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Retainer Restoration Project 1978 Robalo CC


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#1 Retainer

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 11:02 AM

Hello, everyone, I am new here. I posted a couple pics in the Welcome forum. But I am doing a temporary restoration this spring, with hopefully a full restoration over this upcoming winter. This is a 1978 Robalo CC with a 225 Evinrude Ficht, still running strong and no issues. I restored the teak last summer with Sikkens Cetol with gloss.  Here are a few pics. 20160712_161650_zpsc2dhgxw2.jpg20160727_184441_zpsdrk2c3md.jpg20160727_184418_zps8afmrq2k.jpg

20160712_142900_zps3hdlng0n.jpg



#2 Retainer

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 11:05 AM

I originally painted the deck with a single poly, Petitt Easy Poxy, but it does not hold up well under the stress of salt water etc. I added another coat this spring to get the floor looking great again. I plan to strip this down to the glass though, then use a 2 part with anti-skid.20170415_132031_zpst5zenqfi.jpg

20170415_124317_zpsabeaz7hd.jpg



#3 Retainer

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 11:11 AM

Next, for this year, I stripped off the old lettering. It was beat up and had scratches and since I like having this classic looking its best, I ordered new lettering in black and silver. I added a cool 3 tone hull stripe. Turned out great. This is my boat guy who has helped me and will be doing the restoration this winter.20170508_204832_zpskt3xromt.jpg20170508_200547_zpsquzune2d.jpg20170506_175921_zpsmvuceogx.jpg20170506_122350_zps6bfowtfc.jpg



#4 2-N-TOW

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 08:16 PM

Looks good what you have done so far.  A lot of people don't understand what goes into keeping these old classics on the water looking half their age.  

 

How does your boat run with that 225?  Is it the original Ficht or the later Ram Ficht once BRP took over?


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#5 Retainer

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 09:59 AM

Thanks. She runs great with the 225. The boat is a heavy boat by her build standards as everyone already knows.  I installed a 4 blade stainless prop which gets her on plane faster and give the boat better bite in the chop, as her modified vee is not conducive to anything over 3 foot chop, lol. I think this is an original Ficht from 1999 i believe, and the engine was refit with whatever was necessary to avoid all the troubles. Aside from an oil sensor issue about 5 years ago, the engine has been running great. I run her at about 4300-4500 rpms which translates to 24 to 27 knots. I have yet to run her WOT. I probably should try it when it is super glassy just to get an idea of top end performance. I think I have about 700 hours on the engine.

 

BTw, I did get your email about the fuel vent cover, thank you. My boat guy installed a stainless clamshell cover as a temporary fix. I was able to find one that fit from a local boat parts store. When I do the full resto over the winter, I will probably just install a new vent.



#6 2-N-TOW

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 08:02 PM

The original Fichts with all updates and over 75-100 hours run time are going to be good.  Seems like if the gremlins were going to show, it happens early on.  The only thing that shows up later in life is the ECM overheating and causing strange error codes and problems starting.  IF you ever get 3 lights stuck on the SystemCheck tach, it is the ECM (went through this with mine a few years ago).  There are 2 companies that will rebuild the ECM as BRP does not manufacturer any more ECMs for the older engines.  Turnaround time is 7 - 10 days; cost is around $700 - $800, but they totally rebuild and reflash the software, making it better than new.

 

Don't be afraid to let that motor max out for a few minutes each run just to blow any carbon build-up out of the cylinders.  I always punch mine on the run home just for this reason, then back down to 4,200 for the cruise.

 

What type of oil are you running, semi-synthetic or synthetic?  Full synthetic is a little more, but if you troll a lot it cuts way down on any potential fouling and keeps the cylinders clean.  Also mean no smoke!  I run XD-100, which a lot of people think is overkill, but I have had zero oiling issues and the piston tops stay clean.  Previously, I ran XD-50 and did a de-carb treatment once a year to get rid of the little carbon residue left by that oil.


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#7 Retainer

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 04:52 PM

Yes, I burn the xd-100. I was using the 50 but doing alot of striper trolling in the fall with cold weather made the oil sensor act up, so Bud's outboard here in OC fixed it and said to run the etec xd100. I have been using the xd100 for about 5 years. I call it mother's milk and yes, NO SMOKE! I think you are correct about doing the WOT on a glass day to burn off the carbon. i just have been tentative to do it, although Bud's also said I should, I just need glass conditions as you know these hulls do not like chop that well. I am going to add some Seafoam too for the carbon. Thanks for the helpful advice!



#8 2-N-TOW

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 08:05 PM

Don't like chop  :yahoo_rotfl: ???  That's what I must have done wrong with my neck.  (Not making fun of ya...another member said my driving habits were part of the cause of my neck surgery last August.)

 

No trim tabs, they can be a little bouncy.  With tabs, a little down on the bow and these boats will eat the slop up and make the ride so much more enjoyable.  It took a few years for me to figure that one out.

 

Glad to hear someone is still having a decent fall/winter striper season.  We used to have fantastic winter fishing for them up until 5-6 years ago, then either the food source moved or migration patterns changed.  It is bad enough that I have not tried trolling for them in the winter the last 2 years.  Hopefully, things will change.


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#9 Retainer

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 01:14 PM

I took your advice and opened her up Saturday morning. Had her at 5,000 rpms and was moving along at 33 knots. This is the fastest I have had her go. And the engine still had room to go faster, but i did not want to bury it.

 

So, what you are saying is I should add trim tabs? What type do you recommend on a "78 hull? Thanks!



#10 2-N-TOW

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 07:30 PM

I have the Bennett M80 on my boat only because my transom bracket did not allow enough room for the M120 tabs.  I have also had excellent customer service from Tom at Bennett, so I am partial to their product.

 

Having said that, the Lenco electric tabs hold up well, too.  I just have an aversion to running an electric motor near salt water, but Lenco has figured out how to keep them water tight.  I guess I am just a little old school on this one.

 

5,000 rpms....that motor was just starting to feel good!  Don't be shy to let it get up to 5,600 - 5,800 for a minute or two every other trip or so.  Do it at least once and let us know your max rpms as this will help in determining if the engine is propped correctly.


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#11 Retainer

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 12:19 PM

ok, will do next time I have glassy conditions to let her rip.



#12 Retainer

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 03:46 PM

So, I buried the throttle Tuesday morning, at 5,400 rpms I was going 37.5 knots, trimmed out.



#13 2-N-TOW

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 06:37 PM

Would be nice if we could find another 200-400 rpms so that motor's max rpm is in the "sweet" range.  This should put you around 40 knots (46 mph)

.

Lets start with motor height.  When trimmed neutral, where is the cavitation plate in relation to the bottom of the boat?  It should be at least 1" above then bottom of the boat.  Any lower creates excess drag from too much of the lower unit being in the water.

 

What model and size prop are you running?  


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#14 Retainer

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 01:53 PM

I am embarrassed to say I have no idea, except the guy who takes care of my boat, sold me a 4 blade SS prop designed for a 200-225 HP Johnson/Evinrude. If anything, I noticed more speed around 3 knots at the same rpms around 4,200-4,300 rpm. also more bite in the chop.

 

As far as measurements, that will have to await the end of season, since the boat is slipped in the water. I think I am right where I need to be though.

 

Honestly, I rarely go above 25-27 knots. hitting 40 knots is not a priority for me. The boat's sweet spot, as I can tell, is at 4,500 rpms running about 27 knots.

 

How about photobucket screwing everyone over by now requiring payment in order to post pictures? So much for my pics. I have to check to see how much they want to rob me per month.

 

Thanks for all your input. Seems to me the best move would be trim tabs to keep the bow down into the chop.

I may repower, not certain. My boat guy needs an engine, and I may "donate" mine to him in exchange for the restoration work, then consider either a used Etec or a 4 stroke, maybe a Suzuki 



#15 2-N-TOW

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 07:27 PM

No need to be embarrassed...some of these questions most people would never hear of while owning a boat!

 

Props are like gears in a transmission or rear end.  The fun part is matching one up for an individual's needs.  To say the prop you have was designed for a 200-225 hp motor is kind of ok.  Prop selection also has to take into consideration hull type, weight, and intended purpose.  That same prop you are running now would not work on a 200 hp motor on a work boat.  It would hold the rpms down so low the engine would be lugging under the load, resulting in higher cylinder temperatures, excessive stress and wear on moving components, strain on the lower unit.  In this example, a prop with a lower pitch would be required for the work boat scenario.

 

You are close enough that it does not sound like the engine is under much strain to be that close to the proper rpm range.  Now if you were only able to max out at 4,800 rpms, it would be a different situation where the engine is working too hard.

 

Don't get me started about PhotoBucket.  Whoever made the decision to change their terms and conditions with no warnings or grace period should be fired and everything restored for a cooling off period.  I suspect they just killed their business model and 6 months from now will only be a small player in the picture hosting game.  Too many other alternatives.  The only downside is I had approx. 570 pictures stored there that were linked to this site.  I think I have downloaded all of them, but now have to go through all and catalogue them and decide how to re-post.  


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#16 Retainer

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 04:18 PM

The guy I bought the prop from is my boat mechanic. I think the prop is fine, it has great bite in the chop with the 4 blades. and I picked up about 3-4 knots with it, compared to the aluminum 3 blade prop I had on there before.

 

Now, here is some of my thoughts on my full restoration over this winter. My boat guy is also a fiberglass guy and is fully capable of doing the resto with me as a laborer, lol.  So, my thoughts were that his engine, a 225 Johnson Oceanrunner, has a bad cylinder. I was planning to give him my engine, in exchange for his time and labor. The question I have for the repower of my boat, as I said, a 1978 23'  CC, is which engine do I buy? my local Evinrude yard says a new Gen 2 etec, at an approx cost of 21,000+$. Thats alot of money. I priced 4 strokes online and can pick up a 2016 leftover 225  yammie or Suzuki for less than $9,000, plus rigging extra. Maybe a Honda 225 for about the same price. probably a total of 12-13,000 with rigging and gauges etc.

 

the question is these 4 strokes weigh about 580 lbs. My ficht weighs about 500 and so does the Gen2 etec. I do have a support  attached to the transom which provides additional support. My 2 batteries on on the starboard side stern box and i am thinking to move them under the console and that will free up about 40-50  lbs of weight to allow me to install a 4 stroke. I would also install trim tabs, although the evinrude yard says the Gen2 sits back away from the transom a bit and to see how it runs before tabs (if I went with the Gen2). Frankly, I can't see spending that kind of money when I can get a 4 stroke for half the cost.

 

That is point 1. Point 2, is i need to replace the wood floor, and I saw this composite material being installed on a Mako. I was thinking forget using wood to replace the floor and to go with a composite floor, for two reasons, one less weight and two, no rot later. I would replace the 2 chairs with a leaning post.

 

Point 3-the fuel tank, I would replace it with a poly tank. probably try for at least 80 gallon tank. I am unsure of the current size of my tank, but it is probably 80 gallons.

 

Point 4, the transom gets replaced, the hull and topsides gelcoated. the wood trim is basically finished already.

 

Can you give me some input on the engine choices, and the flooring. Since I can't post pics anymore, at least not yet, if you pm me your cell phone, I can take a pic of the transom bracket for you. and any recommendations on a poly tank company I can use.

 

Oh, one last thing, I need to replace the windshield. I contacted a company before but could not get a windshield for a 1978 23' CC. so any input on that would be great. Thanks very much

 

ps if there is a restore thread for a 1978 23' CC, please let me know.



#17 2-N-TOW

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 09:15 PM

When you get a chance, please post the manufacturer, model, pitch and diameter of that 4 blade prop.  Curiousity is is gonna get the best of me on that!  Anything will run better than a stock aluminum prop.  Blade thicknes is much greater than a stainless prop, aluminum blades will flex slightly at higher rpms resulting in decreased pitch, and they are more prone to cavitation.  Flip side is if  you hit something with the prop, the blade will break away in most cases before lower unit internals get screwed up; stainless props are not that forgiving.

 

Gen 2 would be nice, but that is some serious money for a new motor.  4 strokes are nice, but I hate the weight penalty associated with them.  For me it is hard to walk away from the 2 stroke technology knowing I would be giving up 75-100 pounds hanging on the transom.  Has your current motor given you any issues.  My Ficht has over 600 hours, and the only problem was the computer overheating once and had to be sent out for a rebuild.  Other than that, just a few minor annoyances but it has been a strong, dependable motor.  If I was looking to repower, a well cared eTec would be high on the list first.  Nice thing about that is your existing binnacle and gauges will work on the eTec, saving a couple hundred dollars there.  Mercury  Optimaxs are nice engines, too...just need to keep an eye on the air compressor bearings for wear.  If I was to go the 4 stroke route, Suzuki would be the first one to look at.  Is there a good dealer support for the Suzuki's in your area?

 

Definitely figure on moving your batteries to the console, regardless of your motor decision.  I plan on eventually moving mine from the transom to the seat box on my 2160 just to get the weight off the transom.

 

Trim tabs are a no brainer...INSTALL THEM!  Yes, you can tuck the engine in rough water to get the bow down so it will cut through the waves instead of bouncing over them, and tucking the motor does help jumping on plane.  Trim tabs can also do the same thing, plus you can adjust them for uneven weight balance in the boat or running in quartering seas to minimize the bouncing.  Tabs can also be lowered way down and really pop up the transom when attempting to get on plane in really shallow water or when your cousin's family all want to sit at the back of the boat when you are trying to get on plane.  Another benefit is they do provide a little more planing surface so the boat can remain on plane at lower speeds.

 

 Do you have a fiberglass supply house close (within 50 miles).  Shipping 4x8 sheets of material is not cheap.  If there is a supply house near, stop by and tell them what you are planning on doing and see if they  can provide any useful information on what they have and what would be best for your application.  I have been using the same supplier (Eastern Burlap) for 40 years (damn...showing my age), and they have taught me a lot

 

Having said that...look at the Carbon Core or Core Cell products for the floor.  Favorite cloth for structural applications is 1708 biax cloth and vynilester resin.  The resin is a little more expensive than polyester resin and is compatable with gelcoat.  It has good moisture resistance and strength is greater than polyester but less than epoxy (and much cheaper than epoxy).  It does not have the wax surfacing additive like polyester resin.  If you need to do a secondary bond to existing vynilester, just rough the surface up with 36 grit, clean the dust off, and glass to it.

 

Fuel tank...looks like you have that under control.

 

Transom repair...you plan on going with a pour in place product or old school composite coring?  Either method is fine...just remember it is all in the prep work!

 

This is probably just enough information to cause you to come up with more questions.  No problem, ask away!


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#18 Retainer

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 10:15 AM

My Ficht has been pretty dependable and really no issues. I figured if I was going to do a full restoration, I might as well repower. I just received a price of $12,000 for a 2017 new Honda 225 with all rigging, control and gauge and SS prop, delivered, total price with tax and a 5 year warranty.

 

I am looking for used Etecs, I have found only one, for about $8,000. I figure, spend the extra 4 and get new 4 stroke Honda. I am waiting on prices for the yammie and the Zuke. I will keep looking.

 

However, there is really no dealer support for the Zuke locally, closest dealer is Chestnut Neck Boat Yard, about 30 miles up the road.

 

Thanks for all the info. I will report back soon.



#19 Retainer

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 10:16 AM

0h, on the transom, I have no idea how he plans to replace it. As strong as possible obviously, and I do have the support bracket, I was planning to meet with him today to get a plan in place.

 

How about the windshield replacement, any companies out there who can give me a new windshield without a fabrication first?


Edited by Retainer, 17 August 2017 - 10:18 AM.


#20 2-N-TOW

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 09:21 PM

Hopefully Mr Robalo can offer some suggestions on the windshield.  The guys down in Florida are fortunate having a number of marine salvage yards that have a lot of discontinued stock from boat builders.


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#21 Retainer

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 01:34 PM

my pics are reloaded with the photobucket hot link fix. BUT, i think the viewer needs Google Chrome to view and it may be limited to desktop view.

 

2NTow-you can see my transom bracket in one of the first few pics. Think there would be any issue with a rebuilt transom and the bracket with putting a 4 stroke 225 Yammie on there and I would install trim tabs too.



#22 2-N-TOW

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 10:35 PM

Well, I am at the beach house and using my Mac, which is having issues with the chrome extension and not letting me see the pictures.  I will be back home on Monday and look at them from  my Windows 10 desktop.

 

As long as the transom is rebuilt at least as strong as the original one and the point where the stringers are glassed to the transom is good, there should not be a problem.  Just remember a few things with a bracket; the boat is going to sit lower in the water at the transom due to the engine hanging further aft, so water coming in the scuppers may be an issue.  The center of gravity is going to shift back towards the transom, so any weight you can move forward (batteries) to counter that weight shift will be a big help.  Finally, remember the engine has to be raised 1 inch for every 12 inches behind the original transom. 


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#23 2-N-TOW

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 08:16 PM

If you are referring to the stainless bracket currently on there looking from the boat back at the motor well, how far back behind the transom does the motor sit versus if it was mounted in the normal position?  If those plates are there just to prevent the bolts from pulling through the transom, the new core will prevent that.  It is fine to re-install them to spread the load over a larger area, though. 


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#24 Retainer

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 02:38 PM

Yes, the engine is bolted on thru that plate. I agree the plate would spread the load over a larger area. The brackets are bolted through the transom to the flat area behind the fishbox. I will get a better picture of the area. I think the prior owner wanted to limit the stress on the transom, so they added the brackets and the SS plate. I think with both still in place, the transom would support the extra 60-70 pounds in a 4-stroke engine.

 

I think the engine would sit the same whether thru bolted the plate or sitting atop the transom and bolted on without the plate.  However, the guys at Etec say the Gen 2 sits farther back than normal off the transom, but given the quoted price for a new Etec, i am not going that route.



#25 2-N-TOW

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 08:23 PM

Based on that, a new transom job will hold whatever you hang on it.  If you want to pick up that Gen 2 and send it to me for some testing prior to installing on your boat, should you change your mind, I would be willing to put some break-in hours on it at no charge  :icecream:


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