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18' Saber Jet Resto

wzuber

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Here's a couple pics of my client friends Saber Jet I'm doing some restoration on. This project will include complete BBF eng recolor & dress up, motor mount repair, pump rebuild, new floor and interior. Here"s a couple pics of it when he bought it a couple months ago.
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rivrrts429

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That thing is rad. Lower river boat? Can’t recall ever seeing it.
 

wzuber

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Since I'm killin time waiting for some fiberglass cloth materials to be cut @ aircraft spruce I'll see if I can improve my pic posting from my phone
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wzuber

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prepped and primed w/epoxy-ester primer. Finish color to be gloss black as shown with new polised Ford Racing valve covers, polished water pump cover, chrome headers and shotgun style carb. scoop.
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wzuber

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back to posting. This deal came to me for a pump rebuild do to the failure of a thrust bearing seal. He only ran it for abt. 10 min. he said just to get back to camp. That short time put the impeller thru the wear ring into the suction piece ruining that too. Wear ring is fused to the impeller. [/ATTACH]
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It's a bummer because the impeller was in otherwise great shape. I 've seen much worse. One I did for friend just about wore the impeller shoulder clean off as well as damn near completely thru the suction housing. I'm surprised it continued to push his b.r. cruiser back to the docks. In both of these cases the owners were lucky though...no damage to the engine crankshaft and bearings. In both cases the drive line yoke were open ended and didn't allow the pump shaft to contact the closed end of the yoke.
If you find yourself with thrust bearing problems just stop running and float or tow back. It will save you big $$$.
 
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wzuber

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Here's the results of the bearing and shaft. As you can. see the balls are hanging out of the bearing shells. This next photo is of the slinger and inner bearing case semi fused together. This particular bearing case sleeved over the slinger about 1/4" by design. I had not seen one like this prior to this. Of course a new slinger and bearing were installed.
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wzuber

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I had another Berk. suction piece here so I sand blasted it clean in my blast cabinet and painted it gray to match the rest of the pump housing parts.
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wzuber

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here's a couple pix of the motor mount in the hull before I removed it and weld-repaired it and stich welded other areas to insure it would stay put and make it a little more sturdy. In the first pic u can see the weld at the cross bar next to the main bracket. If you look below that you'll see a black spot between the gray squares. Thatxs where the previous owners peeps cut into the hull with a grinder blade while apparently doing that weld repair. Ixm always amazed at the hack work I see on these older boats from previous peeps/owners etc. In the seond pic if you look at that cross bar area again you will see where the corner of the 1/8" formed metal plate tore next to the weld area and is displaced/offset. This is why I felt it necessary to weld this bracket up in the manner I did. I also think I should probably glass in a bulk head at the front of the motor box to reduce the obvious flex in the hull tearing up the motor mount bracket. The OEM glass work in this hull is very nice tight clean lamination. The guys that replaced the stringers and re-glassed the motor box not so much. Very resin rich and sloppy w/ chunks of shit sticking up out of the surface to slice your hand while reaching under the eng. to clean or find that dropped part, tool etc. unbaliefable:(
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wzuber

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motor mount cleaned, welded and ready to be sand blasted a bit before painting.
 

wzuber

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f.glass bucket seat widening. A good bit more work time than originally perceived. If not on a budget replacing would b cheaper but I'm cheap so here we are. From covered to stripped, scraped, sanded, ground/shaped and covered with wax paper for release of filler laminate section. Filler laminate will consist of multiple layers of CSM and 1708 cloth. Seats will be finish laminated together 1 layer of 1708 inside and out when complete, very stout. The seat shells will be cut up the center line and a filler/spreader section will be glassed in the middle to widen the seats a couple inches. CSM cut to size and ready for laminating.
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prepped and primed w/epoxy-ester primer. Finish color to be gloss black as shown with new polised Ford Racing valve covers, polished water pump cover, chrome headers and shotgun style carb. scoop. View attachment 806574 View attachment 806575
BBF that's the first problem, found on road dead or first on race day. Looks good Warren, ya got all winter to work on it.
Have you had a jet before? have fun with the resto.
 

wzuber

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BBF that's the first problem, found on road dead or first on race day. Looks good Warren, ya got all winter to work on it.
Have you had a jet before? have fun with the resto.
Hi Paul, this is a customers boat so it's going to b done n the coming weeks. I have a couple small construction jobs coming up that will disrupt the pace some but it will be done b4 thanks giving. Yes, I have hade jet boats for the past 37yrs. I currently have 4 with 1 more on the way and 1 Syndicate runner bottom v-drive. Here's a couple pics of my most recent 18' Advantage I'm building to go circle boat racing. I've cleaned/straighened the bottom up a bit, set this custom intake adapter and built the rail kit, eng. plates, transom plates, shot gel on the bottom and bilge areas etc. Here's a couple quick pics. It's a bit dirty at the moment from sitting while I've been working on other projects.
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wzuber

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I wasn't able to take any pics of the wet lamination due to resin messy hands but do have some of the cured piece. Here's a pic just after lamination with the wax paper covering it. Prior to laminating I contimplated gluing the wax paper to the seat to insure it stayed down but got lazy and didn't want to have clean the glue residue from the seat prior to widening and finish laminating so i just taped it down tight. That worked ok but the paper did wrinkle/draw up some from the wet resin so I layed wax paper over and taped it down tight as you can see in the pic. Again, it worked ok but still left some sanding/grinding to do to make the surface flat and ready for maninating. Additionally the wax from the paper needs to be removed with acetone at least prior to laminating. (Note- in all my work of this nature...sanding/grinding in prep. for laminating is done with (at minimum) 36 grit discs/paper etc., then blown clean of residue/dust, washed w/acetone then laminated...on everthing to be laminated..)
Sorry, i had to edit the post w/ the enlarged photo of the finished lamination piece and it placed it first in the series so the pix are out of order to the text. The 1st. pic should b last. I gotta learn to preview b4 posting. haha
 
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wzuber

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The filler lamination with the surface wax paper removed. You can see how clear and tight the finished lamination is here. The lamination will be cut @ 5" wide and then down the middle on the ctr. line to give me 2 pieces @ 2-1/2" wide to b glassed into the center of the radius of the backrest of the seat. Then a new plywood seat bottom piece will b cut to the new inner dimension of the seat shell, shaped accordingly and then glassed into the seat creating a complete seat assembly. Lastly, the whole assem. will get wrapped in mat and a layer of cloth. These seats will b about bullet proof when done.
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wzuber

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A slight digression..
here's a pic of the other seat stripped down to the shell prior to prepping for widening. All this residual foam, glue and shitty glass work will b removed via sanding/grinding w/24 & 36 grit fiber discs etc. to make a clean, flat surface ready to b glassed. This seat alone took about 2hrs. to prep. including removal of the wood seat base and grinding /cleaning all the shit glass work in the inside lower radius under the plywood, it was a real mess.
 

wzuber

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The first laminations of 1-1/2 oz mat didn't end up ass thick as the seat shell so I added some more material as seen layed out and ready for lamination in these photos. This is another layer of 1-1/2 oz mat and 2 layers of 1708 cloth. This brought the thickness up just right.
 

wzuber

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moving on from the "fluff n glam" :rolleyes: portion of this resto....it's time to get into the real dirt work...the floor and more.
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As you can see in these pics the floor glass was failed/broke from the bilge to the toe board (aka forward bulk head) with the exception of about 15" on both sides up undrr the bow area and back from the T.K. approx. 12". The light weight cloth used to install the 1/2" plywood floor was insuficient for the amout of flex the hull has currently. I used a multi tool to cut the remaining cloth at the seam. The horrible freight unit works pretty good for stuff like this, significantly less dust and excellent depth cut control. Once the cut was complete I expected the floor would come right out but as it turned out it was screwed to a keel stringer so more work was required to complete removal.
 

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wzuber

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When the floor ply resisted coming up after cutting the remaing cloth I realized it was screwed down. I ground the heavy dark surface resin to find some drywall screws with the heads full of resin si I took my cordless circular saw, set the depth to 1/2" and began cutting around the screw heads being carefull to cut just to the depth of the plywood or slightly less as I didn't want to cut into what I could only assume was the factory glassed in stringer. After cutting what I thought was all the screws areas I began pulling up on the floor again only to realize I didn't get them all. With the screws being small, rusty and the plwood being in rotted cond. I figured it would fail and just pull up with a little effort. Well it did pull up, with some of the glass tabing holding the stringer tearing away from both the 2x5 and the hull bottom. It would reveal the factory floor and "stringer" had been replaced by some clueless clowns and the hull and lumber was not properly prepped and glassed down and the cloth used to tab would just pull off by hand revealing the low quality workmanshit. The const. brackets and drywall screws were an "impressive" touch as well. :eek::rolleyes:
 
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wettrthebettr

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Ya never know how other people do their repairs till you get into it, Looks like they took their boat to the right person for the resto.
 

DRYHEAT

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When the floor ply resisted coming up after cutting the remaing cloth I realized it was screwed down. I ground the heavy dark surface resin to find some drywall screws with the heads full of resin si I took my cordless circular saw, set the depth to 1/2" and began cutting around the screw heads being carefull to cut just to the depth of the plywood or slightly less as I didn't want to cut into what I could only assume was the factory glassed in stringer. After cutting what I thought was all the screws areas I began pulling up on the floor again only to realize I didn't get them all. With the screws being small, rusty and the plwood being in rotted cond. I figured it would fail and just pull up with a little effort. Well it did pull up, with some of the glass tabing holding the stringer tearing away from both the 2x5 and the hull bottom. It would reveal the factory floor and "stringer" had been replaced by some clueless clowns and the hull and lumber was not properly prepped and glassed down and the cloth used to tab would just pull off by hand revealing the low quality workmanshit. The const. brackets and drywall screws were an "impressive" touch as well. :eek::rolleyes:
It wouldn’t surprise me if that is factory original work, a lot of shit was built in that era slap them together fast and sell them quick.:eek:
 

wzuber

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Ya never know how other people do their repairs till you get into it, Looks like they took their boat to the right person for the resto.
this time yes, P.O. not so much. haha they even ran a few drywall screws thru the bottom of the boat.
 

wzuber

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It wouldn’t surprise me if that is factory original work, a lot of shit was built in that era slap them together fast and sell them quick.:eek:
Actually the OEM glass work is as good as elimators, sanger etc. but it is a budget boat being it's only a quarter stringer boat hull. (sanger built some 18' jets that way too) The OEM glass tabs are good/tight, solid laminations it's just that whomever replaced the original tabbed in keel stringer and floor was clueless about proper laminating preparation and wasted a lot of over catalysed resin and made a big mess of it at that. chunks of cured resin likely from a container that flashed off stuck in the resin all over. As I'm grinding thru the shit resin
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to get down to the OEM final lamination of woven roving the junk resin in areas is popping off of a shiny surface of resin n cloth showing it had no mechanical bond from sanding with an appropriet grit process. In this photo you can see how dark n brown the surface resin is. When I remove that stuff the OEM resin is greenish in color like most all lo buck general purpose polyester laminating resins commonly used in those days.
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In this next pic. you can see the greenish hue of the surface with the woven roving pattern of the cloth exposed. The white-ness is the dust residue from grinding all that shit resin away with a 36 grit fiber disc, flap disk and cartridge roll to get down into the radius of the chine relief. This is very nasty, dusty, dirty and tedius work. You have to be extremely careful to just sand to the surface of the cloth and not go thru the roving. It's kind of a double egde sword because you need a good flat and properly abrated and KLEEEN surface to insure a solid bond of new material but as you flatten that roving surface your taking away some of the original strength of that lamination in the structure.
 

coolchange

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Cool thread. Neat boat.
you sure took the long way around on those seats though. I can build a pair of buckets in about 2 hours.
 

wzuber

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Cool thread. Neat boat.
you sure took the long way around on those seats though. I can build a pair of buckets in about 2 hours.
Oh, sure, now ya tell me!:p:D
Ya, I was warned by my buddy doing all the vinyl work. I guess I had to find out for myself. I have well over 2 hrs. just in the prep time shown here. But hey, what would I do with the time I woulda saved?:rolleyes: Enjoy something else in my life? haha....look how hard I've worked:confused:
I did at least learn a couple ways to build these type seats faster and better in this process. Before choosing this route I contemplated using 1/8" luan to create the backrest shape and glassing over that but then decided I would go this route. I can also see just using an frp type panel and cutting and shaping that, seems that would be pretty quick and easy without having a dedicated mold. How do you build yours? Separate question..have you used structural adhesives before such as hybrid urethane's or others?
 

coolchange

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Don't think I was trying to bag on your seats, because I wasn't.
There is a product called wiggle wood.
It is 3 ply. The center ply is a veneer and is directional. The two outside plies are very open, maybe tropical wood. Almost looks like Palm.
You can bend a 4 inch radius with it no problem.
Since it is always trying to unwind it needs a former or clamp but allows you to shape the seat how you like.
On the outside grain is opened up and soaks up resin like crazy.
On the inside you can lay your CSM or whatever you using to make the structure.
The flexibility comes in two directions, either lengthwise or widthwise.if you buy a sheet make sure they slide it off the rack onto another piece of wood, because if you crack the veneer it won't pull an even radius.
I don't get into any exotic adhesives, I stick with waterproof glues, some PL depending on what I'm making, and the standard epoxies or esters.
 

wzuber

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Don't think I was trying to bag on your seats, because I wasn't.
There is a product called wiggle wood.
It is 3 ply. The center ply is a veneer and is directional. The two outside plies are very open, maybe tropical wood. Almost looks like Palm.
You can bend a 4 inch radius with it no problem.
Since it is always trying to unwind it needs a former or clamp but allows you to shape the seat how you like.
On the outside grain is opened up and soaks up resin like crazy.
On the inside you can lay your CSM or whatever you using to make the structure.
The flexibility comes in two directions, either lengthwise or widthwise.if you buy a sheet make sure they slide it off the rack onto another piece of wood, because if you crack the veneer it won't pull an even radius.
I don't get into any exotic adhesives, I stick with waterproof glues, some PL depending on what I'm making, and the standard epoxies or esters.
I didn't fee like you were bagging whatsoever, sorry if my reply came across that way. I was just trying to make fun of my time consuming choice. I appreciate your replies, shared info. and insights etc. I'll look up that wiggle wood product, thanks for the mention of it. A 4" radius would provide quite a few shape options, that's rather intriguing. The structural adhesive was suggested as a potential method of repairing the screw holes thru the bottom and I was just curious to see if you had any experience with them as I believe you do quite a bit or hull restorations, repairs etc. If I'm not mistaking you for someone else?
 

coolchange

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For a while I built boat interiors and did canvas. Which led to floors etc sometimes.
You're just filling screw holes I wouldn't worry about it being structural. Resin with maybe a little bit of cabosil so it would still fllow.
 

wzuber

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that's pretty much what I did. I used a mixture of lam. resin, aerosil and 1/8" milled fibers. It worked out really well. I had to drill out the screws then used a counter sink to slightly clean up the edge of the holes. On the ext. I used some wax paper and taped it tight to the bottom of the hull leaving 2 sides open to release air then packed the holes. It left abt. a quarter sized dot on the bottom maybe a 1/32" thick. I'll sand it off and brush some gel coat on it and it will be good to go.
 

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resuming the progress...
A lot has been accomplished here from completing the buckets and rear bench seat to filling the holes as last discussed, foam filling the outer strake reliefs, laying down a full layer of CSM and 1708 in the hull, scrim coating and glassing in a forward bulk head in the bilge, shaping, bedding and glassing in the replacement kiln dried D.F. stringer, wet setting the sub-floor and glassing over that w/1708, building and glassing down the seat bases inside and out and preping the the bilge and transom for gel coat application. I'll resume with bucket seats to completion then resume with the hull work, floor and seat bases to where I am currently. Once the bilge coat"g is complete I can install the carpet and then switch over to mechanical sys. reassembly while the seats are being upholstered unless I get involved in that process too, will see.
 

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here's the bucket seat shell and new 1/2" plwyood seat base w/staple ring prepped for assembly. The staple ring provides a solid place for the vinyl seat cover to attach at the inside bottom via stainless steel staples. The ring is glued and scrwed together. The exterior vinyl cover wraps under the shell and is stapled to the base wood.
 

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here we have the CSM prepped and ready to asseble the base and shell. The narrow short strips or "tabs" laying on the plywood base in the pic. get wetted out and bond the base to the inside of shell bottom flange. The long strips bond the top surface of the base at the staple ring to the inside back of the seat shell together. The staple ring depth, 3" here, determines the foam thickness of the seat back and overall cush/comfort of the finished seat backrest.
 

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screws hold the base in place to the shell until the glass/resin cures. The last pic shows how the inner tab bonds the seat together as well as provides significant structural support as well as protection against water intrusion into the wood seat base/staple ring which causes rapid deterioration and failure of the seat structure as was the case here requiring the rebuild of the interior. The previous seats showed no signs of having a staple ring in them so I can only assume the vinyl seat cover was stapled directly to the backrest foam. Talk about short cutting the process and significantly short changing the customers value...good grief. The way I am building these seats they will likely out last the boat. haha The bucket seats structures are exposed to a lot of water and abuse when used on the regular around the river where it's so hot and people are jumping in to cool off then hoping in the seat dripping wet and motoring on.
 

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here the underside of the seat is prepped and ready for a complete CSM wrap bottom and top to provide water rott protection as well as provide a nice finished appearance when accessing the storage in the seat base. 2nd. pic is the wood for the seat cushion ready receive a fyll glass wrap too. Since I was in glass mode I made a bilge bulhead and completely scrim coated it as well. All edges of wood to be scrim coated get radiused to help insure the csm lays down correctly and retains a tight bond to the wood surface. As you can see by the shape of the bulkhead this hull bottom has a lot of shape. That bulkhead is 2 pieces of 3/4" plywood glued and screwed together. Some modification of this B.H. after final installation comes later in the build so keep an eye out for that. It' kinna interesting..
I gotta go do my day now so I will resume this later tonight..thx for lookin in.
 

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Nice work right there, and impressive attention to detail. Thanks for taking us along on the ride with you.
 

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finished bucket seats and bulkhead glass wrapped or "scrimmed" and ready for installation. I even managed to get the csm pushed into the drain hole pretty good to seal that up. A small chunk of inner ply layer fell out leaving a void below the hole so while I was filling the screw holes in the hull with the filler putty I made I packed it in there too and lined the inside of the hole with it to insure a complete water proofed drain hole.
 
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wzuber

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next up..filling the outer strake reliefs with foam. I did this to aid the carpet installation for a couple reasons. With the depth and curvature of the S.R. the carpet will require a dart (cut/seam) or 2 to releave where it wants to gather. If your seam is not perfect they tend to show. additionally, over time those darts also shed and wear exposing the seams and lastly the deep channel collects dirt/sand etc. and can become pretty messy so I chose to fill them with foam so everything lays flater and cleaner. Also some hull ridgidity benefits are gained by the laminated solid core.
 

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folling that came laying the whole bottom (except for the bilge/stringers) with a layer of 2oz mat followed by 1 layer of 1708 cloth from transome to toe kick. This was done to strengthen the hull from where the previous repair peeps cut through several layers of the hull lamination with a circular saw apparently when replacing the subfloor and stringer. This also will provide more hull strength and rigidity should the owner fulfill his desires to put more power to the boat in the future. The slightly resin rich areas wll get sanded prior to lamination.
 

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50"- 1708 cloth laid down the center prior to installing the new bilge bulk head, stringer and sub-floor. It laid down really nice for being such a heavy cloth. It was a real challenge to work under the bow to get it down, this hull is shallow, I just barely fit. That material wraps up onto the toe kick as well tying it together.
 

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the bulk head is scrimmed, the stringer is rough cut and shaped and then final shape and coated with resin to help enhance the longevity of the lamination into the hull. Many older boats have core delamination issues due to laminating over dry dtringers and the wood soaking the resin away from the cloth and comprimising the bond strength longevity. My 1983. 18' Advantage for example. It's stringers are almost completely delamed w/ no apparent wood rott. The curvature you see in the top of the stringer emulates the bottom curvature as well.
 

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herexs the bulkhead screwed into the stringers to locate to position, height etc. and the mat layed out and relief cut for the i/o corners etc. in preparation for laminating and lastly a pic of the stringer & B.H. connection. I notched the stringer to allow for drainage should any water make its way under the floor.
 

wzuber

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here the stringer is bedded in a mixture I made of lam. resin, milled fibers and areosil. It shaped/laid down pretty good but i think next time a little less milled fibers will aid that process. the stringer was held in place with a long deck screw through the bulkhead and the old keel stringer section remaining under the toe kick, gas tank etc. after tabing the stringer in place the screws were removed. Next the stringer was fully wrapped simultaneously in 2 layers of 1-1/2 oz mat with the second layer exteding past the first abt. 1-1/2". I really like the fillet radius at the base of the stringer and the way the mat lays onto it creating a very strong and tight lamination. Note the large radius on the top of the strnger allowing the mat to lay down tight there too.
 

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next in line is to lay down the plywood sub-floor. This was initially fitted prior to laying down the mat/1708 so it needed to be adjusted, I shoot for abt. 1/4" gap at a hard edge like this. The bottom of this floor panel was scrim coated like the other parts to help protect from eventual rott etc. the scrim was wrapped over the edge onto the top of the panel to promote adhesion to the radiused edge. That was removed during refitting unfortunately but replaced when the top of the panel was scrim coated. Once ready for installation I scuffed the bottom side down the center where i planned to bond it to the top of the stringer with 2 layers of mat. It worked out well but made placing the panel a little more work so as to not damage the wet mat during placement. The floor panel was screwed to the stringer to insure it was in full contact for the length of the stringer. Once that cured I removed the screws and then glassed over the rest of the floor and hull bottom with 1708 cloth. I wrapped the 1708 up onto the bulkhead in similar fashion as the toe kick to tie that all together as well. I also created a bit of a drain channel of sorts toward the back with pushing the cloth down into the joint between the hull and floor panel edge. With the carpet installed it may not work out as well as i would hope but we will see. I contemplated letting the carpet float over to help enhance it"s drain potential but I'm pretty sure the carpet will tear there in a fairly short time period which to me would mean a failure.
 

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here I'm prefitting the cloth to the hull. Notice how far it extends across the hull. I don't have a pic but the other was layed out the same way. In order get up under the bow I had to lay each side independantly as opposed to wet on wet. I didn't want seams across the hull in the middle. The hard edges and any other minor surface imperfection get knocked down prior to the subsequent laminations. Both sides laid out nicely as you will see in following pix. Thanks for looking.
 
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wzuber

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these pix will move us along a bit quicker. If you look closer you will see the final layers of 1708 with the "drainage" channels I mentioned. You'll also notice that relief notch in the bulkhead. Anubody want to guess what that's for? Yep..you guessed it, the crank pully and alt. belt.
While I war reviewing pix of the orig. interior layout I realized the crank pully was very close to the end of the stringers. I stared pully measurements off the eng. mounts to face of pully's and E. mount holes in the stringers and bulkhead face and it appeared to be right about a 1/4" so I slung the eng. and placed it in the hull to verifiy and it was a little under a 1/4" so it had to be notched to allow for flex, movement and allow belt changes without lifting/removing the eng. So, I laid it out, grabbed the router, set my depth and got to it. It actually went pretty quick and easy...with a good plan in place of course. Following that I raduised the edges and wrapped it with mat and it's good to go. Soon I will be spraying the bilge and transome with a 4 stage process of gel coat. It will be a color matched white base, green and black spider webbing and clear over that. You've also likely noticed the front seat bases are glassed in. I glassed those inside and out as well as the rear bench seat base (not yet installed in this pic) and they will get coated white only. The bases have a drain hole in them at the lower corner so any water that gets in from the seat use can drain out down the channel I mentioned earlier.
 

wettrthebettr

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Looking great Warren, Did you have a hard time Finding Good Fur for the stringers?
Keep up the nice work, that 1708 turned out nice
 
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