Hi Guys, I am new here, I was put onto this site from from the guys at Iboats. I am new To the Boating Sport & just aquired this 1964 MFG Niagara Custom with a 40 HP Johnson Super seahorse RDS22 engine, it sits on a 1961 Gator Boat Trailer. I got this Boat from a Friend who moved to arrizona and just had no more use for it.
I Hope to work on it this winter and get it back in order for spring of 2012. It's been sitting since 1998 but was allways maintained up til then and is in decent shape, i think. Anyway, My Knowledge of these boats & engines is ZERO and so would greatly welcome any input at all. thanks, DanO'
also, you have my "very favorite" OB motor. = the 1950s to mid-60s Big Twins are GREAT OB motors, that like the "energizer bunny" just go & go & go, with minimal care/feeding.
(the only ones that need to be "babied" just a bit are the 1960 & 1961 versions & those work fine as long as they are NOT "hotrodded".)
Thanks Guys, appreciate the input very Much. I'm a Total ROOKIE at this so please bear with me when i start asking Stupid Questions....
First off, Robert, What Wood are you talking about exactly??? I was under the impression this entire boat was a unibody Fiberglass construction. am I wrong? I see no sign of wood at all except the small bottonms of the storage shelfs on each side, which do need replacing, easy job for me as Woodworking is one of my hobbies. Those two shelves and the seats are all that really need replacing.
Seriously, Robert...are you pulling my leg or what? Where's the wood?
I will tell you where the wood is....haha. I am sure RL will chime in but until then,your transom,the part your engine hangs on has wood between the inner and outer fiberglass walls.There is a metal cap on the top with a thin peice of Fglass under that cap,then wood.The less holes in the transom the better.The way to check is to either expose a hole by removing a bolt or piece of hardware and take a pick to scrape out some wood in that area.Or from the inside drill a couple test holes in the area of where the motor is bolted and see if you get dry shavings.IF its mushy,not dry the odds are its on its way out and may have to be replaced.The floor stingers are like joists in a house.They are 2x5ish in nature and run from bow to stern to give the hull rigidity.You have a sub floor and a hull bottom which they are glassed to and incapsulated in,sometimes that glass allows water into the wood.If you notice you have two drain plugs in the stern one for the top deck and one for the below deck.You might be able to use a flash light and look for deterioration or poke a bar in there to feel for mush.Hopefully the wood is solid as it appears she has been taken care of.Your engine was not through bolted and I do not see any tranducer,speedo holes drilled.If I was a betting man,even though she is 50sh I would guess the transom is solid and you lucked out.
I Don't Know Nuttin' , I'm A Dummy.
I was thinking the Transom was Wood but there is no mention of it in the Cutaway Pictures I've seen of the boat construction from the '64 manual pages. . It sure does appear solid to me and there are definitely No Holes Ever Drilled Through it and all the trim is perfect and in place. Hopefully I'll get lucky with that. I will try to test it as you suggested.
BTW, is the Orange / White color scheme more rare than the Blue & White? just wondering because Every one i find on line seams to be Blue & White.
I stand corrected,after reading the info in the library it clearly states that the stringers are all glass,sooo your only concern would be the transom.If you read that lit it does mention the transom being wood encapsulated by glass.It also looks like all the pics are blue or red and white.What part of your boat is orange,all I see is faded red.
i guess I missed the part about the wood transom being encapsuled in fiberglass. have to go back & read it again.
Regarding the color, Yes, faded Red / Orange maroonish color...Those pics in the brochure are the Only ones I've seen that color.
Yea, well although I am anxious to get this project "In Gear" the fact is ,I got the Whole Winter to work on it and do a lot of Homework, so I have to step back and take my time, especially with the Engine work.
I happen to live close to Old Marinas on the Hudson River in Kingston & Newburgh NY and I'm sure if i ask around I'll find someone who knows someone who is familiar with these older Johnson Engines who could probaly teach me a lot more in one afternoon than I'll ever find in any book but i will definitely be picking up a few manuals & restoration books to familiarize myself with the whole game. I Really would like to keep the Vintage 1960 Johnson & will try my best to do so if i can, I think it just makes the whole package a Classic Rig. Boat 1964, Motor 1960, Trailer 1961
Sorry for getting right back I'm not used to checking this new part of the forum out. I'm glad your transom is strong. A lot of these old boats suffer from the rotted wood inside the transom disease. I was not sure about your stringers. My MFG has none. Nice looking boat.
Your 1964 has no wood below deck, only a wood cored transom. MFG used 100$ fiberglass for the stringers and deck. There is nothing to rot. I've cut apart two, one from 1963, the other a 1970. After 1967, they made several hull changes, they started to build boats much like other lesser brands using wood for stringers and decks. These boats generally had integral splashwell trays.
I believe that all models built with a removable splashwell, such as yours, only used wood in the transom.
If you were to have to rebuild your transom, the use of either SeaCast or Nida Bond composite transom compound would make that a lifetime hull that would never rot.
Those seats are a rare find, not many survived the years, they were called Sun 'n Fun seats.
I've been on the look out for MFG boats ever since I bought my first one years ago. When it comes to Niagara hulls, red is the rarer of the two colors as most that I've seen have been blue. Out of about 8 Niagara models I've owned, only one was red, and that one had a huge Oak tree across the top when I found it. I parted it out about three years ago.
I currently have a blue Niagara for sale, its listed here in the Glassified section, I decided to sell this one after finding a clean Westfield a few months ago. I've owned many Niagara, Edinboro, and Sea Way models in the past, my current Westfield is my first of that model.
Just a little info on MFG. My boss from 1984 to 1988 at USCG HQ In the Boating Standards Division, had been the Chief Engineer at MFG in the 60's. He told me that the hulls on MFGs were not made in the usual way, in female molds laying up with glass and resin. They were the only boat company in the industry using pressure molds, which produced a much more solid and reliable laminate without voids and starved resin areas, and other imperfections. At the time (and for many years after) they were making the fiberglass bodies for the Chevrolet Corvette, and used the same type of equipment and procedures. That's why those hulls stand up so well. They were made using a much better but also much more expensive process.
You guys have undoubtedly removed any doubt in my mind about Keeping or selling This Boat. I am MOST DEFINITELY keeping it. However, I will be taking out the "Sun & Fun" Seats which are all complete but in poor shape & in need of Rerstoration, so if anyone is interested in them , just contact me.
I can't thank all you guys enough for all the great info and confidence that you have inspired me with to keep & restore this boat and get it back in the water in Spring of 2012. I will ceratinly keep you posted of my progress. DanO'
I have been looking for the pieice the front seats are bolted to, So I'd be interested in buying your seats.
I'm in MA you in NY?
Places water will get into the transom are the drainplugs, they can loose their seal and water wicks in around them. The top trim covers bare endgrain plywood so water can wick there too.
Nice lines on the boat and great color.
They ride like a dream.