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1997 Contender 27 Open (re)Build Thread

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1997 Contender 27 Open (re)Build Thread

Old 02-25-2021, 09:06 AM
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Default 1997 Contender 27 Open (re)Build Thread

I have a 1997 Contender 27 Open that I bought from my buddy a couple years back. He had put 2017 Suzuki 250's and brand new fuel tanks along with an Open array and Garmins, but other than that the boat hasn't had much done to it. My wife just had a baby so I'm not fishing for a few months so I decided now was a great time to strip it down and re build it. I'll keep the engines, open array, and electronics as they're all only a couple years old, but everything else I'm doing. Here's my plan so far:
  • Stripping everything down (done as of today)
  • Fixing all spider cracks, chips, cracks in the console holes where it screws down, stress cracks, anchor locker that has rotted bottom, etc. Every piece of fiberglass will be 100%
  • New gel coat for the hull
  • New non-skid
  • Paint the hatches
  • Glass in console holes (one big hole that had things mounted in acrylic as of now so we'll glass all that in)
  • All new hinges, latches (gemlux)
  • New acrylic for 2 livewells (I have an aftermarket leaning post with a livewell in it)
  • All new wiring and rigging
  • All new switch panel
  • New Suzuki gauges (the old Simrad ones failed on me 3 times -- replaced them for $700 each time. Just got the new ones which are supposed to be rock solid)
  • All new pumps/plumbing
  • New trim tab pump and switch
  • New Hawese pipe, chocks, pie holes, etc
  • New plastic hatches
  • New rub rail
  • Coffinbox /actuator on front hatch - this one I'm really not sure how I'm going to run wiring to but I would love to do this. My wife hates that there's no place to sun tan on Bahama's trips or at sandbar. If I want to keep the boat, I have to figure out a big place to tan for her and I think the coffin box with back rest will do the trick
  • Hatch gaskets
  • Gas shock absorbers? On the fence on this
  • New rod holders (gemlux)
  • LineX the T-top (Thanks Sarasota Line X )
  • All new upholstery including isinglass and canvas (speaking to a few options here)
  • Body work will be done by a guy I know.
  • Rerigging done by Oliver
  • Colors:
    • Hull - Ice Blue with dark grey lettering
    • Bottom paint - dark blue?
    • Non-skid - matterhorn white
    • Upholstery - white and grey with diamond stitching
    • Canvas/isin glass?

Here's the boat as she was and as she currently sits all stripped down










Old 02-25-2021, 11:06 AM
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Gas tank?
Old 02-25-2021, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Bamaskeetshooter View Post
Gas tank?
These were already done in 2018. 315 gallons. 50 on the sides and 215 in the center. Extended range.
Old 02-25-2021, 02:52 PM
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I wish I had some better pictures of the inside before it had sat under a tree for a couple days and was all stripped down. It didn't look as bad as the pictures I uploaded make it look. Here's the "paint booth" set up



Old 02-25-2021, 06:06 PM
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Subd
Old 03-29-2021, 07:13 AM
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I'm behind on posting, but shortly after these last pictures, everything was marked with tape and then marker for the cracks that needed to be ground out. Any problem areas basically (there are a lot). Also removed all the hinges, hawse pipes, chocks, cleats, latches, etc.










Old 03-29-2021, 07:19 AM
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The next item up was sanding (300, 500, 800, 1200, 3000) and then buffing all of the gel coat on the inside of which a lot of it we can save. It looks brand new and has plenty of thickness so while we'll spray new gel coat on the exterior of the hull, the inside really didn't need it. It just needed the oxidized layer removed and the gel coat looks brand new underneath. On top of that, when the tanks were installed, the people who did it were not body work guys. They just sprayed paint right over the gel coat and also nonskid. So for all the gel coat areas, they've been sanded and buffed just like the rest of the gel coat on the inside of the boat. The nonskid will be sanded and repainted after all the cracks and fiberglass is fixed.



About half way down, you can see where the oxidized super white gel coat turns into a shiny just off white new looking gel coat

Bottom half is sanded and buffed. Top half is oxydized.

Here is part way through sanding off the stupid paint someone did.

Sanded and buffed the gel coat portion of the deck
Old 03-29-2021, 07:24 AM
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Congrats on the baby!! Looks like a ton of work, thanks for bringing us along for the ride.
Old 03-29-2021, 07:25 AM
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GRINDING! You can see some key areas that were pretty deep and had to be totally ground out. A lot of them were just spider cracks in the gel coat. Some of them were in the fiberglass though. Everything will be built back up with fiberglass and strength will be a big focus.

You can see how the gel coat looks now in this photo



Where they cut the tanks out


Inside of the front hatch

The edges of the console have been completely ground away in some areas

Anchor hatch had some pretty bad areas


anchor hatch lid will need to be completely built up in areas
Old 03-29-2021, 07:29 AM
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The cubby storage in the very front of the bow under the anchor locker had totally rotted away. All of that was pulled out, added foam and glass, epoxied marine plywood, and will glass it in. Here's the progress so far.




Old 03-29-2021, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by acteg View Post
Congrats on the baby!! Looks like a ton of work, thanks for bringing us along for the ride.
Thank you!
Old 03-29-2021, 07:42 AM
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What about cutting a hole in the anchor locker horizontal deck and installing a a vertical pipe for anchor storage? this is the more current design and saves the compartment from the anchor beating around up there.
Old 03-29-2021, 07:42 AM
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Congrats on the baby. My hat is off to guys like you that have the skills to take on a huge job like this rebuild. I brag about changing a bait well pump! Where did you learn the fiberglass/gel coat skills needed to tackle this job? Do you have any estimated of the parts/supplies cost? Looking forward to seen get progress.
Old 03-29-2021, 08:01 AM
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Man - that ol' gal must have some miles under her! Glad she's getting the attention she deserves.

I agree that the vertical tube in the anchor locker is the way to go. Keep the pics coming!
Old 03-29-2021, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by gtrfred View Post
What about cutting a hole in the anchor locker horizontal deck and installing a a vertical pipe for anchor storage? this is the more current design and saves the compartment from the anchor beating around up there.
I thought about that, but I use a claw anchor because I'm rarely in the sand. Have you seen those work well with a claw?
Old 03-29-2021, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by m9000 View Post
Congrats on the baby. My hat is off to guys like you that have the skills to take on a huge job like this rebuild. I brag about changing a bait well pump! Where did you learn the fiberglass/gel coat skills needed to tackle this job? Do you have any estimated of the parts/supplies cost? Looking forward to seen get progress.
Well I'm leaning on a bunch of knowledge from friends. I'm paying a few people to help with things that I can't do myself, etc. Definitely cheaper than taking it to a pro shop and just letting them run with it, but not quite a DIY project entirely.

I'm honestly not sure on parts/supplies cost haha. I'll have to add it up.
Old 03-29-2021, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by GEOKAT View Post
Man - that ol' gal must have some miles under her! Glad she's getting the attention she deserves.

I agree that the vertical tube in the anchor locker is the way to go. Keep the pics coming!
Lots and lots of really shitty days running hard haha
Old 03-29-2021, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by gtrfred View Post
What about cutting a hole in the anchor locker horizontal deck and installing a a vertical pipe for anchor storage? this is the more current design and saves the compartment from the anchor beating around up there.
Originally Posted by asaltycaptain View Post
I thought about that, but I use a claw anchor because I'm rarely in the sand. Have you seen those work well with a claw?
Please do this... and document I have a 1999 with that shelf and it’s about gone. I’ve read the tube is actually marine exhaust pipe.
Old 03-29-2021, 01:16 PM
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Another vote for the tube to hold the anchor. Our floor in our bow anchor locker (31 open) was rotted as well and while we gutted the boat during our refit (fuel tanks), it was one of the many extra side projects. Anchor no longer bounces around, and you can still hold way more rode up front than you’ll ever wanna pull back in with ease.


rough fit

glassed in

Finished and gel coated
Old 03-29-2021, 03:14 PM
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Another vote for the tube to hold the anchor. Our floor in our bow anchor locker (31 open) was rotted as well and while we gutted the boat during our refit (fuel tanks), it was one of the many extra side projects. Anchor no longer bounces around, and you can still hold way more rode up front than you’ll ever wanna pull back in with ease.
WestEnd1 This looks great. Is there any reason to not just cut a hole and run the tube through the upper anchor locker floor? I know there's additional rode space, but I already fit 300 ft no problem and don't need any more than that. It would save me a lot of work and pissing off the guy helping me with the fiberglass who already ground and prepped that upper anchor locker floor lol Also have you seen this done with a claw anchor? I never carry a danforth.

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