1984 Dolphin Back Country 16 with 115 Evinrude.

I came across an opportunity to aquire one of these boats, the motor was completely rebuilt this year and under warranty. I have been reading up on these boats and everyone seems to like the ride in them. The draft is alright for where I would use it, St. Andrews Bay, Port Saint Joe and down in the Keys every now and then, it will mainly be a fly fishing platform. The one thing I am curious about is that no one seems to be sure of whether it has wood in it or not. I am taking it down to Panama City Bch. in a couple of weeks to see if it is what I want. Any information on these hulls would be appreciated. Also, an idea on what one is worth would also be appreciated, I can get it at what I think is a good price, but I really am not sure. Thanks in advance.


  • FS DanFS Dan Posts: 2,353 Moderator
    any 30 year old boat is a project. 30 year old engines are worth nothing, yet he just dumped money into rebuilding it and thinks it is.
    the electrical system needs to be inspected and probably replaced.
    The fuel tank needs to be inspected, use to negotiate price, as replacement may involve major work.
    basically don't blow your bank on the purchase, as you will have things that will need to be worked on.
    Marine parts are expensive by themselves and a whole lot more if you have to add in labor.

    If you took the boat and repowered it with a new engine, what's the value of the boat at this point?
    Now subtract the cost of the repower and you have an approximate value
    Any value from selling the old 115 is used to offset the risk from the fuel tank and electrical.

    This assumes that there aren't any structural problems, such as stringers, transom, or fiberglass.

    Formerly Catmandew
  • I hear you, thanks for the input. Like I said, I realize there will be expenses, I can get it for a real good price. As for the motor, it was literally 100% rebuilt by a outfit in Penn. that replaces everything, to include wiring with all new parts, the only thing original is the body....the state of GA registered it as a 2014 motor for what it is worth, the motor runs like a top. I am mainly curious about if anyone knows whether this year was a wood core or all composite, no one seems to know online and this was about the time Dolphin switched to all composite. I can get the boat for less than the cost of the motor rebuild and I will be running it hard week after next for a few days before I buy it, the guy is letting me do that to see if it is what I want. I plan on basically restoring the hull to make it look brand new this winter if I do buy it. Every thing I have read about these hulls say they are one of the better rough water polling skiffs made. As for the fuel tank, I think he said it was 2 years old, but I will double check. I am taking it to a shop I know to inspect the hull fully just to be sure, and the guy I fish with is a marine mechanic, he is going to double check the motor for me. I am hesitant to buy it if it is wood core though, hence my curiosity with regards to that issue. I will get the electical system inspected and have someone give me a price on replacing the whole shebang.

    The motor by the way isn't an 84, it is a 98 evinrude.....that was rebuilt.
  • FS JimFS Jim Posts: 476 Moderator
    Call the guys at Dolphin Boats..www.dolphinboats.com. Ask for Nelson.
  • Played with the boat this past weekend. Ran 50mph (on the GPS) with two adults, and I ain't small, full tank of gas in a decent chop without a drop of water hitting us, very dry and stable. We ran in some shallow waters too, did not have a push pole to check that out, but will this weekend. Had a mechanic go over it with a fine tooth comb, he said the motor looked new and acted new, no hiccups what so ever. The hull is solid, the wiring was gone over too, some was changed by my mechanic just to make sure. Got a price on re-gel coating and painting, I believe I am going to pull the trigger. Any ideas on tricking out a flats boat would be appreciated. It will mainly be used in St. Andrews Bay, Apalachicola, Port St. Joe and along the beaches during tarpon season, plus the middle and upper Keys from time to time. Hopefully will be fly fishing out of it, with some light spinning also. Any ideas will be welcome, thanks in advance.
  • R.DitullioR.Ditullio Posts: 121 Officer
    Jack plates, trim tabs, poling platform, ipilot system, stereo in that order....just my 2 cents
  • R.Ditullio wrote: »
    Jack plates, trim tabs, poling platform, ipilot system, stereo in that order....just my 2 cents

    I purchased the boat, it came with a poling platform and jack plates. I have put trim tabs on it, had the prop reworked, and looking at an i-pilot system as we speak. It now gets out of the hole in a fraction of a second, and hits 50mph at a good bit lower in the rpm relm. Putting in extra storage this week, hopefully I will figure out how to upload photos from my phone soon. Also reworking the livewell, changing from gravity to a pump....
  • FS DanFS Dan Posts: 2,353 Moderator
    Hey Red, for pictures I like to use photobucket for my pics. its has a quick button that auto copies the pics url and all you have to do is paste it into the body of your text.

    Formerly Catmandew
  • I think this is the right picture, the boat on blocks.
  • BacklashBacklash Posts: 880 Officer
    Great hull, they copied it from Sidewinder speed boats sometime in the 70's.
    That embossed "wave" on the hulllside is straight out of the Sidewinder mold, they (Dolphin) got rid of that in later years.
    They did the 16 and the 18 for years, then stopped making the 16.
    I recently met a guy who's had the same 16' Dolphin since new in the early 80's. Has taken the boat to Bimini a few times. Makes me consider doing it in mine. Hmmmmmmm.
  • It is hard to believe, but it is a good bit drier and smoother than many of the bay boats I have been in....If the seas were smooth and there was another boat that could keep up with it, a Bimini run would be interesting....and feasable....
  • JustinJustin Posts: 47 Deckhand
    Is that in front of Mattke Bros? They do some fine custom work, Steve just repainted the nonskid on my skiff. Looks like a nice skiff for this area!
    Capt. Justin Leake Panama City Fly & Light-Tackle Fishing
  • Its over in the warehouse area off Thomas Drive, a friend of mine who is a marine mechanic has a shop over there. It isn't far from Mattke Bros. I think one street over. I think Mattke will be doing some fiberglass work on it this winter with the bait well. I put a riptide 80 i-pilot on it this weekend, that is one fun addition. Was poling in around 10 inches today, not as shallow as the Hells Bay you run....but shallow enough. I have recently returned to inshore fishing after about a 25 year leave of absence for offshore fishing. I am learning St. Andrews bay and getting dialed in somewhat. It has been windy most every weekend since I have had the boat, but it handles it rather well...yesterday afternoon coming from east bay over to the college ramp in the afternoon was fun, 3 ft seas, but made it and stayed rather dry.
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