PDA

View Full Version : Midnight Express 32' Project



MDonziM
11-02-2013, 09:41 PM
I guess I'll try again, maybe the statute of limitations was not up on my south florida 80's history of Midnights... Here are some pics of my 1982 32' Midnight Express. It originally had twin staggered big blocks and arneson drives. The last owner put an Armstrong bracket on it and triple mercs. I will be cutting out the old 3man bolster and make it into a sit down boat with a large L shaped seating area. So far I have wetsanded and compounded one side of the deck which came out pretty well. My plan is to keep the putty grey deck and topsides and just re-spray the stripes. I don't love the black and gold, was thinking of dark blue instead of black and then lighter shades of silver/blue.

What do you think?

MDonziM
11-02-2013, 09:49 PM
I'm also contemplating removing this large forward tank(92gal) that is 5' ahead of the helm bulkhead and replacing with a smaller tank further forward between the next 2 bulkheads. This will make more room for a cabin layout and maybe cut out some weight. The entire hull is cored which makes the layup look light but it seems quite strong. Had a problem uploading a pic of the cabin but here is another pic of the same hull with twin OB.

MDonziM
11-02-2013, 10:20 PM
Got it.

Greg Guimond
11-03-2013, 05:14 PM
Here are some pics of my 1982 32' Midnight Express. The last owner put an Armstrong bracket on it and triple Mercs. I will be cutting out the old 3 man bolster and make it into a sit down boat. What do you think?

I think I'm looking forward to this build thread. Very cool. I may be wrong, but I think the Armstrong brackets are a "flotation" design which will keep the transom high at rest with twin 300's on the back as you come off plane. Seeing as you are going to convert to sit down bucket seats, you might want to consider investigating these hydraulic "helper" race seat bases.

MDonziM
11-03-2013, 06:18 PM
Hey Greg - You know of any good seat makers? I tried twin marine in Miami who my mechanic recommended but no answer. I like the shock absorbers, who makes those? I'm hoping to mount the center helm seat on a bracket/platform that can slide aft on adjustment tracks so that the cabin can be accessed. I'll try to scan my interior design and post it. Also, what do you think about twin vs. triple motors. I don't really want to buy 3 but I wonder what the weight/ hp trade off is like? The boat was said to do 78mph with (2)200's and a 250 in the center so I was thinking maybe 40-50 less hp but 400lbs less weight would be about the same top end. I hope to start cutting soon...

Greg Guimond
11-03-2013, 09:20 PM
I would vote 100% for Twins given what todays motors make for power. There is a thread I believe with a number of interior manufacturer names a couple of which can do the molds if needed. You might be able to find out about the absorbers by calling Phantom, or perhaps there is a forum member in Sarasota.

Phantom Boats, LLC
1661 W. University Parkway Unit B
Sarasota, FL 34243
(941) 232-4026
(941) 351-3760
ws@phantomboats.com

scippy
11-04-2013, 08:49 PM
Marshall,

Interesting look at the structural ribs of the 32'....... something you won't find in a typical pleasure craft.
getting the max strenght by using the least weight. Considering all the overkill in fiberglass boat building
of the past, the midnight look's pretty mean an also lean!

Conquistador_del_mar
11-04-2013, 10:58 PM
I don't love the black and gold, was thinking of dark blue instead of black and then lighter shades of silver/blue.

What do you think?

Marshall,
For what is worth, I like that gameplan with dark blue and silver/blue. Twins should work well for propulsion. Bill

MDonziM
11-05-2013, 07:37 AM
Pete - There is a notable difference in the layup of this ME vs the Magnum especially considering it was made just 4 years later. I hope to get the floor out that the previous owner installed and get some pics of the ribbing on the bottom.

Bill - I like the idea of the blue/grey color scheme too, the black is really hot on my Mag. I'm leaning towards twin Merc Optimax 300xs for now just because they seem more performance oriented. I'm curious what you think about the need for trim tabs... there are none on the boat now.

Did a little work/ cleanup last night and further de-mystified the old fuel capacity lore. The main rear tanks are only 78 gal each not 200 so the total cap is 248 gal, not 600. Big difference.

Greg Guimond
11-05-2013, 09:10 AM
248 total gallons assumes that you will be keeping the 3rd forward gas tank in place at 92 gallons, correct? I would think that you'd want to remove that tank given how high it is in the photo and install a belly tank forward or perhaps a fuel bladder. If you go that route, what will the 92 gallon capacity decrease to? I guess you won't know until you get the floor opened up to see what you might be able to do dimensionally and where it would have to be located for the best Center of Gravity in rough conditions. 92 gallons of gas is about 598lbs of weight.

MDonziM
11-05-2013, 10:09 AM
Greg - Yes, 248 is what the boat has now. I want to remove the front 92 gal tank for several reasons. First its big and in the middle of a cabin area that could be greatly improved and I don't know what the integrity of the tank is. Second its more fuel than I could ever conceivably use. So, I'm thinking that a new tank, maybe 50-60 gal, moved forward to the next bulkhead will have the same weight leverage factor for balance as the current tank and be installed lower etc.

I'm in the process of removing the bolster and hope to cut out the floor next.. I'll post more pics soon.

MDonziM
11-06-2013, 07:26 AM
Met with my fiberglass and paint guy yesterday and mapped out an initial game plan. Since we will remove the old engine compartment/bolster bulkhead we will install 3 new cross members that will connect to the bottom of the stringers and come up the the new floor height. The existing ones are only about 2 1/2" tall. We will also replace the center transom knee with a bigger/better one.
Got the bolster out after a lot of head scratching on how it was installed, it was only bolted on by the throttle area on the dash, the rest was just wedged in.

scippy
11-06-2013, 11:13 AM
Marshall,

Considering the overall stout construction of your ME 32' ........the change over alteration from I/O
to OB's (even though probabely strong, but not so pretty with the slapped knee's) seemed to be a
rushed job...............What you plan in this area will really beef up and look great a well.

Greg Guimond
11-06-2013, 12:24 PM
Marshall,

Here is how I designed my transom when I converted my Ultra 23 from I/O to O/B power. The vertical spreads the load to the edges of the transom which reduces stress over time in heavy water.

Conquistador_del_mar
11-06-2013, 12:59 PM
Bill - I like the idea of the blue/grey color scheme too, the black is really hot on my Mag. I'm leaning towards twin Merc Optimax 300xs for now just because they seem more performance oriented. I'm curious what you think about the need for trim tabs... there are none on the boat now.

Did a little work/ cleanup last night and further de-mystified the old fuel capacity lore. The main rear tanks are only 78 gal each not 200 so the total cap is 248 gal, not 600. Big difference.

Marshall,
I thought the three 200 gallon tanks sounded incredible so I am not surprised to hear they are not that large. I am a believer in trim tabs on any deep v boat due to their versatility in getting the boat level as well as leaning the boat away from oncoming waves that are coming at an angle to reduce the bow slap, but wouldn't it be difficult to mount them with a transom bracket interfering with the tab rams? You are taking on an very interesting project! Bill

MDonziM
11-06-2013, 03:07 PM
Bill - I'll get a picture posted of the transom and bracket. The bracket is wide since it was sized for triplets, not much room to work with for tabs...

Greg - Thanks for that picture, I was thinking about a piece like that glassed across the transom and tabbing into the knees.

Pete - I don't love what I have seen so far but I'm hoping that this work done on the floor and transom stiffening was by the owner and the actual transom work was done by a pro, we'll see.

Not pretty but I cut out the floor last night.

Greg Guimond
11-06-2013, 06:45 PM
Greg - Thanks for that picture, I was thinking about a piece like that glassed across the transom and tabbing into the knees.

When I went about installing knees the next time I changed and enhanced the design going with a three knee system, a slightly different horizontal brace and also ultimately added corner braces to the load grid. The corner braces also serve to give you a non transom location to mounts pumps and rigging items.

MDonziM
11-06-2013, 08:24 PM
Good stuff.

Greg Guimond
11-07-2013, 03:49 AM
Hey Greg - You know of any good seat makers? I tried twin marine in Miami but no answer. I like the shock absorbers, who makes those? I'm hoping to mount the center helm seat on a bracket/platform that can slide aft on adjustment tracks so that the cabin can be accessed. I'll try to scan my interior design and post it.

These guys are one of the best and one of the few that could engineer the slide track properly and also integrate the shocks on your sit down end seats. Sturgis Designs.



ABOUT WILLY STURGIS My name is Willy Sturgis. I was raised in the Los Angeles area by one of the most sought after marine upholstery trimmers in the San Fernando valley, Bill Sturgis, owner of ARKO Upholstery Unlimited. In my teenage years I was taught trim work by servicing some of the most discriminating customers. We produced custom interiors for Cambell Boats, and then later Spectra boats, early trend setting boat companies on the west coast from the 70ís and 80ís. In the early 80ís I had the good fortune of becoming partners in my Fatherís company ARKO Upholstery Unlimited. Since that time we have designed and manufactured for many of the areas finest custom boat builders, Hallett Custom Boats and Conquest Boats by Group One Marine to name a few. In 2006, I decided to establish Sturgis Designs. I am very passionate about interior design and layout. It is in my blood. I would dare say that I have designed and manufactured well over 5000 custom boat interiors in the last 25 years. Now you can benefit from my years of experience in this essential craft, letís build something that you will be proud of and that will increase sales and the resale value of your products.

MDonziM
11-07-2013, 06:49 AM
Greg - Thanks - I'm combing through his site/pictures. I will definitely call him.

MDonziM
11-07-2013, 06:43 PM
What's a typical C on C for outboard's? 28" - 30" ?

BUIZILLA
11-07-2013, 07:23 PM
I had an acquaintance in the late 80's that had 2 ME's....one had triple 200 ob's, the other had a pair of 454's and TRS drives... both had 600 gl fuel tanks...

MDonziM
11-07-2013, 10:00 PM
Buiz - Both 32's? The trs/ 454 boat should be the white and blue stripe one that was in the 83' or 84' Miami Boat show and also in " The Great McArthy" Miami Vice episode. I've never heard of the triple outboard one. Care to share more?

BUIZILLA
11-08-2013, 06:37 AM
they were built for specific *purposes*, come to think of it they may have been 37's....

MDonziM
11-08-2013, 07:57 AM
I don't know the production numbers but there were a lot more 37's made than the 32' which was supposed to be just 3. The later 32' cc came from a different mold. Midnight didn't seem to take much effort in hiding how these boats could be re-"purposed". Like their marketing slogan " When you absolutely have to get across the gulfstream and back" ...

Greg Guimond
11-08-2013, 11:30 AM
I'll get a picture posted of the transom and bracket. The bracket is wide since it was sized for triplets, not much room to work with for tabs.

Seeing the bracket in place would be interesting for sure.

Greg Guimond
11-13-2013, 08:37 AM
Here is a guy who is running twin Promax 300's on a deep V with a fixed bracket. Interesting to note that the motors are 20" mids and Sportmaster Lower Units. I would personally take the ETEC 300's for the extra torque down low and the 5 year warranty.

MDonziM
11-13-2013, 09:29 AM
What do you think is the spread or C on C best for my application? I guess hp is hp so the Etec should be as good as the Optimax? I agree on the warrantee/ maintainence. The bracket is 79 1/2" wide , was away for a few days, back on the job now.

Greg Guimond
11-13-2013, 05:55 PM
Actually there is a difference between the ETEC 300 and Merc 300XS. The Merc dyno's at 306hp while the ETEC touches 290hp. The ETEC however has more low and mid range torque while the Merc has a higher RPM limiter. A big consideration is where you live, and the competency of the shops that are close to you. I currently have a Merc 225X, a Yamaha VMAX 250 HPDI, and an Evinrude 250 DFI. Going forward, I will always lean hard toward the dealer that has the best high performance track record. Better to run 'em then wrench 'em.

Also ETEC runs on 87 and the 300XS requires 91 and prefers 93. I'm not sure if you can easily get high test on your waters :lookaroun:

Greg Guimond
11-13-2013, 05:57 PM
What do you think is the spread or C on C best for my application?

I have nothing of value to add here as I have no experience. I'm sure many on the board can provide good insights on C-C.

MDonziM
11-14-2013, 05:03 PM
Been doing a lot of cutting... Cut out the center brace that the last owner added and one side of the floor tabbing. I think I'll cut out the added side braces because they do not bond all the way to the floor on the stringers. Here is a shot of the bracket and the old stripe color scheme.

Conquistador_del_mar
11-17-2013, 12:09 PM
Marshall,
That is a fairly large outboard bracket mount, but it looks like trim tabs could be added. I find it interesting that a water pickup is still mounted after going to outboards. I look forward to following this thread. Bill

MDonziM
11-17-2013, 05:47 PM
Hey Bill,
The pickup was for the center outboard which had some cooling problem. I spent a couple hours on it today cutting out the cabin floor and the port side storage compartment. The floor was completely rotted but everything else so far looks ok pending the moisture meter. There is also some delamination in the engine compartment near the center stringer but since we will be adding gussets/ bulkheads that doesn't concern me too much. My mechanic looked it over and thinks we should take out all the fuel tanks... I was planning on pressure testing the aft tanks and hopefully keeping them but if they were replaced I could make them a couple inches shorter and then they would not interfere with the seating plan. Also cut out the bolster bulkhead so I placed a 2x6 across the main tanks and I can mock up the helm seat positioning.

- Marshall

Did you get out on the Warlock? I hoping to take the Mag out tomorrow afternoon, got the drive back on so its time to see what she'll do.

MDonziM
11-17-2013, 05:53 PM
oh yea... there is room for tabs. I have some extra K-plane 280's that didn't work on the Donzi so I placed the transom plate on and there is plenty of room. I'm thinking that since the bracket is 26" I should go with longer tabs than the 280's, maybe the Eddie Marine 24" ones, they are reasonably priced and I like the ones I put on the Donzi .

Conquistador_del_mar
11-17-2013, 06:37 PM
I was thinking your boat deserves the longer tabs, too. Either the new design Eddie or Dana trim tabs should clear the bracket fairly easily from your pictures. I think it is cool that you do a lot of the work yourself.
No, I have not taken the Warlock back out since my steering shudder came back after refiring on the hose, but I hope to finally correct it this week - argh!

MDonziM
11-20-2013, 01:00 PM
Well, I think this "project" just became a "restoration". Some of the tabbing on the bottom in the old eng. compartment is separated and reading fairly wet on the moisture meter... Looks like the gussets and coring will come out of the compartment as well as the center stringer to be replaced with taller gussets/bulkheads to support the new floor. I am also going to remove the aft tanks to inspect and hopefully re-install after some modification. More cutting in my future.

scippy
11-21-2013, 12:55 AM
Marshall your in that rare category of folk that when your confronted with a (more than you thought)
repair, you'll dive in and get it done right the first time.......of course finding it all dry would've been
best, but this will be intersting to watch.........good luck!

MDonziM
11-24-2013, 09:08 PM
Thanks Pete, this is going to be more involved than I thought. Spent a little time today cutting out old foam around the stb tank. I don't know if I can get this thing out without cutting it out. The tank seems to be in good shape but some of the foam between it and the stringer is wet, but no smell of gas. The wet foam was prob the culprit for the meter reading because the stringers seem solid. I'm in a bit of a quandary about continuing to remove the aft tanks but if they were to leak later after restoring it would be a real bummer. But there is no obvious way to cut the foam on the outboard side if the tank and very little room to pry it up/out... I also cut away the port side storage bin located just ahead of the helm bulkhead in the cabin. I cut down to the original stringer height but am considering cutting out a notch down another 6"x 20" or so for a seat on each side. That stringer height will be the future forward bunk height once the tank comes out. Weather I locate the tank in the existing bay or the next one forward the height will be lower by 4-5".

scippy
11-24-2013, 10:03 PM
Marshall,

Is there anyway you can pressure test the tanks in place?..............is there fuel in the tanks?
Don't know what the prerequisite for testing a tank in place is, but if it were to hold pressure
(say overnight) than you might be good to leave them in place.

Conquistador_del_mar
11-24-2013, 10:36 PM
I have to agree with Pete on testing the tanks before removing them, but I understand the removal incentive too. As far as removing foam, I have had good results using a long blade on my battery operated Makita sawsall. This is going to be an interesting thread to follow.

MDonziM
11-25-2013, 06:46 AM
I originally was thinking of pressure testing in place but after discovering the bottom condition and the wet foam I need to know that the bottom under the tanks is ok. Next I was hoping to remove then inspect/test and re-install but if I started over I would make the tank a couple inches thinner and then not interfere with the seating plan. Perhaps 55-60 gal in stead of 78 and 6-8" shorter to give more room aft to mount tab pumps on a new brace. If I could get a short double ended pry bar and a compact jack I think I could pry up the stern end of the tank but the bow end is right up against a bulkhead that I want to keep and the deck overhangs the top of the tank making access to hull side foam really tough.

MDonziM
11-26-2013, 05:30 PM
Cut the plywood enclosure off the top of the forward tank today. (got tired of battling the foam around the aft tank) When I opened the inspection hatch there was a strong smell of gas but after cutting out the plywood and seeing the pristine condition of the surrounding foam and tank I would be very surprised if this tank actually has a leak. (Not sure where the smell came from) This tank was completely encapsulated in a fiberglass skinned box and there is not a hint anywhere so far of a drop of water inside... The tank is also only 82 gal according to the tag.

MDonziM
12-01-2013, 07:24 PM
Hopefully coming near the end of cutting into this boat. Removed the rest of the cabin floor which was in bad shape. Also the center stringer was cut down for about 8" forward of the helm bulkhead and not sealed.... If I have to remove the lowered floor behind the helm I will plan to raise it 2" or so and run that same height into the cabin. I'm going back and forth on removing the forward tank. If I replaced it with 2 tanks I could move the fill off to the side but I really think it will pressure test ok. The risk of leaving it in is less than the aft tanks in terms of getting to it in the future. The board across the top of the tanks is actually a pretty good seat height for the front buckets but the rear seating will be 4-6" lower.

MOP
12-02-2013, 10:04 AM
Tabs may or may not work well, I ran into an issue of it blowing out the props getting on plane. This was on a dual install with the tabs about 12" out from the water flow, your tabs will be in the direct flow. I did cure the low speed issue by raising the tab hinges 1" above the bottom plus removing the piston stops, that may be an option for your setup. There are a lot of trip setups out there a little investigation may be worth your time.

Phil

MDonziM
12-02-2013, 11:44 AM
Hey Phil, I am going with twins so I don't think the tabs should be near the props, I'll do some measuring.

bertsboat
12-02-2013, 04:47 PM
Seems your boat is pretty rare. Bing (owner of Midnight) said they only made maybe a dozen 32'S.
This one he remembers. Said he built it for a guy in NY named Ed Beccu (spelling) then he thinks it ended up with Scott Manders. Maybe a few more hands before you ended up with it. They were built light for the time period. Those days they didn't use vacuum. Buckets and brushes and knowledge. Midnight's were a great riding hull. I owned a few myself. Mine were all 30 open models. Been out in some rough stuff too. Never get wet like a Scarab open. Bing was (and is) the man.

MDonziM
12-02-2013, 08:00 PM
You spoke/speak to Bing??? If you can contact him I would love to hear more of the ME history especially this model. I read somewhere that there were only 3 of these made, but if its more like 12, its still a low number. This is #3. The build is interesting, lighter layup than the Magnum but cored throughout. I'd love to know what the coring material is they used on some of the stringers and hull/ hullsides, its some kind of composite. Can't post the pic of the dash for some reason but it says, Custom Built for Ed Beccue, good memory.

bertsboat
12-02-2013, 09:07 PM
Yes, I talk to Bing and Scott too. If you PM me I will give you his email address and phone number too. He remembers every boat he ever built. He was one of the better builders in Miami. He would build what ever you needed. Weather it be for race, pleasure or business. I think he still makes and sells high performance steering systems. Www.marinemachine.bggearco.com

MDonziM
12-03-2013, 08:15 AM
Bert - Thanks for the offer, PM sent.

I found the thread on OSO, its from 05' Titled " I just bought a 32' Midnight Express 32 SS" The #4 post from "abolfaz" has the history I mentioned including the lineage/ evolution of several hulls. Don't know who he is but seems knowledgeable.

- Marshall

MDonziM
12-04-2013, 08:29 PM
I found it, here is the old oso posRe: I just purchased a 32' Midnight Express 32 SS

http://www.offshoreonly.com/forums/images/styles/iBusiness/misc/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by Payton
The 32 Midnight Express later became the 34' Super Hawaii. Then the molds were all destroyed a few years after Super Hawaii ended operations.

Do you have any pics?



The molds were destroyed? Who told you that? Byng sold the 32 midnight hull to Michael Aronow and the kept the deck in front of the old Midnight lamination building for almost ten years. George (from sterling boats) while working for the original Aronow powerboats took a 32 hull and raised the sides to make the 32 aronow or whats now the magic.

The 30 midnight open (which was based on the 30 corsa) which later became the 32 midnight open is what became the 34' super hawaii, those molds were destroyed.

The winged 32 closed deck was the boat that was in the Miami Vice episode "the great mccarthy", there were two built with the wing, the boat with sterndrives (trs I think) and the boat with the arnesons. If you have the blue winged boat then that was the one from miami vice.

The 32 hull was a stretched 27 signature (cut in the middle not added at the transom) that Tommy Adams was building just before he got shot. Once he got shot, the company folded and Byng purchased the plug, finished it and created the 32 closed deck (Jim Miur designed deck). In my opinion it was one of the best running under 35' hulls ever built.

Good luck with the boat. t.

MDonziM
12-14-2013, 08:16 AM
Bert,

What happened? I sent you a pm, maybe you didn't get it? Like to take you up on your contact offer.

Thanks - Marshall

Greg Guimond
12-15-2013, 12:06 PM
PM's don't seem to be working

Fast Shafts 1
12-16-2013, 09:43 AM
The 32 hull was a stretched 27 signature (cut in the middle not added at the transom) that Tommy Adams was building


...and of course the 27 Signature was a splash of the 27 Magnum.

MDonziM
12-17-2013, 04:14 PM
Thanks Bert, spoke to Bing, had a nice conversation. He didn't remember exactly how many of these 32's had the wing but he said it could have been 2 or 3. He said they made a couple with outboards and they ran well. Twin 300 Mercs was his suggestion for power.

Here is a picture of my limited progress lately. This tank does not want to come out without a fight. Got 3 2000lb straps cranked down on it and, nothing. I might just cut and collapse the tank on itself, sawing , chipping scooping out the foam is slow going. Any ideas?

scippy
12-17-2013, 05:30 PM
Marshall

if you can't budge it (which looks to be the case) you might have to fold it in on itself. I would cut the tank
on the top middle lenghtwise (the cut line should stop several inches before both ends of the tank. (should
look like an envelope flap) start to hammer everything in towards the middle (collapse in) then with a 3" or 4"
metal chisel start peeling down the wall of the tank from the hull side. It might just release itself once you
break the bond of the foam to the inner hull face.....use a grinder w/ a cutting wheel ...provided of course
no fuel in the tanks :eek:

dsparis
12-17-2013, 08:18 PM
Could you use a duck bill attachment on a porta-power and gently push a few spots to get it started?

Greg Guimond
12-17-2013, 08:53 PM
If you have access to the machines and are a competent operator you can use a backhoe to gently puncture the tank and then claw it out very gently to break the seal. You can do the same thing with one of these with the forks slid closer together to match whatever the width of the tank is. Pierce the top and then angle up gently.

MDonziM
12-17-2013, 09:20 PM
That's probably what I'll end up doing Pete but I was thinking of cutting the top with a sawsall. I still have to get a little bit of fuel out.

dsparis - I thought about that too, if I'm thinking of the same tool you refer to. The problem is access to a point of leverage on the tank. I guess I could cut a slit in the side and set the tool on the top of the stringer but there is only 1 1/2" of offset... not much room.

Greg- I actually have a backhoe but thought it might be too heavy handed. Temp is going to warm up, I can pull the boat out of the shed and try it in a couple days.

The bummer is the tanks are probably fine, no scent of gas yet but some of the foam at the bottom is wet (not gas) so its got to come out.

MDonziM
12-21-2013, 10:30 PM
Finally got the starboard tank out. Man, that was a battle. Tried the backhoe and all I accomplished was knocking the boat off one of the trailer bunks. The tank took 5-6 blows and did not puncture. Took 1 more cable ratchet and slowly it pulled inward about an inch which was enough to get a crowbar under the aft end and after a few sequences of ratcheting and prying, pop. Now, to get the port tank out will be a new challenge. I'll have to rig up something to attach the straps to.

scippy
12-22-2013, 01:46 PM
Marshall,
Now that you got her out, any indication why the foam was wet?

MDonziM
12-22-2013, 02:23 PM
Not really Pete, the foam was wet in some areas but did not smell like gas but its hard to tell. The tank appears to be in good condition, no cracks or corrosion that I can see initially. I think its a heavier gauge than the Magnum tanks I removed, 3/16ths. I smell a little gas at the front bottom inside corner of the port tank. I've got an idea for a jig to make up to give me the leverage needed to get the port tank out. Based on what I've seen so far I think I'll leave the bow tank in.

MDonziM
01-06-2014, 04:21 PM
After some time off from this project I had success with the second tank today. I used some of the old engine mount holes in the stringer to put in some eye bolts and with some 2x10" lumber for bracing I had the leverage needed. By the week end I hope to take the tanks to the fabricator to size up new ones. I want to make them 2" or so narrower (to clear my seating plan) and maybe 6" shorter so I'm hoping the capacity will go to 60 gallons or so from 78. If the front tank stays as is that will be 200gal total which I think is plenty.

- Marshall

scippy
01-06-2014, 10:48 PM
Good ingenuity there Marshall, .........will Alloy be fabricating the new tanks?

MDonziM
01-07-2014, 06:57 AM
Hey Pete, happy new year. Is 2014 the year of your Magnum? Yes, spoke to Phil, hopefully go to his shop in a couple days.

scippy
01-07-2014, 02:43 PM
When you see Phil ask him......"Weren't you supposed to fabricate a anchor hatch for Scippy???"..........Marshall do you remember 3 years ago you were kind enough to drop off your hatch so he (Phil) could measure and fabricate one for me?.......after 2 years of "It"ll be done by the end of the week" I gave up.
I did find an orignal one in great condition over a year ago, ..I think Phil thinks he's still making one for me :eek!: :confused:........anyways, Tell Phil (sarcasticly) to give you a great price in return for all the weekly phone calls I made about the hatch...........He does do a great tank though!

I'll be in Naples early part of April there's a 39' Sutphen I hope to see............The Magnum???........ will be even hard for 2015 :frown:

MDonziM
01-07-2014, 09:15 PM
I'm sorry to hear that Pete after I recommended him to you... It amazes me how unresponsive some people are in their business. I'm glad you found one at least.

Spent about an hr. today removing all the foam remains from the port tank. It was just a little wet in spots with just a hint of gas smell so I'll never know if it leaked at all. Hopefully that's about it for cutting and removing, just the floor coring and ribs to remove and it will be time to get the hull on stands before starting the glasswork.

MDonziM
01-11-2014, 03:40 PM
Anyone know of a bulkhead mounted throttle pod/housing?

Thanks - Marshall

Greg Guimond
01-16-2014, 10:11 PM
Marshall, not sure what your ultimate plan is for motor mount, setback, or lifts, but this Porta Bracket just showed up used and it's for twins. They want $2,200 for it. Just letting you know as they don't show up often.

MDonziM
01-17-2014, 07:50 AM
Thanks for the heads up Greg. I think I'm just going with the Armstrong bracket that's on the boat and some manual jack plates. The previous owner appears to have had good performance #s with good trim and attitude characteristics.

Greg Guimond
01-18-2014, 09:11 AM
Got it, I thought you might be staying with the Armstrong platform. There is also a company that makes a very heavy duty manual jack plate that has only 4" setback when the time comes.

MDonziM
01-18-2014, 11:49 AM
I saw one called "rapid jack" by hydrodynamics that is a 4" setback also. Anyone make a 3"? The bracket is already 26" so I'd like as little added offset as possible.

Greg Guimond
01-18-2014, 12:06 PM
I believe there is a 3" Manual out there, but I'll have to rack my memory banks for a bit and come back to you. Did you decide on BRP ETEC 300s or Merc Opti 300XS's yet?

MDonziM
01-18-2014, 01:53 PM
Not a done deal but I'm pretty set on the 300xs optimax's, but there's a lot of work to do first.

MDonziM
01-29-2014, 09:45 AM
Pulled out all the old guages, wiring and harnesses after speaking with Mercury. Still waiting to get the boat off the trailer so I've been working on wetsanding and compounding the deck and topsides. The old gel comes up pretty well.

Question:

Anyone know of good bucket seat mounts/slides? I'm looking to mount on a fiberglass box of sorts and looking for as much travel as possible from my helm seat for cabin access. I have a Garelick on my donzi which is ok and they have one with 7" of travel. Taco has nicer/sturdier looking model but only has 3" travel...

Thanks - Marshall

Greg Guimond
01-30-2014, 07:40 AM
Marshall, I dug up the 3" plate guys. R and R is very high quality and I bet if you talked with them they could also help with the seat base slides.

MDonziM
01-30-2014, 12:14 PM
Thanks Greg, I'll give them a call.

Greg Guimond
01-31-2014, 09:52 AM
They may be the answer. The jack plate I believe is the only one with 3" setback that can take the heavy motors. It has a stellar reputation. In touching base with some folks they said that they are as much a custom fab shop as a product shop so certainly worth the call on the slides. If it doesn't pan out, let me know I may have another.

MDonziM
02-01-2014, 04:31 PM
Spoke to R&R yesterday but the head guy was out til Monday, 290 bucks though seems reasonable.

Took about 2 hrs yesterday but got the boat off the trailer and on stands. Boat feels light on the stands, I'm guessing less than 3000lbs. Back to work cutting out the engine compartment bottom bracing and coring. Hopefully, will start glassing in the new bottom, transverses and floor next week.

scippy
02-04-2014, 05:01 PM
Marshall.........How's the hull bottom look?,.....any hook or rocker to it?

MDonziM
02-05-2014, 03:54 PM
Hey Pete - I haven't put a strait edge on it yet but it does appear to have a slight hook. The lifting strakes are larger than the Magnum which is interesting to me because I don't think the hull is any heavier. I've cut out almost 75% of the eng. floor coring, I'd post a pic but it would just look like a big mess. I have also wet-sanded and compounded most of the forward deck and a few feet of the topsides.

Greg Guimond
02-07-2014, 06:56 PM
I looked back at the pic of you posted of your transom and strakes. Very beefy for sure.

MDonziM
02-08-2014, 11:50 AM
I was talking to a guy yesterday that has experience tunnel boat racing and he is about to mount 3 old style 2.5 mercs on a 27' Excaliber and it got me thinking... He said he can get 250 hp out of each 2.5 that weigh only 340 lbs. So that's 750 hp and 1020lbs vs my twin 300 optimax setup with about the same weight. Are the old 2.5 mercs reliable?

Greg Guimond
02-08-2014, 12:20 PM
Bad move IMO Marshall. You need the torque of the Strokers (or 3.4 ETEC) IMO for 85% of how you will use your hull day to day. Also, adding a third engine just gives you a third thing to look after. Others can chime in but as long as you have a gearcase that has LWP you'll get speed for the other 15% when you are chasing the big #

Greg Guimond
02-08-2014, 12:24 PM
Also, on the 2.5's I would think you'd need 25" mids and the true weight of even a 20" is more like 370lbs. Add a few lbs extra for the mids and a few more for offshore clamp brackets to take the beating you will give the boat in open waters. 2.5's are great motors overall, I just don't think they'd be correct for your app.

MDonziM
02-08-2014, 01:19 PM
Thanks Greg, I agree with your thinking, it was the stated weight of the 2.5's that had me second guessing the opti's. I also saw some used 350 verados on oso but I think the added 50 hp is probably fully offset by the 150lbs extra weight.

Greg Guimond
02-08-2014, 01:29 PM
I know that you are free flowing different engine thoughts at this point. Here is a guy that "doubled down" on his ME. That's a lot of 2.5 iron!

MDonziM
02-08-2014, 04:42 PM
I've seen pics of two 37' Midnights with quads, one had 300's. I think I'll stick with twins when the time comes.

Slow going on the old engine compartment. The glass skin came up really easy, 95% of the plywood came off without to much of a fight, but the last remains of the wood and the 2 or so layers of glass between that and the bottom layer of glass is a major pita to get out.

Tough to see in the picture but the sides come out pretty nicely, hopefully it will hold up when I'm done.

MDonziM
02-25-2014, 06:08 PM
Picked up the new gas tanks. 60gal each which I'm happy about, only the fabricator didn't make them 2" shorter than the originals so its going to be tight with the reinforced bulkhead at the fwd end. Glass guy picked up the nida-core that we will use for the bottom coring and all the new knees, bulkheads and cockpit floor. Hopefully get started in a day or two.

scippy
02-25-2014, 08:52 PM
Marshall.......Was it made perfectly clear from the get go that the tanks would be 2" shorter?......did alloy do the tanks?

MDonziM
02-25-2014, 09:55 PM
I thought it was clear Pete. Yes Alloy made them, well built, 3/16ths aluminum, 3 baffles, aluminum tube pickups and ss senders all for under $10/gal.

MDonziM
03-06-2014, 04:01 PM
First 1/2 of the bottom coring is in place. 1 layer of 1708 underneath, probably 2 will cover the top and 1 or 2 new wraps over the stringers once the holes are filled/glassed. Then all the new transverses and tabbing. I think I'm going to remove the outboard bracket so it can be powdercoated to match the hull and also to prep the transom for gelcoat since it was just painted before (not well)

Conquistador_del_mar
03-06-2014, 05:47 PM
Looking good!

OFFSHORE GINGER
03-06-2014, 05:52 PM
X-2 that .

Greg Guimond
03-07-2014, 09:55 PM
Marshall, I thought you might find this interesting. I have no real info but evidently this gent is trying to flip the boat. He bought it for around $60k.

This is the Last of the real "MIDNIGHT EXPRESS, INC" .......

2005 "Midnight Express" 37' Sport Deck
Jet Black hull
4 - 250 EFI Mercury 2 strokes 1000 HP ( All power heads rebuilt 100 hours ago)
800 gallon tank
Bentley tuck and roll Interior
Livorsi gauges
Great sound system
Black Canvas Boat Cover
Triple Axle Trailer

Own a piece of Miami history..

Turn key and ready to go!

Call 305 772 8635 Pete for more info

$95,000 OBO

Trades considered

BUIZILLA
03-08-2014, 07:15 AM
Marshall, I thought you might find this interesting. I have no real info but evidently this gent is trying to flip the boat. He bought it for around $60k.

This is the Last of the real "MIDNIGHT EXPRESS, INC" .......

2005 "Midnight Express" 37' Sport Deck
Jet Black hull
4 - 250 EFI Mercury 2 strokes 1000 HP ( All power heads rebuilt 100 hours ago)
800 gallon tank
Bentley tuck and roll Interior
Livorsi gauges
Great sound system
Black Canvas Boat Cover
Triple Axle Trailer

Own a piece of Miami history..

Turn key and ready to go!

Call 305 772 8635 Pete for more info

$95,000 OBO

Trades considered I know this seller pretty well...

MDonziM
03-16-2014, 08:51 AM
Back from spring break and ready to get back on it. Both sides of the bottom are re-cored/glassed and I'm working on the stringer knee templates to assure no issues with rear seat clearance. The other 1/2 of the bottom was wetsanded while I was gone which made it a real vacation. Wetsanding on your back was no picnic.

My new front seats are done which is exciting. Twin Marine in FL made them and they even had the old Midnight logo which was nice. The helm seating is going to be tricky though. I want to be able to stand at the helm for docking and such and am looking for a high quality seat slide with 10" of travel or so. Any ideas besides Garlick? (I need to slide the seat back far enough to gain access to the cabin which is right under the wheel)

Thanks for any help.

Greg Guimond
03-16-2014, 11:30 AM
Marshall, I dug up the 3" plate guys. R and R is very high quality and I bet if you talked with them they could also help with the seat base slides.


Thanks Greg, I'll give them a call.

Did you have any luck with R and R on the seat base slides?

MDonziM
03-16-2014, 12:24 PM
I need to call them again. Taco seems to have a stout looking base but I had great difficulty trying to get technical information from them before.

Greg Guimond
03-16-2014, 03:45 PM
I don't know the specifics of your seating but another thing you might noodle through is using a 4" hydraulic OB jackplate as a horizontal mount plate. Might give you 10" of power seat movement and that thing will NEVER break.

DOUBLE DD'S
03-17-2014, 12:34 AM
i remember when the guy gutted this boat,,be got a boat load of chit for it..you can try here for those seat base's..worth a try..http://greatlakesskipper.com/catalogsearch/result/index/?dir=desc&order=relevance&p=3&q=seat+base&x=0&y=0

MDonziM
03-17-2014, 12:25 PM
Thanks guys, Taco looks like the best bet, waiting for some info. My mechanic also suggested a quick release wheel setup that would help as well if 7-8" is the max seat travel I can find.

Conquistador_del_mar
03-17-2014, 12:53 PM
Marshall,
You could have a welder make a seat pedestal to your design. Obviously it would be more expensive than a mass produced one, but it would suit your needs if nothing is available otherwise. Just a thought.

scippy
03-17-2014, 02:33 PM
Marshall,

Concerning your seats, is Twin marine making a new set of seats or just redoing the upholstery on the old one?
I need front seats since non came with the boat and need some help deciding what would be best for the sport.
I doubt I can locate original seating (but U never know) and alternatively thinking about bolsters, but haven't a
clue as to where to start :confused:............If I go with new high buckets I need everything; pedestals, sliders, bases :bonk:
I know bolsters are complete, but pretty much are fixed in place.........right??

MDonziM
03-17-2014, 06:38 PM
Hey Bill - I didn't think about a pedestal seat, I was thinking of building a fiberglass base, that would be stronger... I think? As of now I'm back to Garelick's slide after finding out the Taco model only has 3" of travel. I'm hoping to hear from my old interior guy who's been working at nor-tech for 5 yrs now.


Skippy - My seats from Twin are new. My mechanic suggested them and by chance they did the interior on the other grey midnight like mine.
I figured you were going bolster since you lowered your floor... Good interior guys are hard to find. I'm using another local shop to build my rear seats. I'll post some pictures of the midnight buckets, I think they came out well.

MDonziM
03-17-2014, 06:49 PM
Here Pete -

Conquistador_del_mar
03-17-2014, 08:53 PM
Marshall, what I meant to say is that you could find a welder to make a custom slide for you - I said pedestal, but I meant the slide. :rolleyes:

scippy
03-17-2014, 09:28 PM
Great looking seats and the backrest logo's are very cool!......I saw this adjustable pedestal systems http://www.iboats.com/Garelick-Adjustable-Pedestal-System/dm/view_id.713516 if I use regular seats (buckets) I might want something like this.
I'm just not sure which way to go. Yes the floor is lower and it would make bolsters fit in and look really nice, but (like you) I was thinking about some seat movement which you can't have with bolsters. in the end I believe price will dictate where I end up.......what did you pay for the 2 seats? pm if you don't want to disclose here....thanks

MDonziM
03-18-2014, 07:31 AM
Thanks Bill - I was also thinking about a track system, even like a sailboat's sail clues or main sheet traveler.

Pete - It is nice to be able to pivot front seats when relaxing on the boat with friends etc. The sport is originally a sitdown and personal preference whether you like that or standing. I will say you get blasted standing in my boat over 50mph or so. That's one reason I wanted to make the Midnight a sit down. The high back bucket was just under 1k ea. from Twin with the logo which is less than my local guy could do it for. They use the surfside naugahide line so I can match the material on the rear seats.

MDonziM
03-24-2014, 01:51 PM
Ended up buying the Garelick slides, I think I'll get a quick release 8" helm/wheel that will make enough room for cabin access.

Both sides of the old eng. compartment floor are glassed as well as 3 layers of 1708 over all the stringers. Bad news... Took the outboard bracket off to get powder-coated and the transom underneath is not good. The repair of the orig. arneson holes are poorly done and many old holes. The entire transom was just skinned over with 1-2layers af cloth, they didn't even scuff the gelcote so it pretty much peeled off with a putty knife. Drilled a few 2" holes to see what the game plan will be. The wood core is wet but not coming apart.

scippy
03-24-2014, 09:54 PM
Man that sucks!............hopefully it can be dried out, but that's not good especially for the weight load of some twin OB'S
We should all be blessed with the "luck of Bill" when we buy used.....aptly named now connoissuer conquistador!! ;););)

Conquistador_del_mar
03-25-2014, 12:55 AM
Man that sucks!............hopefully it can be dried out, but that's not good especially for the weight load of some twin OB'S
We should all be blessed with the "luck of Bill" when we buy used.....aptly named now connoissuer conquistador!! ;););)

Pete, sometimes I'm the bug and sometimes the windshield in my boat buying. The Warlock I just bought might be the best buy I ever made.
Marshall, I hope you don't have to rebuild the entire transom.

MDonziM
03-28-2014, 09:31 AM
Turns out the transom was full of really shoddy work so its all coming out. Glass guy made an initial cutout with the top edge right at the bracket mount holes but this will get cut 3" higher to make sure the bracket bolts will be in all new material. I think we'll use vinylester on the transom to try and cut down the cost vs the time and material cost of the epoxy used on the bottom and stringers.

Conquistador_del_mar
03-28-2014, 11:42 AM
Marshall,
At least you will now know that it will hold up to the stress after rebuilding it.

scippy
03-28-2014, 08:17 PM
Marshall,
Like Bill says, it puts to rest any doubt you might have had about the transom not being solid enough to carry some big old OB's!
It will be interesting to see how big you make the knee braces on the inside of the transom........knowing you, I'm sure it will be
very stout.........It's interesting to see how different boats reinforce the transom when hanging sizable twin OB's.....the one that
comes to mind is the "FREEZE FRAME 30' Superboat - stock 225's hung on a pair of Gill brackets attached to a metal transom plate!!

Greg Guimond
03-29-2014, 11:44 AM
Turns out the transom was full of really shoddy work so its all coming out. Glass guy made an initial cutout with the top edge right at the bracket mount holes but this will get cut 3" higher to make sure the bracket bolts will be in all new material. I think we'll use vinylester on the transom to try and cut down the cost vs the time and material cost of the epoxy used on the bottom and stringers.

That really stinks about the transom but better to find out now when everything is wide open. As scippy mentioned, Coen at Superboat favored SS tie rods that grabbed an external transom plate. When I converted my closed transom 23 we did the following with two knees and a horizontal cross that notched to allow for a thicker transom where the OB bracket was going to be mounted.

MDonziM
03-30-2014, 08:35 AM
Thanks for your sympathy guys... One positive development is all the old wood came out without too much difficulty and at least we don't have to cut out the bottom edge of the original transom layup. The outer glass is a good 3/8" to 7/16" which will get built up again and fared in. The plan is to have one layer of 3/4" marine ply with 3 layers of 1708 then a 1/2" ply then another good 5 layers on the inside. All 3 stringer knees will come up to the rear seat height and banjo up to the rubrail providing support for the back of the rear seat. These new knees will run forward from the transom about 26" to the first transverse which will also be the front of the rear seat, creating a very strong box. Not sure yet Greg whether to use the old 3/8" aluminum plates or not (I'm thinking about that crossmember on the inside of the transom) they will probably be more than enough with all the new structure. I'm amazed that there were no cracks anywhere around the transom. I guess this boat really didn't see any real water at all.

Greg Guimond
03-30-2014, 11:18 AM
All 3 knees will come up to the rear seat height and banjo up to the rubrail providing support for the back of the rear seat. These new knees will run forward from the transom about 26" to the first transverse which will also be the front of the rear seat, creating a very strong box. Not sure Greg whether to use the old 3/8" aluminum plates or not (I'm thinking about that crossmember on the inside of the transom) they will probably be more than enough with all the new structure. I'm amazed that there were no cracks around the transom. I guess this boat really didn't see any real water at all.

Marshall, it'll be interesting to see the path you choose, very cool resto. So you'll have 3 full height knees. Will you be installing a new bulkhead 26" forward of the transom that will actually be higher than the floor, thereby forming the "permanent" front of your bench seat base? How will you be accessing the rigging in the boats back for maintenance? Will the entire rear bench seat back be removable with a fixed bottom cushion?

MDonziM
04-01-2014, 06:27 PM
Pretty much Greg,
The rear seat bottom is not that wide , only about 2" wider than the stringers at each end. Either the bottom of the seat will slide out or the back and bottom will lift up with a hydrolic piston. There will be 2 additional floor height bulkheads with 26" spacing moving forward until you get to the original bolster bulkhead which will get sistered and have legs that run up all the way up to the deck by the fuel fills.
I was in Florida the past 2 days and spent some time with a very experienced builder/rigger in West Palm. He has actually rigged a 32' ME just like mine. He thought the 300 Opti's are a good choice but also thought the old 300 pro max's would be even more weight savings if I could find some.

RBT
04-01-2014, 07:47 PM
The 3.2 300xs opti motors are excellent motors, but I saw earlier that you know of some 350sci motors, they are very very strong. More in the 365-370 area where the 300xs is about 305-307 hp. IF you can take the weight ( I suspect if these are rigged with triples) the 350's would make for a sweet setup.


RT

MDonziM
04-02-2014, 06:21 AM
There were some used 350 Verados on oso. I just don't know if the extra 50hp is worth 140 lbs or so over the optimax. I heard the 300 promax only weighs a little over 400 lbs and can make 330 hp reliably. I think this hull will weigh under 3500lbs w/o power so an extra 400lbs makes a difference.

RBT
04-02-2014, 01:43 PM
The 300 pro max in the real world weighs about 520 lbs, it makes 280-290 hp, the 300x is within a few pounds and makes about 325-330 it is the least reliable of the bunch. The 3.2xs is slightly heavier, makes 305-307 hp and is good on gas, the pro max is bad on gas, the 300x is horrible.
the 350sci, like I mentioned above is closer to 370 hp, and weighs an additional 110 lbs.
so 220 lbs and at a minimum you will have 100 more hp over the x motors, 150 over the xs, and 180 over the pro max's.
The power to weight ratio improves even with the heavier motors.
what I should also mention, the pro max motors are very soft on the bottom end, the x and xs are good, the sci is a monster! ( and I am a two stroke guy, so it pains me to say that, but I think the sci would be pretty impressive here)

MDonziM
04-02-2014, 07:07 PM
Appreciate your opinions. It seems to me you see the verados on larger/heavier center consoles in general. I think those used 350's were asking 22.5k ea. which is more than I want to go but I'll try calling them.

RBT
04-03-2014, 08:14 AM
yike, that is tall money. you can buy new 300xs motors for a lot less.

MDonziM
04-03-2014, 12:50 PM
Yes, the best price I have seen on the 300 opti's is 35k for the pair which makes it the frontrunner. The grey Midnight pictured in the beginning of the tread had 300 verados and he said 74mph was his best. I'm hoping for 75-77 mph and would be happy with that.

Meanwhile, we got one layer of the new transom in and hopefully the second layer of ply will go in tomorrow.

Conquistador_del_mar
04-03-2014, 01:19 PM
Marshall - looks like you are really getting somewhere now. How much $ do you think you might have in the boat when you get it completed?

RBT
04-03-2014, 01:30 PM
The 300 verado is a bit of a turd. I would suggest 300XS over them, and you can buy them new for 17k each.

BTW COOL PROJECT, these are the best threads.

RT

MDonziM
04-03-2014, 02:49 PM
Thanks RBT


Bill - way more than I want to think about right now... (over 75k)

Greg Guimond
04-03-2014, 07:15 PM
I agree with RBT and would stay away from the Verado 300's. One other thing to consider if you have narrowed it down to Merc is the cost of external steering rams and wing plates etc for the 300XS twins. The 350 Verado would be giving you a "true" integrated power steering. Perhaps a budget 'tweener is finding a pair of used 300XS 3.2s with wing plates and rams in place. Not easy but they are starting to show up.

MDonziM
04-04-2014, 11:36 AM
I looks to be a little difficult to find used 300xs's since they are top of the range but if anyone sees any let me know. There is a set on ebay with low hrs but they have been out there for a while so I'm suspicious.

Ready to put the 2nd layer of wood on the transom later today. Here is the first. The outer layup of original glass is 3/8'- 7/16ths thick.

scippy
04-06-2014, 10:58 PM
Marshall the transom is coming along great!......from the looks of the previous layup thickness?......no problems there!!

MDonziM
04-07-2014, 11:02 AM
Pete - that last picture might be deceiving, there is resin/fiber filler in the gap between the first layer of plywood and the original outer layer of glass. The first layer went in 3 pieces, and fit inside the lip of original glass. The second layer is a single piece of ply the entire size of the cutout. Now we will scarf cut the seam out 3" or so to the perimeter edge and begin the 8 or so layers of 1708 ( probably in 2 layups)

Greg Guimond
05-05-2014, 09:49 PM
Someone on Lake George NY just posted a pair of Promax 300 motors complete with wing plate steering for sale. Very nice condition. Someone on this forum may know the guy selling them.

Greg Guimond
05-06-2014, 03:46 PM
Here is the contact info if you are interested. He wants $11,000 for all of it ............

contact number -518-369-0370 steering,harneses, and gauges repowering boat so every thing that is removed

MDonziM
05-14-2014, 05:57 PM
Thanks for the lead Greg, trying to weigh the pro's/cons of the older platform vs cost savings...

MDonziM
05-14-2014, 06:39 PM
If I went with the promax's, what do you think of triples??? Does anyone know 3 would perform vs 2? Just wondering

Greg Guimond
05-15-2014, 11:28 AM
Is your goal to set the 32 Midnight Express up to attack the top speed "big number"? Or is your goal to set it up for all around family use as a performance hull? Two fairly different paths to be considered as you move forward on the project.

BlownCrewCab
05-15-2014, 08:06 PM
Oh, After blowing up the Pics now I see what you meant about the Condition of the Dark Metallic stripe. It looks like there's some Crazing like would happen on a Clear Coated paint job. I can tell you for sure there was no clear on those stripes when we did them. Just 100% Imron. Maybe someone already cleared it trying to salvage them. Just be sure to sand all that Crazed Clear off before recoating it with anything. Even a good primer sprayed over dried up crazed paint will fail. (actually whats underneath will fail but the primer will take the blame :) )

MDonziM
05-16-2014, 07:16 AM
BCC,
Yes, the side stripes have the remains of a clearcoat but the deck is worse. Hopefully I can sand it down just to be barely visible so it can easily be retaped exactly the same. My plan is to spray the entire width of the pattern with the dark blue, then tapeoff the light blue and silver leaving a 1/4" dark blue edge/pinstripes, then clear.

Greg,
Spoke to my mechanic and he guessed that a 3rd motor would only gain 8-10mph which is not worth the effort and expense to me. If the boat does 75mph with twins I'll be content. Twin motors leave plenty of room on the sides of the bracket to use as a swim platform.

The transom is almost finished, glass guy put 8 layers of 1708 on in one shot (way beyond my skills) and a heavy amount of gelcoat. Now I can start mocking up the coring for the stringer knees and floor transverses to be glassed and tabbed in.
- M

Greg Guimond
05-16-2014, 10:18 AM
I did not want to influence your decision but now that you have talked to your rigger there is nothing to be gained by doing triples IMO given the waters you run in. :lookaroun: I have not followed this thread closely but I think you have access to the original builder of the boat. I would ask him if they ran any 20" mids or only used 25"'s. He might have some interesting feedback. Good Luck.

intotwins
05-28-2014, 06:42 AM
Love to see what your doing with 32! I recently purchased the McManus built 32. Right now it has 225hp Mercs and I can get 65-67 out of her. Definitely run tabs! This boat at 30mph with sit down seats in the manatee zones down here visibility is poor and I have my forward tank fuel of fuel.

MDonziM
05-28-2014, 07:07 PM
twins - I don't know the McManus 32, is it a similar hull? I'm planning on at least 26" tabs since that's the setback on the bracket.

Greg - Goode didn't remember putting triples on this hull. The previous owner had 20"s on the outside and a 25" center. He thought 25"s for twins would be best, although now that the bracket is off I could change the height but I think I'll keep it the same.

Now the news...

Picked up the used set of 300 pro max's today from upstate so I'm excited to make some progress. Got full hydraulic steering incl. the helm which is nice. My fiberglass guy threw his back out and I have not been on the boat in a month. Hopefully get back on it now.

Greg Guimond
05-28-2014, 08:08 PM
Now the news...

Picked up the used set of 300 pro max's today from upstate so I'm excited to make some progress. Got full hydraulic steering incl. the helm which is nice. My fiberglass guy threw his back out and I have not been on the boat in a month. Hopefully get back on it now.

Glad that I was able to turn you onto those freshwater Promax 300's Marshall. It is rare to find a pair of 25" mids never mind the good price. They should work out nicely for you. :lightning

MDonziM
05-29-2014, 08:41 AM
Thanks Greg for the bird-dogging. Both motors are going to be refreshed rather than wait and have something go wrong. My hope is to take the boat down to Key West in November if I can get it all pulled together, we'll see. One motor has a fresh "fat shaft" torque master lower with low water pickups so we will try and find a matching lower for the other. Time to get fiber-glassing.

Greg Guimond
05-29-2014, 09:19 PM
Thanks Greg for the bird-dogging. Both motors are going to be refreshed rather than wait and have something go wrong. My hope is to take the boat down to Key West in November if I can get it all pulled together, we'll see. One motor has a fresh "fat shaft" torque master lower with low water pickups so we will try and find a matching lower for the other. Time to get fiber-glassing.

Is the small shaft a true Torquemaster lower? It would have the side inlets as well as additional water inlets in the bullet. If it is I may know someone who would buy it off you depending on what skeg it has.

MDonziM
05-30-2014, 09:02 PM
I don't know what it is Greg. It has home made looking clam shell like modifications on the side water inlets, no low water pickup in the nose.
I'll try to post a picture but their at my mechanics getting taken apart.

Greg Guimond
06-21-2014, 05:59 AM
Hopefully things are coming along. Make sure you always have good water pressure in those motors (never less than 10 pounds above 5,000 RPM) and run good oil (Mercury Premium Plus) and gas (91 octane min, and always fresh). Those motors are known to go 500+ hours when treated right.

MDonziM
06-25-2014, 07:40 PM
Slowly. I've been doing a lot of glasswork because my regular glass guy has a back problem. Trying to finish the cockpit floor guessets and stringer knees. I need help to finish the inside of the transom, then a bit more in the cabin and hopefully in 2-3 weeks it will start going back together.
My mechanic has been pulling apart the motors and looking into a new lower to match the other torque-master up. Everything looks ok so far.

Greg Guimond
06-25-2014, 07:51 PM
It seems odd that the two Promax 300's have very different lower units. 25" Torquemasters are tough to find. You might have one Fleetmaster on there, those were common.

MDonziM
06-27-2014, 10:01 AM
Greg - one lower unit was changed last year so I'm assuming its the torquemaster with the lwp. The other unit is original and will be changed to match the newer, whatever it is. So far, so good on the powerheads etc.

MDonziM
08-24-2014, 10:26 AM
Progress has been a bit slow this summer and my hopes of completing in time for Key West in November are fading.

The fiberglass work required was much more than I anticipated... The entire transom has been replaced, 3 stringer knees added that lock into the first full seat height transverse. All the floor gussets are in an tabbed, front seat pedestal is almost complete, helm bulkhead reinforced, 4' of forward center stringer replaced and more... Hopefully another week or so of glasswork and it will be time to install fuel tanks, floor and begin rear seating framework/upholstery. Itching to get going on rigging. Bracket has been sandblasted and powdercoated and I bought a set of 24" Eddie Marine tabs.

Progress pics as soon as I can clean up a bit.

- M

scippy
08-25-2014, 12:39 AM
M-

It goes without saying, "The much more than I anticipated" statement seems almost more common than not with old skool boats.
There seems to be (especially for me) the fork in the road of, "patch for now" -or- "get it right now" your of that latter statement.
All your boats are of that same thinking..........it just shows!!...............how do you like doing the glass work yourself?

MDonziM
08-25-2014, 09:21 AM
Hey Pete, good to hear from you. Laying glass I don't mind but the grinding I could live without. I just ordered my 4th 4 1/2gal jug of resin...

scippy
08-25-2014, 10:13 PM
Yea I could do without the grinding also..............Did Alloy make your tanks?..

MDonziM
08-29-2014, 11:10 AM
Yes alloy made the tanks and modified one for front seat clearance. He is also fabbing a throttle pod from me to mount on the helm bulkhead.

MDonziM
09-27-2014, 07:08 PM
Here are some progress pics of the cockpit floor bracing and the rear bulkhead/ knees/ rear seat supports. Just painted the "bilge" and side compartments where the fuel tanks will reside to seal all the glasswork. Still need to tab in new rear tank bulkheads, but then the floor goes in and the seat framing will start. The transom shot shoes the top and bottom location of the bracket as well as a 26" c on c for the motors and the tab placement.

Greg Guimond
09-29-2014, 08:44 AM
Sorry to hear about your motor.

I was trying to reach you the other day but misplaced your #. Could you pm me?

Thanks - Marshall

I'm traveling and currently on a plane. Best bet is to post up what you need here on the board Marshall and I'll answer.

Looks like you are moving along nicely with the ME. I am sure I've missed many pieces but one note on the transom knees. If you can, avoid making the 90 degree turn up from stringers to transom. The strongest shape is to triangle the vertical transition. If you can't do that because of how far back your rear seat is, next best is to use a radius shape. These two options spread the shock load much more evenly and you won't have any stress cracks over time given the amount of setback you will be using with the twin wackers. Good luck.

MDonziM
10-06-2014, 07:12 AM
Good point Greg on the knees, the seat back attaches to them so there's not much room but I will radius the corner more. Hopefully I can get the tanks painted this week and foamed in. Looking ahead to mounting the motors, how do you compute X dim with outboards? Armstrong said to mount the top of the bracket 23" up from the bottom at the engine centerline for a 25" shaft. Does that sound right?

Thanks - Marshall

Greg Guimond
10-06-2014, 10:52 AM
Looking ahead to mounting the motors, how do you compute X dim with outboards? Armstrong said to mount the top of the bracket 23" up from the bottom at the engine centerline for a 25" shaft. Does that sound right?

Thanks - Marshall

I'm not putting much faith in Armstrong as set up is very unique to each boat. I forget, did you end up with true Torquemaster 3L lower units on each motor? If yes, they should have water inlets under the bullet AND in the sides so you can mount the motors a little higher by plugging one hole. That Merc gearcase shape produces good leverage and lift, far more than the Sportmasters. Next, are you running any gas tanks in the bow or did you scrap that idea and go with rear tanks only? The third thing I would suggest is asking Bing how far below the keel they would mount the I/O rigged boats just as a framework as you know you will be mounting your motors higher than that.

MDonziM
10-06-2014, 07:04 PM
I think the lower unit is a torque-master, I'll try to post a picture of it. It has both sets of inlets. The boat has the original 80 gal tank which is 4' forward of the helm. I posted a picture of the boat running with just 2 200 hp mercs and the previous owner said he ran with no fuel in the forward tank. The attitude looks good and he had very good performance, supposedly 56mph with just 400hp. I don't think Bing will be any help, when I spoke with him before he didn't remember any of the layup or rigging type stuff... I have pictures of where the bracket was mounted before but it was with trips. He had 20" shafts on the outside and 25" center.

Here is another old pic of a 32' with v8 Evenrudes.

MDonziM
10-06-2014, 07:10 PM
One more shot of the previous bracket set up. The Armstrong placement is approx 1 1/2"- 2" lower guessing from this picture.

Greg Guimond
10-06-2014, 08:22 PM
Marshall, I had some time and quickly re-read the whole thread. 80 gallons of fuel 4' forward is a consideration for mount height. If I got it all, you kept the old Armstrong Bracket and it is 26" of setback, correct? Also, are you planning on adding the 3" mechanical R+R jackplates for fine tuning or did you decide to scrap jackplates?

I also see your transom now, no pad there. Is the deadrise 24 degrees? It looks like it might be a little shallower.

MDonziM
10-07-2014, 09:18 AM
Yes Greg, 26" setback and I am planning on the R&R jackplates. The forward tank will be used as a reserve and for balance if needed. The hull is definitely a 24deg, it comes from the Magnum 27. Your picture looks stretched. The prop shafts should be close to the bottom running surface, no? Not clear to me how much higher I can go based on the offset.

Greg Guimond
10-07-2014, 07:52 PM
So you will end up with 29" of setback on a straight 24 degree V. Got it, and smart to use the forward tank to fine tune much like a ballast tank. Subject to knowing what vertical travel you will get from the R&R plates I'd suggest you go with your 25" motors prop shaft centerlines 1" below the keel's pointy V for starters. You are not going for ultimate top end speed only and you'll want to run the boat in tougher Fall conditions with good handling. One thing I will caution you on though is that when you mount the fixed bracket assume that at some point you will go to 20" midsections from the 25" you have now. With the weight of the ME 32' being fairly light it leaves you options down the line so keep that window open as I think you mentioned you'll be keeping the boat around for a long while. I have used both 25's and 20's on my boats. Right now on my 23 I run 18" of setback and 1/4" below the keel. It's also an old school 24 degree v like the ME and I get good water pressure and good handling in snotty LI Sound water and not bad chine walk on smooth water. The same boat with I/O runs 4 1/2" below the keel. Just know that 20" 300XS motors are a few years away and you don't want to move that bracket after all the work you have gone through. Good Luck.

MDonziM
10-07-2014, 08:57 PM
Rough numbers, 13" off centerline (26" C on C) and 1" below the keel puts the propshaft about 6 1/4" below the bottom, so a 14 1/2" prop will pierce the plane of the bottom by 1" vertically. Is that the plan? (I know this does not take into effect the water deflection over the distance of the 29" setback) What is the advantage of 20" mids that you think I will want then in the future? Thanks.

Greg Guimond
10-08-2014, 08:45 AM
What is the vertical travel range on the R&R fixed 3's?

Greg Guimond
10-08-2014, 09:08 AM
What is the advantage of 20" mids that you think I will want then in the future? Thanks.

Not much advantage to the 20" mids on a boat that size. The reason I said you might end up there is that 300XS motors are starting to become available on the used market from freshwater boaters. They get incredible gas mileage as compared to the Promax 300's and are more powerful by about 25hp. The problem is that they are almost never seen in 25" mids, and are never seen as freshwater ONLY 25" mids. Thus, a pair of used 20" 307hp 300XS Optis could very well be appealing to you as a plug and play replacement in a few years for short money after you get all the set up issues sorted out.

Greg Guimond
10-08-2014, 09:11 AM
One other thought is you might want to track down the owner in that picture you posted of the ME 32 that has it rigged with twin Verado wackers. He should not be that hard to find. The Verados have a different case but having a phone conversation would be revealing.

MDonziM
10-08-2014, 05:51 PM
Gotcha on the used opti market. I measured one of the promax's today and from the top mounting hole to the propshaft is 32". The top of the bracket position by Armstrong's guideline is 29" so to get my propshaft 1" above the keel the bracket would be up at 33".

I tried a ways back to contact that other grey midnight owner with no success...

MDonziM
12-20-2014, 01:32 PM
Progress has been a little slow, but here is the latest:
Got both new fuel tanks in and mostly foamed. Most of my rigging supports for batteries, oil tanks, trip pumps etc. is all dry fit and ready to glass in. Been working in the cabin where I have cut down the stringers forward of the helm bulkhead reinforced with gussetts and partial bulkheads that form one seat port and stb. Also removed the old enclosure around the forward tank so it could be inspected. All seems well so I am recovering making a large berth. Reinforced the backside of the helm bulkhead and the next one forward. Replaced the center stringer in the cabin and added layers of glass to the bottom and stringers.
Front bucket seats are mocked up on new base and the throttle is mocked in place as well. Ready to glass in the cockpit floor and seat framing and continue in the cabin.

scippy
12-21-2014, 11:18 AM
Marshall..........I like the way your freeing up space in the cabin that would otherwise be lost to the "boxey" enclosures
that were there before, everything looks great!...... it's a long way to spring, no need to hurry the pace should be slow!

Conquistador_del_mar
12-23-2014, 02:47 AM
Marshall,
It looks like you are really getting somewhere with the restoration! I hope you get it done and drop it in the lake by Spring. Merry Christmas. Bill

MDonziM
12-23-2014, 07:55 AM
Thanks Bill and Pete.

The cabin is still pretty small due to the low freeboard but I couldn't help trying to utilize it. The freeboard is almost identical to the Magnum but the raised center section of the deck makes a big difference. The section of the berth forward of the fuel fill will have storage under. I am installing (2) 140gph fuel pumps outboard of the stringers in compartments port and stb in front of the helm bulkhead to transfer fuel from the reserve tank to the main tanks.


At some point this winter I'll want to contact you Bill when I get around to adding power steering to the Magnum.


Merry Christmas

Conquistador_del_mar
12-27-2014, 11:32 AM
At some point this winter I'll want to contact you Bill when I get around to adding power steering to the Magnum.


Merry Christmas

Marshall,
I would be more than happy to help - I used the IMCO add on system. Also, Ron or Frank at IMCO are great resources for their product line - (702)294-3030 is their #

MDonziM
02-21-2015, 09:22 PM
and the fiberglass work continues...

The floor is finally glassed in, the side and rear seat bottoms and backs are just mocked in place but they are almost ready. Under the rear seat you can see the mounting braces for 3 batteries
on the port side and the oil tank location on stb.

In the cabin 2 160 gph fuel pumps to transfer fuel from the reserve to the main tanks. Also in line filters in the compartment fwd of the seat cutout.

I'll post a few more shots.

MDonziM
02-21-2015, 09:27 PM
Cabin and dash shots.

A lot of reinforcing and extra tabbing all around this area after cutting down the stringers.

scippy
02-22-2015, 12:31 AM
Marshall...........Looks very well thought out the way you utilized the free space at hand ..........you'd have 30% less space with an I/O
I like the unique passage way from the cockpit to the cabin area............have you shed much weight to the ME on this reconfiguration?
Great job!!

Greg Guimond
02-22-2015, 07:52 AM
Too bad on the cleats... good hardware is tough to find. Speaking of which, you come across a good folding boarding step by any chance? Something like 5-6" x 11-12". Ideally, I'd like to recess mount it so its flush when folded down. All I've found so far is Garelick.

I think I remember a couple of options. Where do you want to mount the swim ladder and are you saying you want it to extend down 5 feet?

MDonziM
02-22-2015, 08:44 AM
Marshall...........Looks very well thought out the way you utilized the free space at hand ..........you'd have 30% less space with an I/O
I like the unique passage way from the cockpit to the cabin area............have you shed much weight to the ME on this reconfiguration?
Great job!!

Hey Pete,
Not sure how it will all net out. Removed weight and most of what I built back in is light except for the front bucket seat pedestal which prob weighs 25-30lbs. Maybe added 100lbs overall??? Not sure, but it will be strong.
(I'm on my 18th gal of west system epoxy)

MDonziM
02-22-2015, 08:52 AM
I think I remember a couple of options. Where do you want to mount the swim ladder and are you saying you want it to extend down 5 feet?

Greg - I'm talking about a boarding step, not a swim ladder. When you board the boat on the port side, step over the deck lip/cowling on to the tank enclosure, that surface is 19" above the floor. I'd like to have a fold out step 6"x12" maybe 9" up off the floor. Otherwise I'll build a fixed one. I don't think I can recess it because it would have to be cut into the stringer.

Since the outboard bracket was made for triples, there should be plenty of room for a swim ladder at some point.

Greg Guimond
03-01-2015, 06:34 PM
Ah, gotcha. Check out Marquipt for that.

MDonziM
03-04-2015, 09:01 PM
I ended up buying one from Garelick. I am recessing it into the port side tank enclosure so its flush when folded up. Having an aluminum pan made and powder-coated. I also decided to go with Zeiger for the tilt steering column. They modify the capilano helm shaft so you know it will assemble properly.

MDonziM
04-13-2015, 04:31 PM
Finally wrapping up all the fiberglass work. Got the boat off the jackstands and back on the trailer yesterday. Almost ready to get the stripes repainted, picked out the colors. Keeping the original design, a dark grey metallic will replace the black: medium grey metallic replaces the gold and a brilliant silver metallic goes over the existing silver.(PPG basecoat with awlgrip clearcoat) Now time to re-mount the outboard bracket and trim tabs.

MDonziM
04-13-2015, 04:32 PM
and yes, I'm in the market for some new trailer fenders...

scippy
04-15-2015, 08:47 PM
Marshall the ME is coming along great!..........can't wait to see it with the twin 300's mounted!

MDonziM
04-23-2015, 07:48 PM
Me too Skippy! The stripes are mostly sanded off now and the primer should go on early next week. Got the bracket in place again with 2 bolts, ready to drill the rest. Interior seating and trim are under way. Still a ways to go...

MDonziM
04-27-2015, 08:21 AM
Almost finished sanding off the old stripes, ready to prime in another day or so. The bracket is mounted but only 2 bolts in, have to mark, remove, drill and remount.

MDonziM
05-19-2015, 04:30 PM
Painting the dash now ,should have full pics in a couple days

scippy
05-20-2015, 10:11 PM
The new colors really improve the old design ..................I like it alot!

MDonziM
05-21-2015, 08:55 AM
Thanks Pete, I'm really happy with the look of the new stripes too. Painter sprayed the dash last night so we should be able to take all the paper off now. The dash is the same dark grey and the windshield will be the medium grey. The dash upholstery does in tomorrow, pics to follow.

You make any moves/ changes in your boat strategy?

yeller
05-22-2015, 01:16 PM
Like the greys. Looks sharp!

scippy
05-22-2015, 09:17 PM
You make any moves/ changes in your boat strategy?

I've been back and forth on getting into a turn key boat, but that would mean selling the Magnum (I came close) but decided after all the effort I put into the sport
to see this restoration through......................how ever long it takes.

MDonziM
05-24-2015, 10:55 AM
Thanks Yeller.

Glad you're sticking with the Mag Pete, now get going on it!

MDonziM
05-25-2015, 06:31 PM
dash in progress, should get the upholstery installed tomorrow.

Conquistador_del_mar
05-26-2015, 01:58 PM
Dang Marshall, that dash looks great!

MDonziM
05-27-2015, 07:39 PM
Thanks Bill.

Here's the latest

scippy
05-27-2015, 10:43 PM
Marshall,......The color coordinants you choose are working beautifully............love the "flash" of the dash and the thick pleated upholstery!
Can't wait to see the cockpit fully dressed!..................are you going for custom cowlings on the 300X's ?

MDonziM
05-29-2015, 01:42 PM
Hey Pete, I'm not sure about the engine cowlings... I thought about it but am waiting for now to see how they shine up.

MDonziM
06-17-2015, 07:21 PM
Finally ready to go to the mechanic for rigging. Some pics from today

MDonziM
07-08-2015, 10:03 AM
Finally off to get rigged.

Greg G - if you see this, in a bravo 1 4 blade what would be your guess for pitch? ( Or anyone else )

Thanks - M

Greg Guimond
07-08-2015, 10:32 AM
Finally off to get rigged.

Greg G - if you see this, in a bravo 1 4 blade what would be your guess for pitch? ( Or anyone else )

Thanks - M

You'd need to weigh the naked hull but I would think that the twin Promax 300's might be able to spin Bravo 22's to start and get a baseline :yes:

BUIZILLA
07-08-2015, 10:52 AM
I had 22's on my 302 Scarab with 225's

you'll need at least 24's, or probably 26's

MDonziM
07-08-2015, 04:33 PM
Thanks guys, I was guessing 26" or 27". Was hoping to be able to cut down my set of 30" I have but that's too much.

MDonziM
07-08-2015, 06:31 PM
Just looked back at the previous owners thread on oso when he did the outboard conversion. He had twin 200mercs w/24" chopper props he turned 5400 rpm and 56mph. When he added 3rd motor(225hp) he ran 28" props outside and a 32" cleaver center to an average rpm around 5800. Even though my setup will be very different, the total hp between his trip setup and my twin 300 is close so would the prop pitch be close also???
Wondering...

MDonziM
07-17-2015, 01:53 PM
Jack plates are mounted (25"on center), motors going on next.

MDonziM
07-18-2015, 08:14 AM
trim tabs are next.

MDonziM
12-15-2015, 07:10 PM
Dash is getting wired up, got a few progress pics. Had new panels made for switches and trim indicators.

scippy
12-18-2015, 12:04 PM
Marshall...........love how tactical the dash looks!..........very nice job with the whole restoration!

gcarter
12-18-2015, 01:08 PM
Marshall, love the dash.

MDonziM
12-29-2015, 12:08 PM
Thanks Pete and George, hopefully get the upholstery wrapped up soon, then I'll have my work cut out with carpeting and other finish work.

George - sent a an email on the prop.

- M

Conquistador_del_mar
12-29-2015, 12:45 PM
Marshall, love the dash.

Yes, fabulous looking dash and everything else you have done Marshall!!

MDonziM
01-02-2016, 10:25 AM
Thanks Bill and happy new year. Still figuring out what replacement compass to go with but I think I have it. With the new seat position the original obscured the speedo a bit and also does not clear the new steering pump... All the cables for the trim indicators need to be run, cabin and cockpit lighting and stereo wiring. The whole project has been much more than I planned on from the beginning but it looks good for this spring.

- M

MDonziM
02-06-2016, 06:51 PM
Brought the Midnight back from the mechanic today. Everything is rigged, gauges wired, controls, cables etc. Nav lights, cockpit lights, stereo, carpet and upholstery remain. I'll get some pics of the interior.

scippy
02-06-2016, 11:38 PM
Marshall very interesting configuration (seating and access doors @ the transom) I like it!......What kind of lowers you running on the Merc's?

MDonziM
02-07-2016, 08:21 AM
The seating design was a throwback to my old 16' Donzi. There is not enough beam for a U shaped rear seat so I went with the L. The panels on the rear seat back give access to rigging ,wiring etc. The square ones I reused and were in the cabin originally. The seat bottoms lift out to get to oil tanks, batteries and the bilge. One of the motors has a newer fleetmaster or possibly torquemaster lower which I need to find a match for. No need for speedmaster lowers as I see for now since we estimate the top end to be 75ish mph and the fleetmasters are supposed to be just as good up to 80.