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Sigh... where to start... this may be a bit of a long winded thread...

 

I'm a disabled Marine combat veteran with severe combat PTSD with symptoms of severe depression, anxiety, hypervigilance, suicidal thoughts, etc... I also have physical disabilities and chronic pain.

 

I'm not saying any this for some sort of pity party... I'm saying it because it plays into my problem.

 

Back around 2013 I wanted to finally own a bass boat, something that I'd wanted all my wife, and my wife encouraged me to buy one that I'd found. She's been my rock in regards to battling my PTSD and she figured that me having a boat would help me... and it did for a little while.

 

Due to physical issues, crappy doctors, and some financial hard times, I stopped taking the boat out. As my chronic pain and physical issues got worse the boat continued to sit... and sit... and sit... and sit... The longer I stayed off the water and in my house the more and more I got depressed. So depressed that I didn't do anything to or for the boat. 

 

The boat is a 1988 or 1989 Winner Tournament 2000 with a 200hp V6 Evinrude 2 stroke outboard. It was in good running order when I parked it. The outboard ran strong and reliable. The boat itself is ALL fiberglass and even the stringers are fiberglass. The boat has sat outside and uncovered for 3 years (I know, I'm an idiot).

 

The carpet is trashed and needs replaced. I know that all the fluids need changed. The last fuel that was used in it was unfortunately had ethanol in it so I know the fuel needs pumped out before even trying to start it.

 

I know that what needs to be done to my boat is out of my skill level... my skill level is next to nothing when it comes to mechanical type work.

 

Would you fine folks give me some info of what I would need, well, what the professionals would need to do to get my boat up and running again?

 

Is it even going to be able to get going again or did I destroy something I've dreamed about having my whole life by letting it sit?

 

Any clue of an at or about cost for getting it going again?  

 

How much would it cost (approx.) to re-carpet an 18 foot bass boat?

 

Thanks in advance for any and all help. Hopefully the cost won't be so high that I can't get it fixed because I really need to get out on the water and fight back against the darkness of my PTSD demons.

 

Respectfully;

Donnie

U.S. Marine Corps (ret.)

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Hi Donnie -

 

First off, thank you for your service (sorry for the cliche but I haven't found any better way to say it). I never really understood PTSD until I got a very small taste of it last summer after a car crash. Clearly nothing comparable to combat (!) but enough to know that stuff is for real. So don't beat yourself up about leaving the boat idle and uncovered for three years.

 

In my opinion, if it was me, there's no better therapy than being on the water, especially if fishing, so get back on that boat. As much as it may be hard to part with the money, it's probably best spent on taking the boat to a dealer or independent shop, giving them the background and letting them get it going. They can probably do in a day what we'd do in two weeks. I'm thinking a year 2000 2-stroke is pretty hardy. Maybe ask them to do an initial evaluation/assessment and report back to you before doing any major work. If it looks to be too much, you can bail before spending lots of money.

 

Carpet is small potatoes. Don't worry about that for now. First things first, the motor.

 

 

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What he said☝️

 

Also, you might still be interested in learning how to work on your boat. I know nothing about ptsd but I know doing these mecanical/handy tasks clear my mind and this knowledge would prove useful if/when you get a problem on the water and even might be useful for other types of mech work. You can learn the easiest jobs and let the dealer do the rest. Also, unless you removed batteries (even then) you'll likely need new ones. I'd also replace spark plugs for peace of mind.

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Take it to a dealer and have them give it a once over and determine if it is even worth dumping money into. Better you're out $200 in inspection fees than $2000 in worthless repairs.

 

PTSD is nothing to mess with, and not easy to treat. Sounds like your wife is a keeper. Stay strong. Although I don't know what goes thru your head, I have a good friend who has. He just bought an 1980 something boat, against my advice, and fixing it has been his therapy. 

 

 

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Thanks for the responses gentlemen... if the boat was in good running order when it was parked is there a good chance that it will be good to go once it is serviced?

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It's very possible. DO NOT try and start the motor with the old fuel in it. Could be a costly rebuild of the carb. If the cylinders are not seized and they pass a compression test, you're in good order. As far as the boat itself, look for soft spots where there may have been water intrusion. A boat uncovered for 6 years getting rain, ice, and snow along with the sun during the summer may not fare too well.

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I’m with these guys. Step 1 - get it to a decent dealer.

 

where ya gonna fish when you get it going? 

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I'm sorry to hear about your troubles.  I don't understand PTSD, but I do know about depression and its debilitating effects.  I think getting your boat back into shape for the spring is a great idea.  3 yrs is not a horrible time frame and I think you might still have options.   If it were me, I'd give it a good cleaning, inside and out and then get the boat evaluated.   Its a lot easier to just replace the boat, it gives you that quick satisfaction, but maybe rebuilding it would be more therapeutic providing it doesn't need $8,000 in repairs.  No need to invest big money into a boat when there are so many  that are out there for cheap.

 

I have another idea...  In my quest for a boat the last 7 months, I found a lot of nice hulls for sale cheap with blown motors.   It might be better to take your motor in and have it gone thru and then switch it to a good hull that doesn't need any work.   I mean the biggest dollar item of a boat is the motor and I highly doubt your motor is hurt.    You might be able to get back on the water for less than you think.

 

And remember...  uTube is a great place for answers when fixing things.   Not having experience in fixing things only means you haven't learned how to do it yet...   I built a house (self taught),  learned to mechanic on my semi (self taught)..  If I can do it, I'm sure you can too..  just gotta stay positive. Plus you got all these neat tools left over for your next project ;)

 

 

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Donnie first thank you for your service and your love for this great nation. I have never served, but watch my niece closely as she has served and in some very rough places. She has her own demons to deal with, but is an amazing young lady. Her specialty was with the intelligence operations, so you can imagine where that has taken her. 

 

Now onto your boat situation. I have been dealing with serious medical issues with my feet for over 5 years. Had to deal with multiple surgeries myself, and was not able to put my boat up for storage properly 3 years ago. I am now on the mend so here are things I will need to do with my boat. It was covered, but I am sure it leaked so I may have issues with carpet as well. My boat is aluminum so I have a few less issues to deal with than you, but my to do list includes the following. Remove my cover and inspect the boat. Clean it up as needed. I purchased a 12 volt electrical pump kit and will pump out all the fuel. I will replace spark plugs, drop the lower unit and have a new water pump impeller in it. I will replace all 3 batteries and check all the wiring for rodent issues. If none found then it will be a simple job of squirting some 2 stroke oil or wd40 in the cylinders and turn the engine over by hand or with the kill switch pulled and hitting the key a couple of times. My engine is a 75 Merc 2 stroke. Put the plugs in hook up a garden hose to the engine and start it up with all new fuel. I may pull the carbs apart before hand just to inspect them and get rid of any old fuel.  Some of these are things to have the dealer do ands some you can do.  I definitely agree with the guys here, your engine is the most valuable part of a boat.  Having that conversation with the dealer over what the hull would need and what condition the engine is in comes first. One they determine where you stand in terms of cost think about your physical condition and the physical demands to operate and fish on a standard bass boat.  I am doing that myself. I have determined as soon as I get out of this custom CROW boot I will finally be in shoes for the first time in 2 years.  I am going to have to be careful I may add a step to make it easier to get up on the front deck as well as a few other mods that will make it easier for me. Otherwise I may swap boats  to a more open floor plan.Something with a lower front deck and a more open cockpit, perhaps a boat like the deep Vee Alumacrafts, Lunds, PolarKrafts etc.  It just may be easier and safer to enjoy fishing without worrying about walking on top a boat, but rather being inside the boat. Good Luck and keep us informed as to what you do going forward. I am glad you are blessed with the love and support of a great woman. I am blessed in that way also. We dated 10 years (all through high school and college) and just celebrated 30 years of marriage. 

 

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Thanks for all the replies and I'll respond more properly when I have a bit of time. 

 

On a quick note however... I think I'm in pretty good shape when it comes to the structure of the boat itself because my 1988 Winner Tournament 2000 is 100% fiberglass and even has fiberglass stringers instead of wood. What say you folks?

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11B here. Spring is coming! Sounds like you still need eyes on it to check it out. Now is the time to get it straightened out and ready for Spring. I'd like to see a few pictures of it...post up!

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AS RECOMMENDED ABOVE, DO NOT TURN THE ENGINE OVER!  The fuel in the engine, in the hoses, in the tank, is all contaminated, full of solids, probably water.  You do not want to introduce any more of it into the engine.  You have to get the whole system cleaned out before running the engine or even turning it over.

 

The exposed hoses most likely should just be replaced.  I'm not sure how to flush the engine, but an expert at a shop can tell you.  The fuel in the tank and the hoses from the tank to the engine has to be expertly flushed and dealt with, which is not inexpensive. Gas disposal charges are many dollars per gallon, but it has to be done.  Using the gas is much more expensive

 

I do think that since the boat has no wooden structure, it can be cleaned up and made serviceable.

 

Does that engine have an oil injection system?  With a little tank for the oil?  If yes, and the pump is what I once had, a diaphragm pump, that pump will either have to be replaced or rebuilt.  The hoses also should be replaced.  The diaphragm pump was a crappy design to begin with, and it most likely has been damaged by the ethanol/water/old gas.  Do not trust it.  If it fails your engine will fail. If your engine is running when it fails, your cylinders will be scored.  There is no warning.  I know this from experience.

 

As others on the forum have said, I appreciate your service and hope you pursue getting your dream back on the water.  I think it can be done, and if you do it, you will really be proud of what you have accomplished.  I wish you well.

 

 

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OutKast Actual, you hang there marine  because there is light at the end of the tunnel.  I hear you with two years in Vietnam dating back to 1965 and 31 years in uniform (yes I was a lifer). I am just an old bass duffer, but recommend you contact a local bass club and explain your situation.  A good chance you will find vets in the club, and even if not, these club guys not only like to fish, but they also love to tinker with boats and would no doubt greet you with open arms.  If I lived even remotely close to you I would be knocking on your door to help with the boat.  God bless you son and do not, do not ever give up.

Semper Fi  from U.S. Army retired

 

P.S.  You are not an outkast marine

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The BR member who knows your engine is Way2Slow and was hoping he might add to this thread.

Leaving your rig out in the weather was problematic as you know. The problem IMO may not be in the OB, they are fairly bullet proof as long as some critters haven't eaten the wiring. The problem with any boat that had standing water is absorbing the water into the flotation foam creating a excessively heavy hull. Carpet can be changed, wiring can be replaced but getting a water soaked hull dry can be a major pita.

The trailer need some TLC also, first thing is the tires need to be changed.

Sad to read about all your issues, depression is the pits. Thank you for serving and hope someone can give you a helping hand that lives nearby.

Tom

 

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I don't know a great deal about PTSD (sorry that you have experienced it) but aside from the cause, anxiety appears to be at the core of it (or at least a big part of it).  Working on any project can either be enjoyable and therapeutic OR, if it becomes overwhelming, might open a whole can of worms.  You'll have to decide what you can do and what is too much for you.  (There is no dishonor in knowing your limits).  For me, with my boat I was comfortable with replacing the carpet in it (and a few sections of plywood in the deck) BUT I knew that replacing the impeller (which was past due) was too much for me.  I left that up to a professional.  You might want to do likewise with your boat.  And since your wife seems to have a good head on her shoulders, you might solicit her help in this.

 

Oh, and good luck with this (and your PTSD)!  

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Thanks everyone for the replies, info, and words of encouragement.

 

I'm visiting family in KY but made a trip back home to Suffolk, VA for a few days in order to get some medical stuff done. While there I went and checked out the boat. 

 

First off it needs a good cleaning and polishing... plus some areas of the carpet replaced. However, I'm just going to replace the carpet of the entire boat.

 

I left the plug out of the boat and it has sat with the front end tilted up the whole time so that any water could drain out.

 

I opened up the rear compartment where the batteries, onboard battery charger, hoses, oil mixer, etc... are at and everything looks great. Absolutely no sign of any type of wear, tear, dry rot or damage.

 

I checked the tires on the trailer and other than having low tire pressure they are in good shape with zero signs of rot.

 

I have to change the crank on the front of the trailer but it was in need of a new crank whenever I last parked it, so that was a known issue.

 

As far as the outboard I know that water impellers is something that needs to be replaced on a regular basis and that it will 100% need a new one. I'm going to take it to a mechanic and let them change out the impeller and take care of whatever else I'm not comfortable with. Even if I'm comfortable changing out all the fluids I ight just go ahead and let a mechanic change them out this time since it has been such a long time. That is if I have the funds...

 

One thing about the carpet is that my wife is far more crafty and handy than I am... so the carpet will be taken care of by us... well... her... I'll just be her assistant and gofer. I have no shame in admitting that my wife is a better at carpentry type work than I am... lol.

 

 

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If the trailer tires are over 10 years old they need to be replaced regardless of the tread wear, use with caution if you don't change them. Carpet is cosmetic, get your boat running first.

Tom

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19 minutes ago, WRB said:

If the trailer tires are over 10 years old they need to be replaced regardless of the tread wear, use with caution if you don't change them. Carpet is cosmetic, get your boat running first.

Tom

Roger that... they've not hit the 10 year mark yet... but I may go ahead and change them anyways.

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I've been looking up videos on siphoning gas and that's the route that I'm going to take. Either buying an electric pump or simply getting a long enough hose and letting gravity go to work... That should save me some $$$.

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Don't try sucking on a hose with gasoline! I use a aquarium siphon with poly tubing that has a bulb similar to the bulb on your prime line, cost about $6 as recall.

I will look it., GasTapper gravity model is very similar.

Tom

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26 minutes ago, WRB said:

Don't try sucking on a hose with gasoline! I use a aquarium siphon with poly tubing that has a bulb similar to the bulb on your prime line, cost about $6 as recall.

I will look it., GasTapper gravity model is very similar.

Tom

Yeah not all about getting gasoline in my mouth, was gonna use any other method than sucking on a siphon hose...

 

In order to clean carburetors, do you have to take the carbs off or can you simply spray carb cleaner in them while they are still attached to the motor?

 

Again... I may just let a mechanic change all the fluids, clean the carbs, change the impeller... basically do a really good tune up since it has been sitting so long... and the fact that I have zero knowledge or exp working on outboards other than changing some fluids on a 2006 Merc 60hp 4 stroke that I had when I owned a pontoon once upon a time. 

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On 1/8/2019 at 5:07 PM, WRB said:

The BR member who knows your engine is Way2Slow and was hoping he might add to this thread.

Leaving your rig out in the weather was problematic as you know. The problem IMO may not be in the OB, they are fairly bullet proof as long as some critters haven't eaten the wiring. The problem with any boat that had standing water is absorbing the water into the flotation foam creating a excessively heavy hull. Carpet can be changed, wiring can be replaced but getting a water soaked hull dry can be a major pita.

The trailer need some TLC also, first thing is the tires need to be changed.

Sad to read about all your issues, depression is the pits. Thank you for serving and hope someone can give you a helping hand that lives nearby.

Tom

 

Here's how we get him here

@Way2slow This guy needs help with his motor

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3 hours ago, slonezp said:

Here's how we get him here

@Way2slow This guy needs help with his motor

Awesome... thank you!

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Good lord guys... go to lowes and buy about 10' of "clear" 1/2" tubing and suck away. Once the fuel gets half way it will continue on its own without worrying about drinking gas. 

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I don't care what everyone else say's, I didn't do it and don't know anything about.

 

 Sorry, I haven't been following this thread until someone threw me under the bus.  Actually, I do know a little about your 200 Johnson and would be more than willing to help where I can.  I have not read everything, just your initial post and it seems you have concerns about having let the motor sit for three years, and you have been given excellent advise on not trying to start the motor as it sits now.  To bad you are not closer to middle GA.  I would be more than will to actually do the work for you, and since I don't work on them for a living, it would be free. BEFORE ANYONE GETS THE WRONG IDEA, THAT'S THE FELLOW VETERAN OFFER, NOT THE PUBLIC.

The major problem now is your saying you are not competent with motors and mechanical.   I hate to say this, but there are some things you are going to need, time and knowhow or a whole bunch of money.

As a minimum, the old fuel has to be removed from the tank, and the whole fuel system purged.  That's about an hour of work. 

It's almost guaranteed the carbs will have to come off and be rebuilt. That's several hundred dollars most places.

The fuel pump (VRO) will need to be flushed and inspected to see if it still has the old four wire or a five wire pump.  If it's still running the old four wire, I absolutely would not run that pump or at least the VRO (oil injection) function, It's already beyond it's useful life and is subject to fail at anytime.  To swap out the VRO for a new one, that's probably $600 - $700.  They do make a fuel pump only for about $200 plus labor, and you just premix the gas.

I generally just run a Carter rotary pump that about 50- 75gph and 7 psi. You can get those for less than $75 https://www.summitracing.com/parts/crt-p4594?seid=srese1&cm_mmc=pla-google-_-shopping-_-srese1-_-carter&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8cWcy7Xr3wIViK_ICh3vXAy5EAQYAiABEgIPpPD_BwE.   That motor has a six psi fuel system so normally the 7psi pump will work without pushing the needles off the seats in the carbs and require a regulator.  You would also need to installs a relay if you want to run it through the key switch, that's less than $20, if you can do it yourself.

As long as that motor has sat, the water pump impeller will be bad, too much memory will have set in the blade.  I've never paid to have one replaced but will easily run $200-$300.  The lower unit should be serviced while you are at it.

All the fuel lines need to be inspected, to make sure they have not hardened and gotten brittle, that motor was before all the alcohol they use today and todays gas destroys most of that old hose.

Another problem I run into on those motors after they sit for long periods is the grease dries around the timer base, so it does not advance and pull back the timing properly. 

How is that for more depressing info than you were really wanting.  Probably having one of you PTSD attacks about now.  

 

Oh, and one little tip, I almost never siphon gas.  If you can't block off the filler with a hose stuck in it, the blow like H*** to put pressure in the tank, then let the pressure push the gas out the hose, or use compressed air if you have it.  Put your hose in the tank, and then lay a blow gun parallel close to the end of the siphon hose and start blowing air.  The air passing over the end of the hose will create a siphon.  I don't like having that nasty crap in my mouth.

 

One other thing you need to check, is it cable or hydraulic steering.  If cable, there is a good chance one or both have rusted inside and gotten very stiff.  Turn the steering wheel both directions and make sure it turns the motor freely.    It's another chunk of change to swap out steering cables.

 

 

 

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