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1991 Tracker Bass Buggy Restoration

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CougProf View Drop Down
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    Posted: 06/30/2014 at 8:11pm
Ahoy mates!  This is my first post.  Been reading this forum for a few weeks.  Lots of great useful information.  Now it's my turn to post and add some photos.  (Let's hope it all works.)  I bought a 1991 Bass Buggy 18 footer this spring.  Thought I would clean it up and make it reliable and flip it...like I've done with a few cars over the past couple of years.  And just like some of the cars this project has snowballed.  I am in the process of removing all the pontoon furniture after I found severe dry rot in the plywood.  And I'm also replacing the decking since it was dry rotted too. 
 
So, let's try a couple of photos.  I gave the boat an hour of pressure washing and it actually looked pretty good. 


Edited by Jim Myers - 04/04/2017 at 3:59am
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Another photo of the beginning of this project.  


Edited by Jim Myers - 09/21/2014 at 8:35am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fishandtube Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/30/2014 at 9:26pm
Beware the test run, cause when you take it out and enjoy it you may not be able to sell it (with out another one in the drive way). Good luck and have fun
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CougProf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/30/2014 at 10:21pm

Thank you, Fishandtube.  I hope we enjoy it.  My first boat.  What a way to start.  I'm just the captain; whether or not we keep it is up to the rear admiral. 

Boat was last licensed in 2004.  Ten years ago.  Just a little gas sediment in the tank.
 
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Yeckkkkk!! That thing is ate up!

I'm going to have to check mine out.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stevehue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/01/2014 at 9:13am
Good luck!! I just did mine but we knew what we were getting into when we started. If you plan to do the floor then definitely get the kit from here. Even though it seems pricey in the end it really is not and it will make the entire job so much easier. One regret I have is that i did not spend enough time with the tubes when I had it stripped down. Pressure test them while you have it stripped, it will make any repairs that much easier. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CougProf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/01/2014 at 12:00pm

I did order the carpet kit.  I have most everything lined up for a very full weekend of work including the holiday.  I got a bid to replace the three bottom cushions on the rear bench for $400.  Way too much considering I could get a whole new bench and arm rests for $600 from PS.  So, one thing (piece of furniture) lead to another...and another.  Basically all new furniture from PS and the carpet kit. 

Do I have to staple down the carpet on the edges?  I've seen some videos where they did that.  I pulled back a section of carpet and I don't see staples.  Seems like overkill when there's glue and furniture bolted down on the carpet. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote curtiscapk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/01/2014 at 12:26pm
I did not staple mine just glue and the rub rail, then the seats like you said. If you want pointer and have time check out the link in my sig for my rebuild.
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No staples here either. The glue did a great job. I did go back to some of the corners and hit them again because that was the only place I had any problems with. Nothing to bad and nothing a little more glue wouldn't fix.
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Looks just like my boat, which is a 1990.  Have fun, curious to see what you come up with! 
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looks like a good starting place!! good luck on the rebuild
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My plans to install the deck, carpet, and fence this long weekend pancaked.  The plywood did not show up.  The good news is that I have lots of time to clean and polish.  And I did check the pontoons for leaks.  Actually when I started to remove the red plug air started to escape so I assume they are good to go. 
 
Look back at the first photo.  Notice the bend in the front rail/fence.  A tree fell on it while in possession of the former owner.  I bolted the fence back down on the old (soon to be gone) deck.  Moved it inward a little so I could get a bottle jack on either side.  Then I used some flat iron straddled between the two jacks and under the fence.  It seems to have worked pretty well.  Most people can't find the bent piece when they look at the pile of fence in the garage. 
 
 
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I also decided to remove the fence panels.  To do this I pried up on the channel that holds the panels in.  I used an old 3 inch heavy duty putty knife.  I pried up slightly on the vertical and top channels.  Then I pried up as far as possible on the lower channel.  Then I used a dead blow hammer to remove the channel.  The photo is of the lower channel in the process of being removed.  The panels are over being powder coated in what's called silver vein.  I hope it's not too much like the old gray and/or simply too much gray with new carpet also going to be gray.  My plan is to use stainless screws to secure the bottom of the panel to the fence.  Pop rivets were an option, but if I use screws then I can remove the panel (hopefully) if they get banged up.  The only issue with re-removal will be the top and vertical channels holding up to being bent again. 
 
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Polish and cleaning in progress.  I ordered a box of the gray scrubber pads from that website that sells "everything".  The vendor website for those scrubber pads shows various "grit" pads.  I used the gray pads which are equivalent to 000 grade steel wool (if memory serves me).  I also used a scruffing paste that I got when doing a paint job on a car hood.  I dip the pad in a bucket of water and wring out the excess water.  Then apply about a teaspon of scruffing compound.  Add a sprinkle of water when the pad starts to feel dry.  My opinion is that the scruffing compound reduces scratch marks and helps me get into the contours of the fence.  However, now that my arms are sore, I am going to try to use the pads on a square finish sander.  Anything to save my arms at this point.  Another point about the scruffing paste.  It is designed to stay wet, unlike a polishing compound which is designed to dry when applied.  Big difference.  I've tried my Perfect 3000 polish compound and it dries too fast. 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/05/2014 at 10:54am
Looks like the jacks worked well for you.

I have had good luck with putting a 2x4 across the "top" of the bend, spacing it from the rail with some 1" shims over the closest vertical supports, and using a "C-clamp" to pull the bend "up" toward the 2x4.  Just another way to skin the cat.

Originally posted by CougProf CougProf wrote:

 
Look back at the first photo.  Notice the bend in the front rail/fence.  A tree fell on it while in possession of the former owner.  I bolted the fence back down on the old (soon to be gone) deck.  Moved it inward a little so I could get a bottle jack on either side.  Then I used some flat iron straddled between the two jacks and under the fence.  It seems to have worked pretty well.  Most people can't find the bent piece when they look at the pile of fence in the garage. 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CougProf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/05/2014 at 11:02am
Sunblocker...good idea.  I had one issue with my process.  The far end of the fence was bending off the deck.  Using the jacks (and C clamps I assume) puts a lot of pressure on things.  My "mistake" was that I should have bolted down the entire fence and not just the area where I was working.  The outcome is that I have a very slight (<1/2") rise (okay...bend) in the bottom of the fence about three feet away from where I was working.  If there is a next time, I'll try to C clamp method. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CougProf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/05/2014 at 11:07am

A sample of the gray powder coat that is going on.  The red was too red.  And the cost of custom powder coat colors would double the price.  So, it's gray...okay Silver Hammer. 

 
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The deck was in bad shape.  Lots of dry rot.  Removing the screws was a major pain.  Note the use of the impact driver.  Needed that to get some of the screws started, then I could use the cordless drill.  The tar that Tracker uses on the seams needs to be scrapped and then rubbed off with mineral spirts...and lots of rags. 
 
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More cleaning and polishing while I wait for the panels to be powder coated.  Most of the panels are done but a few of them have a chemical that is leaching out of the aluminum when they are baked.  I most likely am to blame for that.  I started removing the OEM stripes with a heat gun and scrapper, but got tired and used a chemical stripper.  Works great for removing the vinyl stripes but not so good for the aluminum. 
 
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The panels are as good as they are going to get.  Some chemical spots still remain on one panel but it's been prepped and powder coated four times.  Enough!  It is what it is.  And like I said in my last post...probably my dumb move using chemical vinyl stripper. 
 
So, onward in the 100 degree temps.  (Dang sure wish I was on the boat on the water.)  The deck install went okay.  Had to buy five sheets of marine grade plywood.  Next time I would give serious consideration to composite decking material, but the rear admiral wanted carpet. 
 
I used the PS carpet kit with deck screws.  The kit is a really good package.  I upgraded to the stainless deck bolts and better carpet.  Personally I would not do the bolts next time.  The problem is that the factory assembled the deck with screws and (probably like an idiot) I wanted to use the same "holes" in the cross brackets.  So, I had to lay the plywood down, drill up or mark the holes I could not drill, remove the plywood, drill holes I couldn't get to from below, and then lay the plywood back down, align and...what I found out is that some of the screw holes were so close to the veritcal "L" bracket that I could not get a nut on the bolt.  Had to re-drill some holes.  So...next time around I'd opt for the screws just like the manufacturer. 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CougProf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/13/2014 at 11:14am
Also...you might notice a shinny edge on my plywood.  I sealed all the edges with a marine epoxy.  Not too sure I'd bother with that step next time. 
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very nice job!!
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FANTASTIC!
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Nice work on the polish and prep. I hope the powder coating works as well for you as it has for me. My panels and rails still look great after a hard summer of use.

Keep the pictures coming. Looks like a great project.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CougProf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/16/2014 at 7:28pm
Saturday:  The carpet was laid down this weekend.  I rented a 100 pound linoleum roller to smooth it out and ensure a good bond to the plywood.  It was 100 degrees by late afternoon on both Saturday and Sunday.  Not to worry.  Monday and Tuesday are forecast to be hotter.  

For some reason I can't upload photos.  The "browse" option is not appearing.  

Monday:  Had to get some welding done on the vertical supports for the two rear fence sections.  The vertical support welds have to be cut in order to get the panels out of the fence.  Once the panels went back in, they had to be welded.  

I know you guys like pictures, but I can't get to the "browse" option to look on my hard drive for photos.  Wonder what's up with that.  

Tuesday:  The fence with panels and bump rail are all going back up.  Did I say it was going to get hotter?  It's 107 according to my HVAC outside thermometer.  I took a photo of my infrared thermometer the aluminum on the boat was over 135 degrees.  Hot!!  

One more try.

 
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Air temp 107.  Aluminum...much hotter.


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It's been a fairly busy week.  Lots of little things involved to get the fence up.  The area around the battery and gas tank pods were a little tough to do.  As others have suggested...take lots of pictures of the demo.  They will come in handy when going back together.  I used pop rivets in some of the OEM places.  In other places I upgraded to bolts.  

I stayed with the "fishing" theme; i.e. I did not put in front lounge chairs.  The pointed nose on this only has about 28 inches from the outside "bend" in the fence back to the gate.  So, I did not want to change the whole identity of this boat and left the fishing chairs up front.  However, I did change the driver seat to a flip flop chair.  So, once at rest, one can flip the seat seat back and face backwards into a "sort of" conversation area.  I also changed out the port side seats which did not have back rests with a 38 inch standard seat. 


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It is difficult to see from the photo above, but the back seat is two arm rests and two 38 inch seats.  I am still working on the helm.  


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The port side seat is going to have a problem.  There is a vertical support bar in the fence that is on the inside of the other fence rails.  The problem is that the seat back leans against this vertical bar and therefore the weight is not distributed.  Which will lead to a pretty rapid wearing (hole) in the seat fabric.  So, I am planning to remove the fence and remove the vertical support rail.  If it appears that I need the support bar it will be welded to the outside.


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Looks great!
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