coin vs a big block, I assume.
     
  3. Quint4

    Quint4 Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    S.W. Ohio
    330 Sport Bridge (Sold)
    5.7 MPI 350 Merc Bluewaters
    I owned the same boat. The single 7.4 is the minimum size engine for that boat if you want it to plane and perform as designed.
     
  4. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    Ohh geeze...not enough coffee yet. I didn't even catch the single part. Nice....
     
  5. The Saintly One

    The Saintly One New Member

    25
    Oct 9, 2018
    Sea Ray Sundancer 290 1992
    No Engines But looking at an Outboard Conversion
    "Perform" as designed for the American Market as I pointed out you guys are lucky enough to have lots of playground space and cheap fuel. Which is why I am posting the question. Plus the availability of those original mercs are not as plentiful as they might be over your side of the pond

    So think of it more like if the boat in 1992 originally had either a pair of V6's or a 7.4L single what would be a modern upgrade to give a usable amount of power and reasonable fuel Economy. presuming that modern engines are better and more fuel efficient than their 26 year old counterparts
     
  6. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    Did you give up on your outboard conversion?
     
  7. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    Yes, can you expand on your thoughts? As of your last post, there was a lot of back and forth but it seemd you were settled on OB's. http://www.clubsearay.com/index.php?threads/newbie-boat-no-engines-3-options.90126/#post-1019071

    Are you now dead set on switching your boat from it's original twin engine setup to a single engine? Why did you nix the OB setup - you were so gung-ho on that. You had mentioned that OB's were the way you preferred to go - what changed?

    Given your expectations, you could get by with a small block - but you'd probably want one that's been beefed up with some more HP. AND, you will ABSOLUTELY need a B3 drive (a B2 would be "OK") for a single engine on that boat. Well, maybe "absolutely" is not entirely true, but a single prop... boy, you'd be working that engine awful hard and there is a VERY noticeable difference in the performance between the two drives.

    I'd also be looking at doubling the size (span) of your trim tabs - or atleast as big as you can go.
     
  8. The Saintly One

    The Saintly One New Member

    25
    Oct 9, 2018
    Sea Ray Sundancer 290 1992
    No Engines But looking at an Outboard Conversion
    I think I'm still umming and erring. There is a big underlying concern of the unknown factor of the outboard option. Knowing the boat did come with a single inboard option is a peace of mind. However the biggest drawback is availability of a used 7.4 Merc here in the UK and the fuel economy. My use as you pointed out is limited to the river which is restricted to some degree even on the Thames estuary and the longest trip I'm likely to take is up the Thames which gets restricted again past the houses of Parliament . Hence looking at a single inboard but given that the 7.4L is gonna be 1) old 2) hard to source unless I import 3) Very Juicy for my needs am wondering what other options I have.
     
  9. Ididntdoit

    Ididntdoit Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 5, 2007
    Newport, RI
    300 Sundancer
    5.0MPI Bravo III
    get a 6.2 small block and a B3 drive and drop fin tabs- it may have enough power to plane with a light load - have you thought about a diesel conversion - steyr, vw, etc may have marine options - expensive and require other supporting mods, but if you can find something used the swap could make sense
     
  10. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    Are you sure you don't want a trawler style boat? From what you've been talking about, it sure seems that that style boat would suit your needs a whole lot better. Considering the money you'll spend on "making do" with the Sundancer, put that money into something that is already built for the way you want it. At this point, you have very little money into your Sea Ray, and can likely re-sell it for at least close to what you paid.

    Maybe something with a 4cyl diesel, single prop? It wouldn't get you the top end speeds that the Dancer would, but it would sip fuel and still clip along at a nice pace - faster than the Dancer would when off plane, anyways.

    Don't get me wrong - I'm all for "projects"... but is the end result what you really want.. and what's the final cost outlay to get there? Is it worth it in the end? Just a thought.
     
  11. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer
    2001
    Axiom 12 MFD
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    If repowering...put a diesel in. However, might still be cheaper to buy gas.
     
  12. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    I feel like we went through this "sell it and buy the boat you want" line of thought during the outboard conversion topic!

    Another thought - make her float without engines, use it as a cottage and buy a nice inflatable for less money than you'll have into replacing the engine!
     

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