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Direct Link To This Post Topic: What to look for - rebuild/project boat
    Posted: 11/03/2008 at 6:32pm
Making this a sticky topic in the rebuild section, I think its excellent advice for thos wanting to do it for the 1st time.
Quote This is for the folks that might not know what to look for in a boat to rebuild.

First thing is inspect the logs/pontoons. If they are beat up someone didn"t take very good care of the boat and I would be suspicious of everything. They should be 22" tall at least and 24" is better on the Ushapedlogs and I guess the same size on the round ones. They should have drain plugs at the bottom back of the logs. Take the plugs out and see if they are dry. If they aren"t check to see if there is foam flotation in the logs and you can stick something like a small piece of pipe like maybe electrical conduit into the foam so that you can withdraw a small section of it. If it is water soaked leave it alone.

Check the cross members under the deck. They might be 2 foot apart, 16 inches apart or 12 inches apart. The closer together they are the better. Check where they fasten to the logs for cracks in the aluminum and or bolts loose or missing.

Check the deck for rot or spongyness and bounce around on the deck. It should be solid

Carpet you can see but sometimes as on mine it was replaced with the wrong kind, it"s not that important since it non-structural except for the expense and aggravation of replacing it.

Check the motor pod closely for signs of weakness and/or failure. Things like cracking, bending, repairs.

The railing should be sound and not cracked or bent. Whatever suits you on that.

The furniture is another matter of personal judgement. Do check to see if they are wood framed and if so check the inside of them for rot especially around the bottom.

The trailer should fit the boat without the boat sticking over the ends very much. The newer trailers have the wheels under the logs which gives more stability on the road than the older kind with the wheels inside the pontoons. I have an older one with the wheels close together and have no trouble with it BUT I have lots of trailering experience. You will have to be more careful and alert towing that kind and don"t swerve it around. You have to pay more attention to your driving.
The same thing goes for brakes. I don"t have them on my 28 ftr and watch well ahead so that I don"t have to make any emergency stops but my Toyota van does a good job of stopping it. I do intend to put brakes on my trailer and reccomend that EVERY boat trailer have brakes. If you are buying a used boat trailer REPLACE the wheel bearings no matter how good they look. You already have the wheel off and they don"t cost very much. If you have wheel bearing trouble it will be on the road at a time and place that will be a real pain in the you know where to find and replace them there. You have been warned.
As far as the type of trailer, which means how it supports the boat, whether wide wheel base of narrow, bunks or rollers or supported from the floor underneath will just depend on what you are willing to accept. Currently mine is on rollers which I dislike and I will replace with bunkboards or will suspend the boat from the floor like a scissors type trailer. It"s up to you.

I guess lots of folks have trouble launching and loading their boats because they can"t back into the water far enough. A boat should float on and off your trailer or you don"t have your trailer far enough in the water. That winch isn"t for dragging your boat aboard the trailer. I tow with a Toyota van which doesn"t let me back in very far and you can see on the link I provide how I solved my problem. With some imagination you can come up with some way to get the trailer deeper into the water.

The hitch doesn"t make a lot of difference except keep it loose and functioning proberly. It"s very easy to let the hitch down on the ball without the latch going under the ball and you WILL lose the trailer that way. After you have it hooked up feel behind the ball and you should feel the latch under and behind the ball.

The steering should work freely. If it is stiff it should be replaced. According to the age and condition of the steering head, which is the part that the steering wheel fastens to, you might get by with only replacing the cable. You can"t satisfactorly repair or loosen up the steering, that"s dangerous and looking for trouble, sometimes serious trouble. When steering gives way the motor will flip to one side, the faster you are going the faster it will flip and can very easily throw people off the boat. There are a lot of people killed that way because the boat then circles until it runs out of gas and will run over the folks in the water. I can direct you to an incident where a whole family except one child was killed that way. The bigger the motor the more dangerous it is. If you are replacing your steering get what is called "No feedback steering" What that means is that the motor can"t turn the steering, that way if you get ejected for whatever reason the boat will continue on without circleing.

The motor is a whole different ball game. Probably the best way to protect yourself is to take it to a boat engine mechanic and have it checked out. The next best would be to take it out on the water and see how it runs. Many boat motors set for extended lengths of time without being used,especially on older boats,and they will varnish up and the gas system will have to be cleaned out. If you will stick with the Jap motors you will be better off. Most of the older four stroke engines were Jap regardless of what brand they were or in the case of Mercury had Yahama power heads. Now I will probably catch hell for this but I couldn"t care less, stay away from the older Mercurys. I have been boating over fifty years and that has been my experience. I have had trouble with every used Mercury but not Evinrude or Johnsons. I have not had a Jap engine but I have confidence in them regardless.

Hopefully this will help someone and if you have questions ask people, most folks like helping others. And don"t worry about what the questions are. I have yet to meet anyone that was born knowing anything about boats, we all had to learn from the bottom up.

Edited by Wildcat Dude - 12/28/2011 at 3:19am
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/18/2009 at 11:18pm
You know sometimes I find stuff that I didn"t even know was there, but has very good info. PontoonStuff has a page on their main web site that enhances what Fishmor has already talked about in his post above. Pontoon Boats � Everything you�ve ever wanted to know about the pontoon boat and pontoon boating. You"ll find it very interesting reading 

Edited by Wildcat Dude - 12/28/2011 at 3:20am
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/19/2009 at 12:23am

Here is where you can find all kinds of parts and stuff for your rebuild (or not)

Bunk Slicks, Bunks, Bunk Enders, Glides


Fentress Marine Trailer Glyde Sliks

E-Z Slide Trailer Pads

Shipshape Bunk Board Guide-On Kit

Bunk Enders

Boat Trailer Carpeted Bunk Boards

Replacement Side Guide-On Bunk Boards

Aluminum Sheets and Rails + more

Don"t forget Door Latches: http://www.pontoonstuff.com/pontoon-boat/40-pontoon-parts-ny lon-gate-latch.asp I"ve found a site that has all kinds of metal products, especially aluminum sheets, diamond plate, structural channel. http://www.metalsdepot.com/index.phtml?aident

Pontoon Boat seat Covers


Care Of Your 2 Stroke Outboard


Tips on Buying a Used Boat

http://www.articlesbase.com/fishing-articles/tips-for-buying -a-used-boat-764459.html

Links to Rigging Gear

Here"s a link to rigging gromments http://www.iboats.com/Boat_Cover_Hardware/dm/category_id.257 694--view_id.257694 as they"ll come in handy for many things like a new gromment for your steering cable, control cables, passing wires through your floor, or braces, etc.   http://www.wholesalemarine.com/p/S-S-50048253/101+Piece+Stai nless+Steel+Canvas+Snap+Fastener+Kit.html

Pontoon Kits

Pontoon Kits:





Polishing those toons products

Gord"s Aluminum Polish, others swear by Nuvite, those two are the most popular in addition to cleaning your toons with AC Coil Cleaner (from any AC service company) and Toon Brite (available just about anywhere including PontoonStuff.com).

Small Pontoon Boats

Small pontoon links







Edited by Wildcat Dude
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