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Thread: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

  1. #1
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    Default Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    My husband and I are going to be refinishing the hull of a 37' 1963 Chris Craft Constellation in the spring. Any advice on what would be the most straightforward way to do this? I'd post a picture of the boat in question, however, it says the file is too large. If you want to see the picture, say so and I can email it to you.

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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    Some detailed pictures of the boat, especially of any trouble spots would be a big help. The pictures will have to be hosted somewhere online, the forum servers will not store photos. There are several free photo hosting/sharing sites available. The most popular are www.photobucket.com or www.flikr.com Upload your pictures to one of those first. Then when you want to post them on the forum you click on the add photo icon at the top of the new message window. That will bring up a box with two tabs. One says "from computer" the other "from URL" choose from URL. Put the URL from the individual picture from photobucket in the box and make sure to uncheck the box that says "retrieve and reference locally" or else it won't work. The URL for each picture is located in the bottom of the the thumbnail box when viewing the whole album in photobucket. Hope this helps.Regards,Mike

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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation


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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    This is the only picture I currently have, the boat is currently a bit over an hour away from my home so I can't just go up the road and get mroe pictures, and I'd have more but my phone decided to die just as I was about to start taking more detailed pictures.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    Each finish on your boat has some individual nuances, but serve it to say that sanding off flaking paint, evening the surface, priming it, and using the appropriate type of topcoat is your start.


    By the way, the shrink wrap on that boat is a very very bad idea.

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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    Digression:

    Peter, agreed shrink wrap isn't great, and white is definitely better than blue. But that job looks like its pretty well vented.

    But my yard doesn't allow freestanding enclosures and I don't have an unheated dirt floor shed to put it in. And i pull of my shrinkwrap and launch as soon as I can in the spring. Seriously, your advice is excellent. What would you do if you were me, or queenbee as best alternative?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    I take off my stanchions, and use the bases for an galvanized conduit frame with astrup tubing clamps on a ridgepole. For a cover I use a hay bale tarp. They cost about 300 bucks for the tarp and I get about five years out of them.

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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    Thanks Peter. Is the hay bale tarp canvas or plastic?

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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    I think we've gotten a bit off topic here guys. We still have one very confused person over here I can tell you that the hull is double planked if that helps?

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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    When you say you will be "refinishing" the hull, do you mean removing old paint and applying new? Or do you mean pulling out old caulk or sealant and re-sealing/caulking the planks?

    You've given very little information to go on.
    - Bill T.

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    "Look, I don't know, but that's not funny."

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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    re-sealing and caulking as well as paint. and replacement of somewhere around the area of 4 or 5 spots that are beginning to dry rot. the person who had the boat before already did the majority of work that needed to be done.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    Your constellation is double planked below the chine, and batten fastened above the chine. You definitely need to replace any rotten planking, and then proceed to the refinishing stage. You have a lot of different finishes. You need several sanders and lots of paper..

    I have a 1964 Chris Craft Challenger BTW...36 feet.


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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    Now that's a pretty boat So what's the process for fixing this boat of mine and getting her water worthy? I know she's mechanically and electrically sound. She's been rewired entirely and her twin 283's have been rebuilt. Just sand the old paint off, fix the dry rotted spots, caulk the seams, and repaint? or is it not that simple? I was told to use 3m 5200 caulk and I found some antifouling paint through sherwin williams for $93 a gallon. Shouldn't she be primed too? If so what kind of primer? And what kind of paint for above the waterline as my husband doesn't want to stain her (which sucks because that's what I'd like to do...)

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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    Quote Originally Posted by queenbee View Post
    I was told to use 3m 5200 caulk
    Oops. Now you've gone and done it. Others will be out soon to tell you all about 5200...

    Quote Originally Posted by queenbee View Post
    And what kind of paint for above the waterline as my husband doesn't want to stain her (which sucks because that's what I'd like to do...)
    You would soon find that varnished wood requires way more regular maintenance than painted.
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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    Better yet, how much of this stuff am i going to need? my husband guessed a 5 gallon bucket of antifouling paint for below the waterline and around 10 10.5oz cartridges of the 3m and I think he said another 5 gallons of whatever kind of paint for above the waterline and I'm going to assume that means 10 gallons of primer also, i just dont want to run out of material and have to wait for more to come in or have to run out and get a different but similar product. I'd like to do the entire hull with the same stuff. oh, and is there a way to tell what kind of wood is currently on it? it looks like white oak, but i can never tell. the only wood i can ever tell for sure is pine and that's just because of the smell.

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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    Quote Originally Posted by ILikeRust View Post
    Oops. Now you've gone and done it. Others will be out soon to tell you all about 5200...



    You would soon find that varnished wood requires way more regular maintenance than painted.

    That's what my husband said about varnishing, so i guess i'll just have to deal even though i prefer the look of varnish. But seriously, what should I use for each part of this project and how much of it will i need without going too overboard? I can't start the actual work until spring but because my husband is a trucker with squat for time it's up to me to figure out how we're going to do this thing. which is ridiculous because my experience with boats is disgustingly limited.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    The last thing you want to use is 5200. Use a good quality seam compound or caulking ... 4000 is fine from 3m. You don't need the adhesive nature of 5200.

    The original paint for the bottom would have been a hard racing bronze, from either Pettit or Interlux. You can use whatever bottom paint you want, but it should be a hard finish for that boat.

    On the hull of the boat use a good quality paint like Easypoxy like Pettit, or Brightsides from Interlux... or if you want to go whole hog, use a two part paint like Interlux Perfection, Imron or Awlgrip, (I use two part paints on Vanora's hull) but keep in mind that two part paints are harder to apply and require more preparation. A good primer is important for bare spots. Interlux make a couple of primers that are good quality.

    Other than that, your comments are correct.... Keep asking questions.

    PREPARATION IS EVERYTHING.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    Quote Originally Posted by queenbee View Post
    Better yet, how much of this stuff am i going to need? my husband guessed a 5 gallon bucket of antifouling paint for below the waterline and around 10 10.5oz cartridges of the 3m and I think he said another 5 gallons of whatever kind of paint for above the waterline and I'm going to assume that means 10 gallons of primer also, i just dont want to run out of material and have to wait for more to come in or have to run out and get a different but similar product. I'd like to do the entire hull with the same stuff. oh, and is there a way to tell what kind of wood is currently on it? it looks like white oak, but i can never tell. the only wood i can ever tell for sure is pine and that's just because of the smell.

    No to almost all of those quantities. I use a gallon of bottom paint for a good single coat, so two gallons is lots. Top side paint for two coats of a single part polyurethane like brightsides, probably two gallons tops. A quart for the top side stripe and a pint for the water line.

    Are you thinking about painting all the cockpit varnish with paint? You lost me on that one.

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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Malcolm Jardine View Post
    The last thing you want to use is 5200. Use a good quality seam compound or caulking ... 4000 is fine from 3m. You don't need the adhesive nature of 5200.

    The original paint for the bottom would have been a hard racing bronze, from either Pettit or Interlux. You can use whatever bottom paint you want, but it should be a hard finish for that boat.

    On the hull of the boat use a good quality paint like Easypoxy like Pettit, or Brightsides from Interlux... or if you want to go whole hog, use a two part paint like Interlux Perfection, Imron or Awlgrip, (I use two part paints on Vanora's hull) but keep in mind that two part paints are harder to apply and require more preparation. A good primer is important for bare spots. Interlux make a couple of primers that are good quality.

    Other than that, your comments are correct.... Keep asking questions.

    PREPARATION IS EVERYTHING.
    There have been a lot of failures with 2 part paints on wooden boats...'round here it is considered a no-no.

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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    Yeah, all the paint that's on her how needs to come off, it's all peeling and coming off. My husband seems to think we're saving her from certain deterioration beyond rehab.

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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    Quote Originally Posted by pcford View Post
    There have been a lot of failures with 2 part paints on wooden boats...'round here it is considered a no-no.
    Really? Vanora has been painted with Imron for 20 years now... I get about 5-6 years between paint jobs, and touchups are a breeze.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    Quote Originally Posted by queenbee View Post
    Yeah, all the paint that's on her how needs to come off, it's all peeling and coming off. My husband seems to think we're saving her from certain deterioration beyond rehab.

    If the paint is all peeling.... look to that shrink wrap as a cause. ... the wood is wet, and there is no breeze getting through the boat to dry her out.

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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Malcolm Jardine View Post
    If the paint is all peeling.... look to that shrink wrap as a cause. ... the wood is wet, and there is no breeze getting through the boat to dry her out.
    So should I call the marina where she's at and have them remove the shrinkwrap? How much paint and primer and whatnot do you use for Vanora?

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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Malcolm Jardine View Post
    No to almost all of those quantities. I use a gallon of bottom paint for a good single coat, so two gallons is lots. Top side paint for two coats of a single part polyurethane like brightsides, probably two gallons tops. A quart for the top side stripe and a pint for the water line.

    Are you thinking about painting all the cockpit varnish with paint? You lost me on that one.
    WOW, I must be tired tonight, completely missed this post... We're definitely gonna keep the cockpit varnish, I don't think I could bear to part with it.

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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    The deck's all teak anyway.

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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    Varnish is nothing more that paint when it comes to keeping a protection on wood. The process is the same even though you can hide a lot of flaws with paint in regards to appearance and even patch bad areas in the wood sometimes without replacing large sections if you are picky. The only difference in my opinion is the added work in the prep process. As far as recoating and when to recoat, unless the boat is in some sub tropical area, I do not think that you will really notice much difference as long as your fresh finish work and and under surface prep is correct to start with. If you use a semi gloss or even a satin finish, you can get by with a lot less work overall too.

    Now I will await the naysayers tell me that I am nuts once again.

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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    Quote Originally Posted by erster View Post
    Varnish is nothing more that paint when it comes to keeping a protection on wood. The process is the same even though you can hide a lot of flaws with paint in regards to appearance and even patch bad areas in the wood sometimes without replacing large sections if you are picky. The only difference in my opinion is the added work in the prep process. As far as recoating and when to recoat, unless the boat is in some sub tropical area, I do not think that you will really notice much difference as long as your fresh finish work and and under surface prep is correct to start with. If you use a semi gloss or even a satin finish, you can get by with a lot less work overall too.

    Now I will await the naysayers tell me that I am nuts once again.
    Yeah, I had a thread over on The Hull Truth and had a lot of people telling me that this boat of mine was nothing more than a money pit and a piece of driftwood and I'd be better off chopping her up for firewood and such. How much of the 3m 4000 should I use?

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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    Quote Originally Posted by queenbee View Post
    Yeah, I had a thread over on The Hull Truth and had a lot of people telling me that this boat of mine was nothing more than a money pit and a piece of driftwood and I'd be better off chopping her up for firewood and such. How much of the 3m 4000 should I use?
    Well the first thing you should do is to delete the link to that site, even while I am a big stink potter of all stripes. As far as 4000? None, I can't think of a single place to use that stuff unless its for bedding hardware these days. For any job that you think that you need 5200, go to the big box stores and buy their PL products such as window, door, siding sealant or for bedding rails I use their Roofing and Flashing Sealent because normally they are varnished hardwoods. I also use that for the stainless steel rails too. The price is around five bucks a tube and works fantastic as an alternative to so called marine caulking.

    But for original wooden hulls like you have, dolphinite bedding compound or make your own from hardware ingredients for bedding parts.
    Last edited by erster; 10-25-2011 at 09:20 PM.

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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    Quote Originally Posted by erster View Post
    Well the first thing you should do is to delete the link to that site, even while I am a big stink potter of all stripes. As far as 4000? None, I can't think of a single place to use that stuff unless its for bedding hardware these days. For any job that you think that you need 5200, go to the big box stores and buy their PL products such as window, door, siding sealant or for bedding rails I use their Roofing and Flashing Sealent because normally they are varnished hardwoods. I also use that for the stainless steel rails too. The price is around five bucks a tube and works fantastic as an alternative to so called marine caulking.

    But for original wooden hulls like you have, dolphinite bedding compound or make your own from hardware ingredients for bedding parts.
    Yeah, you're definitely gonna have to translate this one into something super simple for me. I have no idea what you're talking about. Dolphinite bedding? As far as I know bedding is something to sleep on...

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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    How much of the 3m 4000 should I use

    You ask about the 3m 4000, which is a caulk and sealant combination. Its very expensive. There are other caulks such as I mentioned that have simular properties for about 1/3rd of the costs. You will find it sold in almost all big box stores. Read the online materials such as the MSDS sheets and read the labels of the caulk and you will find the same specs. Most wooden boats on the bygone era used one main bedding compound and thats called Dolphinite Bedding Compound, which is a soft and pliable material that allows you to remove any part thats been fastened together with hardware in most cases.

    http://www.boatingstore.com/us/dolph...nd-p19613.html
    Last edited by erster; 10-25-2011 at 09:50 PM.

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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    Quote Originally Posted by erster View Post
    You ask about the 3m 4000, which is a caulk and sealant combination. Its very expensive. There are other caulks such as I mentioned that have simular properties for about 1/3rd of the costs. You will find it sold in almost all big box stores. Read the online materials such as the MSDS sheets and read the labels of the caulk and you will find the same specs. Most wooden boats on the bygone era used one main bedding compound and thats called Dolphinite Bedding Compound, which is a soft and pliable material that allows you to remove any part thats been fastened together with hardware in most cases.

    http://www.boatingstore.com/us/dolph...nd-p19613.html

    So if I were to use this compound, would it be used on the whole hull? And how much would I need? I notice it only comes in pints and quarts.

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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Malcolm Jardine View Post
    Really? Vanora has been painted with Imron for 20 years now... I get about 5-6 years between paint jobs, and touchups are a breeze.
    Maybe you keep your boat in a boathouse so the wood is stable? I have heard stories of two part paint cracking and coming off in great sheets.

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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    Quote Originally Posted by pcford View Post
    Maybe you keep your boat in a boathouse so the wood is stable? I have heard stories of two part paint cracking and coming off in great sheets.
    Could the difference in quality have anything to do with the difference between fresh and salt water perhaps?

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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    It sounds to me like you may be getting a little ahead of yourself. It is hard to tell you what products to use and how much to buy. Restoring and keeping up a wood boat really isn't a grocery list type of operation. It is, however, a very rewarding and worthwhile learning experience. If I were you I would get a couple of books and start reading. One of my favorites is by Don Danenberg and can be found here

    http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Woode.../dp/0760334889

    It is centered around runabouts but he covers all types of power boat construction including the type used on your boat. It will help you become familiar with the way your boat is constructed, and it will also help you become familiar with specific terms unique to boatbuilding.

    Once you have read up on the subject inspect your boat, stick your head in every square inch of the bilge and go over the entire hull and look for problem areas. Pay particular attention to areas where water, especially rainwater would like to collect such as corners of windows and where the deckhouse and windshield join the deck. The boat will almost certainly need more than just a repaint, but the work is do-able. Don't worry too much about amassing supplies, most of them can be bought locally or through several good online suppliers. Many wood boats, have met with the chainsaw because owners have been anxious to quickly repair the cosmetic issues and get it in the water. This process when repeated season after season eventually leads to disaster. I know this because I am currently restoring a victim of this type of upkeep. Read up, inspect your boat, take pictures, and report back. There are a lot of knowledgable people here that would be glad to help, myself included.

    Regards,
    Mike

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    Default Re: Refinishing 1963 Chris Craft Constellation

    Quote Originally Posted by queenbee View Post
    So if I were to use this compound, would it be used on the whole hull? And how much would I need? I notice it only comes in pints and quarts.
    First you need to look at what job we are talking about doing on the boat. My response from the beginning addressed only the use of the 4000 product for anything on the boat. For sure I do not suggest filling wide cracks between solid planked hulls with any form of material that cures to a flexible but solid component, such as many of the tube caulks. Surface seam cracks are another issue all by itself.


    Open cracks is where you need material at worse that stays pliable and can even squeeze back out when the planking swells back up such as what takes place in the bottoms in particular. But this also happens to a lesser degree in the side planks if the planking is solid stock. But on the sides you need something that is paintable over in the seam. But you first need to address why side seams are open in particular. Heck even aged hulls can have some fastener issues too. Pull and inspect even a couple at random and see if the threads are still in place.

    This is another issue by itself and in most cases will also need to be addressed if the bottom planks are opened up such as what happens when an aged boat is stored on the hard for a period of time. IF you have never done this on this boat, I would inspect the fasteners before I did anything. So there are several issues that needs to be addressed here before you worry about shiny topcoat paints, as its not a cut and dry issue. Of course I posted some worse case scenerios too but something that heeds to be looked at if you have not been through the "fine print" so to speak with the hull in a while or at worse never since you have owned the boat.

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