I am impressed with your memory. That article was writen perhaps in 2006.
In 2000, I went looking for an older style runabout. My list of potential boats included: Forumla, Chris Craft, Seacraft, Wellcraft and Bertram. I lookked at a number of boats and was fortunate to find "Black Beauty". Black Beauty was originally harvest gold in color. The topsides were gold, the seats were harvest gold and the floor carpet was harvest gold. I changed the topsides to Black, the carpet is a dark gray and the seats are all high grade white.
When I purchased my boat in 2000 for $2,500, I knowily did so with a broken 454ci/300hp. I had OB's all my life up to this point. I was grossily misled by my "bad" mechanic and spent $20,000 on four reman engines from 2000 to 2004. I finally said I have had enough. I told the "bad" mechanic that I must of not been a good enough customer or otherwise after $20K I should have had an engine that worked. I told the bad mechanic that I should move on and find a shop that thought I would be a good customer. I now had spent $20K and was where I was when I bought the boat in 2000. I had a great boat with a broken engine.
I decided that the only way to go was a brand new 2005 496 ci/375hp EFI engine. Got three prices to furnish and install the new engine; $10,000 from the "bad" mechanic, $12,000 from a dealer in Delaware and $14,000 from David Govatos of Londontowne Marina in Edgewater, MD. I went with David Govatos and I have never been happier with the engine and more so with the qualily of services and professionism of David Govatos.
My new engine gets 50% better fuel mileage and 20% better performace. The only reason I did not go for the 496ci/425hp is because I exhaust out the hub. I did not want straight pipes. With the Y-yoke, I was told that you can not get the exhaust of the larger engine out the Y-yoke.
At this time I have 450 hours. I change all fluids ever 50 hours weather it is needed or not. The only difficulity that I had was with the stock Merc exhaust headers. There was a small crack that caused hydro lock. Merc warranty the "new" header designed replacement and I paid for the labor.
THE BIG LEASONED LEARNED: ALWAYS REPLACE WITH NEW, NEVER REPLACE WITH REMAN.
I have had the time of my life with Black Beauty.
If anyone has any questions on my "restore" project, please feel free to ask.
David Avedesian, Silver Spring, MD
Black Beauty, Annapolis, MD