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Complete rebuild of 1979 Mako 238

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  • Complete rebuild of 1979 Mako 238

    I received this classic from my late father. He did not maintain it as he aged and the floor, stringers and bulkheads need replacing but I’ll get to that later.
    I want more room in the cockpit and I like to fish Lake Huron so I want to have twins. My desire is re-power with twin outboards, move the helm forward for more room and bow weight along with moving the fuel tank where in inboard engine sat. I see guys suggesting inboard diesel is a better option but if prefer the outboards. Anybody make this conversion to outboards on this boat that can comment on how it worked out ?

    thanks guys

  • #2
    There have been several that have been converted. But man, why? Owning a boat like that that’s an inboard. It’s a part of history. You could buy a brand new motor and drop in it for about half the cost of a new outboard. That boat was designed to be an inboard. It’s not a speed demon. I would rebuild it using composites and go with inboard. Just my personal opinion. Whatever you decide. Show your progress. Best of luck.


    • #3
      [QUOTE=BarryJohnsonjr;n55081jr why? Owning a boat like that that’s an inboard. It’s a part of history.
      Show your progress. Best of luck. [/QUOTE]

      I'm with barry on this.
      The founder of Mako way back in the day seemed to be partial to inboards from the history I have read.... And there is a LOT! of history with Mako.
      I've said it many times, these boats are almost time capsules.
      I wish I knew some of the times my boat had from starting back in 69, AND I purchased mine from ny and drug it back to nc. That was a tale in itself...
      now while I say all that...
      I am modifying my boat a good bit, beefing up or adding all new Along with additional stringers, going from 27 gal fuel tank to over triple of that and toying with converting to twins over single.
      Also down to a bare fiberglass hull and starting over.(no high jack intended)
      I am taking more time being meticulous on this build.
      But that is a different story and reason.

      Its really your call at the end of the day.
      but if I had my dads boat handed down to me...
      I'd put it back original and better. and try and preserve the history.
      And then buy a different boat to Mod.
      You could always up the HP... that could include rebuilding and juicing up that/original engine, or drop in a stronger unit all together. I know thats a mod, but you keep the inboard part intact.
      Keep in mind the faster you push these boats, the stronger they need to be. (so I'd verify structural integrity)
      You could possibly have wet foam and that most time gets the stringers too.(very common in All old boats it seems)
      Just to say again both of my boats were water logged, and that drags a boat down.

      sorry if I seemed to ramble.
      But its a lot to consider and always a tremendous amount of work involved from my findings.
      you find 1 thing needs repair then you find 10 more.

      just my 2 cents.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Lectro88,n550821
        Its really your call at the end of the day.
        but if I had my dads boat handed down to me...
        I'd put it back original and better. and try and preserve the history.
        Yep! Like Lectro said.

        I'm an old traditionalist...won't even paint my decks white, though I should because they would look better.

        Restore her. I bet you will end up happier. She'll turn heads where ever you take her. And, you'll be smiling at you Dad with every head that turns.

        Good luck. Keep us posted please.

        Last edited by flounder; 04-15-2021, 03:53 PM.
        Ole Joe
        Just floundering around
        White Hall, Maryland
        1978 Mako 25


        • #5
          Agree, you will be happier if you either replace existing inboard and improve original or get a different boat if you really want to go outboard. The change over is likely to not give you the result you want.

          Again, just my two cents.


          • #6
            Guys thank you for all your input and support. I cannot express my appreciation more. As it would have it I gave it a lot of thought and plan to stay with inboard power. I still would like to have more room aft and thinking about having a tackle center/ leaning post over the engine and moving the helm forward. Thoughts?

            post scrip: project begins by closing her in it gonna be a long trip
            Attached Files


            • #7
              I’m so glad to hear your decision. Having the boat your dad had but only better is where it’s at. I’m looking forward to watching your progress. Leaning post is a great way to go as well. Build yourself to fit your needs. Plenty of info out there to assist. I’ll be building mine “when I get to that point”. Best of luck with your build.


              • #8
                I took the bow picks from another members thread because it exactly what I want to do, How would you duplicate the gunnel profile shown as a cross section? Was thinking to screw wood to the raw deck edge to form around, apply release agent, glass and fair, then remove the form, any better methods ?


                • #9
                  Ok in to it now, the deck on the bow was sagging on both sides as the corners came together at the point. All the foam under the deck was dry except in the middle. Bow I think it did not sag because the deck goes up the sides and is tied into the hull at deck at the run rail. Solid build. I think the foam swelled up and push the deck up. It would pool water in the bow. I want to put in knee supports and bring the gunnel skirt down to the deck for a finished look. Any suggestions at this point.


                  • #10


                    • #11
                      I like what the other member is doing as well with the bow. Really opened it up. I believe that’s the right way to go. Keep at it.


                      • #12
                        What’s is this box for ?


                        • #13
                          Got the foam out of the bow and storage box removed. It was wet at the keel. Mako plumbed 2 three inch pvc conduits from the anchor locker that were stubbed off at the storage box. The front hoist fitting seal was bad, water was leaking in the anchor locker down the pvc and sitting in the hull.
                          Last edited by Ken Beller; 04-25-2021, 04:50 PM.


                          • #14
                            Bad bulkhead !!!! Click image for larger version

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                            • #15
                              Deck wood is dust. Totally rotted away
                              Attached Files