Progress report on fitting out my Searider
It's been 2-3 months since I reported that I picked up an ex-US Coast Guard 5.4M Searider. I'm actually getting pretty close to having it ready to splash for the first time. It's only use so far has been as a float in a Christmas parade by a disc jokey friend of mine. This past Sunday was a major milestone -I could almost run it as is now!
Here's what I've accomplished:
1. Drove 600 miles to pick up a fresh water only, used Mercury 80 hp 4 cylinder, 2 stroke. eBay win for $800 USD including controls!
2. Drove 1000 miles to pick up a used roller trailer. Sold crummy homemade trailer back to the guy I bought the RIB from. Net cost $0.
3. Purchased fuel tanks & fuel line, battery box, steering cable, running lights & fittings, flares, fire extinguisher & other miscellaneous safety gear, with the help of a friend employed at West Marine. Thank heaven for her, their profit margins are absurd! She saved me approximately 70%.
4. Purchased a lovely, brand new 13.5 X 21 stainless prop on eBay. Absurdly inexpensive, $75 USD IIRC
5. Purchased new engine control cables, also on eBay.
6. Purchased brand new Naticus Smart Tabs, again on eBay @50% off. Boatster reported great results on adding these to his 4M Searider, and I've read all rave reviews about them on another forum. Boatster was a huge skeptic on that forum until he actually tried them, now he's an evangelist!
7. Purchased a rebuilt tilt & trim motor and pump on eBay, awaiting delivery.
Can you tell I'm an eBay junkie?? I'm on the lookout for fluxgate compass too. As this will be a coach boat for Paralympic sailors, an accurate & precise compass is important for wind readings. That's also why saving every possible cent on on fitting out the RIB is so important... there are so many other more important things to spend money on, like a race boat, travel, coaching, sails, etc.
I've transferred the boat to the newer trailer and fit the trailer to the boat (mostly, still need to properly adjust the forward rollers, which many boats this size don't even use) epoxied all the old O/B holes in the transom with West System, glassed & faired some holes in the top of the console, mounted the controls, outboard, steering, running lights, battery, extinguisher (in recessed box) and trim tabs. Sunday was a big day as I had to lift the engine back off to fit the steering cable and properly bed down the outboard. Also got the trim tabs installed,
I just need the t&t motor to really be ready to go. I may take the old one to be rebuilt as a spare. Also have to install the tach and speedo which came with the motor and a trim guage (need a wiring harness for those, not vitally important), run power from the battery to the running lights switch, mount the seat to the hinges. I'd like to install a fixed mount VHF, but my handheld can serve in the meanwhile. But I'm ready to fire up the Merc with a flush adapter in the driveway. I may need to clean the carbs, and I really should change the lower unit lube and impeller.
Once get the t&t in and fire it up in the driveway I'll toss it in the harbor for a run. IF there's warm enough weather on a day off from work! Oh, I've got to pay the sales tax on the boat and trailer and register both too!
I may trailer the boat down to Miami, FL for the Olympic Class Regatta the end of January for it's first real use. So I have a goal/deadline to get it all operating in what would be the off season here in the Boston area.