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In Reply to: Sears 170 with 75 Hp Johnson Sea Horse posted by Crockett on December 29, 2003 at 09:20:30:
Crockett, I owned a 1964 Sears 170 for a couple years, sold it last year. It was equipped with a 75 horse Evinrude, also a '64, which appeared to be original equipment.
The boat served fairly well for fishing and skiing, though I had a hell of a time getting out of the water on one ski. I weigh about 190, and the old 75 horse took about 10 seconds (!) to get out of the hole with me going slalom. I got a sinus infection after one session, I took so much water up the nose. On two skis I got up quickly, however.
The boat liked to lean over at certain planing speeds, which was a little disconcerting. Turning wasn't great, either. I think that trim tabs would have been a good investment had I opted to keep the boat. I decided to sell because the lower unit of the motor could not be made watertight- to much pitting. So, after spending 700 bucks for a new clutch dog, I decided to cut my losses. Old motors are a pain. The only thing more expensive than an antique outboard is a new one. And old motors make a stink, and leave a fuel slick every where they go. That said, if the Johnson has good seals and runs strong, have a go! Take along plenty of gas!
Does it have Doel fins on the motor? Mine did, must have been a reason. If you get cavitation, you could look into it.
Oh, and check your propeller. Mine came with two, one for skiing and one for higher top speeds. The differences were dramatic. You might fiddle with prop size and angle if you don't like your performance. This is true for any boat, of course. Just a reminder. Don't write off a boat or motor performance-wise until you've tried some different combinations of props and weight distributions and so on.
The Sears 170 was one of those early deadrise fiberglass hulls. Those models don't compare really well with your basic 2004 bayliner or whatever, but hey, the price is right, eh? At least it's not one of those old "tri-hulls", as in "tri not to laugh while I beat my brains out."
To all you tri-hull lovers out there in Small Boat land, I'm just kidding. Tri-hulls are wonderful.
Happy New Year!
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