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89 221 Project

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  • 89 221 Project

    Hey guys,

    I have been reading the forums for a while now but finally got around to making an account. Over this winter my brother and I are going to restore/ rebuild the Mako we grew up with.

    The boat is a 1989 mako 221 that was purchased by our father in the early 2000s. We used the boat every summer growing up but about four years ago the boat went out to pasture at my folks house in Vermont. The first few years we did our best to cover it with a makeshift tarp structure but the past two years it sat uncovered.

    A couple weeks ago we drove up to Vermont and towed the boat down to rhode island, where we both live and work.

    The initial plan was to remove and replace the fuel tank, redesign the console, replace all of the electronic and wiring, replace the transom, and re power the boat. We are about two weeks in and the initial plan has changed a lot.


  • #2
    Just over two weeks ago the boat went into a warehouse where it will live for the winter. Here is a quick recap of what we have done so far.

    The first thing we did was drain the fuel tank. I had calculated that we had close to 50 gallons, thinking the tank was 110 gallons. We where able to syphon it out pretty easily and ended up with 35 gallons. Turns out the tank was 100 gallons and when I did my calculations the boat was not level. For lack of a better disposal option, I am going to slowly run it through my truck.

    Next we removed the console and in doing so we decided that there was no reason to save any of the existing wiring. I cut the majority of the wires only saving engine controls and a few of the bits that connect to electronics. We popped the console off and then removed the leaning post and the fuel tank lid. Everything came off super easy and the lack of sealant between the fuel tank lid and the hull was surprising.

    The foam around the tank was soaked. We went in the first Saturday the boat was inside and went to town with a sawzall and crowbar. The wet foam came out easy and we had the sides of the tank clear in a couple hours. We rigged up two floor jacks with a 4x4 across the top of the tank and attached a few straps to it. It only took a few pumps for the tank to pop free. The epoxy paint or whatever the tank was coated in had degraded enough that the foam was no longer bonded to the tank.

    I cut the coffin out, where again we found more wet foam. We cleared all the foam aft of the front edge of where the coffin had been. It was clear that the foam forward was wet as well but we needed a few days to think about how far we wanted to go with the project.

    After a week of thinking and not much time to work on the boat we decided it was worth it to go the distance. The plan is to remove all of the foam and install a few bulkheads and replace a few select areas of the foam. I will elaborate on our rebuild plan in a later post.

    This past weekend we cut out the deck and the aft section of the cap just forward of the fish boxes. We are going to replace the transom from the inside and making the cut here seemed like the least intrusive place. I cut the deck leaving 3 inches around the perimeter. We opted to remove the deck instead of pulling the entire cap off in order to give us a base height that the bulkheads will need to be. We started removing the foam and found it to be wet all the way to the bow.


    • #3
      Y'all are moving pretty fast! I initially had the same idea of leaving a lip of original deck around the perimeter to set my new deck height. I used it as a reference to set stringer heights and then ended up removing the liner as a matter of practicality and will now bond the deck directly to the hull sides. What is your transom core material of choice?
      Texas[br]\'76 Mako 23- A work in progress[br]


      • #4
        Go ahead and just pull the whole cap off....
        [br][br]Mako 254 [br]Newport, RI


        • #5
          Youve got a good start on it. I rebuilt my 17 in a similar way but ended up removing the liner sides in the middle and tabbing the deck to the hull. It opened up the inside of the boat quite a bit and now my toes have space when fishing over the side. Or at least they will when its done. Look forward to following.


          • #6
            Hey guys,

            A couple of my updates got lost in the Hack. I am just going to repost and them and hopefully add a few for in the next few days.

            I have been struggling with updating the thread. Here is a photo of where we are now. It may take me a little while but I am going to post the process of how we got here.

            After removing all of the foam and the majority of the rotten wood from the transom we pulled the boat outside and pressure washed it.

            We decided to go for the transom first. We taped the corners between the transom and the sides of hull. The edge where the transom met the bottom of hull was full of voids and very uneven. We filleted it and filled the voids.

            We recored it with two sheets of 3/4 inch Penske board.

            The Penske did not come perforated, so we drilled holes in it to allow the excess glue to ooze out.

            To further reenforce the transom I routed two channels where the motor bolts will be and glued in two piece of 1/2 inch G10 to spread the load out over the penske. Then we glassed the inner skin.


            • #7
              After finishing up the transom, we leveled the boat using the old water line. We laid out some lines on the hull for where the bulkhead will be located. We placed bulkheads at the fore and aft end of the old fuel tank coffin, one at the front edge of the console, and one under the bow seats. I came back later and added a half bulkhead under the anchor locker to increase strength in the bow.

              We ordered a Moeller tank that fit the same dimensions as the tank we pulled out. I did a bunch of research into plastic tanks and couldn't find any reason why not to try one. It came out to about half the price of an aluminum tank and it was two day shipping from amazon

              For bulkhead material, we built three panels out of 1 inch foam with three skins of 12 oz biax on each side.

              Once we finished the grinding, we templated and cut out the bulkheads.

              Before glueing in the bulkheads, we glued in halved 2 inch g10 tubes as limber holes.

              Last edited by TheFisherBrothers; 12-24-2019, 07:48 AM.


              • #8
                We glued and taped in the bulkheads, leaving them slightly tall of the remaining floor. We extended the stringers to floor height as well.

                We had cut back the existing stringers about a foot and half and found that the wood was dry. We rebuilt it with left over Penske glued together to get the right thickness.

                We decided to get rid of the live well and the small circular inspection ports and go with an off the shelf rectangular hatch. We clued in core and glassed the undersides. I felt like that section of cap need a little bit of flex for when we reinstalled it and opted to glass the top skin after.

                There was a bunch of smaller prep projects that had to be done before we glued the floor back on. We prepped the floor for glue and the perimeter for taping. I cut hole under where the console sits for another rectangular hatch. There was a bunch of foam up on the walls under the forward seats that I wanted to remove so it wouldn't clog the limber holes in the future.

                Last edited by TheFisherBrothers; 12-24-2019, 10:01 AM.


                • #9
                  Great project and good progress. I would suggest raising that back deck section even with the rest of the deck. Then you will have a much better set up for added weight of a newer engine. Also the gemlux motor well drains with duck Bill's are the way to go for the transom drains. The duck Bill's need to be cut down to fit into the 1.5in motor well drain but it's easy.

                  Fort Lauderdale, FL[br]1990 231 Mako[br]1998 Keywest 1720[br][br][br][/url]


                  • #10
                    Thank you. We are much further along, I just haven’t had the time to update the post. I’m hoping to catch the thread up this next week.
                    We did end up raising the motor drain area where the scullers drain from by an inch. I just glued a piece of one inch foam into the well and glasses over it. There is still a small step into the drain area but the scuppers are an inch higher.
                    I haven’t bought scupper covers but was looking at the perko ones. I’ll have a look at the ones you suggested.


                    • #11
                      We continued knocking off small projects that needed to get done in order for the floor to go back on.

                      Earlier in the project, with the boat level, we learned that lowest point of the bilge is under the console. We decided to add another bilge pump with a float switch to this section of the bilge as well as keeping one in the old location close to the transom. I built pads out of a 3/16 G10 and drilled and tapped them in the footprint of the bilge pump mounts. There is still a small rise from the very bottom of the boat but it is greatly improved for the 3/4 ply wood pad the pump sat on before. You can see one of the mounts glued in the boat in the last picture.

                      We build some 4mm plate and cut it into strips and glued them around the edge of the existing floor. We painted the center bilge compartments.

                      Last edited by TheFisherBrothers; 01-05-2020, 08:20 AM.


                      • #12
                        Fitting the aft cap and the deck was a pain. The process was: lift the deck on, scribe the bulkheads and stringers, lift it off, make the cuts, and then repeat. I spent a lot of time, being that I'm a lot smaller, with my head in the fish boxes and curled up in sections of the bilge.

                        After we had the deck and aft cap fit, we pulled them off and rounded over the edges of our bulkheads. We capped them with two layers of biax so we could glue straight to the top of them.

                        Throughout the project, when it seemed like a never ending task, we had joked about throwing the whole boat in a dumpster. We decided to leave a little signature under the floor in a space that won't be accessible.


                        • #13
                          The guy we were renting a warehouse space from was able to get out of his lease for the summer and kicked everyone out. We would have like to stay a couple more months but it really made us kick into gear to get the deck back on. We glued the aft cap on first then the deck using screws to suck it down onto the flanges and bulkheads.

                          We towed the boat to one of our work's shop. We weren't able to do work there so it sat for a couple months with nothing happening.


                          • #14
                            At the end of the summer we moved the boat to a boatyard so we could continue work. There were a few places around the fuel tank bilge where the deck didn't perfectly line up with the new stringer extensions and bulkheads. We glued strips of foam in before glassing the deck to the walls fuel tank bilge.

                            We glassed over the exposed foam from where we had filled in the live well and connected the cap to the transom. We glassed the seam in the floor and capped the top of the transom.

                            I was traveling a lot for work this fall and we didn't get much done on the boat. We came back early November and shrink wrapped the boat, building enough of a tent to work in.


                            • #15
                              The weather has been super mild this winter and we have gotten a couple good weekends in. We got a skim of fairing the aft sections of the deck.

                              I looked around on a couple other boats and decided to glass in the recessed area where the fuel/ water separator was mounted. I will find somewhere under the cap to mount it.

                              The teak curb that our console landed on had seen better days and it was one of the projects we had talked about doing since the beginning. We had planned on replacing it with star board but after seeing how the console was mounted to the deck, we decided to re think the whole setup.
                              We felt like the dash and wheel were always super low and the throttle was basically at your knees. We re built the curb by gluing two layers of 1 inch foam with a 3/8 strip of G10 to the deck. We glued the foam on first and then longboarded it so all side were on the same plane before gluing the g10 down.

                              I routed over the edges of the g10, which created a mountain of dust, and we glassed the whole thing to the boat.

                              The console will sit about 2 inches higher than it did previously. When we finish up work on the console and tent comes down, we will drill and tap into the G10 and bolt the console to the boat.