Getting more serious about re powering my 260..

Nick70

Active Member
Apr 20, 2016
206
New England
Boat Info
2006 Searay 260 DA 496 mag
RAYMARINE stuff.
Engines
496 Magnum
Bravo III
so I just had my second season boating season. I absolutely love it. I have a 2006 sundancer 260 which I am also totally in love with. Naturally, I've been thinking about a bigger vessel. My girlfriend is with me all the time, and I do enjoy taking my friends, grown kids and their friends out for fun afternoons on the water. I pretty much live on it 7 days a weekwhen I'm home too. So obviously a bigger beam would make a lot of sense. More room in the living quarters is the only thing I'm missing though.
Everything else about the boat is fantastic. The cockpit is very well laid out and can seat a bunch of people. One feature we love is the port side Lounger.
The cockpit seats as much if more people than bigger boats.
Plus, I've done a ton of upgrades. New Garmin 741, new Garmin HD radar, new stereo, JL audio speakers, 24" flatscreen with two mounts, (berth and cockpit) new carpets..etc..it also has a generator and every option I can think of.
So, the idea of starting over with a boat that probably does t have that stuff..spending untold thousands to replace it, does not attract me. Neither does taking care of TWO engines and drive trains plus double the gas.
On top of a less desirable cockpit layout.
So when I do have a bunch of bodies on board, she really strains to get on plane..sometimes if the chop is bad, she CANT get on plane at all. Yes, I put the trim tabs down.
I'd really like more power. A new 496. Could run close to $25k installed.
Now I'm looking at used ones..1-200 hrs on a high output 496 magnum for under $8k..and keep this smaller boat I love for another few years.
The extra power would be awesome and I'm thinking more and more I may do it.
Gas wouldn't even be too much worse either since I'd be at lower rpms..not too worries about gas anyway having a single.
Ripping around at well over 40kts sounds amazing.
These are my thoughts.
 
My vote would be if you like the boat, keep it as is. It doesn't sound like you need to repower for any reason than just more power. How often do you really need that extra power? If you have big crew all the time I can see it, but if its only a few times a year I'd save your money, keep the boat until you're ready to move up, and enjoy it as is.

That being said, if you do end up doing it you could probably get a few bucks for you 350 to help offset the cost even more.
 
Replace your trim tabs with something that works, not your engine that does. I have the 270DA and we load her like she's a 360, then she will not plane out. Problem solved with 30 inch trim tabs. I went from 24 inches of tab (2-12 inch from factory) to 60 inches, she planes in 10-20 seconds then most of the time I completely retract the tabs unless I want to do a 10-15 mph cocktail cruise. At low speed she used to just plow, no longer, the big tabs level her out at any speed.

I was even able to reuse the current system with the new tabs. Had to remove old tabs, relocate cylinder, fill old cylinder holes, install new tabs. I had a Bennett system and Tabman here and his associates were fantastic to help me get the proper parts to do the upgrade for a great price.

Replacing tabs will not increase speed significantly, only level the boat and get her on plane.

You may also need to think about if you have proper props for the weight load.

MM
 
This year I went from 2011 260 DA to a 1998 290 DA and the room gained on deck and in cabin is awesome.

Check into a well maintained bigger older boat and you will be very surprised.
 
if you swap to a larger engine you will have the engine cost, labor cost to remove the old engine and install the new engine, and the cost to replace the electrical control modules for the engine and ignition....you may also have to do some modifications to the wiring.....

the Bravo III will handle the extra power so that should not be a concern.....there may be some cost to connect the big block engine to the Bravo III since the original connection is to a small block engine but not sure about that....

your fuel cost will also go up significantly with a big block engine....

I would look at ways to increase performance of the current set up with larger trim tabs as mentioned and possibly a set of lower pitch props....these would be much more cost effective and far less time consuming...

at some point you may have way more money in the boat than you would ever recover if you sold it....

cliff
 
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Mikes idea with the trim tabs, and Cliffs idea about getting the props reset are cheaper options to try while your existing engine is still ok. I have a 383 MPI Mag in my 240 and it leaps out of the hole like a scalded cat, a 496HO would be awesome :)
 
Look into hill marine 4x4 props - wont add top speed but will get you out of the hole way faster and keep you on plane at a much lower speed......a 383 stroker would be a lot cheaper than a 496......if you did go big block, the drive ratio may need to change too.....if you go with props, you can remove them when you get rid of the boat and sell them separately......any money you spend on a repower will net you $0 at time of sale.....
 
your fuel cost will also go up significantly with a big block engine
Sorry Cliff, as much as I respect you, I can't agree with that statement. If used properly, the higher HP motor will give better fuel economy than the smaller one in the same boat. Why you ask? Put 4 people in the boat with, in his case, a small block motor with 300hp. To get this boat on plane that little motor is working its little butt off, probably at WOT, and also runs high RPMs to maintain speed. Now take the same boat with say a motor with 340HP, (there will be some added weight with the big block motor) load it up with the same people. The bigger, higher HP motor does not have to be WOT to get on plane nor does it run at high RPMs to maintain speed. The bigger factor here is torque. The BB motor has more torque and that allows the engine to work easier.

Case in point.... years ago when I owned my '89 340da there was a dock neighbor that owned an '86 340da. I had 340HP BB Merc motors, he had 260 HP SB Crusaders....both v-drives. On a cruise to San Francisco Bay, about 70 nm, with similar loads, running together at the same speed, I cruised at 2800 RPMs and he had to run at 3700 just to keep up. He used about 20 gallons more fuel.

Personally, I feel this would be a colossal waste of money....but it's not my money. If the OP likes that model boat so much he should strip out all of his upgrades, buy a 260 with the engine he wants, and put all of his stuff back in. I just cruised Yachtworld and in the North East and Great Lakes there are about 35 '04-'07 260da's for sale. Prices are all over the place from a low of $40k to a high of $62k. The 350 MAG/BIII is the most common engine package. There are a few with the 6.2 but that is only 20HP more and still a small block. There was one with a 496.

The OP has not responded since his original post but I hope he's following. After dozens of posts like this over the years I've always stated.... The most economical way to make your boat go faster is to just buy a faster boat.
 
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getting the props reset
Unless the motor is not reaching recommended RPMs a WOT, changing the prop set is not a good option. You might be able to get a set that would get the boat out of the hole faster but it would not reach recommended RPMs and could hurt the motor.
 
you could be correct....I don't have any personal experience to draw on such as your example.....I imagine a lot would also have to do how the boat is driven....does it putt around at cocktail speed most of the time or does it run on plane most of the time?.....

we both agree that in our opinion this would not be a feasible project related to cost vs. performance and resale value.....

cliff
 
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Unless the motor is not reaching recommended RPMs a WOT, changing the prop set is not a good option. You might be able to get a set that would get the boat out of the hole faster but it would not reach recommended RPMs and could hurt the motor.

actually I think the opposite would be true....if you had lower pitch props the boat would plane faster and easier but they might allow the engine to rev too high thus increasing the chance of engine damage....if the pitch was too high the engines would struggle to get the boat on plane and they would be 'lugging' and would not reach the recommended RPM range.....lugging is very bad on an engine just as over revving is.....

cliff
 
actually I think the opposite would be true....if you had lower pitch props the boat would plane faster and easier but they might allow the engine to rev too high thus increasing the chance of engine damage....if the pitch was too high the engines would struggle to get the boat on plane and they would be 'lugging' and would not reach the recommended RPM range.....lugging is very bad on an engine just as over revving is.....

cliff
You may be right....I always mix that up.
 
Upgrading is half the fun! I think you should have a look at some larger Sundancers, experience docking a twin, see some real-world fuel burn differences and reassess.

Going from a 260 to a 290/300 is a more substantial change than some may appreciate. If you don't need it, you don't need it. But if you're regularly loading your 260 with enough bodies to impact your ability to get on plane I tend to think you might need it!!
 
He doesn't want to deal with twins, I don't blame him. Single big block works for me in a 26 footer.
If he does the work himself, finds a deal on a used take out with all the stuff still bolted to it, it can be done for a reasonable number.
 
If you really want to keep your boat and are only concerned with the power I would start with the tabs and prop before I went crazy.
Reach out to Tabman in that thread for advice and then go to a good prop shop for their recommendations.
 
Sorry Cliff, as much as I respect you, I can't agree with that statement. If used properly, the higher HP motor will give better fuel economy than the smaller one in the same boat. Why you ask? Put 4 people in the boat with, in his case, a small block motor with 300hp. To get this boat on plane that little motor is working its little butt off, probably at WOT, and also runs high RPMs to maintain speed. Now take the same boat with say a motor with 340HP, (there will be some added weight with the big block motor) load it up with the same people. The bigger, higher HP motor does not have to be WOT to get on plane nor does it run at high RPMs to maintain speed. The bigger factor here is torque. The BB motor has more torque and that allows the engine to work easier.

Case in point.... years ago when I owned my '89 340da there was a dock neighbor that owned an '86 340da. I had 340HP BB Merc motors, he had 260 HP SB Crusaders....both v-drives. On a cruise to San Francisco Bay, about 70 nm, with similar loads, running together at the same speed, I cruised at 2800 RPMs and he had to run at 3700 just to keep up. He used about 20 gallons more fuel.

Personally, I feel this would be a colossal waste of money....but it's not my money. If the OP likes that model boat so much he should strip out all of his upgrades, buy a 260 with the engine he wants, and put all of his stuff back in. I just cruised Yachtworld and in the North East and Great Lakes there are about 35 '04-'07 260da's for sale. Prices are all over the place from a low of $40k to a high of $62k. The 350 MAG/BIII is the most common engine package. There are a few with the 6.2 but that is only 20HP more and still a small block. There was one with a 496.

The OP has not responded since his original post but I hope he's following. After dozens of posts like this over the years I've always stated.... The most economical way to make your boat go faster is to just buy a faster boat.
Oh, I'm following alright..lol..this is the best medium for all different relevant insights based on actual experience.
The more I think on it, the more it makes sense to me to do the re power. Bigger would be great for the berth, but I'm more than happy with my cockpit.
I'm gun shy about the added cost of doubling my maintenance with twins..really everything is more $.
I get the idea of buying a faster boat, one with the bb already in it. However, to transfer electronics, the labor alone is way more than the actual equipment. That's one thing I don't want to shell out money for again after having just done it once.
A new 8.1 H.O. Installed is going to be in the neighborhood of $25k..this is not an option.
What I think I can be happy with is finding a lightly used one for $7500. (Which I have found) Ready to be dropped in. I can live with that. While taking in to account possible added expenses with the outdrive etc..the end result would be well worth it to me.
I totally understand the argument against doing an unnecessary re power in most circumstances..but in this case I'd end up a very well rounded and powerful/economical vessel.
 
I don’t have anything to add that isn’t already covered. I figure if you are ok with the $$, bigger never hurts. And put in through hull exhaust, at least let that big ole boy growl a little (sorta kidding there) but I do like a big block sound in a boat. So I agree - you need to get on this!
 
I'm gun shy about the added cost of doubling my maintenance with twins..really everything is more $.

There is a serious flaw in your logic. Not wanting to endure the cost of doubling the maintenance with twins but willing to invest $10k+ to replace a perfectly good motor? You'd have to own your twins for 60+ years before the "additional cost" of that second motor started to compare to the investment in repowering.

I think your mind is set on getting a new motor regardless of the economics/logic. Just go for it! If you're hesitant it's only because you're not 100% sure it makes sense...yet. ha.
 
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