Help with aluminum Starcraft fixer-upper

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by dave redlin, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. dave redlin
    Joined: Jul 2008
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    Location: Fishers, IN

    dave redlin New Member

    Hi all, first time boat owner. I just bought an aluminum Starcraft boat as a project for me and my son. Can anyone tell me where I can get some missing parts? It seems to be missing the bow breast support and the "splash-guard" (gun wale) along the top of the sides. I have the rear corner breast plates. They are just not attached. If I can't find a replacement part, can either be replaced with wood? I already have the material to replace the missing wooded parts. (seats, transom)

    Also, the previous owner says it dates back to the 1950's, but I can't seem to find any tags. Anyone venture to guess the age?

    I have some additional pictures if more are needed.

    Any help/advice is greatly appreciated!

    Thanks for your help and patience,
    Dave
     

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  2. TollyWally
    Joined: Mar 2005
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    Location: Fox Island

    TollyWally Senior Member

    I imagine that part of the project for you and your boy will be fabbing up missing parts. It will all work out though. Common sense will cure almost everything.

    How old is the boy? I can still remember how thrilling it was to sling around a skiff like that when I was a little kid. I would have been beside myself if Dad had brought home such a treasure!
     
  3. dave redlin
    Joined: Jul 2008
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    Location: Fishers, IN

    dave redlin New Member

    TW,
    Thanks for the reply. My boy is 18. I wanted to start/finish this project before he's out of the house for good. Maybe fit in a fishing trip in September with it?

    Thanks again,
    Dave
     
  4. TollyWally
    Joined: Mar 2005
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    Location: Fox Island

    TollyWally Senior Member

    LOL,
    He's big enough to have already had some thrills. Hope you two catch some good memories come September.
     
  5. thudpucker
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: Al.

    thudpucker Senior Member

    Interesting looking boat.
    It looks like it had two Thwart seats, two side seats in the stern, and a Bow deck. Sort of a cuddy cabin.
    The Floatation in that boat was probably under the Floorboards and they were riveted down over top of the Foam.

    You have your work cut out for you.
    My old 57 Starcraft Marlin came to me just about the way yours is now.
    I wrote to the Starcraft factory, to get the Handles for the bow and ask about the wood the front deck was made of.
    I got a Smart alec reply about not knowing much about boats etc.
    With Starcraft, you are on your own when it comes to help.

    My Marlin was a 16'. I made one big bottom piece of Scarfed Plywood. I had a helluva time with the rivets.

    Today I think I'd use some Pine boards and make a bottom that dropped in and was wedged in place, with the floatation trapped under it.
    You want it easily removed because stuff will get down under it.

    Then I'd make seats with Foam under them and use Stainless screws to hold those seats down.

    You'll have to find some photos of those little side seats in the rear. It looks like they'd be easy to make out of a re-inforced 1X12 piece of good looking shelf boards.
    I always liked the little side seats in the rear feature.
    I have a little Aluminum skiff I just may alter like that, now that you gave me the idea.
     
  6. Lt. Holden
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Location: Western Massachusetts

    Lt. Holden Senior Member

    Interesting project. You have a couple of choices for a coaming to fit over the top edges of the gunwales; Synthetic (commercial) edging, moulded wood or extruded aluminum if you can find some.

    If you primarily want to use it for fishing you could convert it to a "bassboat" type setup by putting bagged and sealed high density foam on the bottom and then cutting and fitting ply or composite sheet material as raised decks using the existing seat brackets along with some form of center supports. This could be the entire floor or you could just do the fore and aft sections (for casting decks) and leave the center section for a recessed cockpit/steering station.

    An added advantage to doing this is to enhance hull rigidity. If you used large strap ratchet clamps aroung the hull after the floor sections were slid in place and tightened the straps a bit (don't get carried away and distort the hull) prior to fastening the deck pieces to the existing brackets you would achieve a semi-monocoque structure which would be very strong for its weight.

    Another material for the floor would be fiberglass grating like they use on machine platforms. Going this route, you could lay removable marine carpet sections attached to the grate with velcro or snaps so that you could remove it when necessary. I want to try this myself since I like carpet in a boat but have learned the hard way that plywood and wet carpet are incompatible!

    One thing to keep in mind along the way is to strive to minimize the weight of any alterations/additions consistent with the required strength. Weight is the enemy of efficient performance.

    The rear coaming to transom supports are critical in supporting the transom and attached outboard. The front bow support is important also. You will probably have to fabricate something out of wood or preferably aluminum. Its design will be somewhat dependent on what you make the coamings out of.

    Good luck with your project and keep us updated with pics!
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2008
  7. dave redlin
    Joined: Jul 2008
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    Location: Fishers, IN

    dave redlin New Member

    Thanks for the help fellas. I've made some progress since the last posting. I used a wire wheel and cleaned up the entire hull. I used some aluminum bondo to fill in some of the deeper scratches. I decided to use white oak for the seats, transom, and gunwales. I couldn't find a bow brace so I made one of white oak. I used stainless steel fasteners to connect the wood. In the original condition the manufacturer's tag was missing, so adding weight is a concern so I'm trying to keep the same features as the original configuration. The seats have been fit and removed as I'm getting ready to add a flexible epoxy sealer, Gluv-it. Once that's complete, I'm going to use Herculiner as the final coating on the inside of the hull. I intend on painting the outside of the hull and all wood surfaces.

    The trailer has been completely updated with new bearings, wheels, wiring, lights, paint, winch, etc....

    I'll post more pictures after a little more progress.

    Thanks,
    Dave
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 18, 2008
  8. thudpucker
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: Al.

    thudpucker Senior Member

    Dave, re: the photo of the Corner piece aft.
    I came up with one of those for my old boat. I put it up on the bow so I had a solid truss with a handle on one side and a place to step. Right where you have that big wooden triangle.
    Today, you might be able to find an actualy bow piece on the internet.

    Up in the bow, I went below the rails and put in a flat piece of Decking held in place by a Bungee cord. It rested on Aluminum ledges I put in place with Stainless rivets.
    Under that flat deck, was the Battery and one fuel tank.

    By myself on a windy day, choppy water, if I went WOT the bow would sometimes come up. I've had the boat standing straight up in the air. Scarey too.
    So I reloaded the boat for those days. Battery and gas up front to offset the sail area of the bow, and my bulky weight back at the tiller.

    Also when I went out on the salt water I put two tanks in the boat.
    A six gallon tank with my 25 Johnson was a Six hour endurance. So for long days a long way from the Dock I took the extra tank. That was one tank under that deck and the other underfoot.
     

  9. thudpucker
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: Al.

    thudpucker Senior Member

    I forgot to add that you sure cleaned that old Tiger up pretty well.
    Nice work.
     
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