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Discussion Starter #1
Hey MS,

I've been watching lots of Florida Sportsman Project Dreamboat, checking threads here, and just contemplating the past lives of my 1998 Back Country 151 Pro Guide lately. It's a great boat that I've really been enjoying, but previous owners have made some slightly questionable decisions over the years that I'm thinking about dedicating some time to fixing, and just generally breathing new life into this hull so I can make it last a long time.

My question is, how do you know whether there's water where it shouldn't be, stringer delamination, or a gas tank in need of replacement, without pulling the floor or deck cap? I'm assuming the answer is "you don't," but...
 

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You got it. Most folks think it’s not worth the effort. In the middle of that decision now. I don’t think you’ll ever get your money back out of the repair. My dads boat makes decision harder. Running out of “ just use it “ rationale His boat is a big 22’ skiff. If it was smaller I might be inclined to pull the trigger sooner , not a cost thing just an effort & getting finished thing. Takes me twice as long to do half as much Let us know what you decide. Good luck
 

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Brandon, FL
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If you smell gas you have a problem.

You can guarantee the wood in the stringer is mush. But the stringer is actually the glass that encased the wood form.

If you love the boat and it is getting to look a bit shabby and you would like some upgrades, then have the total boat redone.

If you like the boat and it is getting to look a bit shabby and you would like some upgrades, then polish it up and sell it.

A redo should last you longer than this 20 years because you will be taking care of it.

The 151 is a really great hull.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If you smell gas you have a problem.

You can guarantee the wood in the stringer is mush. But the stringer is actually the glass that encased the wood form.

If you love the boat and it is getting to look a bit shabby and you would like some upgrades, then have the total boat redone.

If you like the boat and it is getting to look a bit shabby and you would like some upgrades, then polish it up and sell it.

A redo should last you longer than this 20 years because you will be taking care of it.

The 151 is a really great hull.
Thanks for the advice! Were the stringers definitely cored with wood?

If the fiberglass portion of the stringer is still structurally sound, is the only disadvantage of this water intrusion the extra weight of the water-soaked wood?
 

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if you've been using this skiff for a long time you'd notice a stringer problem in rough chop. as Ducknut said if your fuel tank was bad you'd smell it. If you want to know if there is water trapped anywhere, sit in the boat and have someone pull it a few feet and stop quickly. you'll hear water sloshing (I had a Mitzi 17 way back and that's what I heard when my son pulled it to the back yard with me in it, I had no idea). If you want to spiff it up by all means clean, buff, rewire but I wouldn't sweat the other things unless you see a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
if you've been using this skiff for a long time you'd notice a stringer problem in rough chop. as Ducknut said if your fuel tank was bad you'd smell it. If you want to know if there is water trapped anywhere, sit in the boat and have someone pull it a few feet and stop quickly. you'll hear water sloshing (I had a Mitzi 17 way back and that's what I heard when my son pulled it to the back yard with me in it, I had no idea). If you want to spiff it up by all means clean, buff, rewire but I wouldn't sweat the other things unless you see a problem.
I hate to ask a question with an answer in mind but this is pretty much exactly what I wanted to hear, haha. I plan on doing some things to spiff it up, so I'll be posting progress pics at some point in the future. The biggest repair/change I'll do will be replacing the current console, which is open to the elements and does nothing to protect the wiring, fuses, and starting battery from weather or spray. More to come... thanks for the help!
 

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Brandon, FL
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Thanks for the advice! Were the stringers definitely cored with wood?

If the fiberglass portion of the stringer is still structurally sound, is the only disadvantage of this water intrusion the extra weight of the water-soaked wood?
The wood rots due to one factor - water. It was made before foam products were used. Now they shape them from foam and glass over them. At least they don't rot but they will still have water in them. It is unavoidable.

If you have flotation foam under the floor you can be assured it is wet as well. It is unavoidable.

If you have water lying around in places you can hear it is likely that it came from the top down.

@devrep sums it up well except you will not hear the water in the foam. If you have stringer issues, you would see the results of the failure.
 

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Ive used some rotten wood catalyst type products.It allowed wood to be handled for repair somewhat. Not sure i’d Trust it with a transom ,might make you feel better with stringers. Should stiffen them somewhat as well
 

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Discussion Starter #9
if you've been using this skiff for a long time you'd notice a stringer problem in rough chop. as Ducknut said if your fuel tank was bad you'd smell it. If you want to know if there is water trapped anywhere, sit in the boat and have someone pull it a few feet and stop quickly. you'll hear water sloshing (I had a Mitzi 17 way back and that's what I heard when my son pulled it to the back yard with me in it, I had no idea). If you want to spiff it up by all means clean, buff, rewire but I wouldn't sweat the other things unless you see a problem.
What would stringer failure look like from the outside/cockpit?
 

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Brandon, FL
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You would have cracks that are larger and not the real fine spider cracks everyone is used too.

Personally I believe you have a great skiff and are worrying about nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You would have cracks that are larger and not the real fine spider cracks everyone is used too.

Personally I believe you have a great skiff and are worrying about nothing.
I am not worrying so much as just learning and trying to prioritize projects. A couple things previous owners did strike me as excessively stupid. For example, cutting a big hole in the, I'm gonna call it a transom bracket, but it's a piece of glass between the transom and the hull bottom inside the bilge area that would seem to support the transom from the forces of the motor pushing towards the bow.

Thanks everyone for the input!
 

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Brandon, FL
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This is the transom support area I was talking about. You are looking from the port side with the stern at the right of the image, bow at the left.
Don't know why they would have cut like that. Just slobber some epoxy on the cuts and it will be fine, plenty strong.

Other pics look great.
 

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Can't believe how people accept water sloshing around in their boat. As a corollary I can't understand people running wet bilges. This is then the problem; that you don't know if the boat is leaking. It's taken me nearly a year to get my boat running dry bilges (this is a brand new boat!). I've had to renew almost every fitting as they were all leaking due to poor materials and workmanship. Wet bilges is the excuse for this. However ,it's possible. then with dry bilges you can work out where the water is coming from and sort it before it develops into a serious problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Don't know why they would have cut like that. Just slobber some epoxy on the cuts and it will be fine, plenty strong.

Other pics look great.
And if I wanted to do a more complete repair? Just so it looks better if I ever go to sell it. @Boatbrains ?
 

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And if I wanted to do a more complete repair? Just so it looks better if I ever go to sell it. @Boatbrains ?
sandwich plastic (like visqueen) between two pieces of wood, and clamp onto both sides of that transom knee (for lack of a better term) making a barrier, fill with thickened resin, allow cure, remove clamp/plastic/wood and sand to proper shape.
 
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