'68 Mermaid commander restore

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by jlf4761, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. jlf4761
    Joined: Jul 2007
    Posts: 3
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Cambridge, ME

    jlf4761 New Member

    The boat just fell in love with me!

    I was never a boating person however I drove by this jungle bound boat for years and it eventually started calling to me. The story goes, it was moored off a small lake island while the people partied themselves into a stupor. apparently, it was moored up against a large rock and was four feet deeper in the water when the partiers stumbled out the next morning. It was limped home and parked in the woods. 18 years later it adopted me. The call was so strong that I actually paid 250 dollars for it, engine, and trailer. I was then ***** for another 350.00 by the son of the owner (it was parked behind his automotive repair shop, and he was the one who sank it) for 2 wheels, two hubs, and bearings.

    The fiberglass boat is 17 foot and has a cozy cabin. The cabin is well alligatored. The transom has delaminated from the hull and only shows rot on the top 4 inches at the corners. there are three large, deep rubs with no visible holes. the keel appears to be broken about midship and looks like they either rammed it aground or it got broke while trailering (the break lines up with the center roller). The fiberglass structure is compromised at this point and the keel flexes and leaks water. The deck is also rotted. The engine has an Evinrude 75 cowling but the numbers say it is a '68 65hp 4 cyc. It was parked running but now is siezed and has a mouse nest in the number 3 cylinder. I must be a masochist!

    I have split the cabin from the hull and cut a small piece out of the deck for inspection. Under the deck ther appears to be solid fiberglass stiffener much like the small floating raft my kids use in the pool. If the Indiana based manufacturer is still in exsistance, they don't show up on the internet. A cursory search for engine manual finds a listing available for a 3 cyl only.

    If anyone is familiar with this model/ manufacturer I would like to hear from you. any suggestions for this newbie other than burning it (EPA would have a fit) are welcome. Are parts and manuals still available for the engine? While doing all this structural work is it possible to upgrade it's 100hp rating? Should I just crawl under a rock and say the boat belongs to someone else? Oh yeah, it loves me.

    I want this restoration to be right. I'm sort of anal.
    Joined: Jul 2007
    Posts: 164
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    Location: Nowhere

    USCGRET/E8 Senior Chief

    If you read up on the proper fiberglassing techniques, you can make the boat into whatever you want. You will have to cut the floor out to repair the bottom. The older motors were heavy. Today you can get a lot more Hp for the same weight. The motor is repairable, but they were big gas guzzlers. You could find a running late model for what a rebuild will cost on the old motor. For possible info on the boat, check with the guys at http://www.fiberglassics.com/
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