Chris Craft restoration about to begin

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by Cpdad93, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. Cpdad93
    Joined: Sep 2018
    Posts: 4
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Idaho

    Cpdad93 New Member

    First a little background information. 1959 Chris Craft sportsman 17'. We purchased this boat, like many, had changed owners quite a few times, stored since the late 70s (based on the trailer tags) towed it home 500 miles trouble free. No idea how we got that lucky. It is weathered but appears to have no rot anywhere, just some sun baked parts, which seem to clean up pretty good with the sander.
    It appears we have all of the original chrome, the original 283....wow a numbers matching boat, lol. Oh and not that it matters, the original key. What we do not have is the engine cover. It still has the original what I would guess is linoleum over plywood floors and my personal favorite, the tire pump type air horn. We do not have the original life jackets listed in the factory build sheet. All of the chrome, the windshield and the bow mahogany are now stored on a shelf. It seems pretty solid but needs dismantled to be sanded and reassembled as some of the pieces are loose. The plywood on the bottom under the mahogany seems solid so I was not going to remove and replace that. I purchased a big steel cart with big wheels at an auction, I think it is about 7 1/2 feet square, to set it on upside down to begin the work. I was going to clamp some 2x4s across the inside and down to the stringers to keep it from flexing. Once it is flipped I was going to remove the mahogany bottom, sand and seal the plywood as the first step. Anyone who read this far gets a free chicko stick. chriscraft1.jpg
     
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 14,555
    Likes: 683, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Why are you removing the bottom? It is likely that the shape of the boat will deform. If, for some reason is absolutely necessary, you should first build a frame and shore the frames to it so it doesn't move. Also, be very careful about sanding plywood. Many boats have been ruined by completely sanding a veneer off the plywood. The boat was already stripped, so it only needs a little sanding to take off the dirt from the surface. Also, screws tend to loosen with age, so it is good practice to snug every one of them if necessary. Refrain from putting any kind of hard filler on the seams. Polysulfide is the right material for the seams.
     
  3. Cpdad93
    Joined: Sep 2018
    Posts: 4
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Idaho

    Cpdad93 New Member

    we were going to do something like the 5200 bottom. Just sanding a bit of the weathering on the plywood. As far as the screws, a fair amount of them are partially backed out. I was anticipating doing a a little hand sanding on the edges of the mahogany. I was thinking the plywood would make it keep its form.
     
  4. Cpdad93
    Joined: Sep 2018
    Posts: 4
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Idaho

    Cpdad93 New Member

    After rereading the epoxy works site , lets assume the bottom needs rescrewed down but not removed, would the epoxy only go on the very bottom? I was thinking the planks needed removed possibly one side at a time, then the plywood would be epoxied, then the planks reapplied. If removal of the planks is unnecessary, I am in favor of that idea.
     
  5. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 14,555
    Likes: 683, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    The planks need to absorb moisture to swell and lock. If you are going to seal them with epoxy, a hard material, you better use cloth on both sides to have the wood as a core. What you are describing is a common way of destroying the boat. If you want a modern composite hull, it will be less work and money to build a new one.
     

  6. ned L
    Joined: Nov 2008
    Posts: 77
    Likes: 7, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 105
    Location: N.E. Connecticut

    ned L Junior Member

    I agree, your plan does not sound like one for long term success.
    The boat is 60 years old with the original construction method, do you plan on improving that track record?
     
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