I purchased this Formula 233 Sport Fish in April of 2006 and began reconditioning it immediately, taking approximately 1 1/2 years to complete. It's the boat's first season spent completely restored, and I plan to fish every possible weekend, weather permitting.
The first task was pulling the old twin 1992 135 hp Mercs and doing some structural rehab work. I removed the entire deck, foam, many stringers and the stern bulkhead. I sought the expertise of friends familiar in fiberglass, auto body, carpentry and metal work, as well as my own knowledge gained from many years of boating maintenance and ownership.
I then began rebuilding from the bottom up. I used 3/4" marine plywood, fiberglass bonding material and heavy woven fiberglass for the stringers and bulkhead, the same manner in which it came from the factory. The transom, (after) 40 years, needed some fiberglass and bonding material. After repairing, everything was painted with gelcoat.
Several custom upgrades were added, including a 300-quart insulated fiberglass cooler and four storage compartments in the deck supported by reinforcing ties between the stringers to compensate for the open hatch area below deck. Custom-made stainless steel deck drains, made removable for easy cleaning, were added. Half-inch marine plywood was bonded and screwed, securing the deck to all necessary stringers and bulkheads.
Above deck, new fuel tanks and mounts were installed in the original factory positions under the gunnels. Covers for the tanks were replaced with 1/2" gelcoated marine plywood with stainless steel trim. The tank hardware included marine-grade fuel lines, two Racor 10-micron filters and two four-way and two three-way valves to operate the six tank, 120-gallon system. A Flowscan fuel monitoring system was also added, as well as a saltwater wash down pump system and deck lighting.
I bought new engines with cables and controls, outdrives, wiring harnesses, gauges, and props. I completely rewired the boat. All electrical components were replaced, too. I added a new half tower with fiberglass hardtop, including 12 rod holders, Strataglass in every window, and outriggers mounted to the roof.
Hardware used on this boat is top-quality chrome plated bronze, brass, and stainless steel... The bow rail was replaced, and the original windows were refurbished, tinted and totally functional as factory-installed. All the aluminum molding and aluminum rub rail was replaced.
The body of the boat was meticulously restored, grinding out cracks and replacing with fiberglass matting. Imron was used with primer/sealer, the top done in white with the bottom in powder blue.
An extra support beam was added to the ceiling arc for added stability, made of mahogany and bonded in place, and epoxy paint was used to freshly coat the cabin ceiling. Eight hanging rod holders were added for extra storage in the cabin, and a custom tackle center was built into the wall.
This boat has been restored and customized to suit my needs as a fisherman. Top speed is 35 knots with a cruise speed of 25 knots. This boat is an original 233 Sport Fish, well known for its history as one of the best hull designs ever made. It started a new trend in the offshore racing circuit with its deep-V classic hull design by Don Aronow, and this particular boat fished up and down the east coast with its history of four owners, me being the fourth, and hopefully for the next 40 years.