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Formula/Thunderbird
 BoatUS Boat Groups/Manufacturer Forums>>Formula/Thunderbird
Subject Topic: Hearbroken over 233 Post ReplyPost New Topic
 
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funnyboy
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: August 04 2005
Posts: 9
Posted: August 04 2005 at 00:00 | IP Logged Quote funnyboy

Hi everyone...I am new to the boards and have a tale of woe to tell.  I have a 1977 233 cuddy I bought late last year.  It was a nice freshwater boat-super clean and never in saltwater.  After spending countless hours getting the mechanics in order I finally put it over in the lake for a week or so of trials before heading to the bay.  I found a leak at the transom and pulled the boat after a few days.  After removing the drive and engine I found the source of the leak: the entire transom, motor mounts, and aft stringers are thoroughly rotten.  Water was entering around a bolt hole.  I was some upset and it was disapointing to say the least that a boat with this reputation is rotting from the inside out despite its excellent exterior appearance. At this point I just want to dump it (minus engine and drive) and get another.  I know the rot is repairable but I don't want to spend the remainder of this summer or half of next summer doing it.  

A neighbor of mine had a 1967 233 cuddy and it seems to me that the quality of the interior glass work was much better back then. 

Perhaps I can find a 233 in the northeast that needs a motor and drive.

What kind of asking price should I put on this boat (no engine or drive)?

Thanks for listening,

John

 

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saxophonist
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Joined: August 04 2005
Posts: 9
Posted: August 05 2005 at 00:00 | IP Logged Quote saxophonist

Hello John,

Did you sell the 233?

Thanks Ray

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Cuda
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: August 19 2004
Posts: 117
Posted: August 05 2005 at 00:00 | IP Logged Quote Cuda

It probably rotted out due to someone drilling or cutting holes, and not sealing it properly.  If the glass is still in good shape, you can cut the wood out from the inside and replace it.



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picklefish
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: September 02 2004
Posts: 2
Posted: August 05 2005 at 00:00 | IP Logged Quote picklefish

I'm surprised that you didn't check the transom and stringers before you bought your boat, but it doesn't matter much anyway because almost any boat over a few years old can have rot, and even in boats that aren't that old, particularly if they're left in the water, can have substantial rot. And, just because a boat is kept on a trailer doesn't mean it's not susceptible to rot if it's been improperly covered or water has been allowed to collect. Bottom line is you bought a great boat that was built in the day before they discovered cheap resin-- you'll notice new boats that are only a few years old begin to blister, while there are 40 year old 233s without a single blister on them. I don't know about your '77 but my '67 is built with marine grade mahogony plywood-- try finding that on a new boat. My brother had a '74 Sea Ray that he bought brand new which was never left in the water, and the floor and stringers were completely rotted out after several years of using it for water skiing. Plus the flimsy bottom was permanently dented from the trailer rollers and that was not a cheap boat (price wise). The 233 has a one inch thick solid glass bottom so it's probably worth the effoer of restoring. Check out http://jmwpe.com/formula233.html . This boat belongs to a member on this site and shows his 233 restoration. Also classicmako.com has some good photos of restorations as does classicseacraft.com. Yachtsurvey.com is another helpful site. And the Donzi registry is a great site with a lot of guys with rebuild knowledge. Very few boats with the exception of classic Donzis and Bertram 31s have the pedigree of the 233-- designed by Wynne built by Aronow-- definitely a boat worth the effort. Anyhow you ain't a real boat guy until you've redone a transom and stringers, or maybe you already have and that's why your not looking forward to it.
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DOGGYDOO
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: June 30 2004
Posts: 24
Posted: August 05 2005 at 00:00 | IP Logged Quote DOGGYDOO

I  AGREE WITH   THAT  THOUGHT ..I AM THE PROUD OWNER OF A 1968 233  AND IT IS ROK SOLID. THE FLOORS WERE REBUILT A FEW YEARS AGO WITH 3/4 P/T PLYWOOD GLASSED.  THE TRANSOM IS 1"  ..  I AM PRESENTLY PREPARING TO DROP IN A BUILT OLDS 455  MATED TO A B/W  TRANNY  AS SHE IS STRAIGHT INBOARD. LOOKING FOR ABOUT  60  MPH. DONT DO ALOT OF FISHING BUT HERE IN FORT LAUDERDALE I FEEL THE NEED FOR SPEED.          DOGGYDOO
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funnyboy
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: August 04 2005
Posts: 9
Posted: August 08 2005 at 00:00 | IP Logged Quote funnyboy

I still have the boat because the Uncle Henrys advertisement comes out this Thursday.  I am aware of the history of these boats which is why I bought one.  My father bought a Bertram 25 new in 1962 and it remained in the family until the late 70s (he still regrets selling it) and I still have a 70 Thunderbird Apache cathedral hull I purchased years ago.  When I was looking for another boat last fall it was going to be another vintage Bertram or a 233.  I should have been more thorough in checking for rot but the price was right and rest of the boat was in superior condition with only 280 freshwater hours on boat and engine.  So it is rather humbling to realize I dropped the ball on this one.  This 233 is most definitely worth repairing but, having done this before, I know the time and effort involved to do it right and I know I will not have the time or place to do this project this winter or next summer.  If I had discovered the rot/leak back in May I may have done the repair work and been on the water by Julyish.  At this point, though, I would like to get my money back and look for another Formula 233 over the fall and winter.  I would like to find one that either needs no major work to the boat or just needs to be re-powered (my current engine is excellent with low hours and the drive is less than one year old).  I'd be willing to travel up to 500 miles or so for the right boat.

 

Does anyone have an opinion as to what this boat (no engine or drive) might be worth?

 

Thanks to all who replied,

John

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amichelin
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: August 08 2005
Posts: 5
Posted: August 08 2005 at 00:00 | IP Logged Quote amichelin

John,

I just bought a 1967 F233 that I fear may need a repower and I am not sure if I want to invest in that now.  I am having someone come to look at it to give me the good or bad news.  I have it listed on ebay for sale - item # 4567431184 - if you want to see it.  The hull is in really great shape.  Make me the right offer and I may decide to let it go no matter what the mechanic says.

Thanks,

Adam

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chuckitb
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: August 08 2005
Posts: 1
Posted: August 09 2005 at 00:00 | IP Logged Quote chuckitb

  I have a 1978 Formula Thunderbird 233 cuddy 350 mercruiser engine. The boat just had a lot of work done to it..(within the last two years)...  rebuilt drive, replaced gimble bearing, two rebuilt pistons on drive , replaced alternator, carborator, ...two new batteries, I'm sure i'm missing something. Boat has marine radio,stereo cassette player benzie box, amp and speakers, hummingbird fish finder, anchor, life vests, flares, fire estinguisher. I  put alot into it, boat starts and runs smooth, sounds great. The hull is in great shape.  However it is now giving me a problem with over heating. So I changed the impellor, brought down the temperture drastically, just needs a little more work to be 100%, probably risers.  ($100 a piece) Anyone interested in this boat it is in the water...still using it to fish in bay... willing to sell with an honest offer as I am being honest about boat.  I just don't have the time for a boat anymore.  My loss your gain.         & amp; nbsp; You can call or E-mail me at

                                                           646-210-9212

                                                           Chuckitb@Aol.com

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saxophonist
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: August 04 2005
Posts: 9
Posted: August 09 2005 at 00:00 | IP Logged Quote saxophonist

Hey Guys,

Anyone know the weight of  an I/O outdrive and engine.  I know it will vary if 4 cyl, 6cyl, V8 small or large block.  I'm guessing 800-1000 pounds.

Thanks Ray

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funnyboy
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: August 04 2005
Posts: 9
Posted: August 10 2005 at 00:00 | IP Logged Quote funnyboy

Hey Ray,

The brochure for 1977 Formula motor packages indicates 1156 lbs. for 255 hp Mercruiser stern drive including batteries and controls.  formulaboats.com has a section on vintage formulas old brochures back to the early '70's.

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trim_tab
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: August 19 2004
Posts: 7
Posted: August 19 2005 at 00:00 | IP Logged Quote trim_tab

Funnyboy -

I feel your pain!  We did not get as far as you did before we found out about the rot in ours.  You can check it out at:

http://formula23.blogspot.com



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sjl626
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: September 04 2005
Posts: 5
Posted: September 04 2005 at 00:00 | IP Logged Quote sjl626

John,

Do you have any details on your Formula?  Pictures, trailer, what you think you need to get out of it?  E-mail me @ SJL626@aol.com.  SJ

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funnyboy
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: August 04 2005
Posts: 9
Posted: September 06 2005 at 00:00 | IP Logged Quote funnyboy

Just an update: 

I have started with the demo towards repairing the boat.  What a miserable job, pulling up flooring and saturated foam....ugghh.  The stringers are not as bad as I first thought-only the stringers from the front of the engine compartment to the transom are bad.  The transom rot is also less extensive than I imagined so the repair shouldn't be to terribly involved.  The previous owner did a sinfully poor job of replacing the floor last year.  I think the saturated foam is most of the reaason for the floor and stringer rot.  I'd still sell the boat but if no one buys it I'll at least have my boat back again.  I'll also be praying for cheaper gas next year.....

I am debating whether to stay with I/O power or go with a bracket and outboard.  What to do...what to do....

John

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