New to Parker - First project, replace deck...

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Jan 17, 2007
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I am new to Parker but not to the name or their standards. I know Parker is known from building one of the toughest, overbuilt boats available. This is why I'm not running from the boat I'm hopefully going to purchase tonight. Seems the previous owner had a leaky fuel tank on his 1991 25' XL. He pulled the deck up, did some "jerry-rigging" to stop the leak and then - for some reason or another - lost interest. The boat has been sitting for over a year (out of the water) still without the deck and reportedly a butchered fuel tank and a dead engine.

My plan is to replace the tank and deck, re-power and use for the season or two and perhaps re-sell.

I suppose my question is - with the deck off, is there anything particular I should focus on to see if there are any previously undetected problem.

Are there any problems that are particularly inherent with this year / make?

Thanks in advance for all input / suggestions.


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Feb 16, 2006
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Newbury, MA
cuonawv":11cgpkno said:
... with the deck off, is there anything particular I should focus on to see if there are any previously undetected problem.

Are there any problems that are particularly inherent with this year / make?
First off, WELCOME

OK, now to your questions and I’ll tackle the 2nd one first. I have a ’92 and bought her in a somewhat similar manner. Albeit she had no motor, no trailer, no nothing, and all gauges, pumps, and wires were cut (vandalized) … but at least the fuel tank was and is OK.

I have been told that ‘somewhere between 1990 and 1992, that Parker did not seal the wood that is used in the deck. The best I can tell, is that the bottom of my deck pieces are indeed coated in resin, with ‘maybe’ a thin 1-layer of glass matt (can’t tell) but they do not appear to be fully encapsulated.

If you look at other structural pieces within the hull like the support ribs, knees, and any platform in the rear lazarette (bilge) they are a wood core encapsulated in a heavy glass mat/fiber layup with resin and gelcoat in the Parker tan. If you can see the underside of the deck, if you see ‘brown wood’ with a clear coating, then it’s probably just resin coated. If you see just wood … then there’s no resin. You will not see your deck underneath gelcoated … I believe, as my ’92 isn’t.

I do have the ‘concern’ that the areas where 2 adjacent deck pieces butt up against each other might be a weak point because if the deck flexes, then the resin could crack and be a source where moisture can weep up into the wood core. And remember, all boats ‘sweat’ below the deck, especially if/when enclosed or covered up. And when that happens, moisture by condensation or rainwater getting into the bilge will suck up into that wood like a nail being pulled to a powerful magnet. By the way, most ALL brands of boats of that vintage were built in a similar fashion for the decking.

Now having said that. My old boat was a ’77 Pro-Line where the deck was only coated with a skim coat of resin. I had her 25 years and she was still sound when sold, but I took precautions to ventilate the boat. What I do is ventilate the bilge and any and all contained areas at every opportunity. If you search the projects, I have even made venting deck plates that I put in place of the sealed ones when I leave the boat for the week while unused. They are rainproof and bugproof. Anyway, my point is that if the rest of the hull is sound, how you treat her can make her longevity much longer.

So, to your deck. Check the condition of whatever stringers you can get to. Go over her with a moisture meter if you can or icepicks, inspection mirrors, rawhide and plastic mallets and determine to the best you can, to make sure she is sound and dry. If you can buy the boat for a ‘song’ then it might be worthwhile for you to have her surveyed, but DO NOT show or share the survey to the owner until the sale is over, unless you 100% confidence it can improve your buying position. The last ting you want is for the seller to take your info and now command a higher price from you or someone else.

Fuel Tank: There are many places that can fabricate a new tank for you, but I’d contact Parker directly with your specific hull identification number (HIN) as they might be able to tell you where to go to get the same tank. Less the odd 1-in-a-million tank that goes bad … it is of my opinion that it is owner’s that ‘cause’ their fuel tanks to leak prematurely. Gauging from my review of Parker’s tanks and install methods, I feel confident that if/when properly cared for, one should 25-30 years or more out of an aluminum fuel tank.

Motor: Only advise I can give you here is I’d think twice about buying a brand new motor if you only plan on having this boat for a few years. Once she gets even 3 years old, people will try to talk you down due to the age of the hull (wiring, systems, etc.) regardless of how new the motor.

Point is, you would not likely recover the investment in the motor by selling a few years later …. unless you indeed buy the hull for a song (like cents on the dollar to what a fully equipped rig sells for) and you can do most work yourself. Dare I say you’d be ‘fooling yourself’ (no offense please) if you think you can buy this, fix it up, and sell it at a profit. Maybe, but you sure would have to buy it right …

Take my boat for example. I bought her ‘as is’ and did the repower and all major and minor system installs myself, including wiring, electronics, batteries, the motor and all wiring and controls, hydraulics steering systems, and all switches and lights, yada yada.
Was it worth it? When I add up all the time and costs, including my time, then probably not. But where I LOVE to work on boats as a hobby, it was well worth it to me. First off, I never could have afforded a newer Parker of the like that I bought (at the time and financial position that I bought it), nor could I ever buy one with such custom features.

To me, that’s what made it worth it to me, as I now have a truly one-of-a-kind Parker. Hope this helps! Ask away with more and we’ll help you as we can. Also remember that a ‘project hull’ is worth less than a hull in OK shape, and any hull without motor, and even without a trailer, is worth less than the piece parts individually.


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Feb 24, 2006
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Solomons Island, MD
Do you have some pics of the current condition?

I do a lot of wood and fiberglass work, and if I can see what you are up against, maybe I can provide some help.