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Older boat restoring question

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I’ve got a 97 LT 20 that I’ve owned since 2007. It’s getting a little long in the tooth. Motor still runs good. Installed a new fuel tank last year. Got a rebuilt trailer, Gelcoat needs some repairs above the waterline. Wiring is old and in need of being replaced. My question is what am I looking at moneywise to restore this boat back to being fairly nice again. I’m not a stickler for it being perfect. It’s got a 97 Pro V 150 that’s been gone thru last year and runs good. Trim tabs could use some work. I’ve never done a major upgrade to an older boat and have no idea of what I’m looking at moneywise. I love the boat and it would be hard to replace without dropping major coin for a newer one. I welcome all advice. I’m in Jax and don’t know who could tackle this. Thanks all. 

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That is a very difficult question. You can spend as much as you want or you can just spend some days and tackle some of the work in your driveway. 

I would venture to say you could make a huge difference in the boat for under 5 grand. That’s paying for some professional spot repairs on gel coat and wireing. On the other hand you could buy some tinned wire at west marine and some nice connectors and do some nice wireing for a  couple hundred bucks.

 I have buffed boats for people who thought they would need total restore to make it look great. I have also painted a few whalers with awl grip and the paint alone will be 500 to 600 bucks. 

 Restoring boats is not my profession but not gonna lie I can make a tired boat look and feel years younger 

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I bought a 1996 BF18 primarily for the motor and the 3 years left on the warranty and it's a classic lappy. I have had to redo just about everything and I have a few high dollar jobs left (repaint, hydraulic steering (has cable now and it's stiff), and I want a hydraulic jackplate to replace the manual one on this boat). So far, I'm into bringing it up to snuff about $8k. It's about another 5k away counting the stuff in parentheses. It ain't cheap but it's better than plunking down $40k+ and I end up with a nice lappy. Oh yeah, tack on another $400 - $500 for a cover.

Chuck  😀

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Restored 1992 Hewes Bonefisher 16 in 2016/2017.  Forum information was appreciated.  Well worth the expense and time.  Took boat to basic hull, replaced tank, console, gelcoat repairs, new paint, new motor, rigging included wiring, fuel lines, well just about everything, new trailer .  Not likely to do this again, however like this boat for many reasons.  

8975AB28-9BA2-4252-B14D-1E81DB7D1BD9.jpeg

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I think HoneyB nailed it.  There is a big difference between a freshening up and restore. It is hard to give a price depending on how far you want to take it.  $5K can go a long way if you are just looking to refresh the boat, not so far in a restore.  If you are doing a restore you are going to have more money than the boat is worth and will be in the hole.

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2 hours ago, mulligan said:

  If you are doing a restore you are going to have more money than the boat is worth and will be in the hole.

 Very true. Given the investment prior to starting. 

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It's a labor of love. I've yet to catch enough fish to pay for the fishing trip. I guess we could all get the fish at the grocery store but where's the fun and satisfaction in that?

Chuck  😀

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On 7/1/2019 at 5:58 PM, SSN651 said:

I bought a 1996 BF18 primarily for the motor and the 3 years left on the warranty and it's a classic lappy. I have had to redo just about everything and I have a few high dollar jobs left (repaint, hydraulic steering (has cable now and it's stiff), and I want a hydraulic jackplate to replace the manual one on this boat). So far, I'm into bringing it up to snuff about $8k. It's about another 5k away counting the stuff in parentheses. It ain't cheap but it's better than plunking down $40k+ and I end up with a nice lappy. Oh yeah, tack on another $400 - $500 for a cover.

Chuck  😀

Did that include the tank? I think that is my biggest worry after reading issues other members here and other forums have had with boats approacing 20 y/o. 

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Tank looks good, it's aluminum. Non-ethanol fuel it's whole life I was told but you know how that goes. It was repowered 3 years ago and he said it was all checked out then. I will probably end up changing it out in the future, I'm sure. Doesn't look like a bad job to do the change out, she already has more than a few scars on the front cap already.

Chuck  😀

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I have the exact boat and motor.  I would have a good check over  the motor before you launch into  the boat itself.  My 150 V pro was used in in brackish water and stored in fresh for 98% of it's life and developed a perforation of the water jacket that caused me to replace it with a F150 4 stoke Yamaha.  You might want that to fit that possible issue into the money you are willing to spend to keep the boat going.  As you know the old 2 strokes didn't have a flush port,so if it was wet stored in salt or not flushed on a regular basis rust outs were the norm after 15-20yrs. BTW I too love the boat,so that's a big part of the equation. Good luck.

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On 7/4/2019 at 1:22 PM, SSN651 said:

Tank looks good, it's aluminum. Non-ethanol fuel it's whole life I was told but you know how that goes. It was repowered 3 years ago and he said it was all checked out then. I will probably end up changing it out in the future, I'm sure. Doesn't look like a bad job to do the change out, she already has more than a few scars on the front cap already.

Chuck  😀

You can buy a cheap bore scope on-line ( under $ 50 ) and inspect the entire inside of tank and see if it looks good and clean. You can also use the scope to look at your stringers and bilge area.

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I plan on beating the boat to death over the next few months. If there is a problem it will become apparent quickly. For right now, I'm going to fish the boat and stop pouring $$$ in it. Good suggestion on the boroscope and I've already vacuum tested the fuel system and scoped the tank. I've got all those tools for my business. Looks good so far.

Chuck  😁

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