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  1. #1
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    250 EFIs OK for a 24 Liberator Cat?

    Hi all, I have a 24' Liberator Cat, circa 1990, that needs repower. It currently has two Johnson V6s that started as 200s and have been "highly modified" per some mechanics that had trouble working on them. This boat came with no documentation, I bought it from the widow (cause of death not related to the boat.) One motor has blown, with a hole through the side, and I have no interest in trying to match a new powerhead to the remaining motor.

    I've been told that a pair of Merc 250XS or 300XS with 20 inch mids and performance gearcases are what I should put on this boat. Sounds great to me I've seen this boat rigged with them it looks great, except even used, these are more than I want to spend (10-14) on what is now my second boat. But I would love to get this boat back up and running, since selling a hull with one working motor is going to be difficult (correct me if I am wrong here...)

    I am eyeing some good old Merc 250 EFI outboards. Standard gearcase. Retro-fitted to premix. Come with some controls. Looks like a reliable pair, good compression, currently running, and I trust the guy. He's close (4 hour drive) from me. And I can justify putting this much money into the boat. If you haven't figured it out already, I'm not a boat mechanic. I have a certified mercury marina nearby that I've dealt with, but this time of year they are swamped, so I'm looking at another marine guy to do the rigging for me. The motors are 25inch mids but the cat has manual jackplates and I think we can get these mounted to the proper shaft height.

    SO, aside from the fact that I might be committing a sacrilege by not going top shelf, is this an acceptable approach? Are the mids too big, will the gearcases drag too much, will I never get enough speed out of these motors, and last but not least, is there anything unsafe about what im thinking of doing here? I've driven this cat at 80 and would like to get more and spend time learning her.

    The seller of these EFIs is not pressing me or telling me they will be perfect for the cat. If this is crazy, blame the buyer (me) not the seller.

    Thanks for all the insight I hope to receive. And, as a first time poster here, thanks for your time and do not feel the need to go easy on me.

    Eric

  2. #2
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    Those motors use the most fuel of anything that merc has made in the last 30 years but they are dependable. The issue is that you will need to have low water pickups and by the time you get a set of gear cases and or modify these and make sure that they have the right gear (you will want 1.62s) then you are going to be within striking distance of buying the correct power (300x, 250xs, or 300xs). You might also consider looking for some promax 300s that all ready have sportmasters (they too are thirsty but I have seen them inexpensive).

    Joe

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  4. #3
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    Thanks Joe. I've run a 200 EFI I know they are thirsty, smoky, loud. (Very thirsty near WOT, where I expect we'll be in this setup.) I can live with all of that. The boat has a pair of thru hull water pickups, they were plumbed into the mid of the Johnsons. I am hoping I'd be able to plumb into new power for the same thru hull cooling. ?

  5. #4
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    Wharf have we met? I've been on sacandaga all my life not sure if i know your boat?

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  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyone View Post
    Wharf have we met? I've been on sacandaga all my life not sure if i know your boat?
    I've met one Rocky on the Lake. I sold him an old powerhead once thru Park Marine. At the time I had a Blue Seebold V, he had a black mint looking checkmate. We met on sand island once.
    The Liberator has been there, it was on the lake maybe 4 years ago. It was pretty loud as it had exhaust cutouts.
    I too am a lifer, more or less. Recall the days when you could find a parking spot on sand island, when Deer island still existed (and nobody went there) and gas was expensive at $1.00 a gallon.

  8. #6
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    I don't think you will get the engines high enough with the 25 inch mids even with jack plates, and if you did it would be top heavy and they would look all wrong.
    You will trash the stock lowers even if you put cones on them.

    It may seem like a good deal now and you would same some money but you WILL have problems with that setup.

    You at the very least need motors with 20 inch mids and sportmasters or even CLEs. You could get away with less HP just not the mids or gearcases.

    My 2ct.

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  10. #7
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    What is your budget? You can always look for a older 2.5 carb or Bridgeport if you are looking for something cheaper.
    24 Skater 250xs
    15 Viper 2.5 260

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  12. #8
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    This word you use, "budge-it", what it mean? I don't have a firm budget, Im looking for value. I have a primary boat, which means if I get the Liberator up and running, it has no place to roam. Then again, I can probably score a second marina slip, it's less than a grand.
    But since I should have a budget, I'd like to get this wrapped for $15 grand. If I spend more than that, I should try to unload the hull and invest in some other toy. 15 = 10K on power, $2500 on rigging, leaves me $2k for incidentals. I've looked here, Trader, Ebay, CList. Most paired outboards are 25 or 30inch mids. Lots of Verados too. Not many paired two strokes and hard to find 20inch with sport cases. I could probably rig the boat with the 250 EFIs / 25" / standard case for 10.
    JC, I see from your sig you've got a similar cat (my apologies if calling my Liberator similar to your Skater offends.) I presume youre running sportcases and 20inch mids?

    OK, $12.5 on power, 2.5 on rigging, 500 on incidentals like finders fees on power etc. Im alredy over budget.
    Last edited by wharfrateric; 08-19-2015 at 09:35 AM. Reason: update

  13. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by wharfrateric View Post
    This word you use, "budge-it", what it mean? I don't have a firm budget, Im looking for value. I have a primary boat, which means if I get the Liberator up and running, it has no place to roam. Then again, I can probably score a second marina slip, it's less than a grand.
    But since I should have a budget, I'd like to get this wrapped for $15 grand. If I spend more than that, I should try to unload the hull and invest in some other toy. 15 = 10K on power, $2500 on rigging, leaves me $2k for incidentals. I've looked here, Trader, Ebay, CList. Most paired outboards are 25 or 30inch mids. Lots of Verados too. Not many paired two strokes and hard to find 20inch with sport cases. I could probably rig the boat with the 250 EFIs / 25" / standard case for 10.
    JC, I see from your sig you've got a similar cat (my apologies if calling my Liberator similar to your Skater offends.) I presume youre running sportcases and 20inch mids?

    OK, $12.5 on power, 2.5 on rigging, 500 on incidentals like finders fees on power etc. Im alredy over budget.
    I know this is going to cost you a good penny no matter what you buy if you
    go with twins. Why not put single for know...

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  15. #10
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    Thanks apache. The 21' Liberators and Eliminators do fine with a single plant from what I have seen. My 24 footer ran nice with the twin 200s that were probably putting out more than 400 total. I don't know the thrust vs drag (with weight consideration) formula for single vs double, but even with a single 300 I fear I won't have enough power to get this boat lifting. [I recall that when my boat had it's issues, all I could manage with one working engine (mounted on the side, yes not in the center) was plow home. I was passed by a pontoon boat on the way. ]

    But I'm open to suggestions from the field.... is this an approach I should consider?

  16. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wharfrateric View Post
    Thanks apache. The 21' Liberators and Eliminators do fine with a single plant from what I have seen. My 24 footer ran nice with the twin 200s that were probably putting out more than 400 total. I don't know the thrust vs drag (with weight consideration) formula for single vs double, but even with a single 300 I fear I won't have enough power to get this boat lifting. [I recall that when my boat had it's issues, all I could manage with one working engine (mounted on the side, yes not in the center) was plow home. I was passed by a pontoon boat on the way. ]

    But I'm open to suggestions from the field.... is this an approach I should consider?
    my boat ran a best of 78 with single 300xs. 26p prop 1.75 gear. now with twin 300xs it runs 32p props and a 1.62 gear. my boat has no chance at getting on plane with one motor not running. you may be surprised how well it would run with a single 300hp motor.

  17. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by wharfrateric View Post
    The 21' Liberators and Eliminators do fine with a single plant from what I have seen.
    There is quite a difference in weight between them as well as the 2 above are a center pod hull designed for a single. You would have to fill the holes for the twins and drill for a single. Not to mention the fact that a single engine true tunnel is tough on gear cases. I would stay with the twin engine setup personally. A set of 225 Promaxes would do well on your boat for a reasonable cost.
    24 Skater 250xs
    15 Viper 2.5 260

  18. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by wharfrateric View Post
    Thanks apache. The 21' Liberators and Eliminators do fine with a single plant from what I have seen. My 24 footer ran nice with the twin 200s that were probably putting out more than 400 total. I don't know the thrust vs drag (with weight consideration) formula for single vs double, but even with a single 300 I fear I won't have enough power to get this boat lifting. [I recall that when my boat had it's issues, all I could manage with one working engine (mounted on the side, yes not in the center) was plow home. I was passed by a pontoon boat on the way. ]

    But I'm open to suggestions from the field.... is this an approach I should consider?
    You have a PM

  19. #14
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    Not so easy to buy a nice pair of used Promax's $10K. It's not impossible, but you'll have to look/wait. Most are more than that. What about a pair of Yamaha 225's? I know of one for $3500 - not mine.

  20. #15
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    stay with twins a single on 24 is dismal 80 mph and all day to get there vs twins cruising at 80 and top end 100+
    Last edited by eli; 08-21-2015 at 04:33 PM.

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