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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 haven't taken her on a maiden voyage yet.   I am not sure my motor exact model number (looks like 87 had 4 model numbers for a 90 outboard) but I need to replace the seal behind the prop as I noticed an oil leak.   Seems like all 4 models have the same part number... looks like 2 stacked seals.  So going to replace those then take her out for a run.   I figure i'll mostly run the boat as is until the fall.  Then rebuild will be begin.  

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.     
 
For now here are some photos.   Open to comments.   
 
Also curious... I see back in 87 harris had a 240 classic and 240 classic extended deck.  Anyone have a clue what the difference was and what one this is?
 

 


 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 


Edited by gerard143 - 07/20/2017 at 9:24pm
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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
Soon to be a Pontoon Stuff Rebuild
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gerard143 View Drop Down
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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!!
Mike

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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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1987 Lowes Fish and Fun 20ft
1999 Merc 50hp 4 strk big foot
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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. 

My wood isn't in too bad of shape but I'm thinking while I have it all torn apart I should probably replace the deck.   I mean to do all this work then use it over weathered wood idk.   This way if I replace it I know its all brand new and will last a long time.    I like the color of the midnight star gray carpet but I'm leaning towards going with a woven weave vinyl floor then fake teak on the front portion of the boat beyond the fence.  Doing the fake teak on the whole floor is just so costly.    I'm afraid going with just a carpet won't give it the higher end look I'm after. 

I am still torn about what to do on the seats.   The premium series pontoon stuff offers isn't too bad but I don't like the hinges.   My current seats have a nice hinge setup.  But some wood is rotted bad.   So I can't just simply recover them.   If you head here and look at this seat with it open you'll notice the hinge style is much different then pontoon stuff seats.   This is more like the hinge style I have.  Except mind is alum not plastic.  http://www.pontoonspecialists.com/pontoon-interiors/x-series-furniture/individual-pieces/x-series-36-pontoon-seat  only problem with these seats is they are ugly and do not like the colors.     I also do not like the wise seats and again the cheap hinges.  Having a hard time finding any real manufacturers beyond that.    

I also kind of want to go a little higher end.  Maybe some quilt patterns in the vinyl.   Some mesh maybe on a seat or two.  I mean these pontoon stuff ones are pretty nice but I notice some things about my oem seats design that made me realize hmmm maybe these aftermarket seats are made a little on the cheap side.   Also I can't get the sizing right on the money I have to pick from what sizes they offer.    So we will see.  Not sure what route to go yet.  Maybe these people idk... https://www.lci1.com/custom-marine-furniture




Edited by gerard143 - 07/21/2017 at 4:27pm
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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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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gerard143 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/24/2017 at 2:43am
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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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gerard143 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/24/2017 at 6:09pm
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 research how to up the idle on this.   

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?  doesn't seem it.  

I am getting bad prop walk.  Man at speed do you have to constantly fight the motor from wanting to turn the steering wheel right.    You let go and the wheel would turn completely clockwise until it couldn't anymore.   The trim tab is left a good bit.   I read online to move it right if the boat wants to go right.   Going to adjust and see what happens. 

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 - 07/31/2017 at 6:01am
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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.
1988 Harris 24 ft
Soon to be a Pontoon Stuff Rebuild
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