Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Uniflite or Tollycraft

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    10

    Default Uniflite or Tollycraft

    Looking at two boats as semi-project boats. In other words, they are fully functional now but will need updating. I've read and heard all sorts of good things about older Uniflite (pre-blister) which leads me to believe that the structure (hull, stringers, transom) is worth dropping money into updating the mechanics and creature comforts. I haven't been able to read anything specific about Tolly regarding the durability of the hulls, stringers, transom. Haven't heard anything bad about them, just seems there are more people singing the praises of Uniflite.

    The two boats I am seriously considering are a 1972 28' Uniflite Salty Dog or a 1974 28' Tollycraft Sportfisher. The Uniflite requires less work in the near term but the Tolly has a better layout for my family needs. Both boats will be used for family fishing with the occasional multi-day cruise around northern BC/southern Alaska.

    So, assuming both boats haven't been abused over the years and are both structurally sound which would you be willing to pour dollars into over the years to upgrade?

  2. #2

    Default

    I don't know much about Uniflites but am a big fan of Tolly's. Hope to own one of their 26' Sedans someday--seems like a perfect boat for my family...

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    24

    Default

    My dad owned a 32 uniflite for years. Best hull I have ever been in for big nasty water. Wouldn't want to pay the fuel bills at todays prices. They are great boats.

  4. #4
    Member tzieli22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Eagle River AK
    Posts
    589

    Default 31' Uniflite

    I bought mine 3 years ago. Was between this and a 32' Tolly. Tolly was clean and newer but my 31' has new twin diesels and I have been in seas I don't care to ever see with it again, but it's a 1968 and I say she is solid as a rock but also she is sporting about 14k lbs.

    No regrets at all for my choice. Would love to go bigger but the fuel...
    Tony

  5. #5
    New member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Seems the one consistent thing I hear about Uniflite's, regardless of which model, is that they are one tough hull that will get you home when conditions get rough. I know my wife is big on safety so selling her on the Uniflite shouldn't be a problem.

  6. #6
    Member Sobie2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Juneau
    Posts
    1,039

    Default

    I am biased towards Uniflites having owned 3 of them... a 31' Express, 27' Sportfish Flybridge, and a 23' Sportfish (current craft).

    They are very seaworthy boats and I love them.

    But between the two models you are looking at I like the Tollycraft Sportfisher over the Salty Dog. The Sportfisher was Tollycraft's version of the Bertram 31 idea. There are two real nice 28 Tollycraft Sportfishers here in Juneau that were renovated. I believe that a restored Tollycraft 28 Sportfishermen will have a better resale than the Salty Dog. I was never really a fan of the Salty Dog... but I haven't been on one either.

    I haven't seen either of your prospects but have reworked enough older boats and believe/know that you will be WAAY ahead by starting with which ever boat is in better condition. A worn out boat is timely and costly to rework and make new.

    That said 3M brand products work really well on Uniflites and can almost always restore the hull's gellcoat without painting.

    Keep us posted on your thinking... attach some photos.

    Sobie2

  7. #7

    Default

    Four years ago I picked up a 1974 27' Tolly Sedan that needed "a little work" and which ended up becoming a ground-up resto project. By that I mean that EVERYTHING came out, down to the bare hull, and was either rebuilt, replaced, or thoroughly checked, cleaned & reinstalled. It was way more work than I'd bargained for, and ended up quadrupling the up-front cost of the boat & trailer, but in hindsight I'm glad I did it. There's something reassuring about knowing every single system and component the boat has, and having at least a working knowledge of how to fix it when something goes wrong.

    I've had the boat in some gnarly seas and there is no question that my nerve would give out long before anything happened to the hull. She's heavy and a bear to trailer (comes in right at 10' wide so need the oversized tow permit) but swallows an enormous amount of gear, provisions, and people for long excursions, while still leaving plenty of room to stretch out, cook, sleep, etc.

    Downside is the fuel cost, naturally. My boat was ordered by the original owner without power, and he had twin gas 350's pushing V-P 380 outdrives installed. I've seen the same boat with a single 6 or 8 and a V-drive, and my twins take up a lot of space and add weight. But I wanted the redundancy of twin engines to get me out of a jam, and don't mind paying the $$ at the pump with some of the $$ I saved buying a project boat and doing most of the work myself.

    I looked at Uniflites at the same time I bought the Tolly, and would have just as readily gone with one of those if I'd found the right deal. Personally, I think the mid-70's Tollys have a better interior layout and I've been real happy with mine.

    If you have any questions about my project and/or want to see some before/after pics, PM me and I'll be happy to help.

    Cheers,
    ~Steve

  8. #8
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    SE Alaska-Summer Columbia River-Winter
    Posts
    2,007

    Default

    I would agree with Steve. be prepared for a BIG bite on your wallet. I am restoring a 1986 Sea Ray 300DB Sedan Bridge and when I am done, I will have around $18k or so into it.

    If you do it, do it right and don't skimp on cost and that extra couple $100 or $1000 may mean between making it back alive or not making it back.

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
    1988 M/Y Camargue YachtFisher
    MMSI# 338131469
    Blog: http://alaskanseaduction.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage and Seward
    Posts
    506

    Default

    I had a 26 Tolly and often compared features with Uniflite. One thing I noticed was the window frames in the Uniflite were stainless steel whereas the Tolly's were aluminum. Stainless is more expensive so may be indicative of other fittings and quality of build. The only issue with the aluminum was the pitting corrosion which might be a problem over time. Otherwise, my Tolly was a well built and solid boat with good access to below deck stuff that lurks in the wet, damp places you need to get to occassionally.

    By the way, I understood Tolly sold their 28 hull to Glasply when they redid their lineup in the mid 70's. My Tolly was a '78 and by then, they were only making the 25, 26 and 30 in that size range. Their lineup then got screwed up when old man Tollefson sold out in '87 and they revamped to the Euro look then went out of business.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fish Witch View Post
    I had a 26 Tolly ... One thing I noticed was the window frames in the Uniflite were stainless steel whereas the Tolly's were aluminum.
    I've read that the older Tolly windows have had major issues; I know mine did. In retrospect I should have had all new windows made for my boat, but I bought the expensive OEM glides & molding and decided to re-seat all of mine. Big mistake. There's a Tolly like mine in Juneau that has had all new SeaGlaze windows and I'm major-jealous.

    To put the dollars a bit in perspective, I paid $10K for my project boat, which included a much newer galvanized King 3-axle trailer. Last I checked, I'd put another $30K into it (counting everything I had to buy & everyone I had to pay, but not counting my own labor). So with $40K invested I have maybe a $42K to $46K boat/trailer. Not a very good return on investment, considering mid-70s Tolly 26's are going for less than that in OR & WA. But mine has the twin engines, and more importantly, I know pretty much everything I'd ever need to know about its systems & idiosyncrasies. With a new/used boat, even one that's been taken care of, the remote waters here in AK are not the place I'd want to be learning about my 30-year-old boat!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •