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new2boating 1986 Harris Flotebote "I/O" Rebuild

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    Posted: 09/27/2010 at 11:49pm

Well I had never owned a boat before until a couple months ago and we bought a cheap fish-n-ski to see how we liked boating. We were out at least once a weekend, but always wishing we had more room. So, I began searching for a Pontoon and came across a 1986 Harris Flotebote with a 2.5 L Chevy inboard. I was really wanting an inboard, so definitely wanted to take a look at it.

The pictures didn"t look too great and I was warned that the interior needed work. However, after getting there and seeing it I felt that I couldn"t go wrong for the price. He was asking $2,500 and I bought it without trying to bargain at all. The trailer looked like new with the exception of the tires being dry rotten and the engine started and run nicely. I was a little concerned about it running out well, but still never got too concerned as I felt that I could likely sell the trailer and part it out and get my money back if needed.

After getting it home we removed the seats that were totally rotten and tried to clean it up at least some. We have had it on the water several times and it has run out great. The only complaint was that it was hard to get out of gear. I just dropped it off at a boat shop on Friday and they were saying it was likely the interrupt switch.

We have been getting some enjoyment out of it and plan to rebuild it when it starts getting cooler. We did go ahead and buy new rubber as I didn"t want to get stranded on the side of the road. It was almost just as cheap to get new wheels as well, so happy to have the new look to the trailer now.

Sure seems there are a lot of nice helpful people on here, so definitely glad to have found this forum. I look forward to starting a rebuild thread once I start down that path. 

 

 

 

Removed the front seats as they were rotten down to the frames. 

 
My temporary captain seat  


***resized pics to 800x600 for best viewing***



Edited by Wildcat Dude
Robert - AL
1986 Harris Flotebote 24ft
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/28/2010 at 7:19am

Couldn"t see the console too well but if the seats were rotten, keep in mind that the floor will most likely need replacing. Look for rust underneath where it sits on the supports in case they replaced the wood with anything but CCA/Composite/Aluminum flooring. You"ll see where it"ll be eating the aluminum. Looks like you"re got a pretty good project boat for a rebuild. Inboards always scared me some as they can get really expensive for below the waterline repairs (gimbal housing, etc), just ask Goldome14 about getting his ready for the water. On the trailer, be sure to replace the wheel bearings, it"ll be cheap now instead of waiting till later when the bearings fall apart on the road.  Toons look good from what I can see and will clean up very well. What are your plans for rebuilding later???

**Just looked at your trailer and you're right, you could have easily recouped most of your investment from the trailer alone so I'd say you got a very good bargain even if it is an older boat, plus you guys already got a few uses out of it so that's always good



Edited by Wildcat Dude
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looks like a good deal to me...john
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CajunDiver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/28/2010 at 11:00pm
Ditto great deal, especially with a trailer and running motor!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote new2boating Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/28/2010 at 11:25pm
Thanks all.

Wildcat Dude,
I did find one soft spot in the floor when removing the seats. Part of the rebuild plans included all new decking and carpet. I will take a closer look, but haven"t seen any rust at all. This could be the original decking as someone had good intentions of taking care of it as they had put aluminum underneath to try and keep water off the underside. Again, glad to have found this forum since when I went to put new decking down I probably would"ve just went down and grabbed some treated plywood if I hadn"t started learning from you guys already

I"m lost on what you are talking about on the "below the waterline repairs (gimbal housing, etc)". I"ve got a lot of learning to do. Personally I was happy to get an inboard as I felt I could likely do most of the work on the engine if needed myself.

I do need to get the wheel bearings replaced as soon as I get it back from the boat shop. That is something that was on my "to do" list that I haven"t done yet.

I"ve got some (5 gallons) aluminum brite and plan to start trying to clean the toons up before it gets too cold. I"d like to get them to shine like some of the others I"ve seen on here. I need to get to reading some of the other posts again.

One thing I want to do on the rebuild is add an additional fuel tank. It has one (think 12 gallons) under one of the rear seats. I was hoping to relocate it on the back of the toon and add another one on the other side (on the toon). When replacing the back seats I was planning to go with some of the ones from PontoonStuff and was afraid the fuel tank may not fit inside of it anyways.

If I don"t run out of money this winter the plans include new decking, carpet, all new seats, new fishing seats on the front deck, and trolling motor. Need some better anchors and may try to put one or two on a winch. While working on it thinking I might as well replace the console also. The one now isn"t too bad, but if the rest of the boat is going to look like new then don"t want it to be the only thing left.

The trailer has a Nationwide Trailers sticker on it. I don"t know anything about any of them, but it seems to be built very well. It also has a nice ladder on the front, good jack, etc.
Robert - AL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/29/2010 at 7:32am
Robert - does the AL stand for Alabama or just Al (another person) but if Alabama where at? Wife and I go a few times a year down in Rogersville (between Florence and Athens) at Joe Wheeler SP. Underskinning is good. Yeah, fuel tanks under the seat isn"t too good of an idea anyways, as you"ll have to vent it and you sure don"t want any smokers sitting on top of them . I assume from the trolling motor you"re like me and prefer fishing. I couldn"t see the interior layout too well but take a look at Goldome14"s rebuild as he has an inboard motor but his is 28ft I think. He"s got his more for cruising and passengers. I can see where you might build enclosures in the back for fuel tanks. You could go with a peacock valve or just hook both lines to a fuel/water separator (since it"ll take 2 inputs), 2 fuel gauges I always thought would look cool anyways . If you get ready for the rebuild, let me know, as we could move this thread you have here as you have the requirements for that topic already. Give us some detailed pics of your interior so it"ll give the members a visual reference to help you with ideas.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xarog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/29/2010 at 11:21am
An inboard Harris i"m very envious right now I really hunted for an inboard and couldnt find any around here so I settled for an out board Harris around the same year.Looks like a good toon and a great price congratz man.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote new2boating Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/05/2010 at 9:51pm
Thanks Xarog, I"m happy to have found it.

Charles, I live in Huntsville, AL now, but very familiar with Rogersville...lived there all my life except for the past 2 years in Huntsville and 2 years overseas. Very familiar with Joe Wheeler as well...worked there a few years when in school (golf course and marina)...my mother and a brother both retired from the State working at JW.

As a matter of fact I will be leaving my pontoon at my brother"s house, which is only 15 minutes from JW. Very close to several good places to put in the water. Within 15 minutes I can either be to a ramp where I will be on Wheeler Lake or to a ramp and be on Wilson Lake. In about 30 minutes I could be on a ramp on Pickwick.

I"ve got more pics, but trying to be able to size them to 800x600 before posting any of them. You can move the post to rebuild any time you see fit...as soon as I get it back from the shop I plan to start on some of it. I know the whole process will stretch out over the entire winter months.

I do plan to use for fishing as well as a little of everything else...like cruising, pulling the kids on a tube, etc.

I do really want to move the existing fuel tank and add another one...even though my toon is a non-smoking vessel. A fuel/water separator sounds like a good idea all the way around.

I will have to search for Goldome14"s rebuild.

Robert - AL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/05/2010 at 10:29pm
Thinking about going to Joe Wheeler this weekend as its suppose to be pretty nice. Probably leave Saturday morning, come home that night. Moved your post to rebuild now, lets see you Get-R-Done
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote new2boating Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/12/2010 at 12:19am
Thanks Charles. Hope you had a great weekend at Joe Wheeler if you made it down...the weather was great. I didn"t get the boat back from the shop to be able to go myself...did take a ride to Tim"s Ford just to scout out the place Got a message this afternoon that the boat is ready now, so hopefully will get to make some progress soon

I know that hard top is supposed to swivel down, I just have to get the right bolts cut out first. I need to get that done soon as I know it will have to pull a lot easier without that huge wing up there    Not to mention being worried about it ripping off while going down the road.

Adding a few more pics. Thanks to everyone on the tips for easy resizing. Hopefully I"ve got them all right this time.


Pic of the console...have added a new extinguisher...safety first, right?

Speaking of safety, one thing I"ve been wondering about is the fact there is no kill switch/safety lanyard. Are these not required on pontoons? Or, is it just because of the year of this boat?






Another pic of console





Current rear layout of boat. Batteries on the left side of engine and gas tank on the right side. All under seats, but hope to change this. Debating on what to do for the engine cover...whether to put a seat cushion back as it is now, or make a table top or something.





The lovely front seats on one side before I removed them





Underneath the front





Underneath view from back. Can see where one piece of the aluminum has hanging and I removed it. Plan to replace all of this during the rebuild.

Robert - AL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/12/2010 at 7:49am
I thought they were required for all boat, but I am almost positive that the 1972 bass boat I got with older controls doesn"t have a kill switch but I know that Force motor is equipped to handle one, so I"ll replace the controls with a newer set I have that I didn"t sell. Its easy enough to wire in a kill switch lanyard and if you need a lanyard kill switch kit and can"t find it, let us know and we"ll point you to it. I remember the one time it saved me - I had a bass boat down in Louisiana bayous and was hauling back to the dock from a day of fishing. I was in the main channel going like gangbusters when suddenly I came to a screeching halt and I was thrown over the console. Motor stopped and I got up to find that I had hit a wooden pallet that someone tossed overboard and was floating just beneath the surface and I couldn"t see it. Had I been turning just a hair, I could have been in the bayou and be gator bait instead of landing on my back up in the bow of the boat.
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Oh and no, we didn"t end up going to Joe Wheeler this weekend. We figured we better be saving our coins for the Washington DC trip instead. So I ended up changing lower unit oil in 3 motors and doing other boat maintenance. Love Tim"s Ford Lake. Holler at me next time you go and I"d meet you there. I"ll send you my contact info via pm.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CajunDiver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/12/2010 at 7:57pm
I"m thinking on an 86 you wouldn"t have the kill switch. I have an 85 fiberglass boat that does not have one. I think the table would be cool for an engine cover. Not sure of what material you would use but would be nice to insulate it for sound as well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/12/2010 at 8:32pm
My 85 Johnson 115 has a kill switch (on controls and it works).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote new2boating Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/14/2011 at 12:51am
Well, didn't do the rebuild in the Winter as intended. After starting to get out on the water this Summer the fever has set in Finally been on the phone with PS and got a price on shipping for the new decking.

Been thinking too much and looking at pics of the new boats, so now need to do some more measuring before ordering to see if I need another sheet. I've been wanting to extend the deck out on the back and saw a picture of a new Harris that also has an inboard that gave me some ideas. Since my boat isn't at my house trying to find time to get down there and measure everything again...might be this weekend before I can. The engine cover idea may be back to a seat now, but will wrap around the back as well.
Robert - AL
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Remember::: "measure twice and cut once"  the more you look the more you will find what you like and what will work out for you. Good Luck!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TeeHee65 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/14/2011 at 4:29pm
We may be distant kin , seems like we both spend a lot of time thinking, and not much time doing . I suggest you think, think, think - and then fix it the way you want it. Personally, I like the table over the motor. That's what I have planned for mine, I think .
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote new2boating Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/17/2011 at 2:09am
Well, did a lot more thinking....but, also finally started the action Worked a few hours this evening and got the hard top off, all the rails off, and most of the seats that I had left (not saying much ) Going to try and get started earlier tomorrow.

Pretty sure I will stick with the table over the engine. Tossing around the idea of putting a captain's seat on each side of the engine. Not sure that any of the seats I can buy already built will fit right in the back corners. The 28 inch bench seat would fit, but wouldn't sit all the way flush against the flat part of rail and wouldn't have room left for an arm rest with radius beside it to fill in the corner...so don't think that would look too good. Think the 32 inch corner seat would fit almost perfectly, but worried the way the seat is designed that your legs would hit the engine cover when sitting in the curved corner. Or, is the seat design such that it would be comfortable with your legs coming off one of the straight edges? If that question makes any sense for those that may have one of these.

On the fence panel replacement paneling that PontoonStuff sells, is it pretty similar (if not the same) as what is used for covering facia boards on your house?

If all goes well will order the decking on Monday. If I can figure my front out then I may be ordering a 28 inch bench and a 32 inch corner anyways, so maybe then I could try and see if either would work in the back and then finish up ordering the rest of the furniture. Sure I'll find more stuff I will want to order anyways
Robert - AL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/17/2011 at 2:54am
geez, kinda waiting for the heat wave thats coming ain't ya Nuke Its gonna be a scorcher next weekend so have fans blowing on ya - good luck and hey, post pics of that progress, that's what we love to see Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 2ltime Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/17/2011 at 10:52am
I just used the Pro-Trim DuroBend vinyl for my rear extentions.  Worked really well.  Rivets on with no problems.  I used a strip kit over it.  Can't tell the difference from the painted aluminum on the rest of the fence.  A lot cheaper also.
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WD, very good point. Today was a very LONG HOT day and it wasn't too terrible hot today. Did try a fan, but waited too long first and was already beat. Got it all striped down and one round of acid on it. Also tried some aircraft paint stripper on getting pin stripes off the panels. It worked really well, so thinking may just paint what I have and see how it turns out.

Thanks 2ltime, will try to search for that and see if I can find any. How wide is it?

I took pictures, but will have to try and post tomorrow. Got to get in bed so that I can try to get in to work early so I can leave early to go work on the toon some more
Robert - AL
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At the end of first evening working a few hours. Rails off after having to use grinder to cut off several bolts.






Robert - AL
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Rub rails off and most of carpet.



Shot in back where floor was rotten the most.



Front wasn't as bad, but of course replacing it all. Funny how the front was in the best condition, but it is the part that wasn't under the hard top while it was sitting out in the middle of the field where I bought it.

Robert - AL
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Deck finally off after a really long HOT day









Forgot to take pics after washing with acid. Will get those on soon.
Robert - AL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote new2boating Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/20/2011 at 1:44am
When I was taking off the panels the previous owner had put on to cover the gaps on the side there was an odd ball screw. When removing it I heard this hissing noise and it took me a minute to figure out what was going on. Wife was asking if there was a snake somewhere

This odd ball screw was longer than all the others and happen to be on the bottom where it had went into the pontoon. Guess with all the hissing I know the pontoon doesn't have any other leaks...that is the one other than the one left after removing the screw

What is recommended to seal this? At least it is near top of pontoon and won't be submerged in the water.

Today finished cleaning out old screws from cross members and tried some polishing with Mothers. Saw real quick I need to order some Nuvite that I have seen others using. Wildcat Dude, seems you have particularly recommended this.

What size jars of F9, F7, and S do you recommend ordering for a boat with 24 foot pontoons? They are in pretty good shape after the acid washing. Not sure if I could skip the F9 though.


 
 
**Fixed up the link**


Edited by rickdb1 - 10/30/2011 at 2:23pm
Robert - AL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CajunDiver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/20/2011 at 9:19am
Can you put some marine sealer such as 5200 on the area and put the screw back in?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TeeHee65 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/20/2011 at 6:58pm
Robert, couldn't get your link to work - but I got my nuvite directly from nuvitechemical  I haven't used it yet, but based on what I read in other threads I ordered 1/4 pound of each - F9, F7, and S to do my 24' Landau. Everyone says that a little goes a long way ... and delivery was about as "fast as a speeding bullet", so if I need more, it won't take long. By the way, the customer service folks at nuvite are sharp. I got a call on my cell phone the day after I ordered online - seems that I had dulpicated part of the order, and they wanted to verify what I actually wanted. That just don't happen everyday - anymore! Looking forward to your progress.

Edited by rickdb1 - 10/30/2011 at 2:23pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tooner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/20/2011 at 8:36pm
Robert put on a little silicone and a screw...
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TeeHee65 is spot on for the recommended amounts and the link but your link works just as good. Remember that 3 fingers of polish dotted on every 3 square foot, F9 will take the longest to do but if done right, makes F7 looking good and S looking like a mirror, it'll take getting use to, and a different pad for each grade of polish - DO NOT MIX THEM UP. To clean the pad, a edge of a flat blade screwdriver does the trick with the pad spinning.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote new2boating Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/20/2011 at 11:18pm
Thanks all for tips on the puncture. It is going to be tuff to get a screw in it as it is behind the permanent plate on the side, but I will give it a try. I want to try and put one that will be permanent instead using the longer one that holds the temporary side panel on that did the damage. It went in just barely enough to cause the damage, but not sure far enough to seal back since it has now been out once. Of course who knows how many years it has been there and holding strong

Don't think this is the case, but just want to be sure (excuse my ignorance)...the toons don't need to be pressurized intentionally, correct? I'm thinking the pressure I heard escape was just from the temperature and being sealed up for a long period of time. I do realize that it is common to pressurize them to check for leaks, but thinking you don't have to make an effort to leave it pressurized. Is that correct?

Robert - AL
1986 Harris Flotebote 24ft
2.5L Chevy
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