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 BoatUS Boat Groups/Manufacturer Forums>>Formula/Thunderbird
Subject Topic: 1978 T-Bird ????? Post ReplyPost New Topic
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'78 T-Bird
"Seaman Recruit"

Joined: February 25 2007
Posts: 1
Posted: February 25 2007 at 22:41 | IP Logged Quote '78 T-Bird

Help no Idea what boat model  I may have, I picked this boat up and I can not find out any info on her. The original owner abanoned her on a marina's slip and I picked her up boat today, there is no info or title(need info on how to locate). I can show pictures but I can not load them on this site. she has two motors(looks like 6's) could be mercs, outdrives are mercs. thats all in know at this point. the boat is in great shape, so far all the electricial works . the engines are stuck and looks like no water is in the oil. I would like to know if this boat may be a keeper or dump her before I get involved. if anyone cabn help me with the specs ?


Lee in clearwater 

Lee Woolley
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"Seaman Recruit"

Joined: February 03 2007
Posts: 1
Posted: February 26 2007 at 08:48 | IP Logged Quote tjc360

Go to Formula's website and look at the vintage fomulas section.  The old sales catalogs are there.  That will allow you to, at least, ID your new project.

http://www.formulaboats.com/content/vintage.aspx?type=0& ag=1


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"Seaman Recruit"

Joined: August 17 2005
Posts: 4
Posted: May 08 2007 at 09:56 | IP Logged Quote blystovski

If you have twin engines it's at least a 233 (indicating 23'+ length).  These are normally considered great boats, and with proper care you'll have a real gem.  Formulas were the best of the best back then, and they were build to last.

I am very close to completing a restoration on a 1976 Formula F-20.  My boat has only a single engine and outdrive and is only 20' long.  It sat under a tarp for 6+ years and has required some mechanical work, a new prop, new alternator and starter, and a new thermostat.  That's just the mechanical.

The worst was the wood - all the seats were rotting so we ripped the vinyl off, used the rotting wood as templates, and rebuilt all the seats with new plywood before stretching the original vinyl back on.

Even worse than that - once we got it in the water she didn't ride level.  Water had seeped through the fiberglass floor over the 6 years of outdoor storage and soaked the flotation foam on the right side of the boat - so we ended up taking out 3/4 of the floor and the foam underneath.  Glad we did - found an ant colony while we were in there.

Replaced the foam, replaced the floor, and now have one interior piece and relatively regular maintenance.  All told we have about $2k in the boat, and she can keep up with most modern speed boats thanks to her Mercruiser 888 (Ford 302 block, ~190 HP).

Post pics when you can - am very interested.  If you want to give boating a try and have some mechanical / carpentry / electrical skills or would like to learn, this can be a great way to get into the hobby.  Things may seem daunting at first, but it's a great learning experience and the results are fun.

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