1968 Niagara

Philip W

Aug 9, 2021
Hello Everyone I have become the owner of what I believe to be a 1968 Niagara and I can't seem to decide how rough the rough shape it is in. It has sat outside like most of these for last decade or 2 with whatever was in the interior rotting away.
I know for sure I'm probably going to have to cut up the floor to get the foam out that I am sure weighs about a ton now. I'm also pretty sure the transom is in need of replacing based on it's age but it sounds sold and doesn't move if you grab it and pull or push on it.
It does float or at least it doesn't sink and I can't beat the price of free that I paid for it.
I do have a few questions. Please keep in mind my intention with this boat is just to have some fun. I'm not worried if it's the peach of the lake, I just want to get out on the water with the wife and have some fun boating around.
1. Around the edges of the interior where they attached the trim it feels like they used plywood, it won't hold their little nails anymore and I'm assuming they glassed it in and it can be easily replaced. Should I just glue the trim back in place?
2. Where did people mount the battery? I'm assuming on the right side in the back but it's hard to tell.
3. At some point a previous owner added an automatic bilge pump, the switch is still there but the pump itself is gone. Any ideas on why they put that in there?
4. The interior is missing most everything, no ski racks or anything. It did come with a pile of Vinyl that resembles the fun in the sun seats I see in the brochures. Did they gel coat the interior or was it paint? It is worn down to fiberglass in places so is it worth gel coating it or just using paint?
5. The windscreen is not terrible just hazy with the normal swirls, would using a headlight restoration kit clear that up or is it a lost cause?
6. The front of this boat weighs a ton and I read someplace they put lots of foam in the front behind the foot rest area which would explain why it weighs so much if it's water logged. I'm just curious if that is true.
7. I have been watching a lot of videos on Transom replacement and some show cutting out the well deck and a few remove the entire top of the boat, which seems a bit excessive, but is that the easier route or cutting out the well deck, cutting out the transom from the inside and then glassing it all back together? Or just remove the transom from the outside?
All the brochures show foam under the floor and I'm sure it's saturated. Is it easier to cut out the entire floor and get out the foam or do a series of holes and cover the floor with plywood and just make a new floor to cover the holes and add support for new seats?
Lastly under the gunwales there is some foam, not the amount I would expect from the way the brochures describe it but is there an easy way to get rid if it? Or just leave it and don't touch it as I am sure it gave someone cancer in California.
I'm also sure it isn't effective anymore as I did brush it looking at the wiring and it turned to powder.


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Scott Danforth

Grumpy Vintage Moderator still playing with boats
Staff member
Jul 23, 2011
Free boats are the most expensive boats you can ever own