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28' McKee Craft Freedom - My Refit/Upgrade/Progress thread (pic heavy!)

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28' McKee Craft Freedom - My Refit/Upgrade/Progress thread (pic heavy!)

Old 04-02-2018, 03:54 PM
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Location: League City, TX
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Default 28' McKee Craft Freedom - My Refit/Upgrade/Progress thread (pic heavy!)

Figured I would chronicle my build to-date, and add to it in the future so I can keep everything in one spot. Here goes.

Part 1: TX to FL, and Bringing her back home

So I bought this boat June of 2017. Around the same time I was closing on the sale of a home, closing on the build of a new home, completing paramedic school, and trying to complete my 2-week annual reserve training with the USCG. We had just sold our bay home which limited us to a boat with a height of 7' above the water line due to a railroad bridge leaving our canals and into the bay. I had a Ranger Bay 2300 which I loved, and sold it also right before we sold the house. Needless to say, I still miss them both.

The Boss Lady agreed that because we were leaving the water (partially against my will), I could upgrade boats. With that said, I had been looking for a good 26-28' CC with twins for our TX chop, or a nice cat hull. Every day consisted of nationwide google and craigslist searches, hoping to find a new listing I just couldn't pass up. I was almost ready to drive to FL and pick up a World Cat 266 but the seller went silent the night before I left, which gave me cold feet. I then found a nice Angler 26, and almost pulled the trigger but the seller was going to be out of town for a while when I wanted to go see it. I logged onto my computer early one morning and saw this one on the internet, and made an offer on it pending survey. The pictures in the for sale ad were pretty lame, and it was listed as a "McKee Craft Par Boston Whaler", so it didn't really have an accurate listing. When I clicked on it I realized it was a 28, and quickly called.

Here are the photos from the original listing:

I had a hard time finding a surveyor who wasn't booked 2-3wks out, and I could tell the seller wasn't excited about waiting. I couldn't wait either, as my schedule was tied up if I didn't move relatively quick. I finally found a reputable surveyor who was recommended by one of 'the best' in Florida. The surveyor did a full survey, and gave the hull a clean bill of health. The survey stated it needed new electronics due to being outdated with some screen issues, the gauges were 'burned', the trim tabs were functioning electronically but the spot welds had come loose, and it would need wiring cleaned up. However, the hull was solid with no signs of major damage, no flooding/submersion issues, and the hull was 'dry'. The hull was my main concern. It was bottom painted and could use a new coat, but otherwise a solid boat that was functional as-is, but could use some cleaning in the wiring and rigging department. The surveyor stated the price was reflective of the condition of the boat, if anything low, and the hulls were hard to come by. The outboards had never had the midsection repaired, so I also had them surveyed. A nearby marina inspected the outboards while the surveyor had the hull hauled out. The compression was good, engines ran great other than a low rpm overheat alarm, and the midsections were definitely in need of replacement (hence the overheat alarm). I negotiated with the seller and was finally able to get the cost of the midsection replacement parts deducted from our agreed upon price. I went into it somewhat assuming I would be repowering either right away, or within the first season or two. After following the McKee 28's that had sold with newer power, I made an offer that I felt comfortable with in the event of needing to repower. I definitely didn't steal the boat, but the price was fair.

The next problem was a trailer since there wasn't one included. After searching day and night for a good used one, I finally decided to buy a new one. Again, Florida had a long lead-time on trailers. I came across ACE and he said he could have one built to my specs in less than 3 days, and guaranteed it to fit the boat sight-unseen. So, I finished my USCG drill and loaded up my (underweight and underpowered) Ram 1500 4x4, and went on my way to Florida...concerned about whether or not I would have a trailer ready in time to pick up a boat that I may or may not like, and whether or not that trailer would fit. I arrived in town to pick up the trailer the night before, and ended up crashing a few hours in my truck at a nearby Walmart parking lot. I woke up at daybreak, and drove by the shop. I was skeptical, but ended up quite impressed. The trailer was supposed to be done by that evening; I was early. When I pulled up, the trailer was sitting out front. Not only was he a day early, but the trailer looked great, and was considerably less expensive than the others I quoted. Electric over Hydraulic brakes, spare, etc...great trailer and I highly recommend them if you're in Florida and looking for a trailer. I hooked it up and headed south, eager to see the boat I paid for and had yet to see.

What seemed like days was only a few hours, and I finally arrived at the boat. I immediately noticed how clean the inside was, with nice upholstery and a very clean interior for an older boat. The outside was shiny, but you could tell the yellow had faded quite a bit despite being slick and clean. Either way, it was presented well by the surveyor and I had no major surprises.

I parked my truck at a nearby ramp, and took the boat for a short sea trial. Due to weekend traffic, and not being familiar with the local waterways, I didn't run it for too long. I had a few overheat alarms at idle indicative of the midsection corrosion, but otherwise it ran well. I pulled up to the local boat ramp, tied it up, backed the trailer down, and nervously trailered the boat. I impressed myself and didn't have any issues loading it alone. One and done. The trailer fit like a glove. Relief!

I was also impressed with the baby ram's ability to pull the boat off the ramp without even touching the throttle. 4-Low is magical. I recently sold my Ram 2500 cummins, and immediately regretted the decision when I realized I was purchasing a bigger boat. But, the 1500 impressed me.

After exchanging some paperwork with the seller, it was time to take it home to TX as I had to work in 2 days and had an 18+ hour drive ahead of me.

The drive home was thankfully uneventful. I was white-knuckled every time I passed law enforcement, as the boat trailer had no license plate because it wasn't yet registered. I surprisingly didn't get stopped. I averaged between 7-9mpg at 60-65mph which impressed me with this 1500 pickup. The trailer towed great, and the weight was distributed well with very little squat on the rear of the truck. The size of the boat is hard to gauge until you see it next to a full size crew cab truck. It dwarfs the truck.

Finally Back in TX

I got it home, and backed it right into the driveway and new barn garage at the house we closed on the week before. Fit like a glove! Little did it know it was about to have surgery!

To Be Continued...
Part 2: Exhausting work on the Exhaust

Now that I was home, I had a Paramedic National Registry exam to study for, a new home to furnish and move into, and still had to work. Needless to say, I was busy! I immediately got parts ordered to repair the midsections and replace the oil pumps on both outboards. I also ordered every filter and anode for both engines, oil change kits, lower unit lube, and water pump kits. Basically, all of the typical service items were ordered. SIMYAMAHA came through here.

I then started looking at the electronics. Although they were in good shape aesthetically, and appeared to have been covered for their entire life, they weren't all functioning. A few quick checks and wiring terminal cleaning, and I had them all powered on. The L760+ screen would only work for a few seconds, and then fade to black. The GPS display and the Radar display worked great, but the radar antenna wasn't functioning. After searching for a few weeks for used replacements to match what I had, and 'get me by', I started planning to just do it right and replace it all. I could spend a few hundred per part and maybe get a season, or just replace it and feel confident in the newer system. I went back and forth for months on Garmin vs Simrad vs Furuno. I knew the boat would be down for a while, so I opted to be patient and wait for a good buy. I also started researching other people and what they did to their McKee, trying to fit as much as I could on the dash. For now, the electronics were left alone as I needed to get the engines up to par first. (If you need/want any of this stuff, including the recessed and lockable electronics ‘box’, let me know! I’ve got it still)

As soon as the parts were ordered for the outboards, I started to tear apart the port engine. I have a little bit of experience with wrenching from my Coast Guard MK days, albeit on Detroits and Hondas. However, I can follow directions/instructions well, and I am not scared to take something apart. The whole process of the midsection repair is quite simple. It's a lot of bolts, but not a lot of parts. The only real issue I had was removing the bolts that mount the 'leg' to the main transom bracket. These bolts, for whatever reason, corrode to the point that a wrench wont fit on the head of the bolt. I was lucky and was able to get a much smaller wrench on them and get them off. But, it took forever. Apparently this is a common issue, and if you ever do a midsection repair, plan on replacing all 4 of the main 'leg to bracket' mounting bolts. They are big, 8-10" long and expensive. Unfortunately you can't just buy them from a hardware store.

These are the lower bolts. Plan to replace them if you ever take them off:

Here are the upper bolts, seen in the middle. These weren't as bad, but they were corroded to the point that the head was crumbling. Replace them while you're there.

Once I had it apart, the corrosion was evident with a few holes all the way through the exhaust. The survey done prior to had already shown me this, so no surprises.

Here are the holes - see the dark black spots:

The good news was the block was clean and the corrosion didn't get to the powerhead.

Clean Powerhead:

Removed old oil pump, installed speedy sleeve, prepping for new oil pump:

The block corrosion was a concern, as it seems some have it, and some don't. Luckily, mine looked clean in regards to corrosion. If I found severe corrosion in the block, I likely would've repowered at that point. Fortunately, they looked good and I'll try to get a few years out of these yamahas which are typically bulletproof once the exhaust corrosion is fixed.

Now that I had it all apart, I followed the manual and reassembled it without issue. Everything went together well. I had to buy a few extra alignment dowel pins because the old ones were seized into the old parts. Otherwise, no issues:

To Be Continued...
Part 3: Outboard Painting - Pay someone to do it because it's tedious to do it right!

The further I got into disassembling the engine, the more I started to dread having it all apart and not cleaning up the paint. I made the decision to sand everything, prep everything, and repaint it all. Since I was repainting, I went ahead and changed the color to white. I could've saved myself a lot of time and trouble if I would've gone back to the factory grey...but I had to be difficult. Once I started, I couldn't stop.This proved tedious and involved a lot of hours of sanding, prepping the aluminum with the correct acid wash, etc. It did turn out nice, though!. I used PPG's aluminum prep products, PPG Epoxy Primer, and their single stage Urethane. I bought new decals from discontinueddecals and was impressed with the quality. Here's a few pics of that process.

Now that the engine was looking good, I couldn't put it back on that ugly transom. I started researching bottom paint removal. I came across Citri-Strip from Home Depot, which was cheap and non-toxic. I tried a test section and although it wasn't magic, it made life easier.

The process basically goes as follows: First, pressure wash. You'll be amazed at what a household pressure washer can take off. Then, apply the citri-strip with a chip brush or a roller. Get enough on it to prevent air from getting to the paint you want removed. Let it sit for about 30-60min, minimum, in the TX heat but out of direct sunlight. Come back, and scrape what you can off with a plastic scraper, or carefully with a metal scraper/blade. Once you get off what you can, reapply as necessary. I applied twice, and was left with what I assume is the epoxy barrier coat (the silver stuff). I then took some citri-strip, and a green scuff pad, and basically wetsanded the remainder off. ****THIS WILL SCRATCH****
I intended to wetsand/buff anyway, so I wasn't overly concerned. Also, if you have plastic cling-wrap, dropcloth, or saran wrap...if you stick it on top of the citristrip and let it sit overnight, it works even better (especially in the cold).

I ended up cleaning up the area around the engine first. At some point, the previous owner had likely had barnacles 'chipped' off of the engine mounting bracket between painting or when prepping for new bottom paint, and there are several small nicks in the gelcoat around the brackets. I opted to leave them as is for now as they aren't a water intrusion threat, and polishing them out is impossible without re-gelcoating the transom. They're mostly covered by the engines, so I'll live with them for now as they are harmless other than an OCD person's(me) eyesore.

Here's a few pics of the transom paint removal, followed by wetsanding, compounding, polishing, and waxing. You can see the progression...especially the dull pastel yellow starting to get some color back. It was a lot of work, but definitely looks better. The McKee has really thick gelcoat and it still shines really nice. You can also see how rough the trim tabs were. I don't know if them being painted sealed in the corrosion, and they rotted from the inside-out, or what...but they were rough (replaced later).

****Much of this was delayed by Hurricane Harvey. Between the local flooding, overtime at work, etc...it took a bit of time away from me. We were fortunate not to flood, but did stay busy helping out some of our neighbors and family.

Once the engine's spot on the transom was cleaned up, I reassembled it and hung it on the transom...followed by new decals. It looks nice and pretty sitting next to that starboard engine in rough shape.

The bracket:

The leg installed:

Powerhead going on:

Everything but the lower unit:

Ready for a test-run:

New decals:

Finally installed, rigged, and running well!

Port side complete...time to do the same on the starboard side!

To Be Continued....
Part 4: Rinse, Repeat - same thing on the Starboard Side

Here's the exhaust from the Starboard side:

New starboard side midsection assembled:

Working on removing the bottom paint on the starboard side:

And prepping the starboard engine for paint:

Texas had an unusually long winter with a few rounds of snow to boot, so the paint was delayed
Fast forward a few months, and I had completely de-rigged the electronics, removed every piece of wire that wasn't part of the engine harness, and ordered all new wiring to re-rig.

Here's the console once the electronics were removed.

And the factory locking electronics box. (Need one? I've got it!)

I sent the gauges out to the forum member who restores them - great work and highly recommended!

I also purchased new pumps, plumbing, and thru-hulls etc for the re-rig project.

After going back and forth on electronics, BOE Marine was running a sale on NSS16 EVO2s, new, that I couldn't pass up. They'd be half the price of the 7616, and I wouldn't miss much of any functionality. Add in the hybrid button & touch, and the straight viewing angle I have at my helm...no brainer. BOE was very helpful and I recommend them. I'll be adding a 4G radar, sirius weather, B175M, etc. I'm waiting on International Marine/Coastal Customs to have a switch panel made so I know how much real-estate I have on the dash for the other accessories like radio, stereo, etc.

I noticed a few other McKee owners with the 'old' style dash configuration had basically made a single giant panel on their dash to allow larger electronics, and did away with the original recessed electronics box design. I opted to do the same. It's an easy way to add electronics without having to glass anything.


Holes Cut:

Mocked up:

Since I was still waiting for the winter to pass and the weather to clear in order to paint the Starboard outboard, I decided to get the Battery storage area all cleaned up. I plan to add two additional batteries. The boat came with two batteries, one per outboard, and the house loads were spread among the two. New setup will be one per outboard, and a 2-battery house bank. I took advantage of a recent sale from Sam's and picked up two Group 31 AGM Duracell Marine batteries. Those will be for my house loads. I also picked up new battery trays.

Here's the back of the original switches. Surprisingly clean.

Battery storage, dirty with some mildew...

Cleaned up battery area, mocked up trays to make sure 4 would fit. They're loose here in pics, not mounted yet. I'll fill and re-drill holes as needed.

I also went ahead and cleaned up the electronics box, waiting on new electronics to re-wire it. Here's before (lots of mildew/dust/unnecessary wires):

Here it is ready for new electronics. I'll probably be adding an additional VHF, and not much else up there. I still need to get rid of those rust stains:

And then I decided to start cleaning up the center console area itself.
Here's how the wiring looked when I got it, for the most part. I tagged a few wires for the gauges, but you get the idea.

Here's the mess behind the console after I removed the electronics:

I cleaned up and scrubbed the white rigging 'socks' or whatever you call the chaffing gear that the rigging passes through.



I also removed the washdown hoses. I don't like them in the console. I'll be re-plumbing them to the stern, likely up under the transom cap. The freshwater pump is right under the console,and the saltwater pump is mounted in the bilge. I can re-use the existing saltwater supply line which is currently running to the transom area where the saltwater pump is mounted. If I take the current saltwater supply line and attach it to the discharge on the freshwater, it's an easy way to get freshwater rinse to the stern. I can attach the old hose to a new one and use that to pull it through. Since the saltwater pump is already in the stern, the new discharge line from it will be easy to run.

I plan to fill the old washdown hose holes with speakers once I decide what route to take. This is obviously a work in progress, so don't mind the cord used for pulling wires:

While I was in the cleaning mood, I went ahead and vacuumed it all out, rinsed it all down and got the dust off. I had a little help from a few buddies who are more eager to take it out than I am.
(STBD Fishbox)

(Bow in-deck fishbox/storage)

Cleaned up and getting some Vitamin-D sunlight with the 'new' tow-rig, beach rig, camping rig, surf fishing rig, hunting rig attached.

With the warmer weather the past few weeks, I was finally able to get the stbd engine finished up, painted, and hung.

If you don't remember, this is how they looked Before:

Prepping with PPG Aluminum prep (like airplanes use):


I have the side panels and cowling removed while servicing the outboard. I haven't pulled it out and taken a good pic outside with both engines, but they definitely look much better than before. The white paint with gold/black decals looks much better than the gray did with the yellow hull, black top, and gold rod holders.

This pic has the brand new trim tabs I happened to find locally that were an exact match. That was pure luck.

Look at the old ones I removed. Crazy!:

I've also finished compounding/buffing the transom, installed new thru-hulls, new scuppers, new trim tabs, new underwater light, and LSS transducer.


Check out the color difference in the yellow on the side vs the stern. The color really came back well despite what I've heard about yellow hulls. Hopefully the sides come out just as well. If not, i'll either be re-gelcoating or painting it one day. It's not really a functional flaw, so that can wait a bit...although I do want to give it a shot.

To Be Continued....
Part 5: Plumb Crazy - Bilge plumbing, Pumps, wiring, Etc...

Once I had the starboard engine mounted, I moved into the bilge. As well as the owner took care of the topside of this boat...I don't think he ever looked in here.

(Looking astern, cockpit access removed)

Port side, macerator pump rusted and falling off of the mount, wires hanging in bilge, etc.

Stbd Side fishbox drain to macerator

After cleaning:

Stbd Side after some cleaning and de-rigging

A little more cleaning and some wax:

Stbd Side rigged, except for engine harness:

Port Side:

Looking Stbd to Port, before cleaning:

Looking Port to Stbd, after cleaning:

Transom cleaned up

Surprisingly, everything here was functional aside from the macerator. Based on numerous recommendations, I replaced the macerator pump with a Whale Gulper Grouper MK3. Looking back, I should've just bought the Gulper Grouper MK2, and not worried about the '90° version', as I was running new plumbing anyway. Either way will work, but the normal one would've made easier plumbing. The MK3 is designed to fit where an old Jabsco was, without having to change your plumbing. If you're going with new plumbing, you may consider the MK2 instead. I also added a 2nd Gulper Grouper for the stbd fishbox (it had one originally with a 'T'). I fabricated a mounting platform and installed a secondary bilge pump, Rule Gold 2000gph. With the pumps, I added two water-witch switches. The one mounted low will power the lower bilge pump. The one mounted on the upper bilge pump will power the secondary. The Rule float switch will power an audible bilge alarm and light. I also installed all new plumbing for the pumps and added riser loops. Lastly, cleaned up and re-sealed the fuel flow sensors, and added new Racor mounts with new racors and bowls.

New thru-hulls:

Pump mount I made, next to the factory wedge that was in the bottom of the 'V'. I cracked the attachment tab off of the brand new Rule mounting base - got a new one on the way.

Before was a mess. I don't know how this boat looked from the factory, but I found very little sign of any type of 'wire loom', wire tie hangers, etc. Either it came this way, or it was unloomed and left a mess by some mechanic somewhere. I was not a fan of all of the wiring laying in the bilge. There is also a lot of excess length on the outboard harnesses. I'll loom that up and out of the way somewhere:

Here's how it currently sits (Still in progress). I even went in there and waxed it. I feel like an idiot for waxing a bilge, but I figured it may help with moisture beading off and preventing any mildew. We'll see...

See that white part on the bottom of this pic? That's a wiring raceway, made of UV resistant plastic, adhered with 3M tape. It is holding every wire that goes to the port engine. The only thing it doesn't hold is the fuel line, and the throttle cables. It allowed me to tuck them away nice and neat, below the 'lip' of that bulkhead, so I don't smash them if I roll in and out of the bilge while working. Hopefully it will hold up to the elements with just adhesive as I'd rather not screw anything else in if I don't have to.

I already pulled all of the wiring back through the rigging tube for the STBD engine, but didn't get any pics. I have it neatly loomed and out of the way, up high out of any potential water.

I'm waiting on a light for the bilge, then I'll pull new wires for the bilge accessories and get it all wired up. Once that is done, I'll install the baitwell pumps, and plumb the washdown pumps. I am doing those last as they are right where my butt sits when I'm laying in the bilge. Having them removed makes it easier to work on everything else.

Suffice it to say I know the boat in and out now!
More than one leg cramp had me considering just taking a nap as opposed to struggling to wiggle out of the bilge:

The boat looked a little 'rough' under the bilge access when I got it. It is getting better. Surprisingly, everything except the macerator was functioning even with that wiring mess.
A little cleaning and detail work and her solid bones are showing through.

To-Do List updated 4/2/2018:
  • Port Side Exhaust Midsection repair with new oil pump and full engine maintenance including lower unit service
  • Starboard Side Midsection repair with new oil pump and full engine maintenance including lower unit service (still need to Install waterpump kit and service STBD engine lower unit)
  • Paint Port Engine
  • Paint Starboard Engine
  • Clean Bilge
  • Replace Macerator Pump and install 2nd pump
  • Replace Racors and Racor mounts with 2-micron and Stainless Steel mounts
  • Clean fuel flow sensors and install new O-rings
  • Install new thru-hull fittings on Stbd side for new bilge pump and new macerator
  • Replace existing thru-hull fittings on transom for baitwells, and port side for bilge/macerator
  • Replace existing splashwell scupper drain tubes
  • Replace fuel lines from tank to racors (3/8")
  • Replace fuel lines from racors to engines (5/16")
  • Remove existing electronics and wiring
  • Complete wiring of STBD engine
  • Test-run STBD engine after exhaust repair, paint, service, and re-rigging
  • Complete bilge wiring/plumbing, including baitwells.
  • Pull new wiring from bilge to console, including trim tabs, transducer, lights, and new pumps
  • Purchase switch panel - waiting to hear back from Coastal Marine on a bocatech panel 4/2/2018
  • Complete install of NSS16s
  • Purchase BEP Battery Cluster, Battery Cables, and wire up the batteries
  • Complete house wiring, including new terminal strips, junctions, fuse blocks, breakers, etc
  • Install new Radar, new VHF, Sirius Weather antenna, Heading Sensor
  • Purchase EPIRB/additional safety equipment
  • Purchase/Install Under Gunnel RGB lighting
  • Purchase/Install New Flood/Spreader lighting
  • Purchase/Install new cockpit lights, bilge lights, and console lights
  • Re-rig the outriggers
  • Stereo?
  • New Anchor rigging
  • Windlass?
  • Replace fishbox seal gaskets
  • Test fuel sending unit, possibly replace before reinstalling cockpit bilge access panel
  • Reinstall transom splashwell hatch
  • Reinstall cockpit bilge access panel
  • Check steering system for leaks, seal as necessary, and reinstall cylinder/tie-bar with new heim joints
I'm sure I'm missing a lot...but that's a start.

Any input/ideas/suggestions, let's hear em! I'm open to criticism.
Any questions? I'll help if I can.

I'll be sure to update this as I progress. Now that I've got a single spot to keep my updates, updating will be easier.

Thanks for following along.
Old 04-02-2018, 04:54 PM
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Let me be the first to say congratulations. I didn't know McKee made a big boat! What is the deadrise........looks like a heck of a V. Great work you are doing! Looking forward to more pics and progress.
Old 04-02-2018, 05:14 PM
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Freaking awesome work man!!
Old 04-02-2018, 05:39 PM
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GREAT WORK MAN love the boat
Old 04-02-2018, 06:22 PM
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IlI' hopefully have the fuel and engines all wired up and ready for a driveway hose test run tomorrow. I'll update my progress as it comes. I work 24hr shifts, and still reserve with the CG once a month so my work will come in bursts.

Fortunately (and unfortunately) our wind has been blowing almost non-stop with very few 'fishable' days, so I haven't missed too much. Hopefully I can get it ready before it calms down this summer.

Originally Posted by jeff7y28 View Post
Let me be the first to say congratulations. I didn't know McKee made a big boat! What is the deadrise........looks like a heck of a V. Great work you are doing! Looking forward to more pics and progress.
24.5° deadrise, so, yes... she's a deep V! Drifts surprisingly well from what little I've done. They're heavy, so not speed demons, but solid as a rock. I'll eventually go with 300s, but these F225s will hopefully last me a few seasons.

They're hard to find because they didn't make many. Especially on my budget. I was lucky to find one that was somewhat of a project which afforded me to do what i wanted to it without spending too much.

Originally Posted by gatorbait154 View Post
Freaking awesome work man!!
Thanks. I enjoy tinkering almost as much as fishing!

Originally Posted by RAMY View Post
GREAT WORK MAN love the boat
Thank you sir.
Old 04-02-2018, 07:14 PM
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One of my favorite hulls.
Awesome work. Keep bringing the pictures.
Old 04-02-2018, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by CAP1 View Post
One of my favorite hulls.
Awesome work. Keep bringing the pictures.
Typing that post and adding 100 pictures took almost as long as buffing the transom

I'll keep them coming.
Old 04-02-2018, 07:40 PM
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Best thread I've read in a while! These threads make THT great. Thanks for sharing. Gives me a little motivation to get out and work on mine!
Old 04-02-2018, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Gmack View Post
Best thread I've read in a while! These threads make THT great. Thanks for sharing. Gives me a little motivation to get out and work on mine!
Check back tomorrow...I'll be updating it.
If the weather is good, I may pull it out and get a few good pics of the engines all buttoned up and the shiny new transom and accessories.
Old 04-02-2018, 08:12 PM
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Nice write-up and pics - very nice work and update to your boat!

Thanks for posting.
Old 04-02-2018, 09:22 PM
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First off, I don't know how you got in that bilge. You must be 5 ' tall? J/k...sort of Great work. There's no telling how many man hours you have invested. Love the white engines. Tgey looked so far gone cosmetically that I wasn't sure how they would function. Kudos on the dash as well. Imo, looks much better than that recessed design. Keep up the good work
Old 04-02-2018, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by vettnman View Post
First off, I don't know how you got in that bilge. You must be 5 ' tall? J/k...sort of Great work. There's no telling how many man hours you have invested. Love the white engines. Tgey looked so far gone cosmetically that I wasn't sure how they would function. Kudos on the dash as well. Imo, looks much better than that recessed design. Keep up the good work
5'10" and 180#...and very sore afterwards! Hah.
I can fit in the splashwell hatch, and the removable panel in the cockpit. The cockpit access is easier... especially once the rigging is there. But, it's good to know that I can get in there if needed. The hard part is not stepping on a bilge pump or a baitwell pump for fear of breaking them off. It's easier to go legs first, and do a sort of 'reverse pullup' to ease yourself in, while going horizontal at the same time. I'm sure it looks like live-birth! lol

Regarding the engines...they're spotless under the cowlings. Fairly low hours so hopefully they'll be fine. I haven't run them enough to know...but they seem good on the water hose. We'll find out soon! The only real corrosion remaining is in the spacer bracket on the lower unit that adds the 5" for the 30" shafts. You can see it in one of the pics. Basically looks like corrosion occurred between the lower unit stud, and the spacer, down in the bottom of the threaded hole. I attempted to remove the studs and possibly weld/fix the corrosion, but the studs were seized and it wasn't worth the effort. It's purely aesthetics at that area...which kills me to let it go, but I did.

Last edited by ShawnQ; 04-02-2018 at 10:20 PM.
Old 04-03-2018, 12:52 PM
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Looking good Shawn, Ill have to stop by this weekend if you're going to be around!
Old 04-03-2018, 01:56 PM
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Default Oh man

Subscribed! You go OP!
Old 04-03-2018, 02:30 PM
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Old 04-03-2018, 03:02 PM
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Looks great, like a new boat, excellent job with the description of everything you did and the photo too.
Old 04-03-2018, 08:05 PM
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Well I didn't get a ton done today, but I knocked out a few tedious things that I've been dreading and putting off. It was a long shift at work yesterday with little sleep last night, so I had to sleep when I got home which ate up half of the day. With rain in the forecast I didn't bother to pull her out of the shed.

I pulled all of the rigging for the STBD engine thru the rigging tube, got it all laid out in the engine grommet correctly(which took forever), and got it all attached on the engine itself, including the new 5/16" fuel line. I saved the old line as it appears to be in great shape. I'll put it in my spare parts kit for emergency use offshore, if needed.

Then, I reinstalled the steering. I was dreading this as it seems seastar has the worst instructions to follow, and i didnt take very good photos when i disassembled it.

I replaced a cracked end link/heim joint that was found during the original survey, but otherwise, the steering is fine with no leaks. It has a few aesthetic issues, but not worth replacing until I repower.

It all went together quite simply, to my surprise, and is working great!

After that, I installed the cowling vent on the inside of the stbd cowling, and put the cowling on. I attached a battery and tested the tilt/trim, good to go. I bumped the ignition and all was well. It was great to finally see the stbd engine back together.

As I mentioned, I pulled all of the STBD wiring through the rigging tube, including new fuel line. On the Port engine, I didn't ever remove the rigging from the tube because I was able to route/layout the wiring in the bilge without removing them. With that said, I still wanted to install new fuel line. I bought brand new ethanol resistant shields 5/16". It is a lot heavier walled than the factory gray yamaha hose which makes it much thicker despite the same I.D.
I taped the new fuel line to the old line, and feared it would be nearly impossible to pull it through if the old line was twisted around the battery cables, or throttle cables.
Luckily, with very little effort, I pulled the new line and hooked it up. Added a 316SS hose clamp in place of the original zip-tie, and put the cowling on. Ready to go.

With any luck, I'lI have it out of the garage on Thursday or Friday, on a water hose. I need to test run the STBD engine after all of the exhaust repair.

I snapped several pics of the engines just to show the paint/decals. This is the first time seeing them both mostly-complete. I like it! They are already a little dusty, though...

Next up will be lower unit service and install. Hopefully no surprises.

I work another 24 tomorrow...so no progress. IllI be back at it on Thursday for sure.

In the meantime, any clever ideas for a name?
I'm a Coastie (6 active, now going on 3 reserve), and a full time paid firefighter/paramedic. My wife is also in the medical field as a mid-level. She made me a promise about 12-13yrs ago that she'd 'Buy you(me) an offshore boat if you help me through school'
i kept up my end of the bargain, and she is now holding up hers.
I was thinking ''Promise Kept" or something along those lines...but not really into the cheesiness. Maybe I can tie my careers into it?
I also have two young sons, both who's names start with B. I call them the ''Killer B's", ala Biggio and Bagwell from the old school Astros. "Killer B McKee" kinda has a ring, and the yellow/black is fitting. A little unoriginal, though.

I've got time to figure that out, but thought I'd put it out there.

Pics, as promised.

Old 04-04-2018, 05:46 PM
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The motors look great. Excellent job!!
Old 04-07-2018, 09:15 AM
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I spent the last few days wiring, crimping, heat-shrinking, and looming all of the accessories in the bilge. Everything tested and functional except for my bilge compartment LED strips.

I bought new waterproof LED light strips (rigid aluminum kind) and mounted one on each side of the bilge, and one in the center. They'll provide plenty of light, with minimal power, in the event I need to work on something down there or just inspect it in the dark. Supplier said they could be wired in series, so I tested all of them first individually, installed them, and wired them up in series. For whatever reason, they dont work in series. I should've tested them in series before installing! So, I'll need to run a few more wires to parallel them.

I also pulled 4 extra ground and 4 extra feed wires for future additions, if needed.

Once I finish the bilge lights, I need to connect the baitwell pumps ive been saving for last, and reconnect the baitwell and washdown hoses. Then I'll give it a wipe down and start on the console.

Slowly but surely!

Rigid led strip, one per side and one center.

All of the engine rigging neatly tucked to the stbd side of the bilge access. No more mess just laying randomly across the bilge and fuel tank.

Partially wired. It's not easy wiring and heat-shrinking in the bilge! I'll be glad when this is done.

Start of wiring the accessories. All of the wires are loose here...just trying to figure out my lengths so I don't waste a bunch of wire.
Orange for Water Witch and Bilge Alarms
Tan for Whale Fish-box bumps
Brown for bilge pumps
White for bilge lights and Underwater Lights
Violet for Saltwater washdown
Pink for baitwell
Blacks are all the grounds

Old 04-08-2018, 01:56 AM
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Got my bilge lights wired up and working!
10" led strips from LightTheNights.
see pics below!

i also pulled a piece of 1.5" hose up the rigging tube for all of the new bilge wiring. I don't like it sitting loose in the factory fiberglass rigging channel and hanging over the sharp edge where the rigging channel ends. I plan to pull all of the wiring through it tomorrow, then start on the t-top after I hookup the baitwell pumps and fuel lines.

More to come!

Port aspect with new LED bilge light

Centerline with new LED lights. I am still waiting to run the fuel line from the tank to the racor. When I do that, I'll look the fuel flow sensor wiring.

Starboard side with new LED lights. Wires temporarily labeled with blue tape until I sit down and make wire labels. They are not yet tightly loomed, just resting in place.

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