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First Bass Boat


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63 replies to this topic

#1 Shawn Dompierre

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Posted September 26 2011 - 01:01 PM

Hi everyone , just bought my boat yesterday and it needs quite a bit of TLC but for the price I couldn't say no.
Its in the garage and that was a snugg fit.. I have 3/4 of a foot of play.
I'm currently replacing some floor supports and the floor itself, I'd like to be back on the water by next week and that means I'll have a lot of late nights ahead of me..
My plan is to get the basics , Floor, bilge pump and gas tank up to par and enjoy the fall then back into the garage it goes for the completion of the floors and paint.

Here's a picture.
17ft boat with what seems to be a home painted engine hood that says 170hp
Tiller, engine, steering work great.

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Any pointers you have in boat maintenance or things to watch out for please give me your 2 Cents.
Thanks
Shawn.D


#2 Fishing Rhino

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Posted September 26 2011 - 03:19 PM

The most important thing you need to check is the transom. If its core is wood, and it is in the same condition as the stringers, you've got a critical, major repair on your hands. They can be repaired, but it requires digging out all the old wood. The fiberglass on the top edge will need to be removed to access the plywood core. Then all the wood has to be dug out. I've seen articles where they removed the bulk of the wood using a chain saw. Not for the inexperienced, or faint of heart. Another method is to use a long augur, and bore holes into the top of the wood to but not through the fiberglass bottom.. The augur should be the same diameter as the thickness of the wood, or slightly smaller.

Once all the wood is dug out, and the glass is cleaned and dried, you can pour a filler made for replacing the wood that was removed. Don't know the name or where to get it, but a google search for "transom repair" should yield the information.

Stringers, once the deck is removed are fairly straight forward. Be careful to support the hull on the outside so the bottom doesn't deform when the stringers are removed. I'd do one at a time. I'd also use an epoxy resin, not polyester fiberglass resin when bonding the new stringers to the hull. It will hold. Fiberglass resin may not. You might want to consider using closed cell foam used in fiberglass fabrication. It comes in many thicknesses. It's lighter than wood, but you'll need to laminate enough layers of glass to provide the structural strength needed to keep the hull rigid. No more worries about punky wood cores. All the foam really does is provide the shape for the stringer, The layers of composite form a box beam around it.

Take your time and do it right. You are working with integral structural members which need to withstand the abuse it will take whether pounding over a wake or into a chop.

Don't skimp or cut corners. You will regret it later.

I hope it all works well for you, and that your acquisition provides you many hours of fun and memories. Treat the old girl gently until you know the condition of the transom, and get all repairs completed.
Regards, Tom

#3 slonezp

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Posted September 26 2011 - 06:38 PM

Looks pretty rough from the pic. Be safe and take Fishing Rhinos advice.
Is "basstiality" the same as sleeping with the fishes?

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#4 FishinDaddy

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Posted September 26 2011 - 08:14 PM

As the owner of a 20 year old hull I say, "take care of her, and she will take care of you". I enjoyed the self satisfaction of repairs almost as much as fishing out of her.

Congratulations!
Lee Harrelson- Lakeland, Fl


Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

#5 Shawn Dompierre

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Posted September 27 2011 - 07:22 AM

Thanks guys, I worked on her last night, I've made some progress, whitout any cutting tool I was able to get at least 80% of the rot, leafs and gunk out using pry bars, a hammer and a shop vacc.
Here's how it looks:
The stingers are in sorry shape which you can't really tell until you removed the fiber glass, the fiber glass is keeping it rock solid.
Tonight I'll be cutting up some fiber glass and removing more of the wood, I'll also be getting some marine grade plywood.
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Also the transom is cracked at the top edges, I've done some homework and found a product called seacast that just like you said Rhino I'll be doing some gutting and pouring this winter..

#6 Fishing Rhino

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Posted September 27 2011 - 05:59 PM

Seacast is the stuff I've seen but could not remember the name. It clicked when I read your post.

It's already looking better after your clean up job. Better to work on, that is. Now you will be able to see stress cracks that may have been hidden by the gunk you've removed.
Regards, Tom

#7 Shawn Dompierre

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Posted September 28 2011 - 09:21 AM

Seacast is the stuff I've seen but could not remember the name. It clicked when I read your post.

It's already looking better after your clean up job. Better to work on, that is. Now you will be able to see stress cracks that may have been hidden by the gunk you've removed.



I didn't see any stress cracks, I "uncapped" the slingers and trimed a lot of the excess fiber glass, I'm currently up to 5 garbage bins full of rot and fiberglass... hahaha
New pictures that show the slingers gutted and cleaned I'll look for a smaller vaccume pipe to really give her the dry/clean state I want it in also I'll be picking up the wood tonight.
I might have the rest of the week off, which means the boat will surely be done before the weekend. I've worked the past 3 days from 6pm to 1 in the morning on the boat so you get an idea of just how much I want to get it in the water this weekend.
Note I removed the second console just to have more room to work in, 5 bolts and its out. I would like to come up with a type of claps or pins I could pull out and remove the console easily.. We'll see , I have to stop day dreaming and get back to the task at hand, the floor..

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Here's hoping I can get the floor done by this weekend, also I need to come up with a solution for the decorative panels by the passenger and driver.



#8 GLADES

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Posted September 28 2011 - 05:55 PM

You are doing a great job so far. Take your time.
I remember doing restoration on my 1984 procraft.
It was fun but I really don't miss messing with the fiberglass.

.02 edit:
Do not put in extra fiberglass just to try to make the boat stronger. The extra weight will add up. The additional weight will have you sitting lower in the water and cut down your top speed.

#9 Fishing Rhino

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Posted September 28 2011 - 07:27 PM

Some hints for making the experience of working with fiberglass a little better.

Get latex gloves by the hundred count if you can find them. Avoid the cheap stuff at the home improvement centers. Half of them will tear when you try to put them on, doubling the cost. You should be able to get them for less than a dime apiece if you can buy them in the 100 count box.

Get a gallon of acetone for cleanup. It's expensive, but worth every penny. Might be about twenty bucks per gallon now.

Get a couple of four inch paint roller handles. Don't buy the four inch rollers. Buy the six pack of rollers they sell at Home Depot, for about seven bucks. Cut them in half and you end up with two 4.5 inch rollers which will work just fine.

Get a narrow roller tray and liners for the tray. You can toss the liners when you are done.

Mix the resin. Use a little less catalyst than recommended. It will give you more time to work with the resin before it starts to cure. do not mix large batches of resin. It will cure faster in the container since it will build up heat, which acts as a catalyst to speed up curing.

I use plastic gallon milk and water jugs to mix the resin. For starters, mix up a quart at a time, pour it into the paint tray, and wet out the roller. If the roller drips, work some of the resin off on the slope of the tray. Apply like paint to the stringer or whatever part, then place the mat over it and use the roller to work it flat. You can add resin as needed by getting it from the roller tray. If you have an area that is too wet, roll out a dry area of the material, then you can go back with the roller and pick up the excess by rolling over it. If it's still too wet, repeat the process.

If the material doesn't lie flat, keep rolling it. As the mat gets wet, the two inch strands will be able to slide around. The strands are held by a binder which dissolves in resin. Once wet, they can slide around.

You don't need to use a lot of pressure. Always lay the material on a wet surface. It's easier to wet it out when it comes up from behind the material rather than trying to work resin down into it.

Don't try to do too much at a time. Take it slow until you get the hang of it.

The other tool you might need is a "bubble buster". It's a grooved roller made of metal or plastic. The ridges will work the trapped air to the surface.

Use "tear edges" on the mat. Cut edges make a small step at the edge. Tear edges feather into each other and give a better finished product.

It's also much easier to work with smaller pieces with torn edges, than big pieces of material.

Once the stuff is wet, it's nearly impossible to handle, or move. It stretches out because the fibers are no longer held in place by the binder.

Work in the areas that are easiest to get at for starters. Don't struggle with the difficult areas while getting comfortable with the process.

Start small. Keep it as simple as possible.

When you are finished with the glass, if you want a smooth finish, you can spread bondo over the new glass, after it has cured of course. Then sand smooth and apply a couple of coats of a good marine paint. Fiberglass resin is not waterproof. It will absorb water. While water won't pass through it like a piece of cloth, it will absorb moisture.

In colder climates, if exposed to freezing temps while it contains water, the water will freeze and expand, damaging the composite.

If you need any advice or have any questions, you can ask them here, but it's better to send me a p.m. since I don't always go back to a thread for a few days. I check a couple of times a day for messages. If you want, you can also email me through the forum.
Regards, Tom

#10 Shawn Dompierre

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Posted October 06 2011 - 08:39 AM

I have a floor, I'm not done but its getting there. I'm doing 2 layers of fiberglass everywhere.
In the pictures it doesn't seem like the boards line up, but they do.
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#11 Fishing Rhino

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Posted October 06 2011 - 08:15 PM

Two layers of fiberglass isn't much. I'm assuming you are using chopped strand mat which comes in various "weights", beginning at 3/4 ounce per square yard to at least 3 ounces per square yard. One layer of 3 ounces per square yard would be equal to four layers of 3/4 ounce mat.

So two layers may not be enough depending on the weight of the mat you are using.

Here's the problem. Someone suggests using a minimal amount of fiberglass or you'll be adding weight. If the wood which you removed was a structural member, you'll need to add enough fiberglass to the existing amount that will make up for the loss of the wood. How much is that? I cannot say. But, your first concern should be structural integrity, not weight.

A light boat will go faster, but that speed is useless if you break the boat because it lacks the necessary strength. And therein lies the rub with these restoration problems. It would take a structural engineer to determine how much glass you should add to make up for the loss of the wood's strength.

It's best to err on the side of being heavier than necessary and to lose a few mph, than to have a fragile vessel beneath you that may break when it pounds into rough seas or over a wake.

I don't like being a naysayer, but we all are literally putting our life on the line when we go out in a boat. We depend on skill, judgement, and the soundness of the vessel to bring us back to the dock or ramp safely. In this case, I'd advise you to tread lightly with the boat you are "restoring".
Regards, Tom

#12 Shawn Dompierre

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Posted October 07 2011 - 07:19 AM

Two layers of fiberglass isn't much. I'm assuming you are using chopped strand mat which comes in various "weights", beginning at 3/4 ounce per square yard to at least 3 ounces per square yard. One layer of 3 ounces per square yard would be equal to four layers of 3/4 ounce mat.

So two layers may not be enough depending on the weight of the mat you are using


What you're saying is making sense.. Being inexperienced I figured I only need 1 layer so I asked my father that has build and fixed boats in the past and he told me 2.


Thanks for the advice. Every bit of information is useful.
I'll be doing more research on this and I may take it out for a spin. I'll take it all apart to be sure that the job is well done, I just want to be sure before having to go down that road.

#13 GLADES

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Posted October 12 2011 - 11:51 AM

The job looks great so far. The points Rhino made are very true.
Do not compromise strength for light weight/speed. On my boat, I used excessive amounts of thick matting and glass on the rebuilt stringers and floor because the boat was used in the south Florida Atlantic ocean(17' Formula deep V). The hull was extremely solid to the point of being over weight, which gave me some added security when I sometimes got air borne at the break waters. The boat had plenty of free board, even though it sat a little bit lower.
Because bass boats sit lower and have less free board, especially in the stern, that is what prompted my concern.
My procraft 1750V restoration was a bit heavy too because again, too much glass.
After re-reading my prior comment, I am glad that Rhino set you straight. My intention was to share my experience and mistakes. By all means use plenty of glass because it is unknown how much will be required as was stated.
The good news is that all the weight you removed by removing all the wet floatation and rot will probably offset any additional added weight.
Keep the pics coming. B)

#14 Doug Sutherland

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Posted October 12 2011 - 09:27 PM

your doing a good job. looks good

#15 Shawn Dompierre

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Posted January 25 2012 - 04:03 PM

Hi
I'm bringing this thread back from the dead!
Back injuries, not willing to work in a freezing garage, you name it , I've had to deal with it.
The boat as it sits right now has not changed apart from adding fiber glass and resin to the corners and spots where I thought needed more attention. My next step is tackling the rear end of the boat.
I saw this on BBC:
http://www.bbcboards...d=571525&page=1

Right now I'm working on my 2nd boat, aluminum with a platform and a trolling motor.
I'll put up some pictures of it later, I finished it last year but I recently bought a trailer for it that needs work and some small upgrades like a home made recessed trolling pedal and adding some storage below deck.
Cheers!




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