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TOPIC: 1968 Niagara

1968 Niagara 11 months 3 weeks ago #145252

Hello Everyone I have become the owner of what I believe to be a 1968 Niagara and I can't seem to decide how rough the rough shape it is in. It has sat outside like most of these for last decade or 2 with whatever was in the interior rotting away.
I know for sure I'm probably going to have to cut up the floor to get the foam out that I am sure weighs about a ton now. I'm also pretty sure the transom is in need of replacing based on it's age but it sounds sold and doesn't move if you grab it and pull or push on it.
It does float or at least it doesn't sink and I can't beat the price of free that I paid for it.
I do have a few questions. Please keep in mind my intention with this boat is just to have some fun. I'm not worried if it's the peach of the lake, I just want to get out on the water with the wife and have some fun boating around.
1. Around the edges of the interior where they attached the trim it feels like they used plywood, it won't hold their little nails anymore and I'm assuming they glassed it in and it can be easily replaced. Should I just glue the trim back in place?
2. Where did people mount the battery? I'm assuming on the right side in the back but it's hard to tell.
3. At some point a previous owner added an automatic bilge pump, the switch is still there but the pump itself is gone. Any ideas on why they put that in there?
4. The interior is missing most everything, no ski racks or anything. It did come with a pile of Vinyl that resembles the fun in the sun seats I see in the brochures. Did they gel coat the interior or was it paint? It is worn down to fiberglass in places so is it worth coating it or just using paint?
5. I did see in another thread that I can't find now some product for the transom that just needed you to drill some holes from the inside so that some chemical can be injected that will bond to and impregnate the wood making it solid again. Any ideas what that might be?
6. The windscreen is nice and yellow, would using a headlight restoration kit clear that up or is it a lost cause and treat it like yellow sunglasses?

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1968 Niagara 11 months 3 weeks ago #145253

Can someone move this to the MFG forum? I didn't realize it wasn't posting were I was reading.

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1968 Niagara 11 months 3 weeks ago #145258

Hi Phil !
Welcome to fiberglassics. You came to the right place for all answers you seek. There is a ton of restoration/fix it knowledge here.
You'll have to wait for davnau6345 to reply to get the best MFG answers to your questions.
Just remember it's your boat. fix it the way you like it !
The sad thing about MFG and Lyman boats (the start for MFG boats), although being great boats ! They are considered Blue collar boats, So price wise ? it's not a sought after big money boat, so do as you choose.
Other than that a good scrubbing on yours to get started is the way to go !
Take a ton of pictures, because we love pictures of your journey !
There are topics here to make a dull gelcoat to shine like new, to transom and floor replacement, and updating to modern tech and safety upgrades, but still have the charm of an old boat.
So ask away for any questions you have ?
Good luck on your fix-it journey !

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1968 Niagara 11 months 3 weeks ago #145262

All the brochures show foam under the floor and I'm sure it's saturated. Is it easier to to cut out the entire floor and get out the foam and try to glass it back in or do a series of holes and cover the floor with plywood later and just make a new floor to cover the holes?
Another question is the front of this boat weighs a ton and I read someplace they put lots of foam in the front behind the foot rest area which would explain why it weighs so much if it's water logged. I'm just curious if that is true.
Lastly under the gunwales there is some foam, not the amount I would expect from the way the brochures describe it but is there an easy way to get rid if it? Or just leave it and don't touch it as I am sure it gave someone cancer in California. :) I'm sure it isn't effective anymore as I did brush it looking at the wiring and it turned to powder.

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1968 Niagara 4 months 4 days ago #146440

Hey, I just got a 1962 Niagara. I saw that you just got one. How is it coming?
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1968 Niagara 1 month 1 week ago #146774

Sorry for not being one for most of the last year. Been buried with club work in ACBS and AOMCI. On the board of the former, and do all the membership services for the latter.

So:

1. Around the edges of the interior where they attached the trim it feels like they used plywood, it won't hold their little nails anymore and I'm assuming they glassed it in and it can be easily replaced. Should I just glue the trim back in place?

The interiors changed from year to year, and depended on trim level. Do you have pictures?

2. Where did people mount the battery? I'm assuming on the right side in the back but it's hard to tell.

Normally, starboard side under the motorwell.

3. At some point a previous owner added an automatic bilge pump, the switch is still there but the pump itself is gone. Any ideas on why they put that in there?

Really don't need it. Put the plug on the inside, and if a lot of water gets in the boat, just pull the plug while on plane and let it drain out, then put the plug back in. Growing up, my dad always did it that way, and now at 69, I still drain it that way Works well.

4. The interior is missing most everything, no ski racks or anything. It did come with a pile of Vinyl that resembles the fun in the sun seats I see in the brochures. Did they gel coat the interior or was it paint? It is worn down to fiberglass in places so is it worth coating it or just using paint?

The interiors were almost always splatter paint and the paint is no longer available. I'd just sand it down and use a currently available splatter paint.


5. I did see in another thread that I can't find now some product for the transom that just needed you to drill some holes from the inside so that some chemical can be injected that will bond to and impregnate the wood making it solid again. Any ideas what that might be?

That does not work well. The best way is the cut the inside fiberglass and remove all the rotted wood. It will look like mulch. The use Seacast or I've used Carbon Core CarbonBond. There are others out there. I would never use wood again.

6. The windscreen is nice and yellow, would using a headlight restoration kit clear that up or is it a lost cause and treat it like yellow sunglasses?

If yellowed, put up with it, or get a custom replacement made. That can run $1500 or more. TaylorMade does not have them available anymore.

Hope this helps.

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Dave Nau - 1966 MFG Niagara with 1963 Mercury 350 (35hp) outboard and 1966 Tee Nee trailer. Second boat is a 1962 MFG Edinboro with a 1984 Evinrude 70hp and Holsclaw trailer.
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