View Full Version : Classic 16 - Is it worth holding out for a 5.0LV8?

07-01-2012, 12:11 AM
I have been looking for a nice clean Classic 16 for sometime. Most of the boats I see have the 4.3L V6. However, it seems that many of the people on this site prefer the 5.0L V8 boat. So if I find a nice clean sweet 16 with a 4.3L V6, should I pass and hold out for the V8?


07-01-2012, 08:37 AM
the 4.3 is a good running boat

if you can find a good clean one i would go for it

its just not as cool :wink:

07-01-2012, 09:28 AM
Is the 18 Classic that much better than the Sweet 16? One thing I noticed about the Classic 18 is that it can use a much bigger engine than the Sweet 16. Are there any other advantages? Does it handle better?

joseph m. hahnl
07-01-2012, 10:40 AM
The 18 is not really better, it's just bigger.With any boat bigger is better for chop. the 18 Hulls come in more flavors as it was the longest running production Donzi.
They are both based on Wyn Mill II .The 18 is more popular amongst Fellow D nuts.The 16 is known and more popular by the masses.

You shouldn't be swayed by other peoples preference. Right now you have a school boy crush on the hot chick sisters. Either one can fullfill your lust.You have to go with what you truely need,and fits your boating area.

There's no reason why you can't pump up a 4.3 to 300+ Hp. :yes:

07-01-2012, 06:25 PM
I had a 16 for three years, it is a great little boat. I do miss it at times, the thing is it is a small water boat. If you boat in generally protected waters it is all the fun you need! In a big bay like mine it can kick your butt and darn near drown you. There is nothing wrong with the 4.3, it gives you a tad more room in the engine bay.

07-02-2012, 08:53 AM
The 4.3 in a 16 is really all you need... I'd still rather the V8 (mainly for the sound) but the 4.3 is good. The 16 is like an oversized bath tub. It doesn't take much to make them run.

I want a 16 because I like the seating arrangement of the originals and 'Sweet 16' models. Consider though that I want a 16 as a second boat. If it was going to be my primary boat I'd go 22, Minx, or 18 (in that order).

07-02-2012, 09:25 AM
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The 5.0 is a Ford, in most boats including Donzi, but remember that the 4.3 Chevy is a 350 V8 minus 2 cylinders, so the bellhousing is the same, the engine mounts will bolt to the engine block the same just a little farther forward which would just be drilling the mounting holes. The main difference would be the Exhaust which would definately require changing. Even the accessories, and pulleys, should bolt right up.


07-02-2012, 09:57 AM
The 5.0, if mercruiser, is a 305 Chevy. Not the best engine in the world but will do fine in a 16.

The Ford engines would be much older models or OMC boats.

07-02-2012, 10:17 AM
I enjoy my 5.0 16', stock you can get about 60 MPH out of it GPS every time bone stock with an Alpha, add an SS drive and re-prop and I'm getting 67 GPS. The 5.0 is a tight fit in the compartment, but it does sound good.

The 16 will beat you up in any type of water other then calm though and the pourposing gets really old so make sure you get trim tabs no matter which boat you get. The SS drive helps with the roughness but there is nothing like a bigger boat for a smoother ride.

How does the 4.3 sound with thru hull?

Just Say N20
07-02-2012, 11:30 AM
I have driven both a V6 and V8 Classic 16.

It all comes down to what YOU want and is important to you.

The V6 is a better balanced boat. It sits "flatter" at rest. It will travel faster at "no-wake" speeds because it runs flatter. It runs/flies more level than the V8 boat. It uses significantly less gas than the V8. It will run mid-50s without drama.

Having said all that, and just having given a lot of good reasons for the V6, I own a V8 version. Yes, the V8 sits "nose up" compared to the V6. It digs a trench at anything more than about 800 rpms, so no-wake speed is slow. It rides more bow up at speed. It uses more gas.

I got it for one reason. I wanted the thru-hull exhausted V8 sound. Period. I LOVE the sound. From my perspective, all the other attributes of the classic DONZIs are awesome, but mine HAD to have the open exhaust V8 sound. In my mind, that is how a sport boat SHOULD sound.

If you want a great handling, fun, fuel efficient, great looking, eye catching, classic, timeless DONZI 16, get the V6. That boat really is a more user friendly boat with a V6. The top end performance improvement you will get with a stock V8 over the V6 are marginal.

But, if your vision of the "perfect 16" includes the V8 rumble, wait until you find one with a V8.

Northern Sweet
07-03-2012, 09:16 PM
I can't help but chime in on this. I looked for a long time for a classic 18 with a 350. I didn't consider a 16 at the time, just thinking it would be too small. Funny the way things end up, because I ended up with a 16 Sweet with a 350 (300 MPI). I would agree that there is something iconic about the 16, and now that I have it, I am not so sure I would trade for the 18. As far as top end goes, I think I only get about another 10mph out of the 350 vs the 4.3L. However; the mid range is incredible and the sound is too die for. It's like a late 60's early 70's muscle car. It's more about the sound, and the push you back in your seat, than the top end. Hold out for a V8. Every time you turn over the motor with thru hull exhaust, you will forget about the poor fuel economy and only modest top end gains!!!

And unlike other boats that are even 21', Donzi's are great in the chop. If you want a top end boat for "glass-like" water, there are much faster boats than Donzi 16/18. But I personally don't think they are as fun.

Happy Boating, and good luck!

07-04-2012, 09:29 AM
one thing that has not been mentioned. I found that the lounge seat 16 has more practical room than the 16 2+2 or the 18. the cockpit layout made water sports with 2 adults and 2 kids easier and when just idling around or anchored more room to lounge for just the two of us. they are good boats but to tell you the truth the 16 never failed to get us back safe even in some really rough stuff, and every time we got back to the docks the 18 and 22's thought is was rough too. If you plan on running hard with passengers ( read the wife) front buckets are a must. the real difference between the 3 is the feeling of going from sitting on the boat to sitting in the boat

07-04-2012, 11:53 AM
Okay, I know I'm a heretic but I've always liked the lounge seat and think a lounge seat 22 might be cool. Maybe with a forward/reverse flip seatback...

Yes, I'm nuts, but I bet it'd be all kinda functional and comfy too.