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Formula 233 Ls


Old 07-13-2019, 10:15 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 1
Default Formula 233 Ls

I am looking at a 83 233 Ls tomorrow, It looks like a solid hull I can't find much information about them. Are they a pretty good boat overall? It has a 350 with alpha outdrive. Is there any areas I should look over extra good?
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:09 AM
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 1

I would look for rot everywhere you can. All the wood is coated on the outside with fiberglass so it might feel solid even if its not. You will need to tap on everything with something hard and listen for hollow dead sounds. Put a wrench on the motor mount bolts and see if they turn easy, if so it will need to be remounted. Chances are there will be some rot because of its age, so you need to be prepaired to fix it or get it fixed.

It couldn't hurt to do a compression check if you are able to. I would make sure you do a cold start, don't let the owner run the motor before you get there. Also do a couple hot starts as well.

They really need a good stainless prop, if it has a cheap aluminum one you'll probably have to replace it to get good performance.

I would ask if the rubber on the lower unit has been replaced. Also ask about any wood repair, and any fiberglass repairs.

Otherwise they are really cool classic boats and you'll probably get some attention from people. The hulls are very solid. They are considered to be one of the most sea worthy boats of its size ever. The only real down side to them is they guzzle fuel.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:06 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Austin, Texas
My Boat: 1990 Fountain Fever 29
Posts: 607

Transom, stringers, floor, seats, and sun pad. With boats this old, unless prev owner/s were exceptionally OCD about maint and storage, it's almost certain there will be rot somewhere. If you know any ol'timer boat mechanics, see if they would be willing to go with you for a couple of hounded bucks and check it out. This is exactly what I did. It will be money well spent I assure you. I've seen many of new owners find rot, start digging and long story short, the boat never gets completed.

Transom, stringer and floor replacement isn't for the faint of heart. It's a HUGE project and IMHO, is best left to professionals ($$$). Seats, sun pad and misc cockpit pieces can be repaired by your above average hobbyist.

For the outdrive, you can loosen (don't unscrew all the way) the drain plug and see if water comes out. Water is heavier than drive lube so it collects at the bottom near drain plug. Probably want to do this before starting eng. A few drops of water is OK but you don't want to see a lot of water.

For the eng, a compression test is highly recommended as prev advised. If this can't be done then at least disable ign (pull coil wire) and crank eng with starter and listen if the eng rotates at a consistent rate. If you hear it speed up briefly, there's most likely an issue with compression. Pull dipstick and look for milkshake (water in oil). Also smell it for fuel odor. Beware of any eng modifications. This can be big trouble especially if done by a car guy. Car and boat engs look the same but they're not.

I would insist on a lake test to see if there are any oddball handling issues which could be from an uneven bottom (hook). These issues can also be very difficult to resolve. Alpha drives use a shift interrupter which shorts out ign briefly when shifting into gear to ease the shock to the drive. If the lower shift cable is too stiff (common issue), eng will die instantly when shifted into gear.

Most importantly, don't be afraid to walk away if anything looks, sounds, or feels wrong.
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