~ A QUESTION FOR ALL BOATIES ~ guidence needed

jenznjuz, Mar 28, 9:06pm
We are looking at a boat with a 1996 5.7 litre Mercruiser inboard with sternleg. wanting a boat for fishing lakes/sea and pulling the biscuit on occasions.The overall boat is super tidy, but we want any feedback - good or bad on these motors. Any problems they are prone too etc etc. Any knowledge or info would be much appreciated. Thanks

jenznjuz, Mar 28, 9:08pm
I 4got to mention the motor has done between 100 and 150 hours.the gauge isnt working, however we would get this confirmed b4 purchasing.

e_babe, Mar 28, 9:12pm
Sorry I have no idea as I work on HP and size of boat. We have a 140hp on a 16ft boat which we use for fishing, but also for waterskiing.

If you goggle "1996 5.7 litre Mercruiser inboard" it brings up quite a bit of info and different forums and the pros and cons of these motors

jenznjuz, Mar 28, 9:15pm
thanks for that, will do.

thejazzpianoma, Mar 28, 9:54pm
I take it that fuel consumption is not an issue!
Have you had a boat before and are you aware of how much juice a larger boat with big engine will chew through!
BTW this is not specifically a dig at the Mercruiser, some of which are pretty good on gas for what they are. It's more a point in general.

big.b-lil.c, Mar 28, 10:00pm
its basically a 350 chev so should be reliable with plenty of parts. there is a lot more to a boat than just the engine. inboard engines usually use less gas than a two stroke outboard, the exception to that is the new injected two strokes like e tech etc

jenznjuz, Mar 28, 10:14pm
Thanks thejazzpianoma, yes we are aware that gas consumption at times will be huge (depending on the day) ie fishing/pulling a skiier. so that is something that we are thinking about too. we are however more interested in the performance/relyabilityand access to parts etc.

we are looking to purchase our 1st boat, and dont want to make any regrets.therefore want something that we will be happy with for a few years, we dont want to buy a cheap wee runabout only to discover that we should have spent a bit more on something more relyable. I appreciate your comments. thanks.

jenznjuz, Mar 28, 10:17pm
thankyou for your info, its easy to assume the opposite, ill make sure my hubby reads your comments. So far Iv heard good reports about the motors, but most peoples 1st reactions are.GEEZ THIRSTY!do they really know, or just assuming! thats wot i want to know. thanks heaps, have a fab day gentlemen ;)

thejazzpianoma, Mar 28, 10:20pm
Your welcome, with that in mind its likely you are on the right track. As mentioned the Mercruiser is not excessively thirsty for what it is and I agree about the in-boards being comparatively economical especially at that age group. I would also agree with the other poster about parts etc. Even the actual Mercury parts should be fine for availability and price.

I run a small Mercury outboard and have a friend with an inboard of much the same vintage as you are looking at. We have both been very pleased to date with no issues of note.

Like anything, service it properly and you should be fine.

thejazzpianoma, Mar 28, 10:22pm
Its more that boats with that kind of HP do go through the gas in general, which can shock people who have not had one before and think in terms or running a car (those same people often think V8 automatically = uneconomical). Your boat specifically though should be at the more economical end of the group.

My friends one BTW has been surprisingly good on fuel.

dagwood1, Mar 28, 10:27pm
Have a browse through this site. There are some seriously experienced AND qualified people there.
Here's one thread on the subject to get you started. It's a few years old but the info is probably more valid than ever - especially regarding economy:

jenznjuz, Mar 28, 10:34pm
cheers dagwood, will check it out ;)

jenznjuz, Mar 28, 10:36pm
Thank you for all your help, we'll deff follow up on all the info given. :)

dagwood1, Mar 28, 10:43pm

elect70, Mar 28, 11:19pm
What is the hullfibreglass or aluminium .It is more important to have a good hull as repairs are very expensivemore than themercruiser .eg mate bought20 ft f glass boat , looked Ok but had thick coat of anti fouling on bottom . After first sea trip it had lot of water inside , turns out it had delaminated $12000 to have it reskinned . Alloy - check for any patch welds. Try & get a sea trial before buying a boat

jenznjuz, Mar 29, 12:26am
Thanks elect70.yes it is fibreglass, and the hull will have a good combing over, and would deff make sure we get it in the water before purchasing.the reason for wanting a fibreglass boat is we wish to sleep the odd night in it, and this is warmer that aluminium. thanks for your comments. :)

topper, Apr 1, 3:34am
Just my 2 cents worth; however, stern drives suffer badly when neglected.
Might pay to have the sterrn leg checkedby the local mercury dealer.

Good luck!

unclejake, Apr 1, 5:26am
I agree with Topper. The leg is the biggest risk, but the whole thing sounds OK. I assume it is an American boat! You will need a bilge blower and to take care wrt fuel leaks and fumes

Also: The hours sound like utter bollocks. Sure, people own boats for 15 years and don't use them much, but an estimate of 100-150hrs when the hour meter isn't working is suspect

wayne472, Apr 1, 5:35am
WARNING! --- Stay away from stern legs,when they go wrong they go wrong in A big way $$$$$$ way.I know I had two and both cost me and I know others that have had the same experience! There is too much in A sternleg to go wrong!

bigracket, Apr 1, 6:00am
Point 1 , Your sitting on a bomb (called a fuel tank) 2, It will be very very thirsty. 3, stern legs honestly prey it dont break. 4, corrosion seems to happen on them big time, things like spark plgs, distributors coils can take a hammering. 5 they dont seem to go that long before they need reconditioning. Diesel is far far better in a boat.

crzyhrse, Apr 2, 12:01am
Stern legs: avoid at all costs.

jenznjuz, Sep 20, 1:59pm
shoot, sounds like we need to be looking at outboards then, thanks all for your advice, stories and help.just to be clear to another question.its a Bayliner Capri cuddy cabin, special edition 1996. 25K is the asking price. a couple of people have mentioned that this is a cheap price for such a boat and to be sure that its checked fully. Im a little gunshy now, unsure if we will persue it any longer. Shame- we both fell in love with the boat as it ticked all the boxes. pretty hard to find a reliable boat these days by the sounds of it, i guess they all have there pros and cons. once again, cheers all, and have a mint weekend! :)

Share this thread

Buy me a coffee :)Buy me a coffee :)