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Smittys Haulin

1989 Robalo 2680 turned project

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So to catch everyone up I ran into a deal that I could'n't turn down,  I sold my Classic Mako and on the same day I stumbled into a Robalo 2680... I knew it needed a little bit of work and I expected a repower within about 1yr but it came earlier than expected but that is ok, just means it will take a few extra months before I can take it out fishing... 

The boat was setup pretty much how I would have wanted it, the former owner had an older autopilot system, self leveling Bennett trim, they had added a full transom and a bracket that had twin Johnson 150s. Compression tested out great on the mtors but further diging discovered that the port motor was in need of some work and I just wasn't willing to spend the money in those motors so I decided to go with a repower to some Yamaha SWS 2 OX66 motors... That is how it started before I decided to take off down the rabbit hole last week... Basically I turned a simple repower into a mini series of "This Old Boat" lol... I have several customers that I had bartered some work with to cover a lot of the expenses that I was going to incur on this project so that got me a spot inside the shop at their marina which gave me around the clock access to work on the boat so between me and my retired father we have invested a LOT of time last week to get into this project... I am going to post several pics to show what has been done so far but basically we have decided to break the project up into phases. So far I am actually way under budget on repairs and way ahead of what I expected the schedule to be, BUT... things will start to slow down some since I am coming into my busy season and I will have to start working more however I do plan on having things completed by late December (that is the goal anyways, we shall see)...

 

I will have to add a lot of the details over the next few days to catch everyone up to speed since this was not a planned event but once I got into it I knew it was the right thing to do...  I am going to try to outline what we found during the repower which made up my mind to take it to the next level...

During the repower we noticed that their were so many add on's and after thought thru the years so I decided it was better, easier and cleaner to just start cutting the wires and cables.... The boat sat a bit low in the stern after the other owner had added the bracket, I figured since I was adding another 160-180lbs with the Yamaha motors that it was best to relocate the batteries as far forward as possible to counter the weight.... I also noticed that I can actually raise the rear of the deck about 5in higher than it currently is and that would provide a great deal of a safety buffer as well (this is a phase 2 project)... While pulling the wires and old cables out of the conduit we realized that the fuel fill hose was in an advance stage of decomposing (steel spiral reinforcement was deteriorated and hose was extremely brittle), so this became a priority as well... While under the helm I decided the rat nest of a wiring disaster had to go (my father is a master electrician by trade for the last 55yrs and he agreed).... Overall the entire boat was rock solid with no soft spots or noticed rot except for 1 area, above the new transom whoever did the glass work took a short cut and used wood to help form the new cap area in the stern but they never fully encapsulated the wood core with fiberglass, so it was DESTROYED (this is a phase 2 project as well)... I plan to add a flip down bench seat in the stern of the boat to make it passenger friendly but maintain a nice open deck to fish... I already aquired a nice leaning post to replace the pedistal seats and I also decided that I love teak but I am known to neglect it so I am doing away with all of the teak trim onboard...Lastly I decided I was not a fan of the tinted sliding lexan under the helm so that is on the remove and replace list...

I am sure that I am forgetting some things so if it is obvious just post a reply... I will add to this list once I get more organized but I am paraphrasing 1 solid week of work done...

 

The phases that I have planned are as follows:

Phase 1 - Repower and electrical redo

- Twin Yamaha SWS 2 200s

- relocate batteries from stern to bow

- rewire entire boat from bow to stern complete blueprinted electrical system with heat shrink labeling for ID

- update from 2 battery system to a 3 battery system

- add BEP 3 battery switch panel with dual DVSRs

- add custom switch panel (I happen to have a few engineers at my disposal who may complete a special surprise that no other boat on the market has seen before, I am not able to go int too many details on this right now but trust me it will be high tech and sexy)

- redo fishbox macerators with dual Whale Guler 320  pumps

- add 2nd bilge pump for redundancy

- decide what I am going to do with the livewell (currently accepting ideas to make it better)

- replace all fuel lines

-inspect, clean and treat fuel tank

- remove Bennett hydraulic tabs and replace with Lenco actuators and controls

- add my Lewmar H1000 windlass (deciding now on what style pulpit roller)

- update all lights onboard to modern LEDs

- add transom lights

- add under gunwale LEDs accent light (have to look good at the docks lol)

- add LED accent lights in cuddy

 

Phase 2 - Minor fiberglass repair/ modifications

- repair and shorten stern fiberglass cap

- raise rear deck of old splash well to deck height (4-5in height added above waterline)

- tab in and fiberglass between gunwale and cuddy (poor design noticed, pics coming)

- remove all teak trim and accents and replace with modern vinyl trim

- install new leaning post

- add removable acrylic/ canvass  windshield  and sides

- contour 2 spots on the gunwale that the bow rail used to go back to (hard to explain but will see in pics to come)

- Fiberglass in access hole that we had to cut in order to replace fuel fill tube (or be lazy and add a pie plate access hatch)

- redesign center console to accommodate new electronics package

-replace bulkhead walls in cuddy (had some rot on the bottom caused by no culking around the bottom of the cap allowing water to go forward)

- design and add fold up bench seat to stern area

- reupholster entire boat including cuddy area

 

Phase 3 - Painting the entire boat and final cosmetics

- fair and prep topside for paint

- fair and prep hull for paint

- soda blast/ remove bottom paint- Alexseal bright white for topside paint

- Alexseal bright white with soft sand nonskid on all topside walking surfaces above the main deck

- Alexseal light grey with nonskid on all deck surfaces

- Alexseal blue (color to be determined, possible to go with a full custom color)

- Interlux VC Performance Epoxy white on bottom of hull from waterline South

- Considering replacing rubrail with a new Taco rubrail system in all white (we shall see how I feel when I get there)

- Add the to be determined boat name (that the Admiral approves)

 

Phase 4 - Outfit with full package electronics and final accessories

- Planned to add Simrad NSS12 EVO 3 full system with radar and totalscan

- add a decent stereo system (I am not a big music fan but the Admiral likes to listen to music while onboard so I will comply) 

- add radar pedestal with integrated anchor light

- add some Taco outrigger bases to hardtop

 

Phase 5 - Get out on the water!!!!

 

 

Below is what was accomplished over the last week:

- Battery system was updated from a 2 battery system to a 3

- BEP 3 battery switch panel w/ dual DVSRs was installed

- Old Johnsons were removed and replaced with the Yamaha 200 SWS 2 motors (final rigging will be completed by my buddies service manager later this week, since he is the pro at it I just prefer the grunt work)

- Batteries were relocated from the stern all the way to the cuddy where we found nice little voids under the steps of each corner. 

- Entire boat was gutted of old electronics and wiring and we rewired from bow to stern (all of the main heavy cables were pulled in place along with several 12ga conductors that will eventually be switch legs for accessories and etc)

- Proposed accessories were planned out and ready to be implemented

- Removed old Bennett trim tabs and pump and replaced with Lenco electronic actuators

- New fuel lines were installed

- New fuel fill tube was installed (the old one was dry rotted and the steel coil around it was rusted out)

- Fuel tank was pumped out, inspected and treated

- Pedestal seats were removed

- Upholstery has been sent over to my other customer to get replaced

- All of the old gauges were removed from the console

 

That is all right now, I feel that we made some awesome progress with the 2 of us putting in a total of 5 full 14-16hr days on the boat last week.... It really helped having the boat inside of the shop at the marina in my own bay and being able to stay until early morning hours, not to mention having a shop that was well tooled, supplies were on hand when needed and was just added to my tab...  

I am way ahead of schedule and believe it or not even with all of the work being done s far I am under budget since I am getting most of the supplies at cost and have been doing 95% of the labor ourselves to save my credit with them and use them when I need it most... 

 

Phase 2 may actually start ahead of schedule..

 

It doesn't look like my pics want to upload for some reason, maybe it is something with my connection or an internal error, I dunno if any mods want to look at it maybe you can let me know what I am doing wrong... Hopefully I can get some pics attached  over the next few days, in the meantime  here is a LINK  to my other posts before I began this project.

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If you get a chance, post some pictures of the engine bracket, back view, side, view, and looking up under the bracket along the outside above the trim tabs.  I got some hair brained ideas kicking around based on some of the comments you made on the other thread about trying to increase the floatation at the transom.

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2 hours ago, 2-N-TOW said:

If you get a chance, post some pictures of the engine bracket, back view, side, view, and looking up under the bracket along the outside above the trim tabs.  I got some hair brained ideas kicking around based on some of the comments you made on the other thread about trying to increase the floatation at the transom.

These are the only pics I have at the moment, I will be back up there by Friday to get some different angles for you...

 Basically it is 2 single brackets with a stainless plate connecting them together, very well built by Armstrong.... There is gap between the brackets about 18in or so wide... They are wet brackets too, all open... I almost think I could effectively seal the joints up and have a piece of stainless to cover the entire open part as well... I've also considered having a center piece along the bottom to match the contour of the brackets and add an air bladder or ping pong balls to that as well... I dunno, ideas but I am realistic that it could start to get just as expensive going that way as just getting a custom bracket built, I've got plenty of sources to build a bracket for me or just go with an Armstrong or Stainless Marine... Go figure, I literally just sold my old bracket on THT days before getting this boat lol, go figure...

 

I'm anxious to get back working on it, but I'm getting ready to head to California for a load and then it runs right into my busy season so there will only be a few days here and there with the exception of my father maybe working on a few things... So collecting some parts on my time off and planning the next stages of the build... 

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That shop does not look like the one in your first set of pictures when you were first showing the boat!  No way that t-top made it through a standard garage door.

Dammit...that was not what I was expecting for the bracket. No floatation at all back there.  I was kind of hoping it had the tub already in place for a dual engine set-up and extended swim platform out to the sides of the hull.  What I was thinking about was fabricating some fiberglass floats to go under the swim platform but sit above the actuators for the trim tabs.  I suppose you could still do the same thing with this bracket, but my idea may kill the aesthetic looks back there.

If you decide to do some bracket shopping, contact these guys:

http://www.dadmarine.com/index00.html

They built mine back in 2006 and it is still holding up as good as the day I installed it.  They have a lot of options for custom brackets and can oversize the floatation tub to meet your needs.

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1 hour ago, 2-N-TOW said:

That shop does not look like the one in your first set of pictures when you were first showing the boat!  No way that t-top made it through a standard garage door.

Lol, yes not the same shop... the first set of pics was at my fathers house in Solomons MD, now it is up in Middle River MD at the marina where I have 18ft doors...

1 hour ago, 2-N-TOW said:

Dammit...that was not what I was expecting for the bracket. No floatation at all back there.  I was kind of hoping it had the tub already in place for a dual engine set-up and extended swim platform out to the sides of the hull.  What I was thinking about was fabricating some fiberglass floats to go under the swim platform but sit above the actuators for the trim tabs.  I suppose you could still do the same thing with this bracket, but my idea may kill the aesthetic looks back there.

Yeah, these are the older style brackets.... I really need to see where it sits in the water after I get some gas in it... If these brackets were at least sealed up they would provide some floatation, approx 4 cubic feet which would be about right what I need in floatation. The easy and cheap way to get by is ping pong balls or a bladder inside of the existing brackets since they are wide open. But I am all over the country so there is a chance I may find one for sale for stupid cheap and I can pick it up...  

 

I have seen D and D before, they do nice work.... if I get a bracket built I will probably try to have it built to get as close to the contour of the V in the hull as possible without interfering with the trim tabs... That way it should respond more like a larger boat and add to the floatation rather than just a boat with a bracket on it...

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Nothing new to report really, my buddy is getting the final rigging finished up and tied in, I got to see the progress a few days ago and it is starting to look very nice... He has been working on it part time since I am in no real rush since I can't get anything else done until I get a few more days off... This is the worst part of any project when you have to actually go back to work.... 

But since I have been back on the road hauling other peoples boats I have had a lot of time to think about the other things that I wanted to do and some color selections.... I found a local guy to soda blast the bottom for $500, I figure this will save me time and agony of scraping and sanding off years of built up bottom paint... I am then planning to paint the bottom with a bright white Interlux VC Performance Epoxy... I have also decided that I will do a vinyl wrap around the hull ( I am planning on a blue color, I have some samples that are going to be waiting for me when I get back home)... I am also considering replacing the rub rail with an updated white Taco rubrail... Everything above the rub rail will be painted a bright white (planning on using Alexseal paint)... I may decide to spray it since there shouldn't be much to tape off and I know it will give it a better finish than rolling and tipping.... 

I have a lot of work to do on the center console to make it functional and update it (not to mention cover all of the holes from the old gauges)... I am thinking of what I should do with the bottom where it is all wide open since we removed the Plexiglas sliders, I will possible build a fiberglass panel with a footrest and maybe 1 or 2 access hatches, I need to look around for some ideas and inspiration....

I need 2 solid weeks with the boat so I can start getting some more work done, the downtime kills me!!!

 

Below is the an example of the wrap color I am considering, granted these are Intrepids that I can only afford to transport for people lol.... 

 

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That blue will really stand out, in a good way.

$500 for the bottom blast is a bargain, especially considering what you would spend on materials just to get if off.  Plus not being hot in a Tyvek zook suit and anti-fouling dust all over the place....no brainer there!

At least one advantage with your job is you get to see a lot of ideas for your boat while working.  Check out lot of your customer's consoles and take the best from each one to re-design yours.

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I thought about replacing the rubrail too, but I priced them and I wasn’t really thrilled with some of the designs either. I decided to keep it original especially since I need to run the bow light wires down behind the rope to the stern then into the boat to the console switch. I’m going to order some new nylon rope.

if you have not ordered your paint, I invite you to research the Quantum 99 polyester urethane paint. It has both acrylic and polyester features, like Awlgrip and Awlcraft combined, and twice the solids of other paints. I’m doing my resto with it and so far I’m happy with how it’s turning out. It’s about as expensive as Awlgrip. 

I also thought about soda blasting the bottom as well, but since I am in a slip and applying bottom paint, it didn’t make much sense costwise to do it.

 

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On 9/19/2019 at 9:44 PM, 2-N-TOW said:

That blue will really stand out, in a good way.

$500 for the bottom blast is a bargain, especially considering what you would spend on materials just to get if off.  Plus not being hot in a Tyvek zook suit and anti-fouling dust all over the place....no brainer there!

At least one advantage with your job is you get to see a lot of ideas for your boat while working.  Check out lot of your customer's consoles and take the best from each one to re-design yours.

The wrap samples came in the other day and the admiral was checking them out to see which ones she liked, I will get to see them myself on weds... But I do like a blue like that especially when the rest is a bright white... The cost of wrap vs the time and cost of the paint made the most sense for me (granted I'm not certain if I would feel the same way if I had to pay retail for the install)... 

I hate messing with bottom paint so I was happy to hear a price much lower than I anticipated...

I have definitely been taking notice of other console layouts and getting a lot of pics as well... I have some ideas in my head but I haven't gotten a chance to start drawing it all out...  I am thinking about adding a drawer or a fold out style glove box compartment I just need to see what the available options may be out there that don't break the bank...

 

10 hours ago, Retainer said:

I thought about replacing the rubrail too, but I priced them and I wasn’t really thrilled with some of the designs either. I decided to keep it original especially since I need to run the bow light wires down behind the rope to the stern then into the boat to the console switch. I’m going to order some new nylon rope.

if you have not ordered your paint, I invite you to research the Quantum 99 polyester urethane paint. It has both acrylic and polyester features, like Awlgrip and Awlcraft combined, and twice the solids of other paints. I’m doing my resto with it and so far I’m happy with how it’s turning out. It’s about as expensive as Awlgrip. 

I also thought about soda blasting the bottom as well, but since I am in a slip and applying bottom paint, it didn’t make much sense costwise to do it.

 

I am looking into the Taco Suproflex rubrail system, looks decent and easy to install/ maintain... I am waiting to see what they can get me on a price before I make the decision. Luckily all of my wiring is inside and under the deck or running up the pipework to the hard top... My current rubrail isn't in bad shape at all I figured since I am doing everything else I may as well change it up as well, I think it will give it a more "finished" look...

 

I haven't ordered the paint yet, I have looked into the quantum before but but decided on the Alexseal since I have a friend who has been swearing by it and after research on my own looked to be the best option for me and the pricing I can get from was great since a buddy is a vendor for them... I may not have to do any nonskid, so this is going to save me a lot overall, I am doing a transport for WetSounds and Gatorstep next week and I made Gatorstep an offer that they most likely won't refuse in lieu of payment, right now I am waiting to see if they are accepting the deal, I give it an 80% chance of being accepted though. If the deal does go thru I am going to be decking the boat with gatorstep on every walkable surface of the boat... Fingers crossed since this will save me a lot of time and money and look great... 

 

Now, I am seeking an opinion on mounting my new leaning post. I noticed that the entire deck was foam cored. I personally don't want to remove the deck to install the leaning post. Since I removed the pedestal chairs I have holes in the deck I was going to fill them with some new glass anyways so I was thinking the best way for me to securely mount the leaning post would be to cut out the areas of the deck and install/ epoxy some blocks in the core and then glass back over them... I think that is the right way to do it... My other option would be to use long self taping screws that will penetrate the inner and outer fiberglass and use 5200 on the mounts... I feel this would work but it may not be the best practice... Opinions anyone??

 

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For the record .... I hate ya!  (just kiddin')  In a previous life, were you a horse trader?

That decking would look awesome as long as it holds up well.

Don't try to rely on long screws through the bottom layer of glass.  It may work for the short term, but over time it will pull out since there is not much material for a good bite.Probably the easiest way is to use stainless toggle bolts.  Next would be to cut the deck and install some aluminum plates.  Plate would need to be big enough to spread the load out over a decent area.  If the plate is going to be threaded to accept the bolt, I would go no less than 3/8" thick so there is enough aluminum to thread and not pull out.  Another option would be to double up some 1/4" plate assuming the core is 1/2"; otherwise you will need something to fill the void to get the coring back to the same thickness.  Re-glass the top deck back in place and finish.  Then drill and tap your holes, coat the treads with some teflon to prevent corrosion with the aluminum, install and done.  

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3 hours ago, 2-N-TOW said:

For the record .... I hate ya!  (just kiddin')  In a previous life, were you a horse trader?

That decking would look awesome as long as it holds up well.

LOL.... I just got smart over the last year or so and started leveraging some of my companies that are asking for great pricing lol... I used to be hard headed and pay retail for everything and do it all 100% myself, I rarely finished a project in a reasonable amount of time and budget that way... 

 

I have researched hard on different deck systems and nonskid etc... The pics above were from the Yamaha sponsored SeaHunter boat that I move a few times each year... They had the Gatorstep installed back in Feb of this year and have fished it hard ever since, they said it cleans very easily and the only spot they have that is damaged is from someone stabbing it with a gaff. This boat lives in Galveston area exposed to the elements fulltime so I figure it should work decent for me... I would never be able to swallow the pill of full price on this though, I have heard it is around $22per sqft but I can't confirm that... I have read reviews out there that favor Gatorstep over SeaDek for durability, I've walked on both and to me the Gatorstep feels more firm... Fingers crossed I can pull this deal off, I think I priced it right... Wet Sounds is the bigger sponsor for this trip but I am honestly not a huge stereo system guy, especially at the moent when I am doing mechanical, electrical and refacing type work, maybe next year I will try to leverage them for some goodies.... I need to figure out how to get to Simrad next lol...

 

3 hours ago, 2-N-TOW said:

Don't try to rely on long screws through the bottom layer of glass.  It may work for the short term, but over time it will pull out since there is not much material for a good bite.Probably the easiest way is to use stainless toggle bolts.  Next would be to cut the deck and install some aluminum plates.  Plate would need to be big enough to spread the load out over a decent area.  If the plate is going to be threaded to accept the bolt, I would go no less than 3/8" thick so there is enough aluminum to thread and not pull out.  Another option would be to double up some 1/4" plate assuming the core is 1/2"; otherwise you will need something to fill the void to get the coring back to the same thickness.  Re-glass the top deck back in place and finish.  Then drill and tap your holes, coat the treads with some teflon to prevent corrosion with the aluminum, install and done.  

Yep, thanks for confirming that for me.... I knew it deep down inside but I was wishing for a better way... I have some glass work to do anyway so it really isn't a big deal just another to do is all... BTW, your build thread helped influence a few of my ideas for doing some of the glass work... 

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I have a fantastic response on your last sentence in pure fun, but I gotta keep the site PG rated!

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LOL....

 

So since I still have nothing but time to think and currently I am thinking of the fiberglass projects I will be tackling soon I have some livewell questions...

 

I am the furthest thing from a livewell expert, I have used them but more often ignore the system unless it stops working... I noticed what I  believe to be a drain in the center of the transom at the waterline... I will be patching some holes on the transom and I was wondering if this could or should be relocated to go out the side of the hull vs the stern since eventually I will be replacing the bracket and this drain will be in the way. I already have some holes to bore in the sides for the fishbox pumps that I am adding and the 2nd bilge I am going to add so another hole is not a big deal but I'm betting it has to be in a certain spot that is low if I was to guess... So some livewell system advice and maybe even some plumbing lessons on one would really help out....

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The only experience I have had with livewells in my boat was a home made set-up.  20 gallon plastic barrel, bilge pump for circulation pump and a homemade fill/drain set-up where the water was pumped in at the bottom of the barrel and had the overflow at about the 18 gallon level.  Had a hinged top to cut down on bait trying to escape or slosh out.  Bilge pump was wired with alligator clips that attached to the battery.  Pump was also mounted on a pvc pipe with the end heated and bent flat at a 90 degree angle on one ends.  One end had the pump bolted to it.  There were 2 sets of holes in the pipe that allowed me to zip tie it to the swim platform.  Redneck set-up, but it worked real well.

Two things that live well taught me; the blue barrel was a great color choice as I later read that color had a calming effect on the bait since it was closer in color to their natural environment than plain white.  The second thing is a rounded bait well does less damage to the bait fish since they  are not ramming their noses into corners of the well and are able to swim continuously  without having to make abrupt course changes.  This reduces the stress level, too.

Patch that hole in question on the transom.  It is always easier to re-drill it at a later time than kicking yourself for not having patched it before everything was re-painted.

Plumbing thoughts (and I am no expert):

1.  Install ball shut-off valves on all thru hull fittings that water will be entering.  Double clamp the hose on every fittting.

2.  Be sure to excercise the shut-off valves regularly, like at least once a month.  Salt water can leave deposits on the ball valves, making them hard to open and close over time.  I can vouch for this from personal experience.  Left the damn shut-off valve for the washdown pump closed for the entire summer season, went to open it to drain any residual water in the line and it was stuck!  Fortunately stuck closed.  Needless to say, the pump has been removed and placed in storage.

3.  Make darn sure where you plan on installing either the thru hull or drain fittings is accessable for working on the backside  prior to drilling holes.  Take into consideration room needed for the hose to make turns, too.

4.  It is nice when you can use gravity to drain the live well.  If it is not possible and your drain ends up being above the bottom of the tank, that is not necessarily the end of the world.  While the fill pump is putting water in the well, there will still be good water turnover as long as water enters at the bottom and exits at the top of the tank.  When you pull the stand pipe, a good majority of the water should drain.  Any remaining water can be pumped out using a bilge pump with alligator clips and a hose.  Before you nix this idea, that same pump can serve also as an emergency pump if something should go wrong and the primary bilge pump fails with water in the bilge.

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The thought that I could always redrill at a later time was what I was thinking... I have looked all over the internet and can't really find any consistent information on the livewell designs or building.... I'm not a huge fan of a below deck livewell except for the fact it doesn't clutter the deck space... I agree with the valves and lines, I've always been paranoid over seacocks and thruhull fittings (this is one of the reasons I was not a fan of those low scuppers on the stern which is why I decided to glass those in and move the floor level with the rest of the deck and raise the scuppers.

I did hear that blue was a good color though for reducing stress... 

 

 

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Question??? Give me an opinion on this... Anchor rollers, which should I install, 1) thru the pulpit style, or 2) on top of the pulpit? I really like the thru pulpit style and I have plenty of room to cut one in but I don't know if I should... Pros and cons?

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I guess it is safe to assume the bow running lights will be relocated?

The thru-pulpit style does make for a cleaner look.  The only thing I would be concerned with is how close will the anchor be to the hull when it is swinging while retrieving.  The standard mount does get the anchor farther away from the hull, but it does not look as good.  But...this style can be uses kind of like a bow bumper where the anchor would hit the dock first instead of the fiberglass pulpit. Negative on this style is that the anchor can get hung on a dock pole when backing away from the dock in a strong current or wind (yes...I have done this before).

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LOL, yes bow light is not a concern... I have experienced all of those above situations myself as well, some worse than others lol.... I have also thought about the anchor swinging on the way  up in heavy waves and damaging the hard work.... I am torn on this..... I like the aesthetic value of the thru pulpit, I think there is enough pulpit sticking out there that only a very rough day or a day where I have nobody to watch the anchor on the way up would it have  a potential to hit....  I am going to think about this one some more, it has been bugging me over the last day or so since I ran out of other things to plan lol...

Quick update on everything, this week I am having the gauges mounted on black acrylic on the console, also putting a piece of starboard over the former binnacle hole and steering wheel so we have a clean slate to reinstall (I eventually want to install a tilt steering unit, just haven't found the right price yet)...  It looks like later this week the soda blasting will be underway followed by prepping and painting the bottom with the VC Performance Epoxy... It pains me to say this but I am paying my buddy's yard guy after hours to get the bottom painted, I was planning to do it myself but I need it wrapped up before winter so I can move the boat back to FL where I can get the remaining work wrapped up (work is so busy right now but  unfortunately that is the way it goes)...

Also, it looks like GatorStep is taking my barter deal for the decking, I've already moved their boat to the IBEX show in Tampa and they had me send them pics, sketches and estimates but they said "that should't be a problem"... But if it is a problem I will probably pay for it anyways since now I really want it lol (just don't tell the Admiral if I have to go that route)...

I have been drawing out and figuring out a few design ideas for the stern area where I plan to cut out the old splashwell area and level the deck and close in the transom and add a large access door so I don't hate myself later (I hate working on boats that I have to be a shrunken contortionist for a simple task).... 

 

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I was at the boat today by chance... I was looking at the bow and the pulit, I have 23in of pulpit sticking out beyond the front of the bow... I think it should be plenty in order to do a thru pulpit roller without risking damage unless I am in some really bad conditions (which I probably wouldn't be anchoring anyways).... I also walked out on the pulpit and felt it pretty well, I am 240lbs and it felt very strong with no movement ( I am assuming foam core like the deck)... So I think I am sold on a thru pulpit roller unless I can hear a good argument why not at this point...

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That pulpit is rock solid the way those gussets support it from below.  If your weight caused any movement, there are other issues that need addressing before adding the ornamental grillwork.  Are you planning on an anchor windlass?  Trust me on this one...if you plan on keeping the boat for some time, a windlass is one of the better options.  I pulled anchors enough times that I bit the bullet and installed one.  Yup, they are a little pricey, but the first time you can drop and retrieve the anchor from the helm, you will be kicking yourself for not having done it sooner.

Definitely agree with you on the access to the bilge area.  Those factory installed accesses are a joke.  When I made my enclosed transom, I made 3 access doors that are wide enough to get my head and arms in to work on stuff.  Still a little tight, but a big improvement over trying to work through those darn 6" access ports.

WTG on the GatorStep deal!  If that works out, thats a good chunk of change to spend on other goodies.

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Yep, she is solid as a rock.... I have a Lewmar H1000 that I got a pretty good deal on a few months back. It has just been sitting in the box waiting to be installed, it was used but looks new and came with everything including remotes and switches.... IMO a boat like this should have come from the factory with one.... I am also excited to glass in that eyesore of a hole for the old anchor locker access...

 

I have the boat right now going back to Texas for Wet Sounds and GatorStep, they made the deal with me on it so we are good to go... My plan is to get the templates figured out, only paint the deck areas that will show and lay the floor, this will save me a lot of time in fiberglass finishing work also for when I install the leaning post and glassing in the hole on the bow etc... Saves me time and money while updating the style....

 

The transom access will basically be the size of the transom , with the splash well cut out I plan to leave at least 2 gaps where I will have direct access to the transom and bilge area of the transom... I plan to install a large bilge access door in the floor between the transom and the livewell, the one I am looking at is about the same size as the  livewell trap door, I think it is a 27x14in or something like that... I also plan to knock out all of the work I can before installing the new leveled deck back there since I have wide open access at that time I figure I best take full advantage of it... I'm considering getting a thru hull transducer also actually (just wish they were cheaper), I am most likely installing a totalscan transducer since most likely I am going to go with a SImrad NSS unit at the end of the project... 

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Well bottom was blasted, tomorrow I have limited time onboard but I have to fill in all the small screw holes and other holes that are below the waterline... The plan it to have the yard guy finish the bottom up by applying the VC Performance Epoxy to the hull... I'm masking it off with a wire tape like they use for spray in bedliners so I can guarantee a nice sharp clean line and no issues with the masking not wanting to come off or damaging the finish...

I'm also finally installing the  battery hold downs in the cabin where we relocated the batteries. 

I had black acrylic panels cut to size for the console to mount the gauges and for the overhead cabinet lid that was missing... I should be picking these pieces up by midweek... I also had some 1/4in white starboard ordered to reface over the areas of the console where the other electronics were mounted and under the steering wheel and binnacle (go ahead and give me hell for that decision, lol, I deserve it but it was a quicker way to get the controls mounted and have a clean working surface, I will revisit in a few years I'm sure and do some glass work to do it the right way).... I am having my father do most of the console work since I'm going to be back on the road for a bit, he has a pretty high level of attention to detail so I expect it to look pretty sharp...

I am looking for some nice stainless hinges that I can use for access behind the upper console area. The acrylic I'm using is 3/8" thick and I am having trouble finding a good marine grade piano hinge that size, I really don't want to use a surface mount hinge if I can help it so hinge ideas on this are very welcomed....

 

Also I think I mentioned it before but I am planning to move my boat south in the next few weeks to my place in FL to finish the work... I have my buddies shop down here that I am planning to complete the fiberglass repairs, topside painting and remaining odds and ends... I'm hoping a lot of this can get done in November and December... My goal is to have it 95% complete by the end of December... The remaining 5% is going to be the electronics package I want (I'm still crossing my fingers I can come across a solid deal)...

When I get to cutting out the splash well and laying the new deck area in the stern and making the access door to the transom I may have some questions on the glasswork... It looks like the easiest way will be to build a mold for it but I have very limited experience building molds and none of my molds included a functional recessed door... So advice on this would be great...

 

So that is all for now, work on the boat is slow since I am crazy busy doing work right now to fund the project... Tomorrow I will get some updated pics since some new work has been done, I can't wait to see what the new bottom paint will look like after he gets that wrapped up as well...

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All of that sounds good.  And I fully understand the starboard on the console...just run a small bead of sealant around the perimeter on the bottom side to make as waterproof as possible and help protect the exposed coring underneath the starboard panels (I will hold off on the BLASPHEMY comments for a later date :) ).

Making a mold is not that hard.  I will dig up some of the pictures when I was molding the transom access panel and livewell tubs for my boat.  This will give you some ideas.

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Bottom was blasted, no more bottom paint but the guy went a tad more aggressive than I was hoping so it caused me to have the guys paint 3 coats of Interlux 2000E barrier coat on the bottom before laying out the VC Performance Epoxy... Barrier coat should be done as I'm writing this... I am having them sand the barrier coat to smooth prior to painting the Perfomance Epoxy so I can achieve a gelcoat type appearance in the end... I have them using a low nap roller and sanding between coat #2 and 3... Then I plan to burnish it to finish it off after coat #4... Fingers crossed I get the results i was hoping for!!!

The yard guys are probably annoyed by all of my requests by now lol but it is the way I would have done things if I did them myself...

I have a pic attached here that shows the leaning post in place, just not installed yet... I will have to get this done when I get it down to FL most likely. 

The console should be getting wrapped up in about 1 week (I'm hoping)... We are going to try to cut out the starboard pattern and then try to use a heat gun and add a bend so we can get it done in one piece...

 

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Update... Bottom is done!!! I finally laid eyes on it myself for the first time last night, to be honest I had to make sure it was my boat lol.... I still need to sand it down a bit to knock down the texture and then burnish the finish some to make it pretty but overall I am very pleased with the results...

The console has been started, acrylic was put in, I am still working out the details of the side pieces (the angles are a killer)... I also got the starboard (quick cheat) mostly wrapped up on the console to cover up all of the holes from the old accessories... 

The boat is finally getting moved out of the marina to give them space for winter storage, I will be bringing the boat down to my fathers house so he can wrap up some of the small things without having to drive all the way up to Baltimore... I should be pulling it the remaining distance down to FL around Thanksgiving... Then the rest of the work will be getting wrapped up since I will have some time off finally...

Here are some of the recent pics...

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