1989 Star Craft SS181


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Mar 1, 2024
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Gainesville, Florida
Thoughts on a 1998 SS181 with 3.0l I/O new head, carb rebuild, complete outdrive redone. 2nd gen DDIS ignition. Never owned I/O but many boats and can work on most anything. 80 yr man asking $2500. In Florida will use it for Gulf inshore and lakes. Thoughts?


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I'm not a fan of I/O systems, but when they are right, they run great.

Have you replaced the risers and exhaust manifolds? That is the big weak spot in IO boats, from what I have seen. Freezing/Cr is not much of an issue in FL like up here.

No idea about price, but if it looks good and runs great, you should be able to sell it without issue, especially if you tell sellers they can sea trial the boat.
Sellers is staying everything was cleaned at motor rebuild, used in brackish and fresh water.
I like the high free board and ladder for swimming. Light weight for towing helps too.
Don't think I could loss money on this one, could sell it for what I pay I'm sure if it doesn't work out.
I have owned lots of tin boats but never Star Craft.
I have owned many Starcraft boats over the years with no complaints. Condition is everything, no matter whose name is on it ! Do thoroughly check for any rotten wood in the structure. Not sure when they stopped using wood, my 1992 Sylvan only uses wood for the decking, non in the transom or stringers. The 3.0 is a good motor if properly maintained !! I/O's require more maintenence than an outboard, but most can be done at home by the owner and parts are cheaper than an OB in my experience. You could provably make money by doing a thorough cleaning then a resale.....

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