Apr 30, 201301:00 PM

Odduck: Adventures in Boat Restoration

Sometimes a Great Notion is a Bad Idea

(page 3 of 3)

The biggest mystery was the entry to the cabin. There were helm and mate seats on both sides of the boat, mounted high on two different framed boxes, one on top of the other. To enter the cabin, there's a bi-fold door on the port side, but the bottom of it doesn't reach to the deck. Next to it is a single door that's even further off the floor. In the center of the boat is a plywood panel that likewise is cut up off the deck.

Crestliner renovation - helm

It wasn't until Mike Neyssen from Crestliner ran the hull ID number and told me the boat had left the factory as a mid-cabin that it made sense. On the port side, a step up became the top of a foot-box area of the cabin and that height matched the bifolds. Then, another step up, which matched the height of the single door, was the floor for the dual helm seat as well as the roof the cabin.

So, now the question is how to re-frame a mid-cabin and what to do it with other than 3/4-inch plywood, keeping in mind the key is lightweight. And that's just one of a thousand questions and issues I'll face as I go forward with basically a good hull and a moderate but not comprehensive set of skills.

Through the project, I'll be asking for help from a wide variety of sources. Besides researching on my own, I'll be contacting people in the boating industry I've met, interviewed and written about. Locally, I'm seeking assistance from various people, with Bill Norris of Norris Marine Repair and Restoration of Rock Island, Ill., as a major source. Then there's the longtime boater, project boat and Great Loop veteran who retired from an electrical construction business. And the wooden boat craftsman who's also a marine surveyor. And the guy who bent a circular staircase out of stainless steel for his boat over an LP tank. I'll owe much to many as I move ahead.

Even when I get the most discouraged, as I survey all the work I need to do and attempt to do things I have no idea how to, I keep reminding myself I'd much rather be “messing with boats” than doing yard work.

Next time – The stripping and gutting process begins and replacing the transom.

About This Blog

Follow longtime HeartLand Boating contributor Gary Kramer on his latest undertaking: rebuilding a 1987, 24-foot, aluminum Crestliner Sabre Mid-Cabin Day Cruiser from the hull up.




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