1996 Nitro 896 Merc 200 EFI Restore and Refurbish

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FloridaFreddy

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Hi all, Old man/new member here from Central Florida. Thanks for allowing me onto your site and forum. A little history on my boat. I haven't bass fished in quite a while due to health issues but finally have healed enough to where I can't wait to get back out on the water. I bought this boat from a friend who I had worked with and fished against in local tournaments for years. Floor was solid with new carpet throughout, with trolling motor, hydraulic jack plate, and hot foot included. Motor checked out okay with good compression and solid bottom end. It had a different trailer but that didn't concern me. Overall decent condition. With all that sounding good, and a price I couldn't walk away from, I bit the bullet.
 

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FloridaFreddy

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Nice rig! Welcome to the site. Where in Florida? Okeechobee is my old stomping ground.
Thanks Chobemauga, I'm in the small(?) town of Plant City, Winter Strawberry Capitol, about 12 miles east of Tampa. A little way from Okeechobee but I've made that trip a number of times. Love the Big "O". My favorite is the Kissimmee Chain but the Winter Haven Chains, north and south, and Harris Chain are only a short drive away.
 
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Lots of good fishing there. I am near the Tennessee River and there are three great lakes here. Headed to O in a few weeks going trailer down and hopefully watch my dad catch one or 50!
 

FloridaFreddy

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Lots of good fishing there. I am near the Tennessee River and there are three great lakes here. Headed to O in a few weeks going trailer down and hopefully watch my dad catch one or 50!
If you're coming down in March that's a great time if the winds stay down. Some of the best time cool mornings and comfortable days. Beats the heat. Fish sunup to sundown. Spring bite is awesome. Good luck and safe travels...
 

FloridaFreddy

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Cut away the top lip of the Cap above the Transom. This is what I found.
 

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jerry shack

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Hi all, Old man/new member here from Central Florida. Thanks for allowing me onto your site and forum. A little history on my boat. I haven't bass fished in quite a while due to health issues but finally have healed enough to where I can't wait to get back out on the water. I bought this boat from a friend who I had worked with and fished against in local tournaments for years. Floor was solid with new carpet throughout, with trolling motor, hydraulic jack plate, and hot foot included. Motor checked out okay with good compression and solid bottom end. It had a different trailer but that didn't concern me. Overall decent condition. With all that sounding good, and a price I couldn't walk away from, I bit the bullet.

I had a 1996 Savage 884 SC with a 150 Merc EFI with the same exact color scheme right down to the outboards top cowling. I hit a dredging pipe at about 60 when they were dredging Lake Panasoffkee . It took out the transom, when I opened it up it was a bit rotten. I put a pour in transom in it and worked out great. That was back in 2007 yours brought back old memories back in the day. Those are great boats.
 

FloridaFreddy

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Yeah... that looks familiar. Were you able to get the top hull separated from the bottom? You may need to make a cut perpendicular to the top hull along the length of you the piece you have already removed to get it to separate.
I'll be working on that today. It seems like the back of the Splash Pan is glassed to the Transom. It's starting to separate so if I'm lucky I'll have it split today.
I had a 1996 Savage 884 SC with a 150 Merc EFI with the same exact color scheme right down to the outboards top cowling. I hit a dredging pipe at about 60 when they were dredging Lake Panasoffkee . It took out the transom, when I opened it up it was a bit rotten. I put a pour in transom in it and worked out great. That was back in 2007 yours brought back old memories back in the day. Those are great boats.
How did you redo the Transom? Cut back for access or pop the Cap, or was it so damaged it was more of rebuild/replace?? I'm going the Cap route because I want to basically restore everything I can. From what I've found so far this Nitro is well made and built. Very solid.
 

jerry shack

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I'll be working on that today. It seems like the back of the Splash Pan is glassed to the Transom. It's starting to separate so if I'm lucky I'll have it split today.

How did you redo the Transom? Cut back for access or pop the Cap, or was it so damaged it was more of rebuild/replace?? I'm going the Cap route because I want to basically restore everything I can. From what I've found so far this Nitro is well made and built. Very solid.

I just cut the top of the transom and glassed it back in place like Chobeemauga did. The boat before that I did take the top cap because the floor was bad also along with the stringers. The boat was a Hurst
 

FloridaFreddy

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It's an all around wooden transom thing in my opinion. I wouldn't call it neglect (that's kind of harsh but does happen) but when the transom is not sealed completely water will find a way to seep in, somewhere, somehow. Over time the wood weakens and rots out. It's not necessarily leaving the boat in the water but more like leaving water in the boat. Even over the years with it being taken care of it still happens. It takes very serious time and commitment to prevent. That's the great thing about Ceramics. Will never rot out.
 

birda40

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Is there a tin plate or some thing that runs along the top of the transom ? Should one take it off and check it from time to time? Possibly reseal with silicon?
 
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Is there a tin plate or some thing that runs along the top of the transom ? Should one take it off and check it from time to time? Possibly reseal with silicon?

I took one screew out of the metal transom trim that runs the length of the transom and used a 6 inch stiff wire to see how far it would go in. It went the whole length of the wire with no resistance. I then removed several more and got the same results. That is how I checked mine.

As far as resealing to prevent it. I think the biggest culprit is the bolts that hold the motor on. I had a lot of water intrusion and there is no way it all came from the water that splashes over the transom into the slash well. Plywood and water is a bad combination and the water has no real way to escape once it enters the transom cavity.
I used SeaCast to pour into the transom cavity once the wood was removed. It is like bondo with fiberglass chop in it. It is impervious to water so should my bolts leak now it will not have any place to be absorbed, no plywood to soak it up.
 

FloridaFreddy

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Not yet Chobee. Don't laugh to hard but it got a little chilly down here overnight. About 43 this morning. I did clean out more of the transom and have had a heat gun blowing into it off and on attempting to start drying everything out and prepping for the Seacast. I'll call them Monday and order material now that I can get good measurements. I know the bow and stern is loose, but the mid-section is still tight. The edges of the cap will raise a little but the mid cap is not lifting. A lot of weight there with the double consoles. Either the mid-section fits snug and tight, or it's still glassed somewhere. I'm just making darn sure I don't pressure the cap too much and damage it. Seriously thinking of going ahead and removing the fuel tank. It doesn't look too complicated and then I could see down both gunnels. Supposed to be in the 70's tomorrow so a perfect day for working on a boat if you can't be fishing out of it! I'll get some videos/pictures posted to show how much fun I'm having!
 

birda40

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I took one screew out of the metal transom trim that runs the length of the transom and used a 6 inch stiff wire to see how far it would go in. It went the whole length of the wire with no resistance. I then removed several more and got the same results. That is how I checked mine.

As far as resealing to prevent it. I think the biggest culprit is the bolts that hold the motor on. I had a lot of water intrusion and there is no way it all came from the water that splashes over the transom into the slash well. Plywood and water is a bad combination and the water has no real way to escape once it enters the transom cavity.
I used SeaCast to pour into the transom cavity once the wood was removed. It is like bondo with fiberglass chop in it. It is impervious to water so should my bolts leak now it will not have any place to be absorbed, no plywood to soak it up.
Sounds like you have a 50/50 , It's either good or you have major problems. Thanks for the answer, will be following you guys.
 

FloridaFreddy

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Found the other spot where Cap is glassed to Hull. Port side console has a plywood bulkhead underneath. Basically it's the backend of the rod box. Had plans to redo the Dash anyway so pulled it out, then removed the padded mat and metal foot plate underneath. Used a heat gun on low and the carpet peeled back fairly easy. Be careful not to melt the carpet. The plywood is really a tight fit so the fiberglass has voids and is easily chipped away. I believe from what I can see is that I need to break through the left side and bottom of the bulkhead and the Cap will come free of the Hull. Now to worm under the Starboard side. If you've never tried Voltaren for your body aches believe me it works. All this twisted and turning wears on the body, lol.
 

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