Because I like to throw money into the wind like so many petals of a wilting flower, I have a boat. I also like to read about others’ misfortunes learn as much as I can about them, so I participate in the Supra boat forum (no affiliation with the Toyota Supra).

Recently I noticed a thread where someone is rebuilding a 1988 Saltare model; it’s a 23' open-bow inboard, something that, bought new today, could easily run you into six figures. Hence why so many people buy cheap ones off Craigslist and run them until the explode, and/or rebuild them at great expense of both money and time, because it’s still leagues cheaper than a newer boat.

Here’s what one of these boats looks like, all in working order:

So someone is finishing another (former?) forum member’s unfinished rebuild. Conveniently, they linked to the original thread from the guy who bought it back in 2015 expecting to have a fun boat to use for a season or two before taking on the inevitable Stringer Rebuild. He didn’t quite get a summer out of it, you might say.

Excerpt from post #1, June 27, 2015:

Just bought my first inboard boat. Its a 1988 Supra Saltare in pretty good condition. Motor was rebuilt last year and has about 30 hrs on it. The boat itself only has 380ish hours on it. The stingers are pretty solid Id say they will need replace after next summer, thats when I plan to do a cap-off restore regardless.

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Sounds pretty good actually, although “rebuilt” is a scary term because most people don’t mean rebuilt, they mean it had an overheat, blew a head gasket; they put new head gaskets on it, a little paint, and are hoping to sell before it explodes. But this has 30 hours since the alleged “rebuild,” and only 380 hours total. Ok, I’m skeptical but optimistic. He’s optimistic too:

Plans:
1. Monster MT2 tower (within a couple weeks) I really like the look of SDC77's tower and his pictures sold me on that one.
2. The old girl is gonna need a good cleaning. Ive already started on various parts of the interior.
3. Probably will be looking to add a couple sacs to improve the wake (all hidden I love the size and seating this boat has)
4. Trailer lights need some work, probably will be doing all new LED light kit.
5. Adding another battery and a Perko switch.
6. ALOT more..........

Pretty normal to have a long list of improvements you want to make, right? Let’s see how it runs first.

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Post # 8 - June 30, 2015

I took the boat out this weekend on the lake. I have a couple of questions for yall.
1. My idle was set high right around 1000 RPMS, we adjusted it down and now she isnt wanting to start without some throttle. What are yall running for idle RPMs.
2. In reverse I have a “whine”, not very loud but noticeable. My buddy says his older Nautique does it too and its normal. Is it?
3. I can’t see any visible leaks from the bottom of the boat, but I’m having to run my bilge probably every 30mins or more for just a couple of mins to get out a little water. Im hoping this is normal and coming from the driveshaft seal, like my buddy suggested. Any thoughts?

Cool, successful shakedown cruise! Some answers are provided, no red flags. 1) 750rpm +/-, 2) normal, 3) tighten the stuffing box (your buddy is right).

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Then on July 2nd, he posts about cleaning the boat, much discussion about propellers, and then July 4th weekend comes and goes with no word - I know I’m sure as hell not online much over that weekend. July 7th someone checks in:

Hey man, how is the Saltare going ?

And the dreaded response (July 7th, just 10 days from first post):

Not too good haha. My 4th July river ride ended abruptly when the motor lost all oil pressure. Pretty sure it blew some type of seal or something. I haven’t pulled a plug yet to try and turn it over by hand to see if it’s locked up, but I’d prolly say it is. Looks like my complete rebuild just got rescheduled to NOW.

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And then, late that same night:

Well i took the plugs out and tried to turn it over this afternoon. It turned over fine but after about half a rotation something fell and banged around in the oil pan. Defiantly some metallic. The motor will be coming out this weekend and then Ill start pulling everything off the cap to get ready to separate the cap from the hull. Looks like my cap off rebuild just got pushed up to NOW.

At this point I really feel bad for this guy. He knew he was buying something that would need stringers “in the next year or two” but was hoping for at least a summer without major issues. And certainly he was hoping the engine wasn’t going to need major work. I’d say something wasn’t done right in the “rebuild,” eh? Not his fault, but damn. That’s some serious carnage.

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The worst part is, he got what appears to be one ride out of it before it blew up. Then he put a bunch of work into it, but ultimately had to sell it. I can only imagine the bath he took on this one. The thread ends in October when he has the boat half apart, cap separated from the hull, engine out, and much of the demo work done. A year and a half later it’s picked up by someone else, just this past February, and the current owner is getting right into it. I wish him luck.

Bon Voyage!

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