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343 Cobalt Outboard Open Bow Conversion

Old 06-02-2023, 09:52 AM
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Default 343 Cobalt Outboard Open Bow Conversion

To not derail the great 343 cobalt information thread I thought it would be better to just start a new thread about this one off project.
So last year my wife and I started discussion what would be the perfect boat for us.

Here was our criteria
1) No wind for the operator/ passengers when running 50 to 70
2) Hard Top to be out of the sun
3) Outboards x 3 verado's for runs to the Bahama's and the keys
4) Full Bathroom
5) Rear facing lounger
6) Dual Row forward facing seating (Like a 390 nortech)
7) Sporty looking boat

I sketched a few concept drawings and my wife liked them so we now had a plan.
We happened to find one that was in OK condition with 494HO and Bravo XR's. We pulled and sold all of the inboard running gear and began cutting and cutting and cutting.
The last few months I have been rebuilding the transom, building the extend floor and finishing the fiberglass work on the open bow.
Here are a few pictures of where we are today. It should be ready for paint and interior by the end of July. The goal is to have it running by Oct.










Last edited by Maritime_Eng; 06-02-2023 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 06-02-2023, 09:57 AM
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Holy Smokes!! This is an epic build!! What are you thinking for power?
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Old 06-02-2023, 10:29 AM
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Outstanding!

My only thought is the 200 gallon factory fuel capacity. Is that enough for triples?
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Old 06-02-2023, 10:55 AM
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Bold move, cutting up a perfectly good Cobalt but I like it.

Iíve always liked the Cobalt 343 and Iím an outboard fan. You and your wife have good tastes. Thanks for posting.

RR
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Old 06-02-2023, 11:37 AM
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I like it! Three-450s?

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Old 06-02-2023, 11:49 AM
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The plan for now is triple 300/350 I-6 verado's. 200 gallon should get us from Cape Coral to Marathon on 1 tank. As far as the 450's it would be cool but I have them on my 368 skater and they burn more fuel than the 400's they replaced. Also, I personally believe the I-6 verado's are more reliable and the V8 platform. And parts will be easier to come by if repairs are needed in the Bahamas/ keys. Time will tell if we made the right choice.
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Old 06-02-2023, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Maritime_Eng
The plan for now is triple 300/350 I-6 verado's. 200 gallon should get us from Cape Coral to Marathon on 1 tank. As far as the 450's it would be cool but I have them on my 368 skater and they burn more fuel than the 400's they replaced. Also, I personally believe the I-6 verado's are more reliable and the V8 platform. And parts will be easier to come by if repairs are needed in the Bahamas/ keys. Time will tell if we made the right choice.
How about two of the new V10's? Lot's of torque for that heavy boat, close to the stock HP, and bigger gearcase to handle the load.

Last edited by techman; 06-02-2023 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 06-02-2023, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by techman
How about the new V10's? Lot's of torque for that heavy boat.
I have a budget for this build so any new engine is out of the question.
With 2 496's (850 total hp) the boat ran 66.
So with 3 x 350 = 1050 hp, Jack plates and about 1500lb weight reduction the boat should run 75 plus. Plenty fast for an island runner.
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Old 06-03-2023, 08:16 PM
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Cool project!

I see you are planning a hard top. Are you going to keep the speed top? I'd head over to cape coral within 24 hours to buy it if you want to sell it.
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Old 06-04-2023, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Stitch King
Cool project!

I see you are planning a hard top. Are you going to keep the speed top? I'd head over to cape coral within 24 hours to buy it if you want to sell it.

I will be using the lower section of the frame and adding a hard top to that.
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