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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Ontario
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    1969 SRV 185, 1974 SRV 240 Weekender (next project)
    Engine(s)
    Mercruiser 120/Pre-Alpha drive, Mercruiser 225/TRS drive
    Posts
    14

    Just bought a '69 SRV 185 to restore/revive

    Just got home from picking my first boat - a 1969 SRV 185 with a 120 Mercruiser. Got it for a couple hundred bucks...

    I originally started shopping around for a fishing boat, stumbled across this, and decided it could be an interesting project!

    Going to need a LOT of work, but only cost will be parts/materials, and my retired father (who lives upstairs in our house) finally finished the frame up restoration of his 1949 Willys so he needs a new project to work on.

    The hull looks/feels solid, is filthy from sitting under a tree for the past year. The seats are gone, the carpeting needs to be replaced, but all of the teak, gauges, steering wheel can be restored.

    Will pull up part of the floor to check for rot - I have enough fibreglass/hull repair from being part of a boat racing team years ago, so that doesn't concern me at all (I hope it's solid, but if it isn't I'll just replace what needs replacing).

    The engine runs. That's about all I can say. Apparently it was installed a year ago from another boat, but the electrical, etc. was never completed - which is just as well as I would prefer to install all new wiring myself. If the engine needs a rebuild, I'll just rebuild it...

    The gelcoat is filthy, but I'll see how it cleans up tomorrow.

    The boat will then go into my heated shop for the winter, and hopefully emerge sometime next summer.

    Yes, it's the first boat I have personally owned, but I have had loads of experience doing all kinds of strange things with raceboats, have rebuilt dozens of engines (two and four stroke), so I'm crazy enough to tackle something like this.

    Since the original interior is gone, I think I will try to come up with something that suits how I want to use the boat.

    Already started browsing this forum for some inspiration!


    Last edited by RH1; 11-05-2016 at 07:51 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    michigan,saginaw bay
    Boat
    SeaRay
    Details
    1992 370 ec
    Engine(s)
    twin cummins 6bta's 300 hp Rl80 pathfinder radar/chartplotter,SH 2150 matrix vhf w/ais quicksilver 8
    Posts
    3,155

    Re: Just bought a '69 SRV 185 to restore/revive

    Thats awsome ,we will need lots of pictures to get us through the winter as other boaters projects keep us sane when its snowing outside.I am sure moparlvr will chime in he is doing the same with a black hulled sea ray of about the same vintage.
    [SIGPIC]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    orrville,ohio
    Boat
    sea ray
    Details
    2000 310 sundancer n/a
    Engine(s)
    twin 5.7 300 Hp. V drives
    Posts
    1,367

    Re: Just bought a '69 SRV 185 to restore/revive

    My first boat had a 120 in it only thing i ever did to the motor besides changing the oil was replace the points with solid state from napa.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Ontario
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    1969 SRV 185, 1974 SRV 240 Weekender (next project)
    Engine(s)
    Mercruiser 120/Pre-Alpha drive, Mercruiser 225/TRS drive
    Posts
    14

    Re: Just bought a '69 SRV 185 to restore/revive

    Shoveled/scraped/vacuumed out a garbage can full of leaves, twigs, rusted bolts, etc out of the thing today. Then gave it a thorough scrubbing - twice. Looks much better already!

    Didn't pull up the floor yet, but from what I can tell around the engine it looks like the stringers have been replaced at some point. Will have to see later if they did it properly or not. The floor is definitely not original.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    1986 Seville CC, 3L 140 Mercruiser, Alpha I Drive, lovingly towed by "Tater" (2009 GMC Sierra)
    Engine(s)
    3L 140 Mercruiser w/Alpha I Drive
    Posts
    25

    Re: Just bought a '69 SRV 185 to restore/revive

    RH1,

    welcome to the <$1k boat owners' support group, a sub-section in the Hole In The Water Club! I promised myself I would not keep track of the money spent to restore our hundred-dollar basket-case, to maintain some sense of sanity. I just keep my eye on the (very distant) finish line, and envision all the fun my step-daughter, grand-niece and grand-nephew will have next summer.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    1972 Sea Ray SRV 190 I/O 12 Ft Rowboat 8 Foot Sailing Dinghy
    Engine(s)
    Mercruiser 165 6cyl inline GM 250
    Posts
    231

    Re: Just bought a '69 SRV 185 to restore/revive

    Sounds like a good winter project. I did the same thing about 4 years ago with a 1972 190SRV with the Merc 165. http://newboatbuilders.com/pages/SeaRay190.html
    Peter D. Eikenberry
    New Boat Builders Home Page
    "Don't tell me that I can't. tell me how I can."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Ontario
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    1969 SRV 185, 1974 SRV 240 Weekender (next project)
    Engine(s)
    Mercruiser 120/Pre-Alpha drive, Mercruiser 225/TRS drive
    Posts
    14

    Re: Just bought a '69 SRV 185 to restore/revive

    Quote Originally Posted by OldEngineer View Post
    RH1,

    welcome to the <$1k boat owners' support group, a sub-section in the Hole In The Water Club! I promised myself I would not keep track of the money spent to restore our hundred-dollar basket-case, to maintain some sense of sanity. I just keep my eye on the (very distant) finish line, and envision all the fun my step-daughter, grand-niece and grand-nephew will have next summer.
    Thanks! Back in our boat racing days, we used the "hole in the water" term a lot. Like the week we discovered a cracked block at a race, put on on our back-up powerhead, and threw a rod a week later. Two engines destroyed. Major "hole in the water" - but that's racing! Pushing engines a bit beyond what they're designed for makes stuff break.

    Right now I am roughly pricing out what it will cost me for new carpeting, upholstery, various wiring bits I need, new ignition components, etc. Still have a car in the shop I need to get out and rid of before I put the boat in there - hoping to do that in the next week or so.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Ontario
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    1969 SRV 185, 1974 SRV 240 Weekender (next project)
    Engine(s)
    Mercruiser 120/Pre-Alpha drive, Mercruiser 225/TRS drive
    Posts
    14

    Re: Just bought a '69 SRV 185 to restore/revive

    Quote Originally Posted by Ike View Post
    Sounds like a good winter project. I did the same thing about 4 years ago with a 1972 190SRV with the Merc 165. http://newboatbuilders.com/pages/SeaRay190.html
    Just took a look through some of your photos - gives me some ideas and inspiration!

    Nice job!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Ontario
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    1969 SRV 185, 1974 SRV 240 Weekender (next project)
    Engine(s)
    Mercruiser 120/Pre-Alpha drive, Mercruiser 225/TRS drive
    Posts
    14

    Re: Just bought a '69 SRV 185 to restore/revive

    Been a busy month for work since I got the boat - but I finally had a chance to start assessing what I actually bought. Confirmed a bit more about the story the seller told me (an older gentleman who was hoping to fix the boat up for himself - but health issues changed his plans).

    Seems that he had bought the boat a couple years ago with a seized Volvo Penta of some type (that the prior owners had installed). Those prior owners (at some point) had also replaced the stringers and the floor, and installed a couple of folding fishing seats.

    About a year ago, the old guy I bought it from had installed (or had somebody "install") a good running Mercruiser 120 with a pre-alpha drive in the boat. Fortunately for him, he never actually completed the wiring and never tried to use the boat with the drive as installed.

    So - in the past week, I have pulled the drive, removed the seats (they are being thrown out), and pulled up the floor. The lower part of the drive seems fine (as far as I can tell). The upper unit was rather difficult to pull out - once I got it out I saw why. The alignment was WAY off (the front of the engine was about two inches too high), and the bearing in the gimbal assembly is seized solid. New bellows, seals, bearing are needed. Other than that, the upper drive unit seems solid, but I've ordered a new seal kit for it as well.

    On to the inside of the boat. It will get a new floor, but the stringers and transom are solid (but I do have to do something about the extra holes from the previous drive - currently sealed with copious amounts of white silicone). It looks like the prior owners (before the guy I bought the boat from) did a decent (if not pretty) job replacing the stringers. Seems that they did a reasonable job - it was just the guys installing the Mercruiser for the guy I bought it from that had no clue...

    Whoever put the Mercruiser in it for him a year ago actually bolted the front engine mount to a piece of spruce 2x3, and attached that to the stringers with three #8 deck screws (the green things). One screw on one end, two on the other. Apparently that should hold a cast iron engine in place just fine! As I mentioned earlier, they also mounted the thing about 2 inches too high at the front - no wonder the alignment was off... And then filled extra transom holes with silicone. Idiots.

    Anyway - I will be fabricating a new aluminum mount for the engine, rebuilding whatever needs to be done in the drive, and aligning it properly.

    I take great satisfaction in rescuing vehicles other people have neglected or given up on - this boat should be a fun project!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Brick NJ
    Boat
    searay
    Details
    340 sundancer 2000
    Engine(s)
    7.4 MPI V Drive
    Posts
    358

    Re: Just bought a '69 SRV 185 to restore/revive

    I had a 1971 180 with a 120 and had it for 10 years. On front of engine mount from serray they put a 3x4 peice of wood across front for engine mount. Got rid of it in 1991 stringers went and floor would flex up and down. Check out gas tank for rust on bottom they are 18 gallon.

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