41 foot center console conversion

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by kulas44, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. kulas44
    Joined: Dec 2008
    Posts: 5
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    Location: oklahoma

    kulas44 Junior Member

    Hi guys, new here but have a question that some other boaty forums don't seem to have much interest in. I have a 41 Burnscraft Eldorado convertible that I would like to turn into a center console fishing machine. The Burnscraft boats had decent hulls but pretty much crap for everything else. My plan is to strip most of the boat to the hull, add a couple of structural bulkheads, gunnells and redeck it to the bow. I can retain the cockpit, midships and bow area of the current configuration. I have two Cummins 6b's that will be installed. The boat has new aluminum fuel tanks and carries 550 gallons full. This is a fast planing type of hull with lift strakes and a small keel. The hull is cored to the chine and solid below that, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick on the bottom, fairly light construction. It has a 10'6" beam and should weigh around 15,000 lbs finished and loaded to fish. Does anyone here have experience with this kind of project ?
     
  2. thudpucker
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: Al.

    thudpucker Senior Member

    Sorta...I worked on a WWII sub chaser. It was similar in that it had a three man console with the helm station. The Helmsman was strapped in. He needed both hands so they had a half-cage with a big belt for him. Everybody else had to hang on, as it was indeed a great performer.

    Did you say you have a Fiberglass/Balsa Core hull?
    Do you have any way of insuring the Balsa is still good all over the hull? That could be important in bad water.

    My opinion of what your doing....you need to employ a Marine engineer.
    I'd be willing to bet you'll never ever meet anybody who's done this before.
     
  3. kulas44
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: oklahoma

    kulas44 Junior Member

    The hull has been sounded and is good. The cockpit floor has two soft spots where fishing chairs were mounted without enough bedding and no support. The boat is a 1979 model and was a fresh water boat most of it's life, kept in a covered berth on a lake here. It had 800 hours on it when I got it. The hull to deck joint is typical shoebox, and VERY poorly done. I can remedy this after tearing out the cabin structure by glassing it in completely. The bulkheads would be added per Gerr's specification, and will probably be marine ply, sealed and glassed entirely. I have a large shop to do this in and funding is not the big hurdle, time is also not a factor, unless I get killed by a jealous husband :), then I guess I won't need a boat anyway. Simplicity would be a concern, I don't need all the "fluff" of most new CC boats, just a good solid performing fishing machine. I was hoping someone had done something similar, but I guess not. I would like to find a decent console and top structure for a large CC. After Hurricane Rita I could have bought several that would have worked great, but didn't need one at the time.
     
  4. thudpucker
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: Al.

    thudpucker Senior Member

    Put up some photos.
    I re-did the front of the cabin, and the fly-windshied of a 23' Tolly once. I ran into a Buzz-saw of little things that made that chore absolutly difficult. It took a couple weeks to get the wood parts to fit the windshields they had cut for the job.
    If you dont have to scrap that upper cabin, I'd sure think about rebuilding it.

    I had a 27' Glass boat built in Florida. On a long run it had water in it, and discoverd the Top of the hull was fastend to the bottom with Aluminum clamps similar to Kitchen Sink clamps. They'd come loose. The Hull flopping had cut the Rubber seal so it was drooping inside the boat.
    I fixed that with some Black Windshield sealer. It was a messy sticky job. It held, but every time the weather got real hot it seemd to come loose again.
    I'm sure there's something better.

    You have an almost impssible task ahead of you. Take your time. Lay out each task and finish that one before you go on to the next one.
     
  5. kulas44
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: oklahoma

    kulas44 Junior Member

    I'm not at all interested in repairing the boat back to original. I have a 54 foot Krogen trawler (my son and I completely rebuilt it almost from the hull up) so don't really need another motoryacht. The resale value on the Burnscraft is almost nill now. I could put 30 or 40 thou. into it and maybe get 30 back, if the market comes around. I do need a semi-trailerable fishing boat, and the resale on a 41 CC would be MUCH higher. The work and time factor doesn't bother me, and we have the ability to do it. I have not decided on the drive system yet but will probably leave it a a straight drive until launched and used for a season. I lean toward a jet drive for shallow water usage and trailerabilty. Stern drives would be good for the same reasons, and more economical on fuel, especially the counter rotating style, and the Bravo series by Mercruiser is plenty stout. Inhull surface drives look interesting, Arnesons not so much.
     

  6. thudpucker
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: Al.

    thudpucker Senior Member

    A thought.
    There are lots of 24' to 29' trailerable fish boats available. Those can be pretty comfortable, and if you found the right guy, you might make a straight trade, your 41' as is, for his ??' as is.

    If you were closer to some really big water, you 41' might draw a crowd or even be a good keeper. Lots of room in a 41'.

    Your idea of changing to Diesels involves weight and balance as well as hull stress' under rough water conditions. Some other hidden F/glass problems down under the engine and those struts.
    Anyway you look at this 41' its going to be expensive and will need the input of some knowlegalbe people.
    Good luck
     
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