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New To Me 88' R1800- Hull and Other Issues. Looking For Opinions/Advice *


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Hello All,


I'm new to the forum, as well as a new/used Robalo project boat owner. Let me start out by thanking you guys for much information that I've already received just in viewing the site prior to purchasing this boat. It's a great site, and I'm happy to now be a part of it


I have a few questions for some of you seasoned owners. I bought the boat a couple months ago, which had sat for two seasons idle, bow down on its trailer jack under a huge oak tree. After a 50 mi. highway trek home with it, despite the trail i left behind, I still had to remove three 5 gallon pails of wet decomposed leaves before you could see the floor. I got the motor running,but it's not going in the water until all else is right. Due to my work and travel I've had minimal time to work on it, and hence minimal progress.


Last week I popped off the aft deck plate and found that someone disconnected the hose from the nipple of the aft center live well behind the captains chairs and left it laying in the bilge next to the pump. The other end of this hose is to and supposed to drain through the thru-hole port in the hull just above and to the right of the drain plug (pic). I think the purpose is to have the ablity to fill the well with fresh or salt water through the drain hole in the bottom of the well, and then plug it? I guess I understand the concept. Yet, had I not seen it, I think it could have sunk the boat with the hose off first time out, if the bilge pump was not working or the live well plug was missing or if the plug fails (rubber well plug was out).


The hose for the center console live well is also off and draining into the bilge. Not sure how to access without removing the console.


I don't like the way all of the bait/live wells drain into the bilge with their hoses even. Would like to clean and flush out the whole bilge and somehow just keep all the wells plugged to keep water from entering but seems impossible, without having to bail them. Anyone do anything diffently with theirs?


I've included a pic of the starboard aft compartment/well. Which houses the fuel filter and serves as the motor well pass through for the cables. There is a separate thru-pipe for the fuel line coming out the side of the box. I can't imagine all was this was this way from the factory? Water can enter any of the tiller grommet holes that the lines pass through to and saturate the foam beneath. Anybody else have the same with their R1800?


I discovered a 1" crack along the port lower corner edge of the transom about a foot and a half to the left of the drain plug. Looking inside the aft floor deck plate port, I also discovered the blown-in floatation foam in end of the port side on the other side of the stringer, is wet. You can see a water droplet in the pic showing the small crack. I think that whole corner may have filled with water, from either the bait well above leaking into it(it has a gaff piece of PVC pipe going through as a drain and wasn't sealed) or from the aft center well hose being off. Probably froze, during winter, heaved and popped the small crack in that seam edge. Don't know how I'm going to dry it out or get the wet foam out? If I had a big garage to leave it in with a dehumidifier for about a month that might do it. But i don't and it's not going to get warm enough to dry it out. This boat probably has a lot of added water weight. There are no cracks at all in the floor which is solid, no cracks in bottom of hull(I've stripped all bottom paint and buffed 1/2 of it) but it does have one on top of the port side gunnel next to the fuel fill which looks like an old repair from an impact which I could see has probably taken on water from snow melt and rain water entering the crack, as well as a few others I'll show in my pic's. It also has a poor repair on the port side which looks like a hole from an anchor tip puncturing the side. After pulling the Bondo patch from it I can see moisture around the bottom edge of the hole. So the fiberglass patch behind the Bondo wasn't thick enough or glassed properly and there's moisture in the foam on the other side. Transom itself is solid. Nothing structural, no cracks in the well gelcoat or dead spots. You can hang from the motor with no deflection.


I have an open crack along the top port side front edge of the transom about 10" long just ahead of the swim step. Not sure best way to repair it. Wish I could from underneath the open crack. May have to drill a hole and add a 4" deck plate along the side middle transom to gain access and do it right. Although I hate to. May just grind back the edge, glass the small area and buy some gel coat to finish it with.


The motor is a 150 Mercury Black Max. Its an 89'. Not sure if it's the original, but it's definitely not factory install. Has clear RTV sealing the mounting bolts which needs to be re-done with some 5200 when i change out the steering cable. Question I have is the triangle wedge of aluminum or anode material it was mounted with between motor bracket and transom. I guess to match the angle of the cavitation plate with transom? Maybe with just motor bracket flush to transom, when trimmed all the way down it didn't go down far enough to be level?


I haven't had chance to look into it yet but want to replace the fill, vent and fuel lines and wondered what I'm up against? Best replacement lines to buy and source? The ones on the boat look like hydraulic line material. Heavy duty.


The center console looks like it may have had a shelf in font inside above the batteries and 2 stroke oil reservoir. Which on mine is now missing. Anyone have a pic of theirs? I may make another with a piece of white Starboard.


Anyway, despite the issues I'm excited about the boat. I look forward to and thank you in advance for your feedback, and hope you guys enjoy the new reading material.











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Welcome to the site! Lets see what we can help out with here. Due to the number of questions, my response may be over a few days.


Most important question for now...does the motor run and all the basic stuff work? If so, or close to that, I would address any issues preventing you from getting on the water and enjoying the boat this summer.


First, lets start with the bad news. Based on the pictures, I would suspect the transom is wet and has started to rot. Water is definitely dripping from that crack at the bottom of the transom and it has a brown stain typically associated with damp wood. I would suspect water intrusion also along that aluminum trim on top of the transom. The sealant around that was applied after the fact and the damage was already done. Eventually, a new transom is going to be needed, but this has been done different ways by many forum members, and they all have documented the process for anyone else to follow.


Check the current transom condition by trimming the motor up all the way, then pull down as hard as you can to see if there is any flex in the transom. If just a little flex, you are good for this season. More than a 1/4" but no external cracks in the transom or wet well, you can run it but keep an eye on it after each use for any changes.


Those motor wedges would only be for increasing the down trim range. See how far the engine trims in now. It may have been a case that the prior owner had a lot of weight near the transom and needed the extra down trim to get up on plane or deal with rough water. I would leave them on for now, but consider adding trim tabs some time in the future to deal with the bow running high. Are the batteries in the rear boxes or under the console. If not under console, move them forward to get that weight off the transom. Just doing this can have a great impact on the weight distribution a small boat and possibly eliminate the need for those transom wedges.


Don't seal the mounting bolts with either 5200! That stuff is a fantastic adhesive that can hold the gates of Hell in place! 4200 or 3M marine silicone would be a better choice. To seal the holes properly, the motor would need to be removed so you can access the transom under the bracket. Back the bolts out enough so you can run a bead of sealant under the washer in the wet well, then push down the washer so the sealant oozes out around the washer. Run another bead where the bolt goes through the washer, then push the bolt flush. On backside of transom, run a good bead of sealant around the bolt where it exits the transom, then slide the motor back in place. For now, just snug up the bolts and let set for 24 hours until the sealant sets, then tighten down.


Fill vent and fuel lines. Can you post a picture where yours is located.


Center console shelf for oil reservoir. Starboard is not a good structural material unless supported on all edges. Even if 3 sides are supported, it will have a tendency to bow if any heavy weight is placed on it. Best bet for this application would be a piece of 3/4" AB or BC plywood (5 ply minimum) from HD or Lowes. Cut to size, round the edges with a 1/4" roundover bit, then cover with a couple layers of fiberglass. This will give give you the strength and moisture resistance by sealing the wood in fiberglass. Just be sure to seal any holes you may drill in it once it is glassed.


Enough for tonight. Will continue tomorrow.


Let me know if you have any questions so far.

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Hello 2-N-Tow,


Thanks for the welcome and reply. I know there are multiple questions, but you might want to give it another read through and a look at the pics before next reply.


As stated, "Transom itself is solid. Nothing structural, no cracks in the well gelcoat or dead spots. You can hang from the motor with no deflection." I've already done the deflection check.

Also stated "I got the motor running,but it's not going in the water until all else is right."


You may be right about the staining in area of the crack, although does this model year use wood in the transom? Thought it might be the brown bottom paint within the crack which had recently been applied before i bought it, which I scraped away with a utility blade just before taking the picture. You can tap all over this transom with a plastic mallet and there are no dead spots or change in tone and no deflection hanging fromm it. I'm hoping I can seal behind the stringer with 5200 thru-hull slow cure and an acid brush behind the area of the crack and see how things go.


I'm going to pull off the aluminum trim today to have a better look at what's underneath. I've wanted to trim the motor down to check cavitation plate alignment with the hull. I'll give the batteries a charge today also, so I can do so.


It could be the added water weight Im suspecting in the foam is why the transom wedge was needed for more down trim. I'd like to bring boat and trailer to a truck scale to get an idea of the weight. Then weigh just the trailer to have some idea.


Thanks for correction on the sealant. I did mean to say 4200. I say I'll reseal the transom bolts when I change the steering cable, because I need to remove the motor to do so. Likely due to the wedge. Probably better I get to doing it now than later, but not looking forward to that type of job right now, and getting on the water like you suggest is more what I have in mind.


Center console shelf is not for the oil reservoir. I believe there used to be a full width narrow one above the reservoir. Which I would like to rebuild. Wondered if any owners had a picture of theirs? I may try my hand at glassing one like you suggest rather than go with Starboard.


There is already a pic showing my fuel and vent lines, and also shown no batteries astern. Both are in the console.


I just received the Nauticus Smart-Tabs I had ordered to install, a couple days ago. Thinking it will need them.


Interested in any info on the front, center and aft well drain hose routing, where they drain to and any changes someone might have made with theirs.

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I did read your post and even printed it off. I guess I was confused as in the same sentence where you said you had the motor running, but it was not going in the water until all else is right, I assumed there may be other issues such as trim pump not functioning properly, lower unit oil checked, fuel filters, etc. Also, some things we mention may not apply to your specific situation, but if another person is searching for a general subject, I will mention it so they don't have to look for previous threads for the same boat/owner.

Even though you may have stated the transom is solid, based on those pictures, I would be very suspect. I also have a 1988 hull, factory transom, stringers, and deck backing plates are all wood. I replaced it with Coosa board, but there are other options. The brown water seeping from that crack close to the swim bracket screw also is indicative of a wet transom...had the exact same signs on my boat. The only difference with my transom was stress cracks in the motor well. The good thing, yet at the same time a bad thing, is these older boats were built like tanks...when in doubt, they just rolled a few more layers of glass down. Where this is a bad thing is it can hide or disguise underlying problems. I think when you pull that aluminum cap off the transom, you will see what I am talking about....the core may be shot but the glass is still supporting a lot of the weight.

Another question based strictly on the pictures. The cracks on the hull cap and extending down into the hull. Do the bunks on the trailer extend all the way to the transom or do they stop a foot or so forward? Those cracks do not appear to be impact damage as the rub rail looks fine and I don't see any indication of circular crack pattern that normally happens if you bump a pier hard in one spot. You may want to try the flex test again with the motor up and have someone watch that crack for any movement.

That other crack over the cleat is odd. I don't think a rope tied off there would do that without tearing out the cleat. I wonder if it is any way related to the cracks on the opposite side of the boat? Try to do the repair from the topside. I would try to get a bevel about 3 inches on each side of that crack. 36 grit on the grinding wheel for a rough surface and go with multiple layers of 1708 biax cloth to add strength. I don't think you will be able to do much from the backside as there is 1/2" plywood under the top of the gunwhale and it may also extend down the inside where the cleat is attached.

If the limber holes in the stringers at the transom get blocked with trash, water can get trapped. Look in the bilge and see if there is a hole at the bottom of the stringer next to the transom. Push a wire or small piece of pvc through the hole to see if there is any debris blocking the opening and preventing water flowing. The only suggestion I have for dealing with access to remove the wet foam is to cut an access hole that a 6 or 8 inch access plate will cover. Dig the wet foam out and decide if you want to re-foam or leave open for future access.

My 2160 had the same holes in the battery box going into the wet well. There was a split rubber boot to deflect the water somewhat, but that is how they came from the factory. Realistically, I bet when these boats were built, nobody expected them to still be around 30 or 40 years later. There has been a lot of improvements in thru-bulkhead fittings to reduce water intrusion. You can try installing some of the flexible rigging tubes to run the fuel and water lines through, but for this to work the end that fastens to the boat needs to be high enough that water cannot go up the tube and exit into the battery box.

Fuel fill and vent hose. I got mine at Bass Pro as it was convenient. All hoses now should be ethanol resistant. I ran the grey SeaChoice 1/2" fuel line. Some people have complained about it but mine has held up fine for the past 10 years.

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Hi 2-N-Tow,


Thank you for the further suggestions. I included all the detail in the thread that I did, in order to hopefully answer many likely questions as if I were reading it as someone elses(which I think at the same, the amount of info i included makes the thread confusing.)


Thank you for the build detail. Nice to get this info from an owner of same vintage. Now that I know where the wood is, and know the history of yours, I think your probably right. Luckily I have zero cracks in the motor well. So, I'm hopeful your type of repair is further down the road for me. Understood about the thick glass masking deeper problems. I have no plans of going with larger outboard or a heavier four stroke. I'll make do with the Black Max and replace with something similar when/if the time comes. Its a strong runner and the compression is amazing and evenly balanced between the 6 cyls. Testament to the still fully operable oil injection system, I guess. I plan to disable and begin pre-mixing the fuel. I've purchased new fuel filter, thermostats, impeller kit, lower unit oil, lower steering pivot bushing and other motor related.


The aluminum cap on the transom, can you tell me whether or not it is original? I'm hoping the badly corroded edge is the reason someone resealed it, rather than anything hidden underneath it. There is a screw in the middle with the mount above it. It will have to wait until I pull the motor to replace the steering cable. I've purchased a new piece of clear anodized 1"x1"6063 channel to replace it with when I do.


Just in front of the motor above the motor well I have what looks like an original 6" deck plate. I just received an 8" deck plate i bought to replace it with, in hopes of gaining better access to the end of the stringers. I can barely reach to touch the area now. I'll take another look for the "limber holes" I didn't notice any. Are they only at the end of the stringers in the area of the bilge, or is there another row of stringers further outboard that have the same? The 6" deck plate restricts visibility. I can tell you much of the surface layer of gelcoat inside the bilge well has delaminated from the glass. When I can get the bilge cleaned well in that area I plan to coat all the corner edges with 5200 and brush out with an acid brush.


The cracks in the hull cap extending into the hull at the fuel fill port are definitely from impact. In fact it's an old repair with sprayed on gelcoat in the area. It was pooled up in a corner of the teak gunwhale step plate.


I don't know whether you read that the trailer when I bought it was a roller. The bunks are brand new. I just built them, and yes they extend full length of the end of the transom. Not sure what the cracks in hull cap in that area would have to do with the bunks not extending fully if original? I think all the different crack areas shown are unrelated.


I've added a pic here to show the port side repair from what I believe was damage from an anchor tip. Shown here with the Bondo plug removed from it.


You are obviously a man with glass experience, which I am not. I'll purchase some 1708 cloth and will repair that gunwhale edge from the face. Would you have a source for gelcoat to match the old Robalo finish, other than Mini-Craft in FL?


I may replace the tiller grommets, but plan use the same set up with the new cables and lines as they are routed now. I'll have to do a good job of keeping the drip edge track around the lids free of debris so the boxes don't take on more water. Are the pieces of 2" PVC in the bottom original? You can see the bilge outlet hose running through the the STBD box in the pic. The thru-pipe for the fuel hose has a stack of about ten 1/2" I.D. SS fender washers on the inboard side to make it work. So it can't be original. Hope I can find a correct one to replace it. Appears it needs to be 6" long.


The fuel and vent hose, can they be seen or accessed from the 8" deck plate inside the console to disconnect them from the tank, or do I have to pull the console?


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A couple new questions,


Would anyone know the proper length of the Morse steering cable for an 88' R1800? I'm thinking I should just tackle it now and install a No-Feedback system, and be done with it, in order to properly reseal the motor bracket now as well.


I've pulled the console grab rail and windshield off. Does anyone have a source for the nylon bushings inside the grab rail mounting holes? If not, I was able to find some at a hardware store, but i will have to counter-sink the holes and shape the opposite ends myself to make them work.


Can an original tinted windshield still be found/purchased and source?

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Aluminum cap is factory. I would guess the thought process at time of manufacture it was easier to use the cap instead of glassing the liner to the hull back there.


Good idea on going back to pre-mixing the oil considering the age of the existing oil pump. Even though those older motors love to drink gas, they are simple enough to work on and keep maintained.


I feel for ya on working through those 6" deck plates. My boat had one to access the bilge, and it was a royal pain to change out the bilge pump. I swore never again would I go through that torture and made the access much easier when I enclosed my transom.


Stringers....mine had four. Two formed the sides of the bilge and the other two were located above the running strakes. The limber holes were located at the bottom of the stringers where it butted up against the transom.


On that hole that was previously bondod where the anchor hit it...

I was thinking that crack on the side occurred prior to you doing anything to the trailer. It just looked odd the way the crack ran. Now that you explained that it was from prior damage and repair, it makes more sense. At the time only thing I could think of was where the boat was not supported beyond that point on the trailer, then the constant jarring/bouncing while going down the road would stress that point to crack over time. If the motor was cantilevered that far back unsupported, it would exert a lot of force being bounced around on the trailer.


Repair of that crack is the same process as the one over the cleat on the other side. Try to use a marine grade fairing compound (3M Vinylester Premium Marine Filler) instead of Bondo automotive filler. The water resistance is much better. On matching the gelcoat...darn near impossible. I purchased some from Mini-Crafter and it was close, but the amount of sun fade and oxidation is different on all boats, so it is not a perfect match. I ended up just going with the general white gelcoat the local supply house stocks. Yes, it is brighter than the Robalo gelcoat, but at half the price!


That hole where the anchor chipped the glass would be a good place to start glass work. These are the steps I would use to attack it (and the same applies to any other cracks you will be working on.

1. Get a cheap Harbor Freight 4 1/2" electric grinder with 36 grit wheels, rubber gloves, and a box of 2" chip brushes.

2. Grind all edges so you have a bevelled edge. Industry standard is a 12/1 bevel so as to create a big an area of rough, sound surface to glass back to. This is sometimes not practical, though. Good example is the bottom of that chip next to the chine. Don't go beyond that edge...just do the best you can to get the bevel there. Now grind off just the paint a couple inches past the bevel.

3. If there is a small void where the inner glass work is not in contact with the hull, mix up some resin and thicken with cabosil to create a peanut butter consistency paste. Force the paste into the void and no higher than the inside edge of the beveled fiberglass.

4. Time to apply layers of 1708 to fill the hole. This can be done while the cabosil paste is still wet so you get a good bond to it. First layer should cover the entire opening and extend slightly past the top edge of the bevel. Next layer should be a little smaller than the previous one. Repeat with smaller pieces so the end repair is slightly higher than the original glasswork, yet relatively flat. All layers should be thoroughly wet out so no white appears in the fabric, it should be relatively clear looking. Use the chip brush to force resin into the glass and air out. Also have a "bubble buster" roller to compress / consolidate the fabric layers and work additional air bubbles out.

5. Let the patch set up 24 hours, then grind and fair back to the original hull shape.


Not sure about the pvc in the bottom of the box. I don't recall seeing it in mine before I removed the boxes.


Somebody else is gonna have to answer the access for the fuel and vent hoses. I suspect the console may have to be removed, though, to get to them.

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Dan, thanks for the further input. Yours have been the only replies. I did also email Mr.Robalo, but believe he may be on vacation this week.


Wish I had your glass info email with me yesterday morning. I went to West Marine and bought some mat and resin. Figured I'd wait on buying gelcoat till I heard back. I bought a quart of WM brand "Boaters Resin" and WM medium weight(3/4 oz.) bi-directional mat. You said to use 1708, so I thought this was in line. The price diff between a little or a lot, was not all that much difference, so I opted for a lot. Figuring I may make that shelf I asked about later on.


Thanks for location of the stringers!! Wanted to know in order to properly position the bunks. Mr.R said they'd be right alongside the coffin. I didn't want to be that low but I wasn't sure where the outboard ones would be till now. I'll line bunks up with the lifting strakes.


I don't know whether I stated it, but this boat hasn't left the yard since the day I brought it home. So gunnel cracks,...yup they were already there with the old roller set up. Oddly, the one roller that fell off its support I did the temp repair with lines up with the cracked area. That will be repair for later though. I'm going to pull the teak step plate and seal with marine grade silicone for now. The one above the cleat I may tackle with the anchor tip hole repair.


I was planning to rough things up with a die grinder and rotary burr in order to have more control since the areas are so small. That anchor actually punched a hole through. It's prior repair glass you see in the middle of if. I was going to rough it up and repair to it. Since the glass patch seems solid. Just has air pockets at the bottom edge where I could see water seaping out. I'll have to go back out for some 3M Vinylester Premium Marine Filler, chip brushes, Bubble Buster roller, and Cabosil.


Oh, and upon closer further inspection, cleaning the silt out of the area, I do have some fine cracks in the gelcoat of the motor well, where the floor mates with the transom, as you suspected.


I submitted 2 posts yesterday. Not sure if you saw the second. I found a source for replacement windshield which another member had posted here. Still need length of the steering cable. The nylon bushings for the console grab rail screws, I'm now wondering if they weren't the same 1" straight cut nylon spacers I purchased at the hardware store and the "counter-sink" and shaped opposite end were formed by them being installed all these years?? Mr. R would probably know.

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Don't know the length for the steering cable.


As for your hardware store find for the bushings, a lot of this marine stuff originated from other items. I have found a number of things that either look identical or would work with a little customizing.

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Thanks Dan. The fiberglass material's I bought sound OK?


I scraped the rest of the bottom paint off the other half of hull and the sides yesterday. Found another anchor tip hole in STBD side opposite the one on port side. Seems previous owner was forgetful of taking off w/anchor down. Other than that the whole underside only had a 1/2" chip out of the gelcoat. I plan to break out the buffer today if the rain is finally over with.


Do you happen to remember if your fuel hoses were 1 1/2" fill, 5/8" vent, and 3/8" feed? Going to have a look in there tonight from the deck plate inside the console to get those ordered too.

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Can you post a picture of the fiberglass cloth or a link on the west marine website? I cannot locate it...probably operator error. As long as it looks like the biax below,it should work.


This is what 1708 biax cloth looks like.



The fibers are uniformly positioned at +45 degrees / - 45 degrees, extend the length of the fabric, and have decent diameter and tensile strength. The number 1708 means for every yard of fabric, there is 17 ounces of the biax weave and 8 ounces of matting (this is to allow some resin retention between multiple layers and minimize the potential for a 'dry' layup). Those long fibers bridging cracks and holes in existing fiberglass are what ties everything together .


This is mat.



The fibers in the mat are randomly orientated, not very long, and small diameter. Mat is has very little strength; its primary role is creating a relatively smooth surface on top of biaxial cloth. Impact resistance is non-existent as the lack of the long fibers allows the laminate to shatter and tear.


Hoses sound right. The only one I am sure of is the 3/8" fuel line; can't get to the vent or fill lines without removing the cover plate inside the hull.

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Not operator error. I didn't find the same mat listed on the website either. They only list heavy weight mat online. This is medium weight West Marine Model#141437. I guess all I have is mat, not 1708. I'll return it and go find the right stuff.


As far as the lines my plan was to disconnect them at the tank. Then join old to new with nylon or PVC barb nipples. Unscrew the filler from the gunwhale to pull the old then new hose up through. The vent hose I was planning to remove the inboard 6"x8" piece of teak in between the ends of the side shelve rails on side below the fill port then cut a hole behind it to access the vent nipple hose clamp. Then install an inspection plate behind the teak. "can't get to the vent or fill lines without removing the cover plate inside the hull." What cover plate inside are you referring to and would you have a pic? I did get a measurement on them at the deck plate. 1 1/2" fill hose, 5/8" vent hose, and I think the fuel line is 5/16". Maybe because it's 150hp? Should I change out the nipple on the tank and go with 3/8"?


Got the last of the bottom paint scraped off and preliminary buff done on the port side and 1/2 of the bottom of the hull.A few pics showing evolution of the transformation.





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On my 2160, there is a fiberglass cover shaped like a U and fits into a recess in the liner. This is held in place with screws and covers the fuel fill and vent hose where it runs up from the floor to the fill cap on the gunwhale. I will try to get a picture tomorrow.


5/16" fuel line is fine. 1/16" is not going to make that much difference and since that Mercury relies on crankcase pulses to pump the fuel instead of an electric fuel pump, there would be no restriction issues.

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Thank you.


I guess my question is, if my R1800 is built the same, how do I access the cover plate to remove it? Have to remove the console and coffin cover?


Got half of the exterior transom, and left side wet sanded of all the orbital sander and sanding scratches from prior bottom paint prep. Included another pic of the crack along the bottom edge of transom.


Included a pic of the anchor tip damaged area cleaned up. Would you grind the gelcoat above it all the way past the cracks?


There's also a pic of another repair just ahead of it. Looks like it was repaired with Marine-Tex. Has yellowed like it usually does. Lots of vertical cracks in the gelcoat in th area oý


I ended up ordering the 3/8" line.






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I just realized where the confusion is regarding the cover plate over the fuel fill...my boat is a walk-around whereas yours is a center console. My mistake as yours will not have that plate.


I think you will need to remove the console to get to it. Hopefully someone with a center console will confirm this.


Definitely grind out the cracks in the gelcoat down to the bare glass. Do the same to the marine-tex patch, too. Once you have the underlying fiberglass patched where the anchor hit the hull, grind the repaired area with 36 grit disc so it is a little below the surface of the surrounding gelcoat, preferably at the same level as the original fiberglass. Time to make up some gelcoat paste to complete the repair. You will need 1 qt of white gelcoat with wax additive (wax makes it cure hard on the surface whereas unwaxed remains tacky until something seals the surface from the surrounding air) and cabosil. Mix up a little gelcoat and the appropriate amount of hardner, then start adding cabosil until you have a buttery consistency. Make darn sure it is thoroughly mixed in so there are no lumps. Take a stick or putty knife and force the paste into the repair area pushing out any air bubbles. Be sure to over fill the patch as the gelcoat will shrink just a little bit as it cures. Allow to set up, sand, compound, then wax.

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Your floor hat his where the coffin that the fuel tank goes into. There are rigging trough of such to route the fuel fill and vent and ground .wire . Also when you go to instal the hoses use Good S/S hose clamps 2 on each. And when I put them on go opposite ways.

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Good Morning Guys,


My apology for not chiming back in more timely manner to bring things up to current. Which is only fair. Been putting a lot of time in on the boat after work and day off here and there while I have it, and the days have been long. I greatly appreciate the responses and the help that they offer.


Dan, your glass work guidance is awesome and will be instrumental in my doing the job right and I thank you for it. I'm planning to print those pages as a guide when I get to that point. I think I got it right this time. Returned the WM mat and ordered some 12" x 10yd Vernese Customs 24oz. Double Bias, qt of System 3 3105S16 White Silica Thickener, an ES Manufacturing bubble Buster, and a box of 2" chip brushes. I've done a lot of reading up on gelcoat and seems some are better than others in terms of long term durability. So, I still haven't bought any. Could use some help from forum members personal suggestions for what has aged well, not yellowed, turned porous or cracked away from original gel.



Thanks for sending your pic. I had pulled my deck plate the other day and ordered some new Shields hoses which came in yesterday. Attached are pic's I had taken other day and meant to upload. As you can see, the hoses look to be original. Still looking for confirmation of my plan to disconnect them at the tank, then join old and new with nylon or PVC barb nipples and tape, unscrew the filler from the gunwhale to pull old then new hose up through?


Mr. R you mention a rigging trough. Is there also foam at the stringers around the trough which is going to have the old hoses "glued" in place under deck? As for the vent hose, I see no option but to remove the inboard 6"x8" piece of teak in between the ends of the side shelve rails, cut a hole for access just below the gunwhale fill port location, and after replacement install an inspection plate and remount the teak piece over it? Tank is more than 1/2 full and I have no smell from the bilge, so I think it's OK, at least for now.


While I'm in here, should I do anything with the pickup tube? Remove it, to inspect, clean screen, etc.? And should anything be used on the fitting threads to seal if removed?


I may get into this in the rain today with a tarp over me. You guys like that fuel hose clamp?



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Some before and after pic'showing progress on the hull. The gelcoat is pretty dead. I've sanded and buffed to a point I don't think I should go any further. I'll have to live with some spots of porousity and yellowing here and there, but it's about 80% better than it was. This stage after scraping about 5-6 prior bottom coats, sanding 150, 220, 320, 400, 1200 and heavy cut compound. No, final glazing compound, Finesse-It or wax yet. 18' is more boat than I want to do this to ever again. 1 side, 1/2 bottom, and 1/2 transom is to this point.


I've ordered new brass motorwell and scupper drain tubes. As you can see, the ends are pretty well deteriorated.


I'm planning to replace the stock ginormous decals with the same, but like the look sans the double stripe.







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UPDATE: For today's project I decided to dive into the fuel hoses. Took a break for lunch and thought I would share my findings.


Well, I went to access the vent hose at the gunwhale first and found this hatchet job. Obviously, not the original hoses, as I had thought. Notice the nice kink in the vent hose and position of the hose clamps. Can't imagine securing in this position. The 4" round hole for access probably factory, but theres no way the big hacked rectangle is. The teak rectangle cover panel was not sealed properly and is likely where some of the water outboard of my port side stringers is coming from. You can see the moisture up against the outer fiberglass from the mornings rain.


Ordering a new vent elbow and deck fill port.


Bob, do you or anyone else have these rectangular teak panels between the ends of the gunwhale shelf rails? There's a matching one on STBD side. If not factory, i may make some panels from King Starboard to replace them with.





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  • 3 years later...

Are you able to see where the cables go under the deck?  Do they appear to go into the coffin box were the fuel tank sits?  If nobody else knows the length, you may need to remove the coffin lid to see where it runs and do a rough measurement of the run from the console, under floor to the battery box where the cables exit into the motor well.

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  • 1 year later...

Hello my fellow Robalo friends who helped me on this thread.  Which I more or less abandoned for the past five years. Due to at the same time starting on a lesser but similar project and smaller boat. Although, it took me more than a year to get it the way I wanted it before it went in the water. We've been enjoying it ever since, with several trips to Block Island on decent days. Call me nuts but our little 15' 86' Hobie Power Skiff is now a pride and joy. 

This isn't a Hobie Forum. So, I won't bore you with all of the details, but it started as just a rough hull. Which also needed the transom redone. A trailer which needed to be completely rebuilt, and an 86' 40hp Evinrude which I also completely rebuilt. I'll post some before and after pics below.

The reason I'm back, is because my honey is ready for a larger center console that is nit so loaded diwn when we head for the beach and has some room for a vouple more passengees. 

I've been looking for the past month or so and have made a few extended tips to look at some possible candidates.  But I've come with the conclusion that anything bigger than 20' is more boat than I need/want. That the R1800 in my driveway, (which now sits under 4 idle season layers of degraded tarps) is likely the perfect boat for us once the transom is fixed. 

Before it sat idle I rebuilt the trailer with new leaf springs, hubs, winch, tongue jack, wiring and lights. I bought new no feedback steering system and control cable's and all new custom battery cables for it back when I started into it. All are in my garage waiting to be installed.

After coming to my conclusion last Saturday night I got up early Sunday morning and headed to NH from CT for a used once Harbor Freight 2 Ton shop crane. Which after 5 yrs of procrastination took me less than a hour to remove the Mercury 150 from the boat. 

I don't know whether I stated such in my original posts, but I believe that someone else already made a botched attempt at replacing this transom before I bought it. I believe the crack along the top of the transom and on the left side is due to the fact that there was no cap made at the top to tie the new to the old when it was replaced. After removing the old brass transom drains you can see that the plywood (likely new marine grade) is still very solid, "new looking" with no rot. Along the top edge the glass was clearly not done properly with chunks of just resin mating new to old with no matting  that I can break away with a screwdriver. There are cracks along the very lower edges towards the lower transom drain hole. Where there were likely similar voids between new and old which took on water, froze and cracked the gelcoat where it forms a corner. 

So, do I start my cut of the outer transom 4-5" inboard of the edges as I've seen in do many places as the recommended method or do I cut more tight to the outer edges where the cracks eminate from? Ive already started grinding back some of the cracked areas. If the plywood is not rotted, I may have to cut tighter to the outer edges to get the old out anyway. Even if it is somewhat new not rotted I will not likely reuse it.

Hobi pics below.









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Shown are areas of the cracks in the outer skin. The top of the transom had no cap or mat tying anything together and I initially thought I was going to be able to give it a band-aid cap to hold things together. There's another crack circled which makes me think that the new wood may not extend the full width of the transom causing stress in this area. 3-4 yrs ago I had ground back the top edge which is where the cracks began and was essentily just resin (and improperly mixed resin at that) no mat. I then top coated it with new resin to protect it from freeze and thaw until I could resume the project.

Another thing I'm concerned about is you'll notice transom wedges were used when they re-hung the motor. I don't know if this was done after the fact because they didn't build the transom back at the correct angle and were thus having issues planing, but there are also drilled holes in the lower unit for a Doel Fin stabilizer but the boat had none when I bought it. Can anyone tell me the correct transom angle for an 88' R1800?

It is a ways down the road, but I've been thinking of reinstalling the motor with a manual jacking plate when I do in order to dual in the motor height more easily. Any thoughts on this?20220730_211626.thumb.jpg.8a2772ff36d8beef86182cf0bbfef83e.jpgpost-6724-0-36864500-1497531414.thumb.jpg.6668821b0e343ef7cd9f71b0ebdddb20.jpg

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