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#12738017 - 05/01/18 10:57 AM Cosmetic issues with an older boat
RJF1423 Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 11/15/10
Posts: 4392
I've got an old boat. '91 Model Champion 201. It's paid for, doesn't leak, rides extremely well but she ain't pretty at all. Gelcoat is somewhat faded. There are plenty of chips and gouges from the previous owner who did not take very good care of it. The stern is littered with screws from the previous owner switching out transducers. I bought the whole setup, boat, trailer and motor last summer for $2K and been working on restoring it ever since. It had a blown lower unit on it and that is why I got it so cheap. I put a new one on and it runs fine now. Had a few small issues with the fuel line and gotten those sorted out as well. I wanted to start working on some cosmetic things such as the carpet and gelcoat.

1. Save up and put a wrap on it?
2. Start the Pro-Tec process and sand/buff the whole thing and then try to fix the chips/gouges myself? (Is it even possible to fix gelcoat chips myself?)
3. Forget about the cosmetic issues on the gelcoat and move on to the carpet?


If it comes down to spending thousands of dollars to get it the gelcoat done professionally... I won't do it. My wife doesn't work, we live on a teachers salary and I can't spend much money on it anyway. I would rather just live with the cosmetic problems than put myself into debt getting the gelcoat fixed.

I am leaning towards putting a wrap on the boat. We have a family friend who does that kind of stuff and I can get it done fairly cheap. Really, I am wanting to know if that is a bad idea or not?

I have very much debated on getting a gorilla/gator hull but I just don't think it is smart to dump that kind of money into a boat I have only put $3500 into and I really can't afford it anyway. Plus it's going to be 30 years old in 3 years...

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#12738028 - 05/01/18 11:01 AM Re: Cosmetic issues with an older boat [Re: RJF1423]
Txduckhunter Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/19/02
Posts: 1886
Loc: Lake Fork
1 - easiest way to go.
2 - not a bad option. Lots of elbow grease involved but the product seems to work. Keep in mind, it's not a miracle product. If its too bad, its too bad.
3 - up to you. If you can lie with it, just enjoy it.

Myself, if I paid 2k for the boat and it ran ok, I'd just fish it and be done.

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#12738074 - 05/01/18 11:25 AM Re: Cosmetic issues with an older boat [Re: RJF1423]
Chris_K Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/14/15
Posts: 1364
Loc: TX
If you can get a wrap cheap, why not just do that ?

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#12738075 - 05/01/18 11:25 AM Re: Cosmetic issues with an older boat [Re: RJF1423]
rscustomrods Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/30/07
Posts: 136
I have a 1994 ranger that spent its entire life on fork. Needless to say the hull has a lot of dings gouges and scratches. In the last year I re carpeted and add the anti fatigue mat everywhere, re powered with a very low hours used verado and put on new graphs and an ultrex.

I use marine Tex to patch any damage that needs repair. Other than that I plan to run this boat until it sinks. It was my dads boat so the is significant sentimental value to me.

The short answer is donít sweat the cosmetics. Invest your money in performance of the boat in order to enjoy catching as many fish as possible

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#12738248 - 05/01/18 12:50 PM Re: Cosmetic issues with an older boat [Re: rscustomrods]
Ted Martin Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/26/05
Posts: 2211
Loc: Dallas, TX
Originally Posted By: rscustomrods
The short answer is donít sweat the cosmetics.


This ^^^ - at this point i would focus my effort and $ on getting the trailer, motor, plumbing, electrical, steering and fuel system as mechanically sound & reliable as possible so you can enjoy your time on the water. I wouldn't touch carpet or gel coat until i was 100% sure all those are in tip-top concidion:

Trailer - check / replace as necessary everything from the axles out - hub, bearings, races, seals, brakes.
Motor - check the sparks and carbs, replace the filters, wouldn't hurt to replace all the fuel delivery hoses.
Steering - if cables, consider replacing if you don't know how old, especially if the steering is real tight
electrical - at a minimum, familiarize yourself with the wiring so you can quickly fix when something goes haywire

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#12738257 - 05/01/18 12:55 PM Re: Cosmetic issues with an older boat [Re: RJF1423]
Bass Buster1 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 1731
Loc: Denton
My 92 javelin is ugly too and I catch a bunch of fish out of it. I have not had one fish tell me I had an ugly old boat! It is PAID FOR and dependable! I am saving for new carpet, gauges, and seats my self. I am making it more comfortable for me to fish out of and don't really care what anyone else thinks about how it looks.
_________________________
See you on the lake and have a great day!

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#12738271 - 05/01/18 01:04 PM Re: Cosmetic issues with an older boat [Re: RJF1423]
texasbass1 Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 02/12/05
Posts: 6101
Loc: The Colony, TX
I have a 92 model Procraft. She is a little faded with a few scratches but she still fishes great. I try and keep her looking good but it is a fishing boat.

I have had the carpet replaced and a few other cosmetic things. I've upgraded electronics, gauges, TM and re-powered. As long as she floats, I'll be keeping her. If the appearance concerns you a wrap would be the easiest way to go. Not the cheapest but it would save a lot of work on the gelcoat.

Enjoy your new to you boat.
_________________________
Pat Leach



USAF MSgt Retired

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#12738283 - 05/01/18 01:10 PM Re: Cosmetic issues with an older boat [Re: RJF1423]
Hog Jaw Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/09/08
Posts: 2584
Loc: The Great State of Texas
My Beater Skeater has spent its whole life on the water , same lake . Iím 2nd owner , if itís not on the water itís on the lift or on the trailer to go on the water . Gave up on cosmetics long ago , it goes where the fish are .

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#12738286 - 05/01/18 01:12 PM Re: Cosmetic issues with an older boat [Re: Ted Martin]
RJF1423 Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 11/15/10
Posts: 4392
Originally Posted By: Ted Martin
Originally Posted By: rscustomrods
The short answer is donít sweat the cosmetics.


This ^^^ - at this point i would focus my effort and $ on getting the trailer, motor, plumbing, electrical, steering and fuel system as mechanically sound & reliable as possible so you can enjoy your time on the water. I wouldn't touch carpet or gel coat until i was 100% sure all those are in tip-top concidion:

Trailer - check / replace as necessary everything from the axles out - hub, bearings, races, seals, brakes.
Motor - check the sparks and carbs, replace the filters, wouldn't hurt to replace all the fuel delivery hoses.
Steering - if cables, consider replacing if you don't know how old, especially if the steering is real tight
electrical - at a minimum, familiarize yourself with the wiring so you can quickly fix when something goes haywire


I've actually done most of that already. Replaced one of the steering cables in the fall. Replaced filters and fuel pump diaphragm. Spark plugs are good as well as carbs. The engine actually had a tune up done before I bought it. Other than some dents and dings the trailer is in good shape. I replaced all of the electrical wiring and put new lights on it last summer. Replaced two of the tires as well. Gone through and fixed some of the switches and got the bilge working again. New TM put on last summer. I also just replaced all of the gas springs in the lids last week and I am working on making a deck insert. The last thing I am working on is fixing the bow roller/mount. Mine is bent.

So, basically, the boat is mechanically sound. It's the cosmetic stuff that is lacking now. Being a teacher/coach, I want to work on the carpet/gelcoat this summer when I have some time off. Just haven't settled on what exactly I want to do yet.

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#12738586 - 05/01/18 04:43 PM Re: Cosmetic issues with an older boat [Re: RJF1423]
Ian Fellenbaum Online   content
Angler

Registered: 11/05/15
Posts: 321
Loc: Mesquite, Tx
The fish don't care what it looks like. If it really bothers you Wrap it. If it were me I would fish out of it.
_________________________
STORAGE CONTAINERS TO GO
Sales-Rentals-Rent to Own
9036300977

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#12738604 - 05/01/18 04:58 PM Re: Cosmetic issues with an older boat [Re: RJF1423]
Ken A. Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 10/02/06
Posts: 9924
Loc: Trophy Club, TX
I've had three boats wrapped. They look great from a distance of 50' away. The wraps are awesome if you are promoting a business that will pay for a new wrap every 2-3 years. They get scratched and even torn pretty easily. They can repair the torn places if the graphics shop knows what they're doing.

If it were me, I would put new carpet in the boat and Go Fishing!

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#12738615 - 05/01/18 05:08 PM Re: Cosmetic issues with an older boat [Re: RJF1423]
Ted Martin Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/26/05
Posts: 2211
Loc: Dallas, TX
Originally Posted By: RJF1423
Originally Posted By: Ted Martin
Originally Posted By: rscustomrods
The short answer is donít sweat the cosmetics.


This ^^^ - at this point i would focus my effort and $ on getting the trailer, motor, plumbing, electrical, steering and fuel system as mechanically sound & reliable as possible so you can enjoy your time on the water. I wouldn't touch carpet or gel coat until i was 100% sure all those are in tip-top concidion:

Trailer - check / replace as necessary everything from the axles out - hub, bearings, races, seals, brakes.
Motor - check the sparks and carbs, replace the filters, wouldn't hurt to replace all the fuel delivery hoses.
Steering - if cables, consider replacing if you don't know how old, especially if the steering is real tight
electrical - at a minimum, familiarize yourself with the wiring so you can quickly fix when something goes haywire



I've actually done most of that already. Replaced one of the steering cables in the fall. Replaced filters and fuel pump diaphragm. Spark plugs are good as well as carbs. The engine actually had a tune up done before I bought it. Other than some dents and dings the trailer is in good shape. I replaced all of the electrical wiring and put new lights on it last summer. Replaced two of the tires as well. Gone through and fixed some of the switches and got the bilge working again. New TM put on last summer. I also just replaced all of the gas springs in the lids last week and I am working on making a deck insert. The last thing I am working on is fixing the bow roller/mount. Mine is bent.

So, basically, the boat is mechanically sound. It's the cosmetic stuff that is lacking now. Being a teacher/coach, I want to work on the carpet/gelcoat this summer when I have some time off. Just haven't settled on what exactly I want to do yet.


Good deal cheers

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#12738624 - 05/01/18 05:11 PM Re: Cosmetic issues with an older boat [Re: RJF1423]
JIM SR. Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 09/25/06
Posts: 7591
Loc: NRH/Fork ! GET THE NET
Safety stuff first..boat and trailer. Lights, brakes, steering, etc. fish

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#12738641 - 05/01/18 05:17 PM Re: Cosmetic issues with an older boat [Re: RJF1423]
Rog Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 538
Loc: Carrollton
For gel coat try this. Meguires color restored and elbow grease. If real bad may need to use buffer. You maybe surprised how much better it looks after one pass. Took two on mine but did it by hand. Follow up with meguires polish and then put on a coat of wax. Not show room but it will look pretty nice. The color restorer with get rid of small scratches just live with the chips and such. They add character.

For carpet take it to lake fork boat carpet. You will be very happy cost me about 1k for 19 ft skeeter. I had already helped someone with their carpet and said never again. Too much work for me.

For screw holes on stern remove and fill with underwater weld. Itís a putty and works great to fill those holes water tight and easier to work with than marine tex

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#12738662 - 05/01/18 05:25 PM Re: Cosmetic issues with an older boat [Re: RJF1423]
Bobby Milam Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 07/13/14
Posts: 3509
Loc: Arlington
Everyone wants a shiny, new looking boat. You just can't expect it for $2000. A wrap is a temporary solution that will get messed up if you fish in stumps. If it were me then the first thing that is do is check the transom out good and then reseal it. That means replacing all the fittings and pumps. Pretty cheap and easy to do. Then just fish. When winter comes around and you won't fish as often, start working on bringing the shine back.

Fish won't mind what it looks like. Use the money to upgrade electronics and enjoy it. I've had crappy looking boats and nice looking boats. Much less stressful having one that you don't have to worry about find and scratches.

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