I have had several of the 12 1/2' Rocket runabouts. The best one had been titled in at least three states and had little wear, other than some fading. Ran it with a '59 35hp Evinrude and it had a serious porpoising issue. That was corrected with trim tabs. Our last one had been run in rough water with a 45hp Merc. The keel had split and the hull skin fractured across just under the dash. It has now been repaired and sold several times.
I have run my 1957 Rocket Runabout II with 1954 Evinrude Big Twin 25hp electric start, 1956 Johnson Javelin 30hp electric start, 1960 Mercury 300 35hp electric start & alternator. On all combos 12volt group 24 full size 500 amp battery mounted in the right rear along with a six gallon and a 2 1/2 or 3gallon fuel tanks in the rear of the boat all full of fuel and with me driving from the right front seat and the motor trimmed with the cavitation plate parallel to the bottom of the boat and never had a problem with porpoising or planing off the boat and ran at speeds of high twenties to low thirties mph.
Found a great little trailer today for the Rocket. It's a perfect fit and has a new axle, hubs, and bearings. It needs a little TLC but I will wait until I am done with the boat and motor. Waiting for some warm weather so I can get to work cleaning up the aluminum. I cut out a new transom from 3/4" marine plywood. I also found a transom knee at a john boat manufacturer.
The trailer is galvanized. I think I am going to paint it silver. Your transom looks nice. I'm waiting for some warmer weather to get my aluminum shining. 20 degrees and freezing rain here today so that's not happening!
I bet that flies with the more modern Evinrude 35HP. I know those motors are very powerful. My blue anodized aluminum is completely shot. You can barely see it except under where the registration numbers were and some places on the inside. The gold is pretty good. I had a guy who does beers cans (which are anodized) tell me that blue holds up the worst and gold the best. I guess I never noticed that when I picked up beverage can litter.
Your windshield looks good. Did you make that? Also, my two aluminum FC nameplates are in perfect condition but the paint is all gone. It looks very intricate. Has anyone tried to touch those up to get them back to red and white?
You can get waterproof pop rivets. They are just completely closed over the ball end of the mandrel. I normally prefer rebucking or replacing with solid rivets but, in this case I think that may be the way I would go rather than removing the seats.
Edit: Oops, looks like I didn't read the whole thread before posting. Just ignore me.