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TOPIC: My "new" 1971 MFG Carefree

My "new" 1971 MFG Carefree 2 years 2 weeks ago #123884

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Picked this baby up last night. In real good condition, including a solid transom and full, complete windshield. Few dings here and there, but really not much. Needs seats, battery and motor. Has bimini top frame, and rides on a 1970 International Erectors & Fabricators trailer.

I am rebuilding my hot rod, and over the next year, that will suck a bunch of money out of my thin wallet. In the meantime, I will look around for a motor. I have not even had a chance to measure the transom, but this has to be a 15"er don't you think?

Frank
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Re:My "new" 1971 MFG Carefree 2 years 1 week ago #124009

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Man o man, after spending I don't know how many hours over a couple of years rebuilding my old PowerCat, this thing is gonna be just wax me up and go. I waxed just the passenger side quickly today, as I was very busy with other stuff, and boy, does that yellow pop! Supposed to rain tonight (deluge from what the news says), so got the nose tipped up. Gonna order a cover tonight.

Frank
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Re:My "new" 1971 MFG Carefree (off the trailer) 2 years 1 week ago #124041

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Did good this morning. Got the MFG off the trailer so I could rebuild it. Boat doesn't need much help, other than bolt on stuff, but trailer needs hubs rebuilt, paint, new wheels & tires and wiring/lights.

More to come.

Frank
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Re:My "new" 1971 MFG Carefree 2 years 1 week ago #124042

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From the side...

Those sawhorses in the pic above keep the boat from rocking. I don't have much lumber around right now, but may make a cradle for this baby before I'm done.
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Re:My "new" 1971 MFG Carefree 2 years 1 week ago #124047

Looks very nice. The Carefree is a great little boat. It is 13' 6", but looks bigger. It's rated for up to 40hp. Will run nicely with a 33, 35 or 40hp OMC or Mercury twin.

Based on the Crestliner Mustang hull (Crestliner was owned by MFG back then), it will be a great project for you. Check the library on this site for more info via old sales brochures.The small profile back-to-back seats sold by marine supply houses will likely work fine.

The Carefree was in production from 1967-1979. Not many yellow ones made, however.

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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:My 2 years 1 week ago #124048

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davnau6345 wrote:

Looks very nice. The Carefree is a great little boat. It is 13' 6", but looks bigger. It's rated for up to 40hp. Will run nicely with a 33, 35 or 40hp OMC or Mercury twin.

Based on the Crestliner Mustang hull (Crestliner was owned by MFG back then), it will be a great project for you. Check the library on this site for more info via old sales brochures.The small profile back-to-back seats sold by marine supply houses will like work fine.

The Carefree was in production from 1967-1979. Not many yellow ones made, however.


Thanks Dave! This boat is very solid, I was surprised for its age. It must have been kept covered. I think the yellow is what attracted my wife. She thought it was "cute." interesting it's a rare color. The deck is in real good shape for a 45 year old boat, a couple spider cracks in the splash pan is about it.

It looks like it's set up for buckets. I won't be home till tonight, but I'll post a pic of the bolt pattern for the seats soon as I can.

I have a lead on a '73 40 hp Evinrude (attached to a '61 Owens) that I hope to pick up next weekend.

Right side hub on the trailer only came off after leaving the inner bearing on the axle. That was the last thing I did today befoe I took off. It's a '70 International Erectors & Fabricators trailer. I can't find anything on it, but no big deal, it's pretty straight forward.

I'll keep y'all posted.

Frank

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Re:My "new" 1971 MFG Carefree 2 years 1 week ago #124081

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I have some questions and am going to see if I can figure out how to insert pics.

First, what are these clips?



Never had a bimini top before. Can I make this thing work somehow? Looks very simple.





Looks like this foam enclosed seating area is set up for buckets?



From what the guy told me I bought it from, there was a floor behind the front buckets, plywood and carpet. It rested on the supports in the back, like the one closest here, and a space behind the front seat platform. The one on the other side is missing, but could be easily replicated and plywood put on both sides that would then (from what the previous owner said) form a "V" for drainage.



That's it for today. Been a long day. More as I can get at it. Thanks!

Frank

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Re:My "new" 1971 MFG Carefree 2 years 1 week ago #124160

That boat originally had black fixed back-to-back seats from the factory, mounted on small supports, that were also yellow.

See:

forums.fiberglassics.com/mfg/mfgb70013.jpg

There is a "hidden" side of fiberglassics.com for MFGs that has most of Jum Coffman's old website data at:

forums.fiberglassics.com/mfg/

The first link is part of that. I go to second link all the time. The Carefree page link is from that of the second link.

Not sure about the clips - might have been part of the top that secures the front of it to the windshield header frame. My 1966 Niagara has similar clips, but they are all the same.

Also, the top is not a bimini style. Rather, it's a convertible top. Bimini tops are tall and the length of them is 1-4 feet above the windshield height, depending on the bimini design.

Yours looked more like mine, as shown in the Niagara page from the 1966 MFG sales brochure shown below, while the second picture shows a bimini top on a modern bowrider. Last picture is from the 1971 sales brochure from the first link, showing your boat:
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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:My 2 years 1 week ago #124168

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davnau6345 wrote:

That boat originally had black fixed back-to-back seats from the factory, mounted on small supports, that were also yellow.

Not sure about the clips - might have been part of the top that secures the front of it to the windshield header frame. My 1966 Niagara has similar clips, but they are all the same.

Also, the top is not a bimini style. Rather, it's a convertible top.
Yours looked more like mine, as shown in the Niagara page from the 1966 MFG sales brochure shown below


Wow! Great info, thanks!

I could not imagine black seats in a small runabout. White ones get hot enough! Seems like all the ones I see are on 10" risers. Are there low profile ones available or do I cut 10"ers down, and if so, to what?

Are the clips on your Niagara used for the convertible top? These three clips look like originals, sort of busted up, and the one that is whole is ready to fall apart. I can't see anything on the top of my windshield this top would connect to. I'll see if I can find a boat canvas place around maybe and take it to them. I really like the looks of yours, and would hope to replicate it.

Ordered new wheels/tires, hubs, light kit and winch strap for the trailer last night. Just need time for prep and some yellow paint. Will get a battery from NAPA and buy a couple 3 gallon gas tanks, probably from Amazon. I can't lift the full 6 gallon ones any more.

While the boat doesn't need much other than seats, I may put a floor in the back so I have a place to mount a battery and maybe a bilge pump of some kind.

My last boat was a labor of love. A 1962 Power Cat 14T I spent 4 years getting ready (including the 100 hp merc, and custom trailer). It was a regatta race winner at ACBS meets. It all went up in a fire on our property a year ago this past Memorial Day weekend. I never thought I would get another power boat. Now look at what I'm doing. Sheesh!

Frank

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Re:My 2 years 1 week ago #124183

I have seen some that have 8" base - still might be too big:

www.gandermountain.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?i=70964

I think the base of the original seats was only 3-4 inches or so.

Canvas places can make the white vinyl canvas, but it's quite expensive. I got lucky with mine to have it included and in excellent shape. You usually don't find it that way on an old small boat. The clips on mine are part of the top - riveted on, I think. The top was made by TaylorMade for MFG.

My Edinboro is a project - needs a lot, but it does have the original Sun 'n Fun seats. Will not get started on it until later. Using the Niagara for now.

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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:My 2 years 1 week ago #124195

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davnau6345 wrote:

I have seen some that have 8" base - still might be too big:

www.gandermountain.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?i=70964

I think the base of the original seats was only 3-4 inches or so.

Canvas places can make the white vinyl canvas, but it's quite expensive. I got lucky with mine to have it included and in excellent shape. You usually don't find it that way on an old small boat. The clips on mine are part of the top - riveted on, I think. The top was made by TaylorMade for MFG.

My Edinboro is a project - needs a lot, but it does have the original Sun 'n Fun seats. Will not get started on it until later. Using the Niagara for now.


Good find on those 8" seats! My base is 5-1/2" high at center. I need to play around with this a bit when I get a chance. My wife does not want to ride high. She didn't like that in our Power Cat.

I just bought the boat last Wednesday, and as of tonight have the trailer completely apart, a quart of rusty metal primer, a quart of yellow and two pints, one of black, one of white. The trailer was originally an aquamarine color! I got a few pics late tonight of a few things with the trailer. The safety chains were a joke, and the wiring used 110V wire nuts with duct tape. If I get a chance I'll post a few pics. Only broke a couple bolts taking it apart.

My wife is quite the seamstress and tells me she can get Sunbrella at the place she shops for material, and that it is relatively easy to sew up to three layers. We will be exploring that, but I have to get this trailer finished and get the boat back on it before we figure out the top.

I have a buddy who deals in vintage mercs putting a short shaft 71 or 72 Merc 500 together for me with controls. This is his busy season, so maybe a month or more out. I don't know if our Carefree will see water this year, but maybe. I'll also have to figure out what props work best. I'll need to install a tach and water pressure gauge for the merc.

Thanks for all the help. It is greatly appreciated.

Frank

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Re:My "new" 1971 MFG Carefree 2 years 1 week ago #124204

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True color (or close) of my trailer:



How do you like these safety chains?



Finally, trailer all apart for paint. I pulled the axle and springs this morning, but gotta get going. Busy day at work!



Everything moves into my garage tonight (with AC!), so I can get stuff prepped for paint and figure out what I need for fasteners. All new fasteners.

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Re:My "new" 1971 MFG Carefree 2 years 1 week ago #124208

Wow, you're a better man than me. I hate dealing with old rusty bolts and would never completely take apart a trailer. The Holsclaw (with the Edinboro) probably could use it, but I likely won't - just clean it up and paint it. I've got skimpy chains like those on it, too. Replacing them with heavy chains and hooks, like I did on the Niagara's TeeNee.

I've seen all kinds of crazy stuff on boats and trailers using the wrong materials. The Niagara was all good when I found it, but as others have told me, I've gotten spoiled by finding a needle in a haystack. The Edinboro is worth restoring, but has some issues. And I will fix them, but I can't believe the previous owners used it with the transom in such bad shape.

BTW, the Merc 500 is actually a bit too much motor for that boat - rated for 40. Make sure that transom is rock solid before mounting and using it on the water. Transoms on old boats have been known to fall off while underway, which of course swamps and sometimes sinks the boat. I may be over-cautious, but structural integrity is critical with the loads a boat faces on the water.

Good luck with your project!

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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:My "new" 1971 MFG Carefree 2 years 1 week ago #124211

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I had a Holsclaw go up in the fire a year ago Memorial Day along with lots of other stuff. I had just started prepping it for paint.

I've restored a lot of trailers, utility and boat, so it's second nature. And I want a nice looking trailer under this boat, something that matches it. The parts will move into my garage after work, and I'll get started on prep.

I know the Merc 500 is 10 hp over the 40 hp rating for the boat, but there are a number of reasons I want it. There were few 50 hp motors ever made that were as dependable as the Merc 500. They're just great motors. I ran a Merc 1000 on my Power Cat for years (the one in my member pic), and never needed a tow, and never had a bit of problem. Also, Mercs get better mileage. Evinrudes in my life have always been problems of one kind or another, and get terrible mileage. Having said that, other folks may have had exactly the opposite experience...

The transom was the first thing I checked on this boat. It is rock solid, no mushiness at all. That is what led me to buy it really. I was figuring for what the guy was asking it would not be in good shape, but it is. I've replaced a number of transoms in the past and really didn't want to do another one.

I still need to figure out this top thing. My wife agreed immediately that she would do the Sunbrella work. I also need to get a handle on how to do the seats, given how high the seat platform is. We'll get there.

Enjoy your day.

Frank

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Re:My "new" 1971 MFG Carefree 2 years 1 week ago #124222

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If you look at those black seats in the ad, the tops do not seem to come much above the gunnels. I sure wish I could get some better idea of what the bases were for height, but I guess no one else on the forum here has an original Carefree?

I will eventually figure it out. Those seats in the ad are about as high as Gail would like.

Frank

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Re:My "new" 1971 MFG Carefree 2 years 1 week ago #124267

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Found plans for a top online, and it's even an MFG! Anyone know the owner? Whoever it is, very inventive fellow!

www.shareaproject.com/pages/imageDetail,p,103,i,1371,00.html

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Convertible top help? 2 years 5 days ago #124324

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I don't know if anyone can help me with this Carefree windshield set-up, but here's what I have. In part, because I don't have any snaps on the windshield top frame, I have a hard time imagining how it works.



Here is a visual walk-around of the starboard side of the boat showing all the snaps, from one centered on the deck in front of the windshield to a loop back at the splashwell. They are all matched on the port side.













For all I know, these snaps are for a cover? I have no clue, but sure could use some sage advice!

Thanks,

Frank

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Convertible top help 2 years 5 days ago #124327

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Anybody?

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Re:Windshield help 2 years 5 days ago #124328

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Sorry, can't answer your question, but wanted to just make a comment. My boss in the 80's had been the chief engineer at MFG in the60's and 70's before he went to work for the USCG as an engineer. He told me a lot about these boats. For instance MFG was compression molding boats the same way they were making auto bodies for the Chevy Corvette. It was an expensive process but made a hull that was almost indestructible. That's why this one is in such good shape, that and someone took good care of it. It's too bad he isn't with us anymore, he would get a real kick out of seeing your boat.

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Peter D. Eikenberry
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newboatbuilders.blogspot.com
"Don't tell me that I can't. tell me how I can."

Re:Windshield help 2 years 5 days ago #124331

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It sure seems indestructible! This weekend I will wax the rest of the boat. That's the best way to get up and close to everything. Can't wait to re-power this baby and get it on the water!

Frank

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Re:Windshield help 2 years 4 days ago #124345

On the windshield: it looks like it had the clips. Mine are all the same, and are u-shaped that snap on both sides to hold the top.

Another way to do it is with snaps. My setup is a hybrid on the Niagara - clips for the top, and three snaps on the vertical part of the windshield frame on each side to hold the side curtains.

Only certain hulls were pressure molded with matched metal dies: The 14' 10" hull (1955-1961, various models), the 12' 8" Corry (1958-1963 in various versions), the 14' 4" Niagara (1962-1973), the 15' 8" Westfield (1961-1972) and the 16' 6" Edinboro (1959-1970, plus a few in 1973). All others were traditional hand lay-up models, All the pressure molded hulls were lapstrake style and all but the 14' 10" had reverse laps for the lower strakes as part of the Lyman lawsuit settlement, to make them different from a Lyman. All the others were hand layup models - still well-made, but not with pressure molded hulls.

Me, I like the 60's Niagaras, Westfields, and Edinboros best, but all are great boats.

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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:My "new" 1971 MFG Carefree 2 years 4 days ago #124356

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Gee Dave, now ya got me envious! Great info.

I think I'll screw some snaps into the top of the windshield frame.

Busy day, not all trailer stuff, but a lot!

Got fenders and winch parts in self etching primer.

Rest is ready to get wiped down and primed with rustoleum rusty metal primer in a.m. Last thing I did tonight was blow them all clean with compressed air.



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Re:My "new" 1971 MFG Carefree 2 years 3 days ago #124382

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All those rusty trailer parts are now completely coated in rustoleum rusty metal primer. Getting there!

Frank

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