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Dec 24, 201308:59 AM

Odduck: Adventures in Boat Restoration

Winding Down for Winter

(page 2 of 2)

I also took some time to do some sample work on the exterior part of the hull. It has a lot of old striping, some of which had been painted over, which makes it tough to remove. I tried using a striping-removal eraser in an electric drill that auto-body people use, but I couldn't get it into the places where the metal had bends, was still consuming them fairly quickly and they are not real cheap. So, I tried a heat gun and a plastic scraper and if I was patient, that worked as well. But the edge of the scraper had to be re-beveled now and then because the heat would deform it. My thought was that a metal scraper in my hands probably would at least scratch the aluminum if not gouge it.

I also played with some 220 and 320 sandpaper in a random orbit sander to see how that would work to prep the hull for painting. I'm hoping that I don't have to take it all the way to bare metal, and after some experimenting, I think now I may not have to except for some places I have to remove deep hull rash.

Back at the mid-cabin, I finally got it framed after repeatedly re-doing it. One answer was to use 7/8- by 1 1/2-inch hickory to serve as floor joists to span the width of the cabin that will be covered with 3/4-inch plywood and be the base for the helm and passenger seats. Then, I started to cut and fit the 1/4-inch plywood panels that will be the interior skin. The ceiling gets white vinyl and will have a center light and wiring for a fan in the corner. The sidewalls get covered with carpeting.

Another fly in the ointment at this time is that when I ordered the slider I thought I was ordering one for a 1 7/8- to 2-inch wall, but what I bought was for a 1 3/8-inch wall. One option is to get an extender for the interior trim ring and the other is to trade this window back in on one that fits without the extender.

Framing in the mid cabin

Before I can cover the walls, there is another step. I'm putting in as many storage "cutouts" in the walls as possible, both in the cabin and under the gunnels further back. I cut a rectangular opening with radiused edges where I want the storage "box" and then build a three-sided box out of 1/4-inch plywood that is  wider and higher than the cutout. The box also has nailing flanges along the front sides and gets lined with vinyl and carpet.

Attaching it can go two ways. One is staple or screw the box on from the front of the panel, then try to wrap the covering into the hole and attach it. A better option seems to be putting the vinyl on first, then simply using face screws to go through the panel into the nailing flanges.

Now, I have a couple months to a) think about all this or b) not think about all this. As I mess about with this boat, I'm repeatedly reminded how great it is to have the time on my hands to fool with stuff like this. I guess this is part of the reward for putting in 35 years at work.

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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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