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Old 05-22-2006, 05:44 PM
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Default My Mako 261 Project

I am going to open a permanent thread. I'll just keep adding to this thread as I continue the project. That way it will all be in one place.

I bought this boat with intentions of re-powering, painting and being on the water this summer. But as with all used boats (this one has over 3000 hours) there are some demons that needs to be exorcized. This is nothing major. Most of what we are covering is the result of lack of maintenance.

For those who aren't familiar with this recent purchase of mine. It is a 1993 Mako 261B. Its factory full transom. I sold the Yamaha 200's, the T-top and put a new trailer under her. I still have the old trailer, but it needs some work. I have a pair of 2005 Merc 225 Optimax's and rigging sitting in the garage... right next to my Mako 21 project.



Removing the bracket was a beast. I'll discuss along with each picture.



First off, this thing had zero access to the chamber AND it was foam filled. Not to mention it was water filled. I would estimate that this bracket was carrying 10+ gallons of water around. Every hole in the thing is threaded with a stud instead of a regular bolt. So on the inside of the transom there was a nut and on the inside of the bracket there was a nut. So the only way to get this thing off was to gain access to the inside. We cut holes for Armstrong access plates.


Once in the bracket, we began digging out the foam to get to the inside nuts. Notice the water dripping out of the sponge... I mean foam..[xx(] The foam was saturated from top to bottom. And there was standing water in the voids inside the foam. Some of the voids were solid water!


Basically, we dug foam until we exposed all 15 nuts on the inside of the bracket. Then we removed all of them. The bracket is threaded... So these stainless studs are threaded into the bracket and very tight in the holes in the transom. They had to be spun out. We coated the studs with penetrating oil inside the bracket. Then on the inside of the boat, we put a nut back on the studs and tightened down a jam nut. We were then able to back the studs out with the impact wrench. Once that was done, we hooked to the A-frame.


We had to use a floor jack to pry the bracket off of the boat. Once it was off we were able to see that the sealer did not extend past the bottom bolt holes in the bracket. Can you guess what I'm going to say next?[B)]


We took the screws from the transducer out and look at her flow! I had a feeling about this... Any boat with 2000+ hours and zero maintenance can have this problem... Not to mention shoddy rigging. There wasn't any sealer on the bottom of the bracket's chamber OR the transducer! Why are people so stupid?

The good news is that the transom has a separation near the bottom. The core that the transducer was screwed into is seperated from the main transom core by solid fiberglass. There are 2 or 3 small areas otherwise that we have found slightly wet & discolored wood. We may get by with a partial transom job from the outside. We'll see in a few months when I get to that.


You can see how the powder coating on the bottom edge of the brackets mounting surface has flaked off from the corrosion. Every other mounting surface was fine. This is where we were leaking. You can also see that I have a few hours of digging foam out still. Oh joy!


We went ahead and started de-rigging the rest of the transom for the future endeavors. We drained the steering fluid from the hoses and they will be removed in a week or so. I guess I'll need to get my materials together.




Heres a shot of the bracket freshly sandblasted and ready for some welding and then paint. I have removed ALL of the foam from within the bracket.


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Old 05-22-2006, 05:48 PM
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Default RE: My Mako 261 Project

Heres another little project we have planned. The scuppers in this hull are an elaborate bronze housing with a big pendulum inside of it. There is a hose attached to this housing to a huge thru-hull fitting through the transom with a rubber flapper. Problem is that you cannot find the rubber flapper anymore. You could take the trouble of getting some stock rubber and cutting out a flapper for the thing, but there are other problems... In the cockpit the thru-bulkhead fitting leaves a little over an inch of water in the channels at all times. These drains also leak through the bulkhead dripping onto the stringers and foam in-between. Just a crumby situation. Sand, dirt, leaves and crud all collect in this standing water leaving a black stained channel.


We are going to remove that system completely. I will fill in the holes in the transom (probably when we do the transom repair). Then we will cut holes through the transom to fit the new molded fiberglass tubes I have made. There will be a flapper on the outside of the hull.

What I have done is built a simple mold out of MDF. Its 1.5" x 4.25" and about 15" long. I made a small flange for glassing the tube through the transom and then tabbing it to the transom.


Basically, I wrap the mold in thin plastic. That way I don't have to spend time waxing the thing and the part comes off alot easier. It doesn't have to be perfect anyhow. I use 1.5oz mat for the flange and 6 oz cloth to wrap the actual tube. There are about 5 wraps of the 6 oz cloth. I used the 1.5oz mat to tie the flange onto the tube in the glassing process.


I have some cleaning up to do, but these are all set to go into the boat when that part of the project comes up. I may have mentioned somewhere, but I am using the same system in my Mako 21.

These tubes will be glassed flush with the bottom of the drain channel in the cockpit... allowing all of the water to exit the boat.


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Old 05-22-2006, 05:50 PM
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Default RE: My Mako 261 Project

Next we tackled getting into the fuel tank area. Sorry, no action photos as I did not have the camera. But it went very smoothly.

A few weeks ago Bobby and I drained the fuel tank. Very simple process. We ran a fuel hose out the drain plug hole and pumped a primer bulb a few strokes and the siphon was on. We drained the tank into a 55 gallon drum layed on its side. We pumped compressed air into the tank to get the last little bit.

We (Bobby, Jason, and myself) removed the console and leaning post. Then we used a razor knife to cut the caulk bead around the tnk hatch. It came up extremely easy. All we had to do was pull on it via the access holes. It was quite heavy. It will need a new core and some small stringers on the underside. I am planning to use klegecell for the majority of the core and marine plywood where any anchor points may be located.

Then we used a putty knife to break the foam away from the top edges of the fuel tank. The foam was soaked... and had basically pulled away from the side of the tank. We were able to move the tank by hand. But its so heavy that we used Bobby's A-frame over the boat and lifted it out with a come along. Then we muscled the tank out of the boat.

Theres a good bit of fiberglass work to be done in the boat. Most of it I will explain as we do it. The tank coffin will be cut in half and removed so that we can get the wet foam out from around it and inspect the stringers and etc. Then we will put the coffin back into the boat and glass it back together.

Next problem. The deck around the coffin is very weak... since the coffin and the inner-liner/deck are severed (we can't figure out why they did that???). Anyway, we will join the 2 back together by fiberglass tape and vertically placed plywood ribs glassed every 12-14 inches. This should add the rigidity and support we need. I will also be placing a few stringers to the underside of the deck while I have access to that area. We will glass it all back together and refoam, then put the tank back.

The tank... it looks good. I am going to pressure test next weekend. We see some minor pitting, but nothing major. We'll see what the pressure test shows up. If all goes well, I will de-grease and sand with 80 grit on the DA. Then a good wash with chem-prime to remove the oxides. A primer coat with Awlgrip 30-Y-94 primer, and then at least 3 coats of coal tar epoxy.

Jason and I decided to bring the boat back to my house so that we can get this stuff done without having to drive 5 hours round trip to do it. Thanks to Bobby for his help!

Heres some pixs of the tank and the boat back at the house this evening. That tank is friggin huge. Heavy too.











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Old 05-22-2006, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: My Mako 261 Project

A friend of mine who is a very talanted machineist, made these parts for me. They are to cover the motor bolt access holes on the bracket.

If you recall the bracket had 4 plastic plugs over these holes where the top motor bolts are accessible. One of the plugs was lost a few years back and they seem to be impossible to come by.

John and I brainstormed making something to replace them out of aluminum. First we came up with a simple plug made of aluminum with an O-ring machined in the flange. But we both agreed that it would be really tough on the bracket's paint job to get them in and out.

Heres pixs of the 1st prototype.




Anyway, I showed him the Armstrong deck plate and asked about a simple version of that. He went beyond simple! way beyond. Its an aluminum replica of the Armstrong plate... just a bit smaller. There is a gasket on the flange as well as an O-ring on the screw head that seats when tightened down. I didn't tighten it down in the pixs below. But the screw will seat flush. It should be water tight. And we are planning to have them powder coated.

A big thanks to John for his work. Doubt he has ever seen this forum, but he deserves some recognition.












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Old 05-22-2006, 05:54 PM
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Default Re: My Mako 261 Project

I drew first blood Friday night. Broke out the grinders and the saws. Jason came over at about 10pm. We waited until after the wives and daughters were in bed to commence the carnage.

Anyway, heres what we did.

As previously discussed, I am going back with Lees Tackle Stainless rod holders. They do not fit the same hole as the Marinum rod holders did. Also there were some rod holders added in during this boat's life. I do believe that they were placed by a drunken fool in the dark. Not even close to centered in the gunnel. Anyway, I am going to be able to use 1 of the 3 screw holes for the rod holders. I won't have to completely glass over the Marinum rod holder holes. Just about 2/3's of the hole. The pair of rod holders placed by the drunken fool will be completely glassed over and re-positioned.








There is no wood core in these gunnels. Only a piece of 2 or 3 mm coremat. Thats good for rot resistance. I'll try to get these holes glassed over by the end of the weekend. That's really not a big trick.




This aft hatch in the transom cap is a real pain in the butt. The corners were all cracked from the stresses of the hatch being thrown open as well as people boarding from the aft of the boat. It leaks like a SOB when it rains... right down the face of the transom onto the trim tab pump as well as washdown pump. I decided that there was enough storage on the boat... I am going to glass this sucker over. I'll put something else there. Probably some rod holders to hold a bait cutting board.


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Old 05-22-2006, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: My Mako 261 Project

Okay... on to the real task of the night. We wanted to get that flimsy coffin out of there to get to the wet foam beneath. Also take the chance to check out the stringers.


When we removed the fuel tank a few weeks ago, we discovered that the deck around the tank cavity gave as we walked around... nearly 1 inch! That explained the stress cracks in the drainage channels.


What the deal is.... is that the geniuses over at Mako decided to separate the deck/liner from the tank coffin. Thus the deck was cantileverd around the coffin with a shoe box type joint between the two that wasn't completely closed.




We began by making a simple cut down the middle of the flimsy coffin. We thought it would just come right out. Wrong! It took us about 2 hours of prying and cussing to get it out. It wasn't the foam holding it in either... We don't really know what was holding it in there, but we did come up with some theories.[:D]


Once we got the coffin's top edge out from under the lip of the deck, things got a little easier. We were able to roll the parts out fairly easy. The already flimsy coffin got a few more cracks in this process.




The foam beneath was at 100% capacity. We weighed out about 200 lbs of water soaked foam tonight. That estimate also includes the 5 gallons of water that I vacuumed out as well. A floor scraper that I had laying around from when we built the house (I did all of the construction clean-up) proved to be the absolute best weapon for foam removal.




Looking aft to the livewell. Liberated water was draining out of the bilge.


We removed all foam that was damp. Moving forward, the foam was nice and dry.


I used the shop vac to try to pull as much water out as possible.


The stringers look okay. I will drill a few holes to check the condition of the core.


Heres the cavity all cleaned out.


Heres the coffin that will not be going back in... You read correctly. This flimsy thing a'int goin' back. We decided that it would take as much time to repair the cracks in this thing and reinforce the sides as it would take to build a new one. It doesn't fit the hole worth a damn to begin with. We are going to make a "Strick style" MDF one-off mold and build a new coffin that will be cored with NIDA or Klegecell (I'll decide this week).


Looks like a crab catching SOB with that console pushed up forward like that![:D]


I'm gonna go out on a limb and estimate that we have taken out over 500 lbs of water weight between the foam in the bracket as well as the foam in and around the fuel tank coffin. This boat is going to have a different water line when we get done with her! Not to mention pick up some speed and efficiency.

The fuel tank hatch is also in need of an overhaul... It leaked nasty water all night while it layed there on its side. I'll bet theres at least 50 lbs we can take out there by removing the wet wood core and re-coreing with a composite core.

I haven't pressure tested the tank yet, but in the tank removal and tonight's demolition we have not smelled or seen the first hint of fuel leakage. Thats a good sign.
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Old 05-22-2006, 05:58 PM
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Default Re: My Mako 261 Project

Today I got a chance to get outside and bake in the sun... and work on the boat. I started out with some grinding to finish up the aft transom cap hatch opening. I used the sawzall to cut the bottom lip out of the flange. Then I followed that with a flapper disk on my grinder to get the rest of the gelcoat off.


I used a die grinder to get into the corners.


To boost adhesion, I use a wire wheel on the grinder to really get some scratches in the surface of the bare fiberglass.


I had intended to use Marine plywood to fill this hole, but 3/4" was too tall and 1/2" was too low (would have been laying glass all day). The 5/8" NIDA was perfect.


I glassed the underside with 2 layers of 1808 and let that start to set. Then I put the section to place and glassed the top side with 2 layers of 1808 followed by several layers of 1.5 oz mat to build up low spots for fairing.


Back to the rod holder holes... I made some little plates to glue to the underside of the gunnels to help me in laying glass over these holes.




I laid many layers of 1808 and 1.5 oz mat to build thickness.


I bubble rolled and then layed a piece of visqueen and then a flat piece of plywood with a brick on top to press it down flat.


I got most of what I wanted to do accomplished today. I started scraping foam and gook off the top of the fuel tank. This coming weekend I will deffinitely pressure test and then begin sanding the tank down if it tests A+. Also have plans to begin making the MDF mold for the new coffin.
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Old 05-22-2006, 06:03 PM
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Default Re: My Mako 261 Project

Looking good brother.
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Old 05-22-2006, 06:47 PM
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Default Re: My Mako 261 Project

I thought you said a small project.................as I said before, you do impressive work, keep the thread alive and keep up the good work.
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Old 05-22-2006, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: My Mako 261 Project

amazing work! that looks awesome
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Old 05-22-2006, 07:09 PM
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Default RE: My Mako 261 Project

Ring,
Forget the dentist gig, start building your own boats. You have the knack and would be happier in the long run

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Old 05-22-2006, 08:01 PM
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Man the hull has wonderful lines. It will be an amazing rig when you get her finished. I love looking at these threads. keep em' coming!

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Old 05-22-2006, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: My Mako 261 Project

You need to outfit the boat with a removable A-Dec fighting chair and write off the entire project as a mobile dental office!!!! Do you ever find yourself in the mouth on the DF of #15 and consider breaking out the grinder for access?? Really showing a knack at improvising and skill with your hands on this project!! Greg
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Old 05-22-2006, 09:30 PM
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Default Re: My Mako 261 Project

Man you are a machine what a project. Very impressive can't wait to see it when she is finished.
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Old 05-22-2006, 10:34 PM
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Default Re: My Mako 261 Project

Wow, what a great thread. I have always considered myself a DIY'er but I don't think I am after seeing your work.
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Old 05-22-2006, 10:48 PM
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Default Re: My Mako 261 Project

That is a great insight into a great, classic hull. I've never seen inside the decks of one, and you are doing a superior job. Can't wait to see the pics of the transom job. Please keep that camera at the ready and document her.
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Old 05-22-2006, 10:53 PM
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Default Re: My Mako 261 Project

Quote:
Greg Manning - 5/22/2006 8:16 PM

You need to outfit the boat with a removable A-Dec fighting chair and write off the entire project as a mobile dental office!!!! Do you ever find yourself in the mouth on the DF of #15 and consider breaking out the grinder for access?? Really showing a knack at improvising and skill with your hands on this project!! Greg
I find the Pelton/Crane chairs to be more comfortable. Its amazing how some days nothing but DF's on 15 come in. As for the grinder... didn't GV Black have something in his prep guidelines about Access Form?

Funny how many of the same principals apply. Gotta have retention form since its a micromechanical bond and not a chemical bond. Resistance form is a big thing too. Especially when you have a crack in a laminate. You have to get to the bottom of the crack. You have to consider the dispersion of stresses as well, otherwise more cracks will develop later. Also have to have surface prep for bonding. Contamination screws up everything. Very smiliar when you think about it. The nice thing about the boat is that it doesn't complain and I never have to talk to it about the best method of treatment.

I'm looking forward to finishing this one and getting back to work on my Mako21 (she's been giving me nasty looks since I have been giving attention to this new boat). I have the paint purchased for this project... We are going with Imron, the colors will be a surprise. I am also having a custom T-top fab'd which should be super sharp as well. I was considering building a hard top much like which Everglades does in their boats, but I have enough on my plate right now... We'll see what happens.

Thanks to all for the kind words. This is the nasty stage right now. Not pretty work, but is necessary to get everything the way I want it prior to beginning the finish work. There will be a good bit of mocking up before paint. It was very important to me to be sure what was inside of the boat... especially the fuel compartment. We are looking forward to getting her buttoned up.

The transom project won't be as impressive as the transom I did in my Mako 21. This will most likely be 2 or 3 small localized areas of the transom... Lets just hope for that at least. I will deffinitely document everything.
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Old 05-23-2006, 11:46 AM
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Default Re: My Mako 261 Project

All that on day 1. Can't wait to see what you do on the second day.

Nice work. Love the progress pics.

Good Luck

LooneyTunes
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Old 05-23-2006, 12:20 PM
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Default Re: My Mako 261 Project

No... it about 3 different days of work. I just posted it all in one day to get you guys caught up on what I was doing.
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Old 05-23-2006, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: My Mako 261 Project

Nice work Ed.
You got the required 'feet in frame' shots in too.
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