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88 tx17 rebuild

Posted: 07 May 2013, 10:36
by mattman122
I bought my tx17 a year ago from a friend and come to find out it leaks pretty bad. I filled it with water found that its leaking down the keel under the back deck. I tryed to silicone the whole thing and its still leaking. I figured that the foam was water logged and was correct. I started pulling foam out before I realized that the back deck is supported by the factory pour in foam. So my question is what is the best way to go about supporting the back deck now that I have already tore the foam out? aluminum tubing? In hind sight I wish i would have only taken out the bottom portion of the foam and not all of it. But the foam had expanded out and was bulging the aluminum so it needed to be fixed. Also do I need to buy some more pour in foam or can I use noodles or sheets of closed cell foam from lowes? Do I even need to replace all the foam? This is my first boat so most of this is new to me.

Another thing, what is the easiest way to fix my leaks around the keel and the rivets?

88 tx17 rebuild

Posted: 07 May 2013, 13:21
by kofkorn
Alright, taking it from the top:

It looks like you're trying to do the right things. I don't think that you're in an unmanageable situation, so we should be able to work you through it.

Now that you've got the foam out, at least you can identify where the leaks are occurring. Start with a dry boat on the trailer, and then fill it slowly. Mark any leaks you find on the underside with a marker. If the leaks are coming from the rivets, you can either try to re-buck the rivet (will need some help) or remove it and re-rivet with a closed ended rivet. If there are cracks in the aluminum around the rivets, depending on the size, you may need the help of a welder. Others here have more experience fixing leaks, I didn't have to deal with much at all on my re-build.

The poured in foam does provide some support, but it's not as much as you might think. Take a look at this build, he's done about the same thing that you're doing: ... 21&t=17704

I have the Pro-17, which has a different rear deck than yours. On mine, there are two or three aluminum L-brackets that run across the area where the foam is. These provide most of the structure. You shouldn't have any problem using sheets of closed cell foam from HD or Lowes. I would stand them on end, and stack them side by side. If you're concerned about structure, you can custom cut each piece to make a perfect fit between the bottom of the hull and the underside of your decking. You should gain back all of the strength, if not more than the original poured in foam. I tend to try to stay away from the pool noodles, as they have a habit of absorbing water over time similar to the original foam you had. Think about a noodle that's been in the water for one or two years, and you can see what I mean.

I would definitely replace the foam. It will keep your boat from sinking completely if you ever hit something or if your bilge pump begins to fail. It doesn't take much in the way of a few good waves to swamp the back of a bass boat, being so close to the water. Once you have one or two good waves go over, there's nothing you can do about it. With out foam, you have nothing but what's on your body to help you. With the right amount of foam, at least you have a life raft left, and you can pull the whole thing back to dry land.

Keep posting questions and progress, and I'm sure that you will be able to work through any issues.

Good Luck!

88 tx17 rebuild

Posted: 08 May 2013, 09:59
by mattman122
Ive got everything ripped out except the livewell. any idea what the easiest way to remove the live well is? It rained the other day and i noticed the the biggest leak is coming from right under the livewell so it needs to come out

88 tx17 rebuild

Posted: 08 May 2013, 11:43
by kofkorn
Unfortunately, the livewells are very different between your boat and mine. You can take a look at my livewell construction here: ... 4&start=15

Not sure if it helps much, but it took a while and drilling out a whole bunch of rivets, including some through the hull to get it out.

Take a look, and maybe add some pictures so we can see what you're dealing with.

Good luck!

88 tx17 rebuild

Posted: 08 May 2013, 15:37
by mattman122
As far as I can tell the only way to take it out is to drill the hard rivits (for lack of a better term) I dont have any pictures right now. as of right now the only piece of foam left in the boat behind the front deck is under the live well. I bet the boat would fly through the water now :LOL2: it would not plane out before, but i also had a 12 gallon steel fuel cell and two batteries in the back. A few pieces of foam i pulled out are still sitting in the yard and have been for a week and still full of water. I will be installing a new 6 gallon plastic fuel cell and moving the trolling battery to the front deck.

The guy original owner pulled the carpet and rhino lined the whole thing and its been a PITA! Im going to go back with carpet when i put it back together