The Boating Forum - Nautico Seagull boat improvements?

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04-25-2011, 11:38 AM

I'm fairly new to this board - I am almost primarily a fisherman, mainly in the mid and south portions of the Chesapeake Bay. Annually drag it down to Ocracoke too (or whenever possible). There's a lot of very good info on this board, but I thought I would ask some pointed questions to fellow Seagull Nautico owners and see if they have advice / answers / experience with some of the changes I'm considering for my boat. (Or if someone knows of a similar post, please send me a link or "search term" that would help me find it.)

I have the 20' Explorar (w/cuddy) it was built in 2000. It has two 75 2stroke Mercs.
Runs great, fuel efficient, reliable and a great ride. My only complaint(s) are...

My Baby's got back!! She's stern heavy (2 motors, 2 batteries and a 2 person chair in the stern = lots of water on deck when waves/wakes come from the rear). I was close to sinking her last year when drifting in 5 foot swells in the middle of the Bay - that scared the you-know-what out of me. Now I need to do something about it!

Boat wakes and 1.5'+ chop (when anchored) often flood the stern. Especially with two or more (190+ lb) men seated near the rear. (I do a lot of bottom fishing/live lining while anchored, this also can happen when drifting too depending on wave/drift direction.)
Add the 96 qt cooler with ice, food, beverages, etc. under the captain's seat and 14+Gal homemade live well... the back 20% of the boat will soon be sitting under water.

I can move the batteries forward (some) and install bigger scuppers (which I've read at least one other owner has done) but I haven't heard how well either change has impacted the issue? If you have done one or either of these mods I'd really appreciate hearing how that worked for you?

Also, there's no good place to install a live well that wouldn't also negatively impact the stern-heavy weight distribution that I can think of.

Here's what I'm thinking about doing:
Move the batteries forward - and not just all the way forward on the main deck (under the gunwale/stairs), but even further forward - actually INSIDE the cuddy. (There's room to fasten a semi-elevated metal plate and bolt it to the floor/frame just inside the cuddy wall. Include strapping holes on the plate to help securely fasten the batteries, maybe even two straps per battery?)

My fear(s) of doing this are two fold:
#1) It puts the batteries inside the same area where fuel fumes can build up during more lengthy periods of storage.
#2) The ride is rougher the further forward in the boat you sit - could this cause a battery to easily break free of it's tether/strapping and cause even more damage?

Other ideas:
Considering getting a long/thin (80qt?) cooler (that will fit inside the cuddy doorway without having to tilt it) and strap it inside the front wall of the cuddy to use for food/beverages. Then just use the rear/seat coooler as the fish box.

There's no good place for a live well. At this point I'm using a rectangular clear bin (with a lid from Office Depot) that fits under the rear seat. Tried a cooler/non-clear bin previously but seemed to get more die offs with those.

Also thought about getting a T-top. I imagine the additional weight might help some with the weight distribution? (Plus the benefits of the additional rod holders, full time sun protection etc. Would like to hear if T-top owners on these boats have had similar issues or if anyone that added a T-top moticed a difference afterwards?

One other brainstorm I had was to try and seal off the rearmost portion of the transom as best I can (like the regular Seagull line has), but I think the steering cables & fuel lines inhibit that from being an option on this model. (maybe upgrading to hydraulic steering would allow for that?)

Any feedback you may have would be welcome. Thanks for looking!

04-25-2011, 12:12 PM
I actually thought you would have the opposite problem with too much weight up front from the cuddy. You could try making a wave gate to go into the transom cut out, won't keep out all the water but it will stop the waves from dumping major amounts into the hull at a time.

04-26-2011, 11:04 AM
Thanks for the suggestion. It already has something like that - there's a waterproof door that hinges on the floor upwards between the two hard "seats". (imagine the doorway on a fishing charter boat that allows you to drag a huge fish onto the deck from over the transom). The "seats" are essentially extensions of the gunwale that extend towards the center of the deck but prior to the transom wall. There is about an 16" area of deck space between the transom wall and the rear of these "seats". The problem is not so much the water that hits that door - it's that the water has already gotten that far onto the deck already. The scuppers don't empty it out fast enough from the space that exists between that and the wall edge of the transom. There are holes under the gunwales on the under/outer side of the "seats" that simply let the water flow further up the deck almost entirely unabated. Will try to post some pics later to help demonstrate.
I've thought about possibly building a transom wall extension to the inside/center of the transom in hopes to deflect/shield more of the water from getting into that space. I also don't want to compromise a healthy transom trying to bandaid something I might be able to remedy with other methods. That and it would likely have to be strong enough to withstand the power of the waves that hit it.

04-26-2011, 01:25 PM
I have a 20' Nautico center console that was uncomfortably wet in the back. Water would come in the scuppers, go under the gunnel cap and enter the bilge through the rigging holes in the deck on each side of the stern (They had rubber boots, which were ineffective after lots of years on the water). Then the bilge pumps had to pump the water back out. After seeing lots of pics online of other Nauticos with scupper valves, I added the small ping pong ball scupper valves to each scupper on the transom and that helped keep alot of water off the deck. I made dams around the rigging holes in the deck to keep water off the rubber boots on the rigging holes (6" PVC pipe cut~4" high, split with a table saw to slip over the rigging, then sealed to the deck with 5200). We take alot less water on deck and in the bilge and the boat sits higher when we are off plane. I have also considered a vertical extention of the transom between the engines, just to keep the waves out when coming off plane, drifting livebaits or bottom fishing. Keeping water out of the bilges has made this a little less pressing.

The Seagull boats have a liner that is closed inside the boat, and at the stern. Sealing off the rearmost transom area of the Nautico will result in water coming down the deck being trapped in those two pockets under the gunnel caps where the access to the bilge for the rigging tubes are. Maybe big rubber flapper valves over the lower holes in the gunnel cap at the transom area might help keep water from moving forward, but still drain whats on deck?

Hydraulic steering is great! Highly recommended.

05-02-2011, 02:37 PM
kgreggfl -

Thanks for the feedback! Sounds like maybe your "soggy transom" problem was similar but slightly different from mine. Fortunately I don't get water in the sponsons (I don't have holes on the deck anywhere) unless I open one of the two access ports to the bilge that are on the deck just prior to the transom itself. I don't have the liner so the underside of my gunnels are opean and accessible.

I'm planning to get the batteries moved forward this week but still on the main deck (I decided to NOT move them into the cuddy (would rather have wet feet than risk blowing up the boat!). I am also mounting my "spare" battery [for more forward weight] up inside the very front and center of the cuddy). Weather permitting, I am hoping to take her out this weekend to test my changes.

I already have the ping pong ball style scupper valves but they still don't seem to empty the water out effectively/fast enough. My first thought is to get larger ones for the two corners and see how they do before changing them all out. Most often the boat ends up favoring one corner or the other when anchored/drift fishing. Tuypically on the side my 240# butt is on! Yeah, I'm dieting too.

I will keep my eyes peeled for those rubber flap type doors, that might help too. Also, any idea about how much it costs to upgrade to hydraulic steering or did yours come with it?

Do you have a T-top or just the center console?

05-04-2011, 01:44 PM
Hi wpotts- Our 20' Nautico has a fiberglass T-top and aluminum electronics box on a 2" aluminum frame. It's pretty substantial. It also has an upgraded console (the one from the Seagull, not the skiff-like Nautico console).

We added the hydraulic steering ourselves. Either Wholesale Marine or Boatstore USA (I can't remember which). I think we paid ~$700.00 for the helm, side-mount cylinder, 20' hoses and fluid. We already had the tie bar and mounts. I had also added hydraulic steering to the 18' Nautico I used to own. On that one we used the front mount cylinder, which is more common and costs less.

We went with the Seastar helm and a side-mount cylinder because the small Yamaha (F50s) didn't have clearance for the front mount cylider. I mounted it to the starboard engine steering tube with a tie bar to the port engine. If the seastar front mount cylinder works for your motor(s), I would recommend it over the unbalanced side-mount cylinder. The side mount cylinder has a small clearance problem with the angled gunnel at the stern where the rigging hole enters the splashwell. My engines are too low and I don't have clearance to raise them any more. I may end up solving this with outboard jack plates in order to raise the engines to the proper height, but my cables may not be long enough...solve one problem, make another. BOAT=Break Out Another Thousand.

06-08-2011, 09:44 PM
We are the company that made the seagull and nautico boats in Mexico. We still have the molds in very good shape. The 8', 14', 16', 18' and the 19' (20'). They are an excellent cat boats.
Yes, at the beginning we make some with wood (only a few Nautico models) on the floor and those had some problems. Before the Segull and Nautico where out of business our boats where made with only FRP materials making great boats, all the models are great on the ocean waves.

Are great boats.


06-09-2011, 08:32 AM
Hi Eduardo,

Welcome to THT! There are alot of Seagull and Nautico owners on here who could use the insights you have from building our boats. I agree, the design of the Seagulls and Nauticos is good. We have enjoyed years of boating fun on an 18' and now a 20' Nautico.

I am in the process of addressing some of the problems with the plywood construction you noted in your post. I am replacing the plywood deck (appears to be 5/8" plywood) in our 20' Nautico. The deck skin has delaminated in places from the plywood core. Other places, the plywood veneer layers within the core have seperated. Unlike most deck replacements, I am doing the plywood replacement in stages. I cut out a 30" section of soft deck in front of the gunnel cap at the stern. The forward part of this segment is located on one of the transverse bulkheads (the bulkhead holding the stern end of the fuel tanks). I installed cleats under the original plywood deck on the sides and stern with West System six-10, installed a continuous sheet of new plywood coated on both sides with neat epoxy (WS 105 with 206 slow hardener). I then used thickened epoxy to laminate the deck skin to the new plywood, beveled the joint to 12:1, filled all gaps and laminated 9 oz fiberglass tape (2" tape followed by 3" tape) with WS 105/206 over the joint. I have faired the work with vinylester filler and plan to gelcoat the deck after the repairs.

My questions to you include:
How is the plywood deck attached to the sides of the hull? Is it tabbed on the top only or is it tabbed from below too? Should I add tabs from below?

Is there any additional support of the deck under the console?

Would it cause a structural problem if I added foam between the deck the top of the tunnel?

It appears the transverse bulkheads are encased in fiberglass and resin. The forward bulkheads do not have passages for water to get to the stern where the bilge pumps are. Water has entered the compartments from the deck where the console and T-top screws penetrated the deck. Would it be a problem to cut holes for water to pass through the bulkheads? (I would seal the cuts with epoxy) Are there bulkheads under the fuel tanks that would impede this flow?



06-12-2011, 01:32 PM
Looks like I scared Eduardo away.

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