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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Busy restoring a 1962 Chris Craft Seas Skiff. Almost have the boats hull sealed but had to take a break from laying on my back replacing, repairing and swearing at wood screws. You can replace a 100 screws, stand back and look and get ZERO feeling of accomplishment. It just doesn't show. You know you worked hard because you shoulders and neck ache so bad, but it just not satisfying work.



I have to stop sometimes and do something that 'feels good" when you stand back and look. I am going to paint the inside of the boat and needed to get at least one coat of varnish on the bright work in case there is any over spray. It is SO much easier to strip a little varnish off of bare wood than paint is. So I always put at least a couple of coats of varnish on before painting anything adjacent to it.

First I have to remove all the gauges and switches.





Stripping the bulkhead was no picnick either. Need to sand with 220 and then it will be ready for a good cleaning and some varnish.



Next is filler stain and then Varnish.
 

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wow - Messing About with old wooden boats is my favorite project in the whole world !!
I bought a "vintage" CC cruiser in 1979 and refurbished most of the interior with fresh mahogany.
knowing nothing about electronics back then, I took all the inoperative Chris-Craft gauges and tossed them in the trash and built a new helm station with all new gauges (automotive) from JC Whitney. it looked really sharp !!
yeah - you learn not to do stuff like this 40 years later.
looking forward to following your project.
 
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Wishing he had a title...
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This one was supposed to be a 2-6 month project and it now going into it's 5th year? Honestly lost track.

Went into this expect to find hidden damage but nothing like we found. That is a story in itself. It was stored well but it had unwelcome squatter do a lot of damage that we had no idea of. Causing some major repairs.

Frankly I was over my head but I have a sentimental attachment so I finally decided to move on and learn some new skills.

Then when you have it apart you have to deal with the "MIght as Wells" too. While I have this torn apart I might as well tear that apart and restore it too......
 

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Jeff - if you reach the point of "just can't do it no more"; there is always someone out there that can.
it's looking awesome so far !! is this your winter to finish it up ?
 

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That Guy
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Don't give up Kudzu!

I know what it's like to be in over my head on a project, I took a Nissan 240SX apart once to "fix a little rust" ended up spending 16 years completely rebuilding it. It's out in my driveway now and I drive it every summer. Stick with it for two reasons, the first is that it's great to get to the end and reap the benefits of your labour but the second arguably even more important reason is that once you finish it your confidence goes through the roof. No other project will ever make you doubt yourself again, you'll "know" that you can do it and then the sky is the limit. Next month I'm going to dismantle and rebuilt an automatic transmission, never even opened one before but if I can finish the Nissan I can surely rebuild a tranny. Even if it takes a year it will still be a piece of cake compared to restoring a sports car.

Get the idea?
 

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Never really enjoyed working on boats except for maybe small projects. I used to be on a boating forum, 2 actually. I would see some guys by a hunk of crap with the hopes of restoring it and sail away. Most if not all cases, it never happened. I had one boat like that. Spent 4 years working on it and then finally sold it. Lost money is slip fees and materials. What I regret the most was not sailing for those 4 years.
After that experience, my attitude was that if you cant motor and sail it the day you buy it, dont buy it. Living aboard the boats at the time I was restoring it made it a lot easier. Yes, there was the mess to clean up every day, but when the mood hit me, I was already there.
BTW. yor boat looks great so far. Kep it up
 

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Sometimes when looking at the over all picture it can be really overwhelming. At times I would get a really huge house to build that had a roof so cut up it would make a person wonder, why. When first looking at the house, as a whole, it would at times be overwhelming. But when going through each step of each operation, it just fell into place. Just one step at a time and it will work out, like it is supposed to.

I have been interested in restoring boats for a good while. It is admirable to see a restore such as you have undertaken. For years I have had the fantasy to build my own wooden boat from scratch, that would be so much fun, to me.
 

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Wishing he had a title...
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Finished sanding and cleaning last night. My ROS was packed with dust by the time I got it all sanded.

This morning I applied the filler stain. Dry 24 hours and then I can start to varnish. That first coat always lifts the spirits to see it shiny!







The unstained part at the bottom is under the floors so it will not show. It will be varnished though. Normally I would stain that even though it will never show. But I ran out of stain and it comes as a paste, so you have to thin it to get it to the right consistency and it just wasn't worth if for those two small sections.
 

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"varnish" ~ the inquiring minds would like to know which varnish will adorn a Chis-Craft.
 

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Wishing he had a title...
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, I started with McKloskey Man O War and it went bad on me. Applied 3rd(?) coat on some parts and it went flat, I mean NO GLOSS. Looked beautiful up to that point. Opened the can, new can by the way, and it had gone bad. Had some black stringy thing swimming in the varnish? Very strange. Barely used it to but in the trash it went.

After a lot reading at over at Wooden Boat I am trying believe it or not, Rustoleum Spar Varnish. Most people were happy with it for trailer queens. Apparently doesn't have as much UV protectors as the higher end brands. She will be trailered or hanging in a boathouse so not an issue there. Only real complaint was that is was a bit thin... and it is! I like what I see on one of the seats i did. But man does it want to run.
 

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okee dokee - I've used Rust-O Spar on small items and it was okay for what I was doing.
I am making some boat bench seats out of cypress for my runabout and will use Pettit 2067 Ultra-Clear.
it is a bit thicker than Rust-O and brushes well. 10 coats of Pettit and 5 coats of Epifanes on top of that.
brushing varnish is for those that have the patience and fortitude of Job.
hang tough - you'll get there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Who knew 12 years ago when I was gifted all those 1940's cabinet shop machines and tooling that there would be a set of custom ground knives just for cutting rub rails for my Chris Craft?



Found an almost perfect set of custom ground knifes so set up the shaper and ran some stock. Fitted it to the boat and pretty happy with the days work. Now Ihave to order screws. Surprised at how fast that went.

 

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wow - great find on the knives !!
your stars are now aligned - go out and do great things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Getting hard to see where I am applying the new varnish.
Waiting on a shipment of screws so busy making a few small parts and varnishing. Hope to put the gages back in and tidy up the wiring next week. Then start putting the deck on.

Need to get her stable so I can put her on the trailer soon.

 

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looking really good !!
did you get the gauges refurbished or do you think they will function as they are.
 

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Wishing he had a title...
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
They were all working. I would like to send them out just to have the dials redone but that is going to have wait and be done latter on. Not looking for perfection, we use the heck out of it and things happen with kids, ski's and dirt being tracked in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Busy couple of weeks on the boat. Lots of work and little of it shows. Got the gauges polished and back in.

Got a little of painting started on the inside. Really tough job sanding this down. So I am going to break it up and do a little at time. Much easier on the back and knees. No one will ever see this but it is something that just drives me crazy. And it will make it last longer too.



Pulled the bolts out of the strut to check the wood underneath. Good thing I did too!! It was way worse than I expected. And of course there is always that one bolt that just doesn't want to give in.



Once the strut was loose I found the wedge underneath it was in two pieces and just about ready to fail even though it looked fine.



I made a new one out of some white oak. It is deceptively simple pieces. It has two compound angles. The obvious one from front to back and then there is ridge down the center and it slopes down on both sides. Lots of hand fitting to get that one right.

Started with my home-made scrub plane and then finished off with other planes and the scraper plane.





I always say there will be that one bolt that will not come out easy. Well removing the spray rail I discovered that bolts MOMA! Lots of chiseling the old wood so I could finally get some vice grips on it and then it didn't want to come out.



Long tiring week but it feels so nice to see it being put back together!
 

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Wishing he had a title...
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Going back to together. Actually just a dry fit of the pieces I had to make or repair. It will have to come apart for some finishing.
Now, lots of sanding and painting. Then I can start putting the deck on!

 
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