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Let The Overhaul Begin (Again)

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Old 03-04-2017, 09:29 AM
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Let me start by saying "Thanks" to everyone who has posted here over the years, I've been studying, researching, and digging deep to find answers to questions and concerns about taking up again and finishing the overhaul on my boat "Riff Raft", a 19ft '72 SeaBird. I have more time now that I'm retired (medically) and want to get this right and be able to again enjoy my boat.

I'm going with epoxy and for the most part (open to other suggestions as well) with 1700 biaxial glass for encasing the transom wood and stringers. I'm also going to set some bulkheads for the underfloor gas tank and underfloor beefed up to mount the helm and passenger seats. All wood will be generously soaked with CPES to seal it. Originally she had an OMC drive and for a short time I had a Volvo fitted, will still likely use the Volvo unless I can get a newer/better drive, either way the motor hole and steering cable (OMC) hole will be glassed over and the thickness of the transom leveled up before the wood is installed (2- 3/4 ply). Floor will be 1/2 ply with glassed over and tabbed to the hull sides.

I did the tear down a few years ago but had to put things halfway back when I bought my house and the economy tanked so the prep work was never finished. Here goes the questions, I've read a lot on "grinding" this and that smoothing out to ready for laying new glass, no problem with that, I'm planning on using a RO sander with rough grit discs hooked to a 5 gallon shop vac, hopefully this will cut down on some of the dust (masks will be used no matter). Can this sanded out material be used as a filler for making fillet peanut butter, just a thought but I'll get silica and chopped glass if needed. I have the side parts of the original liner but won't be using the floor part of it. I've also gotten a cabin with hard top from another boat and will (planning on) add it after all of the floor is done. Should the cabin bulkheads be laminated to the hull sides, tabbed of course.

This project has no set time frame as I'm retired and this gives me something to do. The key is that I do it right once and never have to do this again. Yeah I've had several tell me to just get another boat but with that what is the likelihood of getting someone else's rotted out hull.

Pics are from when I tore it down and I've "painted in" where stringers were as well as where I'm planning to add two more for added hull and floor strength. You'll see where I've got to smooth everything down. WELL scratch that, won't let me into the pic adding page
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Old 03-04-2017, 09:32 AM
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Try again for pics
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Old 03-04-2017, 01:11 PM
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The only thing i would suggest is a couple stands to help spread the load and keep the hull square while all the stringers are removed.
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Old 03-04-2017, 01:19 PM
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Keep us posted as you go.
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Old 03-04-2017, 02:43 PM
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Will do duke I'm familiar with these forums and the fanatic way of thinking (that's how I got my Mercedes SEC up to snuff, learning how to work on it etc while "Riff Raft" sat on the back burner), bear with me as this won't be a one month fix, a fixed income budget here this will be a "pay as I go" along with weather concerns but I'll be coming right along with it as I'll be working on this alone for the most part. I'll be building a pair of gantries next week to raise the deck back off the hull. I've already got sawhorses built to set that on and a 20ft+ portable garage (ok, a tent ) to roll the hull under

Mitchell, it may not show up well in the one pic but she's sitting on two brand new bunks under the (pardon if I get some terminology incorrect) chine/strake (?) where the stringers run and her keel is resting on >w i d e< rollers every two feet (not to mention the hull bottom is an inch thick, measured). Once I get the transom glassed, wooded, and tabbed the deck cap will go back on and that should stiffen everything back up to set the stringers. There was a small "whoop-dee-doo" on the port side from the mushy stringer and short bunk not set right, that was addressed with new longer bunks installed and time for the hull to straighten itself back out, I've got a pic around here somewhere from the "before" period
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Old 03-04-2017, 02:57 PM
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Make sure it is supported gunnel to gunnel also.
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Old 03-04-2017, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by phillipgo View Post
Make sure it is supported gunnel to gunnel also.
Once the deck cap is back in place it shouldn't be out of whack, while it's off the sides will be a bit floppy but that shouldn't affect doing the transom, should it ? There was wood all around the perimeter at the cap joint, this too will be replaced, 1X3 I think it was, I'll be using 2 layers of 3/8 ply (easier to make the bend around the bow) and the rub rail will again be through bolted giving it it's shape and stiffness once again, THEN I'll be turning to the stringers. I've had several years to think all of this through. Short of building a halfway cradle around the bottom of the hull I don't know of anything else I can do in the way of supporting the hull. I went out to look a while ago and the bunks support just over 2/3's of the distance the stringers will be running. I figure the best place it can be is on the trailer resting on the bunks that carry the weight of hull. Again I'm open to suggestions here
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Old 03-04-2017, 06:42 PM
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glad to see another classic brought back...are you sure thats a 1972? i have a 1970 24 ft. and a 1973 21ft. i think what you have is a 1968 or earlier.
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Old 03-04-2017, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by wooky_chew_bacca View Post
Once the deck cap is back in place it shouldn't be out of whack, while it's off the sides will be a bit floppy but that shouldn't affect doing the transom, should it ? There was wood all around the perimeter at the cap joint, this too will be replaced, 1X3 I think it was, I'll be using 2 layers of 3/8 ply (easier to make the bend around the bow) and the rub rail will again be through bolted giving it it's shape and stiffness once again, THEN I'll be turning to the stringers. I've had several years to think all of this through. Short of building a halfway cradle around the bottom of the hull I don't know of anything else I can do in the way of supporting the hull. I went out to look a while ago and the bunks support just over 2/3's of the distance the stringers will be running. I figure the best place it can be is on the trailer resting on the bunks that carry the weight of hull. Again I'm open to suggestions here
Nice project, looking forward to seeing you put this one together.

The hull really needs to be resting on the keel and supported on the chines for stability. Pressure between the keel and the chine will cause the hull to bow.
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Old 03-04-2017, 08:33 PM
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bigbill, all I know is what I was told when I bought it, a '72 although it may, as you said, be an earlier model. I've done some research over the years I've had her, didn't find much, even less on runabouts and no pics or diagrams other than runabouts with the "hump" on the foredeck. One thing that's always puzzled me is that SeaBirds weren't supposed to have stringers but relying on the liner glued to the inside of the hull. Perhaps due to the stringers turning to mush the floor part of this liner cracked all over the place and is no good. Either way the hull itself is sound, no cracks or repairs of any kind. She rides good and smooth slicing through whatever wake or waves we came upon (this was all before I discovered the mush and my first round of transom repair didn't hold up causing me to start a complete refurbish)

Thanks surv, I've had a few folks tell me I just needed to scrap her and buy a newer boat. Several points on why NOT to, she's paid for, overall the hull is sound and from what I can tell THICK, one inch thick between the bottom of the drain and the keel and 1/4 inch on the sides where I could measure, (and here's the best part) appears to be hand laid glass, no chopper gun appearance anywhere. On her present support her keel has wide rollers every 2 feet along her length and the chines (glad you clarified that term for me) where the stringers go are supported by new bunks I installed recently, there is absolutely no rocking side to side. The engine has been out for quite a while and it was supported (mainly) by the glass of the stringers and the ply on the transom. I've eyeballed closely all of the strakes on both sides (this is from the outside) and everything is straight as an arrow up to where the curves to the bow start

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Old 03-04-2017, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by wooky_chew_bacca View Post
bigbill, all I know is what I was told when I bought it, a '72 although it may, as you said, be an earlier model. I've done some research over the years I've had her, didn't find much, even less on runabouts and no pics or diagrams other than runabouts with the "hump" on the foredeck. One thing that's always puzzled me is that SeaBirds weren't supposed to have stringers but relying on the liner glued to the inside of the hull. Perhaps due to the stringers turning to mush the floor part of this liner cracked all over the place and is no good. Either way the hull itself is sound, no cracks or repairs of any kind. She rides good and smooth slicing through whatever wake or waves we came upon (this was all before I discovered the mush and my first round of transom repair didn't hold up causing me to start a complete refurbish)

Thanks surv, I've had a few folks tell me I just needed to scrap her and buy a newer boat. Several points on why NOT to, she's paid for, overall the hull is sound and from what I can tell THICK, one inch thick between the bottom of the drain and the keel and 1/4 inch on the sides where I could measure, (and here's the best part) appears to be hand laid glass, no chopper gun appearance anywhere. On her present support her keel has wide rollers every 2 feet along her length and the chines (glad you clarified that term for me) where the stringers go are supported by new bunks I installed recently, there is absolutely no rocking side to side. The engine has been out for quite a while and it was supported (mainly) by the glass of the stringers and the ply on the transom. I've eyeballed closely all of the chines on both side (this is from the outside) and everything is straight as an arrow up to where the curves to the bow start

Sorry but I think I did a good job confusing you. The chine is were the gunnel wall meets the bottom of the hull. At the transom they are at the outermost corners of the running surface. The running strakes are between the keel and the chine. In your pic were the boats on the trailer the bunks are under the strakes.

It looks like you still have stringers in it so no problem with it sitting on the trailer bunks but when you remove the stringers the hull is going to flex a lot.

1" thick is very heavy glass, that's awesome. I kind of thought the Seabirds were cored hull bottoms?
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Old 03-04-2017, 09:17 PM
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I told ya my terminology was a wee bit mixed up Chine is outer corner where hull bottom meet the side and strakes are where my bunks are supporting the hull bottom, gotcha

That was a pic taken during the tear down. I cut the very top off the stringer glass leaving all the glass and tabbing in place. The stringers themselves were all but mush, I think there was only a 2 ft piece that told me they weren't laminated ply but solid wood. There isn't any flex that I could tell and she still sits flat on the bunks.

There is coring in the deck, can be seen looking in the empty gas fill holes, some sort of honeycomb about an inch thick with glass skin on the underside

I'll see if there is some way to rig some support for the chines using the trailer
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Old 03-05-2017, 05:23 AM
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Your on your way. If I could offer one bit of advice it would be pace.... keep a strong pace. Specifically with your stringers and transom. The longer you take to get the "bones" back in, the more things will move around, only creating more work. I kind of think of it like building a house. After the foundation, you try to get the walls, trusses, roof on and blacked in as soon as you can to protect it from the elements. Then, you can take your time. Same here, because with the transom and strings in it can sit should it need for a while.

I will say, I think most people building boats never finish. It's because of pace, or working on their project here or there. There are a lot of parts of boat work that take time to prep, get materials staged etc. basically soaking up your time.

If you keep a pace, you literally save all of the taking things in or out time. Again, pace.... its really easy to not work when it's hot, or cold, or might rain...etc. there are truely very few perfect days out there.

Also, planning is key, which you've done. However, there is a time when the brain rests and the grinder takes over. If you've got a plan, don't be afraid to just get after it.

After all, you really can't screw up a boat in this condition.

PS. The above sentence doesn't apply when you start on finish work😀

My thoughts, and I wish you well.

J
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Old 03-05-2017, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Jaizzen View Post
Your on your way. If I could offer one bit of advice it would be pace.... keep a strong pace. Specifically with your stringers and transom. The longer you take to get the "bones" back in, the more things will move around, only creating more work. I kind of think of it like building a house. After the foundation, you try to get the walls, trusses, roof on and blacked in as soon as you can to protect it from the elements. Then, you can take your time. Same here, because with the transom and strings in it can sit should it need for a while.

I will say, I think most people building boats never finish. It's because of pace, or working on their project here or there. There are a lot of parts of boat work that take time to prep, get materials staged etc. basically soaking up your time.

If you keep a pace, you literally save all of the taking things in or out time. Again, pace.... its really easy to not work when it's hot, or cold, or might rain...etc. there are truely very few perfect days out there.

Also, planning is key, which you've done. However, there is a time when the brain rests and the grinder takes over. If you've got a plan, don't be afraid to just get after it.

After all, you really can't screw up a boat in this condition.

PS. The above sentence doesn't apply when you start on finish work��

My thoughts, and I wish you well.

J
I agree abuot keeping a pace. I actually quit going to the gym abuot a month ago to focus more time on boat work. The structural stuff is "hard work" that will make you sore. Some of I think isn't fun. The key (for me anyway) is to make it a daily thing and much like the gym, miss a couple days, it's easy to miss a couple more.

Get several lists going, direct and indirect I call mine. Indirect is petty filler stuff like building small parts or prepping glass, this is stuff yu can do when you have an hour. Direct is obvious, steps to rebuild your boat.

Even I feel yuo truly have no time frame, get the stringers and transom in before the glass starts to warp and deform.

A good way to gauge if you're working at a quick pace is if yuor friends, neighbors, and wife all think you have gone crazy, you are on the right track.
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Old 03-05-2017, 06:18 AM
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That boat looks like a mid 60's Stamas. The way you describe the layup also "sounds like" a Stamas.

It looks bigger than 19'. Have you actually measured it?

Either way, that looks like it will be a great build!
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Old 03-05-2017, 08:50 AM
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Thanks for the replies and advice guys The pace, once I actually get started, will be as steady as possible. A pair of gantries will be built next weekend to pull the deck cap back off (and it will be set on long sawhorses while the work on the transom is in progress), I have a portable garage (tent) to roll the hull under for it's work til the cabin goes on. I got side tracked a little with another project (now finished, see pic, "banker's hot rod") and "Riff Raft" is now back on the front burner (hey, retired and gotta keep busy ). I don't think I need to be too concerned with warping as she's been sitting "bare" for a while now (stringer "channels" are still there) and the little "whoop-dee-doo" has flattened itself back out

My g/f already thinks I'm crazy, she's a pontoon nut

Snookwhaler, actually it was a picture of a Stamas I found online that was the inspiration to add the cabin, original idea was just a hard top, and yeah the two could pass for twins

Measured the hull today, did when I bought her but CRS, she's 19ft 8in

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Old 03-06-2017, 07:47 PM
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wooky, is there a hull number stamped in the upper right corner of the transom? this will tell you what year she is. if it doesn't have one then she is pre november of 1972. that is when they started to mandate that the hull number be on the transom. she looks like an older model than 1972. the earlier seabirds had the huge bow flare that yours has, the later models had a little less bow flare and more of a pointed bow, not round like yours.
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Old 03-06-2017, 08:04 PM
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Yes there is a plate, plastic one but wasn't on the transom it was up on the liner at the helm on the walkthru
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Old 03-08-2017, 05:53 PM
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she was built before nov. of 72. my 1973 has a plastic plate in the cabin and the hin on the transom
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Old 03-21-2017, 01:34 PM
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It's been a couple of weeks, checking in again. I got one of two gantries built now that the weather has warmed up (I have thin skin and don't do cold very well). The gantry heights are 8' 6", more than enough to lift the deck to clear the hull. Again this will be a slower than some build but like I said THIS time she'll be right

I can't wait to be back inside the hull (daydreaming some I'm sure about "sailing the high seas" down here at good 'ole Jackson Lake)
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