The infamous family project (free boat)

From: Mike Meadway <mmeadway@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 10:19:38 -0700

Hello all;

    I just acquired an Evinrude Sportsman 16 (not sure what year yet)
minus the outdrive and the engine from a local marine parts house -- it
was labeled "free boat" and sitting in their driveway. Naturally, I
couldn't resist. Given the amount of oil in the engine area (quarts,
mixed with water and significant engine parts into a brownish goo), it
seems there was a bit of a mechanical problem which resulted in the
junking of the boat. Fundamentally, it looks like a nice boat and after
doing some reading about it, it seems ideal for a mid-sized family (I
have four kids). This is now our summer (and probably winter) project;
to repair and restore the boat so we can actually go have fun on it.

That all being said, I'm looking for advice on how to proceed:

1) The original seats are gone; they were replaced by some metal frame
seats that were apparently attached by screws driven through the deck,
rather than using the original seat bolt holes (the bolts are still
there, along with the sealing washers). I'm concerned about rot caused
by water that got into the holes (inserting a screwdriver into one of
the holes -- they're rather large -- produced a fountain). Does anyone
know what the structure of the boat is under the main deck? It looks
like two longitudinal stringers with two transverse stringers all
covered in glass. There's little or no flexing of the deck, even when
you jump on it, so I'm assuming that there's minimal rot underneath, if any.

2) There are numerous small holes in the hull and there's a lot of wear
on the keel(s). It looks like the boat got beached a lot, or wasn't
properly trailered. Would epoxied glass be the best repair material, or
should I use a resin of some sort? There are also some very ugly
patches (chopped fiberglass mixed with resin applied with a trowel) on
the left rear corner (topside and hull) where it appears the boat hit
something. I've never repaired fiberglass, so any suggestions are
welcome. In addition, raising the front of the boat results in dripping
water from one of the holes in the lower part of the center hull. I'm
wondering how much open space is in there...

3) Both side pockets were rotted; I've simply removed them as they
appear to have no structural significance. Any thoughts?

4) Any suggestions on propulsion? Since I live in the Seattle area
where there's all sorts of water (deep, shallow, rivers, ocean, etc.),
I've considered a jet pump instead of a prop. I can pretty much start
from scratch; there's nothing in the boat right now. Has anyone ever
put a jet pump in one of these? It looks like it might be a tight fit;
I would probably have to add some structure to the transom if I'm
reading dimensions properly.

5) The gelcoat finish is pretty much gone on most of the fiberglass.
I'm seriously considering multiple coats of high-gloss marine paint,
since from everything I've heard doing new gelcoat is a real pain and
requires equipment (sprayer) that I don't have.

6) Is there a source for the light masts? I'd like to use the originals
if possible (they're kinda cool in a retro sort of way).

7) The original instrumentation is still on the dash; I've no idea if it
still works (the boat hasn't been used for four years). Should I try to
restore these, or buy modern guages? The original throttle is gone (the
side pocket to which it attached was completely rotted out), but the
steering wheel is still there -- with cable.

Any and all suggestions are welcome!

Mike M.
Received on Thursday, 10 June 2004

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