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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Posts
    7

    Default Issues with new to me 89 Supra Sunsport, potential stringer rot.

    Hello all,
    Last weekend I purchased a 1989 Supra Sunsport with the pcm 351. The boat has around 1200 hours and I was told it had the stringers and floors done in 2011. Overall its a great looking boat for its age and i was pretty excited about it. Tonight I was winterizing the boat and noticed a loose motor mount bolt............ the front left mount both the bolts are striped out and when I remove the bolts it certainly looks like the wood under the mount is soft.............

    At this point I'm about ready to jump off my roof. So much for a nice boat. Where do I go from here? Could a 9 year old stringer already be rotten? The other mounts do seem to snug up (I didnt dare overdo them though). Can this be repaired without doing a full stringer job? Thanks everyone - Ryan in Massachusetts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Flowery Branch Georgia
    Posts
    2,581

    Default

    There are stringer jobs and there are cover up jobs . It takes a lot to do it right. If they didn't use the right materials or techniques then it is very possible to have it fail in less than 11 years. I wouldn't trust any stringer repair unless its fully documented with lots of pictures. How much did you pay for it? You may be able to get a few years out of it before you have to take the plunge.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Posts
    7

    Default

    I paid 8k. Pretty much feel like I was robbed at this point....The boat is very clean for a 89 and I thought the stringers were relatively new.

    The seller did send a bunch of photos of the boat split in half and work being done but with what I found now something certainly doesn’t add up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    N.W. Suburbs Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,259

    Default

    Did the seller indicate who did the stringer job?
    '86 Comp TS6M - Reborn 2016
    Riding a HO Sports CX Ski

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Posts
    7

    Default

    No, the seller only had the boat over the past summer and didnt know much about it. All the info he had was from the previous owner who had it since 1993. I found this previous owner on facebook and am trying to get ahold of him to see what the story is. I'm hoping the rot is contained to just around these motor mount holes so I can repair it and get a few years out of it before either selling it or doing full stringers. Either way I'm going to take a loss since I'm not willing to pawn the problem off on someone else without telling them about the problems, I'd make a terrible lawyer since I hate lying.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Lake Nottely, Blairsville, GA
    Posts
    909

    Default

    It happens to the best of us. You’re not the first guy to buy a boat with rotten stringers and certainly won’t be the last. The time to check the motor mounts was ‘before’ you bought it so I feel for you, I really do. Makes sense now why the seller only had it for the summer.

    Here’s a little story to cheer you up. I put new stringers in my Rider back in December of 2009 using a well known shop Supra recommended. I had used his services before to repair the swim platform. He had “supposedly restored” 100 Supras. He talked a good game, even sent some photos. By November of 2014, after five good seasons of use, motor tilted over and I found the dreaded stringer rot.
    So, if you find the boat was done by Donny Bennett of Bennett’s Boat Repair in TN, then you’re definitely going to have to do a full stringer repair. Turns out he didn’t replace the outside stringers or leave a place for water to escape into the bilge. Used Pine for one stringer and Douglas Fir for the other. (Btw, pine rotted less than Douglas Fir) I did all my homework on him and yet, still screwed over by a so called professional. (professional con man)
    That was six years ago. On the bright side, it’s now in another shop getting new composite stringers.

    So I say, don’t beat yourself up over a rookie mistake and hopefully you can short term fix or decide to restore it properly down the road.

    1983 Supra Rider
    1991 Supra Comp ts6m
    1983 Supra Beast
    2012 Supra Sunsport 242

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mischief IV View Post
    It happens to the best of us. You’re not the first guy to buy a boat with rotten stringers and certainly won’t be the last. The time to check the motor mounts was ‘before’ you bought it so I feel for you, I really do. Makes sense now why the seller only had it for the summer.

    Here’s a little story to cheer you up. I put new stringers in my Rider back in December of 2009 using a well known shop Supra recommended. I had used his services before to repair the swim platform. He had “supposedly restored” 100 Supras. He talked a good game, even sent some photos. By November of 2014, after five good seasons of use, motor tilted over and I found the dreaded stringer rot.
    So, if you find the boat was done by Donny Bennett of Bennett’s Boat Repair in TN, then you’re definitely going to have to do a full stringer repair. Turns out he didn’t replace the outside stringers or leave a place for water to escape into the bilge. Used Pine for one stringer and Douglas Fir for the other. (Btw, pine rotted less than Douglas Fir) I did all my homework on him and yet, still screwed over by a so called professional. (professional con man)
    That was six years ago. On the bright side, it’s now in another shop getting new composite stringers.

    So I say, don’t beat yourself up over a rookie mistake and hopefully you can short term fix or decide to restore it properly down the road.

    Thanks, I appreciate it! Hopefully the owner that had the work done gets back to me so I can learn more.

    I didnt know a conversion to composite stringers was possible, where can one procure those stringers? thanks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Lake Nottely, Blairsville, GA
    Posts
    909

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chainfeed View Post
    Thanks, I appreciate it! Hopefully the owner that had the work done gets back to me so I can learn more.

    I didnt know a conversion to composite stringers was possible, where can one procure those stringers? thanks
    Rare conversion due to costs associated with the materials and probably won’t find many guys as stupid as me willing to spend the extra dough to save a 37 year old boat from extinction for a second time.

    Any fiberglass shop worth their salt should be able to do it. It’s the same process regardless except you substitute composite (Coosa) vs wood.

    1983 Supra Rider
    1991 Supra Comp ts6m
    1983 Supra Beast
    2012 Supra Sunsport 242

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Flowery Branch Georgia
    Posts
    2,581

    Default

    You bought a 31 year boat for less than 1/10 the price of a new one . If the rest of the boat is clean you can have it fixed for less than the cost of a touch screen on a new boat.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by michael hunter View Post
    You bought a 31 year boat for less than 1/10 the price of a new one . If the rest of the boat is clean you can have it fixed for less than the cost of a touch screen on a new boat.
    Valid point!

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