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770guy 09-18-2019 02:02 PM

2000 ZT330 Restoration Build Thread
3 Attachment(s)
So it begins. I purchased this boat at beginning of August with the intent of basically restoring it cosmetically to its original design as much as possible. The boat has lived a hard life to say the least and its going to be pandoras box as we get further into it.


So as it stands now.

I bought the boat site unseen. I was not too concerned with the condition as long as it was remotely close to described (It was, if not slightly better). I found pics of this boat from years ago in decent shape and then some more pics from recent in terrible shape but I am sure we could all find pictures of ourselves or wives from years ago where we werent exactly mint condition also. :)

I threw some muffs on it and it cranked right up. Throttle sticks, trim button sticks, motors idled good. Oil was perfectly clean so that didnt tell me anything.

2000 ZT330
Twin 330hp 454 mercs
Bravo 1s

Scope of initial work to be done.

1. Entire interior removed and redone to original.
2. Brand new XR drives
3. Engine bay gutted. Painted. Stringers/bulkheads beefed up
4. 496 engines with 250 blowers. May go bigger but 750hp each is what I told them was a minimum goal (with one caveat).
5. All new lavorsi gauges
6. Imco steering
7. Dana marine tabs
8. New windshield (every panel)
9. Once boat is gutted it's getting every ding/chip and discoloration fixed.
10. New hatch lift cylinder (may do dual)
11. 4 batteries with billet mounts

Here is where I am at so far.

1. XR Drives deliver tomorrow or friday. They may not last but they will get me going. Slow starts and not throttle through jumps....we will see.

2. I removed the windshield after getting a quote from Ocean Dynamics down in miami but of course I did not read thoroughly through their included document which requires a few measurements before disassembling it. So I need to put it back on and take it back off. 500 bucks per curved piece of windshield and I am going to have them go ahead and cut new glass for all the straight sections so that it will all be the same tint.

3. Interior is being removed now. So far nothing thats not expected (rotten wood on bottom of seats). My local interior guy is going to make his best attempt at matching the original design. I have faith that this will be accomplished. The embroidery part of the logo I have not clarified as to how or if I need to maybe contact checkmate about that. If it ends up not being the way I really want it, then I will just order it from Kip and redo it.

4. Hatch had rotten wood, lift cylinder pulled through fiberglass, I have a new lift cylinder, fiberglass guy is working me up a price on fixing that and I am also waiting to see if Kip still has a mold for the hatch in the meantime. I probably will end up putting two lift cylinders instead of one.

5. The shop doing all the work is going to take it out either tomorrow or Friday and get a baseline. My guess is 59 mph.

The caveat to my motor build:

Motors will be the last thing I have built because I want to see how long it takes to get all this stuff done. If it ends up being March by the time everything is complete then I may just throw a set of blowers on the 330s and dog the crap out of them until they puke their guts out. (I might do that anyway).

I have done a few build threads with cars in the past and always enjoy following other peoples so that is my intentions with this one. I plan on doing a nice long thread with pictures of progress until completion.

My father had a 1999 ZT260 when I was a freshmen in high school and we had a ton of fun with that boat before selling it. We always wanted a 330 but he was busy with work and I had became a 16 year old more interested in girls and fast cars.

19 years later I am a married 35 year old interested in boats, cars, work and spending as much time as I can with my father. We have a construction company which takes up almost all of our time and the idea of getting a boat we had wanted sounded like fun.

I will post pics as progress continues and hopefully this thing will end up being on of the nicest ZT330s still in existence. Anyone that has any insight, tips, suggestions, references throughout this is greatly appreciated.

770guy 09-18-2019 02:04 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Seats getting taken apart.

karzrus 09-18-2019 09:08 PM

I'll happily follow along, I like to watch other people work. Good luck with the build and cool you get to share the progress/hobby with your Dad.

770guy 09-19-2019 10:09 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I ordered two gauges to make sure they are what I want and the sizes are correct. I think these are gonna look sweet.

cooperider 09-19-2019 10:31 AM

Looking good.

770guy 09-19-2019 10:34 AM

Thanks man. Its been so long since I have looked into parts and stuff for boats but there is so much awesome stuff now. I went with the GPS speedo which hopefully works decent. I saw a few people say they have a tough time getting it to sync sometimes, but we will see.

Sam I am 09-21-2019 05:10 AM

I'll be following this as well. I've always been a little jealous of folks who lboat on "big water" as they get to have a big boat. Cool looking boat!

770guy 09-21-2019 11:51 AM

Thanks man, I am down in Georgia. I boat on Lake Allatoona. Not a gigantic lake but plenty of room to make some fun runs.

Drives didnt deliver yesterday and I have to go on the road for a couple weeks. Builder should be sending me some pics.


As I mentioned I wanted to keep the same style but opted to go with the more updated materials. So the black on the seats will be the almost carbon fiber looking material and the yellow will be that same style, the white will be regular white vinyl.

Where the balsa broke on the hatch with the lift cylinder he is cutting out a 10x10 square and going to glass that solid for where the cylinder mounts. On the ZT the back of the seat and hatch is combined and across that joint there are cracks so he is going to put mold some gussets out of fiberglass when repairing the hatch. I honestly like the hatch on the convincor but it is nice having that extra room when the back of the seat is removed.

Will be interesting to see how much room we have in the engine bay for the new motors.

I am pretty set on wanting to go EFI with the engines so that is making it challenging because my engine builder does not have a ton of experience with turn key efi setups. May go with a whipple instead of an 8-71 and or breaking my guys heart and ordering a pair of teague 825efi motors. Once again this is going to be one of the last things we do.

I am going to remove the yellow from the flag on the side of the boat and it will be white instead. Our 1999 was that way and I think it looks better TBH. The black areas of the flag have stress cracks which will be fixed and the yellow "lightning bolt" on the side, outside of the flag is faded badly. The paint guy is really pushing me to let him do some sort of more fresh yellow with gold flake in it but I dunno.

Engine bay is going to be painted white but we are going to splatter yellow and black in it which I really liked that idea.

Its coming along, didnt get to make a base line run with it, but he said he would this weekend. I will update with the results.

JT Patroni 09-22-2019 04:31 PM

Nice project! I have to say, I wish it was me in your shoes. I'm a glutton for punishment. I enjoyed the resto I did on my 85 Starflite. Bigger water here on the St. Lawrence River at the Canadian border doesn't allow me to enjoy my ride.

770guy 09-25-2019 03:18 PM

So I am out of town for work and will be until october 15th. The shop told me they got to take the boat out today for a baseline. Starboard motor has issues and the fuel pump died while out but it ran 55mph top speed. So with one turd motor and one good motor 55mph top speed. I would assume two fresh 330hp motors would at least be 60 mph but that's speculation and not really important at this point.

I dont have pics of the drives or seats yet but should sometime soon. We did order some engine parts.

Two Whipple w275ax blower kits. 4.5l
We went with the 4.5L, it's the same physical size as the 3.3L but will have room to grow.

MOAC intercoolers
Complete efi kits

Still thinking 572ci motors. I ordered the whipples for tall deck. Dart block and dart heads. Engine builder is working on numbers now.

I think the 850hp number will be exceeded lol. We are going to have to BABY these XR drives until we get something else.

2-3 week delivery on the Whipples.

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