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TOPIC: 64 Niagra Custom with 64 Evinrude Sportfour 60hp

64 Niagra Custom with 64 Evinrude Sportfour 60hp 3 years 7 months ago #127919

Hi Folks-
I'm new to the forum- having just purchased my first boat... a 1964 Niagra Custom with a 60hp Evinrude Sportfour. It was advertised in Albany NY craigslist a few months back. I've been visiting this forum for months now- gleaning as much as I can about this boat and the motor. I'm so excited to have it and hope to learn some skills that will help me get her back on the water next summer.

The hull is in beautiful shape; the taylor made windshield is slightly bent from years of a 2x4 supporting a tarp, and amazingly the transom seems sound (dry clean wood filings when remove bolts/screws from the trim plate area . The fun/sun seats need rebuilding (in progress). I'm trying to keep as much of the original hardware as possible- but much of the aluminum hardware is badly oxidized/dissoved. Also the gauges (Wico tachometer and Wico Speedometer) are both shot- needles broken off. T

I invested some money in the 60hp Sportfour- it needed a carb kit and ignition kit but is now running strong. The 'power' prop has a small chunk out of one of the fins- but it's not bent- so vibration isn't noticeable. All cylinders have 100# of compression-which I think is good. Test run on the lake under load was good. The older gent who worked on the motor told me that the Wico tach wasn't the right tachometer for the motor - so I'm trying to learn more about that. Any advice on what to look for and where I might find it would be greatly appreciated

I'm missing an MFG/shark plastic piece on one side; also missing the bimini canvas- but have the frame. Looks like the bimini would attach to a groove in the taylor made frame- and maybe attach all the way to the back of the boat based on the position of snaps along the gunwales and back of the splash. If anyone has any information on this type of bimini-I'd love to learn more.

I hope to get new seats built this winter. I'm doing the wood and frames- hired a nearby upholsterer to make new skins and to reupholster the wood bases. Plan to replace the old rusted metal swivels with a heavy duty plastic swivel that allows the seat to be removed.

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Re:64 Niagra Custom with 64 Evinrude Sportfour 60hp 3 years 7 months ago #127933

Welcome aboard! Lots of info to be found here.

Niagaras are great little boats. Having a sound transom is rare and a real blessing. Thousands were built and many have survived, but with bad transoms. Put a little 5200 sealant around all the fittings in the transom to help keep it dry. No sealants were used at the factory.

Finding an old MFG with the original Sun 'n Fun seats is hard. Glad yours has them. They are among the most flexible types of boat seating ever designed. My Edinboro has them and it is the only 1962 MFG I've ever seen with them. They are a little more common on 1964-1966 models. My Niagara is a base model with back-to-back lounge seats.

A 60hp Evinrude is a little heavy and a bit overpowered for that boat, but you should be OK. Depending on the year, it was rated for 45-50 hp. A quick check of the transom plate (if still there) will confirm that. It will perform well - just sit a tad low at the stern. Check for any deformation or cracks in the fiberglass around the motor to be sure.

Any pictures? We all love pictures. You can post multiple pictures on the same post by going back and editing the original post, adding one picture per edit session.

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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:64 Niagra Custom with 64 Evinrude Sportfour 60hp 3 years 7 months ago #127943

Thanks Dave-
I really appreciate the advice on the sealant. I'm taking it on the water one more time and then winterizing. Will do the sealant work this weekend.

The transom plate does indicate a 40hp motor- but the very next year MFG apparently upgraded the motor to a 50hp-though I couldn't find any evidence that the dimensions of the boat actually changed. My mechanic made your same observation- probably too much motor for the boat. I'm the 3rd owner- the guy I bought it from had it since 1975- and bought it with this motor. Not sure if it was original to the package or not. The trailer is definitely not original (75 Highlander)

Most of the wood in the seats was rotted, but I do have a pretty good sample of one seat back and one seat bottom to use as a template for new wood. The wood in the seat backs was curved plywood- and though I've tried bending new plywood (autoclave/steam heat)- I haven't had much success...think I'm going to have to go with flat seat backs- which means either replacing the aluminum brackets- or trying to bend the original brackets to support 90° angle instead of the curved wood back. Most of the seat brackets have severe oxidation- so I'm concerned that they might not hold up in the long run. Haven't had any luck finding brackets that open like the fun/sun seats. Would be sad to lose that feature.

Thanks again- and I welcome any information or ideas.

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Re:64 Niagra Custom with 64 Evinrude Sportfour 60hp 3 years 7 months ago #127956

I bought curved plywood,1/4 cylinders form B&D International Inc.to built my seat bases. I was going to have them covered but tried stain and vanish first. I soaked the floor brackets in Marvel Mystery oil all winter and found them useable.

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Re:64 Niagra Custom with 64 Evinrude Sportfour 60hp 3 years 7 months ago #128281

Thanks- and nice job! Did you make the brackets?

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Re:64 Niagra Custom with 64 Evinrude Sportfour 60hp 3 years 7 months ago #128316

My boat is a 65, The seat brackets were cleaned and polished. The floor brackets looked like yours,when I took the seats apart. After soaking in oil some were still rough looking but I felt they were solid enough to use.If you enlarge the picture, you can see a small piece missing from 1 bracket. I put the worst ones on the front of the front seats. they are less noticeable. Good luck with yours.

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