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‘76 Sea Nymph FM-160 Fishing Machine Boat Rebuild

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Well,...  here we go,...   A story in pictures.


A good fishing buddy got me talking about my Dad’s old boat, a 1976 Sea Nymph FM-160.  It has been sitting in the rain for 12 years.  The last time I had it out was 2008.  

I remember water skiing and fishing on this boat when I was a 12 yr old kid, always a great time.  I think my Dad paid $6500 for this boat back in 1986.  The boat originally had a smaller outboard on the back and the previous owner upgraded to a 70HP.  We had the boat a couple years before we got the foot control electric motor for the front.   

My Dad did a partial rebuild back in 2000, but never did a complete job.  The steering cables should have been replaced a long time ago.  The transom needed to be replaced back then already.  The motor could use a good tune up.  All the decking needs to be replaced, new wiring, new lights, new seats.  We’re gonna hook this bad boy up for Spring ! 

I also want to customize the back of the boat for trolling, mount some downriggers, etc.  

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This boat was designed as a Bass boat with high pedestal seats in the front and rear.  The boat sits uncomfortably low in the water, especially in the back.  I believe this is due in part to the weight of the 70HP motor upgrade as well as all the water inside the foam trapped under the decking.  I’ld like to try to lighten up the back end of the boat, maybe move all the batteries up front to keep them away from the fuel.  

I don’t have a lot of wood working skills or electrical knowledge.  I’m am going to rely on outside help for a lot of the job.  I’m probably going to look into paying someone to repaint the boat and overhaul the Motor.  I probably won’t get anywhere near perfect on this rebuild.  


Gotta have a shot of the family dog in the boat rebuild pics,...    


New Trailer Tires and Rims $80

New Wench $26

5th Wheel $20












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That 70 had to make that boat boogie ! I had the same motor on my 195 gls and it did 35....

I'll be following this to watch your progression ! Will be really cool to bring back the ole family boat !

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When I started on the big lake in 1990, my buddy took us out on this.......  great times to remember..









Edited by J.D.

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I have an1986  alumacraft 16 , basically the same thing .

 Been debating redoing it or getting something newer . But I love the boat . Great multi specs boat . 


If I were you and were redoing yours I would not have the rear casting platform . I would make the rear deck to the motor well same height as drivers seat floor to lower center of gravity . Better and safer for trolling .  Also lower front deck . I made a small casting deck just ahead of my motor well I stand on and my tanks and batteries are under . The rigger board is easily removable with 4 screws . My first boat I had my riggers on the back corners and they were hard and unsafe to set and adjust . 


My dilemma is the motor which is a 1886 35 Merc . It runs good and pushes boat fast enough for me but I would like something newer  As nothing lasts forever . A new 40 hp is 5 k min .add in cost of rehab and that would be like

7 k + . But it would be new and last me probably the rest of my life . 


Good luck on your project and let us know . 




Edited by HB2

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Another Fun Sunday working with my Fishing Buddy on the boat.  I am lucky to have his help and expertise on the project.  


We resumed the project, day 2, by working on stripping the old decking.  There were a lot of rusted screws and a good lesson learned.  Make sure to use quality stainless steel hardware!  My Pops probably used whatever hardware he had, but more significantly, because it’s what he had.  He was never the type of person to spend money on things he didn’t need.  I think this is a common theme in these boat rebuild stories, ie., it’s worth it to put the time and money into the project to do it right.  

On another note, there is knowledge, and there is experience.  To truly experience something first hand is to really know it.  It’s been said on here, and in many aluminum boat rebuild stories, the aversive effects of the pour in foam, and how water becomes trapped in the ribs and under the decking.  

I knew this as a fact, and I was still shocked at the weight of the chunks of foam we had removed.  There was a ridiculous amount of water weight trapped under the foam.  Not only that, but the moisture is a killer.  Look at how it destroyed the decking and turned it into pulp! 

I wasn’t sure about removing and redoing all the foam, however, after we stripped the old carpet, there was no question that these steps were absolutely necessary.  

The last couple times we used the boat, I remember that it seemed to be sitting low in the water.  I definitely believe now that the boat had a couple hundred extra pounds of water trapped under the decking and in the foam.  

Pics Attached








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How much does a pound of water weigh?

  • In common US measures, one gallon of water weighs 8.345 pounds. The density of water varies slightly at different temperatures which will impact the weight of for the same volume.

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Last Weeks Pics,...


We tore out all the pour in foam in the left and right stern stern sections.  We found several nests of black carpenter ants.  In total, over 2 weeks, we removed 15 large garbage bags of soppy wet foam.  Some of the bags probably weighed 40lbs or more.  

We removed the 70HP Evinrude.  A fun story, we backed the boat under a (solid) overhanging tree limb, close to the trunk, and used some towing straps to hoist the motor with a hand crank.  My buddy used some muscle to show Who’s the Boss (Tony Danza, of course).  It was pretty heavy.


More Pics coming,...  


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I wasn’t sure I wanted to totally pull things apart, but we decided it was necessary to do the job right.  Removed the dash and stern sections of aluminum framing.  As stated, we are planning a custom job on the stern to better accommodate trolling.  Removed the transom.  Take a look at the right rear corner of the photo - transom rot.  Water was leaking through a ‘U’ bolt that was used for attaching the tow cable for water skiing.   



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Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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