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2001 Advantage 27 Victory

ToMorrow44

27 Advantage TCM 800efi
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Well, since others are doing it, I figured I’d chronicle some of the upgrades I’m doing to my boat over the years. After unsuccessfully upgrading to a bigger boat in the offseason, I figured I’d dump a little money in the Advantage and keep making it nicer.

Anyway, my dad had this boat built at the end of 2000, it was delivered in 2001. Originally built with a Teague 620, now it has a Teague 825efi. I bought it from my dad about 5 years ago and have been updating/upgrading things little by little. He hardly used it when I went off to college, so when I bought it, I think the motor/drive had 20 hours on it. It’s been garage kept it’s whole life and the only people to ever work on it are my Dad, myself, and Teague.

Even though we’ve taken hundreds of pictures over the years (a lot on film lol) after several military moves, who knows where the hell they are. I stumbled across these recently, some of the first pictures of it. I think I would have been 14 when this picture was taken:
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This I believe was the maiden voyage in April 01. Still one of the best pictures at WOT we’ve ever had.
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The boat is actually mostly original, 2001 era. Interior is all original except the seat bottoms which have been redone a few times as they take some abuse getting in/out of the boat. Snap in carpet is original too, although that could use replacement. I have a 2 & 4 year old, so I’m not yet jumping to spend $10k to update the interior so they can spill applesauce and Cheetos on it lol.
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Speaking of my kids, this boat has always been a family truckster. Still ski, tube, and wakeboard behind it. Kids have been going since they were 6 weeks old and they LOVE it. They love to drive even though neither of them can actually see, and really all they do it make it harder for me to steer but whatever.
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Over the last few years I’ve gone thru and cleaned up some stuff. In 2018 I stripped off almost all the powdercoated parts and had them redone along with all new polished hardware.
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Although I’ve only had 2 MSD boxes die over the last 15 years, when the last one died, I figured it was time to do something different. Upgraded to a Daytona Instruments CD-1 which are supposed to be built much better than the MSD boxes. First line in the instruction manual “do not mount on the motor” so I used a bracket made to go on the motor and bolted it to the firewall. Another theory is that the MSD boxes die to to power fluctuations, they’re very voltage sensitive so any spikes or low power from a not-so-great battery will harm them. So I used one of their capacitors in-line with the power leads to smooth that out. If you have problems with MSD boxes dying, try putting a capacitor in there, a lot of people believe that MSD should include the capacitor with the box, I tend to agree. I still carry a spare MSD box in the boat just in case.
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Speaking of the above picture ☝🏻, see the notch in The firewall in front of the motor? That was an option from Advantage for boats with a blower motor so the blower pulley would clear. My dad had it built that way even though it didn’t originally have a blower motor...how fortuitous.
 

ToMorrow44

27 Advantage TCM 800efi
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So onto this years project. I wanted to update the cockpit a bit. Here’s the before, 2001 everything. Nothing wrong with any of it, gauges arent faded, foggy, and they all work 100%. But I can’t leave well enough alone, so here we go.
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I wanted to redesign the dash so I could flush mount the GPS so it doesn’t look like an afterthought. Decided to make it out of 1/8 aluminum. The dash has a very slight curve to it, and the 1/8” aluminum is just malleable enough to contour it, while still being strong enough to hold everything.
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First step was to transfer the outline to paper so I could translate the curved shape to flat metal.
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A lot of time, a compass and a Weams plotter, I got all the design laid out the way I wanted. Then off to my poor mans mill to cut out all the holes.
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Lots of time sanding and prepping, all ready for powdercoat.
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My powdercoater was able to match the blue nearly perfect to the rest of the blue already on the boat. This is Candy Blue
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All the gauges installed and ready to go...almost
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With the slight curve, there was a gap behind the GPS. A little HVAC foam tape I had laying around fills that gap nicely
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After mocking it up for install, I find out that the Livorsi tach now is SIGNIFICANTLY deeper than the Livorsi tach I took out and was hitting the bulkhead behind the dash, with 1” still sticking out. A call to Livorsi to ask if they can cut down the case to fit was a big fat no, they said it would have to be done on the outside with a bezel/spacer. So I find a CNC machine shop near me and one of their guys does small side jobs just like this. So overnight he whipped up this little piece of machining porn here out of stainless
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Also upgraded the throttles to the newer style Livorsi billet and powdercoated the indicator bezel from white to blue
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One of the things I wanted to get rid of was this old school Autometer warning light and cutoff switch. The new warning light is an LED in the dash from Teague. Since the tab controls were on the old throttles, I needed a switch panel for the tabs, so that was a perfect place to mount tab switch from Eddie Marine
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Lastly was the steering wheel that I impulse bought a Teague last time I was there. I figured mine is a 6 bolt, this new one is a 6 bolt, should bolt right on. Wrong. Slightly different bolt patterns. Luckily I have Hardin Marine down the road for me who had this nice stainless piece in stock with both bolt patterns.
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Unfortunately that’s not where that ends. The new helm adapter was slightly shorter than the old, and the steering shaft stuck out thru the hole in the wheel and the IMCO button wouldn’t fit. So I had to cut off 1/4” off that shaft and machine out the hub so that the nut sat low enough inside the hub. The holes in the steering wheel had to be enlarged along with the countersink for the 1/4-20 bolts, and the center bore was not round so I had to grind that out into a circle for the IMCO button.

Final product came out pretty good if I may say. I’m gonna pull it back out, polish the tach bezel and get polished stainless bezels for all the other gauges so it doesn’t look so odd. That’s coming in the next few weeks.
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I ordered everything through Teague and had them build the gauges with blue backlights
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ToMorrow44

27 Advantage TCM 800efi
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Ok so this must be a Florida-only problem right? After getting the boat out of storage, ran it on the hose then found this lizard in the sea strainer haha. I guess the sea strainer is doing its job. I think the lizard was hiding inside the hose and got sucked in which is pretty impressive going thru the low water pickup on the IMCO lower and all the way thru the drive...
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