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1974 230 CC Restoration Project

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Hi everyone,

This summer (2018) I took ownership of a 1974 23 ft Robalo that was in desperate need of work all-around. I've worked in the marine industry for just over seven years now so at no point was I concerned about the amount of work. Of the little information I could find was a mooring permit for ten years ago. The yard didn't know how long it had sat there... uncovered... in New England.








My original plan was to take it during the winter of '17-'18 and do the work then but unfortunately that didn't happen. As such I tried to do as much as I could while still leaving some time to put it in the water a few times and test drive around.

That work included: installing '95 175HP Two-stroke Yamaha, installing new hydraulic steering system, power wash and light sanding, stripping and varnishing of all teak, new seat cushions, new deck-fill and fuel hose. Of course this is the 'real work' that went into it.

My profession is specific to marine electronics/electrical and so that work was a breeze: replacing every bit of wiring onboard, bilge, lights, navigation system, stereo system, VHF communications system, battery system.

Here is how things ended up mid-September:



Right now it is outside here in southern Massachusetts under tarp. December/January I plan to move it to a heated warehouse where we'll remove/replace the fuel tank. The fuel tank has been a source of frustration as lots of gas has been put in a taken out by hand. Here on this website it seems that it may be a 90 gallon tank (if still original). With the tank out we may remove any soiled/wet foam. As an electronics guy I'll probably put in some wire run tubes for added convenience. My tentative plan is to repaint the deck (probably white as that's what I have in stock). I may also paint the hull while I'm at it. I also may try to fiberglass the console top in replacement of my starboard piece. I also don't see myself using the shelf below the steering wheel so I'm thinking of making that whole area be two large starboard doors to gain better access to the batteries.

It seems lots of this boat is not original. There's a spot on the starboard-side aft for an anchor light which indicates that the T-top may have been after-market. The seat is definitely not original as we found the holes for the two chairs in the deck. In-board on the side walls all the teak pieces are missing. The lack of the pieces make the area good foot-holds for getting on and off so we'll see if I do anything. 

The T-top is in terrible shape. When the canvass guy made the seat  he also made a brand new beautiful canvass for the T-top. I'm certainly not putting that on until I can get the aluminum to look better. One colleague said that the clear coat on the metal probably let in some water that got trapped and rusted various spots along with the entire thing. That colleague recommended sand-blasting the T-top once uninstalled and then painting it.

The bow has two compartments, an upper that is clearly for the anchor, and a lower that leads to the forward bench storage. That area under the lower hatch was fiberglassed previously and now it doesn't drain. Not sure how it was supposed to be originally. I can provide pictures if anyone knows anything about that as I'd like to have it drain properly. 

The entire transom was redone by a previous owner. Whoever it was did a solid job however it may be actually too thick as we can't trim the engine fully. In the bilge however there's a 3/4"  tube that puts out seawater. First trip out I discovered and plugged it. The tube looks to come from foam so it may be original. It may also be the case that the original engine-well was entirely changed and the tube is an unintended result. If anyone has information on that I'd appreciate it. If I have to cut the fiberglass in the bait-well to find out I will.

I'm probably forgetting quite a few things we did/need to do but this is the bulk of it.

There's obviously still work to do before I can call it 'truly' restored. If anyone has any tips or recommendations I'd be thankful for the input!

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Hi and welcome to the site!  Looks like there is an issue when you attached the pictures as we cannot see anything.  Can you re-post them?  Curious to see what you have to work with.

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Even better now we can see the pictures.  That has got to be the biggest set of trim tabs I have seen on a boat that size. Honestly, larger is better as it will have more impact on water flow when making adjustments and will also help when getting on plane by making the hull bottom appear "bigger" and help pop it up.

Boat looks darn good.  Keep us posted on all work as we love this stuff!

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Yeah I was very surprised the trim tabs actually work at all! Speaking with Bennett it seems that they may be original since they haven't made that model since '76.

I know once I open the console up I may have some structural questions. In the meantime if anyone has any electronics questions, feel free to send them my way. 

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Nice find! She cleaned up nicely. Almost looks like my ‘78 except for the console. 

I may have some wiring questions for you, now that you opened up that door haha.

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