Young New Member Starting a Big Project

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by AJAX, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. AJAX
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: Syracuse & Fort Wayne, IN

    AJAX New Member

    Hey guys, my name is Alex Jackson, 19, Northern Indiana. I am new to this forum, but not new to boating I've grew up on the lake my whole life and know a little bit. I recently purchased a new project boat: 1961 Chris Craft Constellation 30, she has twin 327 Chevy's. I am new to resoration and would like some input or advice on where to start, what to watch out for ect.

    Things I have notice that need attention so far:
    • replace the plywood of the top of the cabin, repaint, drain old gas from tanks and lines, new mast, new electronics, radio, sounder, ect





    Thanks for your time, and help in advance!


    -Alex Jackson-
     
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  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Did you have the boat surveyed by someone knowledgeable on wooden boats? If you haven't, that should be your first step. Otherwise, you may be replacing a deck over a rotted or otherwise damaged hull.
     
  3. AJAX
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: Syracuse & Fort Wayne, IN

    AJAX New Member

    Yes, I actually did. I have a good friend Doug and he also owns a CCC 30 almost identical to mine that he restored himself, and he came and gave it a good looking over. He went over the whole hull with a screw driver looking for rot, we only found three places and they were well above the water line about 2-3" in diameter and not deep. We plan on scaping and fillining these areas with gitrot. Is this legitimit?
     
  4. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    Gitrot is one of those products specifically formulated to be marketed to the least educated of buyers. The most educated repair people would never use it. They would instead use more sophisticated and varied methods. If your friend who did the survey suggested Gitrot to do the repairs I would consider getting a second opinion.
    It may be that you have only minor rot issues but the temptation is to use a quick fix method in places where the epoxy may actually cause further problems. This sounds counter-intuitive but epoxy can create problems by trapping moisture as effectively as it is supposed to seal it out.
    Treat each area of rot with a discriminating eye---- the proper method is to graft in solid and ply pieces that mimic the original construction. Epoxy is fine as an adhesive or to seal the outer surfaces, but it is no panacea when it comes to repairs. It requires judicious use and a thorough knowledge of its usage.
    can you post some pictures of the damage? Show the areas with rot already dug out.
     
  5. AJAX
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: Syracuse & Fort Wayne, IN

    AJAX New Member

    I actually can't until this weekend because my boat is an hour away while I'm here at college but I'll be able to then. That makes sense what you said about trapping moisture, I never thought of that.
     
  6. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Git rot is just snake oil. It makes some of the rotted wood harder. However, the hard blob of epoxy and punk has a boundary of deteriorated wood. It is not for structural repairs. If you had a section of molding or other cosmetic repair it would be OK. Someone that worked on his own boat is not necessarily an expert. Look for someone that does it for a living and will give you an unbiased opinion. A plank repair should span at least four frames and have three planks between the butts of the repair and the next butt.
     
  7. AJAX
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: Syracuse & Fort Wayne, IN

    AJAX New Member

    So you would actually fix the wood like you would rust on a car, cut out the bad wood and replace a piece of it?
     
  8. Skineli
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: Hyannis, MA

    Skineli Junior Member

    good blocks and boat stands

    Excellent Ajax, now you're married to an old wooden boat. If you are having the boat moved, take great pains to block up the boat properly. You will need good boat stands and blocks. Make sure you do this right and get good advice, or structural damage can happen. I hope you are moving the boat to a nice shop for the winter. If it's outside, then go to the trouble to cover well, or build a temp cover, or buy one. Sounds like you bought a good boat, with a few little problems. Try getting wooden boat magazine, and visit the yards who do Chris Craft restorations. Make friends with those people. They will be happy to help you. You sir have a national treasure, enjoy.
     
  9. AJAX
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: Syracuse & Fort Wayne, IN

    AJAX New Member

    First off I want to thank all of you guys for such a warm welcome! I'm on alot of different forums, and since I'm young no one ever takes me serious, and act as if I'm retarded.

    Skineli:

    Well I guess I am, but thats ok I love the water. I purchased a 2006 rinker trailer, tandem axel, wish I would have got a tri but it works fine. We drove 250 miles North to Onekama Marina, on Lake Portage, just of Lake Michigan to pick the boat up. It has been in climate controled storge for the last 15 year except it was in the water in 2000. It was then witerized proffesionaly and the engines were oiled and rolled periodically so they didn't seize.

    We had the boat hang from a sling right over the trailer. At this point we took measurement and proceeded to block up our own bunks to fit the boat. Eight hours later we finished, making sure to miss all important things on the bottom of the hull, water inlet, transducers, ect.

    Man was the trailer squating when we got the boat on it! Pictures soon. It was the longest 250 miles home I've ever drove.

    Now that she is safely home we have her in our pull barn, had to take off the search light to get it inside. There are tarps under the trailer to catch all the dust and paint while I strip the hull. And the trailer is on house jacks so the leaf srpings don't weaken over time.



    -Alex Jackson-
     
  10. AJAX
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: Syracuse & Fort Wayne, IN

    AJAX New Member

    Here are some pictures of her

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    I hope these links work, it's my first time using photobucket.
     
  11. Tim B
    Joined: Jan 2003
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    Location: Southern England

    Tim B Senior Member

    "and since I'm young no one ever takes me serious, and act as if I'm retarded." No, that's just buying a boat... We all get that!

    Sounds like a good project. If you take it slow and careful you'll have a lot of fun with the boat. You've got the whole winter before you'll start to want to sail it, so don't rush. Epoxy has it's uses, primarily in gluing pieces of wood (or composite) together, and giving a smooth hard finish, but it is not the answer to everything. Since this is a wooden boat, try to use as little filler as possible. The bits you replace should be as strong as the original. There is an old saying "It broke so I repaired it and the bit I repaired broke off!" So try to avoid any hard-points as well.

    With the electrics, start with a plan and keep them neat (in fact that goes for everything on the project).

    One obvious point that most people overlook (including a salesman I was talking to recently) is that you may have a maximum towing weight on your driving license. In the UK it is 750Kg (on a recent license) after which you need a special test. Just something to note, but there aren't a huge number of boats which weigh less than about 1500Kg on a trailer, especially powerboats.

    Cheers,

    Tim B.
     
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  12. Skineli
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: Hyannis, MA

    Skineli Junior Member

    NICE Ajax, She's a beauty! I would advise you to seek out a yard in your area that has a hydraulic trailer. A guy who moves and blocks boats can set the boat up so you don't get sags and such. Again, find the yards who do the work, they can be found through clubs and through Wooden Boat Magazine, my favorite reading. Sell the trailer? Yes. It sort of looks like a fat clown riding a tricycle. If you do go with having the boat moved commercially for a while, your shop will have more room. So, you may want to price that out. I think Glenn-L has kits for trailers, and you could probably build one custom. They even have wood trailers too, I think. She's a fine looking boat. Have fun.
     
  13. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Well, I hope you have some money.

    The first thing I would do is see if the engines will tick off. You'll need to make a few things for this to work easily. The first thing you need is a way to get water to each engine's raw water pickup. The simplest way to do this is go to the store an buy two toilet plungers, the kind that have the rubber head, but don't have an inner skirt. Unscrew the rubber portion from the wooden handle then drill out the hole where the handle went, so it forms a weird rubber funnel thing. Lastly, screw the rubber plunger onto the end of a garden hose. This will deliver water to the intake strainers under your boat. They have to be propped into position, but a 2x4 cut to the distance necessary will work. It's important that it doesn't have a perfect seal with the bottom, so you don't force water (pressurize) into the intake which can cause problems. A good healthy amount of leaking is desired.

    If you engines fire up, then re-winterize them and cover the spark arrestors with a plastic bag.

    It's likely the trailer isn't doing the hull any favors, in spite of your many hours of fitting it to the hull. The next thing you'll want to do is get is her supported properly in a cradle or blocked and propped with stands. This isn't faint of heart work and does require some expertise. You'll need to lift a heavy boat, doing so without localized damage, then remove the trailer and lower her to blocking, stands or a fitted cradle. Naturally, a buddy with a crane is handy (like my buddy Ed and his self propelled 100 ton beast). Okay most aren't as lucky as me, but it could be done with a couple of chain falls, some slings, off a home made gantry too.

    The boat should be blocked up level and offer enough room to work under it, when necessary. Level her to the LWL, not the keel. The weight of the boat should be on the centerline (keel support blocking) and props or boat stands spaced along the chine every 6' or so. In the forward sections of the boat, you'll have to use angled stands or props because of the deadrise. You can't have too much blocking, but you sure can have not enough. Do NOT prop or support against the planking alone as appears to be happening in the forward portion of the trailer bunks. This is the easiest way to pop fasteners out of their holes I know of.

    Once blocked up you can now safely work inside and under the boat. Have the engine oil accessed to check their condition. 327's are reliable, but not original to a 1961 Connie (they should be 185 HP 283's), so have them checked. Judging by the tabs on the butt of this old gal, they where trying to over power her and she literally just thumbed her nose at them. This hull has a fair bit of drag associated with it and the 370 HP that she came with is pushing the envelop as it is. I'm not sure what the 327's are rated at, but I'll bet someone thought tossing 450 to 500 HP at the old gal would be a cool thing to do. In reality, these hulls max out at a fairly defined speed range and more power just makes them squat, which is what the trim tabs are likely attempting to compensate for. The best thing you could do is put the 185 HP cam in the 327's and let her run at the speed she was intended, though now I'm guessing a little, which generally isn't my strong suit or habit.

    Lastly, a professional survey would be a well spent few hundred. You'll learn a lot more about the boat then your fellow Connie buddy can offer and also you'll get a good idea of how to proceed on repairs.
     
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  14. AJAX
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: Syracuse & Fort Wayne, IN

    AJAX New Member

    Update, mariners museum is showing she is a 1968
     

  15. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The pictures also show she's not an early 60's Connie. In 1968, she would have had 327's. Find the hull number and check it with the Chris Craft archives.
     
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