WELCOME TO RIVER DAVES PLACE

1979 Schiada RC, The Boss

lenmann

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Well, its finally shiny.

Each wet sanding grit took about 4 hours, so there are 20 hours of wet sanding alone on the bottom. I understand better now why some guys "speed coat" the bottom to avoid the final finishing. Looking back I should have gone to 1200 and maybe even 1500 before polishing. I had to "lean" on the buffer a little more than I wanted to get the 1000 grit scratches out. If I ever do one of these again I will look into a pneumatic wet D/A sander. It would have sped up the process a bunch although it would have its own learning curve too.

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Another important lesson: Hand sanding for 20+ plus hours has a negative effect on your fingers. I keep a sidearm in a small gun safe mounted to my night stand that uses my fingerprint to open it. After day one of sanding it wouldn't open anymore. After day two, my hands started to bleed because the skin wasn't there anymore to hold the blood in...

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Overall I am very happy with the results. Its straight and flat where it should be, the strakes and chines are razor sharp and it finished to a nice high gloss. Pretty good for a first timer.

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Next up; routing the cav plate pockets for 1/4" thick plates and adding the blast plate pocket.
 

River Runnin

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I keep a sidearm in a small gun safe mounted to my night stand that uses my fingerprint to open it
This is the saddest thing I've read so far! 😆 I have a Tavor next to my nightstand, and a Kimber 45 inside!;)

Nice Job!! :)
 

jmeads

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You have the energy of a 20 year old. What are you drinking! On my 21 I had the bottom speed coated to avoid exactly what you are doing. I paid allot of money just to coat the bottom. I could only imagine what this would cost today if you were to pay someone to do all the work your are doing. $$$$$ Nice work and the effort will be worth it once you put her in the water and hit the GAS at WOT.
 

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Well, its finally shiny.

Each wet sanding grit took about 4 hours, so there are 20 hours of wet sanding alone on the bottom. I understand better now why some guys "speed coat" the bottom to avoid the final finishing. Looking back I should have gone to 1200 and maybe even 1500 before polishing. I had to "lean" on the buffer a little more than I wanted to get the 1000 grit scratches out. If I ever do one of these again I will look into a pneumatic wet D/A sander. It would have sped up the process a bunch although it would have its own learning curve too.

View attachment 878469 View attachment 878470 View attachment 878471 View attachment 878472 View attachment 878473

Another important lesson: Hand sanding for 20+ plus hours has a negative effect on your fingers. I keep a sidearm in a small gun safe mounted to my night stand that uses my fingerprint to open it. After day one of sanding it wouldn't open anymore. After day two, my hands started to bleed because the skin wasn't there anymore to hold the blood in...

View attachment 878480

Overall I am very happy with the results. Its straight and flat where it should be, the strakes and chines are razor sharp and it finished to a nice high gloss. Pretty good for a first timer.

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Next up; routing the cav plate pockets for 1/4" thick plates and adding the blast plate pocket.
Damn good looking!
 

HydroSkreamin

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Fine product you’ve crafted, Lenmann.

Spectacular attention to detail. 👍🏽👍🏽

Very nice work, sir, and I’d say Bob is now your uncle😉
 

Backlash

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Lenmann this is turning out SOOOOOO nice!!! You should be extremely proud of the job you're doing and on the spectacular results you've achieved! I cant wait to see what you've got lined up next!!!
 

lenmann

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My boat was originally built with 3/16" thick aluminum cav plates and I will be running 1/4" thick stainless so the pockets would normally need to be routed 1/16" deeper. Because I added material near the keel to straighten the bottom out the pockets were actually a little too deep. I taped up the work area to keep the shiny part shiny and added a quick layer of CSM to build up the deep section. I built a router fixture and used glaziers suction cup handles to clamp the fixture down, cleaned up the fresh glass and brought the rest of the pocket in to the 1/4" depth using a 3/4" diameter bearing guided router bit. Both sides came out nice and sanded flat with a little 180 grit.

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I laid out the blast plate pocket, taped the surrounding gel coat, and used the same fixture to rout the pocket to 1/8" deep, one side at a time.

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Cutting away the shiny hard shell reveals evidence of work done months ago.

Next up: I need to clean up and re-carpet the bunks on the trailer. Then flip the boat back upright, slide the trailer under it, adjust and shim the bunks to provide maximum support to preserve my hard work and set her down.
 

cofooter

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My boat was originally built with 3/16" thick aluminum cav plates and I will be running 1/4" thick stainless so the pockets would normally need to be routed 1/16" deeper. Because I added material near the keel to straighten the bottom out the pockets were actually a little too deep. I taped up the work area to keep the shiny part shiny and added a quick layer of CSM to build up the deep section. I built a router fixture and used glaziers suction cup handles to clamp the fixture down, cleaned up the fresh glass and brought the rest of the pocket in to the 1/4" depth using a 3/4" diameter bearing guided router bit. Both sides came out nice and sanded flat with a little 180 grit.

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I laid out the blast plate pocket, taped the surrounding gel coat, and used the same fixture to rout the pocket to 1/8" deep, one side at a time.

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Cutting away the shiny hard shell reveals evidence of work done months ago.

Next up: I need to clean up and re-carpet the bunks on the trailer. Then flip the boat back upright, slide the trailer under it, adjust and shim the bunks to provide maximum support to preserve my hard work and set her down.
Great work, Lenman, looks awesome!
 

X Hoser

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Incredible work. I'm just in awe everytime I open this thread. Don't know where your patience and skills come from but I need them!
 

Magic Mike

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WOW! Thanks for this thread, I have learned a lot from it.
 

lenmann

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Sorry about the gap in updates, I've been working on it and trying to have a little fun at the lake too.

So I flipped the hull back over and set it back on the old Competitive trailer. The bunks had worn out carpet, missing bolts and in general didn't make very good contact with the hull. My plan all along has been to have a new trailer made for the boat so I didn't want to put a bunch of wasted energy into the old one. I stapled new carpet on the important parts of the bunks, shimmed and adjusted them so they had good consistent contact with the hull. It's plenty good enough to get the hull to the gelcoat shop for the next phase.

As noted in previous posts I had planned on having Pats Fiberglass do the finish work on the balsa floors, stringers, bilge and re-gel the entire boat. Unfortunately Don Kern who owned and ran Pats had some health issues and closed the shop, so I went on the hunt for a suitable alternative earlier this year. My chief concern in finding the right shop has always been locating someone that can repair the stress cracks in the trademark Schiada non-skid deck and make it look like they were never repaired. If you have ever seen a Schiada deck in glancing light you can see that the texture has a consistent pattern to it that repeats every two inches or so in both the "x" and "y" directions. Making the repairs look right means replicating that pattern. Not all the glass shops I spoke to could assure me that the repairs would be 100%. Some wanted to sand the areas smooth and apply texture with a spray gun in a random pattern (think drywall texture). Some suggested that the areas be sanded smooth and left that way creating non-textured stripes. Kornowski in Havasu has fixed a number of Schiada decks using fiberglass molds that he pulled from a (good) friends boat. The last boat he did this way was in 2019 and he swore he would never do another because of the pain in the ass factor and the number of times he had to re-do each repair to get the texture close enough to be acceptable. I have a slot on Scotts calendar in October (the soonest he could get me in) and he still won't guarantee that he will break out the old molds and try it one more time, but I'm working on him.

So, because I don't really have anything to do to the boat right now I decided to jump in and try to reproduce the texture. Worst case scenario is I fail and Scott has to grind my f-up out and fix it. Early in my career I worked at a Rapid Prototyping company that used liquid silicone rubber molds to make low volume cast urethane and epoxy reproductions of parts made using Stereolithography or that were hand carved by model makers. The silicone molds captured very detailed features and textures. My plan was to use two part silicone rubber to capture the factory Schiada texture and then once cured use it like a concrete stamp to replicate the texture. So I jumped on Amazon and bought some silicone putty that when part A is mixed with part B you have about 20 minutes of working time to press it on the object or surface in my case that you want to reproduce.

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The putty was easy to work with but it trapped air in the texture’s nooks and crannies resulting in a texture that was missing full height peaks in the test samples I ran. I tried a couple of different techniques for rolling out the silicone putty but couldn’t get full feature capture.

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After some Google and YouTube searches I learned that I needed to use a silicone that was more viscous so I could brush it into the texture detail but thick enough that it wouldn’t run off the curved and sloped deck. The same company that makes the putty makes a brush-able silicone so I ordered up a sample kit of two different Shore A hardness levels to try. The downside of the brush-able material is that it’s a liquid and requires multiple layers to get a thick enough mold to be durable and dimensionally stable. The upside is that it really did a great job capturing the detail of the texture.

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Now that I had a full featured mold I needed to figure out how to use it The texture measures about .035” deep from the bottom of the valley to the top of the peaks. If I grind down to remove the stress cracks, rebuild the glass back up to .035” below the adject texture I should be able to brush on just the right amount of catalyzed gel coat, press the mold into the gel while engaging it with the surrounding texture so the pattern matches, put some weight on top while it cures and then just peel off the mold. Sounds easy, right?

So I ground out the cracks that were caused by the original bulkhead near the dash. Brushed on about 20 mil of catalyzed gelcoat, set the silicone mold in place so it “locked” into the adjacent original texture, put a weight on top of it, crossed my fingers, and waited for the gel to cure.

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For a first try, it came out pretty good. The texture lined up just like the original, was full depth, and was almost complete. Getting just the right amount of gelcoat down before placing the mold is looking to be pretty important. Too much and it squeezes out over the original texture creating a high spot. Too little and some areas don’t get filled in. High spots need to be ground out and refilled. Low spots can be touched up by applying more gel and re-impressing the mold. So at this point I am feeling pretty confident that I have this figured out.

My hull was originally equipped with clam shell vents on the gunwale near the transom and forward of the fuel caps. When I got the boat it had billet vent plates covering the 3 inch holes from the original vents. I have always liked the way Schiadas look with just the gas caps on the tops of the gunwales so, based on pretty good success with the first try at texture I decided to fill the 3 inch holes with glass and re-texture the top of the repairs.

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The repairs at the transom came out great on the first try. After sanding off the squeeze out they look factory original.


The forward repairs turned out to be a real bitch. The repair area is large and getting the mold to “lock” onto the adjacent original texture was inconsistent. On top of that the repair area didnt have the same squeeze out area that the transom sections did which made getting the right amount of gelcoat in place really hard. After about 4 tries I got the starboard side right. The port side took 10 attempts to get it to the 90% level. The bitch is every time it needs to be reworked you grind a little more into the original texture making the repair even larger, and more difficult. Now I understand why Kornowski has sworn off this stuff.

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I still have some more work to do on the port side as shown above, but all of the other repairs, including 12 extra holes around the fuel fills have been fixed.

Thats it for now. Got some good news, I may have a line on a shop that can get me in for re-gel sooner than October, keeping my fingers crossed.

They did these boats and by all reports they came out really nice.

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HydroSkreamin

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Good job on your research and willingness to keep trying to learn why the first attempt didn’t meet your satisfaction.

Looks like you can be the Schiada texture mold supplier...😉

This thing is an absolute masterpiece for a guy who’s doing it for the first time.

Thanks for the update, following diligently.
 

Brokeboatin221

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Very nice job! You should just open your own fiberglass shop! Might need one of those molds for a new project would be willing to trade beer.
 

Gripside80

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I heard a rumor Pats Fiberglass is under new ownership with same employees. They are either back open or opening soon. Can anyone verify this?

Unreal work @lenmann!! You’re a true craftsman my friend.
 

Backlash

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I hope this rumor about Pat's is true. I will say, the craftsmen who worked on the three boats pictured in post #167 will do an amazing job Lenmann, so I dont think you can go wrong either way. You're doing an incredible job, thank you for the update!!
 

81eliminator

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I hope this rumor about Pat's is true. I will say, the craftsmen who worked on the three boats pictured in post #167 will do an amazing job Lenmann, so I dont think you can go wrong either way. You're doing an incredible job, thank you for the update!!
I was at Pat's when he hauled out the last load of trash. All the equipment was gone

If it's going to reopen, it will probably be in a different location, but he didn't mention it
 

lenmann

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Bumping this back to the top where it needs to be. 👍
Thanks! The hull is down at Menace Marine in Castaic for balsa and gelcoat. No real updates yet, like every other shop they are busy as fack and I am in the queue. I was hoping to have it back in October but its looking more like November which really means December. I have a new trailer being built at Adrenaline and they are so busy they cant start on it until the second week of October so maybe all the stars will line up here for me and both will be ready at the same time.

I got this shot last week so at least its inside and they are rubbing on it.

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1fastsedan

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My buddy Steve has one of Pat's lead guys working for him and he does side jobs all day. He can do anything you need. He did a great job on my Howard and we will be taking our Schiada to him this winter for a ton of work. Your attention to detail is incredible.
 

lenmann

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Not a lot to report on the gelcoat side. All of the prep work on the outside of the hull is done and they should start shooting color this week.

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I pulled the old fuel tanks out of the side yard to get a look at what kind of shape they are in. These tank are a little unique as they have had a 15 gallon "extension" added to the front of them to increases the fuel capacity from the stock 60 gallons to somewhere around 90.

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More capacity works better with my program as the boat will be side tied to our houseboat on trips that typically last 5-10 days throughout the summer. 91 octane is available at only one of the 7 marinas on Shasta so having some spare capacity seems like a good thing. I have a fresh 540 TT motor ready for rigging this winter with the plan (hope) to have the boat on the water next summer with a partial interior. If I need new tanks I need to get them ordered pretty quick to get them in time to support the plan. So, I figured I should do a pressure test to assess the tank's condition. The original IMCO tag indicates that they were tested at a maximum of 4 psi so I installed a gas line pressure test rig, plugged the open fittings, and filled her up to 4 psi. We I tried anyway. It's pretty weird watching the tanks "plump" up at only 2 psi so I stopped there and immediately noticed that the tank was leaking profusely from the fuel gage sender. Using soapy water confirmed the suspected source and also that the the other fittings and welds were not leaking, so some good news there.

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Pulled the sender and found what looks to be a 41 year old gasket. Kinda hard to believe it held any pressure at all. Note the five welded up holes because the sender was originally installed backwards and hit the baffle just aft of the hole. Not sure why they didn't grind the welds flush...
The other tank checked out pretty much the same; intact other than the leaky sending unit.

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As you can see in the pics these tanks were carpeted, twice as it turns out. Once with the original 30 gallon tanks and again when they added the 15 gallon extensions. The brown crap you see on the tanks is two layers of carpet glue, some of it dried out but some still soft and sticky after all this time. Most of it brushed off with a wire brush cup wheel, the rest came off with a 80 grit DA pad. Overall the tanks cleaned up pretty good, but you can see some oxidation and surface pitting where the glue and carpet trapped moisture and it etched the aluminum.

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I plan to gel coat or paint the tanks to match the hull colors like Schiada does in their new builds so some primer and sanding will take care of the surface pitting. The inside of the tanks look like brand new, no dirt, no corrosion from long standing water, just nice shiny aluminum. I will need to add new -8 bungs to the tanks for new fuel feeds and a fuel return bung if I decide to go EFI at a future date. The original 1/4" pipe fitting/pick up won't do for the 540. New senders and gaskets are on the way too.

Anyone know how Schiada gets gel coat to stick to aluminum tanks?

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BamBam

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Anyone know how Schiada gets gel coat to stick to aluminum tanks?
I believe that they have the whole thing powder coated in one color as a base and then paint the accent colors and clear over the whole thing.
 

Brokeboatin221

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Funny my tanks are the same and look as if they were made bigger as well at one point.
 

lenmann

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Funny my tanks are the same and look as if they were made bigger as well at one point.
I did the math on what I am pretty sure is the original part of the tank and it matches up with the 30 gallons on the original IMCO sticker. Then I calculated the volume of the addition and got about 15 gallons IIRC.

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Was your boat used for the Catalina ski race? I have always assumed that's why the tanks on mine were extended.

This is what I believe a standard 30 gallon tank looks like.

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lenmann

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I believe that they have the whole thing powder coated in one color as a base and then paint the accent colors and clear over the whole thing.
Huh, hadn't thought about that. Powder coat is usually polyester powder, gel coat is a polyester based resin system. They should be compatible.

Thanks for that tip!
 

Brokeboatin221

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Pretty sure it was and I’ve been told so. When I derigged the boat I found some evidence of it as well. She was definitely rode hard and put away dirty but she’s coming along. I’m sure a good body shop could paint your tanks to match. Don’t quote me on this but I believe aluminum needs a special Etching primer. I painted an aluminum boat as a kid and had to use some gnarly primer to make the paint stick.
 

BamBam

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I can't say for sure (and your stickers indicate otherwise), but I believe the standard tanks in a 21' of that era should have been 27 gallons per side. The extended tanks were offered as an option and raised the capacity to 33 gallons per side. I have Imco extended tanks in my 21' and it holds around the advertised 33 per side.
 

great_escape

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To add to the tank volume mystery, My boat is a 81'. It was raced in the Catalina event. The tanks have been extended and they hold almost 40gals per side.
 

Outdrive1

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The bigger tanks have pop out sections past the back seat area. That would be for a big power race boat deal.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

tony

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Loving the colors and the old school lay out.
 

DBR

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Looks amazing, please keep the pictures coming.
 

EPL

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Looks great and they got your colors right !!
 

Groper

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Humm it looks like I might have to get in the Queue, how's the schedule working as far as your told 3mo's and it turns into 6mo's or ?

How many guys are working there full time ?
 

lenmann

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What’s your plan for the non skid? Thin coat of paint over the top?
The last step in the job is to spray the non-skid with a light coat of thinned white gelcoat. Like every paint or coating job, good surface prep is critical to assure adhesion and enough coverage to match the other white gel and not make the non-skid look like cottage cheese by applying too much gel.

Thats the theory as I understand it. I thought about doing it myself but chickened out and decided to use pro's at Menace Marine. You only get one shot at re-coating the non-skid. Any other surface, you can sand off the screw up and respray.
 

Ouderkirk

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Anyone know how Schiada gets gel coat to stick to aluminum tanks?
The proper method is to have the tank Chromate (iridite) coated MIL-DTL-5541 Class 2 Type 3 Light Yellow. Ask the coater if they use Chemetall Chromicoat L25 Yellow and then have them powder coated in a basic polyester. Then feel free to Gel Coat to your hearts content.
 

lenmann

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@Ouderkirk

I like the conversion coating idea, hadn't ever thought about it being used under polyester powder, but I will ask my local PC guy if he does it.

Is Chromicoat L25 comparable to Chem-Film or Dow 7 alodine?

Where would one find Chromicoat L25 for sale?
 
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