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Old 07-14-2017, 03:47 AM
kyle80mc kyle80mc is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Boat: 1980 Stars and Stripes, 351w
Location: Midwest
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1980 Mastercraft Stars and Stripes Brown Metal Flake and Cream Restoration

Hello everyone,

I am creating this thread to document my journey on restoring my 1980 Mastercraft Stars and Stripes and to (try) offer any others any help in their restoration projects. I may be adding a little too much detail into this but I want to look back in x amount of years and be able to relive every detail of the project. My older brother invited me to The Mastercraft Project on facebook, which is a great resource for any questions anyone might have on restoring an old Mastercraft, lots of people who are more than willing to help you on any restoration or general advice on anything related to these classic boats. Granted that I'm only 20 years old, going to be a junior in college, and haven't really had any experience in mechanical and restoration work, I'm stoked to learn the ins and outs of restoring this long lost beaut.

Some background on how I came to purchase this boat (this is going to be a long one since I have had the boat for a few weeks and have done a good amount of gutting so far):

A few weeks ago I woke up and somehow got onto the topic with my dad of buying an old ski boat. Currently, my family (my dad) owns a 2003 Malibu VLX Wakesetter and have to use other people's boats in order to go barefooting. Anyhow, I started looking on Craigslist for old Mastercraft Stars and Stripes, because to me they are the classic icon of the 70s and 80s ski boats. After about 20 minutes of searching I found a 1980 Mastercraft Stars and Stripes for $1500 dollars. It was in dire need of repair. The post was not very detailed in the description of the current state of the boat and judging by the pictures on the craigslist ad it was in bad shape. It had sat in an open garage for about 12-13 years, uncovered. Raccoons had gotten into the boat and chewed nearly every bit of seat and wiring, not to mention that they had pooped all throughout the boat. The fiberglass windshield was so dirty that I wasn't sure if it would ever come clean haha.

Any who, my neighbor Dan and I went to go look at the boat located in Climax, MI on a Saturday morning. On first glance of the boat it was in rougher shape than I thought. The seller and I had been emailing back and forth about it and he thought the boat was blue and from the pictures I thought it was too. At a closer look it was actually brown and cream color. There were chips in the front center of the hull and heavy oxidation on the metal flake. I ended up paying $1300 dollars for the boat. The previous owner had purchased a new prop and a used engine taken out of another Mastercraft down south with not too many hours on it (I believe). A good deal in my mind, a solid hull, new engine and prop. The trailer was also in rough shape, lots of breaks in the plastic material around the wheels and severe rust. The wheels had not been used in so long that they were dry rotted to the point that they were unusable. I looked at the manuals for the 1979 and 1981 Mastercraft's to see what diameter the wheels were. Since Dan has a 1995 Mastercraft that he rebuilt the engine, I thought that the 5 on 4.5" bolt circles would match up but it turned out that this trailer had 5 on 4.25". So we had to take his tires and put them on this trailer's tires. After that debacle, we switched the tires out and had to move a lot of things out of the way before we could get the boat out. We trailered the boat back to my house without any trailer lights. The boat was bouncing above 65 mph because the ratchet mechanism in the front was working properly. We ratcheted the engine cover down before we left.

My work so far:

I got it home July 1st and began to clean the mass amount of raccoon poop out of the boat, with a face mask of course. Before removing the floor boards I had 3 33 gallon bags full of raccoon poop and foam from the seats. I gave it a bath in the driveway, getting all the big pieces of dirt off of her. Finally got it into the garage where I began to remove the poop and pee stained carpet from it. It's a summer in Michigan and by the time I was done removing the carpet I was drenched in sweat. So humid. The hardest part about removing the carpet was underneath the rails on either side of the boat, it was stuck underneath the foam and had to lay down on that nasty carpet :/. I started gutting the boat beginning with the floor by cutting along the edges of the floor where it met the hull, cutting through the fiberglass. The boards on the left and right of the engine were in good condition but the boards behind and in front of the boat were rotted. Going to buy marine grade plywood to replace those. I continued to clean out all the raccoon **** and underneath all those boards beside under the engine. I also removed the aluminum gas tank, which was in great condition. All new hoses and electrical wiring will be coming soon, along with A few days later my dad, Dan, and I removed the old engine. Come to find out that the left center stringer was completely dry rotted and needed to be replaced. The engine mount was sagging into the fiberglass and the bolts were easily pulled out. I am going to remove the carburetor and transmission from the old motor, clean them up, and put them onto the new engine. I cleaned out the old stringer by cutting the top of the fiberglass, leaving a little lip, and scraping with a crowbar and vacuuming the remaining dust. The stringer is now all clean and drying. I am purchasing west marine epoxy along with two rolls of 4" 50' fiberglass rolls to do 3 layers on the stringer. The board I am purchasing is a 2x12x16 southern yellow pine for about $30. I plan to make a cardboard cutout of the the board so we can trace it onto the wood to get an easier first fit. I plan to replace all vinyl decals on the boat and wet sand the metal flake down a layer to expose the shine that it used to have. This is where I am at so far. Stay tuned for more progress. The posts to come wont be so long and will have more pictures but since this is my first post I had a lot of information to put out. Stay tuned everyone.

Cheers,

Kyle
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Old 07-14-2017, 03:53 AM
kyle80mc kyle80mc is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Boat: 1980 Stars and Stripes, 351w
Location: Midwest
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Also, anyone know the best way to upload multiple images to this thread?
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Old 07-14-2017, 07:57 AM
Prostar 190 Prostar 190 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle80mc View Post
Also, anyone know the best way to upload multiple images to this thread?

I used to have a Photobucket account to do it but they now want alot of $$$ to upload pictures so I now have an Imgur account works great and it's free. PS I found it's easier to upload pictures from the full site on Imgur and not the mobile site. Good luck and can't wait to see your progress.
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:58 AM
footindave footindave is offline
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I'm in on on this thread, get those pics coming. Where are you located in Michigan? Im just south of Grand Rapids
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Old 07-14-2017, 01:50 PM
kyle80mc kyle80mc is offline
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Boat: 1980 Stars and Stripes, 351w
Location: Midwest
Posts: 17
home sweet home

Even more surprises under the floor boards...thanks raccoons. Check out the windshield haha
This is where the engine mount had sagged into the rotten stringer
Somehow a beer can was left under the floor boards...
Almost all raccoon poop gone
This is the good stringer and engine mount. I spray painted around the edges so when its time to mount the new engine we know exactly where to put it.
This is where I began to cut into the stringer, you can see on the left the type of cut that I would make along the entire top of it
Cleaned out the stringer, everything was so rotted that it came out easily. About an hours worth of work in the 100% humidity
The cleaned stringer.
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Old 07-14-2017, 01:51 PM
kyle80mc kyle80mc is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Boat: 1980 Stars and Stripes, 351w
Location: Midwest
Posts: 17
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Old 07-14-2017, 01:53 PM
Prostar 190 Prostar 190 is offline
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Boat: MasterCraft prostar 1989 351
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Your pictures aren't showing up.
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Old 07-14-2017, 01:58 PM
kyle80mc kyle80mc is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Boat: 1980 Stars and Stripes, 351w
Location: Midwest
Posts: 17
I used imgur to upload them and then used the URL insert to put them in. you can right click to see them in imgur, kind of annoying. Any idea how to get them to show up in the thread?

Never mind, I found it haha. Still cant get the URL insert to work
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Old 07-14-2017, 02:05 PM
kyle80mc kyle80mc is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Boat: 1980 Stars and Stripes, 351w
Location: Midwest
Posts: 17
Here are some more pictures on my work so far.
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:54 PM
waterlogged882 waterlogged882 is offline
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Boat: 93 190
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I finished an 81 this spring. Bare hull out to the rub rail... everything except the engine new.

Cut that bulkhead out and make for some storage room and get rid of the foam.

Nice and easy boat to work on. I spent a lot of time sourcing parts, if I can be of help. I found what I needed which was about everything. Engine mounts included. You'll want four new ones for the engine alignment.

Stringers are a blast...... if you use natural wood, learn about outgassing before you lay cloth on it. Temperature is one of several key factors for success (without rework).

Before you cut the old stringers out, take a few critical baseline measurements for setting in the new ones. You will be glad when you go to set the engine and then the floor. There is an easy way to do it and saves a lot of headache later.

Reading you posts, you have a plan but I can save you a lot of work with a few minor adjustments on the cloth and epoxy resin. Not telling you how to do your project, just offering some experience of just having completed the same thing you are about to encounter. You do not need all of that cloth. I used 11 gallons of epoxy resin and a different method for fitting, setting, and bedding the stringers. Don't put them back in like you will find them when cutting out.

Merely $0.02.

Have fun.

.

.
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Last edited by waterlogged882; 07-14-2017 at 09:06 PM.
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