1972 Chris Craft Constellation restoration help needed

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by bdelnas98@gmail, Sep 18, 2016.

  1. bdelnas98@gmail
    Joined: Sep 2016
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    Location: Antioch California

    bdelnas98@gmail New Member

    I have jumped into the boating world with both feet with the purchase of my first boat and have a huge project ahead of me as I don't have a clue about what to do first and the proper way to do the job as it was done the day she was built. I have been searching the Internet for information and have read and received a lot of information about how to do things with more information that now I am confused about who and what to believe. Now that I have come across this forum, I hope that I can get the correct answers to my now lifetime project! !
    #1) dry rot repair at transom
    #2) proper procedure for painting above water line(using Pettit products )
    #3) proper paint for bottom in fresh water
    #4)boiled linseed oil or varnish on exterior mahogany
    #5) can you varnish over linseed oil?
    These are the beginning of the many questions to restoring this Chris Craft back to better than new
     
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Welcome to the forum.

    There's a lot of mis-information about working on wooden boats now. Some of it is left over from old timers that refuse to catch up, with modern techniques and materials, others simply guessing and hacking away. The real information is that found by those who are recognized with insurance companies, because they have to stand behind the work, in the long run. I'm one of those people and employ both old and new techniques. For example, on an old carvel build, the old school techniques and materials work the best and is usually faster and cheaper, than modern goo's and techniques. On the other hand, I've saved plenty of old traditionally built lapstrakes, with modern techniques and materials.

    (1) - If you have rot that you can see, you can bet a lot more exists that you can't.

    (2) - Painting procedures are the same, though some subtle difference can enter the mix, it's 90% prep and 10% actual brush in hand time. So, look into surface prep and you'll get a good idea of what's involved.

    (3) - Bottom paint is for boats that remain in the water for extended periods (like yours). Each area will have a prefered paint type, so check with the local fishermen and commercial professionals, as they'll know what works in your area.

    (4) - Boiled linseed doesn't work. It'll put a slight shine on the wood for a week, then dull, then let UV have its way with the underlying wood. This is because it doesn't have any UV inhibitors, just oil.

    (5) - If the oil is well dry (takes a week or so after application) yes, you can apply varnish or polyurethane over it. There's no advantage if intentionally doing this, though often you have linseed oil down and have no choice.

    There's a lot of "quirks" to these old Connie's, so you'll need to look into these too. There are several sites online that focus on some of them, usually major "ills", like bottom planking, refastening, goo types, repairing fastener holes, etc. This is a big boat to cut your teeth on and easily can become a huge money pit (many thousands of dollars). Do yourself a big favor and have it surveyed and find out her current condition, so you can address the serious issues right away. Paint and varnish are the very last things you'll need to do, after you've addressed structural and rot concerns.
     
  3. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    The most important thing is that rotted wood needs to be cut off and thrown away. Penetrating epoxies are only good for small cosmetic repairs. If you make a hard chunk out of rotted wood, it will have little or no adhesion to the wood in good condition if there is any under the damage. On these boats, if you see rot outside the transom the transom frame is usually rotted too. The chrome strap covers a lot of deterioration. Paint and putty also covers a lot of deterioration. Hire a surveyor that knows wooden boats and take the loss and burn it if you can't afford the time and money to fix it properly.
     
  4. SukiSolo
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    Location: Hampshire UK

    SukiSolo Senior Member

    and then there's the rot you find underneath what appeared sound....amazing wherr water runs too under a bit of paint/varnish/other covering....;)
     
  5. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    Location: Florida

    mydauphin Senior Member

    I used to do this 30 years ago. Haul boat out, start removing problem wood from inside and out. If you have anything left find matching woods and rebuild her from inside out. I have seen people Fiberglass over the hull, bad idea. We used to take them to islands to work on them cheaper labor. I picked one up in PR, and the middle of the trip back the planks start poping out, we had wrap boat with rope and canvas to keep it together. They used wrong wood and fasterns. Moral of story, they are a lot harder to fix than meets the eye.
     
  6. bdelnas98@gmail
    Joined: Sep 2016
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    Location: Antioch California

    bdelnas98@gmail New Member

    Since you seem to have quite a bit of experience with wooden boats could you tell me what was used originally to seal the wood planks above the water line?
     
  7. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    They were coated with oil based lead paint.
     
  8. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Chris craft used a number of things over the years and it depended on the build type in many cases. For example, the use of polysulfide in seams of their lapstrake designs, started in the late 50's and was replaced with polyurethanes in the late 60's. Previously they used cotton string on the garboard seam and naked faying surfaces. Some employed shellac in the seams, usually a heavy mix, but this was replaced with the man made stuff fairly quickly. Double planked hulls often used "Irish felt" sometimes with shellac or lead, sometimes not. Some had no flet, just heavy shellac.

    In terms of you question about sealing above the LWL planking, well nothing more than paint was used to "seal" the planking. Physically sealing wood (completely), has only been possible since the advent of epoxy encapsulation (late 60's). Chris Craft never used epoxy on any of their Connie's. Prior to this, the planks were left to change dimension with environmental condisions. In fact, some build methods relied heavily on this wet/dry cycling to be effective. Batten seam and lapstrake in particular require this. Modern sealants changed all this, but the choices are still rather dependant on the build type and the effort you're looking to put into her.

    Are you sure this boat is a 1972 Connie? I ask, because I'm reasonably sure they made their last wooden one in 1971.
     
  9. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    I have also seen throughout the years people who have glassed over the hull. Obviously this brings in its own problems.
     
  10. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Ike Senior Member

    You might want to contact the Mariners Museum in Newport News VA. Chris Craft gave them all their old records including blueprints, bill of materials, etc. Everything about how these boats were built. see http://www.marinersmuseum.org/ Ask about the Chris Craft Collection.
     
  11. bdelnas98@gmail
    Joined: Sep 2016
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    Location: Antioch California

    bdelnas98@gmail New Member

    Are you sure this boat is a 1972 Connie? I ask, because I'm reasonably sure they made their last wooden one in 1971.[/QUOTE]
    From all of the paperwork that I have she is a 72 and one of only 36 or so built that year
     
  12. bdelnas98@gmail
    Joined: Sep 2016
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    Location: Antioch California

    bdelnas98@gmail New Member

    Water seepage

    On a boat of this age and of wooden boats in general, how much water should be leaking into the boat in a 24hr period?
     
  13. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    DEPENDS on where it is coming from. Besides any hull issues, you may have the regular sterm tubes, seacocks, etc... Don't assume anything yet.
     

  14. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I have a 56 year old carvel and the bilge is dusty, not wet. The only leaks are from rain and since it's in a covered slip.
     
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