WELCOME TO RIVER DAVES PLACE

New 2003 26' Howard Cat

Husqy510

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Just picked up this time capsule thats been sitting in a garage for 15yrs. The couple ordered it the way it sits and collected most of the parts to assemble, but never got around to it. This thing has never been wet. We're going to store it for the summer and build it over the winter with a new naturally aspirated 540 that's been sitting in our garage for about 12yrs waiting for the right project. I'll do my best to update this post as we progress.
 

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DrunkenSailor

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Just picked up this time capsule thats been sitting in a garage for 15yrs. The couple ordered it the way it sits and collected most of the parts to assemble, but never got around to it. This thing has never been wet. We're going to store it for the summer and build it over the winter with a new naturally aspirated 540 that's been sitting in our garage for about 12yrs waiting for the right project. I'll do my best to update this post as we progress.
What a find. Looking forward to the build thread.
 

4Waters

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Just picked up this time capsule thats been sitting in a garage for 15yrs. The couple ordered it the way it sits and collected most of the parts to assemble, but never got around to it. This thing has never been wet. We're going to store it for the summer and build it over the winter with a new naturally aspirated 540 that's been sitting in our garage for about 12yrs waiting for the right project. I'll do my best to update this post as we progress.
This boat looks familiar, where did you pick it up at.
 

OldSchoolBoats

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Are you going to be able to clean up the interior?
 

Husqy510

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Lik
Thought the same but I think that’s the color of the vinyl.


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Like hallett21 said, that's the pattern of the upholstery. It's tough to describe but it looks like a grey marble in person. Every part of this boat looks like the day they finished it in 2003. The interior is spotless and the vinyl is still soft.
 

DWC

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Very cool find and project.
PS. Holy shit, i thought i procrastinated. This guy set some records.
 

Husqy510

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Any suggestions on who I should have install the motor and drive. I'd like a reputable shop that can handle that and install the exhaust. I think we'll do the rest.
Thanks
 

Husqy510

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Just picked up the rest of the parts they had aquired, most of which was brand new in dusty boxes. We weren't exactly sure what they had, but we couldn't be more excited as we have about 95% of what we need to complete the boat.

A couple of the more exciting parts we got was a new Bravo 1, new Imco dual hydraulic steering and new lightning headers.

We also got all the accessories to install the motor, motor mounts, bell housing and coupler, fuel selector, drive shower, powder coated battery boxes, Eddie marine oil cooler with powder coated mounting brackets swim steps and ladder, 28p 4 blade prop, hatch actuator, all the wiring harnesses. Lots of other stuff as well.

We can't wait to put this boat together. Monday we're going to Howard to see what they suggest. May also go by Boost power to see what they'd charge to Dyno tune our motor and rig.
 

Husqy510

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Went by Howard today and spoke with Mike. You could tell they're slammed with work, but he took some time to talk with us about the boat and answered all of our questions. I was really impressed by that, made me even more excited to be a Howard owner.

Also went by Jim Grubbs Engines and was equally impressed by them. Unfortunately I don't think they'll be able to get to our motor in time, looked like they had about a years worth of work in the shop.
 

Husqy510

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A little update with better photos to follow soon.

We stored the boat for the summer while we sold some parts and saved money to complete the build. We chose Jim Grubbs Motorsports to build the motor, which should be finished tomorrow and then on the dyno next week. Just picked up this Hardin Marine serpentine accessory kit.

We also moved the boat back home so we can begin the wiring. We're fortunate that it already had a wiring loom with a ten prong plug, all we have to do is make all the connections. The boat also came with a new Mercury factory harness for the motor. Has anyone used one of these to wire a custom motor?

After we finish everything we're comfortable doing it'll go to Prime to install motor, drive, exhaust and steering.
 

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Nates270

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i used a 502 efi engine wiring harness (not the efi harness) on my custom carbed bbc build. what helped was going on cpperformance.com and searching up a factory carbed merc engine in their parts lookup section. most have pages with wiring harness schematics.
 

Husqy510

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i used a 502 efi engine wiring harness (not the efi harness) on my custom carbed bbc build. what helped was going on cpperformance.com and searching up a factory carbed merc engine in their parts lookup section. most have pages with wiring harness schematics.
Good to know. Where you happy with how it turned out? I want it to look clean.
 

Nates270

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Good to know. Where you happy with how it turned out? I want it to look clean.
Yah it came out good. You can remove the plastic wire covering and replace it with the nicer nylon stuff. Make sure you can order the proper sensors and switches for your gauges and the harness. All of my sensors and switches had the little thread post and nut. Didn’t have the nice click together pigtails.
 

MeCasa16

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I am so jealous of this find.. Awesome boat.


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Husqy510

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I noticed a couple holes that are drilled in the stringers are untreated. What's the best way to seal that wood?
 

Husqy510

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Finally got the motor on the dyno and it exceeded our expectations. Unfortunately one of our morel lifters collapsed, so we need to get a new set and then we'll bring it home.
 

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Husqy510

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Motor is home and we couldn't be happier with the work Jim Grubbs Motorsports did. They worked with us building a great motor utilizing a lot of parts we already had. They picked the Pistons and Cam and the results for exceeded our expectations.

Boat should go to Prime Marine soon so they can install motor, outdrive, exhaust and steering. We're going to handle all the wiring and plumbing.
 

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Husqy510

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Little more mock up today. Made some progress on fuel system and wiring harness for engine.

Trying to decide if we should powder coat a few more parts purple. Bilge is purple, as well as headers, battery boxes and heat exchanger mounts. Maybe the breathers and catch can
 

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Husqy510

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My brother finished the custom wiring harness for motor and the boat wiring is almost wrapped up. The motor turned out great with no wires visible on front of the motor. He also made a custom bracket for ignition, hour meter and engine harness. We have a couple fuel lines to finish up and then we can powder coat the last bracket on the front of the motor.

I'll snap some pics of the boat wiring in a couple days when I get home from work.
 

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Husqy510

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Prime got the motor, drive and exhaust installed. Next is the hydraulic steering.
 

Husqy510

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Just picked up the boat from Prime and verything they did looks great. Now we'll finish up the electrical, reinstall upholstery and it should be ready for the water. We're going to float it before we decide to mount the swim steps
 

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Boat 405

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Can you ditch the carb spacer and fit it under the hatch? I opted to do that on my last two motors. Tight fit but it beats cutting the hatch for me. And for inquiring minds. I ran that flame arrested on the dyno. Loss of 10 hp. No big deal. Boat runs 104-105 as it sits.
 
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Husqy510

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View attachment 775963 View attachment 775964 Can you ditch the carb spacer and fit it under the hatch? I opted to do that on my last two motors. Tight fit but it beats cutting the hatch for me. And for inquiring minds. I ran that flame arrested on the dyno. Loss of 10 hp. No big deal. Boat runs 104-105 as it sits.
I don't think so, but definitely worth looking at. The hatch is completely flat, so I think I'd still be a inch or so high, but we'll definitely explore all options prior to cutting
 

King295

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Sounds great! You've gotta be eager to get it out in open water. Thanks for posting all the progress. 👍
 

Husqy510

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We're very excited for the summer, but a little nervous. After working on this thing for 18mo you begin to think of all the things that could go wrong.

The good news is it didn't leak, everything works and it sounded great. Can't wait see how she runs.
 

LC925

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18mo later and she's finally done. The water was too low to go for a ride, but she floats and it went into forward and reverse. The only leak was a small one at the temperature sending unit.

Sounds great! And man you’re not kidding, water is super low.
 

Dennis-19

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We're very excited for the summer, but a little nervous. After working on this thing for 18mo you begin to think of all the things that could go wrong.

The good news is it didn't leak, everything works and it sounded great. Can't wait see how she runs.
Awesome! I can't wait to do the same with my project. I totally feel you on the nervousness as I am building it all by myself. Looks like we both launch at JS, I look forward to seeing you rip up/down the river.
 

Husqy510

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Awesome! I can't wait to do the same with my project. I totally feel you on the nervousness as I am building it all by myself. Looks like we both launch at JS, I look forward to seeing you rip up/down the river.
Thanks, what are you building?
 

Husqy510

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Today was a good day!

We only ran it up to about 4800 rpms and mid 70's, but she runs great. We're going to change the engine and drive oil, and make sure everything looks good. Then we'll see how she runs at full throttle.

Things we still need to address are the GPS speedo, port side fuel gauge and depth finder. Motor didn't develop any heat but the oil got up to 200 after a few passes


 
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