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Hazzley

1970 19' Robalo

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Hello!!!

I just joined the forum, having bought a 1970 19' Robalo this week. It is sea worthy but I plan on doing some restoration work to get it back looking its very best, although I have limited experience at this stage.

My first question would be about the transom which has been re-done and is now flush with the gunwales. I was wondering what the reason might have been for this and whether there are any positives / negatives to this modification?

Thanks!!

Edited by Hazzley

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Hi Hazzley and welcome to the site!

Nice looking boat to be that old.  Can you post some  more pictures, including one of the transom so we can see what you are referring to.  Also have the picture with the motor trimmed to the normal running position so we can see where the cavitation plate on the lower unit is in relation to the bottom of the boat.

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What I thought.  That boat was originally designed for a 20" shaft motor as that was standard size back then.  Looks like the prior owner got a decent deal on a standard length motor (25" shaft) around the time the transom needed rebuilding, so he built the transom to a height that would allow for it.  Downside, if you would call it that, is you no longer have the notched transom which would help drain the boat somewhat if a large wave came over the bow.  The good side, though, you don't have to worry as much about waves splashing into the motor well if anchored.  Just make sure your deck drains stay clear of obstructions.

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Thank you for the information. I Really appreciate it! Have uploaded some more images. The entire deck is carpeted (which I want to remove).

There is some minor damage to the outer hull and I was wondering what the best way to do this might be? Also, what would be the best way to cover the holes in the console? I was hoping to find some wood panels?

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Edited by Hazzley

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Easiest way to cover the holes would be to use some 1/2" starboard.  It can be cut with woodworking tools, then use a 1/4 round router bit to put a nice clean edge on it.  You need to be careful when screwing it down to just snug it up, otherwise it will develop stress cracks over time.  The stuff holds up great on boats as I have some that has been installed for over 15 years.

That cross member on the trailer up front should not be contacting the hull.  The bunks are set too low.  I would also rotate the bunks 90 degrees so they would be stronger.  2 2x8 or 2x10 treated boards screwed together with stainless screws would work fine for this and get the boat up off the cross member.

Next suggestion...get rid of the carpet!  All that does is hold moisture and fish guts!  Without the carpet, cleanup is so much easier and the boat will stay cleaner.

Is the hull damage in the general area of where the cross member contacts the hull? 

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Thanks again for the great advice. The only part I don’t understand is where you say to rotate the bunks 90 degrees and lift them higher. Although I understand the boat should not be resting on the cross member.

i have attached more pics.... could you explain again what you mean please?

Hull damage is minimal and you can see some tiny marks around where the hill meets the cross member. Perhaps I am being to fussy but I wanted to try and fill these holes and smooth things out before painting.

Was also wondering about the unused fuel tank but that is a whole other story!

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This is how I have mine set up:

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Sorry for the lack of contrast...I have black carpet on the bunks and it does not contrast well at night!  This will both gt you the height you need to clear the trailer frame and provide better, even support to the bottom of the boat.  The way the bunks are currently installed, most of the weight is supported directly above the metal supports since the bunk can easily flex.  A double 2x8 on edge will not flex nearly as much.  Also, if you can locate the bunks so they are directly below the strakes, that will give you a flat place for the hull to lay against and it is also one of the stronger locations on the bottom of the boat.

What does the hull damage look like to you as it is hard to tell from the pictures?  Is it just gouges in the bottom from rocks hitting the bottom and chipping the finish or does any of it look like possibly small cracks?  The small gouges could be filled with a thickened fiberglass resin putty after they have been ground out with a dremel, being sure to leave a rough finish for the putty to "grab on to".  If they are cracks, it is going to require a little more extensive work.

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Thanks again. Hull damage is minimal and I have attached 2 more photos that hopefully show it a little better.
 

I imagine they just need filling, sanding and painting. Just want to be sure I use the right filler. The longer damage is maybe 4” and the smaller one 2”.

The very smelly old carpet is gone!! I am in no rush but wondered why the fuel tank was not used and if it is a major job to get it back in service??

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Glad to see the carpet gone!  A good pressure washing and a coat of paint will have the inside looking darn good again.

Wash the hull bottom to remove any oil or road film from trailering.  For those areas on the hull, feather the edges of the gelcoat /paint and scuff with a 36 grit grinding disc.  Hit it just enough to rough the surface but not remove a bunch of fiberglass!  As long as very little fiberglass was removed and you do not see any cracks in the glass, use 3M vinyl ester marine filler to smooth the area:

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https://www.amazon.com/3M-Marine-Premium-Filler-Pint/dp/B0000AZ4YS/ref=asc_df_B0000AZ4YS/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312128389336&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=16451771032343662310&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9008526&hvtargid=aud-799728744414:pla-569363634209&psc=1

Hard to tell from the picture, but can you determine if that is a fiberglass fuel tank or plastic? Can you see how that tank is held in place; are there straps or is is glassed in place?  If it is fiberglass, no good as ethanol gas will react with the polyester resin and cause a mess both in the tank and motor.  Ethanol breaks down the polyester.

 

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Apologies for the late reply! I am blown away by this forum and the high degree of knowledge shared with the members. It is truly invaluable and I don’t take it for granted.

I just took another look at the tank. It is definitely plastic and doesn’t appear to be secured in any way apart from the one wooden strut that holds it down loosely (you can just make it out in the pic). I can easily move it from side to side and there doesn’t appear to be any foam or anything else keeping it in place.

If this isn’t the original tank, how on earth did they get it in there?!

I absolutely love this boat and can’t wait to get it looking like it should. I am not sure I am going to be able to use the gas tank but I wonder if there are any original 1970 Robalo helm chairs on the market? Would love to find some. Or is the bench seat the original style for this boat?

So many questions........

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That kind of explains why the tank looked "different" and also some clue about that hatch above the tank.  That tank should have been anchored down so it would not move around and I don't think that single board is doing a good job.

That model would have been very similar to the 1972 boat and would have had a 60 gallon tank.  Tank would have been located beneath the floor under the center console.  Can you look forward under the deck and see if there is a bulk head just in front of the hatch?  If so, that would have been the back of the coffin box, where the tank would have been located.  One thing I am not sure of is if those old boats had a coffin box lid that was screwed down on the deck and the joint filled with caulk.  On later boats, remove the console, leaning post and lid allowed access to the coffin box for fuel tank replacement.  

Any way that tank can be wrestled through the access hatch in order to remove it?  You may have to remove the hatch to get it out of there.  Once out, wash it out with soapy water (Dawn is a good degreaser!), look for any leaks, rinse thoroughly, then dry.  After that, give the tank a good visual inspection for any  defects.  If the tank is salvageable, those hose fittings should be removed and re-attached with new thread sealant.  Also check and clean the fuel pick-up tube at that time.

Back to the coffin box.  The tank really needs to go back in the original location so the fuel weight does not through the boat out of balance.  Gas weighs around 6.6 lbs per gallon.  Placing approx. 360 lbs all on the transom will make the boat miserable to plane off plus it will sit low at rest back there.  Check if there is any access hatches under the console as that is where the original fuel fill and access to the fuel sender would have been.  Once we know what is there, a plan can be made on how to proceed and get away from running off portable tanks.

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Just had a quick look under the hatch and the tank is pretty big... I would say roughly 2’ wide by 5’ long and goes way back under the centre console. No way of getting it through that tiny hatch.

I took a couple of photos with my iPhone but not easy to see!

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Looking at those pictures, that is definitely the coffin box.  Is there a fuel filler neck on the side of the console?

Here is a thread on a 1972 R190 fuel tank removal.

 

Pictures are not the best due to PhotoBucket, but this may help.  The original tank was aluminum.  We need to figure out a way to open the top of the box in order to properly secure the tank in place.  Plastic tanks are a little different in they should not be foamed in place; stainless straps are typically used to hold them from moving around.  These tanks need to have a little room to expand up to 3% due to heat and fuel expansion.  

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Thanks for sharing the thread. It looks to be quite a major job to get to the gas tank by the look of it and not sure I have the necessary experience to start cutting holes in fibreglass.

There is no filler neck on the console. Must have been removed some time ago.

Unfortunately, I noticed that the tank is a third to half full of gas or water / gas mixed. I need to get rid of that ASAP.

Do you think that there is no way the tank can (or should) be used without pulling up the deck if there was some other way I could make the tank more secure?

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Whatever is in the tank needs to come out.  Did the previous owner say what happened as to why the tank is not hooked up?  If you are not sure if there is water mixed with the gas, I would say use a hand pump to get the fluid out if there is any chance of gas vapors possibly being present (even though I bet whatever was in there is highly  diluted now).  If there is any indication of fuel vapors, do not consider using an electric pump unless it is approved for moving fuel.

Did you see any large diameter hoses under the deck that would have looked like a fuel filler hose?  There should also be a second hose around 3/8" id that would have been the fuel line going back to a fuel/water filter, then the motor.

Can you post  some pictures of the deck immediately behind the console?  I would like to know if there is any indication of a seam where the lid would be.  If that is present, we can talk you through the process of removing the console and lid so as to access the tank properly and fasten it in.

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Here is a picture I found on the forum...too cold outside and dark to get a good picture of my boat!  Just behind the console on the floor should be a seam like in the picture where I high-lited it.  There will be screws along the edge of the coffin box lid.  To remove the lid, the console will have to be unscrewed from the floor first.

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In the pictures below, you will see that there is no visible seam on the deck. However, when I opened the small hatch (no clue what it’s for) and ran my hand along the inside there is a very clear ridge that runs in line with the screwdriver I laid in top. This could have been where the lid opened originally but has just been glazed over?

With regards to the fuel tank, I didn’t see any larger diameter hoses under the deck. However, one the deck, towards the engine there is one extra large hose and inlet that doesn’t appear to serve any purpose and is not even connected to the boat. Could this be the old inlet to the tank?

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After seeing the pictures of the gunwhale, looks like some backyard mods were made to the fueling system for the tank.  Is that a pvc 90 degree fitting on the end of the filler hose where it goes below the deck?  Was the tank actually being used recently since the fuel/water filter has 8/19 on it or was it being run off a small portable tank? 

That little hatch has me stumped.  Why did they  put one there when there is another one 8" behind it. Depending on how adventurous you want to get, we can talk you through the process of removing that and glassing in a new section of floor.  

Are you up for taking a putty knife or some other similar tool to the area above the screwdriver and scraping off some of the paint and see what is underneath?  I am guessing that is some type of deck paint that was laid on real thick, especially over the joint for the lid.  I know this is going to be a little more work than  you  may have planned for, but it really needs to be done in order to gain access to the tank and properly install it and run new fuel lines.

 

 

 

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Yes, that is a PVC fitting on the filler hose. Tank was not being used by the owner I bought from as he said it was too much work to get it back in order. He used a 12 gallon portable tank and kept 2 x 6 gallon tanks as back up.

I am not too bothered about our mysterious little hatch at the moment but I would like to be able to use the tank. I have no idea why anyone would stop using it in the first place and in addition, make it almost impossible to access?

I just did some investigation with a putty knife and it looks like someone went to town with the fibreglass as it is not paint. Where the lid edge would be has been very heavily covered with fibreglass. I have never used fibreglass before but it feels like the “resin” was laid so think that it bled through the gap and that is the raised ridge I can feel on the inside.

Does this mean I have to get the deck cut open now to access the tank?

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