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1980 HydroStream Vamp resto-mod

Discussion in 'Boating & Fishing' started by 5nahalf, Oct 8, 2023.

  1. Oct 8, 2023 at 9:36 PM
    #1
    5nahalf

    5nahalf [OP] I build dumb things

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    I have been looking to get a boat for awhile now, and I think I found the one. Its a 1980 hydro stream vamp with a 85 hp motor on it. The company that made it used the bottom half of one of their race boats with the top half of a open bow lounger. So its got a top speed of 60 mph, and the handling of a race boat.

    The boat is a good compromise between the deck boat my wife wants, and the fishing boat I want. With the design I will be able to take it out and fish from the front deck or rear one day, then load up the kids and wife and cruise the river another day. I have tossed around the idea of building some modular platforms for the front and rear. A full deck in the front that covers the front seats when I want to fish, but stores in the garage when the family is with.
    Its a little rough, but it floats and runs. I went to college for autobody, so fixing all the fiberglass and paint is no issue for me, and I've been doing engine repair for 25 years so the outboard is a easy rebuild too.

    I have rented a 10x20 storage unit near me to put my dodge challenger in for the winter, this way I can put the boat into the garage to work on it.

    First order is to test everything to make a list of required items to get it reliable enough that I'm not afraid to take the wife and kids on the river.
    Next I plant to pull the carpet up and pull all the seats and trim. This stuff will go down into the basement where I can clean and polish all the chrome, and reupholster the seats/build new ones over the cold months to come.
    I am not sure yet on what colors I want to do the seats in, but I am tossing around the ideas of orange and black vinyl in a very 80s style.
    While the weather is still halfway decent and all the inside is pulled out I am going to fix any cracks or damage to the fiberglass, block the whole boat to make it perfectly straight on all body lines. I am hoping to get the top half of the boat cleaned, stripped, smoothed, and under primer by the time it gets too cold.
    I am going to be repainting the whole boat as the 80s boat sparkle is pretty patchy and faded right now (might be able to buff it out, but probably not)

    Top choice for colors to paint the boat is to match my truck. Going to spray the top half black with inferno "billboards" (white part on the boat in the pictures), then from the rub strip down will be black. After the color will be a heavy coat of marine clear coat for the extra shine. I am tossing around the idea of adding that 80s heavy sparkle to the inferno to keep with the vintage.

    [​IMG]

    Front lounger seats

    [​IMG]

    Generally vacant back half, this will get replacement seats and a new bench in the back (factory came with a bench there)
    [​IMG]



    Overall I want the boat to have a 80s flavor but with modern electrical and mechanical systems. A "resto-mod" as it were, Electric gauges, nice radio, eventually a nice new 140hp motor (max this hull can take), RGB LED lights inside to really give it that look I'm after.
     
  2. Oct 8, 2023 at 9:42 PM
    #2
    CVCV

    CVCV 3rd Toyota Truck

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    Nice. If you can make the new bench in back removable, that would be a great add for fishing.
     
    mtip and 5nahalf[OP] like this.
  3. Oct 8, 2023 at 9:45 PM
    #3
    TnShooter

    TnShooter The TacomaWorld Stray

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    As long as you know what you’re getting into.
    I loaned my brother brother money to buy a boat once.
    Worst loan I ever made him.

    Every time you turn around, something else.
    Impeller, Trailer, Lights…..

    That’s not including all the safety equipment.
    Life vest, floats, fire extinguisher, whistle…..

    That little stuff adds up FAST.

    If you have the time and money……go for it:thumbsup:
     
    5nahalf[OP] likes this.
  4. Oct 8, 2023 at 9:51 PM
    #4
    5nahalf

    5nahalf [OP] I build dumb things

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    Thats something I am thinking about doing. I also have some car racing seats that I am thinking of testing out for the captains chairs. Real comfortable, but might be too tall if I plan to fish in there.

    I have most of the normal safety stuff I would need for it already (from my mini boat), but also being a ex-mechanic and ex-autobody tech I dont have to pay someone else to fix things that go wrong.
    One thing thats going to set me back is I want to upgrade the steering on it. Right now it runs a cable steer system, I want to swap it out for a hydro system, but they are pretty big money compared to cable. But that wont come in until I swap out the motor for a higher hp one.

    I have a buddy who got a fixer upper boat, he asked if I could help him get it running and it turned into me restoring everything on it for him... now he is selling the boat and got another one.. I told him I cant fix his new motor as its fuel injected (I can, I just dont want to). But everything for him went wrong because he never took my advice on what to buy so everything cost twice as much and took twice as long.
     
    CVCV[QUOTED] likes this.
  5. Oct 8, 2023 at 9:57 PM
    #5
    theesotericone

    theesotericone Well-Known Member

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    BOAT.

    Break Out Another Thousand.
     
    scocar, Mully, tcjacado and 3 others like this.
  6. Oct 8, 2023 at 10:45 PM
    #6
    MGMDesertTaco

    MGMDesertTaco Come on, live a little...

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    Hey, why not? You only live once. My parents had a few boats when I was little. Sanger Ski Hydro w/big block chevy, Scarab Wellcraft, Fountain Fever 27. We were more into the racing aspect than the fishing. :p Got kicked off a lake or two with the Sanger pickle fork, because it was so loud. :rofl:
     
    cruxofthebisquit, Mully, MarX and 2 others like this.
  7. Oct 8, 2023 at 10:53 PM
    #7
    Strictlytoyz

    Strictlytoyz Well-Known Member

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    “A boat is a hole in the water you throw money into.”
    “The two happiest days in a sailor’s life are the day he buys a boat and the day he sells it.”
    "The only thing better than owning a boat is having a friend that owns a boat"

    That being said I too plan on eventually getting a boat :rofl:
     
  8. Oct 9, 2023 at 12:19 AM
    #8
    michael roberts

    michael roberts Well-Known Member

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    powder coated hood support.
    If i had parking, I'd buy a boat before the week was out, as big as it would fit. But on the other hand, maybe that's not a bad thing.
     
  9. Oct 9, 2023 at 2:21 AM
    #9
    jwctaco

    jwctaco Retired

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    Bust Out Another Thousand :D
    The two best days of boat ownership is the first day and the day you sell it.:D
    All kidding aside, enjoy your boat, ship , yacht, dingy.
    The hole in the water in which you throw money.:p:D:eek:
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2023
    Mully and 5nahalf[OP] like this.
  10. Oct 9, 2023 at 7:02 AM
    #10
    5nahalf

    5nahalf [OP] I build dumb things

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    Thats always been my problem. I live in a HOA that doesnt allow boats to be parked in the driveway or street. My garage currently has a 1991 BMW and a 1973 Dodge challenger, and a small boat already. But I was able to find reasonable indoor storage not far from my house that I can fit one of my cars into. With that I should be able to keep the boat in the garage for the winter while I do my work on it.

    I have 2 friends with boats. One friend is a idiot and every trip we take results in me fixing something while he fishes, the other friend has a super narrow lund aluminum boat thats just not a good fit for fishing.
     
  11. Oct 9, 2023 at 9:10 AM
    #11
    5nahalf

    5nahalf [OP] I build dumb things

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    So one of the things the seller said to me is that he does not have a title, I spent a good chunk of yesterday researching boats without title. From all the reading I did, boats 16 feet and under dont have titles. I called the DNR today and confirmed with them that the boat does not have a title, so all I need is a bill of sale and I can register it.
    I put down a deposit just now and will be picking it up either tomorrow or Wednesday.
     
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  12. Oct 9, 2023 at 1:24 PM
    #12
    PennSilverTaco

    PennSilverTaco Encyclopedia of useless information...

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    You do know the two happiest days of a boat owner's life...? :D
     
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  13. Oct 9, 2023 at 1:35 PM
    #13
    5nahalf

    5nahalf [OP] I build dumb things

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    Oh yes, I know. But I also feel like that only applies to people who have to pay others to fix their boats, and people with the expectation that the boat will run perfect every time they take it out of storage.
     
  14. Oct 9, 2023 at 1:37 PM
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    TwistedTLM4

    TwistedTLM4 Unknown Member

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    WeatherTech Floor Mats, WeatherTech Bug Shield and Vent Visors, Audio Upgrade, RaamAudio RaamMat & Ensolite, Mr. Marv's Custom 10" Sub Enclosure, Pop N Lock Electronic Tailgate Lock, mattgecko's Bedlights, Demello Offroad Single Hoop Bumper, Marathon Seat Covers, Leer Topper, OME885s on 5100s, @Blackout14 HD Leaf Pack
    That was mentioned two or three times already
     
  15. Oct 9, 2023 at 1:44 PM
    #15
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ I drink, and I know things… Moderator

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    I was told if it's has wheels, tits, or floats it's cheaper to rent. Not sure if there's any truth to that though.
     
  16. Oct 9, 2023 at 2:06 PM
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    ToyoTaco25

    ToyoTaco25 Well-Known Member

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    100%, it's not as bad as people like to make it out to be. Sure, you are going to have issues/repairs arise like with anything else.

    *Knock on wood* I've probably spent less than $1,000 over 3+ years of boat ownership, including fuel and registration. That said, I'm not one to pay for a slip on the lake/storage, lake gas, paying others for repairs that I can do, etc.. They're pretty simple.

    Just do a good inspection, floor, transom, engine etc. Sea trial if you can. If not, hook it up to a garden hose with some ear muffs.

    Enjoy it! Summer days on the lake are great.
     
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  17. Oct 9, 2023 at 3:06 PM
    #17
    hopwheels

    hopwheels Well-Known Member

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    Yep. As long as you know going in and it doesn’t strain your budget they’re all kinds of fun. Just like a motorcycle… or dare I say a Tacoma
     
  18. Oct 9, 2023 at 3:30 PM
    #18
    tcjacado

    tcjacado Well-Known Member

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    Being a pool guy...when they are 1st time new home owners and just gotta have a pool.
    I look at then and say "welcome to boat ownership!
    They look at strangely, like I have lost my mind. Then I have to explain that a swimming pool is just a reverse boat. One tries to keep water out and the other tries to keep water. Either way, neither one is good for the wallet. :hattip::burp:
     
  19. Oct 9, 2023 at 3:41 PM
    #19
    crazysccrmd

    crazysccrmd Well-Known Member

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    Good luck. Old outboards can be one of the most frustrating experiences ever. Works perfectly at home on muffs, shits the bed at the lake. Works to leave the dock, won’t start back up and idle later.
     
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  20. Oct 9, 2023 at 6:25 PM
    #20
    theesotericone

    theesotericone Well-Known Member

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    For sure. Nothing against boats and I've owned quite a few. By far the most expensive habit I picked up is rock crawling. Makes owning a boat look like a 5 year CD. lol
     
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