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Capt.Bob

21' Center Console Lake Erie Small Mouth Project

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I been off the big water for about 5 years now and really miss it. With my back and neck problems I can no longer run Charters, but there are to many days that I could take it, and after nearly 40 years on the big pond, I really miss the world class Walleye Small Mouth and Yellow Perch fishing it offers. So this week I jumped head first into a new project,,,,,

 

I got my old Lake Erie Bass Boat back, and after 10 years of neglect it needs a lot of attention. I will have to put a whole new interior in it, along with a new transom. The 88 HP 88Spcl. Is still in excellent mechanical condition. This is a great motor that most disregard as inferior. It is actually the same exact motor as the V-4 90 HP VRO,,, it just doesn't have the variable ratio oiling system on it, which in my opinion is a plus as there is less to worry about failing when navigating the long runs on big water.

 

Anyway when I said a lot of work here a few pictures of all the damage I will have to address before it sails again. I hope to have it complete by summers end???

 

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I have it gutted except the wood, next step is to pull the motor and get the transom stripped,,,,,fun fun fun,,,,it will be when I get done!!

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I've stripped and rebuilt 2 and assembled one from a new bare hull. NEVER AGAIN!!

That is a nice looking setup. CC boats have always intrigued me and I wonder why you don't see more of them on Erie.

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Good luck! Be sure to post after pics once you get her cleaned up!

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I've helped several on projects that were worse than this, as all my metal is good its just wood sheathing removed and reinstalled with new. I did my Thompson floor and used a vinyl flooring instead of carpet over the plywood, and will do the same here. 

 

That carpet on the gunnel I will just wire brush off,,,,under power of course and after masking off the spray rail and inside trim match it up with the similar color as the flooring with bed liner rolled on. 

 

The bow platform won't stop where it is in front of the console, I will run it clear up to the front of the console. More bow weight, and more bow space, but the main thing is More storage space. Anchor, Down rigger weights, Planer boards and portable mast w reels, and all the releases and hardware along with special tackle that you need when trolling big water for Salmon Steelhead and Walleye, raingear, all the Safety gear required for Great Lakes, extra extinguishers, tackle bags, When I used this boat for Smallmouth on Erie 20 years ago I always wanted more bow weight on long runs, and more space to stumble around on when fishing from the bow. In 2' or less waves it still is pretty rough on Erie when they come from every direction constantly, especially fishing the reefs where I will be a lot, you need stumble room. I also like big platforms for Flyfishing, and Smally's on the Fly on erie is a ball!!!!!

 

The transom, I going with two layers of exterior grade plywood, I will epoxy it once laminated and cut to shape. Then I will install it and drill all the thru holes and take it back out, then oversize drill them, fill them with accuglass. I will put cellophane over the holes and tape em, then turn it over fill the holes and let them harden. Then remove the tape and what cellophane that will come off, and paint the entire transom with two coats of marine epoxy, this way when I reinstall it and drill the wholes for all the thru hull fasteners I will not have any that expose the wood, plus the will be filled with Marine silicone before I shove the bolts thru and tighten them up. If this thing lasted 27 years from the chity job the factory does, I will be put out to pasture by the time it fails again,,,,if ever.

 

The best thing about this boat is the metal is 100%. and the paint is in pretty good shape also. There is probably less than a grand to put in it and that is pretty cheap for a 21 footer that has a 36" floor depth, and I believe a 44" bow depth. I know 25 years ago I could get around in less water than an 18' Ranger Bass Boat. If I can get under it, I can motor thru it.

 

That is the other thing the motor. This is the smallest V-4 out of the the OMC line. I think it is the most durable motor they ever made, and way less trouble to keep tuned and running smoother than the inline motors,,,, :Victory: This one also has power trim and tilt and before I pulled it I threw a battery in and cranked it over, with good compression, steering throttle and shift cables are operating smoothly, and the power trim and tilt are perfect. all pistons are bright and shiny, and I am figuring on a carburetor kit and I don't know that I will put a new pump in it as I can here that its still tight when I turn the engine over by hand. 

 

Well I have the transom out and the bare floor exposed, my next move is getting the gunnels stripped, the and the transom back in. Then I will get the wood for the floor and the vinyl. I already have what aluminum I need for framing the extra platform extension. Once I get all this together I hope by August. I will see what I need for new pumps, bilge, washdown, and livewell. By then I may decide to install a baitwell while everything is opened up??? 

 

Rain stopped me today but not before all the transome was removed!!

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Looks like a heck of a project. Good luck with it.

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Very cool to be able to bring her back. I'm sure it will be some cash and a lot of labor but it will be worth it no doubt. Keep us updated on the progress.

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That's a good-looking Sylvan hull.  Glad the motor is sound...  looks like a great project to me!  I'm sure you'll have her all prettied up by the end of the summer.

 

A boat that can handle bigger water is a very nice thing to have!

 

Good luck with your project,

Bob

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