Another 52 DR owner here. My bow bulkhead was removed (rivets replaced with bolts) and there was nothing up there when I got it. If you still have rivets you probably have the factory Styrofoam up there. There is a gap between the hull and the bulkhead at the floor, stick your camera phone up there and take a pic with the flash on, it will tell you what you have. I have foam under the seats lids but its not all that much as in a DR the seat pans are real thin. I'm also running a '56 Johnson 30hp, but have yet to get it in the water still working on it.
Oh yeah, there is a guy in instagram who has a 50hp modern motor on a DR claims a 45mph top speed. Said motor is 185 lbs.
Welcome! I am currently working on a 1951 DR. My Dad fished out of it for years with a small 6hp tiller on it. I am restoring it and replacing the foam that was under the seats and behind the bulkhead with closed cell foam. These are sturdy boats and as with any boat just use common sense and enjoy it.
welcome, i just got my '53 DR out this yr, running with a '56 30hp Johnson.........28-30 mph and felt very comfortable and safe.........to ride in any of these boats will amaze you with stability and securness in the way they handle......i was warned with having the heavier motor, if your cruising high speed, dont just come to a complete stop........you may get your wash sneak up behind you and over your transom...........get er out and test it out, you will want another for the wife.........
Welcome aboard these boat are pretty safe when I first got my first vagabond finished I hit a wake from a cabin cruiser because the guy driving it turned right in front of me I had no where to go the water came a foot over my wind shield my bilge pump kicked in it scared me bad but all that happen was I got wet you shouldn't have any problems with it just watch out for big wakes from people that don't know how to drive a boat post some pictures of your boat we like pics
I have a 1955 DR with a 25 HP 4-stroke motor on it. My top speed is 28-30 MPH, depending on crew and conditions. 30 MPH feels very safe to me.
My boat has a "bulkhead" wall under the front deck; I often rest my feet against it when driving. I've always assumed there is a big chuck of Styrofoam on the other side of that wall, but I've never confirmed it. That is the only flotation in my boat, although I did just last weekend add about 1 cubic foot of closed-cell foam under the front seat.
There is a famous photo somewhere on this site of a submerged boat with the bow sticking up out of the water. My guess is that's the situation you would find yourself in e.g. if you forgot to put the drain plug in your boat. I believe the main risk of this happening is (a) leaving your boat uncovered in a long, heavy rainstorm, or (b) backing up too fast and allowing water to wash over the stern - which is a very real possibility that deserves some attention. A moderate level of fear would not be imprudent. ;^)
These boats were built by and sold to the same generation of Americans who were challenged to put a man on the moon within 10 years, and then did it. Their risk tolerance was a little higher than we expect today.
Welcome to Rivet World. Nice ship.
If there is still a shelf under the deck it should be filled with styrofoam (and assorted rodent detritus), Also there may or may not be styrofoam under the seats.
Some have had luck with spray in expanding foam.
Some have exceeded 30 MPH with 30+ HP but know that the catalog recommends max 16 HP.
As long as you don't embark on a three hour tour you should stay on top of the water.
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Good day, All
My wife and I just bought a 1952 Deluxe Runabout with 1957 35 Johnson. I have a some questions to start.
1. Was there ever flotation in this boat?
2. If no, how do I add some?
3. What would be the expected safe speed be with this vessel?
The idea of a boat that can readily sink somewhat scares me.