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My 1976 Mako Restoration

Old 12-03-2017, 06:49 PM
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Default My 1976 Mako Restoration

This is a build thread for my 1976 23' Mako center console. The whole thing is a mess and needed to be totally gutted. The build has been underway for about 8 months now so these first few posts will move pretty quickly. I appreciate constructive feedback. I have a loosely formed plan but I try to stay flexible as good deals on material and better ideas present themselves.







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Old 12-03-2017, 06:50 PM
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Old 12-03-2017, 06:51 PM
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The trailer is in ok shape. It tracks a little out of square, the fenders are too close to the hull, the tires are a little dry-rotted and the bunks and rollers have seen better days. But its serviceable for now.











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Old 12-03-2017, 06:53 PM
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Today I got the center console stripped and pulled out. I won't be reusing anything from it besides the shell itself so tear down went pretty quickly. The coffin cover came out without incident as well.



Not surprisingly, the boat has the factory tank in it. For everything I hear about these tanks being susceptible to corrosion, this one looks really solid on the top and sides. I will not re-use it regardless.



Then I set about removing the foam from around the tank in order to free it up. There are various ways people have done this including using a chain saw to hog it out. Thats a little extreme and makes me worry about damaging the hull or stringers so I decided against it. I used the claw side of a hammer to chip and pry it out and got three sides cleared out within a couple hours. There is definitely a "water table" level of permanent standing water in the hull but its currently below the bottom of the tank. I am going to use my overhead hoist and chainfall at the shop to pull the tank out later. I just want to get as much done at the house as possible.



Next I'll start cutting out hatches and decking.
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Old 12-03-2017, 06:54 PM
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So I invested in a pressure washer. Its an inexpensive electric unit and pretty divergent from my usual long-term high quality tool investments but it puts out 2,000 PSI so I decided to give it a shot. It has earned the esteemed rating of "meh, good enough."



I sprayed half of the hull off and it looks MUCH better. The amount of color that came off the hull is concerning but nothing comes off on my finger any more. I may go back with some kind of solvent and see if any more slime comes off.

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Old 12-03-2017, 06:55 PM
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Spent some more time power washing today and got most of the interior washed out. I discovered a previously undocumented method of removing the stock fuel tank, floatation. My hull is uncovered right now with the console and coffin lid removed. I removed most of the foam around the tank awhile back and its been open since then and has accumulated some rain water. It captured more today while I was washing the interior and when I stepped on the tank, it bobbed 3" or so. Probably the easiest tank removal I've ever seen!



Before and after view from the splashwell.

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Old 12-03-2017, 06:56 PM
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Transom demolition has commenced.

Step one: shade



Step two. Start cutting and ripping shit out. The side boxes are pretty solidly attached and giving me some trouble.



The floor section I cut out in front of the old splash well wasn't in terrible shape but I anticipate that's largely because it doesn't have any foam under it and was open to the bilge area.

Stand by for more destruction.
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Old 12-03-2017, 06:56 PM
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Got the boxes out. I initially use a grinder with a diamond wheel which didn't reach the inner liners but the sawzall got it done. The saw also made much coarser dust which seems to be less irritating so I will likely use it as much as possible moving forward.



Deck de-lamination in the starboard area where I cut



This is the port side of the deck. The upper corner of the core by the coffin lid was soggy but the rest of it was dry.



The fiberglass layup on the stringers is...interesting.



I do know the core of these pads on the bottom of the bilge is soft as a spone. They had some wood screwed down on top of the glass that was rotted enough I pulled it out with no tools. 5 of the 8 screws came out with no screwdriver too. Will cut them out at some point.



The original transom tab matting is some heavy shit.



Not much rolling and no fairing done inside the original bilge/transom area.



One more.

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Old 12-03-2017, 06:57 PM
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Started pulling glass off the inside of the transom today. Based on pictures I've seen, I was expecting mush to come out but it is surprisingly solid. This is not a good thing as it will likely make removal more difficult but that's life. Time to bust out the 7" grinder and some 24 grit disks.



There is some evident rot at the top edge so I feel justified in tearing all this shit out. I expect it to get worse as I get lower in the transom material.

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Old 12-03-2017, 06:58 PM
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Continued tearing out the transom today. Every inch of the wood is wet. There is surprisingly no mushy rot yet but the wood is wet enough that prying it out is not difficult. Cutting fiberglass has been the hardest part. I am pretty impressed with the strength of the glass, it doesn't cut as easily as I was expecting. I am using a diamond wheel on an almost brand-new Milwaukee grinder and I'm pretty sure I let some of the magic smoke out of it last time. The motor gets way hot as shit and doesn't cool off for a long time, but it still works. I prefer DeWalt anyway. The circular saw works better for the wood core anyway but the only one I have right now is an 18V 5 1/2" saw. It doesnt have much ass for ripping through wet wood so I'll likely get around to buying a new corded saw soon. Thinking I need a random orbital sander first though.

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Old 12-03-2017, 06:59 PM
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More transom destruction. I had to cut the corner caps off to get to the upper corners of the transom. I will be following the radius and dimensions of the cap across the whole transom so I left the corner radii intact to base off when I'm putting everything back together. I found some legit mush at the very bottom near the bilge drain. The upper corners were also the wettest area on the whole shebang. The wood almost comes apart by hand there. Sorry for the shitty pictures, worked until 0-dark thirty tonight. I did finally receive my tyvek suit so no more itchy for me, just lots of hydration.



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Old 12-03-2017, 07:02 PM
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Cut out the pads at the bottom of the bilge and sure enough, the cores were soaked. There was standing water in both.



Cut out a foot or so of each stringer. The wood is soaking wet in all of them but not at all rotten. Kinda odd. Wonder what type of wood it is. Looks like pine but for how well it's held up to the moisture I dunno.



I have an ancient Black and Decker 7" grinder so I bought some 24 grit disks for it. It removes material at LOL speed but is heavy as shit so it wears me out pretty quick.



The cord on the grinder was dry rotted and all around FUBAR. It would only work holding it in certain positions which I managed for awhile before it started visibly sparking so I butchered an extension cord to replace it and I was back in business. I finished removing rotten wood but only got about half of the transom skin sanded before running out of steam and daylight.

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Old 12-03-2017, 07:03 PM
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Man, Amazon really spoils you with mail order delivery expectations. I called Jamestown Distribution today to see wtf is up with my order because I haven't received a shipment notification yet and I placed the order on sunday night. I was told they haven't cut my matting yet and I could have the rest of it shipped immediately for an additional charge. Fuck that. Probably try somewhere else for my next order as I'm about to be held up by this.

Got the rest of transom wood ground off this evening. The first Tyvek suit is straight up rancid now so I ordered a new one a few days ago but had to use the old nasty one tonight. Gonna order a few more since they're like $7 each. Have a few more hours of sanding to level out the corners, bilge area and stringer bases but I made some solid progress tonight. That damn 7" grinder is a beast. I just bought a Rockwell Oscillating cutter/sander and I have to say, this thing is a game changer. Its like it was made for working on fiberglass boats. When cutting the stringers out, I was only able to get within ~3/8-1/2" of the bottom with the sawzall. I sanded one of these bases down with the 7" grinder and it took quite awhile. With the oscillating cutter, I have to be careful not to cut too deep under the stringer. Absolutely badass little tool.

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Old 12-03-2017, 07:04 PM
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Got the first layer of transom core cut out today. Since I'm fully enclosing the transom and basing the arch off the existing factory "wings" in the corners, I had to bridge the gap while simulatiously creating the same radius. A piece of something like Formica would probably be perfect but I didn't have any. I did, however, have a piece of 1/4" plywood that worked fine. I screw/clamped it to the remaining edge of each gunwale and transcribed the arch onto my cardboard template.





Then I copied it onto a sheet of 3/4" marine plywood. I cut ~3/8" inside the traced line to accommodate the thickness of the existing exterior glass and radius of the transom to hull transition. Will likely have to do some heavy sanding regardless. I used an ancient piece of shit Black & Decker jig saw. For as badass as my B&D 7" grinder is, this thing sucks in comparison. Guess they can't all be winners.



Then I did some more grinding inside the transom area but that's not very exciting to look at so no pictures. I turned my shop vac filter into a brick of glass dust so I've been looking into more cost effective methods of cleaning dust up. The shear volume is staggering. I started to use a broom and dust pan to get ~80% of it and then found a cloth filter sleeve at Home Depot that will hopefully prolong the life of the filters. In all my googling, it doesn't look like anyone has tried using a cyclone setup like a Dust Deputy but I think it warrants some consideration.
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Old 12-03-2017, 07:04 PM
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nice work....makes me itchy just looking at it.

as far as glass supplies...US composites has excellent customer service and pricing.
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Old 12-03-2017, 07:06 PM
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Got the first layer of the transom core finish fitted and the first layer of resin applied tonight. I used a flap disk on a grinder to bevel the edges as I will be wrapping with at least one layer of matting before installing. The internet consensus seems to be two coats of resin on the surface and four coats on cut edges to adequately saturate the wood before applying any matting, so that's what I'm doing. Feels F'ing awesome to do something besides cutting and grinding but I do have at least one more session of heavy grinding to level out the area that will be tabbed over with the inner transom skin.



The original bilge drain, splashwell drains and lift eye holes will be utilized to clamp the new core with all-thread. I need to figure out a release agent though so the rods don't become permanent residents in their holes. I also intend to use wedge-braces off the old stringers to apply as much force as possible when bonding the new core in.



I am tentatively planning on installing each layer of core material individually but haven't decided for sure yet. 12 oz of mixed resin is just about right for a coating on one side of the raw wood.

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Old 12-03-2017, 07:08 PM
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Got the second transom core cut out, fitted and the first coat of epoxy on it today. The wood isnt soaking up as much resin as I anticipated so if I ever get my material order I can rock and roll on it. Also built the clamping braces I'm going to use to do the laminations. I did some measuring and the rest of the plywood sheets from the transom cores will be perfect for my integrated transom knee braces and stringers so that's nice. I also figured out there are quite a few significantly cheaper options for the epoxy resin than West Systems. Like almost half the cost cheaper. I'm probably going to try US Composites next. Thanks

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Old 12-03-2017, 07:09 PM
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1708 came in today. I got out of work at a decent hour and thought about trying to bond in the first layer of transom core. Two problems; the weather was shitty and I haven't received my notched trowel for spreading the thickened resin yet. But I really wanted to do something productive so I decided to bond the two core layers together outside the boat. I started by knocking the glaze off my sealing layer of resin on each piece with some 60 grit and then cutting out a layer of CSM to go between the laminations.



Then I coated the first layer with resin before laying the CSM on top of it. After that, I wet out the CSM which was a lot more tedious then I thought it would be. I had one batch of resin kick off sooner than expected in the bucket which accounts for the cloudy spot on the left side.



Then I let that sit for 30 min or so while I drank a beer and stretched my back before dumping and spreading one more thick layer of resin and then setting the second layer. I used some all-thread covered in visqueen through my clamping holes to align the pieces and then put as much heavy shit as I could find laying around on top of the whole thing.

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Old 12-03-2017, 07:11 PM
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Stuck the three outer layers of 1708 onto the transom core tonight. They aren't strictly necessary but due to being my first build and the addition of the bracket and four stroke, I'm leaning strongly towards the overkill side of things. These three layers should add just under 1/8" of thickness to the transom skin. For the interior skin, I am tentatively planning on doing 3 layers of 1708 bi-axial, one layer of 23 oz tri-axial and three more layers of 1708 bi-axial. This should come out to around 1/4" thick which is heavy as shit for a fiberglass layout, I'm going for bulletproof.

Here is the second layer of 1708 halfway wetted out.



And here is the final layup after bubble-rolling. It looks dry in the picture but it is definitely fully saturated. I laid this layer mat side up since it is the part that will be bonded to the original transom exterior skin so I don't know if that affects the picture at all.



You can see all the consumable mixing shit under the table on the floor. I used around 108 oz of resin for these laminations. I've been trying to reuse mixing cups and roller trays so after mixing in the graduated cups I immediately pour into the trays then set the cups aside. The remaining resin hardens but since the cups are high density polyethylene the resin doesn't adhere at all and can be popped out once its cured allowing the reuse of the cups three or four times before they stress fracture. I just leave the old cured shit in the rolling trays since it doesn't hurt anything there. I need a lot more of them though. I used all fresh cups for mixing tonight to keep track of material usage but had to rotate tray usage since I only had four. This seems cheap of me but the amount of consumables you go through while fiberglassing is staggering so it will ultimately make an appreciable dent in the bottom line of the project. Now I need to order more resin before I bond the core to the transom. I have been using West System epoxy but it is by far the most expensive option available, and also the most widely marketed. I am going to try out the resin from US Composites on the next go-round. It's mixing ratio is drastically different than the West shit but its about half the price per volume so we'll see how it goes.

Last edited by Sharpest; 12-04-2017 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 12-03-2017, 07:12 PM
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Finished prepping the core to install tonight. Knocked off the sharp pointy edges of last night's layup, wrapped my clamping apparatus in visqueen and washed the blush off the new layup before dry fitting everything. It all fits perfect so tomorrow night I will stick the bitch in for good. I am clamping the core through the bilge drain hole, splashwell drain holes and lift eye holes with all-thread and 2x4 braces. I will also put some wedge braces in on the outer stringers to press in the lower, outer corners. I am low on resin and I won't receive my next order before the weekend so I think I'm going to suck it up and go buy a gallon from West Marine tomorrow just to get this done sooner rather than later.



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