What to do with 74 Sleekcraft Rebel
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What to do with 74 Sleekcraft Rebel

  1. #1
    AKA OhOneWS6 Last Mohican's Avatar
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    Default What to do with 74 Sleekcraft Rebel

    I got this boat for free. Sad story but the person who started it was tragically killed in a car accident. The motor was already built and sitting on an engine stand ready to go in the boat. Up until this point the majority of work and money I have put into it could easily be transferred to a car project. I have had boats in the past but not a project until this one.

    As for the boat hull and trailer, so far I have put the motor in the boat, replaced wood in the transom, had new fuel tanks built out of aluminum, and replaced the carpet with the cheap stuff from Lowe's. Basically I have done what was necessary to go to the lake to see how the boat performs without getting in too deep.

    On the first trip to the lake I had a rocker that was tapping like crazy and a carb that needed a serious rebuild. The boat showed signs of a small leak but I did not have time to track it down. When I say slow there was about a gallon of water in the hull after sitting in a slip for about an hour.

    Today I made a second trip to the lake after cleaning up the carb and installing new Comp Cams roller rockers. The motor ran much better in the driveway and performed better at the lake but still leaves a lot to be desired. It seems to struggle to get up on plane. The lake was nice and smooth today. Not glass but not rough by any means.

    I had time to track the leak today. There appears to be several small holes in the hull where screws were driven through it. I counted 3 on each side. The are about the size of a 6-32 screw. The sub-floor has also gone soft in the three years it has taken me to get to this point. Thanks to my new 30 X 32 shop at the house I do have space to do the work so progress should be quicker.

    My debate, Is the hull desirable enough to repair or should I scrap the boat and look for a TA in need of a motor? I'm not looking for top speed, just something semi-reliable with a little bit of a cool factor. I'm not interested in swapping the Jacuzzi drive or Pontiac motor. I like the idea of the Pontiac being a little unique and I do not want the work and expense of swapping to a Berk.

    Just for the record, I'm 40 with a very understanding wife so that is not a problem. I know it is hard to say without seeing the hull I just don't want to waste a bunch of time and money polishing a turd.

    Suggestions? Opinions?

    Sorry so long winded.





    Last edited by Last Mohican; 06-29-2009 at 06:26 PM.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Brendellajet's Avatar
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    Id keep it. Looks like a clean boat.

    What pump is in it? Sounds like it may need a new wear ring or you're doing it wrong ...Jet boats take momentum to get moving, so unless you have gobs of power(doesn't sound like you do), it helps if you stand on it when you are attempting to get on plane. Once the bow noses over, you can back off. Having a place diverter or trim device helps. If you try standing on it at idle to get on plane and it still struggles, the pump is probably cavitating and needs some attention. If you can swap a set of roller rockers and do a valve adjustment you can go through a pump on your own, or send it out.


    Good luck!
    "He is a lover, not a fighter. But he's also a fighter, so dont get any ideas."

  4. #3
    Junior Mumbler
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    ^ What he said. pumps probably tired. Bet it looks real nice with the matching Chevy and period correct! It'll never be a bullit but it floats the ice chest and has good times written all over it.

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  6. #4
    Senior Member 1975sleekcraft's Avatar
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    that boat look sweet. mine is roughly the same boat. it really looks like your almost there. find out what pump you have? mine had a jacuzzi yj. pull your hand hole cover. inspect the condition of your impeller. take a feeler gauge and measure your impeller to wear ring clearance. it should be about .003
    i dont know everything that your boat is doing, but mine jumped on a plane and hauled ass (64 mph). mine has been the most dependable boat i have ever owned. if you have a jacuzzi yj and need shims or impellers or just about anything for one, i have one. last winter i steped up to an american turbine.

    good luck

  7. #5
    AKA OhOneWS6 Last Mohican's Avatar
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    It has a YJ pump. I never considered the pump being worn to the point it is an issue. I bet that is a big part of the problem. I will pull the cover and check the clearances. It is encouraging to hear 1975sleekcraft is getting that MPH out of the same pump.

    The carpet is not glued so I am going to pull it out and take it back to the lake tomorrow to see if I can better isolate the leaks. From what I hear there are a few guys from Texas Hot Boat that meet at Lavon (near Dallas) on Wednesday. hopefully they will be there and can give me some suggestions.

    Coolchange, from the beginning I thought it was cool that I already had a "period correct" tow rig.

    Thanks for the encouragement guys. Like i said before, I've had boats, but never a project or a jet so I'm a little blind on this one.

  8. #6
    AKA OhOneWS6 Last Mohican's Avatar
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    Update:

    Took it to Lavon yesterday. A couple of the local guys looked it over. They seemed to think the hull was pretty solid and worth finishing. With the carpet out I was able to isolate the leaks. There are 4 small holes about the size of a 6-32 screw. That was all i could find. I picked up some Marine-tex to patch the holes. Once I get those fixed I'll make another trip to see if I missed any.

    It still is not running right. General consensus is a fuel issue. I think the 850 DP may be too much carb for it. I'll try to sort it out better on the next trip to the lake.

    Here is a couple more pics.












  9. #7
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    Thumbs up Pump work

    If you need pump work get with kdub he is on this site and THB. Also a native of Texas. Boat looks great keep it and enjoy, just my .02 SJ

  10. #8
    lol, right..... Devilman's Avatar
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    I agree with the previous posts, I wouldn't get rid of it just yet. I'd keep it, finish it up (well, they are never really "finished", lol), & have some fun with it for awhile. Its a good looking boat with a cool powerplant, can't hardly go wrong with that. Work the bugs out of it, get it running smooth & bring it to a few get-togethers. Look forward to seein ya out there somewehere.

  11. #9
    AKA OhOneWS6 Last Mohican's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by super junk View Post
    If you need pump work get with kdub he is on this site and THB. Also a native of Texas. Boat looks great keep it and enjoy, just my .02 SJ
    Thanks SJ. What part of TX is kdub in? I plan to go out to the shop tonight and check the wear ring clearance. Waiting for it to cool down a bit.

  12. #10
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    What were the RPM's turning ? Some good info to start would be What rpm to get on plain, RPM to maintain plain, Max RPM.

    I agree with the others,boat looks to be in nice condition. Run it for a summer.
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  13. #11
    AKA OhOneWS6 Last Mohican's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlson-jet View Post
    What were the RPM's turning ? Some good info to start would be What rpm to get on plain, RPM to maintain plain, Max RPM.

    I agree with the others,boat looks to be in nice condition. Run it for a summer.
    I knew someone was going to ask that. There was so much going on I completely forgot to look. I'll make sure and check it next time out.

  14. #12
    lol, right..... Devilman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Last Mohican View Post
    Thanks SJ. What part of TX is kdub in? I plan to go out to the shop tonight and check the wear ring clearance. Waiting for it to cool down a bit.
    Kdub is around the Houston area, I'm pretty sure... He's not been on THB a whole lot lately, but still around. You may try getting up with Sturat, over on THB, if you want to track down Kdub. He could get you his contact info more than likely.

  15. #13
    Senior Member 76Elim's Avatar
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    My bro finished a resto on his 73 Rebel that my dad owned since 73. It was always a great boat and always ran solid.Pretty heavy hull so its not gonna break the sound barrier or anything but its a solid, fun jet boat. He went through the whole thing a couple years ago....Some minor motor work to the 455, had the pump gone through and painted the sides and sanded and recleared the deck and it turned out awesome. The jet work made a big difference gettin it outa the hole and pullin skiiers. Yours looks like a nice setup so if your lookin for a good river cruiser I think you would be happy with it. I PM you some pics if you want to check it out just let me know...I'll try and post em but I dont knoe if itl work.

  16. #14
    AKA OhOneWS6 Last Mohican's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 76Elim View Post
    My bro finished a resto on his 73 Rebel that my dad owned since 73. It was always a great boat and always ran solid.Pretty heavy hull so its not gonna break the sound barrier or anything but its a solid, fun jet boat. He went through the whole thing a couple years ago....Some minor motor work to the 455, had the pump gone through and painted the sides and sanded and recleared the deck and it turned out awesome. The jet work made a big difference gettin it outa the hole and pullin skiiers. Yours looks like a nice setup so if your lookin for a good river cruiser I think you would be happy with it. I PM you some pics if you want to check it out just let me know...I'll try and post em but I dont knoe if itl work.
    Do you know what pump it has? I'd love to see the pics. You can email them if you want and I'll post em.
    ohonews6 AT yahoo DOT com

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