Sunday, August 3, 2008

Future plans

So here's the general plan for the boat:
  • Instead of an I/O, we'll be powering this boat with an outboard (or two). That frees up around 9 square feet of deckspace where the engine cover used to sit. There are a number of examples out on the web of people successfully refitting this boat with outboards. Ideally we'd get a couple of new outboards, but that probably won't fit my budget. Instead, we'll probably be looking at used four strokes. The jury is still out on whether it'll be one or two outboards. Two would obviously be 'cool', but with all the added weight and additional fuel costs, I'm not sure that's the smart thing to do. Looking at the Yamaha and Suzuki sites, you really only gain about 10mph by adding another engine. Here's an example of a nicely integrated swimstep and dual outboard mount:
  • Instead of a bimini top or a hard top, we're planning on having a custom soft top made. I found this custom-made example a couple of years ago and have drooled over it ever since. I also really like the rub rail on this boat.
  • Something like this kitchenette:
  • Something like this Seaswirl removable rear seat. Although, I also really like Grady White's design for their fold down rear seat.

Recent progress

So my first post (just a couple of minutes ago) gave you a good idea of what the interior of the boat looked like 2 about years ago... Since then, my dad has started working on the boat with me. It's always nice to have someone else working on a project to help motivate you.

The boat is being kept in a storage lot that's owned by the community that we live in... cheap and super convenient. I picked up the cover for it from Costco for $80. Normally this goes for $160, but somehow I lucked out an found one that was already opened. I heart Costco.

My wife took these pics of the exterior of the boat today. The hull is actually in really good shape. A few cosmetic issues, but it's never been stored in the water so no gelcoat bubbles. I LOVE the lines of this boat.

Here's the current state of the interior, where all the work has been done.

First of all, we made a mistake by cutting the outdrive hole bigger. We should've just left it as-is. We were originally thinking that we'd just patch the hole with a new piece of marine plywood and we wanted to make sure that we'd removed any rot that might have been caused by the original out drive hole. Later we decide to remove the entire inside of the transom, so now we have extra glass work to do that we wouldn't have had if we'd just decided to remove the transom plywood in the first place... Oh well. Live and learn.

As you can see, both of the inside stringers have been removed, along with the engine mounts. All were rotten. We haven't yet removed the outside stringers. We won't do that until we get the hull onto the boat dollies that we bought. I've heard that removing all of the stringers can lead to the hull twisting if it's not well supported. You can see from the exterior pictures above that the boat is sitting on the trailer kinda cattywompus.

I've been doing a lot of sanding lately on interior sides. I'm removing the nasty gelcoat and some de-laminated glass in preparation for glassing in some 1/8 or 1/4 inch plywood to stiffen the sides a bit. Sanding fiberglass is not fun work. It requires (at least): A crappy angle grinder fitted with a 4-1/2" disk sander (crappy because the glass dust is eventually gonna wreck the grinder), a Tyvek suit (AKA the sweat suit), a respirator, gloves (duct taped to the suit), a hat, hearing protection, and eye protection. Even then my arms are itchy for at least a day after sanding.

I've also removed the glass covering the transom plywood and am working on the transom plywood. The air chisel is my best friend for this job. It's super frustrating though... Marine plywood is like one of those woven placemats that you made in kindergarden. You start de-laminating one piece thinking that the whole thing is going to peal away, only to find that you can only ever remove an inch wide piece at a time. I'll probably have to end up sanding the remaining plywood to get down to bare glass.

Here's my initial list of things that are remaining before we can start building the boat up again:
  • Clean up the transom. We need to clean up the jagged glass and sand down the plywood that remains.
  • I think that we're going to cut the outside stringers down to allow for lowering the floorboard by about 4" inches. The current floor height only allows for about 2' of freeboard, which comes up to just above my knee. I'd like this to be mid-thigh. The 2x2 that's laying across the outside stringers in the forward looking interior picture above will be the new stringer height.
  • There's probably a lot of other stuff that I'm not even aware needs to be cut down, sanded, or cleaned up before we start building up.

First Post!

I'm creating this blog to share my experience rebuilding a 1966 Formula 233. This project has been in the works for about 6 years, but is starting to really take off. With my wife's gracious approval, I'm now dedicating at least a couple of hours each weekend to the rebuild effort.

The boat was given to my wife and I as a wedding present from a friend of the family. The friend's son had previously rebuilt a '72 F233 into a 70+ MPH boat... Have you ever ridden in a 70+ MPH boat on Puget Sound? Even with 2-3 ft rollers, it's damn fast. Seeing the beautiful job that our friend did on that boat has provided me with the motivation and inspiration to take on the extensive rebuild. I don't plan on making ours a 70+ MPH boat, but I do plan on making it a great cruiser for spending weekends (or longer) out on the Sound or in the San Juans.

I don't have any digital pictures of the boat in it's original state when I received it, but here's a short description: It had a home-made hard top that was fully dry rotted. The floors were stained and rancid with fuel that had leaked out of the side-mounted tanks. The 350 chevy engine was in good shape, but the alpha-one out drive was old and probably not usable. The trailer was (and still is, until I buy a new one) barely able to hold the boat up while it's sitting still, let alone while we tow it between the house and the storage lot to work on it.

I was hoping to post some pics of the original demolition job, but I can't seem to find those right now. Instead, here are some pics of the boat after I removed the top, the interior, the side tanks, the floor, and the engine and outdrive.

I basically just took a skillsaw and started cutting...