Speedster 150 intake grate break, and ideas on fixing?

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Well here's one for you: I was winterizing my 2008 Speedster 150 (supercharged) a couple of months ago, and as I looked under the boat noticed one of the bolts on the intake grate seemed to be sticking out a bit. I looked closer and found what you see in the picture here. The rear quarter of the grate had completely snapped off the boat. The brass threading of the far bolt had pulled out of the hull a bit as you can see (the brass threading on the opposite bolt doesn't stick out at all), but other than that, all bolts are fine. I do see a small circular piece of metal still attached under the center bolt, which is all that's left of the rear plate. One of the grates had bent and cracked a few years ago when I sucked up a tow rope, but seemed pretty stable with the other one still sturdy, but something this year caused the whole rear portion of the grate to break off and disappear. What caused it, and how it did that without ripping out the rear bolts I'll never know.


So, now I have a few options:
- keep using it as it is, as it is still pretty stable, and still does protect the intake to some extent from sucking in large objects, but it could break again and suck the grate bars into the intake.
- remove the grate completely (or cut off the bars close to the front), and run without, which I know some people do, but I know this isn't the recommended way of going.
- replace the grate with a new one. My local shop estimates the job and parts at $500-$600, mainly due to the labor of working with that front bolt that's under the supercharger, and takes a few hours of work.
- utilizing the pieces that are there now, and attach a small steel plate under the rear bolts, then find someone to weld it to the two existing grate bars to stabilize them.

I thought I'd put it out to this group to find out what people think? Thanks in advance for your help.

Hi, I would replace the intake grate since this isn’t as stable as supposed. Just imagine if you hit bigger piece debris? You have a long lever arm and the whole piece holds on one bolt only. Right now you have to spend a few bugs for the grate and a few hours of your time. Later you might have to invest in a new pump.
I wouldn’t drive with this.
And few words for the winterizing….. I have the n/a 155 Hp Speedster and I don’t winterize it. I just run the engine to blow out the water from the exhaust. It stands the whole time outside and the temperature goes sometimes below 0° Celsius (take care the antifreeze is enough in your closed cooling circuit). Instead of winterizing I run the boat from time to time. If possible every two month (or shorter) until the season starts again. It’s truly a pain when its cold (lol) but it’s good for the engine. I had a self-launching soaring plane for more than 15 years and I did the same with that engine from the plane. No winterizing or fogging, just run it from time to time. Important is also to run it not only for a few seconds or minutes. It will be better to run it for at least ½ hour or more to reach the operating temperature. And of course, at this season the lake or river is yours *smile*…..
I think for the 215 Hp SC model it’s also not really necessary to flash it, because the cooling loop for the exhaust is equal as for the 155 Hp model. If you have the 250 Hp SCIC it’s quite different since the intercooler is hooked up to the fresh water system which cools also your exhaust. At this model I’m sure it would be a bad idea to skip the flushing.
And have a nice Xmas….
Greetings from Germany
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