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TOPIC: New MFG Niagra, new to this website

New MFG Niagra, new to this website 1 month 1 week ago #143881

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I recently bought a 1966 MFG Niagra and found this website. It was sitting for 13 years outside so its nasty but it seems like its sound enough to be restored. Got it for $400 with a trailer and 25 hp Johnson. I'd like to know what anyone thinks about the price, I thought it was decent for my area especially considering how old it is but I have never bought this type of boat before. I have never worked on a fiberglass boat before so I have a few questions for anyone willing to answer.

There seems to be a fiberglass floor that is above the hull of the boat. There are screw holes in it from who knows what, and it was outside for years so I'm sure water got in there. How much of a problem is this and what might I need to do?

The seats appear to be original, there is a bench in the front and two swiveling chairs in the back. Obviously the wood isn't looking factory but I'm afraid to rebuild them if having original components is something very valuable when selling.

The motor looks okay, but I haven't had luck starting it. I know carb, spark plugs, and cleaning things up is a good start. Where I get lost is in the wiring, there are hookups for 2 separate batteries. I attached both and turned the key, but nothing happened to the electric starter. The wiring inside the motor is a mess. Any way to test only the starter or maybe just try to start the engine by hand without it?

Thanks

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New MFG Niagra, new to this website 1 month 1 week ago #143882

Welcome !
You found the right place. Lots of knowledge here.
The MFG expert is DAVNAU6345. He will chime in at some point.
I'm not sure if there is flotation foam under the floor. If not the water should drain out the drain hole.
If there is foam under the floor ? It is most likely soaked making your boat heavy.
The biggest thing to check is the transom. Grab hold of it and give a good tug. If it flexes, it will most likely need replaced.
(Plenty of how to threads for that here)
One question for you ? If you go to the sightings section. is the 1966 MFG Niagara you have the same one pictured on the second topic ?
As for the price you paid ? Since you have the trailer boat and motor. I'd say it's a fair price ? As for keeping it original ? You most likely won't get any more value at resale. So like most folks do here...... Make it your boat, the way you like it. My opinion...

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New MFG Niagra, new to this website 1 month 1 week ago #143886

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Yes, the post on sightings is from the craigslist posting of my boat, I bought that exact one just a few days ago. It was listed at 500 but got it for 400 because it needed new tires. Thanks for the tip about the foam, I will check on what's underneath the floor.

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New MFG Niagra, new to this website 1 month 1 week ago #143887

I'm guessing the easiest way to so see if there is foam ? stick a pick or slim blade screw driver in a hole at an angle and swirl it around. if there is foam you'll know. if not you'll feel nothing. Step on every inch of the floor feel for soft spots. most fiberglass floors are plywood covered with fiberglass. don't be afraid to tear into the boat if you have to. The knowledge here will walk you though it all. All you need to do is post pics and ask

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New MFG Niagra, new to this website 1 month 1 week ago #143895

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I got lucky and cant find any foam inside. Overall the floor seems alright but the transom might need to be redone. I read some of the posts about renovating a transom and they are helpful.

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New MFG Niagra, new to this website 1 month 2 days ago #143917

Welcome aboard! You came to the right place.

As far as price, running, the motor alone is worth about $500 and a used trailer is always worth at least $75-100, so you did OK. The boat, however, needs a total restoration, or at least a lot of work to make it seaworthy again.

First off, your Niagara is not a 1966, it's a 1963. Dead giveaway is the last year for boats with a red deck was 1965, and your boat has the 1963-style ski racks. (My dad's first boat was a red 1963 Westfield.) I know these boats, particularly the lapstrake Niagara, Westfield, and Edinboro boats , like the back of my hand. My dad had four of them growing up, and I purchased others as an adult and have both of those. They are a 1966 Niagara and a 1962 Edinboro.

First, on the motor. To get help fixing up that Johnson, join The Antique Outboard Club. Go to aomci.org. People in your local chapter are friendly and are a wealth of information. (Bit of a plug here; I'm the membership person internationally for the club - I'm the guy members send dues to for processing.)

That boat has foam under the floor, or at least when it left the factory. If it has been sitting out, for sure the foam is soaked with water, adding a lot of weight and not doing anything for floatation. The original seats were attached to the fiberglass floor with well-nuts and the black rubber around them always deteriorates with time, and if the boat has sat out in the weather, water leaks into the under-floor area and soaks the foam. I can see the holes for the original seats from your picture of the interior. The seats you describe are not original to the boat.

No doubt the transom is rotted (wood is used between the inner and out layers of fiberglass) but can be fixed. It's a fair amount of work.

There is so much more to tell you , but the best bet is to shoot me an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can go from there.

In the meantime, you can find a 1963 sales brochure, along with other info for your boat at:

www.fiberglassics.com/library/index.php?title=MFG

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Dave Nau - 1966 MFG Niagara with 1963 Mercury 350 (35hp) outboard and 1966 Tee Nee trailer. Second boat is a 1962 MFG Edinboro with a 1984 Evinrude 70hp and Holsclaw trailer.
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