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TOPIC: Finally can post a pic of my 65 Erie!

Finally can post a pic of my 65 Erie! 2 years 11 months ago #116876

  • 63g3
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Restored this this year, for a change an oldie that did not need much. PERFECT transom but ya still gotta do work to keep them that way due to factory oversights. As a tribute to original owner, I've named it "Walter" .
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Re:Finally can post a pic of my 65 Erie! 2 years 11 months ago #116896

Wow, that's really a great looking boat! That model is hard to find - only made 1965-1966. I remember a 1966 Bronze Mist-decked one on Lake Chautauqua when I was a kid, owned by the owner of the cottage resort we would stay at and powered by the then new 100hp Johnson.

Where are you located and where did you find it? I'd love to see it. I'm really partial to those MFG's with a Horizon Blue deck.

What factory oversights were you referring too? I think those hulls are hand-layup with fiberglass floors and wood stringers, like the Seaway. I'm sure volume was too low to pay for the tooling of a matched metal die set.

Also, I've found the finish on a factory original hull of the Erie was shiny like the deck, unlike the pressure molded Niagara, Westfield and Edinboro, which have a more satin finish. Lost two points at the Clayton show this year because the judges were not familiar with the satin finish of my Niagara - they did not think it was as shiny as it should be.

You should show that boat at an ACBS show - it would be a hit! Your Erie shows really well with that black Mercury on the transom.

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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.

Re:Finally can post a pic of my 65 Erie! 2 years 11 months ago #116929

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Yes, that really looks great. What a nice looking setup.

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Great to be on board.
Rick

Re:Finally can post a pic of my 65 Erie! 2 years 11 months ago #116932

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Hi Dave (?),
So I live in MA, I,m on the Merrimac River about 4 miles up from the ocean but it's all fresh water. Miles and miles of smooth water going away from the ocean perfect to play with the smaller boats. I do go Ocean bound occasionally by vintage boat but gotta pick them right day. I found this stuff called salt away that deactivates salt, you use it to wash down, it's in a small canister that attaches to the garden hose. The motor flushes during the end of journey up river. Anyways I was a salt phobe after spending so much time on restoration but I find doing this is harmless and opens up other boating possibilities.
As a kid I hated the looks of the MFG's they where not sleek nor fast our neighbor had one and as a snotty kid I saw nothing to love but, I was looking for a vintage runabout that would be better for rougher water and thought an MFG might be the ticket. I restored a 66 Merc 950 to use on eventually getting a larger runabout MFG or not. After a little reasearch on the way MFG's were made ( this gives clues as to what might go wrong to look for) I was sold, how cool that tooling is!
So, I have to tell you about my 64 Edinboro as it lead me to the Erie. I restored the Edinboro a few years back. I got it out of Texas the transom was shot but, boat was bone dry, gel was good. It had back to backs which is not right for the boat when I got it. The original owner put them in after his kids broke the seat backs on the Fun and Suns, they did it around 1970 so the seats were still in keeping with the boat. This shot was at an ACBS event on Winnipesaukee in 2014. Like yours it took first in class...good for you by the way!!!! The Edinboro had a same year very nice Merc 1000 on it but I put the restored 950 on where it was done. ACBS is OK with 2 year difference so no pointbdeduct for that. Plus the 65 and later motors are much quieter.
I am obsessive about having things as correct as possible, I do make hidden improvements where deemed necessary but don't want to hurt the nature of originality, I like to say yup that's what you saw in ( insert year)
I obtain all the literature I can on any restoration to aid in correctness. Despite rebuilding the back to backs during the restoration the lack of Sun and Funs always made this boat less than perfect, at least to me so I started the hunt for the parts to make a set. It took me several years to obtain enough parts and pictures and catalogs and advertisements to reproduce a set. I surfed everywhere stopped by every roadside wreck etc. In the hunt for the parts I came across the Erie on eBay. I copied all the posted auction pictures because here was an unmolested set I could model after. It had the fancy chrome hinges rather than the stamped plain aluminum ones that the Edinboro should have but it gave me a good understanding of the upholstery and seat bases. I was finally ready to start building seats!
Curiosity got me going on the Erie, it was so perfect, so unused, so complete, it had a Merc 1000 to boot. But, it was in Ohio and I certainly did not need yet another boat...I run 7 restorations of various years and flavors so I had to be content to watch the auction play out....that said...no one was bidding, it had no reserve and a low start price so I posted it on u-ship ...just for curiosity of course......to see what shipping would be. Geez still no bidders on eBay and I got a hit on reasonable shipping to the NY PA border which put it within day trip range for a pick- up by me......oh I know that feeling, it's like free falling into the abys of another boat purchase...
There always has to be some sort of weak justification so I did the math on what building a set of seats would cost ( mostly in upholstery, the only thing I can't do) and well I could sell the Edinboro and it would be nice if the Edinboro was slightly bigger....yes yes I should bid!
So I won the auction @ 2100 and 200 for shipping.....a sleepless night of buyers remorse..l have so little self control. I figured seats would be 500 out of pocket when all was said and done and as it turned out I got 1200 for the Edinboro with no motor (I kept the 950) so it was really only 600 and I got another Merc in the deal...weak justification done!
The Erie was so perfect I was stunned, very rare that vintage in person is better than vintage in photos. I have restored a lot of Mercs and this motor was never touched the tamper wire was still on the distributor I have never seen that ever, it was so "new" that I decided to swap on the 950 and mothball the 1000.
Anyways I may be boring you, we all go through this! I'll start another reply on what I did as improvements on the Erie.

Here is my Edinboro I restored a few years back
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Re:Finally can post a pic of my 65 Erie! 2 years 11 months ago #116940

Both of those boats are beautiful. I been cleaning, polishing and repairing my Niagara for over two years. When I see boats like your's and Dave's, I want to throw mine away and start over.

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Re:Finally can post a pic of my 65 Erie! 2 years 11 months ago #116967

63g3,

That Edinboro looks great too - the new owner got a terrific boat.

Good story. Funny how things turn out. You are a bit far away for me to see it, but it still looks great. Hold on to it!

bpnut,

I got somewhat lucky with my Niagara. It took two years of looking, but I was trying to find a blue Niagara or Westfield, in great unmolested, original shape. Finally found one on the Pittsburgh craigslist. Just took time and effort, along with some luck to actually find one. I guess I'm too lazy to do a complete restoration!

For your boat, just keep working on it, but also use it and have fun on the water with it. From the small picture, it looks pretty good. Looks real good with that Mercury on it. Most MFG dealers back in the day were Johnson or Evinrude dealers.

The biggest issue I have found with old boats that otherwise look good is with the seats - they go bad first. Just got done doing minor restoration of the seats of my 1970 Arrow Glass Flyer by fixing some wood rot and rusted screws, replacing them with stainless. Finally got it out yesterday (76 degrees and a calm Lake Erie off Cleveland!) but found the 33 Johnson on it probably has a bad coil - only running on one cylinder. At least I got out.

I'm now looking for a nice Westfield or Edinboro Custom with intact Sun 'n Fun seats. I've found that's been been a tough boat to find. (My brother's 1965 Edinboro Custom is a mess and the Sun 'n Fun seats are starting to fall apart.)

My Niagara is the base model with the original back-to-back lounge seats. Those were OK with me because my favorite boat we had growing up was a blue 1966 Westfield (base) model and mine is just like it, with the same seats, just the one size smaller Niagara.

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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.

Re:Finally can post a pic of my 65 Erie! 2 years 11 months ago #116980

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FYI picture will enlarge if you click on it or touch it if using a tablet.
Yup you have a nice find there, good looking boat!!! Good luck on the hunt for the Edinboro custom, they ride so well.
So a few things to do once you have a good one is to protect the transom from water intrusion. Any through bolts are obvious but the not so obvious is the transom top under the aluminum trim and the two drain tubes.
Here is a picture of the Erie with the motor well out and transom trim removed and the side storage shelves off to give unrestricted access.. The wood is perfect, so I got busy protecting it. The transom was two layers of 1/2 inch ply with a 1 inch layer of end grain balsa sandwiched between them. I ground the inner glass clean to remove the paint layer and ground the top edge just to clean it.
The weakness is water will easily wick in through the trim screws or right under the trim itself. The end grain balsa and plywood edges will wick in as much water as gets to it, there was no real sealing of the transom top wood from the factory and what was there was hardened and now useless after 45 plus years.
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Re:Finally can post a pic of my 65 Erie! 2 years 11 months ago #116981

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Here you see I have some drilled holes to be concerned about. The original transom motor bolt holes, 4 holes from a trolling motor bracket and screw holes from the motor well. You will also note I cut a round hole in the drain sump to get access to both sides of the below floor area drain tube. I also removed the speedo pick- up and the the trim and pitot tubing itself to treat that hole through the transom as well. Anywhere a hole touches the wood needs attention because no sealer was used or its old and crumbly due to inferior materials available at that time.
The drain tubes are a real weakness because water will wick into the wood around the outside of the tube, they have very tiny flanges for sealing against the transom face and they are just pressed in, no sealing at all. Where the edge is rolled on the inside, again no sealer so any water that runs into the sump will wick in between the tube and the wood core. The same is true for the motor well drain tubes but they are not as problematic being above the waterline. Once this process starts its certain rot which speeds this process allowing more to wick in. All this is fine for the boat to last 5 years or so,which was the only intention. You will also note I ground the floor in the tank area so I can add new glass that will roll up the transom making a seamless layer of glass at the floor transom corner.
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Re:Finally can post a pic of my 65 Erie! 2 years 11 months ago #116984

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I can now start the preservation process but first I let a hair dryer run in that sump hole it blows air through the drain holes to insure wood is real dry around the diameter. I felt dry and zero rot but just playin it safe.
Interesting to note is that the brass tube in the lower hole started to corrode in one small area on the O.D. on the tube not visible till I removed it...whew caught it in time. Thank goodness this boat was in a garage for years rarely used and even at that some, seeds of destruction where starting but, no progression.
I'll continue on with the preventatives but that'll be the next post

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Re:Finally can post a pic of my 65 Erie! 2 years 11 months ago #117056

Wow, you went way beyond what I did with my Niagara. I just checked for a sound transom and made sure the foam under the floor was dry. I have yet to seal up the areas you mentioned, but I definitely will before taking it out again in the spring.

That Erie is good for another 50 years easy!

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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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