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1972 Ranger 16' Restoration

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  • 1972 Ranger 16' Restoration

    Last week I was given a 1972 Ranger 16' bass boat. The gentleman who gave me the boat told me that it ran when he parked it roughly two years ago. He sent me the following pictures and I thought I was going to be in for a light restoration this winter. Although I did not believe it could be true, he told me the floors were "solid" in the boat.

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    When I picked it up, the boat was full of trash, leaves, pine needles, beer cans and moss. I brought it home to clean it out and this is what it looked like.

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    Once I got it home and cleaned all of the trash out of the boat, I knew it would be a total restoration. The floors in the boat were obviously rotten. I started my demolition by tearing all of the carpet out of the boat and discovered something that I did not expect to find. The previous owner had apparently stepped through the floor of the boat, and his solution to the problem was to pull up the carpet, lay several live edge boards across the hole in the floor, nail them to the floor and then re-cover the boards with the carpet. I have attached pictures of the hole in the boat and one of the boards that I pulled out of the boat.

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    Then I started tearing up the floor of the boat and sure enough it is completely rotten. I actually stepped through the floor of the boat on two occasions while trying to look it over.

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    I hope that you all can help steer me in the right direction moving forward on this project. From my inspection of the boat, it looks like I can take a dremel tool and a cutting disc to cut out the live well, rod box, front deck, steering console and back deck. Once they are out, I should be able to tear out all of the rotten plywood to get to a clean hull. To me, it looks like Ranger installed the plywood floor and then put the decks, live well and rod box on top of the floor and tabbed them in. Is that the best way to go or is there another easier way to remove the decks, rod box and live well?

    Lastly, the boat came with a 1972 Johnson 40hp Electramatic outboard. Once I had looked the boat over I decided to take a look at the outboard to see how bad it looked inside the cowl. As soon as I opened the door to the cowl, I almost had a heart attack seeing two huge wasp nests! This is one of the two I pulled out of the cowl after I dealt with the wasps.

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    The outboard looks like it has seen better days, but I would like to fix it up as well. To start, I am going to put in a fuel pump kit, a carburetor kit, new fuel hoses, a new water pump impeller, new spark plugs, and replace the foot oil. Once I have done all of that, I believe this motor should run, but we will see. Is there anything else I should do before trying to fire this old motor up? Do any of you have suggestions on the best places to get parts for these old Johnson outboards?

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    I am going to be continuing demolition this weekend, and I will post more pictures as I go along. I hope you all will enjoy this as much as I will, and I hope to get lots of advice from you guys that actually know what they are doing!
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  • #2
    I did not get as much done this weekend as I had hoped, but I did get some further demolition done. I removed some more of the rotten floor. Unfortunately some of the old plywood is being difficult to remove.

    You may notice that I cut out the rod box that was originally in the boat. I decided that I would rather have the additional floorspace rather than have a rod box. I am also debating removing the live well from the boat. I have a live well in my other boat and I never use it, so I think I may maximize my floorspace there too.

    Anyway, I didn't get too much done this weekend, but I am moving along. I hope by next weekend the only thing left in the boat will be the old stringers! I do have to say, they did put some massive stringers in these old Ranger bass boats.

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    • #3
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      Looks like your off to a good start ! Make sure you support the hull well underneath. Once you cut all the structure out it will move around and deform . You want it straight before you do any glassing structure back ..
      ‘Good Luck !
      ---------------------------------------------------------------------
      '64 MFG Rebuild
      MFG forum thread https://forums.iboats.com/mfg/64-edin...ay-524708.html
      https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...ve-the-manatee
      https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...at-restoration

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