First Boat Project - 1989 Tracker Pro 17

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jkitchene
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First Boat Project - 1989 Tracker Pro 17

Post by jkitchene »

I have started to tear down my 1989 Tracker Pro 17 as a fall/winter project. This is the first time I have ever tackled anything like this but it has actually been fun so far. This site has a tremendous amount of information and has given me the ambition to rebuild my boat.

Background - Live in Southern Illinois and fish a small club tournament trail. It is a team format with up to 3-4 of our 12 events taking place on Newton Lake. This is a power plant lake of approximately 1,800 acres lake and has a 25 HP limit. I bought this Tracker 3 years ago as my partner has a bigger Lowe aluminum bass boat with a 90 HP we use for other lakes. I have boat set up with Humminbird 998 at console.

The Plan - The boat runs fine but leaks to the point I have to turn on the bilge every hour to hour and a half to keep water from coming up into the battery well. Main floor is rotten and sunken in between the rear ribs. Foam is soaked and wiring is an absolute mess. The trolling motor is original and only 30 lb. thrust.
1. Rip out all flooring/decking
2. Repair leaking rivets and then Gluvit
3. Extend front casting deck (aluminum angle)
4. Add storage and a rod locker
5. Redo rear casting deck with storage on sides
6. Replace or change livewell layout (hate current design as drain is 2 inches from the bottom)
7. Replace console possibly with a new aluminum console
8. Add Humminbird 958 to bow
9. Replace 30 lb trolling motor with Maxxum 70 lbs. 24 volt trolling motor
10. Rewire entire boat
11. Go back with aluminum flooring and casting decks
12. New carpet and then go fishing

I'm sure I'm forgetting several things but I'm basically starting over. Fun project and fortunately I have a heated shop so I can take my time this winter. I have already started but below are pics of what I started with, more to come.
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kofkorn
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First Boat Project - 1989 Tracker Pro 17

Post by kofkorn »

If you can forgo the footwell for the TM, I would definitely suggest that you add a hatch to the front storage compartment. On mine, it was practically useless until I added the hatch. Now I keep extra life jackets and a whole bunch of 3600 boxes in there.

Also make sure when you remove the foam that you clean out the space between each of the chines and the aluminum frame members. When tracker poured their foam in, these drain holes got plugged up. I'm sure it's a really big part of why the foam gets so waterlogged in these boats.

I've got a full boat and OMC motor wiring diagram from Tracker for these boats. I'll PM you with it. It comes in EXTREMELY handy when you are re-wiring.

Good luck and post pictures!!! I've used my build as a reference a few times to remember how I routed something or where the location of the ribs are.

jkitchene
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First Boat Project - 1989 Tracker Pro 17

Post by jkitchene »

Here are a few pics of my progress thus far. Next step is to remove the motor and rear deck. What is the preferred method for cleaning up the inside of the hull? I will definitely need to spend more time getting foam out of the channels but making progress. You can see from the picture of my foam I found a short landscaping shovel to be the trick. I pushed it down into the foam in a couple of places then used it to pry large pieces out. Before that I was struggling to get it out in any large chunks and was making a mess.
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fool4fish1226
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First Boat Project - 1989 Tracker Pro 17

Post by fool4fish1226 »

Nice looking project keep at it :beer:
Work: A dangerous disorder affecting high public functionaries who want to go fishing

Project "A Little Snookered" https://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopi ... 21&t=22132

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kofkorn
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First Boat Project - 1989 Tracker Pro 17

Post by kofkorn »

I used a cupped wire brush. I have one that works with a drill and one that works on my grinder. The drill version would work nicely to clean up that residue.

jkitchene
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First Boat Project - 1989 Tracker Pro 17

Post by jkitchene »

Something like this? I looked at these at the hardware store and they just seem really stiff/course.
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jkitchene
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First Boat Project - 1989 Tracker Pro 17

Post by jkitchene »

Another question :D I have been trying to figure out my plan for the front deck extension. As you can see from the pic as I extend it the deck will get closer to the top rail. I'm considering using the same bulk head that it currently carpeted and extending off of it. I think I can drill out the rivets of the current angle that the level is sitting on and use those same holes that are in the hull as the angle is probably 2". I want to avoid drilling more holes in the boat if possible. Do you think it would be best to adjust the aluminum angle and rivet using the same holes in the hole of the boat?
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kofkorn
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First Boat Project - 1989 Tracker Pro 17

Post by kofkorn »

That's the brush that I use on the grinder. It may seem stiff, but when you need to remove that adhesive from the aluminum, it's what you need. To remove the foam residue, I used something for my drill, like this:
Wire Brush.jpg
I've seen a few of the Trackers with the deck extended, and I don't really remember them having any issue running into the gunwales. I wouldn't reset the angle of the braces on the sides. If you do, you'll need to reconfigure the center braces which are fixed under the front of the bow, and then rebuild a new panel where your TM plug is mounted. A LOT more work than necessary. The extensions I've seen were simply kept in line with the original deck. You'll get an added benefit from extra storage too! \:D/

Honestly, adding a couple of new holes for rivets in the exterior of the hull, especially above the waterline, will not be an issue by the time you're done. You're going to need to reset some rivets below the water line when you remove the rear bulkhead anyway, so 6 or 8 additional rivets won't be a big deal. I'd rather add a couple of extra rivets now than find out after my build that the area is too weak.

Make sure you purchase the "Closed End Blind Rivets" and goop them up with 3M 5200 sealant when you set them. There won't be anything to worry about.

Keep it up!
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KRS62
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First Boat Project - 1989 Tracker Pro 17

Post by KRS62 »

Any thoughts to replacing all the rivets in the ribs while you have the floor up? I have the same boat, just a little older (I just posted it up.) Anyway, I can see reasons why to replace them all now.....and reasons why to only fix the leaking ones.

KRS

jkitchene
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First Boat Project - 1989 Tracker Pro 17

Post by jkitchene »

That is an interesting thought. I have noticed most guys talk about replacing the leaky rivets during their build. I haven't seen anybody replace them all but I'm sure some have. The rivets I have drilled out of my boat are the very first rivets I have ever removed, so I don't come from experience. I have never installed a rivet in my life but the time is coming :lol:

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kofkorn
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First Boat Project - 1989 Tracker Pro 17

Post by kofkorn »

Rivets are fun! :twisted:

I wouldn't remove anymore than absolutely necessary, especially since you're planning on Glove-it afterward. When you've had the chance to go back and re-align holes and rivet, you'll understand.

I would look at a couple of options when it comes to riveters:

Manual route: Probably need two riveters, one high leverage version especially for the closed rivets, as these are hard to set, plus all of the rivets in easy access locations.


Plus a second low profile/maneuverable version for the harder to reach areas. The pivoting head is critical for a few rivets.



Pneumatic route: Probably only need one gun that will set nearly all of your rivets, they are generally lower profile, and certainly easier on your hands.


For a number of the rivets that I had in tough locations, I had to get two hands around the grips of the smaller riveter and I had a hard time setting them. I'm not a small guy and on a couple of them I needed to take a break between squeezes.

For my next build, I'm going to look into a pneumatic one to set 99% and use the small hand riveter for the ones that the pneumatic gun can't reach.

Good Luck!

Blake.
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First Boat Project - 1989 Tracker Pro 17

Post by Blake. »

My dad has a tracker 17' with a 40 hp evinrude ( I think) that we are going to be re-working soon. His has a storage box in front of the console where yours had nothing and it is level with the front deck so I think you'd be fine extending the deck, but I think his is a different year though so it may be slightly different.

Either way, will be checking this thread for tips and tricks!
I'm Blake. Above are the things I say.

Old Jon with an Eight.

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kofkorn
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First Boat Project - 1989 Tracker Pro 17

Post by kofkorn »

I remembered back to when I first got my boat, the PO had a little extra platform between the casting deck and console. It was level with the deck and I went back and found a picture:
111102-IMG_0686.jpg
So now you have a visual of how it will look.

Good luck!
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jkitchene
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First Boat Project - 1989 Tracker Pro 17

Post by jkitchene »

Got some time to work on the boat this past weekend. A little more cleanup needed (mud, old foam, etc.) and I hope to fill with water to the waterline to see where it is leaking. Should I worry about filling with water with no rear bulkhead support? I plan to pick up some aluminum angle this weekend to begin framing the new decks once I have fixed all leaks. The foam above the bottom 2 inches was solid and a pain to remove. The bottom foam however filled every drain channel and was soaking wet (heavy). There was also a lot of dirt/mud in the boat after 25 years of buildup. I'm considering going back with most of the original rear deck framed with aluminum angle versus spray in foam. If I never have to work with spray in foam again it will be too soon :shock:
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kofkorn
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First Boat Project - 1989 Tracker Pro 17

Post by kofkorn »

Looking good. With all of that foam gone, it should be easy to identify your leaking spots.

Good luck!