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1987 Harris Flotebote 240 Classic Restoration

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gerard143 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 07/20/2017 at 9:01pm
Well I picked up my first pontoon boat.   Prior to this a few years back I owned a 1994 regal valanti 222se open bow with a 350 that I did some restore work on. 

I have been wanting a boat again and starting looking at pontoons over the last couple months.   I can across this baby on a drive to sylvan beach in ny with the gf.   She suggested we stop at the marina on the way back and check out what they had.  At first glance I scoffed it off but over the next two weeks I kept coming back to pictures I had taken of this boat and made a second trip out to look at it.  Then I wound up closing the deal for $4,000 with a 2011 Venture Trailer and a 90 horse johnson on the back.   

Overall I decided I liked the design of the boat itself plus the newer trailer and 90 horse motor rounded it out well.   It seemed like a good starting point for a nice restoration project.   Especially for 4,000.  It even came with a minn kota edge 70 trolling motor ($600) and an older fish finder.  An electric winch on the trailer, a fairly new bimini top and a mooring cover.  Looks like the logs are 23-24" in diameter.  Was hard to get an exact measurement. 

I have some big plans for the boat.   I think this is going to be an exciting build and I am pretty meticulous in my work so you guys might enjoy this thread yourselves.     

The boat is a 1987 and the motor it turns out is actually a 1993. 
 
Here are some photos.

 

 


 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 


Edited by gerard143 - 21 hours 27 minutes ago at 3:24am
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JLester273 View Drop Down
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I'm in the same boat. Pun intended. 

I have a 1988 Harris Flote Bote 240 Sunliner

I jumped on mine when I saw it. Very nice for the money I paid. But I am redoing it this winter. I actually just got some stuff today for the trailer from the PS guys. 

So much cool stuff you can do with a rebuild. I look forward to swapping ideas since we are both building similar boats. 
1988 Harris 24 ft
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I have a whole list of stuff I plan to order in a couple of days.   But the core of it.... the carpeting/seats/console/painting will happen in the off season.    I am excited but it is going to be a lot of work for sure.     I'd really like to get some decent speed out of it... so I might even consider adding a third pontoon plus lift strakes if the speed isn't to my liking.  I am considering going bigger/newer on the motor.  I'll guess i'll have to see what she can do with this 90 horse and go from there but I'd really like to be able to hit 40.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote p3cflyr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/21/2017 at 12:01am
Do i understand you would like to do 40mph with your pontoon boat???  You will need a bigger motor (250hp may be enough).  Adding a center tube will add drag and probably reduce your top end speed (ask me how i know).  You would also have to replace the current tubes with bigger ones with strakes.  Pontoon boats do not plane, they plow through the water.  To me 40mph is unrealistic unless ya got lots of $$.  I hope others will join in and I'd be happy for them to prove me wrong!!
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From everything I've read generally the only pontoons that break 40 are tritoons and that the third toon generally makes it act much more like a hull that planes.   But yes I realize decent horsepower is also required.   
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You will probably get 21-22 mph with your current setup...I would guess.  I have a 75 and get 19. 

I'll be tearing mine down to the cross members and will likely reinforce that for good measure while I am there. But I'm reading bigger toons than I have make a big difference. So at some point down the line I may opt to change the toons and possibly add a center toon as well if I decided to repower it. 

But for now 19 will do. I hope for a little increase getting rid of the old wood bases. And moving to the roto-molded ones. Hopefully that is less weight. We shall see. 



Are you replacing your deck when you do the carpet? I'm going to go with the new deck and the 80 mil vinyl PS offers. That way I can power wash it out with no worries later. We fish mostly so I have to think of cleanup. I don't want it to smell like the fish cleaning station all the time. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote p3cflyr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/21/2017 at 3:40pm
I put a third tube under my 20 footer.  gained support for weight and lost 4 mph.  Raised the boat about 4 inches which is what I wanted.  Was surprised at the speed lost.  anyway good luck and I hope you can get the 40!!
Mike

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Originally posted by JLester273 JLester273 wrote:



But for now 19 will do. I hope for a little increase getting rid of the old wood bases. And moving to the roto-molded ones. Hopefully that is less weight. We shall see. 


Are you replacing your deck when you do the carpet? I'm going to go with the new deck and the 80 mil vinyl PS offers. That way I can power wash it out with no worries later. We fish mostly so I have to think of cleanup. I don't want it to smell like the fish cleaning station all the time. 


Yes replacing the deck for sure.   I plan to go with woven vinyl instead of carpet and aqua tread imaged wood up front. 



Edited by gerard143 - 05/10/2018 at 2:06am
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Originally posted by p3cflyr p3cflyr wrote:

I put a third tube under my 20 footer.  gained support for weight and lost 4 mph.  Raised the boat about 4 inches which is what I wanted.  Was surprised at the speed lost.  anyway good luck and I hope you can get the 40!!


Ya I am surprised too.  Thats interesting.  I figured they would all see a serious speed improvement with the 3rd toon.   
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You lost speed because you didn't re-power ...or so I've been told you need to go high HP so get the advantage of the 3rd toon. Not sure what you have power wise but I've been told that is how you gain the advantages pertaining to speed. 


Yeah I have seen some nice setups. I passed LCI when up visiting PS last week. I have some LCI stuff on my Forest River camper. Of course they are right there too. 
My guess is the more custom stuff will be pricey. Not the I would call the PS stuff cheap. Seeing it in person I really like it. But yeah they have some really sweet custom stuff. 


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I just tried Lipert's deck configuration software. with the seats they offer on it I can't even get the back configured to fit. They have some odd sizes...at least from what I see. Maybe there custom stuff is different. 

Oh well PS is where I am getting mine. But it was interesting using their's. some things I like other things I didn't.

keep us updated. 
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Originally posted by JLester273 JLester273 wrote:


Not sure I would call the PS stuff cheap. Seeing it in person I really like it. But yeah they have some really sweet custom stuff. 

Ya I don't really mean to refer to it is cheap.  They are the nicest overall aftermarket ones i've found imho.  Just looking for something a tad higher end. 


Edited by gerard143 - 07/21/2017 at 11:31pm
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I didn't take your comments that way. I meant it toward me. PS furniture is going to be cheaper than custom stuff. But by no means seems cheaply made to me. Guess I didn't explain myself good enough. 

Some of the pics they show on the one link are amazing looking. I'm sure they make good stuff. I think all there is a ton of people trying to get into or stay in the market. Which makes it a good thing for us in a that competition makes them push for innovation and stay relatively reasonable prices. 

I still feel building a boat is cheaper than buying one. At least when it comes to some of the 75k plus ones. 
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ya i was looking at pontoons that are 12 grand and still need seats replaced cuz of cracks or fading.   So i said ya know what... I'm gonna spend that much for what... a pontoon that basically looks the same on the exterior... still needs the seats redone or replaced?   Or i'll save 8 grand and do a full rebuild and have the thing look incredible and exactly to my liking.   I will use it for 4 years and probably be able to sell it for what I have into it.    

Other then my time and labor involved I think its a good route to go. 
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I agree I like customizing it the way I want to anyway. When you buy new your worried about changing anything. 

Can't wait to see what you make of it.
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Well my first purchase for it arrived lol.  A porta potti.   Thetford 92360 Porta Potti 550E Curve Portable Toilet

It is wicked nice.  I recommend it.   Battery powered flush.  Nice height.  Curved Design.  Toilet Paper holder compartment.   Pretty slick unit.   

Also ordered an outdoor tankless water heater.   I'd like to be able to maybe take a weekend trip on this thing and rinse off if I want.   So i figure i'll rig up a tankless water heater and run the hose up near the bow.   I found wicked pricing on a unit that reviews well.   Eccotemp L5 Tankless Water Heater w/ Flojet Pump & Strainer  with the discount code welcome20 its $135, awesome.  

Tomorrow I'm ordering a vhf and antenna, 3 way tow harness for tubing/wakeboarding, AXIOM 9 RV Multi-function Display with RealVision™ and Navionics+ North America Charts and transducer, Extreme Max 3005.3430 Under-Mount Pontoon Ladder - 5-StepCovered Fire Extinguisher Box, some white diamond metal polish, retractable tie downs for bow and stern to trailer, wakeboard, adjustable fender grips and new fenders, anchor kit, removable ladder, dock lines, some slick pool floats... Gail Force Connectable Pool Float Navy with Gail Force Connectable Cooler Tray Navy and a couple other odds and ends.  

I have west marine $15 off 200 codes so going to make a couple of separate purchases to maximize that discount.   Also have overtons 20% off code for entire order.  I notice their inventory management sucks. Most of their stuff is on backorder. 

About 1/2 mile from me they sell marine grade AB plywood which is nicer stuff then pontoonstuff or overtons sells for $96 a sheet. 

For flooring (waiting on samples to decide for sure) I plan to do woven vinyl then the fake teak up front on the deck.  http://www.sailrite.com/Fabrics/Marine-Fabric/Marine-Flooring  charcoal or gray from this page I'm thinking.  

Also scored a nice battery charger with $20 off on northern tool  coupon code 254449.  NPower XRP Series 7-Stage Battery Charger — 12 Volt, Model# 60109
 
Anyways let the cash burn begin i suppose.   



Edited by gerard143 - 07/24/2017 at 9:33pm
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Well I took her out for her maiden voyage this weekend.    Went up to Alexandria Bay (NY).  


Had it out friday, sat, sun.  Boat ran good but once its warm the idle is just too low and it'll stall a lot when trying to maneuver around docks which isn't a good thing.  I'll have to raise the idle.

I also have a ton of throw on my shifter/hand throttle unit before rpms ramp up.    Like the lever moves 5 inches in forward or reverse before rpms rise.   Is this normal?  

I am getting bad prop walk.  Gotta adjust the trim tab.

JLester you nailed it.  She will do 22 mph steadily.    22 feels faster then I thought.    So i'm revising my desire to be able to do 40.   I think 30mph out of her would be pretty good.  35 would be wicked.   I wonder with lifting strakes, skinning the underside and bumping up to a modern 115 etec motor if that would do it.  I read bumping from a 90 to 115 generally adds 3mph.  I wonder if i could toss a 150 on this.    Not sure why i couldn't.   Never motors have to be lighter then the older ones.    

Another thing is the motor is horrible on gas.   I went thru 15.5 gallons in 30 miles.  At least half of it was at full throttle or close to it.    Is this normal? 







Edited by gerard143 - 05/10/2018 at 2:09am
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Good to hear you got it out. 

Mine has a long throw on the throttle before I get into it then seems to not take long to get to WOT. I haven't looked into adjusting mine yet. I hope there is a way to do that. 

Mine does't seem to pull one way or another but my steering is stiff. I plan to replace that this fall. I've heard bigger motors do this more ... hydraulic steering might be something to look at to fix that.
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Well folks I have began my rebuild!   I lot of things to consider as I rework this boat and try to incorporate everything I would like to have.   I am also trying to plan for the future with it as well. Ladder placement, a changing room, seat layout, wash down pump, stereo configuration, grill location, sink location, storage locations, etc.    So much to consider.  

I wil walk you thru some of the photos below:




Here are my seats and bases from pontoon stuff.   Some of the bases I was unhappy with so they sent more.  This is actually about 4 rows deep in the box truck (I own an old uhaul 14 ft box truck), tons of boxes, probably 45 boxes.  Also in this photo is the new decking from pontoon stuff.    Amazed they ship all this stuff free.  Idk how they do it.  The wood isn't too bad, tongue and groove would be nice though.  



I plan to repaint my motor this color.  Love this johnson platinum color. 




Here is the beginning of the teardown.


Here is all the furniture gone.  Sold the old stuff for $150.  I wish I asked more i had about 75 interested people on craigslist. 


The gf stripped what was left of the old junk carpet off for me while I was at work.  It was nice as it was easy to find the old self tapping screw heads to get the decking off. 



Here she is with the decking off.   Total time invested to get this far in the project was about 4 hours.



Here is a picture of my transom.  I am relocating it back one cross member.  I have to buy a new piece of Z channel as the old setup had a cutout and the motor was recessed in around the fencing.   While I do like this look the issue is when I replace the motor all the new ones are taller and will hit the sundeck.  I went back and forth on this.   I said man... if I make the cutout just to accommodate this motor for a year or two until I replace then I have to patch it and patch in a piece of the woven vinyl flooring.  I really didn't like that idea.  So after the teardown I ultimately decided the easiest method for now is to move the transom back.   This way when I install the new decking I don't have to cut out the large area just to have to patch it all later.  I can lay a full sheet, modify the center portion of the fence at the rear and panel right over it.   This also gives me more room for storage under the sundeck.   A lot more.   The motor will stick out further but oh well I guess.   All the new boats seem to have gotten away from the cutout and recessed look anyways.  Probably due to the same issues I mention about fitting it all and losing storage space.   The long term plan is to replace the entire transom with a third pontoon log with a built in transom and maybe even a built in tank.  Also strakes.   I found a guy in ohio that seems to really know his stuff and can build it just how I want it.   A tad pricey at around $3400 bucks though.  



Here she is with the new decking on.   Everything but the last piece is in place.   I have to order some Z channel and get some new bolts so the last piece will go in soon. 



Here is some of the color options I was looking at for flooring.



Here is some flooring and some potential sunbrella cover and bimini options.  



Here again is some flooring options.   I plan to go with the left two.   Yes two of them lol.   You'll see stay tuned.  



Seating layout 1 (If i don't put a changing room in the rear)



Seating layout 2 (with room left to incorporate a changing room at the stern)



Here is a picture of some of the blue pontoon fence paneling I got from fenceforpontoons.com
This color is gorgeous in person.   Love it so much!



Here is an image of the silver I got from the same place.





Edited by gerard143 - 05/13/2018 at 2:45am
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Awesome! can't wait!
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Well i've made some progress over the last week.   The rain and waiting on some parts has held me up a bit.   

I now have an entire 15 foot box truck full of boat parts and my kitchen is stacked with parts too in about a 5x9 foot area.  


I have filled in all the wood imperfections with wood filler.  All except the stern-most 4x8.   That one hasn't been laid down yet as I was waiting on some 2.5x2.5x3/16x8' box stock aluminum to replace one of my cross members (the one that was cutout for motor).  I moved the Z bar crossmember that was just ahead of this cut one to the rear to keep the dimensions proper of where I needed the crossmember to end to lay a full 4x8 sheet of wood down.   Then installed the 2.5x2.5 box stock in its place.  I had to take it to work and do some machining.  I wanted slots in it for adjustability like all the other crossmember have.  Also cut some access holes for the bolts in case I need to hold them while tightening or ever remove/replace them.  Some holes I cut with a regular old hole saw but it chatters a bit.  It work with a drill press I was able to make much cleaner and to size holes with a unibit.  For cutting the slots I used an end mill bit in a mill.  Cut it like a hot knife thru butter.  

I also ordered $120 worth of hot dipped galvanized heat treated nuts, washers,bolts, etc for bolting the transom back in and a bunch of extras for when I install my third log.  Fastenal had these in grade 5 which is what the transom originally had.  Grade 8 in hot dipped was like impossible to find.  Grade 5 will be fine anyways.  

I've been researching steering options and at first I was thinking going hydraulic but I might actually go with electric steering.  Waiting to see what cost comparison is on this.  But I love all the pros about electric steering once I saw the seastar optimus system.  

Anyways the alum crossmember is completed with my mods and it is ready to go in (but rain all weekend so can't work on it).   Once that is in I can finish bolting up the transom then install the last piece of decking, fill it, sand it all and install my woven vinyl floor :-)

I also have been playing briefly with the fencing seeing how I want to remove the paneling.  I tried bending like most do but i figured maybe it would be easily just cutting the welds that held the top bar in on each panel, slide the new paneling in, then re-weld.   That was a nightmare.  I am just not anywhere near good enough at welding aluminum to mess with it.  I have a mig spool gun but no tig here.  So I guess i'll be doing the bend method. 


Here is a few more pics.... 



This photo shows the 2.5 box tubing that I bought.  Cost me $140 for the 8' piece.  It is 6061 T6 alum and should be way stronger then the Z Bar channel that came on the boat even with the slots and holes cut in it that I needed. 



Here is the 8' piece of box tubing chucked up in the mill. 



Here is some of the slots I machined in with an end mill.  These are for the mounting bolts that bolt it to the pontoon logs.  The stock crossmember have slots for adjustment and I figured i'd mock this. 



In this photo I am punching some 1" holes with a unibit for wiring runs to pass thru the crossmember in the same location the original crossmember have them.    The right most hole I punched thru with a hand drill at home and a hole saw.  Those came out a little rougher due to chatter.  That hole is replicated over each bolt hole area so I can get a ratchet in there to tighten things down and for any future access needs. 



Here is a bunch of samples of material for both the bimini top and cover.  Most sunbrella with a few pieces of Top Gun's material.   The top gun stuff without a doubt is going to be way more waterproof but the color selection is lame.   I lean towards sunbrella or sunbrella seamark which I feel is about the best there is for fade resistance and waterproofing.  


Edited by gerard143 - 05/19/2018 at 8:47pm
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Fantastic!
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Well tonight I want to cry.    It was suppose to be a good day after work.  I was so excited to get my woven vinyl down.   Disaster struck.  I have the worst luck in the world I swear.  

I have one piece of the 4x8 sheets I ordered that didn't have the nicest looking face on it compared to the rest.  I wish I never used it.  It sat a bit higher then the boards next to it too and I had to do a lot of filling and sanding along the seam to try to even it out. But it got worse.  

I began to apply glue to half of the boat and then rolled out half my roll of infinity luxury woven vinyl ($1700 dollar piece of material).  That seam I spent a ton of time trying to smooth the transition was still noticeable.  But worse was a bubble in the carpet a little closer up from the seam in the middle of the board.  I peel the woven vinyl back and find that the moisture from glue (quality stuff AAT-390) had actually caused the top layer of the laminate on the board to separate and raise.  It looked like laying a 15" pen down and about 1" away laying another 8" pen down.  Couldn't believe it.  Wasn't there before the wood got moist from the glue. 

What proceeded next was essential wasting my woven vinyl because it had glue all over the back of half of the piece.  Then I spent the next 3 hours trying to atleast maybe salvage the 3 sheets of wood that I had covered by washing off the glue with a pressure washer.  I got the glue off eventually but it washed out all my filler that i had put on the wood and sanded and splintered up the wood a lot.  So tons of sanding will be required on the entire sheets now, not to mention trying to sand those high spots off and refilling all the imperfections again and sanding it all again.    Had to order another $80 in glue.   

Its 11:30pm now,  got started around 3:30.   I rethink all of this and it makes a grown man want to cry. Should have been such a happy day. All i can say is thank god infinity had sent like 10 feet extra in my roll for whatever reason.  I wound up wasting that entire 10 feet piece.   I definitely dont have enough anymore to cover the entire boat, but I can use the aqua tread imaged flooring ahead of my playpen area and use the rest of the woven vinyl roll inside the playpen area.

I'm leery about reusing these three sheets now.   I am also leery as to what if this happens again, not to mention all the work I have to redo and i figure it'll delay me from being on the water for probably another two weeks (wait on supplies, wait for days with good weather to work on it, etc) 

Below is a link to the video.  After I got the glue off I took some pics of the ripple and a little vid.  Lots of water under that ripple.   I slap my had on the deck and it oozes out.  Woulda just pushed on it but couldn't reach that far onto the deck and didnt wanna climb back up there.

If i could go back in time I probably would have just ordered marine grade tongue and groove. Just don't see any true marine grade wood out there that is pressure treated.  



After scraping the glue off the 3 sheets i had applied it too.   I tried solvent briefly but then went to water and the pressure washer.  Worked better.   



Here you can see the one rippled that occurred below the level under the right side of the word empire. This photo probably shows the height of it the best. The one of the left is worse then the smaller ripple to the right of it.  You can see the splinters that occurred on this sheet after pressure washing.  This is the sheet that was the roughest looking of the bunch.  The other two i had to pressure was didnt really splinter much.   There is something clearly different about this sheet. 



Here is a the two ripples.   It was a dark out by the time  I got done pressure washing so these are the best pics i could get with a shop light. 



another shot. 





Edited by gerard143 - 05/25/2018 at 4:57am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MYKEY Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/25/2018 at 1:40pm
Hey Gerard! How's your pontoon lookin now?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gerard143 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/25/2018 at 3:10pm
Originally posted by MYKEY MYKEY wrote:

Hey Gerard! How's your pontoon lookin now?


Not good at the moment. See the post ahead of yours about my issue when I tried to glue down the vinyl to the pontoonstuff flooring. I swear I’m cursed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MYKEY Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/25/2018 at 6:11pm
Oh wow! I didn't notice the time stamp on that one. I used the deck kit from PS (came with glue) and gray vinyl. I laid the vinyl on the deck the I fold it in half length wise, rolled out the supplied glue and repeated on the port side. Rolled it out with a roller. Came out pretty good. What glue did you use by chance?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gerard143 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/25/2018 at 8:09pm
Used same method. Aat-390 stuff infinity luxury vinyl recommends it’s real good stuff. That one 4x8 sheet really boned me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gerard143 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/27/2018 at 5:36am
Started cleaning my rails.   Tried the pink coil cleaner some yellow stuff and real quick tried toonbrite.  All of them turned the rails white.  The rail looked absolutely horrible.  I common problem I read many encounter when trying to clean the pontoons. 

I am learning some serious lessons here.   Work on small areas and test first!!!!!  

So to try and get all that white off that made my rails look god awful I busted out the buffer and some white diamond metal polish.    It helped bring it back to normal color thank god.

I'm done using acid on the rails.   Others seem to have decent luck with it.   Me not so much.  Feel like i'll i'm doing lately is taking steps backwards.   

Anyways I got up on the deck and took a good look at the section of the one 4x8 that bubble up.  The top laminated layer was definitely bonded poorly there.   I tore the sections right off easily with my fingers in that section that had bubbled up. 

Here are some photos.     




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toonrider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/28/2018 at 12:11am
Can you remove the sheets and flip them over to use the other side? Or are you thinking of replacing the sheets? Sounds like a bummer, but you will prevail!Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gerard143 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/29/2018 at 3:52am
Originally posted by toonrider toonrider wrote:

Can you remove the sheets and flip them over to use the other side? Or are you thinking of replacing the sheets? Sounds like a bummer, but you will prevail!Thumbs Up


No the other side is C face. The better side being B face wood. Lots of knots and roughness on other side.   I want to replace the one sheet plus get another sheet for my sundeck project.
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