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  #1  
Old 11-01-2012, 05:07 PM
cas17013 cas17013 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Boat: Tristar 220
Location: North East
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1989 Tristar 220 restomod

Still being new to the site, I hope this does not upset the purists out there, but I thought I would post my plans, and progress of my Tristar 220 refurbish/modification. If my post is out of place, or off topic I will gladly move, or remove it.

The story begins with me trolling Craigslist for a derilect boat with a good motor to rebuild a Chris Craft I want to restore. I found the Mastercraft about 100 miles away floating in a slip that needed removed for the season. It was a $1 deal, so it was basicaly free. Talked to the guy, and the boat sounded neglected, but he seemed to keep the mechanicals reasonably maintained. Just this spring it had new manifolds/risers, new Holley carb, new impeller, rebuilt alt., etc. I was excited, it sounded just like what I was looking for, and almost to good to be true.

There was one small problem, the starter solenoid was going out, and it was unlikely to start. This was compounded by the fact it was on the water, and the nearest ramp was about 3/4 of a mile away at the next marina. I only had a small window of time to get it, and not enough time to order a new starter, so I made a small transom bracket that I could lash onto the swim platform. I have a 3.5 hp outboard for my zodiac, that I mounted to the transom bracket, and was able to slowly motor over to the next marina, and it's ramp. Thankfully there was only a few people on the water at the time, but the ones that were there seemed to get a kick out of my 3.5 hp ski boat. I had a little problem getting it on the trailer I had to use, but after I removed the rear rollers to clear the prop, I was on the road, and made it home without issue.

I have had it for about a week now, and I made the easy decision after looking it over to put it back into service, and not canibalize it for the motor. This leads me to the point of the whole post, which is how I plan to restore/ modify it for my intended uses. While it will not be perfect, I plan to do some minor modifications to make it a little more fishing friendly, and some practical stuff to increase the safety as I will be in some marginal waters with it, and while I am willing to take the occasional beating, I do not have any desire to swamp it.

The modifications will center mostly around converting it to a center console layout with a T-top. I also want to make the deck self bailing to a degree which will require raising the floor level a few inches in a portion of the boat. There will be some other minor stuff, as I clean her up but the console, and the floor is the major changes.

The center console is pretty simple to visualize, and I really have no questions in my mind about that. The self bailing floor is another issue, and I plan to dive into that a little deeper in a following reply.

Please follow along if your interested, I will warn everyone that I probably do not work as fast as some who take on projects. Slow, and not always steady probably best defines how this will go, but it will eventualy get done. My plan is to have it ready to go for next summer. That goal is very easily doable, but things come up. I make a portion of my living in my workshop, and if enough paying work flows in, the boat takes the back burner. In winter time, this means it gets rolled into a non heated garage, and all work stops until my small workshop opens back up.

I welcome any advice, encouragment, or constructive critisism. If my plan does not sit well with you, I realize that it is a compromise, and it will have no resale value after the work I do. Feel free to remind me, but I probably will not change my mind.
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:33 PM
cas17013 cas17013 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Boat: Tristar 220
Location: North East
Posts: 17
Self bailing

One of the changes I plan to do is raise the floor about three inches so that any water over the bow will harmlessly flow out a scupper valve in the back of the boat if I get caught in bad water. Having been in a boat that got swamped before far from shore, this is one thing that is important to me. Given the freeboard of the boat, right, or wrong, I plan to address this.

My initial measurements show that the floor of the boat is just a little above the average waterline, but the original fiberglass floor has a shelf molded under the rear bench seat that will dam any water that comes over the sides, and I cannot get positive/gravity drainage from the majority of the boat because of this. My first thought was to remove the ledge in the back so everything would drain, but I am not wild about removing any existing structure. My current plan is to add a support structure, and new floor skin to make everything flow to the back, and out of the valves. I also want to fill the voids with flotation foam to increase the bouyancy.

My plan is to fasten a grid of PVC supports on about 12" intervals to the existing floor, fill the voids with 4# pourable flotation foam, and them cap it with an aluminum skinned composite sheeting. I will probably increase the height of the center access panels even a little more to direct the water out the back via gravity, rather than into the bilge where it can only be pumped out. The doghouse will probably get a lip built into the floor around it's perimeter again to bypass the bilge, and flow it out the back. At this height, I should be able to place the scupper valves to discharge onto the swim platform, which should be clear of the waterline in most average situations

Any thoughts on how to better raise the floor are welcome. I am also interested in the general opinion of how waterlogged the existing foam under the floor may be? I expect it has taken on some water over time, but I hate to cut up the floor unless it is common for the foam to waterlog. I will probably drill a few test holes to be sure, and I am counting on a new three inch layer of foam inside the raised floor to counteract any problems the original foam may have.

Not sure if any of this make sense, or if I am just rambling, but I am trying to put together a little bit of a plan before I just jump into the project.
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  #3  
Old 11-01-2012, 05:35 PM
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mikeg205 mikeg205 is offline
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Only if you post pitchers... lookin' forward to it... at least me.

Post current pic's of boat!
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:46 PM
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PointTaken PointTaken is offline
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Pictures please.
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  #5  
Old 11-01-2012, 05:51 PM
cas17013 cas17013 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeg205 View Post
Only if you post pitchers... lookin' forward to it... at least me.

Post current pic's of boat!
What was I thinking, I forgot the most important part.

At the slip when I picked it up:


I will take a bunch more before I start.

You cannot see from the photo, but there is not one salvagable square inch of vinyl upholstery on the whole darn thing. Frankly, there is not one piece of foam under the uphostery that is salvagable. The rub rail is pretty bent up on the port side, and there are random gelcoat chips all over. Other than that, it looks just like any other boat that lived in an open slip, and exposed to the elements 100% of the last few years.
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  #6  
Old 11-01-2012, 05:52 PM
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mcparadise mcparadise is offline
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Boat: 1998 Sportstar 19/305 Chevy Indmar (4160 Carbed)
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Welcome to TT. As someone who is surely not a purist, and an ocean going fool too, I look forward to following along! One thing I found by experience, and mentioned above is that everyone likes to see photos, and they generate much more discussion/support. It's not hard to do, so you might try that when you have time.
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:46 PM
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LYNRDSKYNRD LYNRDSKYNRD is offline
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Welcome, awesome sounding project can't wait to see how it turns out.

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  #8  
Old 11-01-2012, 10:02 PM
gweaver gweaver is offline
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Looks like a fun project! I'll be interested to see how it turns out.
If you search "Brett Swindell" on youtube, the videos might be worth watching. He took a closed-bow boat and modded it to be a center-console. I have no connection to the guy, I'm just really intrigued by the idea, to the point I've been casually surfing CL for candidate boats.
G
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  #9  
Old 11-01-2012, 10:59 PM
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byronic byronic is offline
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Boat: 86 19' skier 351 PCM
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Good luck on your project. I have always wanted to pickup an old S&S and put in a center console. My favorite place to ride is on top of the dog house.
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  #10  
Old 11-01-2012, 11:48 PM
cas17013 cas17013 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Boat: Tristar 220
Location: North East
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gweaver View Post
Looks like a fun project! I'll be interested to see how it turns out.
If you search "Brett Swindell" on youtube, the videos might be worth watching. He took a closed-bow boat and modded it to be a center-console. I have no connection to the guy, I'm just really intrigued by the idea, to the point I've been casually surfing CL for candidate boats.
G
Funny you should mention that video, I watched all of his videos a week, or so back. If I remember correctly, he had a lot of structural repair before he could really get started. The Tristar I have is in reasonably good shape aside from trashed cosmetic stuff. Raising the floor is not the sexiest job, but everything else should be very gratifying. Replacing transoms, stringers, and rotten floors just stinks.

I am pleased with the enthusiasm so far.

I live in an area where if you have a trailer you can find all kinds of nice free boats. They all need work, but if you want to customize something it is not a bad way to go. With the hurricane this week, I hate to think of all the "projects" that are going to go straight to the landfill. Sadly, they cannot all be saved, and I guess in the larger picture the boats are nothing compared to everything else that was lost.

Good luck with your search! It is fun to have a boat you can call your own. Even a "free" boat gets expensive if you do it right, but I think it is worth it.
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