I am looking at buying a 16 foot 1986 Starcraft aluminum runabout with
an 80 hp Mercury outboard. Principal users will be my teenage sons who
plan to use it for water skiing. The owner says the boat has a small
leak which he assumes comes from around one of the rivets. He says the
bilge pump handles the leak without problems. How big a concern is
this? I don't want to be buying into future headaches. Also is this
boat lighter than a comparable fiberglass boat would be?
The boat is lighter than a comparable fiberglass of the year. As for the
leak - Unless it is a major leak, depending on where it is, it may be a
simple thing to repair. Perhaps some silicone sealer and/or along with
using a bolt, washers (plural) and a nut - just drill out the old rivet and
replace it with the nut, bolt washers setup. Another possibility is have
someone hold a metal block on one side of the offending rivet and hit it
with a hammer on the other side (to expand the rivet more).
PS Easiest way to find the leak is when the boat is on the trailer put
water inside the hull and see where it comes out.