ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Fluff > Shiny things
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 8 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 02-09-2014, 04:34 PM   #1
Dysco OP
Whackaducker
 
Dysco's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Salida, CO
Oddometer: 16,366
Restoring and upgrading an old aluminum boat

This is an advice thread. Please help me finish this thing!

In Seattle we'd call this a skiff. In Colorado it's a perfect fishing and cruising vessel. I purchased it when I was in school for $900 with the trailer and a 4-stroke 5-horse Honda motor. The motor was worth what I paid for the whole mess so I figured I was ahead from the beginning. I didn't mind the brushed-on latex paint or the oddly-sized trailer. We fished from it a few times only to discover that idle on the motor was too fast for trolling and mice got into the foam flotation inside the benches and tore it up. I had great plans of a quick, half-assed fix, throwing on a trolling motor, and going, but my big plans and nursing school got in the way. Now the boat's co-owner (my mom) is tasking me with completing the job for a first voyage sometime after ice-out.

It's a 16' aluminum whaler. Built in the 60s, I think. Star-craft, maybe. I have the Honda and I also have an electric trolling motor. The boat is a shell, freshly sandblasted for $150.

I have no idea how to go about half of what I want to do. I have plush seats from a pontoon boat for the rear bench and the front bench for me and mom as both of us have terrible backs. It'll stay a tiller to decrease drama. It also needs a floor for my mom to walk on without breaking an ankle, rod holders, cup holders, and hopefully a downrigger mount.


Here it is, before sandblasting, and after I discovered that sandblasting was superior to removing the paint by hand:


Dysco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2014, 04:38 PM   #2
Dysco OP
Whackaducker
 
Dysco's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Salida, CO
Oddometer: 16,366
Benches are bent.


Way bent.


Funny wood, but fixable I think.


The joints and a light hole.
Dysco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2014, 04:43 PM   #3
Dysco OP
Whackaducker
 
Dysco's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Salida, CO
Oddometer: 16,366
Wish list:

Removable floor with astroturf or carpet
Fuel cell in rear bench
Battery in rear bench
Storage in front two benches
Usable oar locks
Mounting both electric and gas motor
Lights, night-legal and a spotlight
Cup holders that will hold nalgene bottles
Rod holder mounts at each side of every bench
A downrigger mount
At least 2 chairs with backs that mount to the benches
A really good fitting cover
Trailer upgrades

We will not be adding back flotation.

Dysco screwed with this post 02-09-2014 at 05:02 PM
Dysco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2014, 04:50 PM   #4
Dysco OP
Whackaducker
 
Dysco's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Salida, CO
Oddometer: 16,366
Benches:
I was hoping to be able to make slide-ins for the benches out of plywood, and use hinges to access the storage. Vinyl covering for all. I'm picturing a wide horizontal surface with a box underneath that slides into the aluminum bench with hinged hatch doors on top of that. Drain holes in the bottom for the occasional rain storm. The seats would be fixed on posts that drop in between the hatches.

I was picturing cup and rod holders going on the ends of the plywood on built-in boxes that bolt onto the benches. Maybe a 3/4 box (open to inside of boat) with the rod holder on the top and enough room to stash a beverage inside.
Dysco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2014, 05:06 PM   #5
Dysco OP
Whackaducker
 
Dysco's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Salida, CO
Oddometer: 16,366
Floor:
This should be easy. Removable pieces of 5/8 ply with hardwood runners and a cutout for the plug and bow. My mom's not getting any younger, so maybe I'll make a step and handle for her in the front middle.
Dysco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2014, 05:10 PM   #6
Dysco OP
Whackaducker
 
Dysco's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Salida, CO
Oddometer: 16,366
Finish??
Right now it's bare, oxidized aluminum. It's not terrible. I can sand it or paint it or leave it. Opinions? Can I expect the seams to hold water as-is? Should I seal all the seams at a minimum?
Dysco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2014, 05:15 PM   #7
Dysco OP
Whackaducker
 
Dysco's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Salida, CO
Oddometer: 16,366
Fuel cell:

I'd prefer to have a metal fuel cell that I can fill on the trailer from a pump. A 4 gallon tank might last for a week of motoring. The four-stroke is super efficient. The boat isn't all that heavy, either, maybe 300lbs with gear.

I know I can get a racing one or something like and aux motorcycle tank, but is there any special accommodation I have to make for a boat motor besides a priming bulb?
Dysco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2014, 05:46 PM   #8
Dysco OP
Whackaducker
 
Dysco's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Salida, CO
Oddometer: 16,366
Holy crap. I just googled "aluminum boat restoration". I think it'll be cheaper if I never do that again.
Dysco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2014, 05:47 PM   #9
Dysco OP
Whackaducker
 
Dysco's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Salida, CO
Oddometer: 16,366
The boat is sitting in my garage, ready to go. Any advice on where to start would be welcome.
Dysco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2014, 06:34 PM   #10
Dysco OP
Whackaducker
 
Dysco's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Salida, CO
Oddometer: 16,366
...now that I'm googling, I could just cut out the benches and deck the whole thing about 6" off the bottom and build in consoles and storage and everything out of wood. How dumb is that idea?
Dysco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2014, 06:39 PM   #11
a$$hole
Studly Adventurer
 
a$$hole's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: DFW
Oddometer: 991
THIS...


a$$hole is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2014, 07:08 PM   #12
koorbloh
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Monroe, WA
Oddometer: 149
I wish I could help, and I've subscribed to this thread, because it's of great interest to me.

What I can tell you:
I used good, exterior-grade, plywood on my 60's Aluminum boat's transom because it was easily accessible and because it will hold up pretty good, according to the innernet.

For the seats, it was just done before I got my boat, and they still look pretty good after 2 years--I think it was exterior or marine grade plywood.

My boat doesn't have a finish, and I kinda like it like that.

I run a 7.5hp 2 stroke Johnson with a 3 gallon tank, and it wouldn't last me a FULL day of trolling, idling, or cruising, but it lasts me for a fishing trip pretty well.

I've thought about putting a deck forward of my front bench with a hatch or 2 to keep things out of the sun, and give my dog a place to flop.


One thing to keep in mind is that every thing you add to your boat adds weight, and weight will make you sit lower, reduce fuel economy, and make it harder to handle, both in and out of the water.


And make sure you use good wood that can stand to get wet!
__________________
when I get too far from home, I go and find me a back road
koorbloh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2014, 07:32 PM   #13
Manuel Garcia O'Kely
Back at last
 
Manuel Garcia O'Kely's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2004
Location: Central Colorado Rockies
Oddometer: 13,308
NEVER done this, but if you want to see if it's watertight, put water in it while it's on the trailer and see where you get wet spots - put 8" of water in there and you should get an idea.

I suppose ideally you would drill out and re-rivet any leaking areas, but that's probably a lot farther than you want to do, since it takes two people, a pneumatic rivet gun and a good anvil set. No idea what would be a useful sealant - there must be several choices - aluminum tape might work well.

Looks like you have a self-bailer, so provided it's not leaking too quickly, you can always outrun the inflow - did that once up in N. Canada on a very remote lake - we had to go really fast in the boat on one portage lake. Great provided the motor does not quit.

The advantage of a portable fuel can is that you can shake it to mix the two stroke, and you can fuel it without having the boat attached. Plus carrying a spare fuel can and changing tanks is trivial.

Likewise, the battery needs to come out when you are done for the season anyway, so build a good spot but don't weld it in.

Another option is to have hinged seats and use bags inside for storage - then they can be pulled out to be filled/emptied/stored for season.

For the floor, looks like you could cut ribs to sit on the four stringers, then attach think teak floorboards running fore and aft - finish with spar varnish, use brass screws and waterproof glue - make 'em drop into each section.

If you want to paint it, you need to look up - I think you need a special primer for aluminum, and pretty sure you would want to spray it - might be much easier to just leave it aluminum - it won't rust. Of course, if you prime it, you can rattle can camo it for the Duck Dynasty look....

Looks like fun.
__________________
Never ascribe to Evil that which is more resonably explained by Ignorance and Stupidity

There's casting, then there's running into the stream with a baseball bat trying to club the fish to death. - Jim Moore
Manuel Garcia O'Kely is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2014, 07:57 PM   #14
Dysco OP
Whackaducker
 
Dysco's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Salida, CO
Oddometer: 16,366
Quote:
Originally Posted by koorbloh View Post
One thing to keep in mind is that every thing you add to your boat adds weight, and weight will make you sit lower, reduce fuel economy, and make it harder to handle, both in and out of the water.
I think adding some weight will help the handling. As it was, the bow was out of the water with both of us in it.

I started a thread on the iboat forum. I'll mirror the happenings here. Apparently I shouldn't have had it sand-blasted.


Worst case scenario is we scrap the aluminum and put the motor on the next $300 boat to come along. There's not a huge risk, which is nice.
Dysco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2014, 08:04 PM   #15
Flirtin w/Disaster
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Florida Panhandle
Oddometer: 109
Loving the boat

I had that exact model in a 14footer with a 25hp. Probably the best boat I've ever owned. One of those "I should have never sold it" toys.
I used a wire brush on a drill to remove any blistering and/or corrosion. As stated an aluminium primer would be good but being the redneck I am my aluminum boats are either olive drab or camo. I used military olive drab which didn't require primer. I added carpeted floors and front deck but would go with marine plywood either clearcoated or painted with grit sans carpet. I dont think the carpet was worth the weight it added. Trapped sand and dirt and occasionally smelled like fish. Also consider putting your fuel and or batteries in the middle bench for weight distribution. I put a Moeller plastic 13gallon fuel tank in the middle bench. Eventually I added stick steering up front but wouldn't go that route again. I prefer a tiller with extension these days.
Those boats are very seaworthy if loaded properly. Mine floated and rode level with no stern dragging getting on plane out of the hole. Good luck with the project. Strap mama a lounge chair down with a plywood floor and ride on.
Flirtin w/Disaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 02:00 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2015