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Thread: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

  1. #1
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    Default 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    Hi, I am new to this forum and new to wooden boats. My former employer and good friend had a large collection of cars, motorcycles, and a few boats. Well he passed away last year and now I work for his wife which means I now have to keep better records and do a lot more explaining. Besides keeping up with the maintenance on all of this stuff I am slowly helping her liquidate the collection.
    First understand that I am not here trying to sell a boat. I am here seeking info and input from anyone on this forum with knowledge and experience with the Century boats. The boat seems to be in good shape over all. The interior was redone several years ago and along the line someone has replaced some of the wood and put a fiberglass bottom. I know of 2 reasons to do this. 1. to keep a boat with bad wood afloat, or 2. To keep good wood on an old boat with good wood. I have already started prepping the exposed wood for varnish and repaired a couple small cracks in the fiberglass. Where and what do I need to look for to know the actual condition of the hull. I plan on removing all the interior and panels to access as much of the boat as possible. The boat has not been in the water in over ten years and is completely dry except for a little water that I got in it from washing it down. I will be back shortly to post some photos. Thanks for any advice or input.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    Pictures will help a lot. As for the glassed bottom,.......we'll just say there are various thoughts on the wisdom of doing that. The 'mahogany speedboat crowd' seems to be much more accepting of the practice.

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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    Sorry about the delay on the photos. I have a lot of projects going this time of year. Here are just a few photos, I have many more and will post more tomorrow. I am in the process of removing the interior and any panels so that I can access the interior hull structure and determine the condition of the wood. I am also sanding back a few select areas on the outside to determine the layers of paint, fiberglass and what ever else has been stacked on the exterior over the years. Looking forward to some expert advice , opinion, etc. etc. Thanks

    https://mega.nz/#F!YCZlzDxY

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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    Thanks for your response nedl. Got a few photos up will have more up tomorrow. I may upload some larger high quality photos so you can better see what I am working with. The FAQ recommends the small photos so I will have 2 files of each photo set. One set small and one set big.

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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    Hmmm,.... it says to. Access the file I need a decription key.
    You can also open a a photo album on a free photo hosting site (I use Shutterfly), then you can store them as any size pictures, and it is an easy 'copy' from there and 'paste' directly in the post here.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    Quote Originally Posted by nedL View Post
    Hmmm,.... it says to. Access the file I need a decription key.
    You can also open a a photo album on a free photo hosting site (I use Shutterfly), then you can store them as any size pictures, and it is an easy 'copy' from there and 'paste' directly in the post here.
    I will post my pictures on that site. On the site I used you can select decript and it will show the photos. thanks

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    https://photos.shutterfly.com/album/10148139980

    here are some photos of the Century Sabre I will post more tonight, thanks

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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    Still no public access.
    If you don't know where you're going, you might not end up there.-Yogi Berra

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    https://goo.gl/photos/Q65rT45F9dt1XXWU9

    OK gentlemen, lets try this. The other 2 clouds sites were either too commercial or not helpful in being able to share the link so I used Google which I despise because of their over intrusion into our lives. That is a whole other issue and has nothing to do with boats so I will leave that alone. Try these photos. Thanks

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    https://goo.gl/photos/RcBw4XRZPqyujEHr5

    Here are some photos taken of the bottom side. In one of the photos you can see where I sanded back to expose the layers that have been applied. The last coat is the blue paint of some type. Under that is a layer of black paint then what I can see is one maybe two layers of woven fiberglass. I can not tell if there is a layer of some type of epoxy directly on the wood then fiberglass and resin or if the resin was applied directly to the wood with the woven cloth. I have quite a bit of experience with fiberglass and the color of the layer on the wood is not consistent with most resins I've worked with. Any and all input is welcome. I hope that you all can pull up the photos now. Thanks.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    I did runabout restoration for thirty five years or so. A few things: Century runabout tend to have problems with rot on the bottom planking and framing. They are batten seam construction on the bottom; this prevents water from limbering down and encourages rot. The fiberglass perhaps indicates existing problems. It is typical that Century boats needs a lot of bottom work if not replacement. The model has a sort of "George Jetson" appeal.

    Good luck. My sympathies for your struggles with this site's attitudes toward image hosting. It's pretty antiquated.

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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    https://goo.gl/photos/UxELGPXeXi8ER1Fh9

    Here are several photos taken over the last couple weeks. I have already stripped, stained and varnished the upper wood (above the fiberglass). I also fixed 2 places in the fiberglass that was cracked.
    What do I need to look at on the interior of the hull to assess the condition of the wood in the bottom? What do I need to look for? Let me know if you still cannot access the photos. Thanks

  13. #13
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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    We can see the pictures now. As Pat said,.... neat boat. I haven't seen one of them in a long time (gull wing top and all).
    i might suggest you do some checking with the ACBS to get a good idea of exactly how rare the boat is. You are underway with the cosmetic maintenance. What are te intentions for the boat at this time, this will help in what kind of direction to head you in.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    Quote Originally Posted by nedL View Post
    We can see the pictures now. As Pat said,.... neat boat. I haven't seen one of them in a long time (gull wing top and all).
    i might suggest you do some checking with the ACBS to get a good idea of exactly how rare the boat is. You are underway with the cosmetic maintenance. What are te intentions for the boat at this time, this will help in what kind of direction to head you in.
    Thank you for your response and info. The boat belonged to a good freind and my former employer. Hey passed away a year ago in January. This boat, a 1976 47' Chris Craft Commander, an old Monarch MacFast 17', plus 27 cars and 15 motorcycles
    Were all part of his private collection. After he passed away his wife asked me to stay on to to keep maintenence on everything and help her eventually sell most of the collection.
    This Century has not been in the water for at least ten years. It has been stored under cover in a carport since they used the boat. She does not know any prior history on the boat and he didnt talk about much that wasnt the project on hand..
    Anyway, bottom line is that when i have finished with the repairs she will be putting it on the market.
    BTW, the water you see inside the boat was from when i washed it befor brining her into the paint shop. My plan today is to get the interior out and start checkingbout the condition of the wood. If you will notice in some of the photos someone has replaced quite a bit of wood on her. Well time to get busy. All input good or bad will be appreciated.

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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    Very good. ... the reason I asked about the "intentions" for the boat were to see if it was to put it on the market. As I suggested, you might do a bit of research on this model boat. Though Centurys aren't typically the premier of the mahogany speed boats, there is a possibility that this model (with the gull wings) might be something 'different' and quite desirable to a real collector. Though unlikely, if this is the situation your efforts on the cosmetics may be unnecessary or even counterproductive. (Sort of finding a '65 Mustang Cobra in a barn and giving it a 'Maco' paint job to sell it.). Just something to consider.

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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    "Rare" is part of the equation of supply and demand. If I had drawings I did in the third grade, they would be rare. However, rarity alone does not determine value...a willing buyer and a willing seller do. The boat will generate interest because of the early 60s styling, but what kind of money should prudently be invested on behalf of the current owner bears very careful consideration. Yes, the ACBS is the place to start. They have a directory that will lead you to current Century Saber owners. Good luck.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    Thank you Pat. I know you are much better versed in this type of project than I. (Yes,.. and it all depends on finding that 'one' buyer.)

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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    Assuming the original poster is being frank with us and I think he is...the issue is how to deal with the boat on behalf of the owner. My guess is that the boat will need a very substantial amount of bottom work. Indications at that the fiberglass job was to extend the life of a boat with significant problems.

    The situation needs more investigation but indications are that the owner would be best off selling the boat "as-is." Just one thing: Century transom framing was glued up with Weldwood glue. The failure rate approaches 100%; the repair would be a few thousand dollars for the frame alone.

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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    IThank you gentlemen for your responses. I have a very good freind who has decided to help me with the wood. I knew he has always worked with wood but was unaware that early in his life he worked with wooden boats. He is from Finland and grew up in an old boating community. I fully relate to your input concerning a Maico paint job on a classic car. I have had to strip and redo more than one.
    I have spent many hours on the net researching the Century boats and as far as the value of the Sabre model I have seen them priced between $5500.00 and $30,000.00. Right now that is not my focus. I dont like to blind side anyone with any potential problems. With that being said i got to get back on removing the interior and assessing the condition of the wood.

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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    Quote Originally Posted by gary c. View Post
    IThank you gentlemen for your responses. I have a very good freind who has decided to help me with the wood. I knew he has always worked with wood but was unaware that early in his life he worked with wooden boats. He is from Finland and grew up in an old boating community. I fully relate to your input concerning a Maico paint job on a classic car. I have had to strip and redo more than one.
    I have spent many hours on the net researching the Century boats and as far as the value of the Sabre model I have seen them priced between $5500.00 and $30,000.00. Right now that is not my focus. I dont like to blind side anyone with any potential problems. With that being said i got to get back on removing the interior and assessing the condition of the wood.
    Then you are buying the boat from owner? Otherwise, a bad investment of owner's time and money.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    One quick question, what is considered a lot of hours on a boat? This boat shows 489 hours. The hour meter is reading left to right with the 3 blankplaces going to the right. I believe i posted a photo.

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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    Quote Originally Posted by pcford View Post
    Then you are buying the boat from owner? Otherwise, a bad investment of owner's time and money.
    I am not buying the boat i live by the 3 F rule which i cannot go into detail about on a family forum. But if it floats or flys i rent it.
    As far as the work being done I am paid to maintain this entire collection cars, motorcycles and boats. I out sourced the exterior wood finish and am stripping and coating the fiberglass myself. Before i go any further with the bottom I am going to see what condition the rest of the wood is in. I will know the answer to that this evening.
    I will post photos of what i find and your input on them I hope will determine if extensive work is needed.
    The decision to do this work in the first place was mine. The situation I have had to deal with is she wants top dollar for everything. Not because she needs the money, believe me she don't. Everything that I have sold has gotten pretty good money even in this economy. Maybe i am biting off too much on this boat to get a better price, one thing for sure is that the new owner will know exactly what he is buying.
    The day after her husband passed away i was asked to stay and was told by her, " I dont have to sell anything, I dont need the money, but im not giving it away either".
    So much for all that, I ll get some photos posted if i get of this darn phone and get this interior out.

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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    I should qualify my statement about a "Maco" paintbjob,...no criticism of you work or ability was intended at all. I looked at the pictures that you posted and could see where some planks have been replaced, and some 'repairs' were made yearsss.... ago. With that in mind it is possible that a collector could buy her and send her off for a full bottom off restoration, thereby negating your work. I do understand what you are saying of the situation you are in with the boat, a bit of a tough one.
    As for the hours on ghe engine, 475 is just about nothing, however, it being a 50+ year old engine probably should have a complete disassembly and reassembly if only to replace all the seals and such (50 yr old main crank seals and valve stem seals may be tired).

  24. #24
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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    Quote Originally Posted by nedL View Post
    I should qualify my statement about a "Maco" paintbjob,...no criticism of you work or ability was intended at all. I looked at the pictures that you posted and could see where some planks have been replaced, and some 'repairs' were made yearsss.... ago. With that in mind it is possible that a collector could buy her and send her off for a full bottom off restoration, thereby negating your work. I do understand what you are saying of the situation you are in with the boat, a bit of a tough one.
    As for the hours on ghe engine, 475 is just about nothing, however, it being a 50+ year old engine probably should have a complete disassembly and reassembly if only to replace all the seals and such (50 yr old main crank seals and valve stem seals may be tired).
    So far I am not finding any rotted , soft or crumbling wood. The back of the boat all of the lower wood has been replaced. There was a little bit of a separation where the bottom meets the back directly under the ladder. I cut all the fiberglass back and exposed the wood and even though there was a slight separation, the wood itself does not seem rotted. I don't know if the insides were varnished from the factory. It has been varnished and the only problem on the wood is the varnish peeling. The wood is solid. On the right side and some on the left someone has fiber glassed the seam where the sides and the bottom meet. Some of the inner gluing is not so pretty but again the wood appears solid. I will have photos here shortly and have them edited and uploaded before I call it a night.
    Does anyone have any idea where I can find an original steering wheel?

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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    https://goo.gl/photos/3UEi93CtB4uTMBLGA

    Sorry I have been out of pocket for a couple days I hav4e several projects that I am working on. Here are several more photos of the inner hull. I went over most of the inside of the boat checking the wood I poked and prodded around with a pick and found all the wood to be hard and solid. I went through with a small hammer and tapped on the wood listening for any dull sounds. All the wood sounded back with a good solid sharp sound. If you would please look over these photos an let me know what else to check and look for. I haven't gotten to the bow yet and hope to do that today or this evening. Thanks

  26. #26
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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    This is off topic but a guy came out to my shop to look at some old cars we have for sale. He saw the Century wooden boat. He said " I have an old wooden Chris Craft you can have". So I am going to go check it out this weekend.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    No response? Are my last photos I posted not viewable ?

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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    Well, the photos shows a boat with some repairs, but a prick and a hammer say much more than photos.
    The next step, obviously, would be to put it in the water and search for leaks - it's a boat after all, and with the glassed bottom, it is expected to be nearly dry.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    If you are operating both a prick and a hammer at the same time you should exercise caution.

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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    What I see in the pictures matches your description well. The repairs appear to be more in the way of "functional" repairs, and not particularly (how shall I say it), .... 'seamless' in appearance. For the most part they seem to be working, but not too pretty. The cracked glass at the corner of the transom is a good indication of movement of the wood under the glass, which might be attributed to the 'quality' of the repair under there.
    In all, I would say she appears to be a boat that is in pretty good condition for her age, and a nice "user boat", not really in the same category as a show grade boat.
    I suppose I would take a sharp knife tip and gently prod at any places that look like there may have been water sitting for a while (along the bottom planks next to the keel batten, along the battens in the bottom, the chines near where the work was done, etc). I don't like the idea of using a "pick", and wouldn't let someone touch my boat with one.
    As for a steering wheel, I would ask on the ACBS web site. However, the one that is on the boat doesn't look bad, and if you are worrying about the overall boat's value due to a non-original wheel, there are a lot of bigger things that will effect the value more. ..... Don't worry about it.
    I would say the best that can be done for her is to make her presentable with a nice paint and varnish job and market her (and price her) as a nice 'user boat'. ...... I will mention again that someone looking to end up with a top condition fairly unique '60's style boat would start by pulling the engine, flipping her over and doing a complete bottom off restoration. ....... Just my thoughts.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    Thank you nedl for your response. I totally agree with your consensus in that it is a usable boat and not a concours d'elegance wooden boat. I came to this site because you guys know wooden boats and would quickly tell me if I am overlooking anything.
    I am currently prepping the bottom of the boat for paint. I have not seen another runabout with a blue bottom. Most of the Century's I've found have a gold bottom, this one was black before the blue. Any insight here is appreciated. Also type of paint recommended. I have built stands to lift the back of the boat to paint areas where the trailer covers the bottom. Since the estate here where I work here has a 50 acre lake and a boat slip, after the paint is ready. I am going to put the boat in the slip. Then I get prep, paint, and maintain the trailer and check the boat for leaks.
    Then will come the last big question, what's it worth? Thank you gentlemen for your time

  32. #32
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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    If you are operating both a prick and a hammer at the same time you should exercise caution.
    ... Sigh...

  33. #33
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    Default Re: 1962 Century Sabre advice and info please

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    If you are operating both a prick and a hammer at the same time you should exercise caution.
    Sorry, thought I replied to your post but I don't see it. Anyway, I am using the hammer and the pick separate. The hammer to sound and listen, the pick to scrape and prod. Thanks.

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