View Full Version : 1979 Skier floor replacement leads to stringers and more

05-28-2012, 10:35 PM
Hi all,

I first wanted to thank everyone for posting such great posts on restorations of older Mastercrafts. I have learned enough to have the confidence to start work on my own boat.

Last year, during a power turn the driver's seat ripped out of the floor. Didn't take long to figure out that the floor was rotting out. So, over the winter I did my homework and started ripping the floor out this spring.

The floor was mush under both the driver's seat / footbox and observers feet. Everywhere else, it was ok - thought I might have an easy job. After pulling the floor, it was clear the bow end of each stringer was rotted. So, these probably need to be repaired also...

When I took the bulkhead out (where the driver's feet would rest), there was an awful smell, like something rotting. I had noticed whiffs of this, but could never figure out where it was coming from. Despite being dry all winter, water was leaking out of the bow foam. I poked and prodded and found that the foam was water logged on the bottom.

I'm in deep now, and no turning back. I love this boat and will have to rely on pulls from friends while I get "Old Blue" back in the water.

I hope to share my path and learn some lessons from the experienced folks on this site.

I'm posting pics of my progress on http://timandbonnie.smugmug.com/WaterSkiing/Restoration/23231649_cS5JkV


05-29-2012, 04:42 AM
great work and super pictures !

06-03-2012, 12:48 AM
I had a great day today working on the boat. Pretty much a full day effort with lots accomplished. Here goes with where I'm at, one post at a time.

The ski pylon is the biggest problem I have right now. It seems to be frozen (corroded) into the bottom mount. At floor level, the pylon has corroded horribly. Based on an initial assessment of the depth of corrosion, I want to replace this.

I've soaked the bottom mount with liquid wrench, but no give. I've hit the cross member with a dead-blow sledge, but nothing loosens, though the stringers are limiting how much it can rotate. Based on another thread, I'm expecting I will have to cut the pylon and drill out the bottom.

Here's the top corrosion:

The bolts holding the cross brace into the stringers were not doing much...

Any ideas for where I can get a replacement pylon? Or even better, some magic on how I can fix my current pylon? I love the classic look of this pylon and hate to see it go.

Old school pylon

06-03-2012, 01:04 AM
Foam removal, part 1.

I started by pulling out the bulkhead - at this point, I was not planning on getting rid of the foam. However, there was a nasty smell that had started last summer coming from the front and I would soon find out where it was coming from.

The bottom of the bulkhead was rotted and was mushy over on the driver's side.


Outside of the primary stringers, there are fiberglass forms that look like they help form the foam during manufacturing. They also hold water really well as there are no drainage holes. This pic is from the driver's side - would be just in front of where your left foot pushes on the bulkhead.


This is the foam that came out of it.


About halfway through the foam removal - probably about four hours' effort, though I was learning a lot about what saws to use, what position works well. My carpenter's saw and sheetrock saw where the best tools. A 2" putty knife was perfect for cleaning up the foam near the hull.


Whitening of the fiberglass under some of the foam. There's a lot more of this under the rest of the foam - pictures of that tomorrow.


I was frustrated by how the foam would wiggle around the edges, but I could not just pull it out. Turns out there's a 2x2 in the front portion of the bow that holds all of the foam in.

06-03-2012, 09:42 PM
Here are pics of the bow area with the floatation foam removed. From what I've read on the web, the hull has some pretty good hydrolysis going on in the areas of white. At the very front of the bow, there was a piece of foam that came out carrying some of the fibers from the hull. Everything seems solid - no delamination voids that I could tell by tapping on the hull.

Any advice on what needs to be done? I am thinking about grinding down the white areas and laying up a few layers of fiberglass to replace the material.

Also, I would like to add foam that does not contact the hull - the only places in the hull where there is whitening of the layup is under the foam. Does the foam provide any structural function? If so, do I need to pour 2-part foam at least in the below floor area. After all of this work, there is going to be storage up front!


At the front of the bow, you can see a 2x2 cross brace (is this used to pull the hull from the mold?). The foam came out as one big chunk once I got enough out to free it from this brace. The darker coloration in the bow is from water that got into the boat from a quick rain shower. It's white when dry.

Front bow foam containing fibers from the hull

06-03-2012, 09:55 PM
I was not planning on removing the engine when I started work on the floor. This added several days of research, planning and buying more stuff to get this to work. I wanted to rent a steel gantry crane, but couldn't find one locally. I'm not a metal guy, so I found plans for a wood one, did the stress caclulations (I'm an engineer by day) and built one. It worked great. 2x4 A-frame sides, (3) 2x10 doug fir beam. Got a 1 ton hoist, some webbing and chains and up she went. No wobbles or creaks. Anyone interested in the details, let me know,

After the engine goes back in, the wood is going to be used in the basement for shelves and to start of some walls, so I was going to buy most of the lumber anyway!

I was also quite happy that after the engine was up, I had about 4" of clearance over the stern when I pulled the trailer out to lay the engine onto the dollies.

Any recommendations of work that should be done while the engine is out? I was thinking about the water pump & I think the alternator needs to be replaced. That will go for testing this week - it's original equipment.



06-03-2012, 10:24 PM
The start of another awesome project!

Sweet pics to document everything as you go along.

Thanks for sharing your journey.

06-10-2012, 11:03 PM
Sorry for no pics or updates - I've been helping out the lake mates getting the slalom course ready and in - brownie points will be needed as I still have a lot of work and need others for pulls! I've also been looking through others' posts and learning a ton. Thanks again to this site for providing a wealth of information and confidence.

I've been making some progress at night - here's an update

The pylon has been chopped. I cut it at the base, just above the steel tube that is embedded in the fiberglass. I am going to stop at the local machine shop and inquire about a stainless replacement piece that has an ID of 2.5". The pylon OD is 2.5, so if I can sleeve the pylon with an "extended" bottom bracket, this might work out well.

I did some budgetary calcs on Seacast vs. stringer replacement and decided to go with the replacement route. Seacast/Nidacore was about $200 for 5 gals and I was looking at about 2x the cost. After cutting part of the secondary stringer on the port side, I decided to cut the whole stringer out and do the replacement.

The secondary stringer is out - I used an oscillating multi-tool - it worked awesome. Maybe a bit slow, but it created chips, not dust to blow all over the place and the flush cut blade made it easy to get close to the hull. After the stringer was out, the fiberglass was completely detached from the wood and the top half of the stringer just fell apart. The bottom was soaked in water.

I ordered medium cure epoxy from US Composites. Couldn't beat their price and the 7+ gallon kit looked like the right amount for the whole project. I'm planning to use 18oz roving to join the stringers to the hull - this is similar to the material that was used for the factory stringers. Two more layups of 8oz - 12" wide then 4" wide to reinforce the joint to hull.

I've taken measurements for the stringer positions based off the transom and centerline. I placed my laser level along the centerline and took note of the positions - I could see by eye that the stringers were NOT centered on the hull, so measuring this should be important. The engine is skewed to the port side. I had read in another thread that someone straightened everything out, but I suspected the MC did this for a reason. Another thread confirmed this - the skew of the drivetrain helps to counter the prop steer, so dimensions noted. I've got the entire engine manual for the alignment process, so hoping this goes well after repairing the stringers.

I've also blocked the trailer so the floor is level. This lets me get the height of the stringers right when I dry fit them. Because they are so rotted, I don't have a template, so I will be working a few nights to get the right shape.

06-26-2012, 10:01 PM
Not much progress since the last update. The slalom course is in and I've been skiing with friends... It's not the same as my own boat, but I can't stay in the garage while everyone else is having fun.

My epoxy and fiberglass came in - quick shipping by US Composites. I did my first "practice" layup on my old beat up canoe - seemed fairly easy.

I finished cleaning up the bow area of stray fiberglass panels that formed the bulkhead where the foam filled against. The bow area is clear of all old foam and bulkheads, ready to become a storage area. I put a single coat of epoxy over the bow hull area to help wet out some of the fiberglass that had become exposed and white because of constant contact with water over 30+ years. The foam was waterlogged.

The Tyvek suit is working out great for keeping me itch free and the goggles and respiratory let me go to town with cutting, grinding, rolling epoxy, etc. It's great to be finished with a stint, take off the gear and be able to sit down on the couch with a beer.

I started cutting support members for the bow floor - what a pain. I'm using cardboard for the template - first few cuts were crappy, getting better.

This weekend will be a full on work weekend on the boat. I've got the supplies, now just need to get to work. Hopefully some good pics coming soon.

06-27-2012, 11:09 AM
Additional pics are required. Here, I'll help:


06-27-2012, 10:14 PM
ok, ok... pictures are cool. So here's some to satisfy.

Tonight I cut crossmembers for the bow floor. I used a 2x4 with cardboard "feelers" to make a template of both sides of the 2x4 - this gave me a great template that allowed me to get really close to the compound angle cut needed to get the right fit in the bow.



Both 2x4s in place for test fitting

I had time to try my hand at filling in the gaps between the wood and hull - it's my first time working with fiberglass, so I figured this is a good place to give it a try. It's not structural and no one will ever see it once the floor is down.


06-27-2012, 10:31 PM
A couple of pics of the port outside stringer, well what was left of it...

The top was completely rotted. The fiberglass shell easily peeled right off of the wood and the bottom of the stringer was water logged.


The ShopVac hasn't worked this hard in years...

06-28-2012, 08:29 AM
Great pics, keep them coming. Nice work!

06-28-2012, 09:24 AM
Really starting to take shape now.

06-29-2012, 08:28 AM
Great job. There is no way that I would have the time or patience to do something like you have done.

06-30-2012, 08:00 AM
Thanks everyone. I don't have the time or patience, either... i got suckered into a big job because I thought it was only my floor that needed to be replaced! But, now that I'm in it, the love for my boat that I learned to ski on keeps me going. I know that after I'm done, it will feel great to be back in "old blue"

07-11-2012, 01:06 AM
More progress this past week. The hardest thing has been trying to figure out the order for doing things. I've avoided grinding and sanding in my garage - I'm doing this in the driveway so the dust doesn't get into everything I own. Thankfully, we've had almost no rain in NY.

A LOT of grinding on the hull - Mastercraft didn't do a great job with the roving, especially on the sides where there were a lot of pockets that held dirt and debris. If I'm going to be foaming the floor, this needs to be smoothed out and sealed. The mat/roving that held the stringers in also had to be ground down to make a flat bed for the new stringer. I made sure I ground at least 8" away from the stringer to give a good surface to bond the new glass to.

Not easy doing all of this work while a stone's throw from the lake...

I got the secondary stringers cut. I bought douglas fir lumber one size too big so I could cut it to the right size - the secondaries could have been cut from 2x6 material, but I would have had to get the bottom cut just right the first time. I used 2x8s and transferred the hull shape to the 2x8 on each side. I cut the "high side" and used an electric planer to make the angle until both lines were removed.


With the stringers lying down, I placed my handy-dandy laser level in rear of the boat at the height of the top of the floor as marked by the old tabbing on the walls. I then placed the stringers and marked out the top of the floor height. I took off 1/2" and then some for the floor and fiberglass thickness and cut a nice straight line. This came out perfect.


The corners of the stringers were then planed and sanded to make them about 1/4" radius so the glass would bend easily.

I got the port stringer bedded in first. I used medium cure epoxy with 1/4" chop, fairing powder and some sawdust. I didn't get enough to completely fill the gaps between the hull and stringer, so another quick batch of fairing was put into a 1 gallon plastic zip-bag with a corner cut off. I used this like an icing bag and filled the edge and a plastic spoon to make a nice 1/4" fillet. Pretty sweet.

While this was curing, the swim platform was removed and repaired- the bottom braces were cracked, not from skiers' weight, but from water pushing up on the platform when the boat comes to a stop.


The port stringer now has 4" cloth tabbing on both sides and a 12" cloth on the inside that wraps over the top. Another 12" will be placed from the outside of the stringer and roving over the top of it all. This will be one layer better than the original Mastercraft layup, so all should be good. The starboard stringer is bedded, ready for glass once I sand the "twigs" sticking out of the bedding.


07-11-2012, 01:19 AM
Several have asked for details on my wood gantry for engine removal. I'm not a PE, I didn't use wood span tables to engineer this. But, it worked for me and I'll be using it again to put the engine in.

A garage is never big enough...

The gantry uses 2x4x10 lumber for the A frames. They are reinforced with a 2x4x8 screwed into the side of the 10' uprights. The A frame is completed with a (2) 2x8s up top to hold up the beam and (2) 2x4s one in the middle, one at the bottom to prevent spreading of the A-frame. All of the hardware is 3/8" through bolts.

The beam is made of (3) 2x10x12 douglas fir. I picked the good ones from Home Depot- straight with no warp, twist, bow and as few knots as possible. The beam uses short 2x4 spacers where the diagonal bracing is attached to space the 2x10s apart. This helps to make the beam wider and lessen the risk of the beam twisting in the A-frame from an uneven loading.


For a hoist, I used a lifting strap wrapped around the 2x10s, hooked on a 1 ton chain hoist + engine leveler and chains to the engine.

By the way, this gantry was just tall enough to lift my engine above the transom so I could pull the trailer out. My ceiling is over 12', so I had plenty of room...

07-11-2012, 10:23 AM
Fantastic work. I appreciate all the pics.

07-11-2012, 10:26 AM
Sweet mother of god that is a lot of work.

You are hardcore, and thank you for your dedication and documentation of your project.

Keep us posted!

07-19-2012, 07:21 AM
An update from the weekend work - outer stringers are finally installed! Machine shop is working on pylon replacement and cutlass bearing is replaced. I also cleaned up the skegs, strut and rudder, getting them ready to reinstall. I also replaced the fuel tank blocks outboard of the exhaust.

The starboard was the first one in. I used US Composites medium cure epoxy with filler & 1/4" chopped glass to bed the stringers. The bedding was filled flush with the outside of the stringer and a fillet was made with epoxy and fairing compound - no glass. A plastic spoon was perfect for making a nice 3/8" radius fillet.

The fiberglass layup is 4" 6oz cloth tape over the fillets then 12" 6oz cloth tape starting about 2" past the 4" on the hull then up and over the stringer. 18oz roving was the placed over everything, overlapping every 36".


When I put the level across everything I found that the starboard factory stringer was about 1/2" higher than level... I think this is because the stringers are offset to the starboard side - MC might have just used the same template and the offset changes the height because the hull is not level. I don't plan to replicate the OEM height - everything will be at the same plane for flooring.



The hardest part was the roving - this stuff does not like to bend, and it sucks up an incredible amount of epoxy. I found the best way to get the roving to conform was to drape it over a 2x4 the night prior and let it start to take the shape. I'd align the top section of the roving and then roll down each side, stretching the glass as I went. I did both layups at once so the epoxy was tacky for the next pass. It was a long day...

Family vacation next week, so I will be on a beach dreaming about finishing my boat...

07-19-2012, 07:23 AM
Here's how the bow ring is installed (inside view)


The white stuff is all of the dust from grinding fiberglass.

08-10-2012, 09:22 PM
Well, it's a month later and I've been on vacation and travelling for work. Slow going on getting the boat into the water. I keep telling myself it WILL be in for this summer!

Last weekend was a good push on getting the primary stringers cut and skegs/rudder/strut back in place. This weekend will be finishing the stringer install and start planning for support pipes to run wiring, fuel lines, etc.

I found the sawzall with a long metal blade was perfect for cutting out the primary stringers. The fiberglass around the secondary stringers was either rotted or thinner because the oscillating multi-tool did great for the secondary, but struggled with the primary. Sawzall ripped right through it.


Grinding sucks.

Primary stringers were cut from 2x10x12' douglas fir. They sat in my garage at 35% humidity for a week before I put them in, so I'm hoping all is well and long lasting here. I used the same technique with the laser level as for the outside stringers. I used a protractor (thin plastic one with a hole in it) as a scribe - ball point pen through the hole and just followed the hull. Did this for both sides, cut and planed to the line and perfect fit.


Today, primary stringers got bedded and filleted into the hull. Tomorrow, a full effort of fiberglass lay-up on both stringers. Lots of epoxy going down with two layers of roving to match the factory layup.


08-10-2012, 09:24 PM
My kids thought I was missing the boat being in the water. I am, of course, so they bought me another Mastercraft.


Nice boat if I were the size of a Lego minifig...

08-10-2012, 09:29 PM
My pylon was horribly corroded, so a replacement was in order. Jim @ BAWS was very helpful in looking up replacements, but there are no options for a direct replacement that looks like my old pylon.

So, off to the local machine shop for a quote. I need them to turn a new pylon, polish and fab the cross piece and remove the old pylon from the steel cross member. They're also welding on new nuts to the steel cross member. All for $350. Not too bad considering the lowest cost new pylon I could find was $290.

The pylon will be just polished aluminum, so I'm going to have to look after the finish / corrosion. The bottom part will be lubed up with grease or neversieze, any ideas for alternatives or topside metal polish? Seems there are a lot of options for motorcycles that look good.

I'm hoping to get the pylon first thing next week.

08-10-2012, 10:00 PM

08-11-2012, 12:56 AM
Looking good. Keep up the good work.

08-11-2012, 08:05 AM
Your project looks great and you have covered all of the bases as far as I can see. Don't sweat the pylon... brushed or polished aluminum.. no big deal. They never clean or shine for long. The nature of aluminum. Good call on the fabrication at the shop. You got a good deal there.

I enjoy watching you work on the boat. Keep this thread update please.

A lot of people are enjoying me work on this boat... I need more people helping me work on the boat : )

08-11-2012, 06:43 PM
Just to let you know, you may already know, another trick with epoxy filler is to put it in an empty silicon tube to lay it in and then come back with the spoon.

Good job

08-11-2012, 09:33 PM
@psycho- nice idea with the tube - I used a 1 gallon plastic bag, cut the corner and used it like a baker's icing bag. Worked nice, easy clean up.

08-11-2012, 09:34 PM
Update for today - The first two layers of fiberglass are complete on the primary stringers. I can't wait until this project is over.

08-11-2012, 10:08 PM
Back @ Tim, yeah I hang around a wood boat forum and a lot of them use those ratchet type guns. They were saying that you can get MT types somewhere, but you could just as easily use an old one. Fill it, throw it in the gun, and you're off, then touch it up with the spoon. They say that vinegar is the best thing for clean up.

08-15-2012, 09:35 PM
I picked up my new pylon today from the machine shop. Awesome. Just like new, classic style, brushed aluminum. Cannot wait to tie a rope to it.


08-16-2012, 12:11 AM
I picked up my new pylon today from the machine shop. Awesome. Just like new, classic style, brushed aluminum. Cannot wait to tie a rope to it.


Very nice :toast:

08-16-2012, 10:34 AM
If I lived closer I would love to come out and help... great read this AM...got to this thread a little late.

08-27-2012, 04:45 PM
At work, we're working with a fiberglass-based vehicle and one of the guys just found this:


Pre-filled epoxy in a tube - this would have been sweet for the fillets I just finished.

10-21-2012, 09:04 PM
Not sure who's still subscribed to my thread, but as soon as the kids got back in school, Cub Scouts, school sports and some work travel have halted all of my efforts to get "Old Blue" in the water for 2012. She's not going to see any water this year, but I now have the entire winter (in a heated garage) to get her running for 2013.

Since the last pic, the stringers are completely glassed and the pylon support is installed. I've put all the running gear (skegs, rudder, etc) back into the hull.

I might as well clean up the engine before putting it back in and I'll be wet sanding the exterior to get the gel coat smooth and shiny. I am considering painting the hull - I'll be back for more thoughts on this in a few months.

10-21-2012, 11:36 PM
These jobs do have a way of taking more time than one would expect, but oh so nice once done and on the water. .
Keep plugging away........:toast:

10-22-2012, 08:37 PM

10-22-2012, 09:54 PM
can't wait to read and see more about this project...

03-25-2013, 11:39 PM
Update: I have been skiing my *** off. Snow skiing... My 7 & 9 year olds are skiing in the trees with me @ Royal Mountain and my boat has been taking up space in my garage. I had one weekend off from skiing and I started wet sanding the transom. LOVE how effective it is. I'm needing to take down most of the gel coat - it's in horrible condition. Learned that the blue flake is under all of the gray - made me think about taking down all of the gray and making it an all blue flake boat, but changed my mind.

I have about 1/2 of the transom wet sanded- went really light with 240 grit, 400, 800 and 1200. Buffed with starbright polishing compound - looks great. My goal is to finish the transom, get the swim platform back on, pitots, etc. I need to get plywood for the floor and get the inside functional.

No money left for new upholstery, so that will have to wait. I'm debating how to finish the front bow section. I'm not putting foam back in, so I'll have storage, but I have a battery and steering/throttle cables to deal with. Anyone have any pictures of how I might be able to best finish off this space?

Two more weekends of snow skiing then it's full-time on to the boat.

More posts to come.

SWGA Boater
03-27-2013, 12:23 PM
Been waiting on an update....what are you planning on doing with the transom? I am in the same boat about what to do with the storage under the bow. Would to install battery etc behind observer seat but it will not be accessible. Thinking of mounting radio and sub there also and then use a remote. Can't decide...

03-28-2013, 08:44 AM
Transom is in great shape, so all I'm doing is sanding the gel coat to get rid of the oxidation/pitting. Wood around exhaust and swim platform lag bolts was solid. I'd like to see layouts of newer boats so I can get some inspiration for how to finish the front bow section. I was not planning on a radio/sound system.

04-05-2013, 11:38 PM
I'm back into the swing of boat restoration. Tomorrow's the last day for snow skiing up here in NY. April and it's still snowing - loving it.

Today there was a lot of polishing going on. I had a machine shop make a new pylon for me - it was done on a CNC lathe, so the machining marks were still present. I took 400 / 600 and 1500 grit wet/dry sandpaper to it and a polishing wheel and it's nice and shiny, ready for install.


For the transom, I've got the wet sanding started. About 1/2 of the transom is done - probably about 2 hours of work. I've learned that the gray gel coat must go on first with a mask for the stripe. Then the mask is pulled and blue flake goes on to finish the gel coat build up. The gray gel is not very thick and it's easy to go through to the blue underneath. The transom is also not flat - there are some sections with transitions and edges due to the layup - these areas cause a quick sand of the raised edge and miss the lower section. So, cautious sanding and frequent cleaning to see what's going on.

I used 220 / 400 / 600 / 1500 for the sand paper. Follow that up with buffing pads and starbrite hull and fiberglass restoring polish and it looks pretty good.


04-05-2013, 11:40 PM
Ordered marine plywood today. (3) sheets of 4x8, 5-ply from Friends Lumber in Schenectady today. Delivery will be next Thursday or Friday, so floor cutting next weekend! Need to order carpet and glue, then all of the parts will be here and all construction from here out. Plywood, with delivery, ended up being $100 / sheet. Ouch.

04-06-2013, 05:02 PM
I'm looking at a new filter for the fuel system. I had a small inline automotive filter before and think this is more like the original filter that had been removed from the boat.


Question is, is this too much filter to put before the mechanical diaphragm pump? Can anyone share what they have in their S&S setups?

04-06-2013, 06:36 PM

04-06-2013, 11:04 PM
Worked most of today on "Old Blue" - it is really nice to see progress in the perspective of all construction and no more deconstruction. Hopefully things move quickly once the plywood comes in. It's hard to think about where everything needs to go without the engine in. I've been waiting to get the plywood cut before putting in the engine- seems like it will be much easier that way.

The transom is polished. Wet sanding worked great - I'm glad I didn't paint it, but I also think I will be needing to wax often this summer.


You can see the old finish on the side- no reflection, it's pitted and rough. The transom is smooth and mirror-like. Love seeing the blue flake back in form.

The swim platform was in sad shape. I finished off reinforcing the gussets and cleaned up the whole piece.


The blower grill in the rear was a mess. Fixed that & you can see the polished top rear deck blue flake.


And, here's my motivation... Ice is off and sun is out...


04-06-2013, 11:20 PM
I mounted the bilge pump much farther forward than the original installation. I mounted in the lowest part of the hull, near where the battery was mounted, by the driver's feet. I layered up a bunch of filled epoxy and drilled for screws. The epoxy let me secure everything without going into the hull and avoiding needing a wood mounting piece. Worked great.


On the starboard primary stringer, there is a 1" pipe that I'm planning to use for engine wiring. There are wood supports on each end cut with a weep passage on the bottom and I will wrap a strip of glass over these points and fill the gap with silicone after the epoxy "tacks" set up tomorrow.

04-07-2013, 09:02 AM

04-07-2013, 10:27 AM
Cloaked- thanks for the thoughts. I put weep holes in the primary stringer at the lowest point, so all water in the hull will drain to this pump location. Very few spots where the water can get trapped - the only places are where the hull isn't flat (build up for skegs, pylon mount...)

I will look into a dripless packing system - you're right, now is the time to replace that if I ever do.

I will be putting a hatch over the bilge in its current location for maintenance and service.

The last pump was under the oil pan of the engine. What a PITA and it wasn't even pumping out the whole bilge.

04-07-2013, 10:35 AM
Update on plan for battery, cables and storage... I will put the battery in a plastic case and push this into a pocket above the floor and behind the observers seat. I plan to be able to lift the seat up to gain access to the bow and I can slide the battery case forward and remove the battery for servicing. The steering cable will go into the bilge in this same area. The throttle and transmission control cables will go into the bilge by the drivers' foot bulkhead - this will leave the whole middle of the bow open for access. Next, figure out where the ventilation duct will go - I'm thinking all of the way up front with some protective bulkhead around it.

Anyone have pics of front bow storage areas?

04-07-2013, 05:44 PM

04-21-2013, 11:15 PM
thanks, cloaked. That's similar to what I'm thinking. I've been working on electrics since the last post, pulled all of the gauges out and polished the bezels, cleaned them up and they look great. Polished the helm and pulled the fake wood grain - that had always bothered me. Marine plywood for the floor has arrived.

I ran two conduits along the top of the starboard stringers- one along the secondary to the rear and one along the primary to the front engine mounts. This will let me get access to wiring much more easily than before and keep the wiring out of the bottom of the bilge. Ordered primary marine wire from genuinedealz - good pricing, fast service.

The bilge is pretty much done, so plywood cutting soon. I plan to add two wood rails to the inside of the primary stringers at the rear of the boat to provide a strong support for the removable floor panel that covers the prop shaft cavity. The previous floor sat half the primary stringer and had a lot of flex. I'll be stiffening that up in this build.

Docks and boats are starting to come out of hiding - time to prioritize the boat above kids and family : )

04-22-2013, 04:49 PM

04-22-2013, 05:06 PM
I used them for my battery replacement / dual system. Good place for cable and connectors. I had then crimp and shrink all of my connections.

When you place the plastic battery boxes and lids in the boat, use old life jack buckles and straps for the lid tie-downs. Makes it much easier to use the buckle system for removal and reinstall of the lid, than the friction type system that comes with the box.


Great idea. :toast:

04-28-2013, 02:16 AM
A few more things off the checklist today. No pictures, as I kept working non-stop... sorry.

The swim platform is back on, new pitot pickups, connected. Exhaust mounts are installed - I custom cut a 2x4 to cradle the engine end of the mufflers, they had previously just be lying on the hull. I saw a post about how MC used to just put a rag under the mufflers - I can confirm this as I found a very old (and stinky) rag under the floor. This pass will be much better. Electrical conduit is installed front to back run and front to engine runs under the floor - easy to access and up high so they won't be in bilge water.

I also tackled the leaks in my engine- replacing multiple gaskets, raw water to block, water pump, fuel pump. They all needed it, water was always dripping and oil from the fuel pump.

I looked at my fuel system and have a question - the outlet from my tank is 1/4" (ID). I previously had 1/4" line all the way to the pump, or at least I thought.. The pump has a 3/8" barb and everything I see on skidim is 3/8 or bigger. Should i be going with 3/8" from the tank?

Fuel tank is cleaned up, fuel sender replacement is on order- I tried rebuilding the old one, but no success...

I need recommendations for carpet. Any good experiences?

04-29-2013, 12:37 AM
Started cutting pieces for the floor and ordered a bunch of parts today. Measured 4 times, cut once, prayed and thankfully fit was spot on. At $100/sheet for this marine ply, I'm not ready to screw up...

I test fit the engine and it looks good. Made sure I understood the clearances needed for floor / exhaust, etc. I did find that the cradles I made for the exhaust were just a little bit too high, so modded those. Good to find before I installed the floor.

Warm enough for shorts and skiing today if the boat were ready...

07-04-2013, 12:11 AM
I've been busy. Actually had the boat in the water last weekend. Running! I had the floor plywood out to make sure everything worked properly before I epoxied everything down, but it is running and I'm happy about that. July 4th holiday should be the last push to get carpet down, install pylon and ski. I might not have a spotter's seat, but most of the work will have been done. It's only been more than a year since I've had the boat in the water...

07-04-2013, 12:21 AM
Many, many people have helped me learn from this forum, so I'm going to make sure I return that favor in posting what I learned about restoring my boat.

I will never do this again. It has been an incredible amount of time and effort and I'm missing out on other things I'd like to be doing. That said, I have become much more knowledgeable and experienced and I will be very happy that I restored "Old Blue" once I'm finished. But, did it once, don't need to do it again.

Other things I've learned:

- Planning slows things down. Not planning makes a lot of wrong things happen, really slowing things down.
- Epoxy sticks to everything. I have four pairs of shorts that don't fold the way they used to.
- Tyvek keeps the itches away. It's hot, but very effective.
- Nothing in a boat is straight. Curves suck when laying glass, carpet and beveling pieces to mate to the hull.
- Engines don't usually leak oil. Mine had always leaked. Now it doesn't, because I fixed it.
- Taking the engine out is a PITA, but makes working on things SO much easier.
- I learned to like alcohol and acetone for cleaning. I'd never used so much cleaner on a job.
- Wet sanding rocks. I can't wait to finish the rest of the hull.
- Buy good stuff. Good heat shrink, real ring lugs, good epoxy... makes the job so much easier.
- Filleting is really important. Fiberglass does not bend well and needs support.
- Fiberglass is forgiving. I screwed up many times. Grind and redo. Nice.

Alright, now for some pics

07-04-2013, 12:28 AM
I mounted the fuel filter in the left rear (sorry, I grew up around stock cars...) so I could access it. I needed to prime the filter and fuel lines so the pump could fill the carb, but once primed, everything ran beautifully. I had been concerned that the location (height) and possible restriction would be too much, but it seems ok.


07-04-2013, 12:38 AM
Water pump was removed and gaskets replaced, housing painted. T-stat housing replaced w/ new top hoses, U-fitting going to water pump also painted and re-tapped 1/4 NPT drain hole that was buggered up. Now, no water leaks! That's the first time in 10 years...

New alternator that actually works. It took some time to find it. Got an Arco 60125. I needed to space it out just a bit with a few washers, but it works great. I wired it with the sense wire, so I'm regulating at the battery terminal. New voltmeter reads 13.5V dead on. No more charging the battery every few weeks.

My quick change oil hose fitting was stripped out and siliconed in place, so I took that out, cleaned out the oil pan threads and replaced with one from overtons (#26163). My engine had the 1/2"-20 thread, standard Ford thread.

All of the electrical was rewired - another post for that...

The fuel pump gasket was leaking oil, so I replaced that as well. Decided against changing the fuel pump- it's still working and not all that difficult to change if I need to later.

The exhaust is hooked up and stable. Two cradles are lined with high temp silicone rubber to hold them off the floor. Works great.

Locating the engine mounts was the hardest part. Patience, patience...


07-04-2013, 12:47 AM
All (and I mean ALL) of the wires in the boat have been replaced. Adhesive heat shrink, good ring lug terminals w/ heat shrink and wire. I used Anchor marine heat shrink and that stuff was awesome.

I ran two conduits along the right side stringers, one for engine and one for transom electrics. The old conduit in the gunwale was too crowded and the engine pipe, well that one was useless, lying on the bottom of the hull...

I replaced several gauges and dumped the ammeter for a voltmeter. New hourmeter and oil pressure.

The fuel sender needed replacement - I tried to fix it, but no deal. New one works great.

All new electrical wiring on the engine. Relocated circuit protection and my starter has a built-in solenoid. Extra wires for whatever comes next... Depth finder is on the wish list.

07-04-2013, 12:58 AM
I have wanted one of these forever. Now we can enjoy the stars with the stern and bow lights on, no bright light beacon and still have the option for anchor light if needed.


07-04-2013, 01:00 AM
it's amazing what a buffing wheel can do...


07-04-2013, 01:04 AM
The old floor configuration had an unsecured panel that could lift up to access the strut, steering cable clamp and prop stuffing. The engine hatch hinges screwed to this and it was always a pain to get access and the engine cover was not always secure..

I installed a cross member that the engine cover will attach to. 1 single removable carpeted panel, with 2x4 reinforcements on the underside will give a sturdy, removable floor section that's not attached to the engine cover.

If it ever gets in the way, I can cut and replace. I know how to do that now : )


07-04-2013, 01:06 AM
Through-bolts are used for the swim platform. Before, they were lag bolts and the platform was a bit questionable.. I had to trim the u-shaped ductwork - not even really sure what that was for. Oscillating multi-tool made quick work of that.

Very solid platform now, carpet got put on tonight.


07-04-2013, 01:37 AM
This is a great thread for restoration! I can't generate in myself the willpower necessary to replicate your work, but I am truly impressed by the results. You now have another 30 or so years to enjoy your boat then your children can do it over the same way. Wow!

07-04-2013, 07:30 AM
Wow you really really did a nice job ! I am in the middle of cleaning up my electrical on my 79 S&S and wondered if you ran your instrument ground all the way back to the engine or if you ran a separate wire from the ground bus to the battery itself ? I am having some instrument issues and I'm thinking running an additional ground from the ground bus bar to the battery may eliminate my issues . Thanks for all the great pictures

07-05-2013, 10:21 AM
I did run a separate ground for instrumentation, separate from the #1 AWG engine block ground. The #1 AWG pos/neg goes to the starter and engine block. Another #8AWG goes directly from the battery to the dashboard. All of the grounds are distributed from the dash fuse block. I ran a #10 to the rear to the terminal block to breakout grounds. For instrumentation on the engine, the #1AWG serves as the ground as my sensors are all single-wire. They rely on the engine block for the ground path. The alternator is grounded to the engine block as well, on the same bolt that the #1AWG ground comes in. Hope that helps!

07-05-2013, 11:56 AM
Amazing work.

Very professional and things are getting done right. Love to see when people do things the right way instead of cutting corners.

Looking forward to seeing this completed.

07-05-2013, 12:05 PM
I did run a separate ground for instrumentation, separate from the #1 AWG engine block ground. The #1 AWG pos/neg goes to the starter and engine block. Another #8AWG goes directly from the battery to the dashboard. All of the grounds are distributed from the dash fuse block. I ran a #10 to the rear to the terminal block to breakout grounds. For instrumentation on the engine, the #1AWG serves as the ground as my sensors are all single-wire. They rely on the engine block for the ground path. The alternator is grounded to the engine block as well, on the same bolt that the #1AWG ground comes in. Hope that helps!

Interested to see your wiring post, my boat is in need of some serious attention on its wiring. Hoping that your wiring post will be as detailed as your stringer post.

Thanks for the time you have taken to keep us all informed of your progress.

07-07-2013, 06:05 AM
Thanks for the clarifications on your grounds. It will definitely help me to get my boat where I want it.

09-13-2013, 07:14 PM

09-26-2013, 07:08 AM
bump ^

Sorry guys... I'm getting to enjoy my boat before the weather turns. Slalom course is coming out soon, winter will mean more time to update the end if this thread.

10-06-2013, 07:51 PM
Looking forward to seeing the finished product.

Awesome work!

Seth Lansman
11-10-2013, 11:43 PM
This thread has been a great help to me as I'm working on restoring a boat identical to yours. I am looking to wet sand and buff the exterior as you did and I'm wondering how you addressed the topside of the hull. The topside of my boat is very oxidized but I'm unsure how to sand as the topside is textured. Any tips or methods you used to address the topside?

07-27-2015, 08:33 PM
I found plans for a wood one, did the stress calculations (I'm an engineer by day) and built one. It worked great. 2x4 A-frame sides, (3) 2x10 doug fir beam. Got a 1 ton hoist, some webbing and chains and up she went. No wobbles or creaks. Anyone interested in the details, let me know,

Where did you find the plans? Can you post a link?

07-27-2015, 09:28 PM
Where did you find the plans? Can you post a link?The last post prior to yours was about 1.5 years ago. The plan (or an adequate description that Tim has provided) is in this thread. Reading is beneficial. :)

This thread is a great summary of what Tim did for his restore. The small gantry crane is easy enough to build, I mean the engine is not more than a few hundred pounds.

==> http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/showpost.php?p=857139&postcount=18 <==