I got this old sport lido back in 2017 when my pop passed away. He had it since the late 80s when his uncle my great uncle had passed. As far as we know he was the original owner.
So far I've stripped it down replaced the stringers and glassed in a new floor. I've done a little paint work and pin-stripe. Upgraded to a seastar rack and pinion steering system. I'm working on installing new seats now. Figured I share some of my progress.
Looks like you are doing a very nice job on the hull wood! Definitely a lot of time and love required, but necessary.
Are you planning on using the old school 700DR,...Or upgrading to a motor with a full gear shift. (much more user friendly)
That old dock buster is actually a 1958 MK78E Super Marathon with Thunderbolt ignition.
Im torn on using it or not. It's the original engine as far as I know. My great uncle bought it new in 58 pop said. He wanted a ski boat and told the dealer to ditch the MK30 and the rear seats. In all the years I've known this boat it only had 3 seats.
I can run it in any of the lakes around me, but the whole cleanwater act keeps me from a few places I would love to take it. If I can figure out how to load a video. I'll post the first start up since 1997 last time my pops used it.
You will probably learn that I am a Mercury Trivia Guy, so take this into consideration when I state the following:
The top Hat with blue lettering and the Mark75A face are specific to 1959.
That doesn't mean that the rest of your Merc isn't a 1958 Mark 78E.
What is the model number stamped on the ID plate positioned between the transom brackets on the top front of the swivel housing?
On the starboard side of the block is it identified as a Marathon or Super Marathon?
Just trivia,...Nothing to lose sleep over!
It definately says Super Marathon on the block. Here is a pic of the name plate. 1170928 is the number.
Thank you for the information doc
Ive considered glassing in a 110 horsepower jet pump from a Yamaha jet ski. Then I'll call it the SS Lido and use a cool old Super Sport badge on the dash.
"Ive considered glassing in a 110 horsepower jet pump from a Yamaha jet ski. Then I'll call it the SS Lido and use a cool old Super Sport badge on the dash."
That's the cool thing about old fiberglass boats. You can do whatever modifications you chose, and then if it doesn't work out,...Patch it back in and do something different.
I see that your 1958 78E is just that, with a 1959 78A top hat & face plate. You can compare the difference in top hats and face plates of these (2) models on
I attached a picture showing the shape of an original 1958 78E. I "think" the Mk78 is the one on the right. Technically,...It is mounted on a 1957 Mk75 driveshaft housing and lower unit, but when I restored this one for a customer, I mounted it on a correct 1958 Mk78 DSH & L/U.
When running a DR (dock-buster) in a barrel, take the propeller off, and get the water lever a couple inches higher, by raising the barrel on blocks/cribbage to insure the water pump is submerged.
Then confirm the beast is pumping water in both Forward and Reverse to insure both "duck bill" valves are working properly.
The beast sounds really good in the videos.
Thank you for the information doc. Those are some beautiful looking engines. I'm looking for the duck valves now I was able to find an impeller. It seems parts for these classics are hard to come by I would love to fully restore this engine I have a manual and Im a certified mechanic. Yet I don't have a source for parts and I'm unsure if the value is there.
Definitely worth the time needed to understand and mechanically resurrect this unique piece of mechanical history and genius.
The duck bill valves (formally "water pump rubber valves") are still available through oldmercs.com, as are a few tough to find components commonly needed.
Anything you find you need, but can not locate, I will help you find, or I have a TON of good used parts related to this beast.
I am no longer actively operating a shop due to health issues, but I can still help via email, posts, texts, etc and providing rare parts and cheap prices.