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FantaSea 1999 DONZI 35ZF Refurb

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FantaSea 1999 DONZI 35ZF Refurb

Old 06-24-2020, 11:25 AM
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Default FantaSea 1999 DONZI 35ZF Refurb

Hey everyone,
We recently picked up a 1999 Donzi 35 ZF that was originally powered with trip Optimax 225's.The previous owner spent a ton of time and money on converting it from a fishing boat to more of a pleasure boat before he decided to go in another direction. We're in the process of taking what he did and turning it into a true performance center council. Many of you may have seen and followed the updates to my Baja 25 Outlaw PHIL'R UP Phil'R Up 2001 Baja 25 Outlaw so I figured I might as well start a new thread for FantaSea.
Before we get into the cool stuff slight rant. I understand that most people don't highlight the flaws of your boat when your trying to sell it (buyer beware right). But blatantly lying about what your boat has and doesn't have gets my blood boiling and the thing is had he been honest with everything we still would have bought the boat AS IS. If you're on FB you may have seen the ad for the boat we bought:



1. Found out the boat is a 1999 model when we titled it
2. We were told the engines were 250 opti's with a tune to make them put out 300 which is why the cowlings say 300. When scanned at dealership they are 225 opti's and even with a tune there's no way you can get to 300 and have them last any amount of time.
3. As advertised no codes went off and I know for a fact that if one of engines ran out of oil it wouldn't throw a code because the sensor had a jumper wire across it.(this gets into the buyer beware area a little since it is visible but I'd argue that it isn't ethical)

RANT OVER, on to fun stuff



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JKetels (06-24-2020)
Old 06-24-2020, 11:56 AM
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Sweet looking ride. I have a theory on why they jumped the oil sensor as I have the same motor and did the same thing. When you run the oil reservoir low, you have to pull the engine cowling and pop the top on the engine reservoir to allow oil to fill the air gap, being that itís a triple, Iím guessing they did this out of laziness as it looks like it would be a pain and the alarm on the mercury smarcraft is effin LOUD! Good luck with it, looking forward to seeing your progress.
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Old 06-24-2020, 01:06 PM
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Congrats on the new boat! Looking forward to following updates.
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Old 06-24-2020, 03:30 PM
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Should be a fun project!
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Old 06-25-2020, 08:17 AM
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The starting point:











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rak rua (06-25-2020), resurrected (06-26-2020)
Old 06-25-2020, 08:33 AM
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I was somewhat interested in your new boat, but when I contacted the seller he told me it was sold. You beat me to it. Looks like a nice boat, congrats
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Old 06-26-2020, 01:28 PM
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The trip from Louisiana to LOTO should have been a warning for what was in store for us. 2 blown tires, 2 messed up fenders(1 of which had to be strapped to the bunk to keep it off the tires) and a long night of driving. Once Jeff got the boat back to LOTO the fun didn't end. Left the boat at PB2 overnight and the next day when they went to launch it some jackass decided it would be ok to park his empty truck and trailer in front of it. Water patrol was able to locate and have him move his truck so they were able to launch the boat which turned into a short ride. Shortly after getting on plane a hydraulic line blew causing the motors to go full lock to starboard. This fun sequence of events resulted in bringing the boat to Big Thunder Marine where we found out the engines were 225's. At this point we decided that a repower was in order sooner than later so the search began for some verado's. BTM did have a nice pair of 300's but due to our budget there wasn't enough room to have them repower and rerig it. So we decided that our only option at this point was to bring her back to Iowa so we can access and clean her up.


Almost to LOTO

leaving PB2

Headed out

Getting towed back to PB2

First time I got to see the boat was on the trailer at BTM.. the cuddy is pretty nice haha

Back in IA
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:48 AM
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Default Motor Monday

The replacement motors have arrived!! Triple 300 Verado’s off a Nor-Tech that was repowered to quad 400’s. I have to say the previous owner has been awesome to work with. Minor hiccup occurred during shipping. Either the top cowling came off or wasn’t properly latched when installed in the crates and scuffed up the top and mid cowlings.









Motors are in our possession

Few of the gouges

Some bondo and paint are needed

Moving one at a time from the shipping dock to the workshop.

Off the truck and into the shop





Last edited by iaoutlaw; 06-29-2020 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 06-30-2020, 09:33 AM
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Before the derig began we covered the SeaDek with sticky backed plastic. Cheap insurance and hopefully keeps it clean. So with the new motors in the old ones can come off.
Unfortunately a death in the family required me to step away for a week so I only have a few pics the other 2 guys took. But they got a lot done while I was gone. Engines off, controls off, started to take the dash apart, & created a list of everything we need to covert from cable controlled optiís to DTS veradoís.




Port engine is off

Last engine is no longer hanging off the transom



Old oil fills and steering is off



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Old 07-06-2020, 12:22 PM
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Not the most exciting post but probably the most important. One thing we learned that we did correctly when updating PhilíR Up is to take a lot of before pictures. This build is no different we have a shared google drive that contains hundreds of pictures already.
Few examples of the before wiring pictures:

Especially the gauge wiring pics are invaluable unless you feel like spending a ton of time researching each switch on how it functions.










Nav light wiring before pic



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