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Thread: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

  1. #36
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    The helm is wired and ready for the new console. I am waiting on the vinal and ignitions to finish it up. I have to run a new stern light and anchor light but that's really simple.



    It's far from done but a lot cleaner than before.



    The new seagauge module is mounted as is the new 12volt dc fuse box and switch panel. The old 12 volt system is completely disconnected and the boat is now running on the new systems.
    Last edited by Hill160881; 01-17-2017 at 06:27 PM.

  2. #37
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    That looks great!

  3. #38
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Thanks. I normally don't do electrical work but it's so expensive to have someone else muck it all up. Another bonus is I know how everything works. Any issues I know exactly where to look with the diagram in my head. And it may not look like an aircraft engineer did it but it's not to messy. The next thing to do is re-connect the charging system.
    Last edited by Hill160881; 01-18-2017 at 07:22 AM.

  4. #39
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    The new engines arrived and one had a cracked oil pan. This must have been cracked prior to assembly so the company I got them from is replacing the pan with overnight shipping and covering 2 hours labor. That should fix things and only set my schedule back more than a day or two.


  5. #40
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Looks like I will be doing some chine work this haul out. Did the other side last time.

  6. #41
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Ouch!!! Travel lifts are unfortunately hard on wood boats.

  7. #42
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    I can't find a rail or ways that will do it. It needs done anyway. I will remove and replace 30' of board above the chine on both sides and 8' of chine on the starboard side. So it will be a 10 grand haul out before it's all done. I will do what I can to keep the cost down but with the repairs and engines it won't be cheap.
    Last edited by Hill160881; 01-28-2017 at 03:25 AM.

  8. #43
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Here are some pics of the board above the chine. I wanted to make these repairs next haul out but the crushed chine made it a priority.






    The rest of the board looks good but you can see the crack developing along the screw line developing. This is where my chine leak is coming from. I may replace both sides. This is called fuzzy wood decay. Or salt damage. Or soft wood decay. Not caused by fungus but by physical mechanical processes over time.






    It's a convertible! Engines come out Monday and new ones will get set in place.
    Last edited by Hill160881; 01-29-2017 at 08:36 PM.

  9. #44
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Good progress!!!

    Keep it up!!!
    Nothing else matters but how I raise my children ... and their opinion of me, as a father.

  10. #45
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    So a little iratation. I wanted to pull the engines with the boat in the water using the lift that they use to haul out the boats with. The guy who owns this yard told me he could pull the engines easier with his fork lift without any extra repositioning and we hauled the boat as a result. Now the damage I wanted to avoid until next haul out has got to be fixed and he told me his fork lift won't reach high enough. So we are going with the sling lift. So the haulmoutnamd 7 grand in damage for nothing. This guy turned a grand job into ten grand.
    Last edited by Hill160881; 01-29-2017 at 10:25 PM.

  11. #46
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hill160881 View Post
    I can't find a rail or ways that will do it. It needs done anyway. I will remove and replace 30' of board above the chine on both sides and 8' of chine on the starboard side. So it will be a 10 grand haul out before it's all done. I will do what I can to keep the cost down but with the repairs and engines it won't be cheap.
    I can't recommend Napa Valley Marina enough. They encourage me to work on my boat in her slip, and I am on the same dock with Francis Ford Coppola's boat! He never complains about the lead infused dust that sometimes gets over to his boat. While they have a travel lift they also have four rails and a hydraulic yard trailer. The hydraulic yard trailer is super gentle on wooden bottoms. Plus their riggers know how treat and support wooden boats. There are lots of wooden boats there from Bristol yachts to "projects" and they give everyone the same respect.

    The haul out on rails for my 50 footer was $540ish or so. They let me sand as long as I had a vacuum on the sander, they always look the other way when I am slathering on heaps of homemade white lead and red lead bottom paint. They gave me four weeks on the rail and I probably could have begged another two weeks out of them.

    I have been reading your posts and it sounds like your marina says things and then later takes them back, you have a jerk on your dock who likes to complain, and people look sideways at the wooden boats. The hell with that treatment. Give Napa a try. Tell Kirby that Leo recommended Napa to you because you have a wooden boat and he can go into a lot more detail about how they view wooden boats.

  12. #47
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Thanks for the recommendation. I will be looking into napa as soon as she is ready to motor over.

    The lift was not at fault. The inner chine is 80% gone in this small section. I should, with some help with a local expert have the chine rebuilt and her back in the water next Tuesday.
    There is about 8 feet of bad chine. Depending on how hard it is to remove I may replace the whole 30' run or just the bad spot. None of the rot got into the bottom planking or the ribs. I knew it needed some work in this area but it was hiding a rotten secret. I will keep track with lots of pics.



    On good news the survey went well. Should have that back by the end of the week.

  13. #48
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    As irritated as I was with the situation it is for the best that I fix this rotten chine now rather than later. To solve the hoisting of the engines problem I have rented a 40 foot 8 ton pallet fork lift and borrowed a 40 foot engine boom. Schedualed for Wednesday morning.

  14. #49
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    The engine swap went good. Used an 4 ton high reach fork lift and a 14' boom.


    Out with the old.




    In with the new.



  15. #50
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Excellent! Getting it done in the fog.
    Last edited by seedy; 02-01-2017 at 09:20 PM.

  16. #51
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Great progress. Those engines look great in there!

  17. #52
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    I'm late, but glad I'm here. Peter said it first: the place needs more horribly expensive, frustrating and life consuming big motorboat rebuilds. Glad it's you and not me this time!
    One of the most enduring qualities of an old wooden boat is the smell it imparts to your clothing.

  18. #53
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    I gave napa valley marine a call and no joy I am starting to think I may have to do the hull work on anchor on the water. I also tried bethel island marine emporium. No one has the space or wants the liability.

  19. #54
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    really! that surprises me. Napa said a straight out no, or said they didn't have the room? I see tons of wooden boats up on the rails there year around.

  20. #55
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Perhaps with a weekend cram session we can get it done. I am willing to come down and put in several days work to help out. I know there are others here on the board in our area. You might think about putting out an announcement thread to see who else could come out.

    It appears the old one will come out without too much trouble. If you have the wood on hand and a table saw that will get the new chine close. In the mean time others can be making station patterns. Then with each person taking a section and having brought their own plane we can start to whittle it down to fit. That should take day one up. The second day we can fit and put back the original planks. The original planks are okay aren't they?

  21. #56
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Napa valley said they did not have the room and were not comfortable with this level of work being done in the slip. The originalmplanks are history. One can be used as a pattern the other came out in pieces. The chine is under control and should be done middle next week weather permitting. The rain is what's going to hold things up with the chine repair. What I want to do in the slip is strip the sides, refassen, seal the wood, calk the lines and paint. It will take weeks if not months. I did the starboard side in a hurry because of the marina, and it took three weeks and I have to redo it. That was with three people.

  22. #57
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    I do apriciate the offer though. Thanks.

  23. #58
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Find a vacant storage yard, haul your boat there and set it up, build a plastic tent over it and your tools.

  24. #59
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Quote Originally Posted by pcford View Post
    Find a vacant storage yard, haul your boat there and set it up, build a plastic tent over it and your tools.
    PC, how much harm does it do a wooden boat to be out of the water? I have been considering doing what you suggest on my own boat but I fear that 1) once out of the water, she will never see the water again, 2) wood drying out and cracking, wood shrinking, hogging of the keel, etc.

    Number 1) is obviously a matter of discipline, but what about number 2? Does it do them harm long term?

    Leo

  25. #60
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hill160881 View Post
    I do apriciate the offer though. Thanks.
    Your welcome. Sorry Napa couldn't be of more help.

  26. #61
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Quote Originally Posted by leop View Post
    PC, how much harm does it do a wooden boat to be out of the water? I have been considering doing what you suggest on my own boat but I fear that 1) once out of the water, she will never see the water again, 2) wood drying out and cracking, wood shrinking, hogging of the keel, etc.

    Number 1) is obviously a matter of discipline, but what about number 2? Does it do them harm long term?

    Leo
    Leo,
    A boat can be out of the water years with no damage or it can suffer with just a few months out. It all depends on the environment. Major hull restoration takes a lot of time...doing it in a slip or at a mooring would be a nightmare. I did the initial hull restoration work on Makato (ex Woodrow-Cogeniac's boat...frequent visitor here) over several months. I used to restore antique speedboats. Typically a restoration project might take a few to several months. (Varnishing alone takes weeks...not solid work, but the coats have to dry.) One must be careful that the environment is not too dry. When I did Makota it was taken by truck to a place in the country surrounded by trees and on crushed rock. Runabout work was done in a warehouse with concrete floors; this is not an ideal environment for a wooden boat but I don't recall a boat drying up badly.

    Choose your environment well, both the general location and the working area. If possible, choose a work area with gravel or dirt floor. I lived in the Bay Area for some time; I know there are many microclimates. Boat restoration takes a long time. Boats have to be out of the water for extended periods for serious hull work.

  27. #62
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Quote Originally Posted by pcford View Post
    Leo,
    A boat can be out of the water years with no damage or it can suffer with just a few months out. It all depends on the environment. Major hull restoration takes a lot of time...doing it in a slip or at a mooring would be a nightmare. I did the initial hull restoration work on Makato (ex Woodrow-Cogeniac's boat...frequent visitor here) over several months. I used to restore antique speedboats. Typically a restoration project might take a few to several months. (Varnishing alone takes weeks...not solid work, but the coats have to dry.) One must be careful that the environment is not too dry. When I did Makota it was taken by truck to a place in the country surrounded by trees and on crushed rock. Runabout work was done in a warehouse with concrete floors; this is not an ideal environment for a wooden boat but I don't recall a boat drying up badly.

    Choose your environment well, both the general location and the working area. If possible, choose a work area with gravel or dirt floor. I lived in the Bay Area for some time; I know there are many microclimates. Boat restoration takes a long time. Boats have to be out of the water for extended periods for serious hull work.
    Thanks for the information. It is much appreciated.

  28. #63
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Given the season is changing fast the exterior may have to wait until next winter. I simply can't do it during the summer and the spring is rapidly approaching and I have months of work to do on the exterior and still haven't found a place to do the work. What's even worse I have been told by two places that do allow this type of work they don't have a slip only to show up and see that they are full of crap and there is one available.

    Again i I am tempted to build a small 16' by 4' dock and do it on the water this next winter season. It would save many thousands of dollars.
    Last edited by Hill160881; 02-03-2017 at 06:05 AM.

  29. #64
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    I removed the old engine stringer beds and set the engines flat on some 2x4 on the stringers and it looks like both the engine and transmissions will mount directly to the stringers or really close.



    The old coupler is wrong but you can see it will be very close once I remove the 2x4.
    Last edited by Hill160881; 02-03-2017 at 09:26 PM.

  30. #65
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Very nice! You are doing a. Commendable job there.

  31. #66
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Again ... awesome!
    Nothing else matters but how I raise my children ... and their opinion of me, as a father.

  32. #67
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Thanks!

    Helm built. The padding I had was to thick. I wanted 1/8" scrim but ended up with 3/16". What ever it looks ok. I still have an edgine to put around it. I also left space at the top for 4 O2 sensor gauges. I may still redo it without the padding.

    Last edited by Hill160881; 02-04-2017 at 07:50 PM.

  33. #68
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Today I had to get some work done on the port chine and the board directly above it. It was a source of a small occasional leak. The screws were loose and there is some soft areas but 99% of the screws bit hard when reset.

    The process was to scrape off the paint.


    Then let it dry over night and then use some heat gun action to finish it off. Thennsand it with 60 grit. After which I use a cordless saw to clean the seam in between the two boards. I used smiths penetrating wood epoxy to harden the lower area where the leak was. Then I remove each screw and use a sink to drill it a 1/8" deeper. Then reset the screw. I did 35' like this. It took 6hours.



    The next step assuming the rain does not screw this all up is to use dynaglass to fill the holes, then use sikaflex to redo the seam, then paint.

  34. #69
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hill160881 View Post
    Today I had to get some work done on the port chine and the board directly above it. It was a source of a small occasional leak. The screws were loose and there is some soft areas but 99% of the screws bit hard when reset.

    The process was to scrape off the paint.


    Then let it dry over night and then use some heat gun action to finish it off. Thennsand it with 60 grit. After which I use a cordless saw to clean the seam in between the two boards. I used smiths penetrating wood epoxy to harden the lower area where the leak was. Then I remove each screw and use a sink to drill it a 1/8" deeper. Then reset the screw. I did 35' like this. It took 6hours.



    The next step assuming the rain does not screw this all up is to use dynaglass to fill the holes, then use sikaflex to redo the seam, then paint.
    Why would coating with CPES stop the leak? You should go up a gauge when refastening...setting down 1/8" likely is not sufficient. Use seam putty not Sikaflex. Plastic wood to putty screwholes. Other than that....

  35. #70
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    First you don't coat with cpes, you penetrate. The reason should be obvious given the other side. I don't have time this haul out to replace the board and inner chine. It will have to wait until next haul out. Mainly the wood was starting to do that fuzzy deterioration and this stops that. Also it is a good primer for When I fill the holes and paint.

    Next It has #10 screws already so another size up is not an option since #12s would not work near the board edge like this. Setting a loose and leaking screw a bite deeper is better than leaving it loose. The reason to set it deeper is to get a new surface for thebscrew to set in and seal.
    See the leaks at the screws? The screws were solid just loose. I would add more screws if the board was in better shape and it was a long term repair.



    Seam putty? What kind as the only seem putty made(interlux)is the wrong kind and to hard? Sikaflex is what they would have used if it was around in the 60s. My boat maintains a dusty dry bilge and I will keep it that way thanks.

    Ppastic wood filler? Ummmm hell no! That stuff is complete crap. Dynaglass or famowood to fill holes. Dynaglass below the water line and famowood above. .
    Last edited by Hill160881; 02-06-2017 at 09:23 AM.

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