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No Floatation Under Seats

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  • No Floatation Under Seats

    Hi,
    I bought my first boat a few weeks ago, partly as a placeholder to maintain a space on the dock when it goes back in the water this spring (long story). Anyhow, it's a 1988 Mirrocraft, 14ft and I paid very little for it. As I started reading about replacing the missing front bench, it occurred me that none of the benches have any flotation under them. The benches (pictured) are wood with outdoor carpet stapled to them and they are not held in by anything but gravity -- though they're quite heavy. Am I dealing with a major safety issue (probably) and if so, is there an off-the-shelf fix or something I can build with B/B- carpentry skills? I'll move to repairs and restorations if we need to confine all answers to safety, but please let me know if using this boat as it is would be a terrible idea.

  • #2
    If it's truly a 1988, someone has butchered the boat. It would have had seat boxes with foam, at the very least. You could attach closed cell foam to the bottom of the seats and secure the seats to the hull. Same thing with the bow compartment but you wouldn't have the boat floating level. Extruded polystyrene insulation board would work but it will eventually absorb water. I'm not sure I would bother, though. How big is the lake you are on? Does it have a lot of traffic?
    Bob, Seneca Lake NY
    '88 Bayliner 1700 Capri bowrider, 85 HP Force O/B, "Sea Weasel"
    '94 Grumman Fish'N Fun pontoon, 40 HP Merc
    Want a vessel safety check? Click here. Want to join the Coast Guard Auxiliary? Click here.
    Disclaimer: Although I am a member of the USCG Auxiliary, the opinions and advice in my replies are my own and do not necessarily reflect CG or CG Auxiliary policy or regulations unless so specified.

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    • #3
      If Seneca is your standard, it's a pond -- about 400 acres. Private and not much traffic. The boat is definitely an '88 and severely modified by a bass fisherman on a budget. Appreciate your response.

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      • #4
        Thinking more about it, since the seat boxes tend to be structural elements in boats like yours, maybe re-creating something similar to the originals WOULD be a good idea.
        Bob, Seneca Lake NY
        '88 Bayliner 1700 Capri bowrider, 85 HP Force O/B, "Sea Weasel"
        '94 Grumman Fish'N Fun pontoon, 40 HP Merc
        Want a vessel safety check? Click here. Want to join the Coast Guard Auxiliary? Click here.
        Disclaimer: Although I am a member of the USCG Auxiliary, the opinions and advice in my replies are my own and do not necessarily reflect CG or CG Auxiliary policy or regulations unless so specified.

        Comment


        • #5
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          I don't see a bunch of missing rivets where seat boxes may have gone at one time, so it looks like the PO replaced what was there, most likely of a different design.

          I'd rebuild the seats, upside down U shaped, so you can fill the void with sheet foam, make the sides drop down 6-8", enough for several layers of 2" foam. 3/4" top (what ever the seat channel brackets are), 1/4" sides and a couple strips across the bottom to hold the foam up, should be plenty sturdy. Bolt the new seats into the side brackets.

          Finish depends on how much you want to spend/how long you want it to last.
          2001 Crestliner SuperHawk 1800, Mercruiser 140HP
          2007 Tracker 1436 jon boat, 7.5HP Force

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