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  1. #1
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    HydroStream Advise.

    I am going to look at an early 80s hydro, in about 10 days. I believe its a Viking, but not 100% on that. Ive never owned one, never even been close in person to one, but I know what those boats can do, and they just look good. Seen lots of pics of it and was in the water this past season. Pics seem to be in pretty good shape for it age. Im satisfied with the pics to drive a long way to go look at it.
    That all said, other then the obvious, holes and damage,
    What
    to look for when inspecting it?
    How to look for that invisible damage?
    I dont mind fixing some things, but I do not want a project.
    Advise from the big boy toys would be much appreciated!!
    If you think this is fun, wait til next weekend!

  2. #2
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    My advice would be to see if somebody on here is close enough to the boat to go look at it and give you a... "junk", "project" or "virgin" rating.

    There are some, especially up north where most are stored inside for 6 or 8 months a year, that are good solid boats yet. But, it's the core material in the hull & transom that are the Achilles heel in all these old boats.

    A soft floor is an easy project but the core is a huge, miserable job.

    I have friends that drove around the country and looked at 10 or 12 used Hydrostreams before the found a "good" one. If you can get somebody to just give you an impartial opinion on whether it's complete junk or not, it will save you lots of time & miles.
    Let's go Brandon!

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  4. #3
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    A tap test, with a screwdriver handle or hammer, is about the only way without drilling holes, to find rot or delamination. A solid boat will give a high pitched sound, think, tink, tink. A rotten or delaminated boat will give a deep hollow tone, think, thud, thud, dud. You could also pull a lower transom bolt, and check for wet or rotten wood. Just make sure you seal it up good, when you put it back.

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  6. #4
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    First take a good close look under the hull for obvious damage or repairs. The knock test is definitely required as well. Tap the cored area and transom as mentioned above. Inspect the bilge area if you can it should look like a gym floor in color. Blackened look is bad its rotting. You can also get a moisture meter and see what you find. The best is to take someone who knows what they are looking for. You can get a marine survey done. It is definitely worth scrutinizing for the main reason of safety and secondly for the fun factor. Chooched boats are no fun and get expensive fast
    Hydrostream dreamin

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  8. #5
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    To put it quite simply, if it hasn't been rebuilt at this point it needs to be. Pictures/proof of a rebuild is needed to bring a decent price. If that doesn't exist, plan on it being a project boat.

    You're looking at a 40 year old boat that was, at best, poorly constructed from the factory. There's proof deep in these forums, if you're willing to dig, that shows boats that were brand new, never rigged, stored indoors, with rotten cores. Or boats that look like they came out of the dealer yesterday, complete beautiful time capsule that, you guessed it, needs a core.

    These things came out of the factory with plenty of dry mat over the core, leaving the balsa completely exposed to the elements. Plus keep in mind they were knocking out 25 boats a week, so new hulls would sit outside before shipping. They would sit outside at dealers, all of this without being covered or shrink wrapped. So the first rainfall a week after the hull cures saturates the balsa core and begins the decomposition process.

    They're great boats with designs that were decades ahead of their time, but build quality was subpar at best.

    If you have the time and space a rebuild project is well worth it and an extremely rewarding process. Trust me.
    Last edited by tnelsmn; 11-21-2022 at 12:33 AM.

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  10. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tnelsmn View Post
    To put it quite simply, if it hasn't been rebuilt at this point it needs to be. Pictures/proof of a rebuild is needed to bring a decent price. If that doesn't exist, plan on it being a project boat.
    This sums it up. If the seller is unsure if it has been redone, assume it needs it and you've got yourself a project boat. If it is said to have been redone, photos are the only way to know what was really replaced or how well it was done. Some have been re-cored and need it again.
    83 Vking 150 Mariner 2.5L

    https://ibb.co/qjP9rMN



  11. #7
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    Some exceptions out there; John Spaeth built ones for instance. Some Canadian Edition boats had quite different layups. I lost track of how many i looked at over the years but it seems anything built after 81-84 things started to change, a lot. The 70’s ones like Tnels said, just recore it for peace of mind.

    I know a guy in his early 70’s now who still owns 15 streams and has owned piles more. He had one that blew in half right at the footwell. He said he was doing 85-90, had a passenger along, no warning at all not even a sound he said he went from driving along having a great day until a split second later he was in the water. Fortunately no serious injuries for either one but seriously sore for a few weeks and the boat was trash.

    once you start driving these things you can literally feel the solidness, or the ricketyness of them. Rickety is baaaaaad news.
    Hydrostream dreamin

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