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1989 Lowe Pontoon Overhaul

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tb1545 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 05/14/2014 at 1:11pm
I'm starting on the heavy work for our pontoon boat. Its a 1989 Lowe 28' with a 115 yamaha 2 stroke. The previous owner had a 3rd log retrofitted around 10 years ago by their local lowe dealer. It sat in a dock on lake of the ozarks for the last 5 years or so without being moved. Back 8 ft were outside of the covering of the roof so a lot of element damage. I picked it up, strapped it down with at least 20 tow straps to hold the rotting stuff/engine in place, then drove the 300 or so miles back to central Kansas at 50mph waiting to see the engine laying on the road in my rearview mirror lol.

Last year I ripped off most of the rotted wood furniture, the rotted sun deck, temporarily braced the rotted transom, rebuilt the carbs, and put some pontoon stuff furniture on to see if we could get a few days in before the end of the summer, but never was able to get the engine running right.
Now its time to take the whole thing apart and fix the transom, decking, crossmembers, and all.
My plans for this are:
  • New Transom
  • New Engine (Either an evinrude 115hp or 150hp)
  • New and more crossmembers (16" up front, 12"over the motor area)
  • redeck and recarpet with 8'6" instead of the original 8'
  • New custom railing (putting that race car tubing bender to use for the wife lol)
  • A few more pieces of pontoon stuff furniture
  • bamini top to replace the hard top

heres a picture when i picked it up

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tb1545 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/14/2014 at 1:16pm
Here it is before starting work yesterday





This morning with railing removed

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote curtiscapk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/14/2014 at 1:48pm
Nice job!
Craig n Paula
THE FLOATER Rebuild
94 Party Barge 24' 115 merc
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Computeroutpost Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/14/2014 at 11:32pm
Good start, you have a lot of work ahead, but it will be fun
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tb1545 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/15/2014 at 10:44am
With most of the furniture off



Half the decking peeled off



Down to just crossmembers and logs



I am now trying to decide how to change the boat to the 8'6" decking instead of the 8' its currently. Ive got new 102" crossmembers, but im just deciding if i should move the logs out on each side as well which would make sense.
Also is there any tutorial on how to square up the boat for decking? I know the diagonal square measuring test, but if the crossmembers arent square that doesn't work.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote curtiscapk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/15/2014 at 11:13am
Great work fellow Jayhawker!
Man is the extra 6" worth the hassle??? you have to adjust the trailer as well. After doing an entire rebuild of my own last year, I don't think I would want to add the extra headaches... Just my opinion of course...
Craig n Paula
THE FLOATER Rebuild
94 Party Barge 24' 115 merc
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OP KS
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tb1545 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/15/2014 at 12:07pm
I've been told the 6" is well worth it and with the boat being this far apart, its only probably an hour of work to widen out the pontoons. The trailer bunks are adjustable. I will probably have to get a buddy to help get everything back square as that is not my forte. The crossmembers are thin and getting replaced anyways. The fencing is pretty much junk and I am changing the seating quite a bit so i will probably build new fencing myself.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sceman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/15/2014 at 12:42pm

Lay out the logs first:

1: set the logs the proper distance apart and get them parallel (so they measure the same centers front and back).
2: Square the logs by measuring diagonally.
3: Once you get the logs squared up, put the first and last full crossmembers on (bow and aft) making sure their centers measure exactly the same from a point common to each tube (Ie: 6" from the forward point of the log and/or 20' from the weld at the back of the toon that welded on the end cap) and that they are parallel
4: make sure the crossmembers are equal distances from side to side (ie: cantilever past the outside of the risers by 6")
 
5: measure diagonally between the crossmembers to square them ontop of the tubes
6: once square, crank them down and fill inbetween
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote p3cflyr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/15/2014 at 1:11pm
Adding to Sceman';s comments.  I think the hour of work to widen is not realistic.  the end product needs to be square.  I've heard not more than 1/8 inch difference between cross deck measurements max.  So its work, measure, measure, work, measure, measure, etc.  I would set up the tubes so they could not move while trying this.  Haven't thought how.  Then lay out the cross members and start measuring, etc.  Don't tighten anything until you know that things won't move and it will be square.   You'll still be measuring for square when applying the plywood decking.
Mike

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sceman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/15/2014 at 2:26pm
Your point reminds me that I'm a little out of order.
I put the tubes in their approximately square position, then put the end crossmembers on and bolted them into place leaving the bolts/nuts loose. Then after going through the steps to get the tubes exactly square, I blocked them in place w/wood so they wouldn't move. Then I squared up the crossmembers exactly and cranked them down. Having the crossmembers on loose kept the tubes from tilting sideways
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote p3cflyr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/15/2014 at 7:10pm
Yup, that works.  
Mike

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tb1545 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/18/2014 at 9:34pm
Well got back to working on the boat today. Ripped off all the old cross members, and put the front and back new ones on. then squared the frame crosswise. It was between a 1/16 and 1/8 off when I was done. I went ahead and laid out the wood and rest of the cross members before bolting them all down. That 1/16 to 1/8 inch made the decking an inch offset between the ends. It was no biggy since everything wasn't bolted down to just shift the pontoons to make it right then drill and bolt the cross members in place.
cross members going down



Decking going down



My helper wanted his pool filled this weekend




I am trying to figure out where I am going to place the helm before screwing down the last few sheets so I can notch out the cross members for wiring and steering to run. I'm trying to find the limit of wiring/ steering/ motor controls to decide how far up I'm going to go.
It seems like the longest steering I've found is 18ft. Havent seen any hydraulic steering kits anywhere. And I have no clue as to what new evinrude wiring harness length is. Might have to put in a call to the local dealer.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jredst1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/18/2014 at 10:08pm
Looking good, you went a lot deeper into yours, got my  boat stripped cleaned up a little with a pressure washer, redecked carpet glued down rails on furniture staged.
Jim n Janet
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nathan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/19/2014 at 9:08pm
good job! your pontoons look just like mine!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Miketoon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/23/2014 at 7:05pm
Looks good But as a fellow pontoon owner why cut any structure? No need, lay it out on Graph Paper you have the size of the Deck and Furniture. try doing it to scale on paper, more so for the Electric layout then the rest. it will be clear where you need to go. Go there and avoid the Perlins. take a piece of1/4'' or 1/2'' hose and use it as a gasket and drill holes through the member's/Perlins. Works better and I just put a 135 HO Evinrude on mine with the free controls. I have had two break downs already 1) TPS Switch....2) Fuel Pump, Has 30 hours on it. Have to be honest here so we all Learn. Great Job
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/23/2014 at 7:29pm
I assume you're going with a new E-Tec? You can get those harnesses in various lengths, and extensions are also available. I think mine is about 28'. And while you can get some very long mechanical steering cables, hydraulic is really the way to go.
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@ sunblocker: thanks for that info. Exactly what I needed to know on engine wiring. I elected to go with hydraulic steering as well. I believe 18'-20' is going to be the wiring and hydraulic hose length so that will be manageable.

@miketoon notching wasn't what I meant just typed wrong thought. I agree with not cutting structure, but I've got u logs so the cross members sit on the logs with no room to run wiring under them or over them.So not much choice The new cross members are 1/4" c channel and I will use a hole saw through them with grommets to protect the wiring from rubbing over time. The old s channel was 1/8" I believe and had wiring ran through stamped holes as well. These new cross members are adding a whole lot more structure than before. 1/4" cross members with 3/4" deck vs the old 1/8" cross members with 5/8" deck should be a pretty big difference.

Edited by tb1545 - 05/23/2014 at 10:18pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tb1545 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/23/2014 at 10:56pm
haven't gotten a whole lot done this week. waiting on the steering and wiring to get here so I can run that stuff or at least have an idea where it is going before finishing screwing down the wood and laying down the carpeting.
I did take the furniture that I had already bought and laid it out on the boat to come up with a layout that the wife and I could be happy with.
Here is a quick sketch of our plans (NOT to scale). Just would have to order one more couch. and build a storage counter/ area between helm and couch. Already have the rest.
It's kind of a newer style layout, makes 3 distinct seating areas, rear facing loungers in the back.


Edited by tb1545 - 05/23/2014 at 10:57pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/24/2014 at 8:40am
You'll still need to pick up throttle and shift cables that are the appropriate length... but those can also be found in virtually any length you're interested in.


Originally posted by tb1545 tb1545 wrote:

@ sunblocker: thanks for that info. Exactly what I needed to know on engine wiring. I elected to go with hydraulic steering as well. I believe 18'-20' is going to be the wiring and hydraulic hose length so that will be manageable.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tb1545 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/12/2014 at 2:51pm
Well after waiting on a few odd and end parts for a few weeks I finally got back to working on the boat the past few nights.
got wiring holes drilled, decking screwed down, and carped down and glued.
Holes drilled for wiring

Decking screwed down and ready for carpet

Carpet glued down and getting ready to go into garage due to storms rolling in last night
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote curtiscapk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/12/2014 at 3:15pm
Awesome stuff! where are you located?
Craig n Paula
THE FLOATER Rebuild
94 Party Barge 24' 115 merc
22mph
OP KS
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I live outside of Salina, ks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nathan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/12/2014 at 9:47pm
very nice
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Looking Good! I really enjoy following these full restoration threads. Keep the pics coming.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote curtiscapk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/13/2014 at 9:32am
Been there a couple times for gymnastics competitions... Nice town! What lake?
Craig n Paula
THE FLOATER Rebuild
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22mph
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tb1545 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2014 at 11:58am
Marion, Kanopolis, Wilson, and Milford are all between an hour and an hour and fifteen minutes away so we kinda mix it up. Family also has a house on lake of the ozarks, but that's pretty far to tow the boat back and forth.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote curtiscapk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/15/2014 at 11:30pm
Craig n Paula
THE FLOATER Rebuild
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote yobud Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/16/2014 at 7:12pm
Awesome work!! keep it up!

I dont per-say mean to hijack your thread but have you tried to locate the fabric used for the OEM seats? My father and I are wanting to rebuild our lowe sunbird pontoon and wanting to keep it all original but I am having a hard time locating the original fabric (vinyl i think) they used when the seats were made.

The seats look exactly like the ones you posted in your first pic (when you went to pick it up,)

Looking forward to seeing more work of your restoration project!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tb1545 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/17/2014 at 1:12am
I didn't really look that much for the matching vinyl as I didn't like the layout and the wood framing of the furniture was all pretty much rotted out. Most of the suppliers will send sample vinyls so you could probably find something pretty close.

The three sites I found to be most helpful for materials were pontoon stuff, pontoon specialists, and everything pontoon.
About 85% of this boat came from pontoon stuff! but pontoon specialists seemed to have some different hard to find items. Also seemed to have some more oem replacement kinds of items.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Barnmb7117 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/17/2014 at 8:38am
This forum is runned by PontoonStuff You should not mention other pontoon suppilers on the forum.
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