1972 Ranger 16' Restoration

Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
58
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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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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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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Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
58
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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sphelps

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
10,381
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 !
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
58
This week I had a little free time, so I took the next step in my restoration project by building my outboard stand and removing the outboard from the boat. I want to thank all of you for having plans for outboard stands on this site. Those plans were a tremendous help!

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After removing the outboard, I took a look at the transom. It looks like there is some de-lamination. My plan has always been to replace the transom.

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My my next step is to build a cradle for the hull. Do any of you have advice on the best way to build a cradle for these old bass boats?
 

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emoney

Commander
Joined
Jul 19, 2010
Messages
2,546
Good work so far. Cradles can be built however you choose. Grab a bunch of 2x4's and have at it, lol. The main idea is to keep the hull from flexing or using shape, but don't forget, down here in Florida, we often work on boat stands.
 

Buckischloo

Seaman Apprentice
Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
33
The most expensive boats are the free ones :D. Just kidding, been there, done that.

A suggestion on the motor. Try firing it up before putting in all of the new parts. You want to make sure the motor is worth investing new parts in. Clean the fuel system, check the fuel lines and wiring. Shoot some fogging oil in the cylinders, turn it over. Then squirt some premixed fuel in the cylinders to see if it fires. At some point, check compression for each cylinder. If everything checks out and it sounds ok, then you can start replacing parts. My other suggestion is to only mess with one system at a time, that makes it easier to trouble shoot issues.

Keep up the good work.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
58
The most expensive boats are the free ones :D
​. Just kidding, been there, done that.

A suggestion on the motor. Try firing it up before putting in all of the new parts. You want to make sure the motor is worth investing new parts in. Clean the fuel system, check the fuel lines and wiring. Shoot some fogging oil in the cylinders, turn it over. Then squirt some premixed fuel in the cylinders to see if it fires. At some point, check compression for each cylinder. If everything checks out and it sounds ok, then you can start replacing parts. My other suggestion is to only mess with one system at a time, that makes it easier to trouble shoot issues.

Keep up the good work.





Thank you for the advice! This weekend I tested the electrical/starter system, and it all works and has good spark. I also decided to clean the heads of the pistons. There was a fair amount of carbon buildup, so I used wd40 and a scotchbright pad to clean the carbon off. That took a lot of scrubbing, but seemed to work well.


 
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
58
Eureka! Tonight, after installing a new fuel pump, putting in a carburetor kit and wiring together a new ignition switch, the motor finally cranked! I only ran it a few seconds because I still want to change the old water pump and the lower unit oil before I really test her out, but it was very exciting for me to see this motor run!
 
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