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  1. #1
    Cadet bret_dmb's Avatar
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    Default 1964 Larson 16' All American Project

    Just thought I'd share my project. My 1964 16' Larson All American has the original 85hp Mercury 850 and it starts up everytime. Its already a good 'ol boat that just needs a new transom and some TLC.

    This will be my first boat restore so I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions along the way. It was my Grandpa's boat he bought it from the original owner in 1970.

    Let me know what you think!









  2. #2
    Supreme Mariner Woodonglass's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1964 Larson 16' All American Project

    Welcome to iBoats.

    Absolutely OUTSTANDING. Similar to my old 62 Flamingo. Fortunately my transom is good to go bu the motor and interior were shot. I am going to get started in a couple of weeks. I will be keeping tabs on your rebuild. Do your Grandpa proud and bring the old girl back to life.


    Good Luck

  3. #3
    Petty Officer 1st Class chargerboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1964 Larson 16' All American Project

    Wow! Great looking boat you have there! You'll have a fun time for sure with that one, can't wait to see the work started!

  4. #4
    Cadet bret_dmb's Avatar
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    Default 1964 Larson 16' All American Project

    Well I had some time to take off the motor yesterday to get a better look at the transom. Looks like there will be plenty of glass work to do.

    There are a few big cracks, the journey from Minnesota probably didn't do it any favors.

    No reason to waste money on an engine stand when you have pallets...


    First look at the transom minus trim and motor


    Close up


    The floor seems really solid so I'm going to avoid replacing the stringers and flooring if I can. The factory vinyl covering for the floor is brittle and damaged. Is there anywhere to find that material? I would love to avoid replacing it with carpet.

    I'm going to be completely redoing the trailer as well so if anyone has suggestions to be sure weight is distributed correctly, transom supports, etc. It would be much appreciated!

  5. #5
    Supreme Mariner Woodonglass's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1964 Larson 16' All American Project

    Give us some pics to show us what you're lookin at. If the floor has soft spots then the superstructure underneath(stringers) are for sure rotten. They will definitely need to be replaced. If you want grandpa to be proud and you want to do it right....
    Then do it right and tear it all out and restore it so it will last for your grandkids to use and they WON"T have to restore it.

  6. #6
    Cadet bret_dmb's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1964 Larson 16' All American Project

    I'm pretty sure the floor doesn't need replacing. It is very solid and I haven't found any soft spots so far. I'm planning on separating the top from the hull sometime this week and I'll be able to post some pictures of the floor with all of the interior stripped out.

  7. #7
    Cadet bret_dmb's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1964 Larson 16' All American Project

    After removing hundreds of screws and rivets I got the rub rail off only to find a ton of staples and epoxy holding the cap on.

    Its been in the mid 90's this week and sweating 'till you're soaked is a necessity. Finally after two afternoons with my friends hammer, pliers, and pry bar I got the cap separated from the hull. YAY!

    Ive been thinking about how I'm going to reattach the cap. Since I don't have an industrial stapler my fist thought is to use pop rivets. Any suggestions?

    Here is the fist look at the transom, it was getting dark so the picture is not very good. The inside layer of fiberglass is very thin and almost seems more like tar paper than fiberglass.


  8. #8
    Supreme Mariner Woodonglass's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1964 Larson 16' All American Project

    Good Job on the cap removal.
    To put it back you can use pop rivets or Stainless Screws. I would use the Rivets.
    Transom sure needed replacing. Inner skins are very thin some times. No worries. Cut i all out, all the way to the outer skin from side to side and all the way to the bottom. Get it nice and clean and sanded smooth. You will be laminating Glass over the new wood which will give you a thicker and better inner skin in the long run.

    Keep up the sweatin and Buy more BEER !!!!

  9. #9
    Cadet bret_dmb's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1964 Larson 16' All American Project

    We had plenty of beer so no worries there

    I was planning on going with seacast because it seemed so much easier than plywood but my boat is pretty straight forward so I think the time and effort would be about the same either way I go.

    Ive seen discussion on the type of plywood used. Do I need to special order something or can I just go to Lowes/Home Depot and grab a sheet of marine grade plywood?

  10. #10
    Supreme Mariner Woodonglass's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1964 Larson 16' All American Project

    You don't need marine grade unless you just want to. Ext. Grade and Marine use the same glue only difference is marine grade has no voids in the plys. Most of the guys on here use ext. grade give it two coats of resin and encase it in glass and call it good. that will las at least 20+ years.

  11. #11

    Question Re: 1964 Larson 16' All American Project

    Bret Came into mid 60s larson looks like the one you have trying to determine if 64 or 66 came with 66 100 hp johnson.Boat is rated to run up to 100 hp Model # is 51613 serial # is 303654 is that any thing like the one you have.BB5409

  12. #12
    Cadet bret_dmb's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1964 Larson 16' All American Project

    I remember trying to determine the exact year of my boat and finding a pdf listing my Mercury only being available in black on the '64 (normally the 85hp came in white). That said my serial# starts with 101 if I remember correctly so my guess is yours is likely a later model.

  13. #13
    Petty Officer 2nd Class Swivelhart's Avatar
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    Smile Re: 1964 Larson 16' All American Project

    Just thought I would jump in and express my enthusiasm for your project. The old Larson's have really nice lines not found on other boats. I really wish I had an outboard rather than my 120hp four cylinder. It purrs like a kitten but the outdrive (OMC) is for sure to be afraid of! Anyway, I will be watching your thread and don't get discouraged. I found mine in a barn ready and running for $750. Paint was completely shot but interior was mint and the floor like concrete!!!



    I am currently replacing the coils in the lower unit and look forward to a summer on the lake with my kids.
    77 Glastron V-162 Futura

  14. #14
    Cadet bret_dmb's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1964 Larson 16' All American Project

    Well I finally got back at it yesterday. My Grandma passed away last fall so unfortunately the project wasn't done in time for her to see it. I've decided to set a lofty goal to help motivate me to get it done. I'm gonna work my butt off on it so it's lake-worthy by May.

    It will be nice to have it ready for a full season and since its already warm enough to be out on the water I gotta get a move on!

    After pulling staples, drilling rivets, prying and dremeling the thing apart I finally got the boat cap completely off.


    The transom is completely rotten but I already knew that, it's why I started the project in the first place.


    So now I'm trying to figure out the best way to cut as close as I can to the hull without damaging it. The wood on the ends is in a lot better shape than all that mush in the middle which means it's a lot more stubborn and needs to be cut out.

    The floor is really solid but I did find one little soft spot that I'm planning on cutting into so I can assess the damage. I'm going to make a cardboard template of the floor first, I have a feeling I'll decide to rip it up anyway.

    The last news is probably what I'm most excited about. I made a deal with one of my Dad's friends to paint my boat in exchange for a website for his hot rod shop. This is really exciting because I was planning on trying out the roll-on method and I didn't have much confidence in the potential results.

  15. #15
    Cadet bret_dmb's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1964 Larson 16' All American Project

    By the way I love the red that looks great! It's nice to see pictures of other All American's out there. Yours is the only one that I've seen with the same racing stripe down the front of the cap.

  16. #16
    Supreme Mariner Woodonglass's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1964 Larson 16' All American Project

    Get a 4 1/2" grinder with a rubber backup plate. Get some 34 grit Stick on Sanding Discs and git after it. It will cut thru that old wood like hot butter. You should PLAN on removing the entire floor and replacing the stringer cuz they're gunna be as rotten as the transom. Count on it. BUT when you are done, She'll be BETTER than NEW and Last Long enuf that your Grandkids will be able to enjoy her. Let me know ANYTIME if you need ANY help. I LOVE this style of Old runabout.

  17. #17
    Cadet bret_dmb's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1964 Larson 16' All American Project

    Got a full day of work in today, man it felt good to get so much done.

    I started off by heading to harbor freight for some cutting tools. I went with a 4" rubber grinder plate with 4.5" cutting disk. I really liked the idea of having the rubber plate preventing me from cutting too deep and it worked great.

    The transom came out without too much work. You can see the top pieces are still on, they were made of different pieces of wood so I left them for now. I can always take them off if I decide to go with one solid transom.


    I had some big cardboard boxes and traced a template of the floor before I started cutting. I was pretty nervous about cutting with the grinder that close to the hull but once I got in there it was pretty smooth sailing. This is the first section I took out of the floor just so I could get an idea of what was underneath. You can see the standing water, its really made think about how to improve drainage this time around. The only visible damage to any of the stringers can be seen on the right where the wood is exposed.


    The floor is out! The fiberglass around the stringers is really solid, I was walking around on it all day and there was no flex anywhere. I was thinking about cutting the fiberglass off of the top cleaning all of the wood out and pouring seacast in then recapping with fiberglass would be a faster/stringer alternative to cutting out and replacing all the old glass and wood. Any thoughts?

  18. #18
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    Default Re: 1964 Larson 16' All American Project

    I have a 1965 Larson Valero that I rebuilt floor and transom on. I think your going to find that those stringers are hollow fiberglass with just a wood strip glassed in on the top. This is Larson's double hull design. Shouldn't need to do any cutting on those stringers. Just clean them up on top and glue the new floor to them. I cut mine so that I could build a better and larger bilge than the original small fiberglass tub. You can see it in the second picture. You can see in the picture a hole I left in the bottom of the bilge through to the hull for the FF transducer to shoot through and for the bilge pump to fully drain the bilge. Works great, but haven't gotten around to fastening either one down in the hole yet.

    -- Jeff

    Click to enlarge pictures:
    Larson Stringers 3.jpg Gas Tank Mount 03.jpg

  19. #19
    Supreme Mariner Woodonglass's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1964 Larson 16' All American Project

    Brett,

    If you tried to Post pics, they did not make it. Check out my signature for a link on how to post em.
    Your transom MUST BE ONE PIECE! Hopefully you measured it before hand to know how thick it was. Should have been 1 1/2 to 2 " thick. You should laminate pieces of CDX ext. Grade plywood using Fiberglass Mat and resin and then use thickened resin and mat to adhere it to the outer skin of the transom. There are PLENTY of examples on how to do it here on the forum. Remove ALL of the wood from the transom. As for the stringers, Take a 3/8 inch drill bit and drill into them down low and see if you get dry light tan shavings. If you do then you're good to go. If you get powder or dark brown wet shavings then you will need to cut em out and replace them. If they are good you can fill the holes with 3M 5200 sealant.

  20. #20
    Cadet bret_dmb's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1964 Larson 16' All American Project

    The pictures seem to be working fine for me.

    I think Jeff is right. There is just a little plywood at the top of the stringers and they are really solid so I'm going to clean them up and glue the new deck down on the existing stringers. I like the idea of a new bilge though, the existing one seems less than adequate.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: 1964 Larson 16' All American Project

    I mixed up a ton of epoxy 'peanut-butter' to glue my floor down. Since have read where others are instead using PL Heavy-Duty Construction Adhesive. If I were redoing a floor today, that's the way I'd go. Much cheaper and longer working time. Fasten down with some stainless steel decking screws here and there, countersink them, and fill over with thickened resin before fiber glassing over the floor. Ain't going to leak and screws will stay in place.

    -- Jeff

  22. #22
    Cadet bret_dmb's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1964 Larson 16' All American Project

    I would love to hear a little more about the bilge part of your project Jeff. If you have any tips or wisdom that would save me some time I would appreciate it!

  23. #23
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    Default Re: 1964 Larson 16' All American Project

    Quote Originally Posted by bret_dmb View Post
    I would love to hear a little more about the bilge part of your project Jeff. If you have any tips or wisdom that would save me some time I would appreciate it!
    Well since you asked.

    1. What I found on my boat was that the floor rot started at the bow and progressed back to under the lounge seats. I believe this was because water under the floor wanted to settle at the lowest point in the hull which is the deep V at the bow. The original bilge in the Larson had 3 holes leading to the under floor areas, so any water that entered the boat from above, such as rain, water spray, or people getting back in the boat after being in the water, would flow back under the floor. I didn't want this, so I re-designed the bilge.

    First, as you can see in the pictures I posted, I cut the center stringers back to fit the new bilge. I laminated a couple of 3/4 plywood pieces together and shaped to fit the hull across the cut end of the stringers between the 2 outside stringers and even with the top of of all of them. This then became not only the front wall of the new bilge but also a cross-member to support the floor. I then built a 2 sided box with a 3/4" bottom to fit between the bilge front wall and the transom. The box sides form the side walls of the bilge which I dattoed into the front wall piece and cut the rear of to match the transom angle. After grinding the inside of the hull flat where the bilge was to be mounted, all was glassed into place. Hint: The hull is flat where the planing plate is. Best if bilge is made no bigger than this area which makes for a maybe overly large one anyway. Personal choice here.

    Now, this is where I fixed the problem of water going under the floor from the bilge. My bilge is actually 3 bilges. One open and exposed from above for any water coming in on the floor to drain into, but with no openings in it to the under floor area. To either side of the open bilge is an enclosed bilge sealed from the forward under floor area by the bilge front wall. That is except for a short piece of 1" PVC pipe that extends through the front wall at the lowest point in each side bilge which is up against the outside of the side walls of the center bilge. To each of the pipes a 45 degree joiner with another short pipe extenting into each side bilge and rising up and against the side wall. What this does is makes a one way valve essentially. When the boat is being trailered up the ramp or a hill, or has the bow tipped way up, or during accelleration to get on plane, water flows from the front under floor space into the PVC pipes, up the 45 degree hills, and falls into the side bilges. Once there, the water can not flow back out the pipes as it can't rise up to get back into them. I then have 3 drains in the transom; 2 gar-board style drains for the side bilges and 1 regular drain for the exposed open bilge that uses the typical rubber drain plug. I only rarely check the side bilges for water as there should not be any there unless there is a leak somewhere through the floor or hull.

    As long as I had the floor out, I also installed a PVC pipe under the floor from the bow back to the exposed bilge. This will serve as a drain pipe for an anchor locker should I ever decide to put one in.

    In the end this is probably all overkill, but hey, it is my boat and it was kind of fun designing it all.

    Now some other tips.

    1. Water most often gets under the floor, other than through the bilge, from around any mounting bolts penetrating it, such as for the seats, battery, or gas tank. I avoided any holes through my new floor by making mounts from 1/2" plywood and installing stainless T-nuts from the back side before the mount is epoxied to the floor. You can see this in done for the gas tank mountings in the one picture showing the exposed bilge. Threading nylon screws from the top into the T-nuts and placing a small piece of painters tape over the bottom of the nuts will keep the epoxy from getting into the threads as the mount is epoxied to the floor. Epoxy does not stick to nylon or to the sticky side of blue painters tape either.

    2. To prevent water damage to the wood in the transom where engine mounting bolts, drain holes, and tow rings mount through it, create a thick epoxy lined hole for each. Should any water leak past the sealing for any of these, the wood will be protected from the water. To do this, bore the 1/2" oversized holes in the wood on the inside of the transom for any bolts or drain holes that are going through it, but not through the fiberglass outer skin. You can do this by first drilling a 1/4" pilot hole straight through from the outside of the transom to the inside of the boat in each location. The outside skin will have only the actual size hole needed through it or if a new hole, the 1/4 pilot hole. Then with a hole saw 1/2" bigger than the final hole size and with tape placed around it to mark for the thickness of the transom less the width of the outside skin bore from the inside of the transom to the inside of the fiberglass skin. It is better to go a little shallow here instead of too deep. Use a flat bladed screw driver to break out the wood plug the hold saw made until the end of the hole is only the clean fiberglass skin. Place blue painters tape over each hole on the outside of the transom. Fill each hole from the inside of the transom with thickened epoxy. You can use a piece of blue painters tape on the inside covering all but the top of the hole to form a dike to keep the epoxy from flowing back out. Tipping the bow of the boat up helps with this. Fill each hole in stages only 1/3 to 1/2 full letting the epoxy harden in between as too much at one time will cause the epoxy to flash over in the hole (overheat and foam up). If this happens you'll need to bore the epoxy out and start over. When complete, drill correct size holes straight through from the outside of the transom. And there you have it, each hole will be sorrounded with 1/4" of epoxy protecting the wood from any water intrusion and thus rot. Why epoxy resin? Well it adheres far better than polyester resin to about any surface and unlike polyester, it remains adhered to wood even if the wood should get wet.

    3. Underside of floor does not need to be fiberglassed. A coating of epoxy resin will make the floor last for at least several life times. To save money, polyester resin will work also, but as noted above, is not as good. Personal choices for much of any of this. Original floor lasted decades in my boat with no coating on the underside at all.

    -- Jeff

    Geez, wrote a book here. Well, you asked. I could go on forever.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: 1964 Larson 16' All American Project

    Quote Originally Posted by bret_dmb View Post
    The transom came out without too much work. You can see the top pieces are still on, they were made of different pieces of wood so I left them for now. I can always take them off if I decide to go with one solid transom.
    I left those top pieces in too. Just filled void between them and new transom with thickened epoxy and glassed over all. No hint of a problem even with tow/trailer hold-down loops mounted through them. Do have a 1" think piece of Sea Board behind each one though. Boards are also held in by the top cap on 3 sides as well.

    -- Jeff

  25. #25
    Cadet bret_dmb's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1964 Larson 16' All American Project

    Wow, I love this forum! I can't even tell you how many questions you guys have answered for me especially in Jeff's last post. I'm sure I will have a million more, it's nice to have someone with such a similar boat to bounce stuff off of.

    I plan on trying to get the new floor and transom in this weekend so I'll keep you guys updated on the progress.

    Thanks again!

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