1974 SPORT 13: New to Whalers

Repair or modification of Boston Whaler boats, their engines, trailers, and gear
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1974 SPORT 13: New to Whalers

Postby Seneca13 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:04 pm

Greetings from northeast Ohio. I am long time boater, but this will be my first Boston Whaler boat, and she is a project, so I am turning to the experts for some advice.

I remember my grandfather, way-back-when, describing the unsinkable legend, and was always intrigued by the lore. He built five boats, owned many others, but never a Whaler. My first two boats have come and gone, my third and fourth are in winter storage, but my fifth, a 1974 SPORT 13, is ready for restoration. I hope I can do it proud.

The fine folks at Whaler confirmed she was originally a Sport with a side console. The previous owner thought is was a Sourpuss due to the stern rail, but I did not believe it to be true;, and, low and behold, it wasn't. Whaler confirmed the identify of the boat by its hull identification number BWCB1110M74F and [the stencil number] 2B2935, and that it was indeed a side console SPORT 13 when it left the factory.

It was last powered by a Mercury 40-HP, but that engine is long gone. I do have the Quiksilver controls, but that is all that remains from the old engine.

All the interior had been replace by oak at one point, a larger fuel tank added amidship, and other various hacks, as you will see in the pictures. That is all gone now, as I removed everything as soon as it graced my driveway.

The trailer it rode on was a roller-type, it only had a few rollers, and I suspect the weight of the boat being on only a few points is what caused some fracture to the hull, which is in need of repair. Additionally, there is a lot of checking and cracking, and I suspect that at one point the entire bottom may have been smeared with a coat of resin, but not additional glass.

On the interior, the glass has some BAD cracking, and that is the main purpose of my start here on Continuous Wave. I would like some advice as to whether or not this is typically seen, and what I will need to do in order to make it sea worthy again--or if I should look for a better candidate. The worst damage is in the corners where the gunwale, transom, and deck all meet. It is pretty bad on both sides, and I wonder if it will require additional bracing in addition to new glass fillets and cloth work. I am not afraid of glass work at all, as I do have experience with it. I imagine the culprit of the cracking may have been abusing holeshots and the weight of an unsupported outboard bounding up and down on the transom as it was hauled back and forth from Lake Erie.

The new Shorelander trailer that I already have should help with that as it will have a motor support.

Please provide me whatever feedback you think is appropriate based on the pictures here. Maybe this is totally normal, but I have a little apprehension about putting a lot of effort in to this hull before I know exactly what I should expect to do. I think it can be salvaged, I just need some education, and for all the more I paid for it, I can afford to put some money into it without getting in over what it would be worth. I think the $400 price tag was ok, considering I have already sold the trailer it came with for $250, so as it sits, I have a $150 boat.

I have a lead on a 1986 Johnson VRO 40-HP 20-inch-shaft engine, which I think I can get with controls for less than $1,000. It is a low-hour motor, the VRO system is all intact, and the motor checks out. I think it would look good on this little craft.

I will be restoring the interior with all new mahogany and am thinking of a dual console setup.

I am open to all thoughts and advice, so write away!

IMG_2510 (2).jpg
Cracks in transom/gunwale/deck intersection
IMG_2510 (2).jpg (41.42 KiB) Viewed 3404 times
IMG_2506 (2).jpg
Mid ship cracks in deck
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IMG_2491 (2).jpg
Before coming home from purchase
IMG_2491 (2).jpg (81.76 KiB) Viewed 3404 times

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Re: 1974 SPORT 13: New to Whalers

Postby jimh » Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:11 am

With your net investment in the Boston Whaler SPORT 13 boat at only $150, I think you are on the way to a very reasonably priced boat, assuming you do most of the repair work yourself.

To determine the damage to the hull structure from just an image of a large opening or crack is difficult. If the transom shows any sort of tendency to flex or move independently from the rest of the hull, you should be concerned. Your repair would have to strengthen the transom-to-hull joint, not just seal up that big crack in the cockpit deck. One cannot really deduce the severity of the damage from one image of the crack. However, that said, the 13-foot Boston Whaler hull is quite resilient and can tolerate a lot of abuse. On the other hand, a 13-footer with a 40-HP engine and some teen-aged drivers could have meant a lot of hard operation in the past. Another thought: where was the battery located? Perhaps it caused the damage.

As for repair advice, I will give you my standard answer: see the FAQ and follow its links:


If you repaired the deck area at the starboard aft corner with the method demonstrated, the original strength of that area should be restored.

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Re: 1974 SPORT 13: New to Whalers

Postby cnickm » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:41 pm

That is going to be a tough repair.

It appears the boat was re painted or gelcoated at some point. Start grinding and find the full extent of the damage. It likely extends further than you think under the existing gelcoat/ paint.

If the boat has been sitting outside with the cracks like that you are going to also be dealing with moisture problems in the foam and core as well.

Good luck!

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Re: 1974 SPORT 13: New to Whalers

Postby dg22 » Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:23 pm

When I bought my boat there was some cracking near the rear of the boat where the battery sat. This could have been caused by the battery bouncing around. I fixed the cracks by removing the gel coat and then repaired with two layers of fiberglass. Before I did the fiberglass work, I used a shop vac to suck out any water and then placed a heater to dry out the area for about 24 to 48 hours. I have been using my 13 footer for 7 years now with a 50 HP and I have the older style transom which I understand is not as strong as the newer style transom on the boat you have. This might be a floor concern and not a transom concern. If you have major cracks in the upper corners of the transom where the sides of the boat meet the transom then I would be worried.

If the transom is still strong and the rest of floor is solid and the bottom of the boat is in good shape and solid, I would move forward with the repair and enjoy the boat. Don't worry too much if you have a little water in the hull, your boat will still be much lighter than a new 13 footer. As long as everything else is good and there is no major delamination of the fiberglass, I would move forward.

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Re: 1974 SPORT 13: New to Whalers

Postby Seneca13 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:40 pm

I imagine you are correct, it's going to take getting into it with the grinder and seeing what's going on. That will be when the weather breaks. I think it's going to be fine, just a good deal of work. I do not intend to gel coat, but will paint it instead. Even though it would not be period correct, I am planning on Whaler blue inside. Also going with white outside. I have never gel coated before, o I think I'll stick to what I know. Paint.
Looking forward to spring to get started!
It has been upside down while I have had it and I have not noticed water. Now that it is back to right side up and in storage, I may drill a hole and see what I get. It don't think it is wet, although it certainly could have been at one point. I've had it over two years now, so it's had some time to dry.
I did buy an engine, and it looks good. Found it near my hometown at a small engine shop. It's a longish story, but it has basically sat for 25 years. Was bought in 86 and went to bed in 90. Very clean and essentially no hours on it. Seems to run fine on the stand. I suspect I will rebuild the carburetor just to be sure. It's a 40 Johnson VRO, and came with the controls and oil tank and wiring. Looks pretty darn much like new. Just some cleaning and a spot on the cowl that needs touched up where it looks like something must have sat on it during storage.

I'll post a pic soon.