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

  1. #51
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Great progress. Those engines look great in there!

  2. #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.

  3. #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.

  4. #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.

  5. #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?

  6. #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.

  7. #57
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    I do apriciate the offer though. Thanks.

  8. #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.

  9. #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

  10. #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.

  11. #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.

  12. #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.

  13. #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.

  14. #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.

  15. #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.

  16. #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.

  17. #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.

  18. #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.

  19. #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....

  20. #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.

  21. #71
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Looks like you have it handled, bud, so I won't trouble you anymore. Since I have done boat restoration for 35 years, some people think my views are at least worth considering. Some of your choices you will likely regret, but good luck.

  22. #72
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    So has the guy helping do the repairs. 40 years...... I hear this every day from people that never agree on how to work on and maintain wooden boats.

    Again what seam compound? The interlux is not for this application, it's to hard, and the petti is no longer available. Do you have a linseed putty recipe? Any advice other than a generic term like seam putty.

    Plastic wood filler? Why? Is there some reason it works well below the water line? I used this on the topside and every single one poped out the following season. I have been a carpenter for 20 years and this stuff is **** for most applications. I welcome advice but it needs to be explained and be followed with specifics.

    Sorry if I was stand offish. But your response was vague.

    Why not use dynaglass in an area I will be replacing in a year or two? Especially since there was a leak?

    And for the record the one doing the repair has been maintaining this boat for 30 years. Her hull and bottom are in fantastic shape considering she went 12 years between haul outs before I got her. So the guy knows his ****. Some of his repairs from 20 years ago are still like new.
    Last edited by Hill160881; 02-06-2017 at 01:04 PM.

  23. #73
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Anyway.....

    I got time inbetween rain showers to remove the inner chine.



    It did rot the edge of the bottom plank and the plywood so I plan to remove one plank and take a look and make repairs as needed.



    This is the inner chine. The V cut changes angle and width as you go forward. Should be an easy cut assuming my hand is still strong enough to run the circular saw with the angle lock off and to smoothly get the angle to change. I only need to get t close and I can finish it up with a chisel.



    This is how it fits into position.



    I had to take it out in pieces and I saved them in order to pull measurements and angles from where they are not totally rotten and useless.

  24. #74
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    It's a bit hard to tell from the pictures, but is her bottom an inner layer of plywood that is then covered with an outer layer of planks? Or the other way around?

  25. #75
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Inner layer of plywood then planking.

  26. #76
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hill160881 View Post
    Inner layer of plywood then planking.
    wow, she is built just like my little 17ft Chris Craft (inner was originally diagonal plank covered by outer of straight plank but I replaced the inner with plywood when I restored her) but she is just a lot bigger boat! Were they still putting canvas soaked with linseed oil in between the two layers of her bottom when she was built? That's what they had done on my little runabout. I was glad to be rid of it. Really promoted rot after the oil dried out and water took its place.

    God all this rain must suck for you. Will they let you work on her under some plastic and an easy up at least??
    Last edited by leop; 02-09-2017 at 09:44 PM.

  27. #77
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    It looks like they just set the planking in white led putty. No canvas. I was sure it had canvas but no. Not even any gap between boards. Just led putty and but them together. Dry as a bone between the two layers.

    The rain will give me a 5 day window and I should be able to get it done in that time with the help I have. A lot will happen in a short time now. Starting with tomorro and continuing until she hits the water next week.

    I am excited to get her wet and hook up the engines. Also to get her back in her slip and get the decks and rails I paid for done.

  28. #78
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Working on the chine. Test fitting it before I replace a plywood strip. My friend doing the chine is having fun. Haha




  29. #79
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hill160881 View Post
    Working on the chine. Test fitting it before I replace a plywood strip. My friend doing the chine is having fun. Haha



    does your friend want a job in Napa. Looks like he does nice work. What kind of wood are you using? Did you get it locally ?

  30. #80
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Haha He is old and slow and shows up at 1..... but yes he does good work. When you can get him on site Nailed that piece on the first try. His experience is evident. Honestly nothing I cant do. The number of times we get asked for a card it's a good thing neither of us has one. He is more interested in his 80 something footer he is working on on the east coast. He is just helping me out in a pinch. There is no way I can get this done fast enough by myself with all that is getting done.
    Last edited by Hill160881; 02-11-2017 at 08:34 PM.

  31. #81
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    The lower inner chine is done. That's the hard one.





    It was done in two pieces to accommodate the bends and such.


    This area looked bad so I took the outer chine off and it's only on the surface and some epoxy should do the trick.

  32. #82
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    For those who think I am doing something wrong with the sikaflex let me explain the logic behind it for this application. We simply can not get the tolerances needed with this repair for seam compounds or putty to do its job. If you look at the many changing angles and the bends with this chine there is no way me or Chris can get it that close. Can we get it close? Very as evident by the pics but not enough the make a water tight seal guaranteed. Some may disagree but I feel this is simply admitting the limitations of the situation and not sticking to old methods that would take much longer than we have and with a much higher likelihood of a leak. What most won't accept is this is a double planked lower and a board and baton up top design and that differed from most sail boats that need different methods and materials. If you disagree that's fine


    Inner chine done! Just bolts and final faring. Tomorrow we will set the plywood and lower planking.




    The lower angle is still off by a small amount but it was as close enough.

  33. #83
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Lower planking ready to screw up. Should be ready to paint by tomorrow evening if all goes well.





    Also got the sikaflex done on all the problem areas. Tomorrow I will sand the lines then dynaglass all the screw holes.


  34. #84
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Almost there. Just one more board and the lower outer chine. Hopefully the weather does not go to total **** and add another week for the last days work. It most likely will
    No leak construction.


    Then lots of screws



    Very close.

  35. #85
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Today was a long day but productive. Tomorrow is the day. I have some dynaglass and some sikaflex to do but it's all small stuff that won't take more than an hour or two.

    At the very back of the keel it had a leak after it rained. I was sure I fixed this but no. Glad it rained. So I carved out a 1/4 inch by 4 inch notch between board joints where the keel ends and the bottom planking begins. I am sure there is a term I don't know. Since it would not dry out i decided to use a technique with water activated expanding wood glue. Gorilla glue Then I made a plug and pounded it in. No more drip which means no more leak.
    The hole I carved out.


    The tapered plug I made.



    Then pound it in with lots of glue and let it set up.


    Then once it's dry tape it off and sikaflex the area. I made the plug 1/8" receded to leave room for the sikaflex. No more leak or drip from inside. This repair was made while it was dripping wet and was solid as a rock.


  36. #86
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    The outer chine is done.
    During the process.



    The port side is sealed up with no leaks. Ready for its final paint.

  37. #87
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Two questions. As I recall you were using family wood to seal screw holes above the water line. Why not just use dyna-glass both above and below the water line? Is there a big cost difference?

    Also can you tell me where you got your wood and how much it cost?

    Looks good, though it would have been fun to come help ��

  38. #88
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Dynaglass or bondo glass is a different hardness and sands at a different rate than the wood. So above the water line it makes for for issues. Also it is two part where the famowood is apply right out of the can and sands similar to the wood. Had to drive to Berkeley to get the wood. MacBeath hardwood.

    She is ready to hit the water. Like it never happened.



    The yard operator asked me how long I would need to leave it in the sling and both me and Chris laughed out loud. No time at all. Just put it in and move it over to the dock. I doubt there will be much leaking. Hell it full of water and not leaking out now.
    Last edited by Hill160881; 02-18-2017 at 01:41 AM.

  39. #89
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    LOL, yea but the water is on the inside! It's no wonder with this constant rain we have had. I suppose you could have run the bilge pumps , water's water right!

    The repair looks great and is really solid, that much is clear.

    McBeth does seam to be the go-to place around here for nice mahogany, but I like to ask people because experience is the final word on which vendors offer the best service price and quality.

    So do you leave the Dynaglass just a bit proud to avoid sanding too much of the wood around it off. I mean it's under the water line so who cares right.

    I am looking forward to seeing how the engines, and especially that new gauge package perform for you. I noticed in the pictures that there is what looks to be a Keel cooler on the skeg. Is that for her propulsion engines, or something else. I don't see the keel coolers on the faster boats and always wondered why.

    Well congratulations on getting her down so fast, and getting out of the rain. I just hate working in the rain because it makes even the easiest jobs a PIA.

    Cheers,

    Leo

  40. #90
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    I do leave the dyna glass a bit proud and then knock it down with an angle grinder prior to paint. Remember it's below the water line and not seen.


    Actually thats not a cooler on the keel. It's for strength as best I can figure. There is a pipe cooler like this for the old refrigerator down by the keel. I wanted to remove it but forgot this haul out.

    In total this all took 6 days if not for that winch Mother Nature and her rain.

  41. #91
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Something else I did that made a huge difference on that port side was to take a members, pcfords, advice and pulled the screws and I found some #10s with bigger heads that were 1/2 inch longer and I replaced all the leaking screws with the longer ones. Then after the smiths cpes had set up I pounded in tapered plugs with gorilla glue. Then dynaglassed the rest. Not one leak from inside anymore.

    The wood cost was 3grand.
    Last edited by Hill160881; 02-18-2017 at 09:35 AM.

  42. #92
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Wonderful work. It is incredible for you tackling such a large beautiful project.

  43. #93
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

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

  44. #94
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hill160881 View Post
    Something else I did that made a huge difference on that port side was to take a members, pcfords, advice and pulled the screws and I found some #10s with bigger heads that were 1/2 inch longer and I replaced all the leaking screws with the longer ones. Then after the smiths cpes had set up I pounded in tapered plugs with gorilla glue. Then dynaglassed the rest. Not one leak from inside anymore.

    The wood cost was 3grand.
    $3K! are you serious?

  45. #95
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    Then another 500 for stainless screws. The silicone bronze were $1500 and I said screw that.
    Last edited by Hill160881; 02-18-2017 at 06:43 PM.

  46. #96
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    Default Re: 1961 Chris Craft constellation refit/repower long term project.

    You might want to edit that last post before the moderator sees it.

  47. #97
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Stockton, Ca, USA
    Posts
    114

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

    Oops I thought the filter would get it. Working in a boat yard for a while you develop a certain language

    She is home and the pump has only kicked on once. So in a day or two she will be tight. The repair is dry.
    Last edited by Hill160881; 02-18-2017 at 06:49 PM.

  48. #98
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Los Gatos, CA
    Posts
    266

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

    Yea, I was going to ask you about the screws being SS instead of SB, but I knew the answer so I didn't bother. But the wood, that really surprised me. When I go to Asia I see people building pallets out Mahogany.

    I would really like to see more threads and information devoted to some of the more harsh realities of building and maintaining wooden boats. When a shipwrights is doing the work it makes sense not to skimp on material. But if your boat had been owned by a 20 year old could it really be justified telling him to spend $3k on wood, versus $500 on wood and to then be prepared to do it again at 30. It could be the difference between saving a boat or scraping it, and at the same time making a young guy happy and helping him feel empowered to build stuff.

    Anyway, I'll be spending a lot of work, and I personally don't want to do the work again in 10 years so I better suck it up I guess.

  49. #99
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Stockton, Ca, USA
    Posts
    114

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

    There is a saying. Don't try to make an old woody new again. A lot of people will try to make an old boat new again at the expense of reason. I try to find a realistic middle ground. I Do what is within my abilities and price range and be glad another old wooden boat is not on the chopping block.

  50. #100
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Stockton, Ca, USA
    Posts
    114

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

    Quote Originally Posted by leop View Post
    Yea, I was going to ask you about the screws being SS instead of SB, but I knew the answer so I didn't bother. But the wood, that really surprised me. When I go to Asia I see people building pallets out Mahogany.

    I would really like to see more threads and information devoted to some of the more harsh realities of building and maintaining wooden boats. When a shipwrights is doing the work it makes sense not to skimp on material. But if your boat had been owned by a 20 year old could it really be justified telling him to spend $3k on wood, versus $500 on wood and to then be prepared to do it again at 30. It could be the difference between saving a boat or scraping it, and at the same time making a young guy happy and helping him feel empowered to build stuff.

    Anyway, I'll be spending a lot of work, and I personally don't want to do the work again in 10 years so I better suck it up I guess.
    I helped a guy three years ago do some similar work and we used some thin 3/4 marine ply wood. Cut it into planking sized strips and scarfed them together. Looks great and is still leak free. Looking at her you will never know and I guarantee the repair I made will out last the boat. Replaced 200' of planking half of it below the water line and it was something like 500 bucks for supplies. Boat was going to be cut up due to a 20 grand repair estimate. Less than 3 grand later she launched and is still going.

    Like I said. Don't make them new. That old boat was beautiful inside amd out and was going to be cut up because it was cheaper to do that than fix it the right way. It now will last another 20 years.
    Last edited by Hill160881; 02-19-2017 at 09:18 AM.

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