Deep Eddy (ex Bad Example) (ex Nev'r Enough) - 1988 Chris Craft Stinger 311 - Click on images to zoom
The following is a log of the restoration the owner is doing on this boat.
May 29, 2011
The engines are off the transom, and stored on these rolling stands. The transom is going to be totally rebuilt from the inside out, and the cut-out section closed off. There will be seating for four across the back and nice cabinets to store tackle, gaffs, life raft, plus a door to access the swim step and pull big fish thru. Here is the new bracket in the approximate position of where it will be mounted. The bracket top should be just above my new water line at rest, and I am going to rebuild the floor of the boat to make it self-draining and rock solid. The next task is to cut loose the center console/helm and get after that rotten drop-in plate where I stand when driving the boat. Then order materials such as epoxy resin, fiberglass sheets, lightweight but ultra-stiff core sandwich materials, and the additives that make certain work strong, other work smooth. I am also going to pull and inspect the gas tank while I have it apart, figuring that there’s no time like the present to make the boat everything it should be. I killed two Brown Recluse spiders while working on the boat today; but I was expecting them and didn’t get bit.
May 31, 2011
Work today was only about 90 minutes. I tried to muscle the console loose from the floor, but the epoxy was just too strong. So I broke out the Sawz-All, bolted some lifting points to the forward corners, and hoisted the console loose from the deck. Once the console was loose from the floor, I moved it forward and hoisted the drop-in plate. With that out, you can see my gas tank, the rigging tubes, and a bunch of command and control cables. Next task is to clean this mess, pressure test the fuel tank, and fabricate a lightweight replacement for the soft drop-in plate. Lots of changes and hot, sweaty, and dirty work ahead.
July 4, 2011
Hello Fisherman! Work continues on the Bad Example, and I have made substantial progress since my last update. You remember, the Bad Example is Ed’s boat, a 1988 Chris Craft Stinger 311. You can see how the inner transom, rear storage bins and console is now totally off the boat, and I removed the rotten floor. While the floor is out, I solved a problem where water forward would not drain to the back of the boat. There was some blockage in the tube that runs under my fuel tank, and I invested about 12 hours in getting that problem remediated. The culprit was some chunks of rubber hose carelessly discarded, and built up barnacles and debris had sealed that drain tube. I have built the new transom core, which will follow the white line drawn on the photo above. This changes the boat from a “cutaway tail” to a Full Transom style, which is much safer offshore. The engines are moving to a full-width bracket and swim platform, which bolts up to the existing transom following the green line in this photo. The scuppers are moving upward and outward from their previous position. I have decided to move the console forward, once the new floor is in place. This photo shows the approximate position of where the console was mounted before, and the new location. The advantages of this move is to give better balance to the boat, open up prime real estate behind the helm (for a more comfortable ride) and use the existing hole in the floor to house my four Group 27 batteries – providing more and better storage inside the console. This photo also shows the new ribs I built on each side, putting in six stiffening ribs (where there were two), and the lightweight foam sheets that are my working model for the new floor. Among the next steps are to set the height of the new floor by building stable risers glassed into the stringer system. The floor is elevating by three inches at the transom to regain the self-draining feature that was lost with the heavier engines. Then I will fabricate the foam core sandwich that will become the floor, and add in additional sub-floor storage bins. After the forward two floor sections are in place, I will mount the new transom core (3” thick and about 200 pounds, made of Baltek Airex composites; same material as the new flooring), tie the stringers to the new transom, bolt on the bracket, and then set the last floor section. Then the pretty work begins: adding the new cabinets and jump seats, adding the built-in live well, and putting the console back in place. My goal is to have the boat back on the water and ready to run by Labor Day. Stay tuned!
I have made significant progress in July. First item is the base to my console. I built this myself about four years ago as a taller, stronger platform for my helm. Unfortunately water got into two areas and that needed to be eradicated. There is deeply molded epoxy resin and layers of fiberglass now where the moisture turned the plywood to mush. Should be good for many more years. The repaired areas are a bit more blue than the original, but everything will be painted fresh when its time. This camera angle is odd – the base is actually laying on the floor. I never much liked my leaning post or the portable live well. Then I got the idea to make a much more versatile and functional one out of plywood and fiberglass. These photos show the new item upside down, because I was glassing the bottom and side tonight, and the curvy angled thing is the seat. This build will be a leaning / sitting post with storage under the seat, trash can, beverage box, insulated ice box, 50 gallon live well, 10 gallon fresh water tank, seating for two facing backward, four rod holders and two cup holders. Much of the work in July was details and reinforcements; fixing stress cracks in my lifting strakes, stronger stringers, insulating the fish box, and other small stuff. Here is something big: The first of three flooring sections got glassed into the boat today. This view shows the gray flooring material (Baltek Airex) and the masking tape that I used to make the sealing strip to the perimeter. There is an initial layer of fiberglass tape covering the masking tape, and once that is solidified, I can start glassing down the floor to the sides of the boat. There will be two layers of 1708 (17-ounce bi-axial fiberglass stitched to an 8-ounce matt) then the 6-ounce bi-axial fiberglass cloth to smooth everything , then the paint and anti-skid. The pink sheet is ½-inch Styrofoam that I am using as a pattern to cut the flooring, and then re-using that as insulation on the fish box and the leaning post ice bin. Here is another angle with a better look at the floor. You can make out the water channels to the edges of the gray where the two layers are sandwiched together, and you can also see the bolsters under the floor to add stiffness straddling the gas tank. Also I moved one of the PVC tubes that hold and protect wiring and control cables so that both tubes will work with one hole in the floor. This will make for a much tidier array under the helm when I start putting the controls back in place in a few days or weeks. For materials, I started the sixth gallon of Raka Non-blushing epoxy resin today, and have six more on hand. The three floor sections are going to take about a gallon each, and the transom will require about another gallon when it’s time to sandwich that into position. These 100 degree temperatures significantly shorten the working time of the epoxy, about half as long as the factory published 70° estimate, but that means it sets up faster too, and I can get more done. Jan, 2012
It’s nearing completion. In this photo, I’m trying out the newly configured jump seats. There is a large cabinet behind them to hold stuff like landing nets, gaff, and boat hook. To the left and right of the seats, there’s new tackle stations and stereo speakers. About all that is left to do is fairing out the new flooring, leaning post/live well, and then comes paint. Also get the windlass working again, install my new VHS radio, and network all the electronics. Hoping that February will be my last month renting this fabulous 3700 square foot workshop. It’s become a far bigger part of my repair expenses than I had hoped, but I’ve been at this project since the last week of May. The boat is quite a bit different than what I started with. The helm has been pushed forward about 30 inches. The floor is three inches higher at the back than previously. Bracket, underwater lights, freshwater tank with a dedicated pump. 50 gallon live well and 40 gallon ice box are part of the leaning post. 4 Storage boxes in the floor, and 8 rod holders on the sides. Next up: I’m looking to buy or build a house on a canal in Surfside, Texas. Then put a boat lift on it. Exciting times!