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Old 03-15-2019, 01:27 AM
poco poco is offline
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Default Got me a 71 SF20 now what do I do?

New to me and my first post! 1971 SF20, I had been on the look out for an affable boat for years in Sarasota and of course I moved to North Alabama where a cubby would be better and I came across this lady in central TN. It was just to good of a price to pass on and I have a few jobs this summer that require me to be on the water.

I knew nothing about SeaCrafts before finding this boat and feel really solid with my purchase after reading all the love they get. The boat seams fine overall, runs and floats but despite spending most of my life on the water I know very little about fiberglass beyond the most basic repairs.

The previous owner said when he got the boat the deck and the transom where rotted so he pulled the cap and replaced the deck with pressure treated plywood and sent the tank off for a " chemical" clean. The only soft spots on the boat are the hatches.

Honesty I think its pretty set but the hull could do with a bit of gel coat repair and paint and the deck has gel coat cracks all over and is super chalky.

My question is this .....the boat will currently be running up and down the TN river 6hr+ a day on a few multi night trips so no ocean for now .... I have about $2500 I can put in to repairs. What would be the best direction to go with it and im not looking to do a full rebuild yet.

The only thing I would love to do is put a tank below the deck as mine is the center console and it eats up soo much space plus the batteries tucked next to the tank and all the wires feels sketchy as hell. I'm pretty sure thats all beyond my skill level and im not sure if my local marina is up to it for an affordable cost.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated !

Thanks










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  #2  
Old 03-15-2019, 07:44 AM
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kmoose kmoose is offline
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Great project boat but I seriously doubt the cap was ever off but who knows. The transom looks very typical for the vintage and is likely toast but again it would take some digging to really find out.

If it was me, I would use the boat as is and save your money up. If the boat will meet your needs, then start on a list to what you want to fix or change. Restoration costs reflect what level of restoration you would be happy with. I personally am good with "work boat" finish but having all the hull structure and lay out first class. Finish appearance is where all the big money is so that will drive a good portion of the cost.

Spend what you need to get her on the water and go from there.... Great find!
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:04 AM
Rybones Rybones is offline
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Default You have time to wait?

I'm with moose as it doesn't really look like this one has had its cap off, between the soft hatches and scraggly rub-rail. But if the deck is solid, the hatches are something you can pop off and do quite easily with no prior glass experience and is a great way to learn about the joy of fiberglass. Then you'll really have the SeaCraft "itch".

If you want to get that fuel tank below deck its going to be a good bit of work and a new fuel tank. I don't think that boat has a coffin lid (fuel tank cover/cut out in deck) so you have to cut the deck up and lay it out. Plus (not sure here) but that boat might be a 4 stringer which complicates below deck tank a little more Sounds like for your purposes maybe you just create greater separation/insulation from the tank.

The thing you really might want to do is tap that transom all over with a mallet and listen for dead thumps vs hard crack. The dead thump is the soft spot. Do it all over the transom and a few times, you'll be able to echo map the inside of your transom by the 3rd time. If you have spots that you are unsure about, get a moisture meter and probe any spots, cracks or holes on the glass (provided the boat has been dry for a while) aside from that you can drill tiny holes in the glass and probe it where you think you need to. Moisture content should be no more than 20%. But if you are doing that, usually the check is already in the mail.

I say, check the transom, doesn't have to be perfect but make sure your not going to experience catastrophic failure anytime soon, clean it up, make it safe and running properly and use it for this coming summer before you commit to any big projects. You'll have time to prepare and a much better idea of what you really want/need to do and how to do it. She looks like a well laid out serviceable boat as is, enjoy her a bit.
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:45 PM
uncleboo uncleboo is offline
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In the second picture, right side, is that one of those livewell valves? Possibly for the front box?
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:30 PM
poco poco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmoose View Post

Spend what you need to get her on the water and go from there.... Great find!
Thanks I think thats solid advice.

I would love to get the opportunity to really rebuild this but the skillz are not up to the challenge yet, lol.

Currently my only needs for it are reliability . Most of it use will be just day work and fun on the river but come Aug my buddy and I would be running the TN river from Knoxville to the Mississippi river and back, hopefully on it.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:56 PM
poco poco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rybones View Post
I say, check the transom, doesn't have to be perfect but make sure your not going to experience catastrophic failure anytime soon, clean it up, make it safe and running properly and use it for this coming summer before you commit to any big projects. You'll have time to prepare and a much better idea of what you really want/need to do and how to do it. She looks like a well laid out serviceable boat as is, enjoy her a bit
OK Rybones I went to thumping it with a mallet the transom on the back had been replaced by cutting the back bit of the cap off and it looks like it was glassed on the inside. Its actually very sold sounding and I jumped on the motor a bit and no flex, even stood on the ladder.

There are a few nice sized cracks on the back and it sounded a bit soft by the plug so I called around a found 2 fiberglass shops about a hr away.

1st shop the guy does totally mold up bass boat builds and high end repairs been in the game for 55 years he said. He stood on the boat, looked in a few hatches said unless im ganna dump 30k in it he would not get on the water with it as is and to sell it. I was a bit gutted but thought f*uck it im a hr away from the 2nd shop and see what he says.

2nd shop the guy does mostly repairs these day but has done a ton of mold up builds and has been in the game for 35 years. He jumped all over the boat and motor and got a mallet out, dude went all over it and was like "looks good for her age". He had reservation about how the transom was redone and said it was solid but kinda a odd way of fixing it but he see no reason why It would fail as is.

He also suggested pulling the motor and checking the for moisture thru the bolt holes. I ended up leaving it with him for the week and hes ganna drop the boat in the water and then to pull the motor and just see whats up with the soft spot by the plug and the cracks in the transom but he seamed to think it look better then most for its age. He did note that the motor was ment to have 2 steering rods and it was connected wrong lol.

Blown away by the difference in options lol.


On putting the tank below deck the boat is a 4 stringer. Any reason I cant just relocate the batteries to one of the rear hatches?




Last edited by poco; 03-15-2019 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:03 PM
poco poco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncleboo View Post
In the second picture, right side, is that one of those livewell valves? Possibly for the front box?
Hey thats a good question. I dropped the boat off so ill check Monday. It does have a drain hole in it that leads strait out to the bottom like below the float line. I thought it was weird like how would water drain out but we have had so much rain and storms i just covered and and kept moving.

Last edited by poco; 03-15-2019 at 09:41 PM.
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  #8  
Old 03-16-2019, 12:15 AM
Rybones Rybones is offline
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Or you could just check for moisture around the mounting bolts if you want to take all the fun out of it and do it the easy way.. but you will typically have greater moisture content there that may or may not tell you whether the issue is endemic or systemic.

Did shop 1 guy give you a reason he would not get on the water in it? Did he say there was a specific aspect of it that was unseaworthy? Maybe he didn't understand that it was a boat that is quite capable in the open ocean as WELL as a lake, probably the lack of bow to stern indoor/outdoor carpeting that threw him off.

What is the thing in the last picture you posted underneath the the platform that looks like it would be where a ball check valve/supper would be? The round plastic thingie on the left hand edge?

You can put the batteries in the rear but not an optimal spot for weight distribution and exposure to moisture. In-fact my boat has a original looking glassed in battery shelf in the starboard aft compartment. its vacant because my batt is under the console. For me the salt water exposure has greater implications.
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:44 AM
poco poco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rybones View Post

Did shop 1 guy give you a reason he would not get on the water in it? Did he say there was a specific aspect of it that was unseaworthy? Maybe he didn't understand that it was a boat that is quite capable in the open ocean as WELL as a lake, probably the lack of bow to stern indoor/outdoor carpeting that threw him off.

What is the thing in the last picture you posted underneath the the platform that looks like it would be where a ball check valve/supper would be? The round plastic thingie on the left hand edge?
Haha yeah that may have been it. Shop 1 guy just kept saying to many stress cracks and "variables" but no real reasons. He didn't flex test the transom or really anything other then walking around on it. He was very nice we did a little tour of his shop he thew out names of companies he worked with ( I don't know sh*t about bass boats so I had no idea if they where even real companies, lol) he muttered about how its a great hull but he's $175 a hr and no reason to repair until your ganna dump 30k in it. Overall nice but arrogant like I've been at this for decades don't waste mine or your time kid kinda vibe.

So yeah they are some kinda after after market ball check, he removed them for the winter. He said he installed them after his wife got worried they where taking on water but it really only happed when it was 4 adults and a few kids.

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  #10  
Old 03-16-2019, 02:00 AM
poco poco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmoose View Post
I seriously doubt the cap was ever off but who knows.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rybones View Post
I'm with moose as it doesn't really look like this one has had its cap off, between the soft hatches and scraggly rub-rail.
OH but the only thing the 2 shops did agree on was that the cap did not look like it had been removed lol. Idk why the guy would tell me it had been he seamed pretty admit about it. He had a whole story and I felt like the price was solid for running boat motor trailer and a ton of extra crap I was not aware was part of the sale like the I think the original Todd seats, extra prop, original railing, bimini, wind shield, stereo, deck lights, fish finder blah blah.
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