This is going to be one of the shortest articles text wise that I've ever written, but inversely I feel it's going to be one of the coolest because not only is it a unique project it reminds us of one of life's most important lessons. I recently heard that Kevin down at KMG was doing a Mach26 to F26 conversion for a customer, so I called him up to get the skinny on it.

It makes perfect sense when you think about it, the bottoms are the same, and the tops are more or less interchangeable, but yet I had never heard of it being done before? I gave Kevin a call the following day, and we spent a few minutes catching up before we dove into the conversation about this project. What I took away from that conversation is a reminder of one of life's most important lessons.

"With Problems Arise Opportunity." - It's lucky for us that Brad the owner had the wisdom to know that and pave the way for what is surely to be a path that others will follow.

This particular boat had caught on fire at the owners shop, and while the damage looks bad, it's mostly aesthetic, and non structural. Brad took the boat over to Kevin at KMG, and together they came up with the plan that you are going to follow in this series. Why not cut the deck off this thing and make it an F-Series?

Before we get started we have to start with the bad. You can pretty clearly see the fire damage down the side of the hull here. Kevin was a little gunshy on shooting me all the pics, but with a little convincing I got this one. His concern is that most people really don't understand the fiberglass or repair process.

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As you can see with fiberglass anything (and I mean anything) can be fixed as good as it was the day it popped out of the mold. The bottom of the boat has been patched in this photo, but it is pre "body work."

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The next Photo's are going to make you guys squirm in your seats a little, as it's literally like walking in on a doctor performing a boob job. The results afterwards are worth it, but if you aren't into medicine maybe you don't need to see how they got there.

After the boat was de-rigged Kevin began to cut the deck off in sections, being very careful not to damage anything below the seam line.
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I absolutely love this picture because it shows the pieces coming off the boat, and the scalpel... I mean Skill saw he was using to do it.

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I could imagine right about now if it was my boat, I'd be at a cross roads of "stop sending me pics" to "anxiously awaiting the next." You have to have an awful lot of faith in your shop to let them take a boat down to the skeleton. KMG's reputation speaks for itself though, and Brad will be more than fine as things progress.

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New F-26 Deck has been laid up and put on the bottom of the boat!

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The boat has now had all the body work done, smoothed, and primered and ready for paint. The first tape lines are now on the outside.
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Now the fades and graphics come to life as the rest of the colors are coming together!
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I talked with Kevin a little about why he decided to go with Paint vs Gel on this project, as he's proficient at both. He explained that the bottom of this boat is white gel, but the rest of it is a two stage urethane paint. He will finish it off with several coats of clear to give it an extremely durable finish. He went onto explain that with paint you can get brighter colors (which KMG is known for), and tighter more undetectable blends.

I know what you are all asking yourselves right now, and yes I asked Kevin the question. Is this a potential upgrade for other people with Mach 26's? The answer is ABSOLUTELY! It's a little bit of a case by case basis, but it absolutely can be done cost effectively for those looking to make the change!

To find out more about this project and other fiberglass work, or to discuss pricing on changing your Mach26 to an F-26 give Kevin at KMG Boats a call at 619-733-0593 or visit www.kmgboats.com

In Part two we will watch the interior come together, and the boat start to be re-rigged with a 1000'ish Horsepower blown motor!

written by RiverDave