Not so proud owner of a restoration project

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by Adam, Jan 11, 2020.

  1. Adam
    Joined: Dec 2019
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    Location: Innisfil, on

    Adam Junior Member

    Hello everyone, I can finally post!
    First off, my name is Adam, I’m north of Toronto in Ontario, and, as the title says, I’m now the not-so-proud owner of a restoration project.
    Bit of a back story here. We previously owned a perfectly good fishing boat that simply became too small for a family of 5, prompting the search for something a bit larger. Months and months of looking at boats with various degrees of rotten transoms, floors, jack a** mechanics, and a deeply bruised hip (fell through a rotten swim platform), I stumbled upon a 1991 Starcraft Eurostar ski-n-fish, 21 ft long with a 4.3 merc. Using my limited inspection knowledge, I posed and prodded, finding a few issues (like fibreglass lifting off stringers, hole in exhaust), but otherwise a solid transom, and it started as ran like a charm! Took it for a water test, drives and rides beautifully in the chop, but the entire test drive my gut kept saying “no, no, no, no, no”. Now I’m normally one to trust my gut since it’s always right, but this time I chose to ignore it. Talked the price down, and brought her home. Enlisted the help of my cousin who has more boat mechanical experience than myself, and we proceeded to fix the exhaust (pulling the motor). Hooked to the hoist, couple pulls, followed by the sound of tearing wood and fibreglass. After a quick uh oh, a quick inspection revealed the engine mount had caught on the motor during the lift and tore itself free of the mounting blocks. Another 5 mins of expletives followed, at which point I decided to take on a restoration project.
    Further demo and inspections now reveal a relatively cheap construction process, stringers uncapped, floors staples down, and many voids in the foam causing water trapping. Surprisingly, the transom was remarkably solid, save for a touch of dampness.
    Task list so far: new stringers, new transom, new foam, new floor, new upholstery...... basically brand new everything except hull and mechanicals.
    To date, i currently own a shell living on blocks, with no stringers and half a transom.
    Things I’ve learned so far: fibreglass eats sawz-all blades; an air chisel makes short work of transom wood; most are built cheap like houses; and I have a ton of work to do (plus other bits and pieces) - yes I realize the last 2 points are obvious, this experience just confirmed my suspicions.
    Next steps: take advantage of the cold weather up here and get as much back breaking labour done; build a new transom in the basement (I don’t have a garage) ready for installation in the spring; build new stringers; foam; floor; new bulkheads; mechanicals; furniture; floor covering; clean up; enjoy the water again. Seems simple enough right? I plan on modifying the structure slightly, the original design appears to generate several pressure points on the transom and hull.

    I have a couple questions to pose that I haven’t found in other threads yet.
    1. Regarding engine installation, I dislike lag bolts in wood. Is there another better option such as blind nuts underneath the mounting blocks?
    2. I see some flaws in pouring 2 part foam through holes in the floor. My plan was to pour the foam before the floor wood goes down, trim to height, roll out epoxy over the foam and stringers and place the decking like this. I can ensure literally every gap is filled, no place for water to condense or hibernate. Also prevents the foam from expanding and pushing out the hull. Anyone see any issues with this?

    I’ll update as I go along.
    A few photos attached as well.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    fallguy Senior Member

    Well. Personally, I would not spend a nickel more on it.

    Lag bolts are fine, but never in end grain.

    Your method on the foam is good.
     
  3. Adam
    Joined: Dec 2019
    Posts: 15
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    Location: Innisfil, on

    Adam Junior Member

    Oh believe me, the thought of moving on has crossed my mind on more than one occasion. But then I’ve looked at a couple boats over 10 years newer and they’re still soggy. I know it’s not an accurate representation but I figured if I invest a few more bucks in this one, I’ll have a boat that’ll last a whole lot longer than something else that looks good now. That being said, Please tell me if my logic is wrong.
     
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  4. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    fallguy Senior Member

    The logic on hull repairs is simple.

    Boat value is what you paid for a good hull. Let's say $3000.

    After your work, the boat is worth, $3000.

    If you spend $1000 on repairs and your time has no value; okay.

    But if your time is worth say $20 an hour and you spend 300 hours; then you spent $10,000 on a hull worth $3000.

    The boat doesn't go up in value. It is always worth that market value. In my example, $3000.
     
  5. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    There are economic considerations and there are personal considerations. I love working on my boat. It's a hobby. Some people build cars or airplanes or do carpentry, we're all different. I spent far more on my boat than it will ever be worth to someone else. I enjoyed building it though. My boat's now my sanctuary and I enjoy using it and keeping it up. Looking back, I think I enjoyed the challenge of restoring it more than I enjoy using it. And I enjoy using it a lot!

    Do you really like fixing things Adam? If your car throws a check engine light do you call the garage or do you plug in your own scanner? When the washer breaks do you head for the phone or do you turn on the computer and google the problem? How are you fixed for time? How about money? Do you have a spouse who'll not complain when you spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars fixing up an old boat?

    These are the questions you need to ask. I'll post a link to a thread I started a while back. It had to do with the cost of restorations. Your boat is smaller than what I did and you certainly won't spend what I did. I'll estimate that you'll spend at around 1/4 of what I did though. If you do a good first class job it's expensive. If you're like me it's no fun to fix something unless you do the best that you can.

    I think that those of us who are successful in doing a restoration have a specific attitude. I found the project to be less of a means to an end (fixing the boat in order to use it) and more of an end in itself (fixing the boat just for the pleasure of doing it).

    Before you go any further take time and THINK. You'll be glad you did.

    Want to know how much a restoration might cost you? Read on..... https://www.boatdesign.net/threads/want-to-know-how-much-a-restoration-might-cost-you-read-on.62104/

    Best Regards,

    MIA
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
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  6. Adam
    Joined: Dec 2019
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    Location: Innisfil, on

    Adam Junior Member

    Fallguy - I completely agree with those statements. That being said, we didn’t purchase this boat to flip for a few bucks. I don’t expect to make money on it when we sell it down the road.

    MIA - very informative thread, and it got me thinking for sure. Yes, partly on a selfish note, I’m doing it for me. It’s a hobby, it’s enjoyable, and (for me) it’s therapeutic. On the flip side, I’ve also turned it into a family experience too. I’ve had kids and wife involved in some aspect of cleaning/demo. And, when all said and done, I’ve put literally blood and sweat (tears are coming) into restoring it to a state that would be better than factory built, and know for certain it’s solid and dry and safe for my family.

    Yes, I know it’s going to cost a bit, but for what I paid and what it’ll cost me to restore, I will literally know her from the inside out.
     
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  7. BrissoDamo
    Joined: Dec 2019
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    Location: Brisbane

    BrissoDamo Junior Member

    you fell in love with a slick deadrise! hmmm I see that!
    ;)

    Cut a bunch of 2" holes with a holesaw in the deck, if you cut 25% out of the deck with the holesaw, the foam will rise thru the holes without popping the deck- keep the cut outs, rout the foam back in the holes to take the plugs back in-glue em down with pua and then do a layer of fab and flow coat it.

    I would look for a curved windscreen for it also- I like it too, you will lose money, but you will have fun, itchy fun.....that's what boats are all about, lots pissing around for a little time of joy! beats being a couch potato' :)
     
  8. BrissoDamo
    Joined: Dec 2019
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    Location: Brisbane

    BrissoDamo Junior Member

    You are proud of your efforts, you can say " I did that!", its not so much the labor to make it happen, its the thinking it thru and exploration of facts to come up with a successful outcome- you grew the tree and ate its fruits!
     
  9. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    fallguy Senior Member

    an inappropriate statement
     
  10. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    Well, it's a pretty big project so take your time and think ahead. Take lot's of photos, they'll help you as you reconstruct. Shop for supplies and look for sales. The internet can be a great money saver. Prices can vary widely on identical items. As for advice on your work you've found a great resource. Boatdesign.net has many members both past and present that are great sources of information. Do searches here. You will find that almost every question you have has been posed by someone else in the past. Paul Riccelli (known as PAR on this site) was a particularly prolific poster who passed on an incredible amount of knowledge. Sadly, he died about a year and a half ago but all of his thousands of posts live on here. Spend some time and do some digging here before you do much with your boat. You'll save time, money and effort.

    I found that when people ask well thought out questions, the response from people on this site is just amazing. Keep us posted and upload some photos when you can. Once people realize that you are serious about your project, I think you'll find a lot of folks willing to help. One more thing...Living in Toronto you're not to far from me. Find a way to get that boat covered so you can keep it dry and out of the sun/rain/snow. This will help you and the boat. I've built A-frame structures that have worked great. You can use framing lumber, commercial grade tarps (I like the white ones, they stay cool in the summer and don't block all of the light) ropes, bungee cords and ground anchors/stakes. Some kind of shelter would be job #1 for me.

    Best

    MIA
     
  11. Adam
    Joined: Dec 2019
    Posts: 15
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    Location: Innisfil, on

    Adam Junior Member

    Yes, yes I did haha. I did consider replacing with a curved windshield, but they're big bucks here. Plus I'd have to remake all the tops and covers. Maybe a down the road project. She would definitely look sharp with one though...
     
  12. Adam
    Joined: Dec 2019
    Posts: 15
    Likes: 3, Points: 3
    Location: Innisfil, on

    Adam Junior Member

    I had already done a ton of research on these forums prior to joining, but I had not come across those 2 questions I posted initially. And yes, PAR's contributions answered many questions I had before.
    I've done a fair amount of price comparisons so far, but no purchases yet. Just waiting for the right time, once I have completely finished the demo.
    Shelter wise, Canadian Tire had a smoking deal on their heavy duty 4 season portable shelters. Couldn't pass up half off. Even managed to get it up before the snow hit. So far it's stood up to our winter storms and intense snow fall without collapsing.
    I'll put some more pics up this coming weekend, I'm starting my set of nights tonight. This seems like a great community of resources, which is why I chose to join and post my story. I've had some other commitments pop up recently, but I'm hoping to get back into her next month and get a transom manufactured in time for warm weather install.
    Thanks for the comments so far!
     
  13. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: Washington

    Ike Senior Member

    What you are doing has very little to do with the value of the boat. It has everything to do with the value of the experience, for you, and your family. I did a similar restoration of my 1972 Sea Ray SRV 190. No way could I justify how much money and time I put into it by the value of the boat. It's a matter of the heart, not the head. Have fun, and don't let the difficulties get you down. It will be worth it when you get it to the point where you can use the boat. And don't replace the windshield. It's exactly like the one on my Sea Ray. Far easier to replace than a curved. Yes the curved ones look cool, but why replace a perfectly functional windshield just because it's flat?
    Here's mine Boat Building Projects | 1972 Sea Ray 190 Rebuild https://newboatbuilders.com/pages/SeaRay190.html
     
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  14. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    At the risk of boring people with repetition, my take on restoration of old glass boats, is that most are not worth doing. The exception would be outstanding hull designs, where good examples are not to be found for sale, either because they are all too old and in need of restoration, or tightly held after restorations. There is a very limited number of such hulls, but there are definitely boats that handle exacting conditions better than their contemporaries, and if those conditions govern your choice, then you ought restore one, if an affordable contemporary analogue is not available.
     
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  15. BrissoDamo
    Joined: Dec 2019
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    Location: Brisbane

    BrissoDamo Junior Member

    boats like this one- Corey Gauci Marine https://www.facebook.com/coreygaucimarine/photos/pcb.1053898864767599/1053898841434268/?type=3&theater
     
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