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captainawesome
captainawesome HalfDork
4/22/20 9:06 a.m.

Sometimes this forum is the nudge you need to make a decision. Good or bad I'm not quite certain of yet, but maybe in a month or two I'll have a better idea of which. I've been looking at vintage aluminum runabouts for a year or so now, but never pulled the trigger. Either bad timing or just not sure if what I wanted was realistic. Can an older boat do all the things my family would use it for? The kiddos couldn't care less about tubing, skiing, wake board, etc. However, if they decide they want to do any of those things, my family and other friends have the means to do so while we are all at the lake. We would just use their boat. So basically I just need a vessel to take us from the ramp, to the party barge, and proceed to roll out the lily pad for the kiddos. Easy enough I think.

Enough jibber jabber, let's talk about my boat! It's either a 69 or 70, but no way to really tell at this point. Most of the brochures and info look the same for the most part, but the serial number on the motor is for a 69. My favorite part about the purchase is that it runs already. Pretty well from what I can tell, and when the crusty cover is popped off, it looks way cleaner inside than expected.  It's currently pull start but I see there's a flywheel with teeth, and a bracket can be acquired to mount a starter. It's not on the immediate list, but it's something I'd like to have. I haven't tested compression, but the PO said when he tested it before it was reading about 120.

The whole boat is covered in algae or some shmooo/shmutz from sitting. It's coming off with a nylon bristle brush and a little elbow grease. The rear drain area by the transom base was filled with acorns, leaves, and muddy sludge. Up by the bow was just filled with leaves. The paint on the sides has worn thin, but it shouldn't take much effort to strip and roll some fresh stuff on.

Floor decking is trashed, but I expected that. No seats or interior came with it. I plan to do two bucket seats up front and build a bench at the rear that doubles as storage.

The transom feels nice and solid despite being left for dead. It looks like it could use a fresh coat of protectant and paint in some spots though.

The trailer has a tilt mechanism. Not sure if it's actually needed or useful though. The boat pulls like nothing is there with my Montero so that is nice. It's crusty and could use a fresh coat of paint as well. Wheels and tires are newish. The PO bought them to haul the boat to his house where it has sat for 2 years. He tossed in the original wheels, but the tires are aged and cracked badly. I'll repack bearings and do new lights and wiring. The crank strap has seen better days too.

Anyway, all in all I am super happy with the purchase. The wife is nervous about the older motor, but I assured her the boat should be light enough to paddle. Not the answer she was hoping for.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Almost forgot my favorite part. It fits in the garage with plenty of room for my FRS.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

 

 

captainawesome
captainawesome HalfDork
4/22/20 9:19 a.m.

From what I can tell it was last registered in Arkansas in 08, and at least registered once in California around 1990. Oddly enough the California sticker was on the inside of the boat?

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Minutes after parking it in the garage I started scrubbing. I used Windex and a nylon bristle brush. Of course now I'm reading that the ammonia in Windex isn't good for aluminum so I'll refrain from future usage.

A few spritz and wipes first on the windscreen to see if it can be somewhat useable. After a few minutes it's looking pretty fresh. Hard to see in the pics though how much of a difference it made.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Then I started scrubbing the top side with the brush. I figured my electric pressure washer wouldn't do much to the caked on crap. Fairly certain I was right.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

After maybe 30 minutes the majority of the top scum was gone. So much better.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

 

 

 

 

jfryjfry (Forum Supporter)
jfryjfry (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/22/20 9:23 a.m.

That might clean up quite nice.  Hoping you don't find any bad surprises!

captainawesome
captainawesome HalfDork
4/22/20 9:30 a.m.

On to the inside. I pulled the spare wheels and loose stuff out first. Then hand scooped out all of the sludge near the drain area. Please forgive my boat word ignorance, this is my first rodeo.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Next I pulled up what was left of the carpet.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

There was this little kick panel thing as well.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

It was hiding some leaves.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

A little sweepy sweep and we are almost ready to rip out the decking material. At this point I felt good about progress, so I called it a night.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

captainawesome
captainawesome HalfDork
4/22/20 9:36 a.m.

In reply to jfryjfry (Forum Supporter) :

Once I get the decking up I'll be able to see what the worst of it could be. One of the upsides of aluminum though is it's pretty durable and most of the common required fixes aren't costly.

Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón)
Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón) MegaDork
4/22/20 9:46 a.m.

That has the makings for a nice little runabout. Provided no rivets are popped, refurbishing an aluminum boat isn't that hard. I'd just rip out whatever flooring is in there and put down new wood and glass it.

You're most likely going to want to paint the front deck of the boat. Having sunlight reflect into your eyes from unpainted aluminum isn't fun.

 

captainawesome
captainawesome HalfDork
4/22/20 10:14 a.m.

In reply to Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón) :

So far the rivets look to be all there, but I do plan to seal the inside with some Gluvit before stuffing with foam and decking. I've read good things about it.

Good thinking on the deck paint. It had some yellow paint at some point, but the application must have not been well done. Still in the decision process of what color(s) I'll go with.

captainawesome
captainawesome HalfDork
4/22/20 10:29 a.m.

I'm leaning toward a slight plagiarization of this one:

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

ultraclyde (Forum Supporter)
ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
4/22/20 10:55 a.m.

Very Sweet! Don't worry too much about the windex, these days there isn't much ammonia in it. Unless you have an older bottle and you can smell the ammonia. In general, high pH (things like ammonia or heavy duty degreasers) is bad for aluminum. Low pH (like acid bathroom cleaners) is much easier on the metal until you get down to REALLY harsh pure acids. In fact, a lot of the aluminum cleaners are based around hydrochloric acid. 

The drain area is called the bilge, BTW, and that kind of sludge is in every boat that's been left outside uncovered. Looks very familiar!

 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa HalfDork
4/22/20 11:35 a.m.

That motor should be more than reliable.  An annual tune up by checking points and maybe adjusting the carb and you'll be good to go.  Be prepared to be patient with the search for the starter bracket, some of them are harder than hen's teeth to find.

I like the Airguide speedo, does it have the pickup as well?  It is basically a little pitot tube system

captainawesome
captainawesome HalfDork
4/22/20 12:26 p.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

It looks to be in great shape, but I plan to clean the carb and chase a possible seal leak. Yeah the bracket looks to be difficult to find. If I don't find one cheap before a 40hp falls in my lap I'll just deal with the pull start, but setup the remote shut off.

I don't know much about the speedo, but it's pretty neat. The chrome bezel isn't in the best shape.  I'll look at it more when I get home and see if there's anything connected.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
4/22/20 5:15 p.m.

Check the water pump impeller.  In those old Evinrudes and Johnsons, they're made of rubber and the impeller blades tend to break off as they get old.

My dad had that same speedometer in his boat when I was a kid, it operates on water pressure - there should be a little arm on the transom that flips down so it extends below the bottom of the boat, it will have a little hole in it that water pushes against, and a plastic tube that runs up to the back of the gauge.

captainawesome
captainawesome HalfDork
4/23/20 7:44 a.m.

In reply to stuart in mn :

Nothing on the other end of the tube, so I assume the holder is long gone. I'll keep my eyes peeled for a reasonably priced replacement.

I'll order up the impeller and plate. The guy said he never replaced it, so that's at the top of the maintenance list.

 

 

Last night I wanted to rip out the old floor and see what's beneath. My 6 year old really wanted to help, so I had her get in some clothes that Mom wouldn't mind getting all gross. I popped the cover off the motor and had her do some scrubbing. In the meantime I started drilling rivet heads off the floor. When she finished, she insisted that she help me pull the floor. Who am I to say no? So with a little prying we got half a sheet pulled up. I pulled all the water logged foam and she broke them into pieces we could fit in a large garbage bag. She helped me pull the other side and the hull piece. After all the foam was pulled we started trying to eradicate most of the wet sludge and grime left over. She pushed the crud to the center and I scooped up what I could. A great team effort. Now that most of the moisture is out we will vacuum out the rest tonight.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

So this pic looks like she's not having a great time. I assure you she had a blast. When I got back in the house to clean up, I was informed by my wife that it was the best day of her life. She retold every little detail of all the stuff she got to do with enthusiasm you just can't buy. It was awesome. Even if the boat ends up in a blaze of fire, I will have gotten my moneys worth just in that one evening.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

 

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
4/23/20 8:28 a.m.

I like the look of brushed aluminum topsides, not sure if it's the place to be on a sunny August afternoon.

Have you decided on seats?

captainawesome
captainawesome HalfDork
4/23/20 9:00 a.m.

In reply to 914Driver :

Yeah I think the top looks great raw, but it's going to be painted. Not sure if it will be white or the Biloxi Blue color from Duralux that I ordered.

teal-blue-high-gloss-duralux-marine-paint-boat-paint-m724-1-64_1000 by hatchethairy, on Flickr

For the seats I am looking at something similar. Whatever I get will be recovered to match the rear bench, so I am mainly looking for a good frame and somewhat comfy innards. I've been keeping an eye on these white ones from Wise. I want to have a diamond stitch in the butt and back section with a camel or light brown faux buffalo leather. Not 100 on that yet though. We are worried about the seat getting too hot with the brown, but I figure it can't be much worse than some of the accent colors I've experienced on other boats.

fcc62811-ccb1-4ee8-bc0e-4761eb937d91_1.e1b107c3d95962a4e6d207779778efd0 by hatchethairy, on Flickr

G055-Upholstery-vinyl by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Also looking at this EVA faux teak flooring.

71KUQ0GhluL._SX425_ by hatchethairy, on Flickr

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe UberDork
4/23/20 9:34 a.m.

If that windshield is plexiglass then plexis will take out the last of the scratchss if you have a orbital buffer. 

 

I love the idea of no wood on the floor and a grippy painted surface to make it easier to maintain but I know jack about aluminum boats. 

 

But man is that thing calling out for a duval windsheild 

java230
java230 UberDork
4/23/20 9:41 a.m.

Very nice! Starcraft makes nice little boats! I'd gluevit the inside while you have the floor out. Just another easy protection step. 

Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón)
Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón) MegaDork
4/23/20 9:42 a.m.

Yeah, that boat looks to have good bones.

Don't let the sludge dry! It'll almost bond to the aluminum and you'll end up scrubbing again. I've found it best to hose it out and just let it drain out of the back. Just keep the channels in the aluminum ribs clear and you'll be alright.

If you're going to re-foam under the floor, put in a few conduits prior to it, even if you don't think you'll need them. The two part expanding closed cell foam expands quite a bit, give it room to work. Do the panels under the gunnels come off? If they do, I'd aim to put some behind there- it's less likely to get waterlogged over time. I've heard of people putting PVC with holes drilled in it the length of the floor as a way to let air cirulate under the foam and water to drain out, too.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa HalfDork
4/23/20 10:23 a.m.
Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón) said:

Don't let the sludge dry! It'll almost bond to the aluminum and you'll end up scrubbing again. I've found it best to hose it out and just let it drain out of the back. Just keep the channels in the aluminum ribs clear and you'll be alright.
 

I do that with pretty much every boat I end up with.  It is so much better than any vacuuming, scooping, or any other nonsense.

captainawesome
captainawesome HalfDork
4/23/20 10:35 a.m.

In reply to wearymicrobe :

I'm a fan of Duval screens, but the one thing I love about this era boat is the windscreen. It's a classic shape and I just couldn't muster the courage to not keep it.

In reply to java230 :

Gluvit has already been ordered and will be used on the inside before I put the plywood down. I'll probably start stripping exterior paint while I wait on that and the epoxy resin for the floor to hit my doorstep.

In reply to Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón) :

Too late! I did plan to vacuum what I can tonight and hose the rest out afterward. Tilt on the trailer should be helpful for hosing out I would think. Either way the bigger stuff had to come out since the drain channel is not large enough to let most of it pass through.

I definitely want to leave room for air to circulate. Not sure I understand what you are proposing with the gunnels though. Had to google the term and I believe it's the top rail area? I'd like to make some wooden gunwhales to fancy things up a bit, just not sure how I want to tackle that yet. It may be a down the road type of project.

java230
java230 UberDork
4/23/20 10:43 a.m.

In reply to captainawesome :

Perfect!! 

 

Many starcraft owners fill the gap under the gunnel (top rail area) with foam or pool noodles. Adds flotation up where water doesn't really get to it.

Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón)
Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón) MegaDork
4/23/20 10:51 a.m.
captainawesome said:

I definitely want to leave room for air to circulate. Not sure I understand what you are proposing with the gunnels though. Had to google the term and I believe it's the top rail area? I'd like to make some wooden gunwhales to fancy things up a bit, just not sure how I want to tackle that yet. It may be a down the road type of project.


I suggested two things.
1. Put some PVC lengthwise down the floor. Drill holes in the top. Those will let air get up and water out. The downside is you will have to cover it with pre-cut foam instead of pouring it in. I've seen people use pool noodles for this purpose, just make sure you get the closed cell kind.
2. Put foam along the sides. I can't see too well in the pictures, but sometimes these boats have a trim piece on the side of the boat, that goes down from the gunnel to where the floor will be. If you put foam behind that, it'll stay dry but help the boat float if you get swamped. Takign another look at your picture, I can see the floor brackets on the side, so it looks like you don't have it.

What I mean is this:

captainawesome
captainawesome HalfDork
4/23/20 11:02 a.m.

In reply to Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón) :

I planned to pre-cut most of my foam anyway with the pink stuff but leave a beveled channel down the spine area for the water to escape. The pink stuff will sit on top of the ribs as well, so that should still leave a space for it to wash into the center. At least that's what I was thinking.

Gunnel foam idea is now on the list.

 

java230
java230 UberDork
4/23/20 11:09 a.m.

In reply to captainawesome :

I cut pink foam for my CC. I think it holds up a bit better than the pour in. Get/make a hot knife! 

captainawesome
captainawesome HalfDork
4/23/20 11:14 a.m.

In reply to java230 :

If material and effort is low on the knife I'll do it. I remember using one back in middle school on a project and it was pretty neat. When you did your foam did you try to get a perfect snug fit or just good enough?

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