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'86 Mako 231 Rebuild Project - New Home

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  • '86 Mako 231 Rebuild Project - New Home

    Hey guys - I've followed various builds on this site for years, and I finally am at a point where I have the time to pursue one myself. I love the idea of taking something old and making it new again, exactly the way I want it, and the Mako community made the decision pretty easy.

    I have a boat already, but I have found that I am always improving things and adding upgrades, but it was getting to the point where the boat wasn't really worth putting the time and $ into ('06 Angler 204, despite the bad rap not a bad beginner boat in my opinion, but definitely not something I wanted to keep forever.)

    I wanted a 22-25 boat that I could outfit the way I wanted, big enough to get offshore a little ways but shallow enough to fish the bays, and comfortable enough to keep the family happy. Well, those boats definitely exist, but I don't have $150k to drop on one...

    After a LOT of research, reading every post of the Mako History Q&A thread about three times, countless discussions on this site and others, I decided that the 224 and derivatives (221, 231, etc etc) would be the perfect platform to start a "custom" rebuild of a classic. Since I was looking for a pretty specific hull (the 231 was my first choice) I was afraid I might either be looking for a while or compromise, but then got a tip off that this girl was available:

    1986 231

    listing suggested the boat had already been partially restored, solid decks, new tank, and was essentially ready for paint, with a working trailer. Turns out maybe not quite true (more to follow on this...) but hull generally sound and exactly what I was looking for so I went for it anyway.

    So here we go. I am still in the planning stages, but I have a lot of ideas for what I want and my goal is to incorporate everything on my "boat wishlist" in this build. []

    Some highlights:

    - large single 4-stroke

    - plenty of fuel for a day of offshore trolling

    - bracket w/good swim/dive platform

    - T-top w/ crows nest (no controls)

    - pass thru transom

    - plenty of seating options without losing fishability

    - and tons of other little stuff.

    Will probably keep some of the basic stock layout, but I plan to modify/add a good many things too. Will do my best to document, to me sharing it is part of the appeal of doing something like this.

    Now, enough rambling and on with the pics! Stand by

  • #2
    first order of business was getting the trailer actually road worthy. Spent way too much time and $$ and rolling around on the ground in a parking lot to take it from this:

    to this:

    HUGE thanks to Andy, Frank, Mike, and rest of crew at Melbourne FL Northern Tool!

    Long but relatively uneventful drive back to VA.Had to get a little creative with the trailer lights...

    Finally got her home, and started really taking stock of what I have to work with. Everything generally seems solid, but there are tons of holes and wet core so it's all coming out.


    • #3
      Guy that I bought from didn't know details of the "new" tank, so I was anxious to see what was going on. Luckily, coffin cover and console were already loose so that made it easy.

      I had hoped (but not really expected) to find a beautiful new tank... well, not sure what to think about what was in there, except that I'm pretty sure it has to go. Super flimsy, like it was home made out of too-thin aluminum. No manufacture/test label plate. Top was wavy and warped. Note the "foamed" in installation []. Yes, those are pieces of 2x4. I guess it would have worked but not for me.

      Coffin cover was shockingly heavy - not sure if they're always like that or it's just waterlogged? definitely some areas were core is exposed.

      Some stress cracks at transom, but that will get redone anyway.

      Free goodies that came out of boat!

      new emblems and capacity plate (for a 232). Look at those 232 emblems closely...[]


      • #4
        That gas tank is not the oem, and to me in place backwards You have the small and large doors on the cover. The big door is under the cc, and the small one is to view a mechanical fuel gauge. You had to buy a clear cover{small}. The big door allows you to change the fill hoses without pulling the cc and cover. The tipping point for the tank is at the small door where you stand when driving the boat,and 160 gals or 1200 pounds shifting around can be a problem.
        1986 231 92 Yamaha 200 Fort Walton Beach FL.


        • #5
          Yeah I have no idea what they were thinking with the tank. Will be pulling it out for sure.


          • #6
            Nice find, i will be following this one. I love my 231. Going to start my project all over and besides the basics i have some of the same ideas as you. I want to add forward seating that is removable. Make it a full sun deck insert for family days. Aft seating with some type of folding bench. Good luck with the project. Ill try and help with specific 231 questions but luckily for us there are alot of mako enthusiasts here to help with everything.
            Fort Lauderdale, FL[br]1990 231 Mako[br]1998 Keywest 1720[br][br][br][/url]


            • #7

              Originally posted by make231

              I want to add forward seating that is removable. Make it a full sun deck insert for family days. Aft seating with some type of folding bench.

              yes, exactly! similar the Regulator 23 FS, or several other manufacturers these days. I've seen some that the insert can also be made into a little table in the bow. Not sure how that works but I'm going to try to figure it out!


              • #8
                The "shockingly" heavy coffin lid definitely points to it being water-logged. Re-core it while you're this far.
                ROGUE I[br]1978 235 CC[br]Newburyport, MA[br]ROGUE II[br]1987 17\' Montauk[br]Camden, ME[br]


                • #9
                  And I thought my trailer was bad when I brought mine home. From Melbourne to Virginia, God bless you that's a hike, I thought I went far for mine just 3 hours away. Congrats' .. !! and I agree 100% if I was going to put my $$ into another used boat it have to be a Classic Mako. I will be following your thread, might not be much help as I'm a fairly new Mako owner myself but a long time boater.... Good Luck !!
                  Mike,[br]1987 21B W / 1994 Yamaha 200[br]New Port Richey, Fl.[br]


                  • #10
                    yeah, in hindsight that drive maybe wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done. I'm sure with some patience I could have found one closer, but once I've made my mind up to do something I can't stand waiting.

                    Sorry not much to report yet, finishing up some home improvement projects to stock up some credit with the wife before I go all in on the boat! []

                    Been doing a lot of research and planning, not the flashiest part but I want to have a solid plan before I start cutting stuff up...


                    • #11
                      between knocking out some home improvement projects and crappy weather haven't had a chance to work on boat much. Finally had a chance to get her cleaned up, a little work w/pressure washer took her from this:

                      to this:

                      Original gel coat is in great condition for the most part. I will most likely paint, but nice to have a good surface to work from. Went over hull in more detail, also in very good shape (unless there are surprises hidden under the bottom paint). unfortunately pressure washer didn't faze the painted on name at all...

                      Question for all the 231 owners - what type of drain did the forward storage have originally? I can't imagine it came from the factory with just a hole drilled through. Also, I can tell the cutout under the gunnels has been molested.

                      poked around some more at the "new" tank, pulled out all the fuel lines and rest of junk from bilge. Hoses a little dirty but look brand new so I will probably keep and reuse if possible, every bit of $ I can save helps!

                      Although everything still seems pretty solid, just about every cored surface has unsealed holes drilled in it, including transom. [xx(]

                      Been working on a plan of attack and getting organized, hope to start some real work in a few weeks.


                      • #12
                        Forward storage/fish box came with a push/snap together drain very similar to a splash well drain tube. I have not found original size.

                        Planning on replacing mine in next week or two with 1" tube.
                        John, [br]Sanford Fl[br]1987 231 Mako[br]2019 277 cobia[br]1995 17 Maverick[br]


                        • #13
                          thanks 231, I will probably try to engineer a better system.

                          A little work today, got the tank out and cleaned up the coffin. After really looking over the new tank that came in the boat, I don't want to use it. No label plate, feels super flimsy and flexy, no mounting tabs. It was wedged in place with some 2x4s, a little foam, and some rubber strips I'm 98% sure were cut up mudflaps! Might be 2 lb pour PU, might just have been the spray stuff in a can []. Either way, not the way I want it! I just don't trust it, might be fine but sure would suck to put in a ton of work and have the tank fail.

                          That being said, if anybody wants to take a chance on it (it is supposedly a new 140 gal tank) PM me and you can have it if you can pick it up. Otherwise it will go on craigslist and then to the scrap yard.

                          Coffin was full of nasty water, mud, leaves, etc. I am starting to think this boat may have spent some time on the bottom of a lake based on the mussel shells I keep finding...

                          I have a love/hate relationship with my garage - its always full of crap, but then again I when I need random crap like a pump, yep got it.

                          Pretty much done with the initial clean up, going to be time to start cutting soon. Based on what I've found so far, I have no confidence that the wood core anywhere is going to be intact, so I'm working out a plan to get it all out. I plan to remove cap/liner, but don't think it's going to be feasible for me to do all in one piece. I think the basic strategy will be to cut out the deck and most of the liner in as few pieces as I can to make it manageable, leave the upper portion of liner as a "cap" in place. That should allow me to work stringers and transom without distorting the hull. Once those are done, I will replace decks and core the hull sides. (essentially rebuilding as a "three piece") Then I will pull the remaining cap, recore, and reinstall. Obviously a lot of details and planned modifications glossed over!

                          Thoughts/suggestions from those that have done something similar?


                          • #14
                            When you say hull sides, do you mean gunnel tops? The hull sides are not cored they're solid glass.
                            ROGUE I[br]1978 235 CC[br]Newburyport, MA[br]ROGUE II[br]1987 17\' Montauk[br]Camden, ME[br]


                            • #15

                              Originally posted by Justin

                              When you say hull sides, do you mean gunnel tops? The hull sides are not cored they're solid glass.

                              so to clarify, I intend to remove the original liner - deck, gunnel tops and all so I can get at stringers and transom easier. I just don't think I'll have the resources and facilities to pull and work on the liner in one piece, so my plan is to remove it in sections and rebuild the boat with new deck and a cap made from the top of the old liner. But since the liner originally contributed to the stiffness of the structure, I would have to do something to add rigidity back in. Hence coring the hull sides above the deck.

                              I don't want to leave the hull completely unsupported to prevent distortion, so would leave most of the top of liner (which becomes the "cap") in place to provide some support until rest of the structural work is done. Then could pull the cap and recore it.

                              to me this seems like the most logical way, but if anybody has input I'm open to suggestions. haven't cut anything yet!