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Thread: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

  1. #1
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    Default 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    I am new to boating and wood boats and this forum and am a metal fabricator by trade. I am wondering if this project is worth diving into. Is it worth rebuilding or is it a bomb fire. if I cant rebuild the bottom then I will rebuild and sell the Chrysler 330 marine (440). I have $200 into the boat now but would be nice to get her on the water again.

    History

    I picked up this boat in Portland Maine 12 years ago for a back hall when hauling oversized boats in 2008. the customer never paid for the haul. So it has been in covered storage since. I am not sure why the boat was in uncovered dry dock in the first place but I assume was due to lack of bottom maintenance. it has been under cover for the last 12 years. there is some rot on the rub rails and cracked and twisted boards on the deck which I can deal with on other posts. if the hull is beyond repair I will hang it up now.


    To the hull repair

    My Keel is cracked due to age and shrinkage. I can see through it in a spot. it is a form of carvel planking on the bottom and plywood above the waterline. I should replace the keel but don't want to get that far into it. there is minimal rot on the bottom that I was planning to treat with a rot product after removing soft wood. but after rot was planning on filling with an epoxy wood filler then treating with an epoxy of some kind before bottom paint. what I am looking for on this forum is products for filling, sealing and coating the bottom. I found a filler called PC Woody that was reasonably priced and available @ home depo online. after that I am at a loss as to what to do. The boat will be in fresh water as long as I own it. is this project doable or a loss?

    Thanks,
    Dan Kremer

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    Photos?

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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    Welcome to the forum!
    Photos will be a tremendous help. No one here will agree that just scraping away rot and patching with epoxy filler is the right answer. Cut all rotted wood back to sound wood and replace is the only proper way to do things. As for epoxy products, I've always used West System. Epoxy does has it's place in boat repair/construction.
    What size boat is this?
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    metalman.jpg20190605_154121.jpg20190605_154134.jpg20190605_154430.jpg20190605_154110.jpg

    It is 25 ft. After I fix the bottom I will be replacing the rear 16 ft of plywood on both sides. I have three planks to replace on the deck. re chalk and re finish the deck and interior.
    Last edited by metal man; 06-07-2019 at 10:15 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    Can you post pictures of the problem areas with the keel?
    Keel replacement on a diagonally planked bottom (maybe even double planked) will not be a fun job.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    Those are the problemed areas of the keel. I can see daylight through it where the knot is. should I inject epoxy into it with a Syringe before using epoxy wood fillers? On loose or twisted planks should I remove and replace screws or add more screws in the loose spots? Should I use brass or stainless screws? What kind of wood should I use to replace keelsons? You can see rotten and missing in photo below. I believe most of the boat is made out of oak

    I am a metal fabricator / welder and have never worked with wood or boats before that is why I named myself Metal Man and joined this forum.

    So in my mind the steps that I think I should take Correct me if I am wrong.

    1. remove all the old paint and fillers that are falling out
    2. inject liquid epoxy into separating keel
    3. refasten loose planking
    4. replace rotten keelsons
    5. use epoxy fillers to fill voids and sand down
    6. epoxy the bottom with three coats of west systems or similar product
    7. coat with bottom paint20190605_154601.jpg
    Last edited by metal man; 06-08-2019 at 11:59 AM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    Oh,.... Are the “problem” areas with the keel visible in the first set of pictures? (As where the knot is?). If that checking is what you are talking about then the best thing to do with it is -nothing-. That is all normal checking from an oak keel drying out. Any epoxy, fillers, or anything else hard will only make things worse. Don’t cause problems where none exist.
    I myself don’t see where any “epoxy” is in order for this boat.
    Replacement fastenings should bronze (not stainless, and NO not brass)

    Can you post pictures of the inside of the bottom?

    She may just need a bit of careful refastening and some soft seam compound and not much more. (And that lifting strake repaired.)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    When I first got the boat home the tarp frame gave out in the rain and filled with about two gallons of water. when I pulled the tarp off all the water drained out the bottom in a few seconds. I don't need to seal the bottom? This all new to me. What kind of seam compound should I use? I plan to have her in the water for about 6 months out of the year I live in northern Idaho. In Sandpoint on Lake Pend Oreille winters get nasty here. What would be the process for making it water tight?

    Thanks

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    That's a helluva big keel for a planing powerboat!
    Unless the boat has some rare pedigree or sentimental value, I'd ditch it.
    I see a thousand hours and thousands of dollars.
    The boat IS interesting.
    bruce

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    Well,... first we need to understand how she is built. How about a lot more pictures,... mostly of the bilge inside. Water coming right though her bottom in that dry condition is pretty much meaningless at this point. (My 33 ft boat takes about 4 weeks of careful work with lawn sprinklers under her in the spring before she goes in the water each spring. For almost a week the water runs out as fast as it is put in her.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    I will get photos tomorrow. raining today

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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    Sorry the bilge is dirty and I don't have a vacuum here. It is double planked.

    20190609_124547.jpg20190609_124550.jpg20190609_124553.jpg20190609_124559.jpg20190609_124603.jpg
    Last edited by metal man; 06-09-2019 at 03:06 PM.

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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    Last edited by metal man; 06-09-2019 at 03:15 PM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    the insides look pretty good. I think if it were me, .... I would identify the worst of the outer planks (splits & checks) and make a decision as to whether they can be saved or need to be replaced. i would also pull a couple of dozen fastentings (presuming bronze wood screws) and inspect them for condition to understand if refastening was needed. Beyond that she may do well with a couple of lawn sprinklers set up under her for a week or so (also some skirting around her to keep the humidity in), and then just need a -Soft- seam compound applied to the seams with a putty knife. I would not use anything that comes out of a tube or cartridge. You would want something that stays soft so that it can squeeze out as the planks swell and things tighten up.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    ned, should the bottom be wooded then sprinklered or should it be wooded and seam compounded then paint and finally sprinklered? i am no expert but i don't think it looks too bad. pretty place sand point-i had/have an ex bil up there.

    jim

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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    Thanks nedL,Jim,

    That gives me hope that she is not a loss. I didn't want to start the more extensive repairs if the bottom was to bad. I have a few more questions. Can I use strippers to remove old paint? Do you have a brand and type of seam compound that I should use? what is a good source for bronze screws? when do I paint the bottom in the process. should I wait to do the bottom work last after replacing the aft 16 ft of plywood on both sides and re chalk / re finish deck and interior. I will not get her in the water this year due to finances not just for hardware and coatings but the engine overhaul also. I also need to build a trailer for it. I plan to get the wood work done this summer and work on the engine and trailer this winter. maybe I can get in the water next spring.

    So to wrap up this thread What I think I should do.

    1. refasten loose planks
    2. replace planks that need it.
    3. pull some fasteners and look for tarnishing and find out if full fastening is needed
    4. seam compound joints
    5. replace rotten strakes
    6. bottom paint
    7. sprinkler bottom for a few weeks before launch ( or would it be sprinkler before bottom paint? this is all new to me)

    Do you know of pervious threads that address plywood replacement and coating and deck refinishing or should I start a new thread. I will need to re chalk and re finish deck and interior. The debate that I have read in this forum on epoxies vs varnish or spar urethane or both are all over the place. is there is a thread that is good practice I would like to read

    Thanks NedL, Jim I really appreciate it

  17. #17
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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    I might try and wet the boat before all the refastening and re caulking.
    She was never supposed to get this dry, be left out this long.
    Get her closer to stabilization.
    Pull some screws, try and pull some bolts even .
    We have an oddly built 60 plus yo boat that has been neglected for over 10 years . I do not think she will pop back so easily.
    bruce

  18. #18
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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    What wizbang said. Use a soaker hose around the upper hull so that the water flows down the side and the bottom as much as possible. You might be surprised at how much the boat closes up after a week or two of soaking. Epoxy won't do you any good at this stage in the boat's life and maybe, down the road, nowhere in this boat's life.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    If it were me, ……..Considering it will be some time before the boat goes back in the water, I would check out the bottom to make see that it is not a major issue. Pull fastenings and inspect, … the threads on the screws will be the first to go if they are shot. When you pull the sample screws, what do the threads look like, what do the heads look like, if you go to tighten them a bit do they tighten up or just spin around? If they look good and tighten up with an 1/8 to a turn or so you are probably OK with what is there.
    I would then look at planks that need replacing. They don’t need to be ‘perfect’, some small splits and or checks from drying out are probably not a real problem.
    Once you have the bottom in structurally good condition I would ignore it until all the other work is done and you are getting close to putting her in the water. (There really is little to no value in trying to get the bottom to swell up tight now as it will just dry out again during the next years worth of work. Besides, the less swelling and shrinking you can get the wood to do the better, so why put it through another unnecessary cycle now ).
    When the time comes, I would strip the old bottom paint (what is there will come off very easily). Then set up whatever system you want for putting some moisture back in the wood. I use inexpensive osculating lawn sprinklers under the boat and some sheets of plywood leaned against the sides to keep the moisture under there, you can also tape plastic skirting around the waterline down to the ground. I would let things begin to tighten up for maybe a week or so. After letting things dry off for a day I would then go over everything with seam compound, paint the bottom and get her in the water ASAP, hopefully within a week or so.
    For seam compound,…. Unfortunately the world no longer produces a proper seam compound for something like this. You want something that will stay soft for a long time (years), so that as the thin mahogany planks swell up the seam compound will simply squeeze out and not cause any resistance to the expanding planks. A very stiff or hard compound (or just about anything out of a tube or cartridge) may be too firm and not squeeze out, causing some planks to “pop” cup and tear loose. …. Then you have problems. What I have come up with and seems to work well on my boat (33 ft of 62 yr old cedar) is about a 50/50 mix of Interlux underwater seam compound (good for traditional carvel boats) and Davis Slick Seam (very waxy and good for short term “until she swells up” areas). The mixture of the two gives a soft compound that takes paint and does stay soft for at least 3+ years. The ratio of the mixture can also be varied to give a stiffer or softer material.

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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    thanks guys. I will look into the above mentioned and get back to you.

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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    I pulled some screws and it doesn't look good the threads are gone and had to pry screws out with a screwdriver. they were tarnished. The threads were gone. Looks like brass. can I refasten next to old screws with bronze? Do I need to remove old screws? I need to remind you I have about $200 in to this boat at this time and could sell the 440 engine block for $1500 or a rebuilt Chrysler 330 marine for??? with marine exhaust manifolds. it will cost me about $1800 for an engine rebuild. I am hoping that she is not a goner. but if that is the case I can deal with that. the wood was soft around the strews.

    Thanks, Dan Kremebr />
    Attachment 39202

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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    A thousand hours and thousands of dollars.

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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    At work when we have a bad part that was built and it is scrap in its current condition. we can try to rework the part if it is worth the time it takes to rework the part as it is going to the scrap bin anyways. I am not going to replace all the planking on the bottom. I don't have the resources or the shop for that kind of work. could fiberglass, gelcoat or epoxies be an option below the waterline? Just seal her up. I would refasten as needed before doing that. It would not be original and reduce value to the boat I am sure. I just hate the thought of scrapping it. It is a good looking boat. photos that you have not seen yet below including the tarnished screws from bottom are now posted. I know that I still need to replace the aft 16 ft of plywood on the sides and about 20 board ft of mahogany on the deck

    .20190612_165306.jpg20181027_101437.jpg20181027_101459.jpg20181027_101536.jpg20190512_144712.jpg

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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    Dice Adios Amigo.
    She is toast.

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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    Ohhh,...... yes,..... those screws show she would need a complete refastening (obviously). Looking like that it may not be possible to simply remove the original screws and replace with one size larger in the same holes. It would also need a good assessment as to whether additional screws could just be added between the originals (you don’t want make a string of Swiss cheese holes along each frame.
    As to the idea of glassing below the waterline,.... you really want to make thinks mechanically sound before glassing, and the mechanically sound part is the issue here.
    Realistically you are probably looking at about $1000 or so for bronze screws for a refastening.
    How does the wood around the screws look? Does it look like one size larger will get a good bite? Something you might try is to get a variety of just steel wood screws (just a couple of $) to figure out if a larger screw will tighten up properly. That may tell you a lot.

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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    refasten as needed with galvanized screws. after pulling an old fastener coat the hole with ospho to kill any rust. after the bottom is tightened up sand it down good and coat with epoxy. then add 6-10 oz. cloth filled with epoxy and then paint. that should last you a number of seasons in sand point, where you would have the boat out of the water in the winter. good looking boat. pull the motor as it needs work and figure out a way to flip the boat to work on it. good luck

    jim

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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    Thanks Jim and Ned, I looked for galvanized wood screws for about 1.5 hours online with minimal results I found Hillman #810078 #8 x 1.5 but cant find a supplier. could I use bronze star framing screws? I have access to cloth but flipping the boat could be doable but tough. my dad has a 20,000 pound forklift and a few tractors but I will need to replace the plywood on the sides before glassing because about 4 in of plywood is below the waterline. the engine is already pulled and broke down for rebuild and boring due to engine water damage. I am wondering now if she sunk. The windscreen and cleats are removed. What other fasteners could be used if glassing the bottom? And yes Bruce thousands dollars and a thousand hours. I planned to spend $3,500 plus on her

  28. #28
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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    google turned up a few places including The Bolt Depot.com. shows many types of screws. i like the square drive ones.

    jim

  29. #29
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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    Hamilton Marine in Maine.
    Steamboat

    I get by with the judicious use of serendipity.

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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    Thanks, I will look into them.

    Dan Kremer

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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    In light of the last posts. I am moving on to the side plywood replacement. I have the boat at my house in town and do not have the equipment or room to flip it here. I will get back to the bottom when I am done with the sides and deck prep to the point of finishing.

    I have the rub rails off and all the screws out that would come out. I will have to pry the ones below the water line because there are no heads left just like the bottom. That is probably why it ended up in dry dock in Maine. I am not sure why they seamed the plywood with plywood on the inside and I may add wood to the frames not to have the seam like that. photo below. they use 10-32 bolts for the seam

    It looks like mahogany plywood on there now. Is there any reason to install mahogany back in or can I use another type of plywood if I plan to paint it after epoxy. A buddy at work used to build fiberglass boats and recommended against marine ply because it has formaldehyde in it. It comes down to cost and mahogany is about $115 per sheet and special order. marine grade is $42 at Home Depot. Could oak be an option?

    If I used west systems epoxy which one would I use 105? Could that same epoxy be used when glassing the bottom. I might at well pick up a gallon I will probably use it on bottom and deck.

    Thanks, Dan

    seam photos

    20190616_161147.jpg

    20190616_164712.jpg

    20190616_161123.jpg
    Last edited by metal man; 06-16-2019 at 10:28 PM.

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    Default Re: 1956 Cochran Cruser Runabout hull rebuild

    Last edited by metal man; 06-16-2019 at 10:30 PM.

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