View Full Version : 23' center console Donzi fishing boat

10-20-2011, 12:19 AM
This afternoon, I bought a yellow 1988 23' CC Donzi with a T-top and Mercury 250HP EFI motor from a man about 3 hours from where I live in north Texas. I am so excited about this boat that I will be completely restoring to take the place of my 20' Stratos CC- not that it needs all that much. It should handle the relatively large Lake Texoma perfectly - :yes: I was surprised that the fuel tank is supposed to be 125 gallons!! The man I bought it from said it will do in excess of 50MPh - I hope he is right. Does anyone know what the weight might be? It sure seemed heavy behind my 1 ton dually, but maybe a lot of that might have been wind resistance. I will show some pictures when I get a chance. Bill

10-20-2011, 07:29 AM
Jody Staples is the authority on these IMO, he has had his since new and his now has a 250 EFI and runs about 56-58 if I remember right, his parents owned the factory when his was built..

there ARE some issues with the floor on some of them, and other small things to look into, but if it's a dry hull, it's a great boat, the main drawback was the low transom to waterline distance, where water CAN and WILL come over the transom in heavy following or backdown sea's... some people have put splashboards back there to help with that.... Jody is not on this board, but is on the other board sometimes, if you need to find him... I have his cell number if you need it

also, MR X here had one with a Yamaha, and can maybe assist with questions as well

10-20-2011, 08:05 AM
+1 on the low freeboard @ the transom.
I remember the last time I saw Jody's boat w/the new motor, it seemed like there was 3"-4" of freeboard. I know this really isn't a problem if the water drainage is handled properly, but it looks strange. After all, there're a lot of racing sailboats w/no transom at all.

Congrats on the boat Bill, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
Keep us informed

Greg Guimond
10-20-2011, 12:24 PM
Wasn't that a 8 1/2" beam on that hull Bill? I seem to remember they are pretty easy to move around in. Congrats, must look good in yellow to boot :yes:

10-20-2011, 12:48 PM
Jody Staples is the authority on these IMO, he has had his since new and his now has a 250 EFI and runs about 56-58 if I remember right, his parents owned the factory when his was built..

there ARE some issues with the floor on some of them, and other small things to look into, but if it's a dry hull, it's a great boat, the main drawback was the low transom to waterline distance, where water CAN and WILL come over the transom in heavy following or backdown sea's... some people have put splashboards back there to help with that.... Jody is not on this board, but is on the other board sometimes, if you need to find him... I have his cell number if you need it


Jim and George,
You guys really nailed it.
The transom height really grabbed my attention since I knew it looked like it would be low in the water. The boat I bought has an additional splashboard in front of the outboard at the back of the cockpit. I guess it might have been added to help with this very problem. The boat fired right up on the hose and seemed to run perfectly and it shifted fine, too. The lower foot on the outboard is almost new. The only negative I found was that the floor from the front of the console back was soft, but right now there are no cracks in it. The center section under the driving stand-up seat is rock solid. The transom is solid with no gelcoat cracks. The boat has great looking classic Donzi/Cigarette/Magnum lines from the side profile. I had to think twice about the soft floor issue, but there were so many positives and the price was so good that I bought it for his $7000 firm asking price sitting on a galvanized tandem Donzi trailer with new ST trailer tires. I had to stop and remove the T-top canvas and storage bag after driving for less than a mile and seeing some of the weathered zip ties were breaking loose. I realize that repairing the floor will be a huge project, but I could not turn this one down after seeing so many positives - :yes:. I am still curious as to the weight. Thanks for your replies, Bill

10-20-2011, 12:50 PM
LOA w/pulpit 24'3", 22'6" w/o pulpit
Beam 9'4"
Draft 16"
Deadrise 13
Windshield to waterline 5' 2"
Fuel 115gal
Weight(boat only) 3900lbs
Max hp 300.

3900lbs plus engine and gas is over 5k...50 might be possible. 45 is easily obtainable with top and such.

10-20-2011, 01:27 PM
Wasn't that a 8 1/2" beam on that hull Bill? I seem to remember they are pretty easy to move around in. Congrats, must look good in yellow to boot :yes:


I just measured what I think is the widest section of the boat which is about at the front of the console. It measured exactly 100" or 8' 4". Bill

10-20-2011, 02:10 PM
The note the F-21 as 8'6"

10-20-2011, 02:55 PM
Congrats, awesome find! You're going to like it.

Do you have a baitwell? Mine doesn't. My buddies does, it's in the floor under the rear deck hatch. His leaks into the bilge :(
I bought one a couple years ago and did some heavy mods. to it. If you have any questions, post'em here and I'll share what I learned.

Mine was submerged the day I purchased. In fact, the bilge pump was on and she was coming up outta the drink as I pulled up. Torrential rainstorm combined with auto float switch failure.

Mine had a 100 gallon tank with 99 gallons of saltwater inside. I removed it and put a new 75 gallon tank aluminum one in it's place. With the old 200 Johnson she was 1 MPG. I put a 200 Optimax on this summer and tripled my range, so now the 75 g tank will get me roughly 225 miles at cruise.

I think the low freeboard looks scarrier than it actually is. With such a deep v down under, the ass end really doesn't sit very low. It scares me sometimes to look at it, but offshore, I've never had a doubt. I also closed in the transom and stuck a Stainless Marine bracket on there. I couldn't say enough good things about the bracket. We do allot of freediving and stuff, so it helps with that, plus it's great for scuba with all that heavy equipment.

Similar to your situation, I bought mine for next to nothing, however, after a new tank, SSM bracket and 200 Optibomb my investment has grown a little. BUT, and a big but, I absolutely love this thing. She's beat to hell and it's perfect for what we do. You can spill beer and stomp on the lettuce that fell off your sub and it just doesn't matter. :)


10-20-2011, 03:54 PM
1mpg? You would have to top out at 20mph to get that low at WFO. At 40mph at WFO it would burn 2, etc. I would assume with the old 200 it did about 2.5 at cruise, maybe better. The Opti should bring you up to about 3.5 but at slow speeds is where she shines. Old tecnology just spit out gas at trolling speeds where an Opti might get 10mpg there. My 225 Looper got about 3mpg at cruise(3900) at 31-33mph or so burning about 10-11gph. Even if your cruise was only 25mph the old would get you around 2.5. At WFO the old 200 and new both burn about 20GPH so that reamains constant.

You say it has a really deep V but the specs show 13 degrees at transom. What is your weight and beam? Is the 91 that much different than the 88's?

10-20-2011, 05:12 PM
Ya, 1 mpg overall average. 50 gallons got ya 50 miles. It was expensive boating at that rate. One cylinder was a little low on compression too.

Those specs. sound different than what an 88's are. It has a deep v, probably very close to a 22 Classic. Aren't they 24 deg.?

The 88 F23 is an 8' 6" beam and weighs 2700 lbs. (from NADA) Doesn't say if that weight includes the engine or not.

10-20-2011, 08:09 PM

Congrats on the new boat Looks sharp!I restored a 1971 wellcraft center console with a 1978 Mercury. I leave in the water all summer at a marina up the street.
I turned my girlfriend into a fishing addict!


10-20-2011, 08:29 PM
Jamesbon - interesting facts about your boat. I like the extra room you got by glassing in the transom and cutting out the splashwell. Although I like the idea of the Stainless Marine bracket, I will leave mine alone for now. Our boats look identical from the transom forward - what year is yours? Mine has 2 livewells - one in the rear floor behind the leaning post and one under the front seat of the console. The 2 compartments in the bow area have drains, but I will be using them for storage only. I was a little surprised that the livewells and compartments drain into the bilge instead of outside the boat. Actually, the livewell under the front seat drains into the cockpit. I am really looking forward to fixing mine up to be my fishing and exploring boat. I figure I can sell my Stratos for more than I paid for the Donzi - bonus! Thanks, Bill

10-20-2011, 08:43 PM
20gph WOT(any 200hp) at 20MPH would yield 1mpg. Please advise on your situation. I can't see your boat only doing 20mph at wide open throttle but agan it did sink. Sorry but 1mpg is not possible on a single 200hp outboard unless a barge.

If anyone is looking for one in FL.... http://sarasota.craigslist.org/boa/2652945336.html

10-20-2011, 08:57 PM

Congrats on the new boat Looks sharp!I restored a 1971 wellcraft center console with a 1978 Mercury. I leave in the water all summer at a marina up the street.
I turned my girlfriend into a fishing addict!



Thanks, Mike
I know what you mean. My wife now enjoys fishing and looking for arrowheads almost as much as myself. Here is one of my recent finds on youtube and the best bird point I have found so far (about 2 weeks ago). The fishing is having to take second fiddle for now - lol. Bill


10-22-2011, 12:26 PM
Here is a new one on me. Apparently, the transom in the 23' that I bought has 3 sections. The center section that supports the outboard is rock solid, but the two outward sections on each side of the motor well area are rotten behind the overlying glass. I discovered that these sections were bad when I opened the aft compartment lids and saw the Perko battery switch and fuel filter had loose screws where they were attached to the transom. I will have to repair these areas through the compartment openings or debate separating the deck from the hull for access to the underlying floor as well as these areas - :bonk: Obviously, the transom lifting eyes depend on these areas to be solid or I will not be able to lift the boat with the lifting eyes. This would not have been a deal breaker when I bought the boat, but it is something I did not see when I inspected it. Back to work, Bill

10-22-2011, 06:49 PM
This 1988 F-23 actually has a 99 gallon tank since I was able to read the tank sticker - still a larger fuel tank than I would have guessed. Bill

10-23-2011, 07:42 PM
I took out the livewells today and discovered that the stingers appear to be in perfect condition. I am impressed with the build. The 4 stingers are totally encased in fiberglass as are the bulkheads. For some reason the farthest forward bulkhead is fractured, but that is the only problem I found under the floor - :yes: Bill

10-23-2011, 08:17 PM
For some reason the farthest forward bulkhead is fractured,

where is the fwd trailer bunk center in relation to that cracked bulkhead?

10-23-2011, 10:19 PM
I see where you are going with it - good thought. I will check tomorrow. Bill

10-24-2011, 11:40 AM
So I/we can assume that the 1991 specs I posted are for a different F-23?

10-24-2011, 12:23 PM
So I/we can assume that the 1991 specs I posted are for a different F-23?


Since mine is a 1988, I presume that Donzi made some changes in the 3 year difference? I don't know if mine was originally called a F-23 or a 23 CC since I do not have any of those year's sales brochures. Thanks for posting the 1991 specs. Bill

10-26-2011, 08:36 PM
My hull is an 88.

My two upfront storage compartments and forward above deck cooler sound identical to yours. I don't the use forward cooler for fish because it drains right on the deck.

I have open space under the rear deck hatch. Need to put a baitwell in there or under the leaning post.

Have you messed with yours anymore?

Top speed with the '93 Johnson 200 was 35-38 mph on a good day. She was tired. No matter how I used it, 1mpg overall avg. Thirsty. The boat may be heavy from being submerged twice. Had to pull the c.c. to remove the tank and it was wet when I got in there. Stringers and bulkheads are solid though. Even with the 200 Opti, I wouldn't bet that it would top 45 mph. With the seas I boat on, I cruise 25-30 mph tops. It's usually choppy in the Gulf. :( I just sit and wait for those rare days with no wind around here. It's like a giant swimming pool out there during those times.

I think the 91 F23 is a walk around. It was a different hull all together.

10-27-2011, 01:41 PM
1991 brochure shows F-23 had both the CC & W/A. W/A was I think 300lbs more, same specs.

10-27-2011, 01:46 PM
My hull is an 88.

My two upfront storage compartments and forward above deck cooler sound identical to yours. I don't the use forward cooler for fish because it drains right on the deck.

I have open space under the rear deck hatch. Need to put a baitwell in there or under the leaning post.

Have you messed with yours anymore?


It sounds like our boats are identical. You should have a livewell under the rear deck where the square lid is located. Apparently, the boat originally came with a livewell pumpout which dumped on the rear port side out of a thru hull fitting right next to the bilge pump outlet fitting. I am going to let mine dump into the bilge since I always trailer my boats - I can let it all out at the ramp at the end of the day. I almost always throw for shad when I fish for stripers here so a good livewell is mandatory.
Yes, I am busy getting all my new parts. My entire dash will be new with new gauges (Teleflex Lido), indicator lights, switches, and breakers. I am replacing the separate GPS and fishfinder with a Lowrance LCX-38C HD 8.4" color combo unit (it is awesome! - played with it yesterday). I have a new throttle coming along with forward and rear facing lights and LED anchor light for the T-top. I am adding a trim gauge for the 250HP outboard. I finished installing a Rule auto switch for the bilge pump last night. I have been fixing gelcoat and wiring problems along with planning other additions like trim tabs. When I get far enough along, I will find someone to wet sand and buff the interior, but I will address the exterior. I will remove and sand the teak bow pulpit and coat it with Sikkens Cetol. I have quite a ways to go, but I will have it ready by the end of this year. Bill

10-30-2011, 01:17 PM
I just wanted to report that I am having a lot of fun installing some new parts and getting ready to do some glass work on the 2 transom sides and forward bulkhead. A friend told me about a couple guys who will be doing the wet sanding/compounding work when I am ready for them to do it - cheap, too - :yes: That will be the only thing I will not be doing myself. Every one of the people who I have shown the boat to were impressed with the layout and look - even if they weren't fishing boat enthusiasts. I am really excited about this boat which will get a lot of use, and I will show some pictures soon. Bill

11-01-2011, 02:25 AM
The last of the new parts for the dash came this afternoon so I sat watching TV tonight and installed the Teleflex Lido gauges with the hour meter tach, the yellow LED indicator lights, the Carling switches with boots, and the Potter & Brumfield circuit breakers after cleaning up the dash plate. The center gauge is the Mercury warning light array. Onwards, Bill

11-01-2011, 05:35 AM
Looks great!

11-02-2011, 01:54 AM
Thank you. I don't think I will be doing quite as much restoration as I first thought, but it will be a really nice fishing/exploration boat when done. Most of the wiring and T-top hardware has been done so it is about time to do some of the ugly glass work. I am having a hard time figuring out if the dual ram Bennett tabs rams will clear the stringer brace to the transom :confused:, but everything else is coming along fine. Bill

11-02-2011, 10:39 AM
-----You will know pretty soon as I am sending the Bennetts off in about a half an hour......Bill S

11-02-2011, 05:14 PM
An exact twin was for sell here in Clear Lake(Houston Area). I wonder if its the same boat?

11-02-2011, 08:24 PM
Most likely it is the same boat. The man I bought it from has a son who used it in Houston. The father could not use it due to a very serious injury he sustained which left his right arm useless. A lab is growing a new arm to be transplanted when it is ready in about another 3 years. He is a great man who was dealt a hard blow. I used to think these artificially grown body parts was sci-fi until talking to him. Bill

11-03-2011, 03:44 AM
-----You will know pretty soon as I am sending the Bennetts off in about a half an hour......Bill S


Thank you, Bill. I couldn't believe how great it is turning out where you really wanted some Kiekhaufer 280 K-planes and I wanted the Bennetts back for this Donzi. I will be sending the K-planes next week. Bill

11-03-2011, 10:19 AM
-----I think you will get a laugh when you see the box as I never opened it. Just took the address label off, turned it upside down, stuck it back on and took it to Fed-X. I have the paperwork if needed and the other envelope will follow as soon as I can.......Bill S

11-03-2011, 02:16 PM
I decided to upgrade the GPS/fishfinder in the Donzi with this top of the line color unit. http://www.ebay.com/itm/330629814967?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

It is quite a discount from the new price here.

11-03-2011, 03:32 PM
"Most likely it is the same boat"

Well I've been on your boat then. Very nice boat. If you are curious PM me and I will tell you what they were asking for it here.

11-03-2011, 07:22 PM
He started at $10,500 here but dropped it to $7000 which is where I bought it. How much were they asking there? You have been on it? Cool. I tried to PM you, but your box is full. Bill

11-03-2011, 11:29 PM
I remember 18k on the for sale sign. I could be crazy but I dont think so. I just remember a "wth" reaction. It sat down here on several lots. Caught my eye everytime I passed though. Sounds like you got a realistic deal!

11-04-2011, 01:20 AM
He added the very nice custom installed T-top which had to have been fairly expensive. The 250HP Merc runs great on the hose, but I have not lake tested it yet. I feel like it is a $10,000 boat so I am very pleased with the price I paid. It should be really nice when I get done with it for my purposes. Thanks for letting me know what they were asking down there. Bill

11-05-2011, 03:29 AM
Well, I should have known that the transom was probably not built in 3 sections with the center section being solid and the sides rotted, but that was the conclusion I had drawn until tonight since the transom had no fracture lines at the bottom of the outboard and sounded solid with pounding the outside and inside under the motorwell. After cutting out the starboard side transom glass on the inside of the transom under the rear side hatch, it became apparent that the transom extends all the way across the hull and that the transom wood is rotted from one side to the other. The glass I cut out was installed after the hull and deck were joined and is fairly thin and extends from the side of the hull to the motorwell and down to the battery mount horizontal deck plate. The reason it has held up so well is that the transom is .63" thick solid fiberglass. At this point, I am debating cleaning out the rotted wood (it is all dry and can be vacuumed up from what I can see so far) and then filling the wood void with an epoxy or resin up to the top of the lower section of the transom where the motor mounts. All the inside glass below that level is fairly thick and should not leak the filler material before it cures from what I can see from the center deckplate access hole. I would then build new transom pieces for each side (about 2" thick) and re-glass the inside that I cut out. Without ripping my head off with doing it "the right way", what do you think about filling the void with epoxy or resin? I want to make sure the transom to inner glass can not compress which would allow the motor mount bolts to become loose. If the transom were not so heavily laid with glass, it would have fractured before now. I will take some pictures to show the transom. In the meantime, here are a few shots as I work at various aspects of the boat I hope to enjoy soon. It is not a pretty scene right now - lol. Bill

11-21-2011, 04:27 PM
Wow, that's not the best news, but at least it's winter and you have time on your side and a nice indoor shop to work in :) It isn't really surprising though. My friends F23 has a "wobbly" transom too. If he hammers the engine, the whole engine/transom moves. I don't think he cares though. As long as it's still hanging on there, he doesn't see a problem. LOL. As you know, mine was totally shot as well. I bet this may be an "inherent characteristic" on most of these F23's. I dug out what I could, then replaced the wood and glassed it all back together. We figured seeing how the S.M. bracket has such a big footprint on the transom there shouldn't be any more issues. So far so good. This is the perfect time to add an o/b bracket. The worst part of that mod is re-rigging everything with longer cables, wires and harnesses. Worth the effort though. Best of luck getting her fixed.

Greg Guimond
11-21-2011, 10:50 PM
Bill are you thinking taking the chainsaw to clear it out and then perhaps an Arjay pour to top it off ?

11-22-2011, 01:43 AM
I have had my plate full recently with my mother's death, but I am now about to finish up the transom work. As it turned out, the starboard side was rotten to about 30" from the hull side and the port side was only rotten to about 18" from the side. The rot started from the sides instead of the bilge drain - probably due to no fiberglass at the tops of the transom sides under the access doors. I cleared out all the rotten wood back to solid wood and left fans running to help dry it out for about 2 weeks (it really was not very wet to start with). I rebuilt the transom on the starboard side with two 3/4" sheets of plywood glassed into place and then filled the rest of the void in the lower section of the engine mount area of the transom with about a gallon of resin thru a 5/8" hole I drilled at the outside of the top of the transom motorwell. I will do the same on the port side using much less resin. I left a chain hoist lifting up on the lower unit of the outboard to help straighten out the slight indentation at the bottom of the outboard mount area during the entire process. The resin should have permeated into the remaining wood and hardened. I was mostly concerned with the outboard mounting bolts crushing the two 5/8" thick inner and outer transom pieces together over time and use, but it appears that area was not rotten. I really think it will be fine now -:yes:. Later, Bill

11-26-2011, 12:11 PM
With any luck, I should be able to finish the transom work by tomorrow and move on to the rest of the projects in the boat. I also need to repair the forward bulkhead before moving on. I will detail out the interior and deck before starting to install quite a few new parts. At this point, I will be lucky to have it ready by Christmas, but we take out the fishing boat all year long so no big deal. I am really looking forward to using this boat - it will be such a great ride on those rough days we get here in north Texas on Lake Texoma. Bill

11-26-2011, 07:38 PM
I finished the port side transom work this afternoon. Onwards, Bill

11-27-2011, 03:41 PM
Nice boat,
Looks very similar to my old one, but it isn't.
I had a 250 EFI also, and it ran great. I was getting 1mph/1k rpm with an 18" Mirage.

We also had a grey one that was bought new in 1988, we towed behind the big boat, it had a 225 Johnson, not sure what it had for a prop. It ran in the high 40's or so. It ran all through the Abaco's and was a perfect boat for our use.

Good luck with the restoration..


11-28-2011, 01:29 AM
Wow Ricky,
With the exception of the different tops, they look the same. I think it will make a near perfect fishing boat for my wife and me. Apparently, those of you who have had or still have them really like them - I will, too - :yes:

12-04-2011, 03:38 AM
The transom and bulkhead are now rebuilt. I have also removed the hardware, sanded, and applied a coat of Sikkens Cetol to the teak bow pulpit. I am about to get to some fun projects like installing the new Bennett ST-9 trim tabs, the Lowrance transducer, new battery tray, fuel filter, oil reservoir and battery switch after painting under the aft side hatches. I have also polished the plexiglass windshield, bow access door, and console door. It should start coming together soon after I have it all detailed - :yes: Pictures will be coming. Bill

12-18-2011, 09:57 PM
I am well on my way with the Donzi fishing boat. The console is compounded with Starboard custom built plates under the Lowrance 110 GPS/sonar (10.4" color TFT screen), new 4500 series Merc throttle, new Bennett Euro trim tab and power outlet, new storage bin under the gauge cluster, all new gauges and switches, windshield and storage locker plex door installed after compounding. One of the pictures shows the bow pulpit sanded with Sikkens Cetol applied. A Starboard panel built and installed on the back of the leaning post. The motor cover is sanded and painted with Imron. I am just about to start with all the wiring under the dash and then detailing the rest of the boat. Onwards! Bill

02-12-2012, 02:18 PM
Just a quick update that I should be finished and ready to use the 23' fishing boat within a month. Pictures will be coming soon. This will be fun with our striped bass hitting well right now - :yes:. Bill

03-09-2012, 07:36 PM
I finally pulled the 23' Donzi fishing boat out of my shop this afternoon to fire it on the hose and make sure everything was working. Almost everything on the console is new along with many other parts on the boat so it needed a quick check before it goes to the lake. I spent quite a bit of time restoring it to this condition and I really like how it turned out. The GPS picked up the location quickly and the engine fired right up, but I installed the shift cable on the wrong lever in the new shifter so forward was reverse. No big thing to change. All the gauges seem to work perfectly and the running motor brought the voltage to 14V on the gauge. Here are a few pictures of it almost completed. I still have to mount some motorwell boots and cable sleeving and install a new ss polished plow anchor that has not arrived yet, but it is just about ready for the first lake test. Yippee! :yes: Bill

03-10-2012, 05:39 AM
Bill,another beauty, congrats on a job well done.


03-10-2012, 08:25 AM
Awesome job!

03-10-2012, 09:37 AM
Man, you do some great work. JimG did you get on this boat? It was for sale next to the boater resale shop.

03-10-2012, 01:38 PM
Thanks guys. I went back out last night and installed the motorwell boots. I should mention that when Donzi made the boat there was no way to fill the back livewell except for filling it by hand. In the pictures you can barely see the 5/8" ID brass fitting near the bilge drain hole that I installed. It has a hose connected to the bottom drain of the back livewell so it can fill on its own and drain when I put it back on the trailer. If you don't need water in the livewell, you can install a plug in the livewell drain. I throw for shad while fishing for striped bass here at Lake Texoma so the livewell function is important to me. The 10.4" TFT screen Lowrance GPS/sonar fishfinder is fairly awesome with lots of resolution and options which I really look forward to trying out. It is a used and discontinued one, but it still cost $1050 - cheap if it shows what I think it will - :crossfing: Bill

03-10-2012, 02:16 PM
What they said, another beauty. Very nice work.

03-10-2012, 08:49 PM
Thanks again, guys. I corrected the shifter linkage this afternoon so it should now be ready for another test on the hose when the rain stops. I made the mistake of adding up all my expenses. I have about $11,500 tied up in the boat at this point which I think is reasonable for what I now have. As soon as possible I want to see if it can catch fish - :orcawhale:. Bill

03-11-2012, 12:31 PM
Very nice. I can only hope my project turns out as well!

03-12-2012, 10:30 PM
We plan to take the Donzi 23' out on Thursday if the weather holds and the two dental implants I had installed this afternoon don't bother me too much. Yippee! I will give a report of our first outing using a Mirage Plus 21P that I bought on ebay. Bill

03-18-2012, 10:58 PM
My wife and I took out the Donzi fishing boat for the first time this afternoon and it could not have gone much better. Everything worked perfectly except the temp guage which never moved off the low end. We didn't even get out of the marina before some friends called me over to their dock and complimented me on my "new" Donzi - lol. It drove like a champ in the really rough windy chop and the trim tabs came into play both leveling the boat and leaning it against the oncoming waves at times. The 1995 Mercury 250HP started right up and never missed a lick. It hit 51MPH on the GPS against the wind at 5100RPM so I think the prop is a little too much pitch. We ended up running for about 4 hours non-stop and caught about 7 striped bass trolling including a nice 5+lb. At the ramp I pulled the bilge plug and dropped maybe a cup of water which most likely came through the motorwell access plate. Overall I could not be any more pleased with it! I took some video shots which I will load to Youtube and post later. Onwards, Bill

03-19-2012, 01:32 AM
Bill, I wanna be you when I grow up! I wish I had half your energy!

03-19-2012, 01:34 AM
Here are some videos from this afternoon. We really like the boat and it catches fish! Bill






03-19-2012, 01:44 AM
Bill, I wanna be you when I grow up! I wish I had half your energy!


There are times when I wish I had half my energy - lol. I do push a little harder than I probably should, but I enjoy doing too many things to slow down now. Thanks, Bill

03-23-2012, 02:22 PM
I didn't mention that the starter motor on the 250 outboard sounded a little rough so I ordered a new starter on ebay on Monday and installed it yesterday. It works perfect and was only $99 delivered! Easy installation, too. I just ordered some new trolling rods/reels with the line counters so we am about ready for some great fishing here - :yes: I can't figure out where to mount a remote controlled trolling motor that I got to go on the boat though. Any ideas other than down the bow pulpit where I have the anchor mounted? Bill

03-25-2012, 11:58 PM
We had another great day out in the Donzi this afternoon. A couple videos I took. Bill



04-30-2012, 12:35 AM
I just wanted to bring this thread up again to report how much I love this boat. We took out my wife's family for another perfect day on the lake today where it ran like a champ through any conditions. It didn't hurt that we found arrowheads and caught some nice size striped bass which I cleaned for her family to take home. :yes: Bill

04-30-2012, 12:14 PM
You have to admit, a center console might not be the first 'general purpose' boat most people think about but they sure are convenient for almost everything!

Bill, did you figure out your trolling motor mount? I've seen a few of them mounted on the stern like a small-size kicker. I don't know how they perform back there, but on a boat that size it might be the only option if the pulpit is too high/full. Instead of the lay-down mount used on the bow of a typical bass boat, where the trolling motor lays flat when not in use, they just pull them straight up and out of the water.

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:: River Marine Supply (http://www.donzi.net/xcart/customer/home.php):: Trim Tabs (http://www.donzi.net/forums/category_101_Trim_Tabs_page_1.html) :: Lenco Trim Tabs (http://www.donzi.net/forums/category_316_Trim_Tabs_Lenco_Trim_Tabs_page_1.html ) :: Lenco Trim Tabs - Troll n Tabs

Lenco Trim Tabs - Troll n Tabs

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Full functional Lenco Trim Tabs that become powerful trolling motors in just 5 seconds at the touch of a button. Twin screw maneuverability and twice the power from Lenco Trim Tab trolling motors located where they should be, on the stern. Lenco Trim Tabs Troll and Tab Kit
Powerful 164 pounds of thrust at 24 volts (about 6 HP).
Laser-cut 12-gauge 304 stainless steel electro polished trim tabs and hinges for absolute precision and durability.
High-impact—totally sealed—waterproof electric Lenco actuator raises or lowers completely in just 5 seconds.
Under typical fishing conditions, you can run all day on a pair of batteries.

Each kit is pre-assembled and contains:
(2) extreme duty 4-1/4" stroke Lenco actuators
(2) Lenco planes
(2) 24 volt trolling motors
Control box
All mounting hardware
Lenco Troll’n Tabs mount in the same hinge & actuator holes as our standard trim tabs for easy retrofitting.
Optional Hand Controls:
Wired Hand Control
Wireless (Handheld unit) Control

Optional Tab Posisiton Indicator Switch available as upgrade.



85.00 lbs

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$ 1,459.95



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04-30-2012, 06:38 PM
I agree that center consoles are great all around boats - I have no doubt that is why so many companies are making them now.
No, so far I have chickened out of mounting the trolling motor I bought - mostly because I don't really need it yet. Our striped bass are content with colored plastic and lead so far - lol. I am almost sure I will have to mount it on the bow pulpit, but I thought about the stern with no really good alternatives there.
We ran into Dean and his wife in the Martini that I sold to him. He said it was running perfect which I never doubted. It just dawned on me that his new nickname will be Dean Martini - lol.
Did I mention that we came home from the lake to a 21lb turkey which I smoked on the Big Green Egg? Man, was that wonderful and cooked to perfection over the 6 hours we were gone - :yes:

11-25-2012, 10:14 PM
I recently "Acquired" this same model boat, and might I say, you did an amazing job on yours. (Mine was taken from a gentleman that owed me a good bit of money...)

I had not planned on spending that much time or energy on the one I acquired, but after seeing yours and not being able to find very many of them, I may change my mind....

Mine came with a 225 merc, which was tired. We replaced it with a 2004 Yamaha 200 OX66, and it runs great. I'll be stepping down on prop from a 19 to a 17, as it will only turn 4900 rpm and makes around 50mph.

I was seriously considering selling the boat, until I realized there seems to not be very many of them around. I really want to move back into a twin powered 25' CC with a closed transom and higher sides......but should I keep this one for a while and put a little effort into it? Or is it not as rare as I think?

Thanks for any input!


11-25-2012, 11:38 PM
Hi Scott,
I can tell you that they are not very common - especially here in north Texas. I have never seen another one. We absolutely love the yellow one I fixed up. I built a higher secondary splashwell in front of the outboard, but so far I have not had any waves really challenge the height. I was warned about the low transom creating an easy path for waves coming over the transom at rest, but it has not been an issue from what I have observed. Obviously I would suggest restoring yours to whatever degree you can. Please show some pictures if you get the chance. Bill

12-14-2012, 01:21 PM
Hey guys, I'm new to the site but am starting a rebuild of my own on this very hull. This thread was a great read. I am planning on repowering with an 250 ox66 and was wondering what prop you ended up using. Also if you had some performance and fuel burn numbers as well that would be great. Can't wait to get started, thanks.

12-16-2012, 11:33 PM
I just now saw your post. Right now I am using a 21P Mirage Plus which works fairly well. I will probably try something else this next year to see if anything improves. I can not respond to the burn rate, however. No clue - :rolleyes: Bill

01-25-2013, 03:12 PM
Mine has a 200hp OX66 with a 17 pitch prop turning 5350 RPMs. I had a 19p on it, but it wouldn't get over 4800 Rpm so I just switched it. Its been too cold to give you any burn info though. I just cleaned it up, waxed it and started on the gauge panel rebuild. I am thinking of selling it if any of you are interested. This seems to be a very rare hull. Has to be worth something!


01-26-2013, 04:00 AM
Sorry to hear that you are considering selling it - any problems with it? I see yours has a nice T-top, too. I still love mine and it suits what we do very well. Bill

01-27-2013, 10:38 PM

No real problems, just typical old boat things. The transom is solid, haven't found any rot and the boat is in pretty good shape (A few gelcoat cracks inside). The 200hp OX66 engine has very low hours. It was on a 19' Henry O, and that boat never went anywhere. When I aquired the Donzi, I had just sold a 25 Hydra Sport with twins and was thinking I would be OK with the smaller boat. We pulled the tired Optimax off of the Donzi and put the Yamaha off of the Henry O on it. I bet it has less than 150 hours on it.

I fish off of the East coast of NC, mostly for Kings and mahi. I have two small kids (7 and 4) and the lower sidewalls and transom make me a little uncomfortable. It rides a lot bigger than it is, and handles beautifully. I am getting ready to make a new Gauge/Swith panel similar to yours, and I need to put some time into the Lights and the Livewell.

I found a nice 25' sea pro that I can get for a bargain, with twin 150 HPDI's. That boat is a little closer to what I am used to (Reminds me a LOT of my old 25 Vector) and has a lot more fishing room and higher sides.

The trailer is a little bigger than the boat needs, but thats ok. A person with some decent electronics and $500-$1000 spare cash lying around could have one heck of a nice boat. The T top is a custom made, with an electronics box and as you know the boat has a decent amount of storage.

I'm thinking of listing it for around $12k

09-29-2013, 01:59 PM
The full hydraulic steering has always been fairly stiff since I have had the boat so I finally took it to the mechanic I have been using. After a few phone calls and testing, the Hynautics helm was found to be fine (bypass valves can be turned to see if there is still resistance in the wheel). He wanted to install an entirely new system, but I didn't want to have to make a new plate at the helm, run all new hydraulic hoses, and pay the extra money for parts that apparently did not need to be replaced. The Hynautics steering actuator ram at the outboard was the culprit so he ordered a new seal kit for the Hynautics from his Seastar supplier, but I decided to get a new Teleflex Seastar ram assembly since he could have it shipped next day air and we wouldn't have to wait to see if it was rebuildable. After he installed the new ram and bled the system, I can turn the wheel with one finger! The entire diagnosis and new ram installation was around $800 - money well spent! Here is a link to the kind of steering ram the Mercury 1996 250HP outboard called for. http://www.ebay.com/itm/130991990363?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649#ht_1736wt_904

09-29-2013, 08:29 PM
Here is the new actuator ram installed.

10-06-2013, 09:34 PM
It could not have been a nicer day here in north Texas so my wife and I went out for a few hours this afternoon. The new steering ram made steering easy and I was able to test the lower unit since having it resealed and a new water pump installed - :yes:

10-06-2013, 11:59 PM

Looks like a picture perfect day all around!...........great that you & the wife can share it all together!
Donzi looks sweet behind the ford...........can't wait to see the TG ........will that ford do the towing?

10-07-2013, 12:11 AM
Hi Pete,
76 for a high today without a cloud in the sky so we had a good time out. Yes, I bought the 2009 F350 Super Duty last year with low miles to be able to pull anything including the 38' Cigarette. The truck is horrible on mileage, but I like all the features - fully loaded King Ranch.

05-19-2014, 12:28 AM
My wife and I took out the 23' Donzi fishing boat this afternoon for the 5th trip in it so far this year. Besides being a fabulous day, I took the boat up to a new record speed on the way back to the harbor. 55MPH against the wind with the Merc 250EFI outboard! The best part of the day for me was finding a rare arrowhead type - a perfect Zephyr that dates to between 6000 and 9000 years old - great day!

06-26-2014, 06:32 PM
I have decided today to part with my 23. It's a 1989 with a 2004 Yamaha ox66 200. Anyone that wants more info pm me or call me @910 471 6337

01-14-2017, 01:18 AM
I got tired of trying to use the original leaning post for a driver's seat since my wife and dog can't really sit down with me so I ordered a double wide Todd seat that looks like it will be a perfect fit for us. Here it is as I decide its final mounting location. It will be a welcome addition and make seating possible. I will use the original pedestal mounts on the floor which also has a functional footrest that we will now be able to utilize.

01-16-2017, 12:02 AM
Bill that's a nice improvement looks like it's going to be really comfortable!.....everybody can sit together now!
Here's my companion "Charley"...hasen't been on the Cigarette yet, but soon. he travels everywhere with me.

01-16-2017, 01:41 AM
Bill that's a nice improvement looks like it's going to be really comfortable!.....everybody can sit together now!
Here's my companion "Charley"...hasen't been on the Cigarette yet, but soon. he travels everywhere with me.

Charley looks to be a healthy boy! Our dog, Bear is now 18 and won the "oldest dog" trophy last year at a large local dog event. We know he won't be with us much longer so he gets treated like the special boy he has always been.

01-16-2017, 05:14 PM
That's so awesome........God bless BEAR!!

01-16-2017, 07:20 PM
Thanks Pete. You know how it is with our pets - they get preferential treatment - lol.
This afternoon I got with my welder to build the aluminum mounting platform plate and underneath storage box for the new Todd seat. Progress!

01-17-2017, 02:58 AM
Bill post up some pictures when you get the platform & box fabricated....I'd love to see them.
On a different note, curious if your 572's are tall deck engines? ..I'm thinking they are.
I know you had a video of them running, but can't remember where it was posted....anyway
I have 2 tall deck 572's in the Mistress with Arizona speed & marine fuel injection...I cracked the
oil/tranny cooler plate on the bell housing and just ordered a new one.....hoping it's an easy fix.

01-17-2017, 03:27 AM
Okay Pete, I'll take some pictures of the seat base and box when it comes back, and I might have it powder coated by a friend before installing it. Yes, my 572s are tall deck which I believe they have to be in order to make anything over 540s? They are painted black with red powder coated valve covers and intakes. Glen Self Racing Engines completely rebuilt them a few years ago and they have roller cams and roller rockers with Dominator carbs.
I hope your cracked cooler plate is not a big deal to replace.

01-17-2017, 02:56 PM
Thanks for the pic, What's the HP on that brute?............anyways, good luck with the projects and happy boating!

01-17-2017, 03:48 PM
Thanks Pete. They only dynoed at 673hp at 5400rpm since they are relatively low compression, but Glen told me they should last a long time with the build and they can run on regular but he recommended premium.

03-09-2017, 01:09 PM
I had the aluminum seat mounting plate with storage/support box made so I am now pre drilling all the holes before having it powder coated. Awesome welding work by a local man and just in time for the start of the year boating/fishing.

03-12-2017, 12:35 AM
To make the base plate/box fit in better, I decided not to have it powder coated white so I cleared the sand blasted aluminum and mounted it today along with a couple rod holders mounted on the storage box. Solidly mounted now!

03-12-2017, 06:12 PM
Good idea you came up with to enhance comfort with the seat and storage for the fishing poles.....Nice professional welding there. The bead looks like a robot weld!

03-13-2017, 12:26 AM
Thanks Pete! Deanna helped me with tightening the final few machine screws this afternoon so it is now complete and ready to use. I couldn't be any happier with the completed project which cost less than $1000. I should have done this long before now.

03-13-2017, 07:08 PM
Isn't it cool when all the factors (cost & design) work out perfectly!.....Now Deanna & Bear could enjoy the view!

03-14-2017, 12:30 AM
Isn't it cool when all the factors (cost & design) work out perfectly!.....Now Deanna & Bear could enjoy the view!

Yes indeed. I can't wait to take it out now and we can finally sit down! The young welder is a perfectionist as I was told.

03-20-2017, 02:25 AM
Wonderful day on the lake today and the new seat made it better.
A short video from the day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swksl_oxnxM&feature=youtu.be

03-20-2017, 01:45 PM
Bear seemed to like the new seat!

03-21-2017, 01:56 AM
Screenshot from drone video.

chip w
03-21-2017, 03:33 PM
Damn, that's cool getting the video from the drone! :) And Bear looks a lot more comfortable than my dog would!

03-21-2017, 11:45 PM
Damn, that's cool getting the video from the drone! :) And Bear looks a lot more comfortable than my dog would!

I'm surprised more boaters don't have drones yet with all they can offer. Some of the reason Bear seems so relaxed is his age - 19 now! But I like to think it all due to the new seat - lol.

chip w
03-22-2017, 10:49 AM
I'm surprised more boaters don't have drones yet with all they can offer. Some of the reason Bear seems so relaxed is his age - 19 now! But I like to think it all due to the new seat - lol.

Good God, he must be Chinese! God bless that little dog!

03-22-2017, 12:53 PM
Good God, he must be Chinese! God bless that little dog!

Thanks for wishing Bear well. We know he can't hold on much longer but we do everything to keep him happy, comfortable and healthy.

chip w
03-23-2017, 02:40 PM
I'm surprised more boaters don't have drones yet with all they can offer.

I'm afraid that if I tried to operate a drone and a boat at the same time it would end with disastrous results! I'll have to let someone else man the drone.

03-23-2017, 09:09 PM
I'm afraid that if I tried to operate a drone and a boat at the same time it would end with disastrous results! I'll have to let someone else man the drone.

Probably some good thinking there since they can be fairly complicated, but when you get the gameplan set up they are a breeze. I set mine in a certain position which is held by GPS with the camera angled down where I wanted it away from the sun and at the right height (about 20') and then it was just a matter of triggering the video to start and stop as I first ran towards the drone, then away, then sideways. I tried the follow me mode but the drone would stop after it could not keep up - bummer! (DJI Phantom 3 Professional drone with iPad Air 2 tablet)

05-08-2017, 02:51 AM
The 23' with the 250hp Merc outboard hit a new record speed on the way in this evening of 57mph. We spent another fun afternoon on this 29 year old boat today.

05-13-2017, 06:32 PM
Hey Bill

57 mph is too fast for trolling ! Hope all is well !


05-16-2017, 12:34 PM
Hey Bill

57 mph is too fast for trolling ! Hope all is well !


Thanks, going well here except not enough lake time.