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View Full Version : Need help identifying Donzi 18 classic



HandCdonzi
03-15-2017, 04:23 PM
I just bought a restoration project boat - an 18 classic. HIN unknown, and no markings in or on the boat. It is right side driver seat. It has a wrap around grab rail and never had a windshield. I will post some pics soon. I'm looking for help identifying the correct year and any other particulars members might know. It has a Ford 351 Windsor in it, which has been rebuilt. It has a Volvo outdrive, probably a 280 or 270 that appears to be original (no visible markings). The engine hatch opens to the port side and the frame for the rear seat is removable allowing front engine access.

If anyone is familiar with this configuration, please respond. The seller thinks it is a 1974, but there is no physical evidence to prove that.
85743

jl1962
03-15-2017, 08:18 PM
More pictures would help.

If it was made after November of 1972, there should be a hull identification (HIN) number stamped on the transom, or sometimes under the lip of the transom.

f_inscreenname
03-16-2017, 01:24 AM
I didn't think 18's had wrap around grab rails and motor hatches that opened to the side??? :confused:

mattyboy
03-16-2017, 08:24 AM
they normally don't have those features and usually that vintage were port helm not starboard helm. they did have hatches that opened to the side on some of the X18 more pics are needed

HandCdonzi
03-16-2017, 05:51 PM
Thanks to all of you who offered comments. It's a bit of a mystery. Will post more photos shortly. The boat has been painted (Imron) possibly more than once. There is no evidence of hull numbers but I have not removed rub rail yet. Prior to purchase I spoke to Customer Service at Donzi (Chuck Wagner) who had some historical knowledge. He said it was not unusual to have no molded HIN, but a number (Cnnnnn or CXnnn) might be handwritten under the resin inside the hull or top. I've looked and found nothing so far.

Hope someone in the registry has one like this or has seen one.

Thanks much
H

f_inscreenname
03-17-2017, 12:40 AM
I don't know man? First 1972 is a bad year when it comes to HIN #'s. It could be stamped in the hull on your boats drivers side, transom, up by the rub rail (not physical under it). Don't think its old enough to be written under the deck around where the gages are but it could just be a plate riveted in some place.
We really need some more pictures but things are not adding up. The cleats are wrong. The rail looks wrong where it goes in the deck by the rear seat. The wrap around rail.

Ghost
03-17-2017, 01:20 AM
Title has no hull ID?

Scott Pearson
03-17-2017, 08:37 AM
Need more pictures. Cockpit area would help. Might not be a Donzi...

HandCdonzi
03-17-2017, 09:43 AM
What is the best for posting photos? In this thread or in the registry section?
Thanks
H

HandCdonzi
03-17-2017, 10:21 AM
Title has no hull ID?

The title has a bogus HIN that dates back 30 years. I've already worked with my state DNR to change HIN to one I can find on boat or assign one by state.

HandCdonzi
03-17-2017, 10:34 AM
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HandCdonzi
03-17-2017, 10:37 AM
they normally don't have those features and usually that vintage were port helm not starboard helm. they did have hatches that opened to the side on some of the X18 more pics are needed

Posted some pics, will add more. You seem to be very knowledgeable and the historian for the LG club. Hope you can help.

jl1962
03-17-2017, 11:12 AM
Cockpit tub looks wrong.

Also some deck details - where is the fuel fill cap?

May be a splash (copy) of an 18 hull.

Pat McPherson
03-17-2017, 11:23 AM
Sorry, I don't think that is a Donzi.

f_inscreenname
03-17-2017, 11:51 AM
Sorry, I don't think that is a Donzi.
Cool boat though. Donzi is only a name. If it's built well and you like it the name means nothing.
To be honest it kind of looks like a barrel back Donzi or maybe a Sprint.

45171
03-17-2017, 11:59 AM
I feel like I've seen this boat advertised on CL last fall and it was on the east coast in MD I think. If it is the same boat it was being advertised as a replica but I can not remember who the ad said manufactured it.

I recall that it had fresh paint and the price was good regardless of who made it in my opinion.

mattyboy
03-17-2017, 12:25 PM
yes sorry to say it is not a donzi it looks like a vance which was one of the many replica/splashes made of the 16 and 18 stiill a neat boat

HandCdonzi
03-17-2017, 04:05 PM
Cockpit tub looks wrong.

Also some deck details - where is the fuel fill cap?

May be a splash (copy) of an 18 hull.

It is to the right in front of steering wheel about 1 ft from edge of cockpit.

HandCdonzi
03-17-2017, 04:08 PM
yes sorry to say it is not a donzi it looks like a vance which was one of the many replica/splashes made of the 16 and 18 stiill a neat boat

Can you or someone tell me more about what a Vance is? I'd like to trace the origin some.

The folks at Donzi did not seem to think copies were made other than the Four Winns U boats. Naiive I guess...
Henry

HandCdonzi
03-17-2017, 04:09 PM
Also a question for others who have been there before me... If I wanted to change the drive from the 270/280 Volvo to Mercruiser, is there an adapter plate on the market? Or must I fill in the transom?
Henry

HandCdonzi
03-17-2017, 04:11 PM
I feel like I've seen this boat advertised on CL last fall and it was on the east coast in MD I think. If it is the same boat it was being advertised as a replica but I can not remember who the ad said manufactured it.

I recall that it had fresh paint and the price was good regardless of who made it in my opinion.

This one is from SC, was on CL. I got it at a good price, so I may just keep it.
Henry

f_inscreenname
03-18-2017, 02:17 AM
Also a question for others who have been there before me... If I wanted to change the drive from the 270/280 Volvo to Mercruiser, is there an adapter plate on the market? Or must I fill in the transom?
Henry

The adapter plate cost more then a new transom and you have to do the work swapping the two anyway. 280T transom shield would give you trim and you could keep about everything you have now including the transom.

mattyboy
03-19-2017, 09:02 AM
Can you or someone tell me more about what a Vance is? I'd like to trace the origin some.

The folks at Donzi did not seem to think copies were made other than the Four Winns U boats. Naiive I guess...
Henry

the folks at Donzi now are not the same folks from the early years, they only go back to mid 1990's that when 4 wins made a 17 and 19 unlimited a donzi classic style boat.

if you use the search feature for thread titles with Vance in it you will find some info and also some pics

I would find the drive ratio( serial tag on top) then get the right prop and run the boat a 17 foot vance should run mid 50s with out much fuss with that power plant

HandCdonzi
03-20-2017, 07:34 PM
The adapter plate cost more then a new transom and you have to do the work swapping the two anyway. 280T transom shield would give you trim and you could keep about everything you have now including the transom.

Thanks, I'll research the 280T. Any favorite sellers?
H

f_inscreenname
03-21-2017, 01:13 AM
Thanks, I'll research the 280T. Any favorite sellers?
H
You have some research to do. They haven't made them in decades but you find them now and then on ebay. When you do its an easy swap.

HandCdonzi
03-22-2017, 09:38 AM
Checked out the Ford engine, good compression and runs ok; several freeze plugs missing, so borrowing an engine hoist to get to them and replace to get a good in water test. If the engine proves to be okay, then will keep the combination I have now. I've not been able to locate a transom adapter for that series Volvo, and local fiberglass folks want a fortune to fill in the transom-- boat isn't worth it.

I've looked for Vance's via Google, and found a few pics that look like a Donzi X-!8, but none that look like the Classic (that I have). Perhaps it is a lesser known Splash.

Thanks again for your inputs, please keep them coming. My son and I will continue with the cosmetic restoration so it is more sellable.

Thanks
H

f_inscreenname
03-22-2017, 12:30 PM
If you plan on selling then just stick with what you have. Time, money and effort will never pay off in the long run.

mattyboy
03-23-2017, 06:57 AM
in a boat of that size not having trim is not the end of the world you will find setting the trim in the center or the top will be fine. need a good prop
solas, ultra, hill that handles the way you like that setup making north of 250 hp should push that boat with the right prop to mid 50s which will be a lively ride that close to the water without a windshield

f_inscreenname
03-23-2017, 11:26 AM
Now for a couple good things. First the rear seat looks removable. My old Monza's were like that and are a lot of help when doing major motor work. Second, one of my biggest complaints about the 18 donzi is that you seem to sit on top of the boat. Yours, you seem to sit down inside. That is a huge security feeling difference when you are blasting along.