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jconover 04-17-2011 05:19 PM

88 ProStar teardown
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Bought my boat last year and got it running in the early summer.
(See for pitchers and engine discussion.

Decided to make some improvements this year. Wife bought me a ND tower for christmas, boat needs new carpet, and, well - there's this whole story about the prior owner and the cheap-a$$ single stage paint that he used to paint the upper third of the hull.

So let's start the story off:
Step 1, drill out the rivets, and pull the top. Stupid PO used silicone all around the hull seam, and he did a half-a$$ job of it too. Silicone sticking out, rubbed along the lower edge of the hull, looked like crap. Was even harder to get apart.

jconover 04-17-2011 05:37 PM

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I figure splitting it in half will make it a lot easier to glass in the tower supports, plus I can do the carpet up righteous. The last carpet job was so bad, it was just hanging in the boat (see pitchers!)

Now for the fun part: the painted hull. The prior owner had painted the upper half of the boat with a single stage blue paint. Paint was in pretty shabby condition, and there was some minor hull damage as well. So... off comes the paint. I started with a DA sander at 320 grit... that was no fun. After about 2 square feet I got to some of the decals. I broke out the heat gun and discovered that it took off the decals and softened the cheap-a$$ paint to the point where i could scrape it off with a scraper.

As of this weekend, i've got the transom done, and the port side paint is completely scraped off. There are a bunch of chips in the gelcoat, which I'm noodling over how to repair, and one small impact mark where something hit the boat. I'm going to post some pictures of those bits and ask for advice - gelcoat repair is not something i've done before, but i'm willing to learn.

Anyways -back to the paint removal. After stripping the paint, I started on the transom with 400 grid wetsand, then 600, then 800, then 1000, and finally i put some 1500 unigrit on the DA and used that to do some finish sanding on the gelcoat. Tons of blue paint came with the 400 grit. Wish I hadn't tried the DA with 320 on the paint, it made a mess of the gelcoat underneath (lots of swirls). Fortunately, only a few feet of transom got the DA sander, so just a little more elbow grease to clean that up.

So after taking off just about 2 sq feet of paint, I got out the polisher and hit it with some meguires 49 to see what the finish would look like. The hull below you can see i polished from the waterline to about half way up; the other half is all scratchy (so you can see what it looked like prior to starting).

It polishes up to a nice shine, but i still have a lot of fine scratch marks in the finish - they run left to right, meaning they came from my wet sanding - either i didn't spend enough time with the finer grits, or this is something that i should deal with in the polishing phase.

Those of you familiar with wetsand-compound-polish - at what point do the sanding scratches disappear from the finish?

jconover 04-17-2011 05:41 PM

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After scraping the rest of the transom, i took to wetsanding - things worked much better here, but i'm still getting some scratch marks. Also, now i'm finding the little chips and dings which the prior owner hid with the paint. We'll get to gelcoat repair in a few days, after the paint is all removed. I'm still hemming and hawing about pulling the engine and flipping the hull over so that I can get at the bottom of the boat - i guess i could untrailer it and crawl under too, but that sounds icky.

jconover 04-17-2011 05:45 PM

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Also got the carpet out and cleaned up the floor so that it's clean and workable. You can see what the paint scraping looks like before i start sanding

jconover 04-17-2011 05:48 PM

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Started sanding down the port side of the boat today. Started with 600 grit this time, since the scraping really cut down on the difficulty of working through the paint. Got down to the logo and worked that off with some WD-40.

There's some yellowing near the logo; i've sanded it fairly aggressively, but it seems to be in the gelcoat, not just on the surface. Any suggestions?

Dino Don 04-17-2011 05:59 PM

I used some PPG 2 part material to re-do the stripe (one between hull color and upper color)on mine many years ago and it is still great today--amazed me it hasn't come loose--
You can re-do the gel coat but you would need to pull engine and turn it upside down to do it right I would think. If the boat has many hours on it you might think about doing it all???? Looking at the rest do you think it was taken care of mechanically?

My 2 cents--

jconover 04-17-2011 06:30 PM

Mechanically - see this thread:
When I got it, the #1 cylinder had a cracked valve. I rebuilt the entire top end of the motor, and I also did some local homework and found the original purchaser/owner. This boat is somewhat a specialty item - it was a custom order from MC with a 454 (they made 11 boats with that engine in '88) - and it has a custom pylon for tournament pulling - I found some old photos of the ski team pulling 28 skiers for a big pyramid. The engine was completely rebuilt top to bottom at 450 hours. It has 900 now, and freshly rebuilt heads.
I spent last summer dialing in the carb and the idle, got it to the point where I could start it with the twitch of the key. I have only two mechanical complaints at this point - one is that it gets tempermental at wakeboarding speeds (engine starts to miss after about 2 minutes - i have some ideas on how to fix that, starting with a higher quality coil, and ending with me fiddling with the carb floats again). the other is a ground issue - which I think i finally found when I pulled the hull apart - my ground line had a big gash in it, which the prior owner repaired with electrical tape. I'm hoping that problem goes away with the installation of a nice shiny new 2/0 ground lead.

johnlanguab 04-17-2011 07:27 PM

I enjoyed reading your rebuild of the 454. You are way more adventurous that I am! The pictures of the separated hull scared the crap out of me!

03geetee 04-17-2011 10:07 PM

Holy ****!


gotta_ski 04-18-2011 03:43 PM

Well no one can accuse you of only doing things halfway. Like john above, separating the hull would scare the crap out of me. I'm with you on wanting to do it the right way the first time. After all this you're going to have a great boat that you won't have to wonder about. Its great to see a MC that wasn't treated well being brought back to life like this. Keep it up!

Was the hull top and bottom bonded together somehow, or just riveted together?

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