Looking at a project Mark Twin runabout

diaoyu

Newbie
Dec 11, 2017
3
0
26
shenzhen
Name
chaichai
Boat
s72
Hi to all, the first time in the forum, was hoping to pick some brains about a boat for sale near me.

Someone basically down the street from me is selling what looks to me to be a '60s Mark Twain V-Sonic 16' with a 120HP Mercruiser sterndrive (think it's '60s because of the curved glass, they aren't sure and are still looking for the title). This would be my first boat, only had some experience with friends' and my brother's pontoon in the past. It will definitely need some floor work, I am assuming that without being able to pull up the soft floor to check the stringers that those and possibly the transom are lost and in need of replacement, so if I'm wrong about anything I get to be excited. I didn't know what stringers were until last night so I'm trying to sound smarter than I am but I think I'm a pretty quick learner. The boat seems like it deserves a restoration, the curved glass is still completely intact, virtually all the trim is in place, the hull exterior looks free of any collision damage so far, but going to take a closer look this weekend. I did have some questions, and since this forum keeps popping up in my google searches it seemed like the right place to ask.

First, they claimed the engine turns over, and the oil is clean, but I'd like to at least compression test it, or possibly fire it up (probably not though unless I can find some muffs, apparently even a few seconds is a bad idea for a dry impeller). It's been a couple years sitting though. I am thinking at a minimum, pull the plugs and shoot some light oil in to help with initial lubrication before turning it over? But more concerning is, they don't have a battery for it, and having admired a lot of classic vehicles, I've seen a lot of them that used 6v systems. Are there any Mark Twain runabouts that would fall into that category? I see that 6v marine batteries exist, but my searching hasn't shown that at least Mark Twain ever used 6v systems+ http://www.kynix.com/Detail/251694/SYSTEME S+.html . I just wanted to make sure I don't try to jump it and fry half the boat. The sellers probably aren't sure as they aren't the actual owners, but are selling it for an elder gentleman who is losing his faculties. It sounds like he may not be in any shape to even answer any questions about the boat's history unfortunately.

Is there anything else I should be looking for that sounds like I might still be surprised? Neither the steering nor the throttle appear to be frozen, which seem like good signs to me.

What kind of documentation is available for these boats? I've had a little trouble finding service manuals, etc, so far for the boat in general. It seems I need a Mercruiser Service Manual #1 and perhaps the Seloc 3200. Factory boat wiring diagrams could be helpful though in case a PO put any surprises in place. Trouble might partly be that a lot of downloading sites are blocked here at work, I will take another look when I get home probably.

Is there a such thing as an affordable quality cover for a small boat like this? I'd like to have it securely protected when not in use but afraid I may be stuck with a large Harbor Freight tarp for the time being.

If they do find the titles for the boat and trailer, it seems like for a small investment, I would at least be able to cut my losses at some point and part it out and cover what I put into it. That said, is there any significant parts market for Mark Twain runabout parts? I imagine the glass is expensive to have custom made but not sure how far I'd have to go, or how long I'd have to wait to find another person who needs it.

Thanks for any help that can be provided.
 
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FishinMcNuggets

I've edited enough I should section this post.
  • Oct 25, 2010
    1,228
    839
    Hermosa Beach, CA
    Name
    Mike
    Boat
    Avon 2.85 "C-¢"
    If you have no experience with fiberglass, move on and find something that will require less "TLC" and $$$ to fix.
    Is there a such thing as an affordable...

    NO, there is no such thing as "affordable" that applies to most boats. If that's what you're looking for, do more homework before inviting your neighbors yard art over to your house.
     
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    oceanjake

    Member
    May 10, 2005
    980
    291
    Long Beach
    Name
    Jake
    Boat
    36’ Tiara Express
    My opinion....if you’re looking to get on the water in the next 6 months it may not be the right boat, however if you need/want a project in your garage for a good while you might have fun with a classic. You will never get your money back out of it so it’s not a good stepping stone type of boat either. With that said, they are cool boats. My dad had one and we loved it when I was a kid. I wouldn’t assume the stringers are rotten, and I wouldn’t assume that every minor issue needs to be resolved either, unless you want to tinker. If you want a cheap boat to just get on a lake and catch some bass, fix the engine, throw down new floors and carpet, and have fun. Let the next guy restore it. No shame there either.

    How much are you going to pay for this 16’ boat that doesn’t run with no title though? Better be CHEAP...like almost free.
     
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    diaoyu

    Newbie
    Dec 11, 2017
    3
    0
    26
    shenzhen
    Name
    chaichai
    Boat
    s72
    If you have no experience with fiberglass, move on and find something that will require less "TLC" and $$$ to fix.


    NO, there is no such thing as "affordable" that applies to most boats. If that's what you're looking for, do more homework before inviting your neighbors yard art over to your house.
    OK, thank you for your reply, have a good day for you.
     
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    diaoyu

    Newbie
    Dec 11, 2017
    3
    0
    26
    shenzhen
    Name
    chaichai
    Boat
    s72
    My opinion....if you’re looking to get on the water in the next 6 months it may not be the right boat, however if you need/want a project in your garage for a good while you might have fun with a classic. You will never get your money back out of it so it’s not a good stepping stone type of boat either. With that said, they are cool boats. My dad had one and we loved it when I was a kid. I wouldn’t assume the stringers are rotten, and I wouldn’t assume that every minor issue needs to be resolved either, unless you want to tinker. If you want a cheap boat to just get on a lake and catch some bass, fix the engine, throw down new floors and carpet, and have fun. Let the next guy restore it. No shame there either.

    How much are you going to pay for this 16’ boat that doesn’t run with no title though? Better be CHEAP...like almost free.
    I have a little hesitation.
     
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