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1979 Schiada RC, The Boss

lenmann

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Stress cracks in the deck forward of the dash above the bulkhead are pretty common in older Schiadas. The early RC’s had a "U" shaped bulkhead forward of the dash and used ¼ inch balsa coring to support the deck. The bulkhead to deck interface was glass tabbing to the balsa creating a high stress area on the deck as it transitions up to the dash and at the center of the “peak” in the middle of the deck. As the boat pounds through rough water the deck flexes around the bulkhead and causes the cracks. Well, the ski racing or some other activity (disco dance parties?) took its toll on this deck resulting in the laminate yielding under force and “folding” around the ¾ inch thick plywood bulkhead distorting the deck in addition to the usual stress cracks.

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After I tore the original carpet off the bulkhead I could see it had actually fractured from the pounding the boat took. Even though it had structurally failed it was still partially supporting the deck.

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When I cut the bulkhead out the deck dropped causing the deck to lose it original shape. I made a template of what I thought the curve should be based on the forward deck and my best guess of what looked right. I was down in the LA area off-roading at Dove Springs and Stan at Schiada was gracious enough to let me test the template on a new RC and my guess was dead on. Now to figure out how to restore the shape to the deck and provide better support than the original configuration had.

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New Schiadas have additional deck coring, a structural profile that runs side to side, and a plywood pad on top of the bulkhead to spread the deck loads better.

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I have seen a handful of older RC’s that have had bulkheads replaced and they often have a more complete profile vs. the original U shape. Additionally I have seen a couple that have been fitted with a second bulkhead forward of the original to help support the correct shape of the deck after the original bulkhead didn’t some 40 years later. This is the way I decided to go.

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Using a scissor jack I lifted the deck up into its original shape, hot glued a template of Masonite (the way the granite guys do countertops), cut the bulkhead, shaped the edges to match the taper of the hull and provide clearance for a ¼” thick trapeziodal shaped Divynlcell filler between the plywood and the hull to eliminate any hard contacts that might create future stress cracks and create an easy transition for the glass tabbing. Once everything was adjusted into the right shape I used 6” wide 1708 tape to tab the bulkhead into place.

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cofooter

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Great work and attention to detail, Lenman!! Are you going to leave a gap between bulkhead and deck or is the coring on the deck thick enough that you don't need to worry about it?
 

lenmann

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Great work and attention to detail, Lenman!! Are you going to leave a gap between bulkhead and deck or is the coring on the deck thick enough that you don't need to worry about it?
Thanks, man. The original balsa coring on most of the deck is still there and in good shape. I had to remove the coring on the sides of the deck near the gunwales where the old bulkheads had compressed it and caused the stress cracks. In those areas I will extrapolate the Schiada plywood pad idea to provide a large surface area of support that spans both new bulkheads. Kinda hard to describe in words, but i will have another update to the thread shortly with pics.
 

BassLakeCruiser

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Great work lenmann. Will you be having the cracks and nonskid repaired? By whom if so?
 

lenmann

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Thanks.

The plan is to take it to Pats Fiberglass in Montclair for the balsa inlays, and bottom blueprint, and full re-gel.

I had hoped to be able to save/retain the original gelcoat but after spending more time with it I can see its been rubbed very thin in many places (I can see through it from the inside), the non-skid is more beige than white, and the stress cracks in the deck need to be fixed. For being 41 years old its OK but after this much work its gotta be better than just OK.

I thought about doing the gelcoat myself but I just haven't done enough gel work to have enough confidence that it will be right the first time. With glass work, if you screw up you grind it out and do it again. BTW, have found that the itch and scratch from grinding are an effective incentive to get it right the first time.
 

cofooter

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Thanks.

The plan is to take it to Pats Fiberglass in Montclair for the balsa inlays, and bottom blueprint, and full re-gel.

I had hoped to be able to save/retain the original gelcoat but after spending more time with it I can see its been rubbed very thin in many places (I can see through it from the inside), the non-skid is more beige than white, and the stress cracks in the deck need to be fixed. For being 41 years old its OK but after this much work its gotta be better than just OK.

I thought about doing the gelcoat myself but I just haven't done enough gel work to have enough confidence that it will be right the first time. With glass work, if you screw up you grind it out and do it again. BTW, have found that the itch and scratch from grinding are an effective incentive to get it right the first time.
Have you thought about primer and paint, vs re-gel? May be a DIY option?
 

lenmann

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Now that I had the shape of the deck back to where it needed to be I figured I would wrap up any work that needed to be done up front under the deck. For some background, I’m 6’ tall, 62 years old, tip the scales at 185, and don’t fit all that well under the deck of this 21’ boat. I can slide in OK but moving around wearing PPE, with a grinder or a resin soaked piece of fiberglass that needs to be placed overhead can be a real bitch. That said, now was the time to finish up as much as I could up front before I laminated the aft bulkhead in making forward access that much harder.

Schiada Stan suggested that I egg crate the forward section of the hull to stiffen it up, add some forward weight (“RC’s like a little nose weight”), and provide a support structure for the bow floor. Similar to the bulkhead, I glued up a set of templates using 1/8” Masonite, built an egg crate structure, and tabbed the shit out of it to the floor and itself.

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Once that was done I templated, cut/shaped, glassed the underside, and bonded the floor to the egg crate and then glassed it in with a layer of 1708 overlapping 4” to the hull and bulkhead.

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In the course of its history the boat must have had a number of rub-rail makeovers; there are so many holes along the deck to hull joint to almost looks perforated so while I was in there I re-glassed the deck to hull joint using 6” wide 1708 tape and tabbed in some resin soaked 1” carboard tube wire holders for the nav light wires.

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Next up we explore the transom.
 

lenmann

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Have you thought about primer and paint, vs re-gel? May be a DIY option?
I looked into paint but the broad consensus is that gelcoat holds up better in general and is easier to spot repair if there is ever any damage than a base coat + clear paint system. That said lots of East coast offshore boats are full paint.

Either way I would need to rig up a spray booth of some sort in my shop, learn how to paint, and still be faced with needing to get the re-coat of the non-skid right on the first try. You can't just sand it off and shoot it again if you screw up. Ultimately this is what led me to Pats.
 

cofooter

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Pats will do you right, will be nice to hand it over for final finish after all your hard work! Lookin great!
 

lenmann

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When I tore down the boat I noticed some darkish staining at the base of the transom around the through bulkhead fittings.

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In a conversation with Don at Pats Fiberglass he suggested that the plywood transom in a V-drive boat is really just there to bolt and screw stuff to as opposed to an outboard or stern drive where it is a more important structural element. He said that if the rot wasn’t extensive it’s a lot less work to just patch in the damaged areas. So I drilled some exploratory holes to see how far the rot went and it was a little worse than I had hoped (just like everything else on this bitch!).

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This coupled with the fact that thee plywood was damaged around the exhaust holes pointed to replacing the whole thing. Used my track saw and multitool to segment the plywood into sections and started peeling them off.

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Removal was super easy where the wood was rotted but pretty tough where it was still in good shape. I eventually went back to the air chisel to get most of it off. And then a bunch more grinding.

Rinse and repeat...made a template, cut and shaped a new transom out of 3/4" marine ply, laminated it with 2 plies of 1 1/2 oz. CSM and lots of resin, through bolted with a channel iron stiffener and screwed from the back side until fully cured.

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Two layers of 1708 on the inside along with 3 layers of tabbing back to the stringers.

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Ground and filled all the holes on the back of the glass with multiple layers of 1708 and CSM.

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lenmann

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Thanks @Brokeboatin221 I guess we both know a little bit about getting "more" than we expected when buying a nice older turn key boat.

Next up, the aft bulkhead and deck supports. Similar to the forward bulkhead I made a template, cut and shaped a ¾” thick marine plywood bulkhead, fitted foam cores, and tabbed it in with 6” 1708.

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I kind of extrapolated on the late model Schiada method of using a plywood pad on top of the bulkheads to help spread the deck loads over a larger area by stretching the pad between the two bulkheads. This was bonded to the underside of the deck with two layers of CSM and resin. Once cured the pad was laminated with 1708 to the deck, hull, and bulkheads.

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I templated, cut, screwed and glued, and laminated the floor between the two bulkheads. Good place for a soft cooler full of silver bullets I think.

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Brokeboatin221

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Looks solid and glad to hear someone else drinks Colorado pee water besides myself. Yeah turn key and boat are few and far in most cases lol. Keep up the good work, looking good!
 

Blownbillybob

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U should try and do a radius cut around ur drain hole. It’s the first place water intrusion starts

what thickness wood are U using on bulk heads and floor bracing???
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lenmann

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U should try and do a radius cut around ur drain hole. It’s the first place water intrusion starts

what thickness wood are U using on bulk heads and floor bracing??? View attachment 838615
Thats a good idea, I did exactly that on all of the bulkheads and under floor bracing. Also provided drain paths on the uphill sides of the stringers. Hadn't thought to do the same on the transom though. Too late now. I will laminate a wound fiberglass tube in place when i drill the drain plug hole.

Bulkheads and underfloor bracing is all 3/4" HydroTek marine plywood. Floors are 1/2" HydroTek. All primed with a 10% styrene thinned batch of resin, then wrapped in a layer of 3 oz. CSM.
 

Blownbillybob

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I see with ur milk crate bracing they don’t sit on the bottom of the boat!!

did u use a filler before U glasses them in
Like an epoxy or resin
 

lenmann

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I see with ur milk crate bracing they don’t sit on the bottom of the boat!!

did u use a filler before U glasses them in
Like an epoxy or resin
The egg crate bracing and the bulkheads all sit on Divynicel foam trapezoid shaped strips to eliminate any stress crack causing hard spots on the hull, spread the load, and to give a nice easy transition for the 1708 tabbing.

Something like this:

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lenmann

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Next up…and the last pieces of wood structure to be added back to the boat…the floors.

Old Schiadas used vinyl coated steel straps to locate and secure the fuel tanks and support the gunwales instead of the more common plywood bulkheads on both ends of the tanks. Originally these straps were screwed to the floors using stainless steel sheet metal screws that often stripped out of the ½ inch thick plywood like this:

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Newer Schiadas use a sub-plate system to help avoid this issue.

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I will take a similar track and glassed in aluminum backing plates on the underside of the floor to be used to fasten the subplates when I rig the boat. My plan is to fabricate new tank straps in stainless steel and then drill and tap mounting holes through the floor into the aluminum plates for the subplates that the straps will bolt to much the same way Schiada does it now. I wanted to use thicker plate under the floor but there isn’t much clearance between the plate and the rise of the hull as it is so I had to go with ¼ inch. I may end up using a threaded insert of some kind to provide a little more pull strength when I get to that point.

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My boat had full floors originally but leaving the stringer bay in the engine area provides some extra space for stuff like oil coolers, cav plate actuators, etc. and it’s the way Schiada builds most of their new boats.

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Once the plywood was fit, bonded and screwed to the stringers I fit foam coring along the hull, routered the edges to a ½ inch radius to help the fiberglass wrap over the floor and down the stringers.

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Glassing the floors is a pretty big job and really requires more than 2 hands so enlisted the help of my daughter. She spends her weekdays writing code but is is also pretty handy with a mixer. Just having somebody catalyzing, mixing and handing me batches of resin made the job a ton easier. Glassed the floor in with a layer of 1708 running from about 12” up the side to the center of the floor. I had a couple of places where the 1708 stretched a little during lamination but overall pretty happy with the way it laid out.

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Of course I ran out of resin and 1708 with two sections left so they will be finished up as soon as the UPS guy gets here...
 

lenmann

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Thanks

The end of glass work is in sight!
 

Dansblown73Nordic

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Wow that looks Beautiful so far. you have me wondering what is under the floors in my 22? Im not sure I want to even look.
 

aaronschiada

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Damn man!! Puttin in some work!! good on you. Strongest 21 hull ever!!!!! haha
 

74 spectra20 v-drive

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awesome work, love seeing the progress, I am guessing you are or were an engineer?? I love the boats name, I grew up in a 69' Sanger with the same name, it ran a Boss 429 in it. looking forward to your next post!
 

lenmann

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awesome work, love seeing the progress, I am guessing you are or were an engineer?? I love the boats name, I grew up in a 69' Sanger with the same name, it ran a Boss 429 in it. looking forward to your next post!
Thanks! Thats high praise from someone who has travelled this path already.

I am not an engineer by profession but have been in manufacturing my whole life, so I could probably qualify to say I played one on TV at the least.

Funny thing about "The Boss" boat name. I saw a post on the Facebook Schiada page last spring from a guy looking for info on a blue Schiada RC called The Boss. I contacted him and we were able to arrange a phone call. He said his dad was the second owner of the boat, that he grew up with the boat and learned to water ski behind it spending summers in Needles. He said the name of the boat came from the original owner who had a house in Needles, active the Needles Ski Club, and was a retired Blue Angels commander a.k.a. the "Boss". He also said the boat raced the Catalina Ski race in '79, 80' and '81 and won its class each of those years. I haven't been able to verify the results (yet) but I think it's pretty cool to know a little of the boats history.
 
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Blownbillybob

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The egg crate bracing and the bulkheads all sit on Divynicel foam trapezoid shaped strips to eliminate any stress crack causing hard spots on the hull, spread the load, and to give a nice easy transition for the 1708 tabbing.

Something like this:

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So does the foam suck up the resin also?

or jus floats between the 2
 

sintax

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wow man, you've done such a great job on this. Really great to see and learn from some of your techniques.
 

sintax

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It is closed cell foam so it doesn't soak up much resin. I fit the plywood so the 1/4 inch thick foam is a slip fit and use a hot glue gun to tack it in place before tabbing it in.
Does that foam get removed once you tack in the bulkheads, or do you just glass over the foam?
 

lenmann

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wow man, you've done such a great job on this. Really great to see and learn from some of your techniques.
Thanks! I learned most of what I know about this stuff right here on RDP from guys like @Backlash, @HydroSkreamin, @rivergames, @025 and others.

There used to be a lot of owner/builder posts back in the day when boat content was all the rage.
 

lenmann

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Does that foam get removed once you tack in the bulkheads, or do you just glass over the foam?
It stays in place to help the tabbing transition smoothly and to spread out any loads the deck or hull see from the bulkhead.

This drawing shows the theory pretty well. I didn't follow this exactly as the my foam trapezoid is a substitute for the fillet material but the principle is the same.

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Backlash

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I take a self-initiated month off from this place and look what I missed out on!! Damn Brother that's turning out BEAUTIFUL!!!!! Makes me want to fill my bucket up with acetone and light a match! :D

Nice job and way to stick with it! Pat's will finish it off proper and you will not be disappointed. Glad to see you're sticking with gel and not paint. They both have their place but if I had your wallet, I'd choose gelcoat too.

Thank you for the kind words of support too. I doubt I've actually taught anyone anything about boats or what it takes to repair one. Based on your progress and your results, you're definitely the one to ask! Nice job Sir! ;)
 

HydroSkreamin

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Bob’s gonna be your Uncle real soon, lenmann!;)

Excellent work! I knew you were paying attention and asking good questions for some reason.

Very cool piece and history as well.

I have to ask, does the turret mount on the eggcrate? Holy balls that’s stout.

Sorry I wasn’t following this earlier, I’ve been laying off around here as well. This thread is now my go to!
 

rivergames

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Incredible work your are doing to her! I'm looking forward to your rigging with a blank canvas to work off of!

I'm getting in the mood to work on another boat(s) here shortly. Keep on truckin on with her!
 

lenmann

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I got my (hopefully) last 5 gallon pail of vinyl ester resin and another 10 yards or 1708. Finished up the floors running a layer of 1708 over the stringers to the keel. After that ran a layer of 1708 from the underside of the gunwale over the deck/hull joint and down the side giving some badly needed additional support to my perforated deck joint.

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Pulled a skim coat of EverGlass over the transom, bilge and viewable faces of the bulkheads to fill in the 1708 weave. Faired it in with a light coat of 3m marine filler, filleted the corners with some cabosil/glass fiber resin, DA sanded to 80 grit level and then shot a coat of Duratec high fill primer. Far from gelcoat ready but a solid 70% finish level.

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Time to flip the hull and finish closing up the running surface holes from the original rigging. I built a rotisserie fixture dealio to bolt to the transom so I could lift it with a strap and spin it. The big challenge here was guessing where the center line of mass was from the bow eye to the transom. If its too far off the hull can be really hard to push through the point of resistance and then even worse, damn near impossible to stop on the way back down. I had a couple of buddies over and we agreed that about 11 inches up from the keel looked about right. I used an engine hoist on the rear and my tractor on the front to lift the hull off the trailer and high enough that the corners of the transom would clear the legs of the hoist. Fortunately our guess was pretty close (and that was without any beer!). The hull rotated smoothly, was centered enough that it would hold position anywhere in the rotation and two of us were able to flip it drama free.

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Oh boy, it's time for some more grinding.

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lenmann

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I learned last week that Pats Fiberglass is closing up their shop. Don, the guy that owns and runs it is experiencing some health issues. He was the "go to" guy for Schiada restoration for years, after Rick at Islander Marine closed up.

Number 2 on the list is Chuck McConnell formerly of McConnells Speed and Marine and Socal Speed and Marine. He has done several Schiadas over the last couple of years that are on RPD that turned out beautiful. I just learned he died of cancer last June.

Number 3 on the list is Smooth As Glass near Sacramento which is closer to me than #1 and #2. I heard that they don't do full gel re-coats anymore. Not enough money in them and they have plenty of insurance work from new boat owner wrecking new Nautiques, Malibus and Master Crafts. Need to confirm this.

Number 4 is Kornowski in Havasu. Going to call him in the morning. I am guessing he is pretty busy given the events noted above.

Any other suggestions? I need someone that knows how to replicate the Schiada non-skid in the deck areas that have stress cracks.
 

Ballyhoo

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I learned last week that Pats Fiberglass is closing up their shop. Don, the guy that owns and runs it is experiencing some health issues. He was the "go to" guy for Schiada restoration for years, after Rick at Islander Marine closed up.

Number 2 on the list is Chuck McConnell formerly of McConnells Speed and Marine and Socal Speed and Marine. He has done several Schiadas over the last couple of years that are on RPD that turned out beautiful. I just learned he died of cancer last June.

Number 3 on the list is Smooth As Glass near Sacramento which is closer to me than #1 and #2. I heard that they don't do full gel re-coats anymore. Not enough money in them and they have plenty of insurance work from new boat owner wrecking new Nautiques, Malibus and Master Crafts. Need to confirm this.

Number 4 is Kornowski in Havasu. Going to call him in the morning. I am guessing he is pretty busy given the events noted above.

Any other suggestions? I need someone that knows how to replicate the Schiada non-skid in the deck areas that have stress cracks.
I visited Koronowski's shop a couple of years ago with my 24 Schiada. I just went to show him a few things, get his opinion and check out his work. He was doing a full re- gel on a Schiada at the time, so I was able to get a look at that. His work looked very good and he seems like he is a bit of a perfectionist, which is not a bad thing. He was upfront about his prices for his work. I will definitely consider him for future work/upgrades.
 
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NeedlesRat

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I learned last week that Pats Fiberglass is closing up their shop. Don, the guy that owns and runs it is experiencing some health issues. He was the "go to" guy for Schiada restoration for years, after Rick at Islander Marine closed up.

Number 2 on the list is Chuck McConnell formerly of McConnells Speed and Marine and Socal Speed and Marine. He has done several Schiadas over the last couple of years that are on RPD that turned out beautiful. I just learned he died of cancer last June.

Number 3 on the list is Smooth As Glass near Sacramento which is closer to me than #1 and #2. I heard that they don't do full gel re-coats anymore. Not enough money in them and they have plenty of insurance work from new boat owner wrecking new Nautiques, Malibus and Master Crafts. Need to confirm this.

Number 4 is Kornowski in Havasu. Going to call him in the morning. I am guessing he is pretty busy given the events noted above.

Any other suggestions? I need someone that knows how to replicate the Schiada non-skid in the deck areas that have stress cracks.
This is a great thread and I am really
Impressed with your work. There is a guy in Castaic that used to gelcoat for Howard and he does Schiada’s (I believe it’s Roberto’s Boat Repair). He is doing one right now for someone that I know and his work looks amazing.
 

Backlash

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Hey Len give KMG a call. They are in Lakeside and have done repairs and re-gelcoats on numerous boats in the past. Schiadas included. They may or may not still do this level of work as they may be busy building new hulls. Just a thought.
 

420HOA

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I got my (hopefully) last 5 gallon pail of vinyl ester resin and another 10 yards or 1708. Finished up the floors running a layer of 1708 over the stringers to the keel. After that ran a layer of 1708 from the underside of the gunwale over the deck/hull joint and down the side giving some badly needed additional support to my perforated deck joint.

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Pulled a skim coat of EverGlass over the transom, bilge and viewable faces of the bulkheads to fill in the 1708 weave. Faired it in with a light coat of 3m marine filler, filleted the corners with some cabosil/glass fiber resin, DA sanded to 80 grit level and then shot a coat of Duratec high fill primer. Far from gelcoat ready but a solid 70% finish level.

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Time to flip the hull and finish closing up the running surface holes from the original rigging. I built a rotisserie fixture dealio to bolt to the transom so I could lift it with a strap and spin it. The big challenge here was guessing where the center line of mass was from the bow eye to the transom. If its too far off the hull can be really hard to push through the point of resistance and then even worse, damn near impossible to stop on the way back down. I had a couple of buddies over and we agreed that about 11 inches up from the keel looked about right. I used an engine hoist on the rear and my tractor on the front to lift the hull off the trailer and high enough that the corners of the transom would clear the legs of the hoist. Fortunately our guess was pretty close (and that was without any beer!). The hull rotated smoothly, was centered enough that it would hold position anywhere in the rotation and two of us were able to flip it drama free.

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Oh boy, it's time for some more grinding.

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I had same problem with mine I added a SS blast plate between the rudder and strut to minimize the gel damage I still have the pattern if you need it
7AB8C5AF-5035-49A1-83A2-609E51F72391.jpeg
 

lenmann

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I had same problem with mine I added a SS blast plate between the rudder and strut to minimize the gel damage I still have the pattern if you need it View attachment 842617
@420HOA I was just running through my collection of Schiada build pics to try to figure out the size and shape of the blast shield. so yes any help is much appreciated.
 

footer

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I love this thread because:
1. It's about building things.
2. It's a blue and white 1979 Schiada, and I used to own a blue and white 1979 Schiada
3. You're saving me tens of thousands of dollars by giving me a huge dose of reality on the effort and expertise needed to properly restore a v-drive.

Thank you, sir.
 

EPL

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I love this thread because:
1. It's about building things.
2. It's a blue and white 1979 Schiada, and I used to own a blue and white 1979 Schiada
3. You're saving me tens of thousands of dollars by giving me a huge dose of reality on the effort and expertise needed to properly restore a v-drive.

Thank you, sir.

I'm friends with Lenmann and have been watching this build over the last 4 years and if I have learned one thing it is that i don't want to get involved with building another boat !!
 
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lenmann

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I love this thread because:
1. It's about building things.
2. It's a blue and white 1979 Schiada, and I used to own a blue and white 1979 Schiada
3. You're saving me tens of thousands of dollars by giving me a huge dose of reality on the effort and expertise needed to properly restore a v-drive.

Thank you, sir.
Thank you back!

The (not so) funny thing is this is the cheap part of the project. Next up is $20k+ or so of gelcoat, a $10k interior, a new trailer, rigging that I will do myself with lots of money in parts and then there is that whole motor deal...

The snowball metaphor that everyone uses is pretty accurate, it's a slippery slope.
 

lenmann

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Lenman,

You have done an outstanding job restoring this boat !!!

It is inspiring to see the level of craftsmanship and attention to detail that you have put forth.
Thanks man.

I decided to go ahead and blueprint the bottom myself while I had it flipped. Like everything else on this bitch it's jacked up as all hell too. Post and pics to follow.
 

HydroSkreamin

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Thanks man.

I decided to go ahead and blueprint the bottom myself while I had it flipped. Like everything else on this bitch it's jacked up as all hell too. Post and pics to follow.
I’m telling you it’s worth it.

Jonesing for an update, bud.
 
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