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skillicous
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12,844 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I sold the Key West with the intent to get into a slightly larger bay boat with a large center console with a porta-potty. What I ended up getting was far bigger than that.

We used the KW a ton last summer, however the intent was always to flip it if the right offer showed up. That offer did show up, and the boat was sold.

We knew the next boat needed to be a touch larger and with a 2 and 4 year old boys, an area with a porta potty would be a plus. I started looking for a 24' bay boat but they haven't made them for long enough for the used market to fall into my (cheap) budget. We started looking a WAC styles and really liked the hydrasport 2300 WAC. On that search, I stumbled on a first gen Sailfish 236 walk in console. These boats are extremely hard to find, mostly because they just didnt make that many. I liked the hull lines the first time I saw it, but the high freeboard on the bow isn't what I had in mind.... until it grew on me. I like the "Carolina Flair" the bow line has, and I love how the bow line slightly dips back toward the pulpit (hard to tell in the photos).

Fast forward another coupe weeks and 8+ phone calls to an extremely nice gentleman in FL, and we had a deal. He was the second owner and had it for 18 years. It was never slipped, never stored outdoors and was always stored in his barn in central FL. Never been bottom painted, never had storm damage and an owner I could seem to trust. I even send a local GL4x4 boating convert that lives in FL to go see it and he bluntly told me to buy it.

So here she is. A babied 1996 Sailfish 236 with a Yamaha 225 and a touch over 600 total hours. The console area is larger than I thought and comes with cushions to make a flat area about 4'x5'; perfect for the boys to nap or hide out a storm (or the sun). In todays measurements, this would be a 26' boat, plus a transom bracket. From the tip of the prop, trimmed down, to the tip of the pulpit to the prop is 29.5 feet.

On the winter hit list are the typical updates; Lowrance electronics, power pole and potentially an i-pilot trolling motor. Likely remove the bow rail. I like the looks but hate the function (always in the way).

Goals for this boat are still a lot of local day trips (yes, I'll be putting it on Whitmore Lake!) but we want to use the Detroit and Saginaw rivers more as well at St Clair more. We're also hoping to do some island trips this year... Lime Island, Beaver, Manitoulin, etc...







 

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I'm not old, honest...
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30,101 Posts
I think it’s a great move. The Bimini looks green but the graphics almost look blue. Im assuming it’s green. Personally I like the railing. That way you and Kristin can do the “titanic” while the boys drive.

Did you do a test drive?
 

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skillicous
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12,844 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
as far as trip report; It was long.

22mph down at ~78 mph, 9.5 back at 70mph. Pulls great at 70.

the true trip time was a touch over 48 hours. the 49.5 shown includes a lot of idling time at home unpacking and squeezing this big gal into the barn...

 

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skillicous
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12,844 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I think it’s a great move. The Bimini looks green but the graphics almost look blue. Im assuming it’s green. Personally I like the railing. That way you and Kristin can do the “titanic” while the boys drive.

Did you do a test drive?
No test drive. I talked to the guy enough to be comfortable with it. He lived about an hour from a place to put it in and offered it up but I declined. He did provide recent compression tests and a notebook of maintenance records, couple with the clean bill of health from the previously mentioned misplaced GL4x4 member... I felt comfortable with no test cruise.

Graphics are a dark teal. As is the bimini. I would prefer a dark blue, but hey, its what was popular in 1996. I'm just happy there aren't any neon greens, oranges or yellow!
 

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Nice boat!! Any concern with the Florida salt water or was it mainly used on inland lakes?

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

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I'm not old, honest...
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30,101 Posts
No test drive. I talked to the guy enough to be comfortable with it. He lived about an hour from a place to put it in and offered it up but I declined. He did provide recent compression tests and a notebook of maintenance records, couple with the clean bill of health from the previously mentioned misplaced GL4x4 member... I felt comfortable with no test cruise.

Graphics are a dark teal. As is the bimini. I would prefer a dark blue, but hey, its what was popular in 1996. I'm just happy there aren't any neon greens, oranges or yellow!
I like the sea green that is common with a lot of the flats boats.

Oh, and I forgot all about that previously mentioned misplaced GL4X4 member. I miss him. :nana:
 

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Cool parts peddler
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1,835 Posts
Great score.
I hope it provides lots of great family memories.
Keep us in mind if you decide to come to Saginaw.
You and your family are always welcome.
 

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skillicous
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12,844 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Nice boat!! Any concern with the Florida salt water or was it mainly used on inland lakes?

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
It was a gulf boat for sure. Made regular weekend trips way out and many week long key trips, but it was never slipped for a summer, never in the water long enough to require bottom paint and always fresh water flushed at the boat launch. The owner was meticulous... it was his "other girl" as he said. Heads were pulled and cleaned 2 years ago as PM. Everything has been documented and all records kept.

I've learned there are certain things to look for in used boats down there;
-bottom paint being #1. bottom paint means it was water slipped on a coast. It's probably been wet. Really wet. And likely it has rode out a few storms that it shouldn't have...
-I would never buy one that wasn't an outboard
-never buy one that has the original tank, or a foamed in tank. The tank in this was replaced about 5 years ago.
-Original decals tell a lot about the boat. Neglected boats get weather checked hard in a short period of time. These are original decals and they are cracked, but not sun faded. The cowl of the motor still has the original shine to it. It's obvious it was stored inside out of the sun and rain.
-Even SS or aluminum corrodes heavy in salt water, the cleats and other metal on this boat is (for the most part) corrosion free. You can tell it has a freshwater wash at the boat ramps.
-The owner. With any boat, you have to have faith in the owner. This guy owned it for 18 years and is only selling it to slow down to a pontoon. He would still make 60 mile trips with this boat this year, so he obviously trusted it. He is retired Navy and I would take his word on anything at this point. Great guy to meet and work with. It's the only way to buy a boat 17 hours away.

This style boat is just far cheaper in FL if you can find a gem (compared to MI). Literally every backyard has some sort of CC or WAC style boat parked in it. We love an excuse for the roadtrip so they go well together. This boat isn't perfect by anymeans. It's not the engine I would have picked, I'm not a huge fan of pulpits and I'm not a fan of teal. But those were all minor compared to the positives.
 

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skillicous
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12,844 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
this picture kind of shows the hull cap line angling back down near the bow pulpit. It's unique compared to other flare bow lines. It's what caught my eye seeing it the first time.

 

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Registered
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2,114 Posts
It was a gulf boat for sure. Made regular weekend trips way out and many week long key trips, but it was never slipped for a summer, never in the water long enough to require bottom paint and always fresh water flushed at the boat launch. The owner was meticulous... it was his "other girl" as he said. Heads were pulled and cleaned 2 years ago as PM. Everything has been documented and all records kept.

I've learned there are certain things to look for in used boats down there;
-bottom paint being #1. bottom paint means it was water slipped on a coast. It's probably been wet. Really wet. And likely it has rode out a few storms that it shouldn't have...
-I would never buy one that wasn't an outboard
-never buy one that has the original tank, or a foamed in tank. The tank in this was replaced about 5 years ago.
-Original decals tell a lot about the boat. Neglected boats get weather checked hard in a short period of time. These are original decals and they are cracked, but not sun faded. The cowl of the motor still has the original shine to it. It's obvious it was stored inside out of the sun and rain.
-Even SS or aluminum corrodes heavy in salt water, the cleats and other metal on this boat is (for the most part) corrosion free. You can tell it has a freshwater wash at the boat ramps.
-The owner. With any boat, you have to have faith in the owner. This guy owned it for 18 years and is only selling it to slow down to a pontoon. He would still make 60 mile trips with this boat this year, so he obviously trusted it. He is retired Navy and I would take his word on anything at this point. Great guy to meet and work with. It's the only way to buy a boat 17 hours away.

This style boat is just far cheaper in FL if you can find a gem (compared to MI). Literally every backyard has some sort of CC or WAC style boat parked in it. We love an excuse for the roadtrip so they go well together. This boat isn't perfect by anymeans. It's not the engine I would have picked, I'm not a huge fan of pulpits and I'm not a fan of teal. But those were all minor compared to the positives.
Sounds like you got a very nice, well taken care of boat.



Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

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Gustafson
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9,087 Posts
You and your salt water boats.... :sonicjay:

Looks very nice! :thumb: I hope you and your family enjoy the new vessel!
 

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Resident HVAC/R Jambi
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10,938 Posts
Nice! That's one big long boat, but that means you got plenty of room for everybody and still small and shallow enough to take on the local chains. She's a beut man.
 

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skillicous
Joined
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12,844 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Great score.
I hope it provides lots of great family memories.
Keep us in mind if you decide to come to Saginaw.
You and your family are always welcome.
I'll be taking you up on that. Even room to drag you out if you're ever free. I need to learn the bay and river a lot better, or take people that can teach me.

You and your salt water boats.... :sonicjay:
they haven't bit me yet! :sonicjay: I really wanted a 22-24' cat. I think that is next on the list if we stay with a CC or open boat. I could see us going to a 24-26' WAC next though.

Nice! That's one big long boat, but that means you got plenty of room for everybody and still small and shallow enough to take on the local chains. She's a beut man.
This won't fit under the bridge to get on your old chain, but really our only incentive for that chain was your place so there isn't a need lol. Being able to get on Whitmore was a requirement though.
 

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skillicous
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12,844 Posts
Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Well I had a long novel typed out and when I hit submit, the page crashed, so all you get are cliff notes now.

Talekd to sailfish; hull was built by SportCraft as their 252 fishmaster model. This was before SF had a fleet of large hull molds.

SF called this a 246, not a 236.



All the new parts are showing up, first step was to fix a long unsupported area in the front cap. I suspect this was left unsupported because the hull stringer style also had to fit the WAC console, not the open CC style. I'm sure it was stiff enough for a couple decades, but needs a little support now.

Repair was simple, but not much room to work.

Pics show the story; in the helm area is a hatch to the front, once you get through that hatch, there is an open access to the starboard side stringer. This is also where the fish box drains and front bilge pumps through.

floor supports are nothing more than old (but clean) 1x8" treated pine that has been inside my barn for a few years. very sold and already "shrunk". I could probably have fit 1x10" through the access area, but it would have been very tight. I used a handfull of treated screws with washers and a loctite product that has instant bond to nearly everything, fiberglass and resin included (has to be nasty stuff).

EDIT; I have no idea why the upload rotated the pics, but I assume you can figure it out.
 

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skillicous
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Discussion Starter #18
Nice,keep it going,spring will be here before ya know.
if the Ipilot was installed, I'd be on the saginaw river this weekend!
 

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skillicous
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Discussion Starter #20
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