Too soon old, too late smart

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by coop, Jun 15, 2006.

  1. coop
    Joined: Jun 2006
    Posts: 2
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Deerfield, NH

    coop neophyte

    I have never had a glass boat but the fourth of July is coming and I wanted a little ski boat to entertain the weekend guests with. My neighbor who sold this to me seemed knowledgeable when he assured me the 'soft spot' in the deck 'has absolutely no effect' on structural integrity. There also seems to be a little crushing indicating the 'rock solid' transom might be ready for repair. He also told me the boat was 'late eighties or early ninties' (It turned out to be 1968 vintage) so I want to verify the rest of the stuff.

    I obviously need to replace the wood in this boat but that is a project I would rather embark during the fall, not the beginning of summer. To do the deck properly it appears I would need to split the hull and the transom will probably also need a complete replacement.

    This boat is a 15' Astro which I have not been able to find any information about. How important is the strength of the deck for overall structural integrity? What are my chances if I cover the deck with plywood, beef up the transom with steel, and try to steal a couple weekends out of this boat before I fix it properly?

    Thank you for your help and advice. I will try to attach a couple pictures.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
    Posts: 3,821
    Likes: 153, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 971
    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    I have a 15' tri-hull beater boat with a 40 hp on it that I bought about 12 years ago that had a bad deck and stringers. I used it for two years after the deck started coming loose from the sides so as it rode the waves and swells the hull would twist this way and that while the floor would shift from side to side. All in all it was a very pleasing motion and was a lot softer ride than after I replaced the deck and stringers. I did that when the hole in the floor just got too big to easily get around. I never worried about it much, the beer might explain some of that, but there were also usually a lot of other boats around and shore just didn't seem to be THAT far away. In retrospect I suppose I was in grave danger as the boat would have gone down like a rock I bet, if it had become seriously breached. But in the end, the condition of the boat never affected my health one iota, except positively, as it got me out in fresh sea air and was very enjoyable. I wish I could say the same about boat building and repair. Around here there are a lot of shrimp boats. It's not too unusual for them to get a hole in them. It's not unusual for a shrimper to somehow affix a sheet of plywood over the hole and continue shrimping until he has time to properly fix it, even below the waterline. Occasionally very temporary fixes becomes fairly permanent repairs. It's a risk. Sometimes when they're on the railway getting work done, they have to drain the 50-200 gallons of diesel,water and slime sloshing around in the bilge. It's interesting to watch as someone standing on wet ground drills a hole into the bottom as another guy stands ready to disconnect the drill when the bilgewater starts squirting out, acting as a human circuit breaker. That's risky for sure!
    If your asking someone to approve what you want to do and say you can do it with no problem, nobody here is that stupid, I don't think. The responsibility is yours which I'm sure you realize. But then "jury rigging" is a term associated real closely with boats. And then which is more risky, taking care with something you know is jury rigged, or blindly using something you know nothing about...?
    http://www.yachtsurvey.com/Fiberglass_Boats.htm
    Neither seems as bad as trusting someone to be your circuit breaker, though, even if they are named Lightning.
    What are your chances of being able to use your boat a few times if you took a sheet of 3/4" plywood, cut it to fit, painted both sides and screwed it to the existing floor with 50-100 galvinised deck screws after slathering a tube of liquid nails down first and then were carefull in how you used it? I don't know, I'm still trying to figure out how long the 1/4" thick aluminum plates on both sides of my transom with the overlapping 1 1/2 " bends that hold the tramsom together and were on the boat when I got it and was too lazy and shiftless to fix are going to keep working. Sam
     
  3. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
    Posts: 3,821
    Likes: 153, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 971
    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    By the way, in the right hand picture, the way the hinged window overlaps the other shows the hull has squashed in a little bit and should be remedied when the boat is repaired. Be carefull the hull is the shape you want it, no twists or dents or bulges, as new stringers and deck will lock the shape in and correct shape is important. Sam
     
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  4. coop
    Joined: Jun 2006
    Posts: 2
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Deerfield, NH

    coop neophyte

    Thanks SamSam! Of course I did not expect anyone to hop in here and tell me I can cobble things together without a second thought. I was more concerned there might be considerations that had not occured to me, which the lack of replies would indicate either I am no more foolhardy than I expected or that the vast majority of the crowd is content to quietly let the Darwin theory work at its own pace.

    The site you linked to is a bit disturbing. Clicking around on it, it appears the glass boat building industry has been scrimping on quality all the way back to the early sixties. Who woulda thunk? I had a friend who worked with an old boat builder who took him out to the dock with a piece of fiberglass, a chunk of steel, and a block of wood. Upon tossing the items into the drink to witness the glass and steel sink immediately, the old builder told my friend to go home and think about that first lesson. The lake by my house does not have two shores separated far enough to make swimming to shore a challenge no matter where I go down. I am more worried about the financial obligations of recovering the garbage and possible environmental penalties if the gas tanks leak.

    The seller told me the window overlapped when the boat was new. I suppose it is possible but it is something I will be trying to remedy when I make the repairs. That challenge I have been rolling around in my mind a bit because with the hull separated it will be difficult to ensure it will fit back on. I suppose when I get it apart I will see how much leeway I have for error.
     

  5. Corpus Skipper
    Joined: Oct 2003
    Posts: 606
    Likes: 8, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 173
    Location: Corpus Christi TX

    Corpus Skipper Hopeless Boataholic

    I'd say use the boat this summer, keeping an eye out for worsening problems, then fix her up later. It will probably hold up fine in the small protected lake you described, as long as you don't overload or bash across rough water running wide open.
     
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