Repower or not?


New Member
Apr 19, 2015
I am very close to getting "my" new 220 Stalker with an original well maintained Ford fresh water cooled engine. This is my last boat and I want to get the most pleasure out of it in the time I have. I have 2 choices. One is the keep the old engine until it goes or repower now with a new Chev fresh water cooled engine (diesel is out of my budget). How much should it cost for a new fresh water cooled fuel injected Chev 300 hp. to be installed in the boat? If I go this route, should I have it reproped and what kind of cruising speed should I expect? I am not buying the boat for speed, but getting to a fishing spot faster means more time to fish. Please give me some good facts so that I can make a smart choice. I have the money to repower, but am I really gaining anything such as more cruising speed or fuel economy? The old motor appears to run great, but I kind of really want to repower. Please help me decide. Thanks, Bruce
I had a nice Shamrock 20' cuddy with the 302 Pleasurecraft FWC engine. It would cruise at around 20 knots at 3200 RPM. Top speed was about 30 knots and at that speed it would chine walk, meaning that it would be very sensitive to rudder input. A SBF is quite a bit lighter than a SBC and probably was a factor when they built these boats. A big issue for me was the tendency of my Shamrock to want to bury the bow in a following sea running Ocean City MD inlet. So, with all that being said, I would not install a heavier, bigger HP engine in the boat. Doing so would only make it more nose heavy. I sincerely doubt that you would notice any substantial improvements in USABLE SPEED and would make the nose heavy issue more acute. Also, because the 302 in the boat is a left hand rotation engine which is standard automotive rotation, you have many less expensive options for repowering it if it needed to be done. These boats are very well made, look great, but are never going to be fast or dry running, My boat was great in the Chesapeake Bay but terrifying in the inlet. For that reason I sold it and got a Seaswirl Striper 2600 with a Volvo penta duo prop sterndrive with a GM 5.0. Like the Shamrock, it runs about 20-22 knots at 3200 while sipping fuel at about 7.5 GPH, which in my retired point in life is much more important than a few more MPH. If you are looking to compare engines you may want to take a look at this site:

Robert Young

New Member
Jan 12, 2021
The 302 PCM is low tech in that they have points and a carb. Very simple to maintain.
Heck... if the Ford has good compression and good oil pressure... myself... I'd keep the Ford. Good engines they are.

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