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Old 05-01-2018, 11:32 AM
Infinitysurf Infinitysurf is offline
TT Regular
Join Date: Mar 2018
Boat: 2014 SV244 w/ ZR409
Location: SouthEast
Posts: 79
I had a 2006, 18ft SeaRay I/O with the Mercruiser 3.0. Had it for 4 years and it was extremely reliable and while it did not have as much power as the 4.3, was a great boat and still did what it needed to with a torque prop. Excellent boat and I am ODC about maintainance so never had any issues out of it all all. When I got it, previous owner had let it sit for a couple years in driveway so I had to do a carb re-build, flush the gas tank, adjust timing and change cap, plugs, etc...added fuel/water separator. Once I did all that tho it was perfect and so easy to work on.
I wont every own another I/O, but if I did would not hesitate to have another Sea Ray, they do make a 19ft bowrider that would be a good option.
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Old 05-01-2018, 05:16 PM
HRC HRC is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Boat: 2001 Prostar 205V
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 229
If they insist, if it were me , I would insist that they pony up some cash to go with it. That said, Cobalt would be at the top of my list too.
Originally Posted by TSchimizzi View Post
Thanks for the recommendations! I would love to find another Cobalt 190 but they quit building them in the late 90s or early 2000s so they're tough to come by. Most of what I see locally in a Cobalt is 20' plus which won't work.

She isn't looking for an upgrade, just a replacement. If it were up to her she wouldn't buy another one but her grandchildren insist. She got an insurance check for $8K when the Cobalt sunk so she wants to stay in that price range.
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Old 05-01-2018, 08:13 PM
TSchimizzi TSchimizzi is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Boat: 1990 ProStar 190
Location: Northeast
Posts: 126
Definitely looking for a Merc engine as the local dealer that has serviced her boats for 25+ years prefers them. I don't want to be married to this boat so I would like to find something they will take care of.

Looks like my Merc options are the 3.0L, 4.3L and 5.0L. Fuel injection is preferable so I'm looking at newer model years. Does anyone know when Merc upgraded each engine choice to FI?

I prefer a boat from a dealer but it's proving to be tough under $10K. Private party they are everywhere!
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:35 AM
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Soder Soder is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Boat: 2004 X-30 MCX
Location: Utah
Posts: 127
Not much help, but my 1997 4.3L had a carb.
2004 X-30 5.7L MCX
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:42 AM
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tylerprostar tylerprostar is offline
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Join Date: May 2014
Boat: 2014 MasterCraft Prostar 5.7
Location: Indiana
Posts: 164
Several Sea Rays on our lake that have held strong over time - not as nice as Cobalt, but seem to be solid boats.
2014 MasterCraft ProStar
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Old 05-02-2018, 01:15 PM
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zsqure zsqure is offline
MC Devotee
Join Date: Jun 2012
Boat: MasterCraft X-14, '09 Blue
Location: Down the road from Double D
Posts: 1,184
When did Mercruiser stop using the 350? I have had a 4.3/alpha combo and it was a doggg. (21' Cheetah) The next boat had a 350 Mag (21' Regal) and was much quicker to plane and an overall better pulling experience. (Skier did not slow the boat down on hard cuts.) I'd stay away from all 4-cylinders as they don't have enough stuff. Most all of them are based off of a car engine, so they should be reliable. Take care of them.
1988 prostar 190 SOLD
2001 Prostar 209 SOLD
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Old 05-02-2018, 02:25 PM
TarheelMC TarheelMC is offline
TT Regular
Join Date: Jul 2017
Boat: 2017 X23
Location: Southeast
Posts: 83
Cobalts are the nicest. Regal, Chaparral, and Sea Ray also make very nice bowriders. I had a Regal prior to MC, mainly because I have family friends that sell Regal's at their dealership. It had a volvo engine and it was pretty reliable, only a few minor issues over the 10+ years we owned it.

I did find that the Volvo parts I needed were high. A starter was close to $400 which is ridiculous IMO. That was for the starter only too... did not include installation.
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Old 05-02-2018, 02:36 PM
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pmkkdx pmkkdx is offline
MC Devotee
Join Date: May 2009
Boat: Mastercraft, X2, 2004, Violet (purple) & white ... previous 1983 black/silver stars
Location: Southwest (Central Texas)
Posts: 2,369
been so long since I've had much direct dealing with an I/O other than friends boats. Cobalt, Chaparral and Sea Ray in that order based on my friends.
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Old 05-02-2018, 03:29 PM
scubadiver6 scubadiver6 is offline
TT Newbie
Join Date: Apr 2018
Boat: 2004 Prostar 209
Location: Midwest
Posts: 19
I had a 2006 Larson Senza 186 w/ the Volvo 5.0. It was carbureted, but starting it was never an issue... Never had a single problem with that boat, and the build quality was fantastic. That boat had more than enough power. I'd would not hesitate to buy another Larson.

But personally, I only buy boats where I can get local support for them....

I chose the Larson mostly because my lakehouse is located near a Larson dealer. It was my first speedboat, and I was afraid of getting into something that I couldn't get worked on - should I need it. I know the engines/outdrives are mostly universal these days, but for any amount of money you are going to spend, its not that difficult to find a brand where there is a local dealer near you - just in case.

And, for what its worth, the guy that bought it from me did so for the same reason - because he had a Larson dealer near his home, too.
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Old 05-02-2018, 04:02 PM
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neil.anderson63 neil.anderson63 is offline
MC Maniac
Join Date: Dec 2011
Boat: 2007 X2
Location: Somewhere on Tablerock
Posts: 2,600
Why screw around with lesser quality materials, fit and finish? Cobalt all the way.
Screws fall out all the time, the world is an imperfect place.
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