Simple questions

Looked at a 2004 Rinker 342.
(The owner was not available to show the boat, but let me look thru it.)

A few things that made me go hmmm.
1. The 350 mercruiser horizons had yellow hats. I have never seen yellow ones. I've seen flames which is generally a reman engine. But what is the yellow mean? Anything?

2. I turned the steering wheel all the way to one side, but the B3 outdrives didnt move. I then turned the wheel 6 rotations to the other side, but, again the drives didnt turn.
Out side the boat, I could push the outdrives (independently) a couple inches with not too much force. They looked a little off.... 1 was exactly straight, but the other was a few degrees off.
I probably answered my own question.. the outdrives must not have been hooked up tothe steering?...but why not? Any thoughts? Or things to look for? 

3. I didnt have the keys, and boat was on blocks already winterized. But the outdrive would not trim up or down.. the pump didnt even kick on. It did have batteries in it. I was able to raise the engine hatch (had to lower with a portable jumper to the rear terminals, I dont think the battery was dead/dying,because I was able to raise the 2 times hatch but always had to close it with my battery jumper.) 
- do you need the keys in the ignition to tilt trim the outdrives?
- do you need keys in the ignition to lower the eng hatch?
Thank you!


  • Liberty44140Liberty44140 Bay Village & Marblehead, OH.Member Posts: 4,073 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The owner may have painted those engine tops, I’ve seen people do that, likely doesn’t mean anything. 

    The outdrives are ran my power steering and the engine needs to be running for the power steering to work. But that said I had thought that if you really muscle the wheel to turn with the engine off the drives will still move. If the wheel turned Freely with the engines off then yes something is disconnected.
    07' Cruisers 390 (Previous Rinker's: 06' 342EC & 01' 310FV)

  • 2_foot_i_tis2_foot_i_tis Member Posts: 39
    It didnt take much muscling to spin the wheel, but not super easy. Kinda felt "normal". I was surprised when I checked the outdrives and they hadn't moved.
    But since I could wiggle the outdrives a few inches, I assumed they were power and somehow disconnected.

    Does the key need to be in the ignition to be able to raise/lower the outdrive? 
    Or maybe I failed to turn something on to give it power?
    I had turned the 2 battery switches in the stern on, and flipped the 2 switches at the stern.
    Was there any other switch I would have needed to flip?
  • reneechris14reneechris14 Pawcatuck river CTMember Posts: 3,134 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Do not need the key on for triming drives or rising hatch. The 2 battery switches in the back are for each motor. There are 2 breakers between the switches one for helm one the panel down stairs. If the hatch went up it should off went down battery must low. Steering must be disconnected or streering pin must be worn badly for the drives to move that much.
    2005 Rinker FV342  Pawcatuck river,Ct
  • Handymans342Handymans342 Member Posts: 10,375 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Maybe the steering cable is broken
  • 2_foot_i_tis2_foot_i_tis Member Posts: 39
    Yep, I had the 2 battery switches turned on, and the 2 breakers flipped on. (Thanks for confirming I wasnt missing any other switches)
    I suppose the battery could be really low, but find it odd, that I was able to raise the engine hatch on boat battery. It wouldnt lower.
    I first raised the hatch a couple inches, then tried to lower, it wouldnt go down, so I got out my jumper and put the hatch down.
    Then on boat battery alone, I raised the hatch all the way up, but it would not go down on battery power.
    So I used my jumper to the terminals.

    I would think it would take more battery power to raise the hatch, than to lower it.
    But it does seem to be power related.

    Thanks for everyone's response.
  • 2_foot_i_tis2_foot_i_tis Member Posts: 39
    Maybe the steering cable is broken
    Yeah, that seems possible too. I wish I had another set of eyes to view the linkage while I was turning the wheel.
  • Liberty44140Liberty44140 Bay Village & Marblehead, OH.Member Posts: 4,073 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You really shouldn’t turn the wheel with the engine not running. You can, I’ve had to do it when the engine that has the power steering pump went out and had to come in to the dock with the non power steering pump only, but you shouldn’t do that unless you have to. 
    07' Cruisers 390 (Previous Rinker's: 06' 342EC & 01' 310FV)

  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaMember Posts: 7,046 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Out side the boat, I could push the outdrives (independently) a couple inches with not too much force. They looked a little off.... 1 was exactly straight, but the other was a few degrees off.
    Are you saying there's two inches of play in the steering?  If you push one drive side-to-side a couple inches, does the other drive doesn't move?   I sure hope not ...

    It shouldn't have more than 1/4" to 1/2" of play.  Two inches of play is a dangerous condition.  The likely culprit is failed seals in the transom assemblies, which has rusted out the steering pins.  

    The repair can't be postponed, and it's expensive.  You would need to replace the transom assemblies.  To have a mechanic do it, you're probably looking at $8k minimum.  (I'm doing mine over the next few weeks on a 2007 boat.)   

    BTW on my 370 (and a 2003 342 before that), I need the keys on to trim the drives up.
  • GMSLITHOGMSLITHO Greenwood Lake NY Member Posts: 1,495 ✭✭✭✭
    yep steering pin 
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaMember Posts: 7,046 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @2_foot_i_tis (BTW love that handle) if the boat needs transom assemblies, don't let it scare you away from the sale.  I'd expect it on a 2004 boat.  You'll need the seller to discount the price accordingly.  A pre-purchase survey by a professional surveyor will more than pay for itself, because you need to make sure the transom itself has no water damage.  And if you do the work during the off-season, it'll be worth it to have new transom assemblies.  
  • 2_foot_i_tis2_foot_i_tis Member Posts: 39

    Are you saying there's two inches of play in the steering?  If you push one drive side-to-side a couple inches, does the other drive doesn't move?   I sure hope not 

    BTW on my 370 (and a 2003 342 before that), I need the keys on to trim the drives up.
    I looked at the videos I took while I was at the boat. 
    So I could move 1 drive all the way left to right, (only limited to the stretch of the bellows.) And the other drive did not move.
    So I assume the steering is disconnected... but why.. unless there was some major issue.
    I question the seller about it , and he said the steering prob just needs to be adjusted... but I think he's hiding info!

    Good to know about the drive trims/keys. Thank you

  • 2_foot_i_tis2_foot_i_tis Member Posts: 39
    edited November 2020
  • 2_foot_i_tis2_foot_i_tis Member Posts: 39
  • Handymans342Handymans342 Member Posts: 10,375 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2020
    Definitely a leaking steering pin. Was this boat kept in the water? A surveyor and haul out will find the issues
  • 2_foot_i_tis2_foot_i_tis Member Posts: 39
    So the seller is the 3rd owner, bought it in 2014.
    Looks like it was kept in water, probably pulled for winters. Looks like it sat on land this year.
    Seller has been really vague with details! To the point where I'm ready to walk.
    Maybe it's a scam.. I dont know. 
    Only communication has been thru craigslist email. I gave him my cell number (asked him to call, but he never did) but I dont his number.  Reason for selling is that he moved away and cant use the boat as much anymore.  he was unable to get someone to meet me and look over the boat. but reluctantly gave me the boat location, name of boat and said I could go look at it. (So because of his reluctance, I though he is legit.)because I am skeptical about craigslist.
    I asked about maintenance records. And his response was "I have only had 1 mechanic that has worked on it." So.. dont know what to make of that. Maybe did his own work? And only had a mechanic do something one time?.. I dont know.
    But maintence has not been kept up.
    The starboard drive had zero anodes, (dont know if someone stole them while it sat) but the port side had anodes, that crumbled at the slightest touch.
    The out drive condition is surprising not as bad as I have seen.. considering the anode condition.
    But based on anodes, I'm sure the bellows havent been done since he bought it(maybe even longer before that!?.. but I could not poke a hole thru with my finger, but would still replace them.
    So yeah, I have to figure new risers, manifolds, plugs, transom assemblies, bellows, 1 of the skegs is chipped off, bottom paint, batteries (4 still in the boat and sat thru last winter and summer
    Water pumps, steering, fluid changes, since transom jobs, I would want to sand down the outdrives and repaint them. And the blue hull needs a professional detail to try to bring it back.
    The topside and interior looks good condition. Small mic cosmetics. But since it has been sitting, closed up for so long, there is condensation forming I side, that will result in mold if he doesn't take care of it.

    I am about 2.5 hours from the boats current location, so I would need to have it hauled closer to me. (But even moved closer it would still would be a 45 min drive to be able to work on it, so I'd prob hire a mechanic to do some of the work during the winter.)
    Orig listed at 55k over summer, and dropped it to 52k in sept and then 45k. 
    Listing states...
    "Has twin Merc 350 engines with 535 hours. Bravo III drives. Fresh Oil change, new Impellers and both drives serviced this year. New bottom paint"
    Bottom paint is nowhere close to new!
    Oil change I dont believe, because oil filters have 2019 date written on them.
    Drives serviced??... I am doubtful
    The pictures that he did post must have been from a season or 2 ago.
    So yeah..

    I told him everything that I found wrong... a little peeved that I was misled on the condition, and he said make him an offer...
    So I'm thinking.

  • 2_foot_i_tis2_foot_i_tis Member Posts: 39
    Ugh, I just typed a book from my phone, posted it. Then edited it to change 1 word. Saved it.... and now everything is gone.
    Well if I get more time... I'll try to remember everything I typed
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaMember Posts: 7,046 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yup, those transom assemblies are living on borrowed time.  Here's what you're into:

    Remove outdrives
    Remove engines
    Replace transom assemblies ($3k each)
    Fix any other problems you find while you're in there
    Reinstall and test
    $6.5k parts, probably $2k labor

    Here's why it matters.  When a steering pin gets enough rust, the steering arm can't hold it.  I had one let go in a turn at 30 mph.  The starboard drive suddenly went hard to port, putting me in a tight turn with no bank angle.  Darn near threw one of my passengers overboard.  

    If the owner thinks it can be adjusted, he's probably wrong.  The surveyor will determine whether it needs the repair immediately or can get another year out of them.  

    Cheer up:  After the repair, you'll have the luxury of a nice dry bilge for a few years.  
  • 2_foot_i_tis2_foot_i_tis Member Posts: 39
    Well short story is the seller has been very vague on maintence.
    Anodes crumbled at the touch.
    Listing says new bottom paint (which it obviously wasnt)
    "fresh oil change and drives serviced" oil filter was labeled with 2019 date.

    So based on my observations, I need to do everything, because I cant trust that anything was done in the last 4 years of him owning it.
    Boat looks to have been kept in the water,most of the time... prob pulled for winters. I could tell it wasnt used this year.
    (And the pictures from the listing were old)

    Outdrives look ok considering the lack of anodes. But 1 had a chunk taken out of the skeg. 
    So I would need new risers,
    On fresh water closed cold 5.7s are the manifolds fresh water cooled?.. if not have to figure replacing those.
    Batteries, impellors, flush out heat exchangers, anodes everywhere, new transoms, steering, bellows, fix skeg on outdrive, have the sanded and repainted.
    1 hour on genny?..
    Topside look good, but needs a professional detail to tr ry to bring back the blue hull. Seats are pretty good. Interior is good. 
    Outside icemaker looks to be taken aprat/broken I side. Refrids look good aside from needing to clean out the rusty beverage cans.
    So yeah... at 8.5k just for the transoms, theres a great deal of time, work and money to get her back.

  • 2_foot_i_tis2_foot_i_tis Member Posts: 39
    Not so short... but shorter than orig!
  • Dream_InnDream_Inn Annapolis, MDMember, Moderator Posts: 7,295 mod
    Yeah, there are plenty of better 342s out there.  I'd not even think about that one.  With the lack of any maintenance and work that will need done, your entire first year, or possibly two, will be consumed with getting things the way they should be.  There are many people on this forum that will tell you that no low price is worth that amount of lost boating time.  Sorry to be a downer, but at least you haven't bought it.

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaMember Posts: 7,046 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Unless you like working on boats and the seller is realistic about price.  

    Here's one in New Hampshire listed by one of our members: 
  • YYZRCYYZRC Georgian BayMember Posts: 4,149 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2020
    I agree with @Dream_Inn except to say that if you can get the work done over the winter and you can buy the boat right, I would still consider it.  Especially if you can get it stored indoors for easy workability (and no shrink wrap to work around).

    My boat needed a lot of work when I bought it last fall, but I bought it right and I had the work done over the winter while the boat sat indoors.  My list of repairs/upgrades was extensive but none of it kept me off the water.
    2008 350 EC on Georgian Bay
  • 2_foot_i_tis2_foot_i_tis Member Posts: 39
    Current asking price is 45K.
    It was listed 55k I. The sume, then went to 52k in sept. The reduced to 45k mid oct.

    I told seller the list of issues I saw (noting the steering issue, but not knowing the costs of new transom assemblies!)

    And he responded by saying make him an offer...
    It's not out, but alot more time and work than I was planning on.. so I am just thinking things thru. Cost of repairs and more importantly time.

    I actually prefer boating fall, winter and spring. The summer sometimes gets too hot for me sometimes here in VA. (I'm orig from mass)
  • Handymans342Handymans342 Member Posts: 10,375 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Offer 25K assuming the motors run and have good compression. Where is this boat?
  • mattiemattie Sarnia, OntarioMember Posts: 1,119 ✭✭✭✭
    2_foot......I would walk on that one.

    Some really nice forum member boats come up on here once in a while. 
    How a boat was treated early in its life greatly affects its future!

    I would bet that the current owner hasn’t done any maintenance on that boat since he bought it in 2014. Other than reluctantly changing the oil last year cause his ‘marine guy’ told him to.

    246BR, 276BR, H310BR current
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaMember Posts: 7,046 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Northern VA?

    Genny ... if it's original and the hour meter says 1 hour, I'd consider it totalled.  It will never perform reliably.  They need regular exercise.  
  • Handymans342Handymans342 Member Posts: 10,375 ✭✭✭✭✭
    LaRea said:
    Northern VA?

    Genny ... if it's original and the hour meter says 1 hour, I'd consider it totalled.  It will never perform reliably.  They need regular exercise.  
    My granny only had 10 hours in 12 years. Ran like a champ and still does. Oh did I mention it was diesel? 
  • Handymans342Handymans342 Member Posts: 10,375 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Either pay 25K and put 25k in it or buy one for 50k and hit the water. 
  • aero3113aero3113 Long Island, NYMember Posts: 8,315 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2020
    Hey @2_foot_i_tis ,
    Don’t let the steering pins / transom assemblies  scare you yet. If there just leaking and something is disconnected it’s ok for now. When I bought my boat last season (2008 330) it had both steering pins leaking slightly and they had some play also. The play was from the Clevis pin and steering rod. The holes on the steering rod were elongated and the clevis pins were worn. I replaced the pins and installed a new rod and that took away most of the play. I also replaced the bushings and spacers for the trim cylinders and that helped more. This was done for under $300.00. Both assemblies still leak slightly but they haven’t gotten worse. At the beginning of the season I packed thick grease into the pin area from the outside and that help greatly. If the gimbal ring is worn, that’s when it becomes an issue. There’s a square hole in the ring that a square part of the pin goes into, once that wears, then the ring and pin need to be replaced. There are two other methods that can be done instead of replacing the transom assemblies. A Mercruiser method where two holes are drilled in the ta assembly which allows you to remove and replace the pin and bushings. The other method is the JR method where you drill out a good portion of the ta assembly to remove the pin and bushings and install a cover plate. Both work well if you use an experienced shop. I used the mercruiser method on my 242 when I had it and I want to say it cost me under $1000 to have it done. If you really like the boat and everything else checks out this is an option that will keep you going till you want to replace the transom assemblies. As for the generator you might get lucky and have no issues. Mine had 80 hours on it and wouldn’t stay running with a load. I worked on it for a week or so and still had issues. Once I replaced the fuel injector it worked GREAT the whole season! 
    If you have any other questions please feel free to ask. Myself and the rest of the forum will help you along the way.
    2008 330EC
Sign In or Register to comment.