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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thought I would put up a description and some pics of the rebuild I'm doing on a 1981 Mako 17 for you guys. I started this about a year ago, so these next few posts (copied from my thread on ClassicParker) are sort of a "get you up to date" sort of thing... :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well, it's official. I took delivery of my 1981 Mako 17 Standard earlier today. :D :D :D







From what I can tell, this hull is in excellent condition with the exception of the transom. It has already been gutted and is awaiting reassembly. Decks and gunwales are solid all the way around and every piece of foam I can touch is dry as a bone. The gelcoat looks like it will shine up superbly with a little elbow grease and I don't think it's gonna take much to get the motor (1981 Merc 115 "Tower of Power") running and looking good.

Many thanks to Chris (aka bondstreet on ClassicMako) for helping me load and unload everthing this afternoon. :))
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Unfortunately, I don't have any progress on the boat itself to report, but I did get my engine stand put together today. :))

A few weeks (maybe months) ago, I ordered the 2000 lb. capacity one from Harbor Freight. It's been sitting in my garage for a while now assembled, but the hardware wasn't tightened down. There were no washers supplied with the nuts and bolts and I wanted to get some on there before I snugged everything down.

However, I couldn't settle for just any washers....mine had to be the same color as the nuts and bolts...black. Yes, I am just that anal. :D I searched a few local hardware stores and kept coming up empty. I finally just bought standard steel ones and headed home. I then sprayed them all with a good blast of brake cleaner to clean/degrease them and let them dry. Then I shot them all (one side only) with two coats of flat black Rustoleum and let them dry overnight.

After I finished cleaning the Grady and fogging the Yamahas, I set out to do the final assembly on the stand. I removed each bolt, tossed the washers on, applied a drop of Loctite and snugged everything up. Hopefully I can get the motor hoisted up and mounted next weekend.



My "custom" washers.... :D



And if anyone is wondering, a 2000 lb. engine stand is way overkill for a 1982 115 Merc. What can I say?!?!?! :))
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Got a bit more work done on/for the Mako today. After tossing the cover on my Grady, I headed down to the hardware store to rent an engine hoist so I could get the Merc. up on my stand.

Step 1: Assemble the hoist.



Step 2: Wheel the motor out of the garage.



Step 3: Remove the cowlings and install the lifting ring.



Step 4: Hook up the hoist and lift her up.



Step 5: Clean up a bunch of old grease to prepare for the installation of a new tilt tube.



Step 6: Discover that the new tilt tube is longer than the original one and won't work.



So, regrease the old one and put it back in until one of proper size can be found.

Step 7: Roll the stand into position, place the arms and bolt the motor on.



I have the arms positioned pretty low and still have about 4" between the ground and the tip of the skeg. So there's plenty of room to hang a 25" motor on there should I ever need to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Since there's no chance I'm going to make my July 4th splash date, I decided to change directions a bit and dive deeper into this boat than originally planned.

So, I broke out the grinder, slapped on a cutoff wheel and went to town. 45 minutes later, I had two big holes in the cockpit. :D







The plan is to mold some plugs to complete the inner liner and extend the floor all the way to the sides. The boxes that used to be there offered minimal storage, but took up a lot of much needed cockpit space.

I have a few more cuts to make across the floor and transom to really open her up. That will give me access to do the transom from the inside, make any required stringer repairs and whatever else I decide needs to be done after the floor comes up.



If all goes well, I'll have the rest of the interior cutting done and the aft section pulled out by the end of the weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Got the aft section of the cap/deck out this evening. What a pain in the butt that was. Took me two solid evenings with the grinder, hand saw, hammers, chisels, etc., but it's done now.

I also removed the foam that was exposed when I took out the storage boxes. While doing so, I discovered that it was wet down at the bottom. I assume that's from the caps on the ends of the holders leaking and then the water simply making it's way down to the bottom of the boat. I'm going to do everything I can to dry that foam, but if that doesn't work, I'll dig out what I can get to without cutting up any more of the deck and refoam.

Anyway, here's the pics...











And after a bit of cleanup with the shop vac...





Based on what I can see of the stringers now, I think they're gonna need some work. The limber holes appears to have never been sealed and the glass that encapsulates everything looks to be roven woven only...and it's porous in places. Oh goodie...

The next step is the cut out the remaining parts of the transom inner skin, cut back the stringers and start preparing for a new core.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Haven't touched the boat in a while, but I did start tinkering with the motor. I wanted to see how much of a mess I had on my hands as I believe it's been about 4 years since it was last run...

So, last weekend I made a few quick wiring repairs and built a crude instrument panel to attach to the engine stand. I layed it out and positioned it so it would be easy to repetitively hit the key while manually working the throttle lever inside the cowling. I was expecting the motor to give me quite a fight... Anyway, after that was mounted, I connected the wiring harness and battery battery cables. But before doing a test spin, I removed all the plugs (two had a bit of rust on them...uh oh) and shot a healthy amount of Seafoam in each cylinder to lube them. After cleaning the plugs and putting them back in, I put a few turns on her by hand and compression seemed good and smooth. So, I decided to hook the battery up and try the starter. Nothing. Oops, forgot to fix one wire. After a quick crimp and turn of the key, she spun over nice and strong. Then I put her away until this weekend.

First step today was to change the lower unit oil (one of those just in case things). Some of it came out a bit milky, so I might have some seal issues to deal with. Second, I gave it a quick bath with my power washer. Then I connected the battery and fuel and took a few "ready to fire" shots.







And last, the moment of truth...once I slapped on the flush muffs and pumped the fuel ball. Left hand on the key, right hand on the throttle lever, prepared for a long fight. About the third or fourth attempt, the old Merc roared to life and settled into a silky smooth idle at 1100. No coughing. No sputtering. Not a single stall. OK...I wasn't exactly expecting that. Even more surprising was the fact that the idle seemed smoother than that of the 225 OX66s Yammies that I used to have on my Grady. It definitely had a cooler sound than the big V6s. Must be something about the inline six design... Who knows???











The pee stream was a little weak and I think the carbs will need to be rebuilt as they started leaking gas after about 30 minutes (the ethanol probably started eating away at things). I'll also rebuild the fuel pump and change out all the fuel lines for good measure. I thought about doing all that stuff first, but decided to make sure I had a running engine before I put a bunch of money into it. Once the mechanical work is done, I'll treat her to a paint job and new stickers.

But all in all, I am super pleased. Next weekend, I'll fire her again and get some hot compression numbers. If those look good, I'll do a proper winterization, start collecting some parts and scratch any thoughts I had about repowering.

BTW - Fuel mixture was 3 gal on 92 octane, 15 oz. oil (25:1 ratio just to be safe), 6 oz. Ringfree (shock dosage) and twice the maintenance dose of Stabil.
 

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115

We have the same motor on a 32' Lowe Pontoon. Boat is an 89 and ran great until last year. We had it rebuilt and seems to be running fine. Has good power, on a 17' boat, should be fun. r/Chip.
 

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How do you tell when looking at a project boat that the hull is dry or wet. I am looking at a 17' Whaler and I am not looking to tear apart a transom
 

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An old two-stroke Mercury and a cloud of blue smoke sure brings back memories. :D
Cool project, thanks for sharing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Got the motor out again this weekend to get it warmed up so I could take some compression readings. After letting it idle for 5 to 10 minutes, I hooked up my gauge and started pulling numbers.

1 - 123 psi
2 - 125
3 - 124
4 - 127
5 - 130
6 - 130

Those readings looked real good to me, so after putting the plugs back in, I fired it up once more and fogged it for storage. Now that I'm confident that I have a good powerplant I can get back to working on the boat itself.
 

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The story is really interesting and informative. Nice work! Congrats on the compression nos. Jim
 

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Great Thread.. Love the update.. You must really enjoy doing this kind of stuff, you can tell it in your writing.. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Brian,

Not sure if you remember, but we met about 5 years ago when you showed me you under consoel battery set up on you grady. You mako project has caught my attention, as I am about to embark on a similar deal (floor only i hope) on and 89 parker 18. How did you cut out the floor? dod you just freehand with the cutout tool in the pictures?

Also, I suspect I will not get to glassing the floor till spring, but is there any downside to cutting out the floor and having it sit open for several months (under shelter) do you think the hull could lose shape without the floor?



Thanks

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Mike,

How deep are you into your project? Mine was originally intended to be a quick fix, but after I missed my initial target date, I decided to go a bit farther into it and remove those after fish boxes.


Chris,

Yep, I remember. Man, I miss that boat. :yes:

The cuts I made to removed the aft boxes were done with a metal cutting wheel on my grinder. I just laid the grinder up against the box edges and let it eat right through the glass. When I ran the cuts up the cap and across the floor, I had some wood coring to get through. The metal cutting wheel didn't do squat against the wood, so I ended up use a jig saw on the cap and a hand saw on the floor.

If I were cutting out the entire floor, I would use a circular saw (after I bought one :thumbup:) with the blade exposed just a tad more that the full thickness of the floor. As long as you leave the cap in place, I doubt the hull will lose any shape. Leaving it open for a while is a good thing anyway. That will give it a chance to dry out. If you find foam under the floor that seems dry on the top, I would recommend you bore a few holes in it so you can check for moisture at the lowest points because any water that got to it has probably settled in the bottom and now would be the time to get it out.

Drop me a line if you want to chat.

Good luck.

Brian
 

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I bought the boat just as a beater crabbing boat to mess around with and wanted to do a little clean up on her.









Well after removing the 6 layers of bottom paint found a hole that the previous owner patched real poorly and the stringer had detached from the floor. So the fun began.

















My project is sitting on hold for a few more weeks but I'll be starting it again to be ready for fishing the Flats in the spring. All the stringers are in and it's sitting on a set of dollies upside down ready to have the bottom painted and then the floor replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Nothing major to report...

A few months ago I picked up a newer trailer. The one I had originally got was a 3000 lb. GVWR EZ-Loader. I'm not sure if the GVWR was correct as it seemed too small for the boat and I wasn't keen on the roller setup either.



So, I replaced it with a Load Rite with an equal GVWR that has a better roller arrangement, a power winch (which I'll probably get rid of) and a much beefier frame.



With spring on the way, and thoughts of grinding for the new transom core rattling around in my head, I figured I had better move the boat out of the garage. No need to get that fiberglass dust all over everything in there. I'll spare you the boring details, but I went from this...



...to this...





With no motor or transom core, the weight distribution is way off and that's why I have it sitting so far back on the trailer.

Next step was to get her covered up in order to keep the weather out and keep her dry. I had picked up a few 2x4s and a 12'x25' tarp to fashion a rain coat out of, so after dragging out the mitre saw, table saw, some drywall screws and a piece of old plywood, I starting putting it all together. A few hours later this masterpiece was in place.



I then added a few pieces of pipe insulation prior to tossing the tarp over her, tieing it down and rolling her into place next to my big Grady.



Two days later, she was displaced by another Grady, but that's not important to the scope of this project. :thumbup:

 

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Looking good. The best part is putting back the new stuff. I redid a Fiberglass Chincoteague scow years ago.

Bob
 
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