Really, REALLY, New... And jumping into restoration!

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by DKM, Jun 20, 2021.

  1. DKM
    Joined: Jun 2021
    Posts: 3
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Quogue NY

    DKM New Member

    Morning boaters!

    I recently ran into a 1950's Cris Craft Skiff and fell in love. She was owned, and loved, by man who recently past - and I have now promised to restore her. I would like to do as much, or all, myself and with my son.

    I have read been perusing this forum and soaking up as much information as I can (in the past few days, she is not even delivered yet!)...

    I have no interest in resale value or cost - I love the look, and that someone hand-built this and I plan to enjoy it - that's my only major current goal. Only modernizing I am doing: She will be an EV (Electric Vehicle). This actually involves almost 0 changes to the boat except the center mounted engine bay will be much smaller (my engine is about half the size of the original 210 - thinking of putting more seating here). Batteries are a proprietary design by myself and will fit in already existing areas with weight evenly dispersed (roughly 250lbs - though my engine is lighter - so overall weight will be similar).


    Overall to a novice she looks in great physical shape. She supposedly was even in the water last year! However, aesthetically, she is showing her age. I would welcome any advice and/or link to post(s) you feel I should read (I just read an argument on 5200 versus epoxy - would love some expansion on that).

    My plans based on what I read thus far:

    - I live on the water, so I am going to place her in a pool and pump in saltwater to soak her for (how long? I have read everything from 48 hours to 6 weeks). Also, how often do I do this!? What if this restoration takes a year or two?

    - Reading up repairing wood now and my options - any advice here is welcome. Other than HomeDepot projects, I am an inexperienced wood worker.

    Now I must reiterate: While I have owned modern boats my whole life, I know little about wood boats (or wood working in general) I have not learned in the past few weeks as my decision to take this on was finalized. So feel free to offer any advice & experience - no matter how "common sense" it may seem. Then I can pass it to my son as-if I know everything :)

    - My first stupid question: If I planned on expanding seating, or even to add a roof (tossing this around after seeing the Sportsman Sedan roof - which looks like my boat with a roof). What wood would you choose today - and how do I ensure to match the finish?

    Thank you in advance, and thank you for keeping these treasures alive!!

    Pictures will follow and I will update as I go!
  2. Blueknarr
    Joined: Aug 2017
    Posts: 1,394
    Likes: 377, Points: 83
    Location: Colorado

    Blueknarr Senior Member

    Welcome to the group.

    She should NOT need soaking.
    Only boats living on the water for years need to be soaked after being dry for weeks or months. Soaked use a pump to expell any flooding. When the bilge is dry--the soaking is done.

    Skiffs are usually kept on trailer and therefore don't swell and then shrink.

    Use the same wood species as originally used!!! Making one wood species look like another is difficult at best.

    Be realistic. As a self proclaimed novice woodworker always make a practice piece first

    Can't give further advice until pictures are available

    Good luck
    Will Gilmore likes this.
  3. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    DKM, please define the term Chris Craft skiff . If you are referring to the mahogany planked inboards of the past, they were most often called Gentlemen's runabouts. A skiff in general has a different plan form. Indeed Chris Craft marketed simple skiff like boats in the 50s. They produced many Kits for do it yourself builders. Many of those were of simple plan form and had no resemblance to the jazzy, expensive, noisy and usually overweight for their power, Gentleman's Runabout. They were pretty though, so were the Centurys and Rivas and a few others of that ilk.

    I suspect that the electric motor will have to be pretty big in order to equal the potential output of the original gas engine. 210 HP equates to a whole lot of watts. six figures of them. What sort of batteries can you contrive that have voltage and amperage that will furnish all those kilowatts?
  4. DKM
    Joined: Jun 2021
    Posts: 3
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Quogue NY

    DKM New Member

    Morning guys,

    Blue, I have to admit I was looking forward to the strange looks from the neighbors when I put my boat in a pool :(

    @mess: Yes sir. 50's Sea Skiff. I will have all the details today I believe, as she still has the factory identification plate.

    I was also shocked to learn that 210 powered these small boats! The engine I chose, will match the RPM and 60% of the rated peak torque - which of course with electric, should accelerate much faster, but offer similar overall performance. Batteries are another area I jumped into head first - and this will be their first test run! I anticipate roughly 300ah for only about 180lbs - 220lbs (depending on amount of containers used) these will be molded into the boat where space allows. I have no data for a boat, but if this were a car, it would expect a realistic 200-300 mile range. Sadly, I anticipate half that or less in a boat... We will discover this together!

    I have considered, if my wood working "skills" allow, the addition of a sportster style roof to sink solar panels into.

    She will be here this evening I believe!! Pictures, progress and dreams will be posted as they happen.
  5. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    Location: usa

    fallguy Senior Member

    I think your math is fuzzyy on getting 100 miles from a 300ah bank.

    300ah@48v say is 14400 watts

    70 kw motor is 70000 watts
    Run the motor at say 10% at 7000 watts and you get two hours of run time at say 10mph? You get 20 miles range. I might be pushing it because you are operating at the hump which is terrible.

    You realize you are talking about doing this to a boat that performs poorly at slow speeds?
  6. DKM
    Joined: Jun 2021
    Posts: 3
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Quogue NY

    DKM New Member

    You are correct! The weight is off also. I think that engine I was quoting was a 48V and a wheeled application. Sorry, got ahead of myself. I am a retired manufacturer and marketer - to much tech crap, to little space lol .

    Lets see if this makes more sense: Our packs are 3.2V 20ah - which means we will need 30 of them in our enclosure for a 96V @ a weight of roughly 28lbs. So ten enclosures gives us just shy of the 300ah @ 300lbs (due to the voltage increase) - and I will need a few of these get any decent range. I knew the above sounded too easy! So I will be adding some weight over stock :( Probably means my roof addition is a terrible idea.

    I could build the roof with an aluminum sub-frame and place thinner decorative wood over it? The panels are about 40lbs each + the materials.

    Am I worrying too much about weight?


    And now I learn they perform poorly at slow speeds...

    This was a purely impulse decision, so I know little about the boat and am floating on even less forethought... The combination of a project with the kids, love for things that are actually made by people, and a splash of boredom added to this moment.
  7. Rumars
    Joined: Mar 2013
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    Location: Germany

    Rumars Senior Member

    To get answers about restauration we need more details, and photos. For example we don't even know what boat you have, Sea Skiff was a series.

    I don't understand your math for EV conversion: 300Ah x 96V = 28.8kWh total battery capacity. Your boat was originally powered by a 156kW engine, let's say it uses 120kw at cruise speed (we don't know what that might be, but I will speculate 20-30mph). If your battery is capable of 4C continuous and the motor can take 1200A you can sustain this speed for 1/4 hours, giving you a range of 5-7.5 miles. If you want to motor for an hour, you either lower speed to whatever 28kW produces, or extend the battery to 120kWh.

  8. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    If you lower the speed, to get more operating time, there is a problem with that. That sort of runabout will drag its tail at low speed and consequently use more power than can be anticipated by a linear regression of power demand.

    I do like the prospect of using electric rather than internal combustion power for propulsion. This is not the boat that is well suited for that sort of conversion. I urge you to use the Gray or Chrysler or whatever engine it originally had. I suspect that you can have the original engine completely rebuilt for less money than the electric components will cost. The boat, restored, and in original condition, will have far more resale value than than it could with the electric arrangement.
    rangebowdrie and fallguy like this.
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