Boat Project

 I decided to sell my Sea Fox 216 Dual Console in favour of a more fishing oriented rig with better use of the deck space. I didn't have a big budget so I decided a project boat was the way to go. Having had a long running hankering to have a 25 Bertram sedan on a trailer I went and looked at all the ones that were available at the time and came to the conclusion that a 3m wide boat on a trailer was going to be a pain in the neck with towing restrictions at night etc.

So I then looked at what else I might like and decided on a 23ft Caribbean Crusder 235. It was looking a bit sad and had some issues with soft floor, soft foredeck and the seller couldn't get the engine started, however he implied it did run so home it came.

I got it home, added a fresh battery, pumped the gas a couple of times and it fired right up. After that it started on the key turn every. I thought maybe I could run it the way it was for a while and see how my project would pan out but the reverse gear couldn't be selected so that put an end to that.

On with dismantling.....

Out came the engine and drive and fuel tank (sold the engine and drive to another crusader owner for parts)

 Structure was looking a but wrong


 So out came all the deck and supporting structure

New Stringers and floors went in, I was lucky the transom was still rock solid. I had the stringers and engine beds replaced by professionals and I then replaced the floors to save some cash.

I glassed up all the holes in the helm and had that resprayed, refurbished the steering boss to remove the corrosion. The entire boat has had all new wiring and hoses as well.

So then it was a case of what to do for a powerplant? I could have gone with the usual things of using a petrol stern drive or an outboard on a pod. I stuck with the sterndrive as that was the way the boat was designed but I managed to find a used Volvo Penta D3 160 5 cylinder diesel with a duo prop drive for sale. It was from a dealer and comes with warranty so I decided it was for me. The only concern I had was that the 160hp wouldn't be enough. It is however 150kg lighter than the v8 that came out and according to the Volvo web site for the weight of the boat and this power setup I would still get over 30 knots at WOT. I was skeptical but would have been happy with mid to high 20 knot performance given the economy.


I also had a new tank built after the old one showed a leak when the boat went to have the engine fitted. I couldn't find the leak but the diesel in the bilge was a bit of a giveaway. While waiting for the tank to be built I investigated the front deck and decided the only way to know everything, was to cut the fibreglass off the top and see what was underneath. As you can imagine I was faily surprised to see the plywood was all completely rotten wherever previous owners had cut holes in the deck for fittings. I even ended up cutting out where the anchor roller was as it was rotten underneath as well.

Edit: added pic of repaired foredeck

I've also fitted new pedestal seats and put the old carpet down for now until I decide on a floor covering.

Edit: added pic of interior

Sea trial day was last week and while the weather wasn't spectacular we did manage to get out and run her up to temp and make sure all was well. The engine has great diagnostics that can be shown on the tacho screen. In the sloppy conditions we saw a top speed of 31 knots and at 23 knots she was using 16.2 litres per hour which is fantastic for me. That would give me a range of over 200nm from the new 180l tank. I couldn't get over the mid range punch from the engine and drive and it planed at about 12 knots so I was really happy.

So even though it's not finished, I can now at least take her out and fish it and do some of the other bits and pieces as required/desired/affordable. It might not look fancy on the outside but at least now I know it is safe and reliable on the inside where it counts.

Thanks for reading, I'll post more pics as she comes along.

Edit: Added pic of exterior current state

Image Upload: 

Posts: 3805

Date Joined: 01/02/10

 Great to hear the diesel

Wed, 2016-12-14 10:31

 Great to hear the diesel went well in it. Got to be happy with those figures. The d3 wasn't available when mine was repowered. Would of been a solid choice.


Does anyone know where the love of god goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

Darren253's picture

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Date Joined: 23/07/16

Love a good rebuild... You've

Wed, 2016-12-14 10:50

Love a good rebuild... You've got some work to do on that bow!

z00m's picture

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Date Joined: 10/05/14

Its done already

Wed, 2016-12-14 11:13

New layers of glass and plywood and then epoxy bogged the old fibreglass panel back into place.  I realised I could have added a pic of that so i have put it up :)

bradz's picture

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Date Joined: 29/10/07

Good work

Wed, 2016-12-14 10:59

I'll bet the new floor feels alot more solid than before.

Good choice on the diesel.



I did then the best that I knew how. When I knew better, I did better.

Posts: 372

Date Joined: 19/06/14


Wed, 2016-12-14 13:08

 That's an awesome job you've done there... you should be proud of what you've done . I've been down the rebuild path ands it's satisfying to know what exactly is under the floor you're standing on . Enjoy the miserly diesel consumption 


 My wife understands why I clean my rods n reels in the shower....


Brock O's picture

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Date Joined: 11/01/08

Nice to be happy

Wed, 2016-12-14 13:23

Nice to be happy with that, good solid boat and ride.

Is that the 285 maeda from Preston

z00m's picture

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Date Joined: 10/05/14

Not sure on model

Wed, 2016-12-14 13:51

Not sure what model it was but yes, Preston Hire was used for the crane. 

pelagicyachts's picture

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Date Joined: 23/02/11

been involved in a few

Wed, 2016-12-14 13:26

been involved in a few rebuilds of varying degree and its a lot of work - those pictures make it look easy! - great job and should be a pretty solid unit now

Posts: 896

Date Joined: 06/05/12

 Well done zOOm, awesome job

Wed, 2016-12-14 13:31

 Well done zOOm, awesome job

Dale's picture

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Date Joined: 13/09/05

Wed, 2016-12-14 13:50

 Very good Zoom, paint n chrome don't get you home.


"Just because you are a Character, Doesn't mean you have Character."

Mr Wolf



crano's picture

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Date Joined: 04/11/09


Wed, 2016-12-14 18:35

 Looks great and good on you for having a go at it. Did it come in around your budget if you had one ? Any chance of telling us how much the pro glass work cost ?

z00m's picture

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Date Joined: 10/05/14

Pro glass work

Wed, 2016-12-14 21:16

A lot depends on how much your shipwright is willing to work with you. Even though I cut everything out and did most of the grinding they still had 2 guys grinding for another 6 hours. I paid $3k for the stringers and engine beds from them. I advised them my budget first so not sure if they worked to the number for the sake of being busy over the winter or not.

My budget was what I sold my old boat for and I was about $2k over but had to cut a few things from the list for now. I would have been about 6k over if I did everything I wanted right away. 

ranmar850's picture

Posts: 2204

Date Joined: 12/08/12

Great job, good to see them fixed up.

Wed, 2016-12-14 20:13

 That foredeck is a great illustration of how a bit of carelessness  causes big issues down the track. I'm currently mounting a winch on the foredeck of my 34 yo Swiftcraft. Only fitting was the bollard and a small fairlead. When i removed the bollard, you had to screw the 1/4" bolts out after removing the nuts. They had been fitted into some sort of epoxy sealant and the timber inside the foredeck was perfect. The 75mm hole which needed to be cut for the rope entry  was centred over the bollard position, so i got a good look at it . The winch required 1 x 75mm, 2 x 20mm, and 3x 9mm holes. It would have been so easy to just drill and whack some Sikaflex on, job done? I drilled them all, checked for fit, then forced expoxy into the grain of the wood--all holes were done slightly oversize. Went away and did something else for the rest of the day, came back when the epoxy was set, then fitted with sealant. No water will ever get into that timber. A few extra hours waiting for a job that will cause no problems a long way down the track.

z00m's picture

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Date Joined: 10/05/14

Epoxy sealed fittings

Wed, 2016-12-14 21:18

Like you said, epoxy is the only way to go to have a hope of a long lasting wood core. Everything I have fitted so far has been done the way you described but slightly different. I set the screws/bolts in wet but coated them all with anti sieze so they can be removed if required.

Rick's picture

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Date Joined: 22/12/06


Wed, 2016-12-14 22:20

 great job mate, that diesel should go for ever and save you a fortune

Happy fishing ! 



PGFC Member


little johnny's picture

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Date Joined: 04/12/11

Just reading

Thu, 2016-12-15 00:46

 And looking at job makes me itch. Looks like you done great job. Enjoy

Patto 1's picture

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Date Joined: 02/12/10

 Nice job zoom is satisfying

Thu, 2016-12-15 06:06

 Nice job zoom is satisfying to see it done .im currently rebuilding a boat myself and is a lot of hard work .and like you are saving a few dollars as the ship wright is letting me do a lot in his workshop .looking fwd to end result



ranmar850's picture

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Date Joined: 12/08/12

That is another good method.

Thu, 2016-12-15 11:23

 Also a good way of fitting stuff to a transom with self-tappers. What are you using as an anti-sieze? Inox seems to do the job. I was put onto this by a wood/fibreglass commercial fishing  boat builder/repairer--also told me the best way to plug a redundant hole in a transom was to ensure wood inside was clean and dry, overbore a bit to be sure, then use 24hr Araldite and hammer a hardwood dowel in sized to suit.

z00m's picture

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Date Joined: 10/05/14


Thu, 2016-12-15 18:35

Loctite anti-sieze stick. It is like a glue stick and easy to use when doing a lot of screws. 

z00m's picture

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Date Joined: 10/05/14

First trip

Fri, 2016-12-16 10:48

Thanks for all the comments guys - and yes it is hard work and very itchy work! Total project time was supposed to be 2 months but turned into 5 months!

Took it out for it's first fishing trip yesterday and managed to get a nice KG, undersize snapper and Dhu, Skippy, Tarwhine and the usual varieties of wrasse. All in water under 10m. A monster Sambo had a few looks at one of the Tarwhine I brought in and changed his mind at the last minute. Was glad it didn't get keen since I was only using the whiting gear. Both the deckie and I brought large eagle rays to the side of the boat before cutting them free.

I tried out my new anchoring system in lieu of not having an anchor winch yet. This consisted of having the anchor and rope in a large bucket near the middle of the boat and had a rope tied to the front cleat with an anchoring bridle and then used a lifting ball to retrieve. Was very happy with the way it worked and the lifting ball makes pulling the anchor very easy. I was inclined to move spots more often as it was a simple affair to raise the anchor.

I bought the bridle from whitworths.

Ashen's picture

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Fri, 2016-12-16 19:12

 Nice work, Michael!  Turned out great!


A fish in the hand is worth 10 in the water!

ranmar850's picture

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The fuel consumption--

Sat, 2016-12-17 06:33

 Without any conversion software handy--that appears to work out at 2.4km/l ? basing 23 knt+ 23 nm/hr=25mph=40km/hr--rough I know, but ballpark. Thats as good as i get from my F115 pushing a 5.65m boat at 20kts on calm water. Brilliant for the size of boat, really. On a par with the very best you will get with a big 4s, and your servicing will be cheaper, not to mention the lower installation and purchase price.

Posts: 3805

Date Joined: 01/02/10

 That's awesome figures. I

Sat, 2016-12-17 07:31

 That's awesome figures. I get the same from my d4 225hp pushing same size boat but ally. Very different to outboard power. What dealer did you use?


Does anyone know where the love of god goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

z00m's picture

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Date Joined: 10/05/14


Sat, 2016-12-17 07:53

The dealer that had the used combo for sale was Seapower in O'connor and they did the install as well. 

Posts: 3805

Date Joined: 01/02/10

 Cool. Sea power did my

Sat, 2016-12-17 08:14

 Cool. Sea power did my original install. I use Ben from Beyond Marine now. Was ex seapower mechanic but a fair bit cheaper.


Does anyone know where the love of god goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

ranmar850's picture

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Date Joined: 12/08/12

Redid that conversion

Sat, 2016-12-17 11:43

 Using a conversion chart, it is actually better than I originally (roughly) calculated---2.63km/L

backlash's picture

Posts: 258

Date Joined: 12/10/10

great work !

Fri, 2017-07-07 08:06

Great to see something like this done

i love the lines of the boat, and I think retaining the inboard was the right decision.


tight lines ! 

Posts: 2

Date Joined: 25/10/14

Looking to sell my leeder as

Thu, 2018-04-19 14:17

Looking to sell my leeder as I don’t like how she sits at anchor (rolls around a bit). Wondering if anyone could let me know how the crusaders are as ones come up for sale that I’m interested in but don’t want to have the same unstable feeling as rest. Any info would be greatly appreciated.


z00m's picture

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Date Joined: 10/05/14

Deep Vee

Thu, 2018-04-19 21:28

Most deep V hulls will roll around a bit on the anchor. If you want a comfy ride underway then some tenderness at rest is expected.

Maybe you could get a test drive in the one you are looking to buy? Failing that we could see if we can organise a ride in mine. 

Posts: 2

Date Joined: 25/10/14

 Thanks for the reply, I was

Fri, 2018-04-20 01:23

 Thanks for the reply, I was expecting a little roll with the leeder but It’s to the point where most people I take out start feeling sea sick. Mate if I can’t get a decent sea trial it would be great to see how your boat performs. I’ll post back here with how I get on with this crusader for sale.