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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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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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  • 3 weeks later...

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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Another Update with Pics,...


My buddy and I have been getting together to work on the boat every Sunday the past 4 weeks.  It took us 3 days to strip everything down.  We were going to wait to do the trailer, however, since the boat was so light, we decided that it would be good to hit the trailer.  

We’ve been buying supplies at Harbor Freight.  The past two sessions we started taking the trailer apart and sanding everything down.  It’s been quite a process.  We are planning to use Harbor Freight’s brand Truck Bed Liner with several coats of black primer for the Trailer.  

We bought a set of LED Trailer Lights at Harbor Freight with a coupon.  At this point, Harbor Freight should be sponsoring us.  We also took the time to refit all the hardware in Stainless Steel.  We picked up most of the Hardware from Lowe’s and some other electrical supplies, connectors, wiring, from Amazon.  

If you notice, in all of our Pics, my buddy is doing all the work, all the difficult jobs.  This is because, that’s what good buddies are for, lol !


I bought a 20lb Mushroom Anchor from a guy on Craigs List for $20.  He gave me some good tips on Shad Fishing the Delaware this April/May.  I’m determined to catch my first shad this year !  I’ve gone before but couldn't catch anything as the fish were not running. 

Here are my Pics,...  the wire brushes worked good for Sanding.  







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  • 2 weeks later...

Updated; More Trailer Pics,...  


We used Harbor Freights’ Black Iron Armor Truck Bed Liner for the Trailer $49.99 with about 5 or 6 cans of Rust-oleum spray Primer @$5.99 ea.  We also used a can of Black Rust-oleum Spray paint for the hitch area $6.99. 

$125 for a set of 5’ Bunk Rollers from WholeSale Marine and 2x $12.95 for Mounting Brackets.  One package was missing hardware.  

We used 1/4” Black tubing to insulate all the Trailer Wiring.  And, as I had mentioned, the LED Trailer Lights were $49.99, 20% off after coupon, $39.99 at Harbor Freight.  We made sure to have some extra length at the hitch.  

We spent around $200 on New Hardware at Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Amazon for both the Boat and Trailer.  Some of the hardware we have been working with has been junk (see pics).

We took a break last weekend to go Fish the Lehigh River for a couple hours last Sunday.


It took a bit of time to get the keel of the boat lined up and all of the Rollers fixed.   The boat really travels easily with the wench and roller bunks.  This will be a big help on difficult boat launches.  

The trailer looks like New.  I will be interested to see how the tough coat on the trailer holds up.  I’m really happy with everything so far.  









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More Pics,...  


We looked at different types of Plywood and even PVC Board.  We decided to go with a really nice looking Chilean Pine from Home Depot at $35.00 for a 4x8 Sheet.  The Plywood has no knots or holes in the edges.  We are going to go heavy with 3 Coats of Epoxy, Primer, and Tuff Coat sealant for the Decking and Transom.  

We have the Gallon size Gluvit and a smaller 2 Quart size Can to cover the rivets.  This boat has no significant dents or leaking rivets.  We are in the process of sanding and cleaning the interior.  We are going to use Tuff Coat Sealant on all the interior Aluminum and Decking.  


We also picked up Block Foam from Lowes.  We took the last 3 sheets they had @35.00 per 4x8 sheet and we know we will need more.  





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More Pics of Work in Progress,...


My friend’s son is interested in the boat, so we got him involved mounting the spare tires.  He likes to be helpful and really seemed to enjoy participating.


We wanted 2 spare tires so we can be fearless, go the distance, and visit Seneca, Cayuga, Ontario and the Hudson.  

Completely Sanded, Shop Vac’ed, and Power washed.  Professional A++ job.  So clean, we could brew an IPA in there - Largemouth Lager. 


Gluvit, 1 Gallon size, applied thick like warm Maple syrup in mid March!  


We are ready to primer the inside.  I checked around for someone to Paint the exterior.  I received an estimate of $800-$1,000.  Another garage had no interest in the job and couldn’t recommend anyone else in the local area who would be interested.  At this point, I think we’re going to give it a go ourselves.


To be Continued,...












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A recommendation for your SS hardware. Instead of running all over creation looking for the right screws and bolts, order it from McMaster Carr online. They have everything imaginable and ship quickly. If using the boat mainly in fresh water , 304 Stainless is good and a bit less expensive. If using in salt water a lot use type 316, much more corrosion resistant but about 25% more$.

Sent from my SM-J737V using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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A recommendation for your SS hardware. Instead of running all over creation looking for the right screws and bolts, order it from McMaster Carr online. They have everything imaginable and ship quickly. If using the boat mainly in fresh water , 304 Stainless is good and a bit less expensive. If using in salt water a lot use type 316, much more corrosion resistant but about 25% more$.

Sent from my SM-J737V using Lake Ontario United mobile app

Awsome info an thanks for sharing, as a diy on my boats too always looking for stuff like that.

Sent from my Pixel using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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We bought all the Trailer hardware at Home Depot and Lowes.  I bought the best quality we could get, Grade 5.  We replaced all the old Stainless Steel stuff.  I wish I had known McMaster Carr online.  But then again, the big reason why we are running back in forth is because I can’t count, hardware failure from the junk that came with the item, or we didn’t take into consideration the next stop in the project.  In my opinion, there is always a reason to go to the Hardware shop, lol.  Can it be said, a bad day at Home Depot is better than a good day at work, lol ?  Or maybe that’s just another fishing quote.  

I think we have purchased about 10 of those 4.5” wire wheels at Harbor Freight for sanding the Trailer and the Boat so far.  

The Boat had 2 little spots where we had punched the dock (above the waterline).  We used J-B Weld, $8.99, to patch.  

To be continued,...









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I have a top notch pro helping with the rebuild, thanks to his help ! 

Patching holes with the Rivet tool.  POW, POW POW 💥 💥 💥

This boat had a row of snap rivets for the original cover.  We decided to remove and replace them.




Edited by JZTIRF
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