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1986 238

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  • 1986 238

    yo. short time lurker here. have a 1986 238. when fighting through some fuel problems and contemplating having the tank pulled and replaced this spring, i came to some conclusions that led me to more questions. i fish inshore right now to maybe 12-15 out. probably 85%/15% solo or guy fishing vs. family beaching/fishing/cruising. boat from late march through mid december in new york. this is the third yr ive had the boat. ok thats the background. the boat serves my purposes very vell, does pound a bit with no tabs. i have a 96 or 97 200 merc on its that seems to be doing well. surveyor told me 2.5 yrs ago the transom is a "little wet" but all of them are a little wet. next yr want to either; a. sell package, buy 3-4yr old cc or w/a in 24-26 range. b. re-survey, if that goes well, get what i can out of the merc, re- power with twins, add tabs, and do whatever else needs to be done to make boat last forever. or, c. which is probably stupid, but consider ripping tank, putting new tank and inboard deisel in her. will the economy ever be worth the cost. is the 238 a candidate for a complete refurbishing? the deadrise is only 14 i think, should i find a late 80s 25cc. should i run it into ground and buy new. i love the boat but i wish i had a little more room and a little better ride. thank you.
    wantagh, new york 86 238

  • #2

    I just got done re-powering a 1984 238. Even the old dealers that sold this boat will tell you that they are built like a battle ship. We decided to put 2 Evinrude 20" 115 direct injection 2-strokes. Gas milage seems to be under 5 gallons per hour! The low transom helps reduce engine weight by allowing the shorter 20" shafts. The 2 strokes give you great power out of the hole and burn just as clean as a 4 stroke. we had 3 guys and a full tank with a full 40 gallon bait tank yesterday and we were cruising at 35 MPH at 4200 rpm no problem. At 5000 rpm we were going 45 MPH.

    Like you, I loved the boat and figured it was worth the money to re-power considering a new equivalent boat is $75,000-$100,000. Here in Southern California I have never rode in a similar size boat that handles the swells and weather like the Mako.



    • #3

      If the boat works for you, I'd strongly consider keeping it and doing the restoration to whatever degree you're comfortable with.

      Somethings I'd definitely do:

      1. Install Trim Tabs -- do it now. You won't believe what that'll do for the boat's ride.

      2. Repower with at least a single 225hp. As the 4-stroke and DFI gain a stronger foothold in the market, you'll find some used 225's pop up on the market that are in good shape. If you've got a good mech, he'll be able to ensure you get a good engine. I'm not sure I'd go with twins on that boat. It's only an 8' beam and you'll be adding some weight. The newer outboards are pretty reliable.

      3. Get the transom checked out and see if it's really 'soft'. I would replace the brass drain sleeves -- if you look closely I'll bet they're cracked.

      I would not do an inboard conversion -- no where near the value added for the cost -- and you risk really screwing up the ride.

      A new 23'-25' cc or walkaround will cost you at least $60K (boat/t-top/motor/trailer/electronics). A complete refurb, to include a single outboard will run you max $25K -- the engine is the big variable. Replacing the fuel tank here FL will run you about $1,200 max; trim tabs $500, FloScan (single engine ($600), drain sleeves $200, rewiring the boat -- $100 per foot, some fiberglass/gelcoat work - figure $500-1,000 for minor fixes.

      Engine is the variable...A new Yamha F225 complete with controls, guage package (no fuel monitoring), cables, and rigging - $17,000.

      The boat's max hp is 250, so you might consider a single 250hp if you go this route. I believe transom deadrise is more than 14 degrees.
      Prop Blast[br]Mako 224, F225[br]Tampa, FL


      • #4
        gentlemen, great feedback. thank you for your time.
        wantagh, new york 86 238


        • #5
          I have a 238 and ran accross some minor problems, like fuel sending unit, some old hoses, tank compartment had some water, but tank was o.k. I had a 97 johnson, recently I repower with a 2002 honda 4-stroke motor, my advise to you its to listen to some of this guys keep the boat as long as this problems are not major structural, and try to spend the little extra for a 4-stroke motor.


          • #6
            I agree. Put the tab's on now.

            Fuel management can be done for a lot less than $600.

            Navman 2100 or 3100. $175 or $279 for the 3100. It will give you ton's of imfo and now would be a good time to get a base line of imfo.




            • #7

              I recently refurbished an 84-238. You won't go wrong by keeping it.

              I am in the final stages of full transom installation and bracket installation. Having fished other boats ofshore for many years, I know this is a good decision based on comparing it with the boats of others for the last couple of years, I say this for several reasons. The financial reasons are very apparent plus they are a stable platform that is built like a tank. Plus, they are beautiful in that classic way. The transom turned out to be dry btw but I wanted it to be full height anyway now our feet will be dry. This will give us an additional 2.5 feet of fishing room which was a major consideration. I now have it powered with a 225 Four stroke Yamaha. Another decision that prompted me to stay with the 238 is that with a bracket it is just about as long as I want to trailer, any longer and it gets to be cumbersome. Take care, Murray
              Murray Gaskins[br]Valdosta, Georgia[br]Mexico Beach, Florida[br]Do not tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly,[br]don\'t tell them where they know the fish.


              • #8
                Murray,I would really appreciate some pictures of the full transom job you did on the 238 if you ever get the chance to post them.I am planning on making my 238 a full transom for next summer.I just purchased a new Suzuki DF250 for it and am going to install a radar arch in the next few weeks.




                • #9

                  I will be glad to do that in a week or so, when I get everything back together. I still have to put the engine back on her yet. The guys may want to post the pix of the process on the site here and I need some help posting. For the minute I will send you a couple of before and after pictures to your personal e-mail. Take care, Murray
                  Murray Gaskins[br]Valdosta, Georgia[br]Mexico Beach, Florida[br]Do not tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly,[br]don\'t tell them where they know the fish.


                  • #10
                    Ditto what Murray said. I have a clone of the 23' WA and I just finished dropping about $10K to do a complete makeover. I'm setting aside about $10K next year to upgrade to a very good 2 stroke 225hp motor. I should have an entire package for right at about $25K. The boat was gutted all the way down to the hull. Added new stringers, floor, WA was replaced with a CC and leaning/bait station, added bench seats up front with hindges for storage, splash well was removed and transom closed off, and single motor C&C bracket was installed. The cuddy was too small to be useful for anything more than just storage but by cutting it out I can honestly say that I have much more usable space up front than I could have ever imagined. Also cutting out the splash well and closing off the transom gave me even more room. I honestly beleive that I have just as much, if not more, room in the boat than some of the new 25' boats that are out now-a-days.
                    Steven[br]1978 Powercat 232[br]One flat broke, the other almost ready to float!!![br]Atlanta, GA