Quick 84 Mirrorcraft Northport 14 Rebuild

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Jinxd12

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Got the itch to get back on the big lakes again, and actually throw the baits I build in big water.

I scooped up this 1984 Mirrorcraft Northport Troller 14' with a trailer, and a non running Mercury 25XD.

Had to convince the wife it was a good idea and I could do it in 2 weekends...and go from there?!

Boat hasn't been registered since 2004, and been sitting outside I'm assuming since then. Started as an Illinois boat but now in Az.

Here it is in all its glory the day I got it. Had it disassembled in a few hours and 99% clean. It was brutal with it still being 110° that week.

The foam was in the bow, and along the sides. There was no water logged foam, and it was still 99% solid as a rock. Anything that I could poke that would flake off I removed but there wasn't much, so I left it all intact.
 

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I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do to it, except out everything back to its original state plus a little bigger deck.

I had some materials sitting around from my last build, and a few sheets of plywood & 2x4s from work.

I got the boat in Friday morning and this is what I ended up with Sunday afternoon.
Pretty much everything cut, and painted with 2 coats of oil based paint I had in the garage.

Total spent spent at this point was $0. Wife was surprised and I was actually happy how it looked. Wore out since I was doing this by myself (a little help from my 12yr old son) mostly talking!
 

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Now that I had a basic idea what I wanted to do, had to order some "stuff"!

Simple switch panel, 50' of tin coated wire, drain plug, recessed pedal tray, EVA foam, and a couple fittings to block off the old in and outs for the live well I removed.

Also impeller kit, carb rebuild kit, lower gear oil and spark plugs were ordered.

I pondered storage ideas, and all the fancy hatches and lockers, but I just don't need it with how I fish. I fish and make custom swimbaits and so do my fishing buddies. Just want something simple I can fish with but upgrade as needed/wanted.

The stuff showed up on Tuesday so me and the kid got to work!
 

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2 weekends in and I was close, front deck I made the lower panel into the storage access, simple and efficient. Had to buy more EVA foam, those rolls don't go very far!

I didn't screw the deck or the floor down until the EVA foam was installed, I wanted easy access to any issues in the future but also not have to pull up the foam to find screws.

I did run a length of 1" liquid tight conduit under the floor board from front to rear for wiring.

Cut the hole and installed the switch panel, and wired everything up. I was happy with the location, and it was mostly protected for the elements where I had all the terminations.

I ordered a trolling motor, simple 45# thrust for a deal of $399, it will get upgraded in the future, I just didn't want to buy a used one for close to full price local. Had to figure out where to mount it that didn't take away valuable deck space but was also rigid. Had to add some structure under the front bow plate but it's solid as a rock. Boat was almost ready. This was the middle of the 3rd week.

Had to pause, wife was out of town for a week and kids were on school vacation.
 

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Vacation week I cleaned the garage got the boat to fit!!! Garage was a nightmare so Im happy it's clean again.

Got the motor tore down, reassembled, new oil, and running in less than 6 hours. Motor started on 3rd pull, assuming it hasn't ran since 2004 I was jumping up and down yelling hell ya! Sounded good too! Had to blow a little air in the tell tail lines, but that was the only minor hiccup.
 

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Trailer needed new lights so I just rewired the whole thing. Took about an hour or so. Doesn't get any easier that the $29 Harbor freight kit.

Went to go get tires so I could take it to get registered. For some reason trailer tires are not a hot commodity and cost close to $100 each to buy and have mounted. That is crazy for a 12" tire!!!

I went on Amazon and bought 2 new tires with rims mounted already for $139 to my door. They were here in 2 days.

I went to put the rims on and noticed one of the fender brackets was sheered off, but still on the trailer. I removed the fence and bracket installed the rims. Took the fender to work and had one of the pipefitters weld it back up for me.

I didnt like looking at the gas tank and open back of the boat. Used my last bit of scrap plywood(no EVA foam left) and made a rear deck hatch. I'll live with the painted wood for now. I also used the original live well hinge to make the hatch open completely flat allowing maximum clearance back there for a battery and tank etc.

Little clean up and registration ready!
 

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Sorry for the long read! Atleast there is pictures of fish!

29 day quick build. Told the wife I'm coming home early to take the boat to get registered. She was surprised I actually completed a project with no hiccups or boredom setting in haha.

Game and fish inspected the boat, but Illinois didn't answer the phone for 2 days, had me worried! When I got home I had a package from a buddy. He sent me a 7" fish finder to use until I figure out what I want. Ran all the cables, and mounted it on the deck. Pretty much just for depth and water temps and some side scanning.

Boat was registered for $22 on Friday morning and I took it out that afternoon/night.

Awesome results. Not a single drop of water in the bottom of the boat in a 6+ hour trip. Everything worked as planned, floors and decks are perfectly sized, motor started with 1 pull every time. Being that the boat is 65" wide it is super sturdy. Been fishing of a buddies 15/48 and that doesn't even compare to this. Even caught the 1st fish and on my own bait!

Back deck had enough space for my buddy to fish comfortably without issue, even with us both swinging 8' rods the boat had enough space.

Things I'd like to add/change. Cup holders and rod tubes into the deck. I am a 2 rod guy he was 5!!! There wasn't an issue with the amount of rods, but I didn't like the look of "stuff" everywhere.

Also new bunk boards. The boat got "stuck" kind of when launching. The bunks are about 6" back the transom, they could be shorter and still carry the load of the transom/motor. But the carpet is worn out. Might go with new wood and some plastic gutter material for easy loading and launching.

Let me know what you guys think, or think I could do to make it better.
 

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Nice work!

How much weight do you think you added & what did you see for speed with old 25?
 
lol! my brother boat! I've been putt's in along with mine between weather, health, way body feel on good day's getting old suck's lol! and first time for doing this! Funny though I see your hull is totally foamed ????? when replacing my deck due to the beginning of rot from prev. owner mine was clean only side compartments & bow was filled in & this was manufac. modif./ I am taking it depending on location of manufacturer they do things a bit dif. but my floor is in now and wondering if I should of foamed the floor before putting deck back down. Figured if it wasn't there i didn't need it! Any body reading this pls. throw your 2 cents in id' appreciate it! > btw! Nice Job!! boat looks great!!!!!!!!
 

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Nice work!

How much weight do you think you added & what did you see for speed with old 25?
Thanks,

No idea for added weight, I removed about 20 pounds of dirt and grime, and only replaced what I removed except for 2 8' long 2x2s and 2 2x4s.
 
Did you float test the boat prior to build?
No I did not, the hull didn't look to have any areas that looked concerning but I did buck 3 rivets at the front bow seam where the boat starts to curve in the V section.
 
lol! my brother boat! I've been putt's in along with mine between weather, health, way body feel on good day's getting old suck's lol! and first time for doing this! Funny though I see your hull is totally foamed ????? when replacing my deck due to the beginning of rot from prev. owner mine was clean only side compartments & bow was filled in & this was manufac. modif./ I am taking it depending on location of manufacturer they do things a bit dif. but my floor is in now and wondering if I should of foamed the floor before putting deck back down. Figured if it wasn't there i didn't need it! Any body reading this pls. throw your 2 cents in id' appreciate it! > btw! Nice Job!! boat looks great!!!!!!!!
My boat didnt have any foam in the floors. Only along the sides and in the front. All 3 sections had foam inside of the aluminum sheet framing.

Personal opinion is, if it hasn't sunk in 40 or so years with what's in it originally, original design is good. All of the sections with foam were not down to the floor, so water couldn't pool and cause deterioration to hull/foam. Also where the foam is located up the sides putting additional foam in the floor may change the way it would float in the event it was to capsize? I don't, I am not an engineer!
 
You have been pretty busy and the results show. Your mention of building baits caught my attention. I'm sure others too. If you get time, and want to, post some pic's. Either here or under the tackle forum. Thx!
 
You have been pretty busy and the results show. Your mention of building baits caught my attention. I'm sure others too. If you get time, and want to, post some pic's. Either here or under the tackle forum. Thx!
I'll post a few here. It started as a fun hobby instead of buying high end and JDM baits for $100 that I would lose, decided to try my hand at making my own.

Baits came along way in 18 months, but now they are refined, and I have wakes, crankdowns, and glidebaits. And even a rat that produces good fish bass and smallies

They now have multiple 7/8/9 pound bass caught on them across the country. I sell on Instagram and a swimbait fishing forum that I'm on. Here are a few pictures of some of the baits. Feel free to ask about them!
 

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