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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm usually in the fishing discussions, but I need advice from the hard core boaters.

I'm thinking of ditching my 1980 Sea Ray and buying a 1990 Formula PC 29 with twin 7.4's and Bravo 1's. Do you have any opinions about:

1. This model of Formula (size and year)

2. The overall reliability of 1990 7.4 Mercruisers

3. The durability of 1990 Bravo drives?

Any and all thoughts will be appreciated!

Thanks,

Jeff
 

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I'm definitely getting a survey.

I was surprised when someone said, "454's break easy," and also "Bravo drives break a lot." I've never heard that from anyone else, and I'm not a newbie. Any votes for or against (for stuff built in 1990)?
 

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QUOTE(Dos mangos @ Jul 19 2009, 08:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>great boat. great motors and great drives , get a survey

I agree!!!
QUOTE(jeffff @ Jul 19 2009, 08:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'm definitely getting a survey.

I was surprised when someone said, "454's break easy," and also "Bravo drives break a lot." I've never heard that from anyone else, and I'm not a newbie. Any votes for or against (for stuff built in 1990)?
if it passes a survey snatch it up... you will be really happy
 

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Bravo drives break a lot because a lot of people put eleventy billion horsepower in front of them. With a stock 454 in front of it it should last a very long time. Especially since you have two, that means they each have that much less work to do getting on plane.

Formulas are good boats. Twin 454's / bravos should be a good reliabile combination. Make sure you do your homework and check everything out good, though, there's a lot that can go wrong with any 20 year old boat.
 

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QUOTE(sleeper @ Jul 20 2009, 09:07 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Bravo drives break a lot because a lot of people put eleventy billion horsepower in front of them. With a stock 454 in front of it it should last a very long time. Especially since you have two, that means they each have that much less work to do getting on plane.

Formulas are good boats. Twin 454's / bravos should be a good reliabile combination. Make sure you do your homework and check everything out good, though, there's a lot that can go wrong with any 20 year old boat.

i just wanna know what i have to do to get eleventy billion horse power going to my bravos!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
QUOTE(sleeper @ Jul 20 2009, 08:07 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>there's a lot that can go wrong with any 20 year old boat.

That's for sure. My current boat was built in 1980, but it's been good to me for five years (except for everything that broke).
 

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QUOTE(gasketguy @ Jul 20 2009, 08:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>QUOTE(sleeper @ Jul 20 2009, 09:07 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Bravo drives break a lot because a lot of people put eleventy billion horsepower in front of them. With a stock 454 in front of it it should last a very long time. Especially since you have two, that means they each have that much less work to do getting on plane.

Formulas are good boats. Twin 454's / bravos should be a good reliabile combination. Make sure you do your homework and check everything out good, though, there's a lot that can go wrong with any 20 year old boat.

i just wanna know what i have to do to get eleventy billion horse power going to my bravos!!!




I think the rule of thumb is $1,000 per each mph gained over stock. And somewhere around 20 mph over stock, it jumps to $10,000 for every 5 mph increase.
 

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I worked for McMachen Marine when we used to be a dealer for them. Sold plenty to celebrities like Derian & Kevin Hatcher, Sergei Federof, Dougie Brown, etc... the list is endless. Part of why I like to work there was to get autographs & pictures for my boys.

IDK who tagged them as junkie drives but the majority of those who I knew and in the business referred to them as "Bullet Proof," unless you step up to Surface Drives or?? I don't know of a more dependable drive for the engine combination. And that 454 is the industry standard, capable of so many improvements and add ons I'd be hard pressed to replace that engine with any other more durable or fundamentally sound, and just think about the different options that are there standard?

I have complete sets of shop manuals for all generally used engine-drive combinations and "to look at them" (pass the dirty pages, dog ear test) they are the cleanest of my library.

The only suggestion I would point out is (what was suggested above) to have a survey done but with particular attention to note: moisture test behind the gel coat in the lower transom. this area has been a problem but most often in those boats that are kept in the water all year long. Otherwise I'd say your good to go, that is if the price was right. There is one on the UAR (United Auto Recovery) web site (they are located on M-97 and 13 mile) and have one with trailer for 25k (repo)

http://www.universalautorecovery.com/cgi-b...dmin/auction.pl (down near the bottom)

But other than that they generally hold their resale value.

Good Luck!
Dutch
 

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There are many variations of the bravo drive, and the basic "bravo 1" is not the strongest. Then there are the NXT drives, surface drives, #6 drives (and other older variations), konrads, and on and on. Those are all high performance drives that I would not consider unless I had at least a 525 motor. The bravo 1 is perfectly fine for a "black" motor (merc paints their normal stuff black, their HP stuff blue).

The 454 is good but the 502 is a different, better block. Most of the high performance stuff used the 502 block, but there's still a bit you can do to a 454.

I'd leave it stock. Takes too many dollars to do anything but. And stock is the most reliable.

Reliability is inversely proportional to the number of bolts f'ed with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks, Dutch. I really appreciate your extensive reply. I've seen a structural survey, done in May, and talked to the surveyor. The hull is good, and although there is some moisture in the forward end of the port stringer, it's not bad (could be a problem later). I will call him again to make sure on the lower transom.

I've been working with Lenny & Christian at Sun Up Marina for a number of years (they used to be at Hide Away), and I'll ask Lenny to do a complete mechanical and electrical check up when I get closer to purchase.

Again, thanks for all your comments.
 

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If you go off of a survey that the current owner paid for, the surveyor has no obligation to disclose any damage to you, and no liability to you if he fubared the survey. It's a good idea to pony up for your own survey, and don't take the recommendation of the seller on the surveyor either. I learned that one the hard way (although on a pretty small scale).
 
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