Paul
Paul

December 18th, 2006, 4:44 pm #11

Oddly, the 23' Commander got a different throttle and gear selector than the 19' Commander. I'm puzzled, because I understand the larger boat also got the cable drive steering (see friction knob), while the smaller Commander got the shaft drive steering.

BELOW: A documentation of the 23' Commander steering wheel (same as my 1966 20' Sea Skiff), gauges, and gear selector.


Looking at the cross-pollenization between models at the Chris Craft Corsair Division, who built the small Commanders, and looking at similar features on the Lancers, Corsairs, and Sea Skiff's, I'm seeing some interesting mix of features for my next trivia contest:

My 1966 20' fiberglass Skiff has the same steering gear and wheel as the 23' Commander, and the same gear selector as the 19' Commander Super Sport. I suspect hull construction is very similar between these models, and it's "all good news" as far as I've seen. The strangest thing I've seen is the 1969 19' Super Sport has the same steering gear as my 1956 wood 17' Sportsman. They must have used that same steering on thousands of boats, and had a good stock left over.

In my 1966 Skiff, there are NO fiberglassed wood stringers, and NO wood that touches anything wet. Therefore, engine stringers are as good as the day they were cut. Awesome to find a 40-year old boat in this kind of shape, and it's a tribute to Chris Craft.

Study up for that pop quiz!~

Regards,
Paul
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Paul
Paul

December 20th, 2006, 5:41 pm #12

Wow, I've discovered some interesting stuff during the disassembly of everything. I found a first aid kit tucked waaaay back in one of those side pockets where you wouldn't normally look. It contains a mirror, a very cool old hand compass, a nice case pocket knife, assorted first aid provisions, and a note outlining every single item in the box, including the dime (dated 1966).

I found a cool multipurpose tool, which is a plier with an adjustable wrench on the handle. It's old style, well built, and I soaked it down with penetrating oil. It can be re-used and I guess I'll keep it aboard as a memento.

Now for the GOOD STUFF !

(drumroll please)

Upon lifting out some of those side trim pieces, I see something that looks like a credit card. It's wedged in the upturned vinyl lip on the backside of the bottom edge of one of those panels. It is located inside one of those side pockets. Guess what it is?

(drumroll please)

It is a NY State Conservation Dept., Division of Motor Boats-Albany, NY 12201 certificate of boat registration. The name is Alfred L. Goodman, of 2077 Lexington PKY, Schenectady, NY 12309. The expiration date is 10-31-73 which would have made the boat 8-years old at the time of expiration. Mr. goodman's birthday is listed as 3-22-22, which would make him 85 years old today.

You know how much I would love to contact this gentleman and discuss his boat! Anyone out there with connections in NY, it sure would be good to find Alfred! How cool! Perhaps he's the one who itemized all of the notes in the first aid kit.

Almost forgot, there is another pouch discovered in the boat, sealed in a ziplock type of pouch of sorts. It looks like a list from an outing. I'll post later when I can uplink the images.

Paul
History is what I really love about vintage boats! They all have a history, and without the history they're mere good looking objects, but with the history, they retain their soul and character. Without knowing about the builders, previous owners, where the boat was run, etc., there are too many missing links.

I've often thought "what if boats could talk". What interesting tales they would tell about their outings, their previous owners, and all of the people who were aboard. This is one reason I love to research Chris Craft history, leaning about the people at the helm, corporate expansion, engineering R&D, styling issues, etc.

Knowing the history of an old boat, sure makes it a lot more fun, and I would encourage everyone to track down as much history as possible about each of their boats.

Today Dr. Steve Goodman called, who is a retired surgeon, and his dad, Alfred, is the gentleman who left the registration card in the boat I am presently working on.


Alfred Goodman passed away in 1995 and was not the original owner of this boat. His son, Steven, is looking for any information he can find right now, and will be asking his mother about the history of the boat, and any photos they may have, etc. The conversation was really good stuff, Steven was very interested in where his dad's boat had gone after they sold it, and of course I was very interested too.

Information to date, the boat was purchased by the Goodman family from Bill Morgan, Morgan Marine, and present owner of Hacker Boat Company, building replicas of HackerCraft boats on Lake George. The boat stayed at a cottage on Lake George, in a boat house, lifted out of the water during the winter, and apparently got good care under the ownership of the Goodman family.

Steve kept the boat for a year after his dad passed away, and sold it for something like $7000, not sure.

Since then the boat was owned by Messer' Sikorski, Maynard, and Flower, ending up in Medina, NY and being sold by a yacht broker in Buffalo. It's now in Nashville getting ready for the next 40 years, with a total restoration down to the fiberglass on the inside.

Here is the history of the boat as I understand it today:

Year of manufacture 1966

1966-1970 ?? Original owner, held it perhaps 4 years.

1970?? Guess as to when Alfred Goodman bought the boat.

1970-1996 Boat remained in the Goodman family on Lake George for 26 years.

1996 Boat was sold to unknown person (presently being researched). Here is where the trail gets cold. Not sure where the boat went from Lake George, but I think it went to a location where it ran the Mowhawk River area.

Mr. Sikorsky owned the boat at one time near Albany, and intended to restore it, and kept it at a local yacht club.

Mr. Maynard (who was a member of the same yacht club) bought it from Sikorsky when Sikorsky moved to Florida. Mr. Maynard listed the boat with serial number in the 2004 ACBS directory.

Mr. Maynard sold the boat to Mr. Flower, of Medina, NY, who intended to restore it.

Mr. Pletcher bought the boat from Tom Frauenheim, yacht brokers, located in Buffalo, NY, and transported the boat to Nashville, TN where it is undergoing complete restoration (after said boat was listed on Yachtworld and Steve mentioned it on the Chris Craft Commander Forum!).

Thanks again, Steve, I owe you one! We continue to be thrilled with the boat.

As I obtain more info, and hopefully some family photos of the boat on Lake George, I'll post them here.

Regards, Paul


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Dave Mehl
Dave Mehl

December 20th, 2006, 7:50 pm #13

This is a great read.

Thanks for sharing it your notes. I'll bet Steven was rather surprised to hear from you. Random acts of kindness like this are what make the world go around, and we could use more of them!

Dave
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Paul
Paul

December 20th, 2006, 11:06 pm #14

I know its not a Commander and was hesitant to "dillute the forum" with this off topic information, however, our content on the forum really is plenty strong enough to survive with an occasional off topic but related thread. From the responses (like yours) I think people welcome a little diversity in model discussions. It's been an education for me to discover how close this boat is to the Commander culture too, having been built under the same roof as two of the Commander models, sharing construction techniques, power, steering wheels, gear selectors, etc., with some of the Commander models.

Steve Goodman was a gentleman and obviously a scholar. He was really captivated by the chance encounter, and is willing to pursue more information. He is anxious to look through some of his family photos, and I'm optimistic about what he may find. After all, if the boat was in their family for 26 years, I suspect he has a lot of photos from their experiences on Lake George.

I do subscribe to the "random acts of kindness" theory and practice, by the way. I agree, there is too little of it going around these days.

All the best to you and yours,

Regards, Paul


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Joined: March 14th, 2006, 3:44 pm

December 23rd, 2006, 4:51 pm #15

History is what I really love about vintage boats! They all have a history, and without the history they're mere good looking objects, but with the history, they retain their soul and character. Without knowing about the builders, previous owners, where the boat was run, etc., there are too many missing links.

I've often thought "what if boats could talk". What interesting tales they would tell about their outings, their previous owners, and all of the people who were aboard. This is one reason I love to research Chris Craft history, leaning about the people at the helm, corporate expansion, engineering R&D, styling issues, etc.

Knowing the history of an old boat, sure makes it a lot more fun, and I would encourage everyone to track down as much history as possible about each of their boats.

Today Dr. Steve Goodman called, who is a retired surgeon, and his dad, Alfred, is the gentleman who left the registration card in the boat I am presently working on.


Alfred Goodman passed away in 1995 and was not the original owner of this boat. His son, Steven, is looking for any information he can find right now, and will be asking his mother about the history of the boat, and any photos they may have, etc. The conversation was really good stuff, Steven was very interested in where his dad's boat had gone after they sold it, and of course I was very interested too.

Information to date, the boat was purchased by the Goodman family from Bill Morgan, Morgan Marine, and present owner of Hacker Boat Company, building replicas of HackerCraft boats on Lake George. The boat stayed at a cottage on Lake George, in a boat house, lifted out of the water during the winter, and apparently got good care under the ownership of the Goodman family.

Steve kept the boat for a year after his dad passed away, and sold it for something like $7000, not sure.

Since then the boat was owned by Messer' Sikorski, Maynard, and Flower, ending up in Medina, NY and being sold by a yacht broker in Buffalo. It's now in Nashville getting ready for the next 40 years, with a total restoration down to the fiberglass on the inside.

Here is the history of the boat as I understand it today:

Year of manufacture 1966

1966-1970 ?? Original owner, held it perhaps 4 years.

1970?? Guess as to when Alfred Goodman bought the boat.

1970-1996 Boat remained in the Goodman family on Lake George for 26 years.

1996 Boat was sold to unknown person (presently being researched). Here is where the trail gets cold. Not sure where the boat went from Lake George, but I think it went to a location where it ran the Mowhawk River area.

Mr. Sikorsky owned the boat at one time near Albany, and intended to restore it, and kept it at a local yacht club.

Mr. Maynard (who was a member of the same yacht club) bought it from Sikorsky when Sikorsky moved to Florida. Mr. Maynard listed the boat with serial number in the 2004 ACBS directory.

Mr. Maynard sold the boat to Mr. Flower, of Medina, NY, who intended to restore it.

Mr. Pletcher bought the boat from Tom Frauenheim, yacht brokers, located in Buffalo, NY, and transported the boat to Nashville, TN where it is undergoing complete restoration (after said boat was listed on Yachtworld and Steve mentioned it on the Chris Craft Commander Forum!).

Thanks again, Steve, I owe you one! We continue to be thrilled with the boat.

As I obtain more info, and hopefully some family photos of the boat on Lake George, I'll post them here.

Regards, Paul

I just had one of those feelings when I saw the boat listed on Frauenheim's web site that it would be a good match for you and that's why I sent you the link. As I said before,I was probably as excited as you were about the purchase and to see how you've gotten right after it is just amazing. I'm looking forward to seeing photos if it rafted along side Tradition sometime this summer.
A couple of years back, I was visiting my son in Saratoga Springs,I happened to see a unique looking boat on a trailer that was parked behind NAPA store in a strip mall. Luckily, my wife often indulges my nosiness, and we stopped to look at it. It just happened to be a CC Corsair,white with a red boot stripe, and it was in perfect condition. That was the first one I'd ever seen until I saw the listing for the one that you bought.
Keep up the great work and of course,keep us posted.
Happy Holiday's to all.
Regards,Steve
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Paul
Paul

December 23rd, 2006, 8:23 pm #16


Thanks again, Steve, for the great referral, Janet and I will be forever grateful, and we’ll think of you when we’re out running this boat. Yes, you’ll see a photo of the Skiff along side TRADITION for sure.

I’m blessed with good weather this holiday season, and I’ve been working on the boat today. Later today I’ll take a shop vac and get everything out of the boat, and then’ll I’ll do an internal pressure wash. When it dries up, I’ll shop vac again. Later we’ll be doing the Chris Craft gray bilge paint thing. Some of that bare fiberglass is exposed way up in the forward bow area where the side trim stops.

Here’s a taste of the progress. These chrome trim rings are pretty unique. I’ve never seen them tapered like this for upswept tail pipes, and the look is pretty cool. Those rings cleaned up nicely, but we’ll have them re-chromed along with everything else. All the better for that 250-hp to bark through! I plan to send all the stuff to Graves Plating, who specializes in boat hardware, as I had a rather poor experience many years ago going to a place that didn’t specialize in boat hardware. Since there’s really not a lot of chrome on the boat, may as well have what is there looking good.

BELOW: “Before” and “After” a little touch up work.











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Joined: November 30th, 2006, 5:09 am

December 24th, 2006, 4:20 am #17

Hey Paul, I hope the phillips head screw on the mounting flange of the trim tap cylinder has an 1/8 of a turn left. It would be unsightly if all the screws didn't line up correctlly. ha, ha , ha just kiddin ya. Keep up the great work and Merry Christmas.

Chris Wade
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Paul
Paul

December 24th, 2006, 6:23 am #18

I hear ya! I was looking at Alan Jackson's yacht (restored 70' Berger) and it's exquisite and either like new or better than new in every way. I noticed all the screws down the entire side of the boat on the rub rails, etc., were all lined up and standing at attention.

Those trim tabs are on the list too, by the way. Not sure they work, but that crappy hydraulic reservoir was turned over and fluid had to be cleaned up .

Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas together, hope your Commander project is moving in the right direction (big events are normally the result of lots of little steps).

Regards, all the best,

Paul
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Paul
Paul

December 27th, 2006, 10:31 pm #19

First, here is a link to the thread "first look inside", showing what the boat looked like when it arrived in Nashville, after being shipped from the south shore of Lake Ontario.http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/m ... 1162070768



This boat was built in the Cortland, New York, Chris Craft Corsair Division's plant, where the 19' Commander Super Sport and 23' Commander were built two years later. 70 were built in 1966, and 10 in 1967.


Well today I can announce that all the vinyl covered panels, all flooring, all interior trim of any kind, the gear selector, steering wheel, steering system, gauges, are out of the boat. It's basically a bare hull with lots of stuff inside now that needs to be cleaned up. I plan to take a pressure washer and shop vac to it tomorrow, but for today all the major disassembly is done.

The motor runs, the new (old) transmission is here, along with four spare exhaust logs and a couple risers.

The gear selector is from MORSE, and it's a good unit, but heavily pitted. I'm going to have it restored and replated instead of using a new one. The funky steering wheel is going to be powder coated and reused too. Gauges have been sent off for restoration.

I am quite amazed at the sheet after sheet of vinyl plywood that has come out of this thing! Two layers of side panels, one to line the inside of the long ski storage pocket, and they extend all the way to the bow of the boat. Numerous other fit and finish pieces, all wrapped with vinyl. Just looking at all those copper staples, now I know I must buy an electric staple gun for this project, because I don't think my hands will survive a million concussions with the old mechanical style. Since so much of this boat is flatwork, I plan to do that because it's so easy to do. I'll do that in my shop during the coldest weather of the season, and I'll be out in my "boat capsule" when weather will permit. The reassembly process should be very fast and rewarding.

Yes, I've purchased one of those (Cortland) New York boats built in the Finger Lake region, so the two guys who are most likely to see another one are Bill and Tom, because I don't think there would be too many of these that ever got south of the Mason Dixon line, and fewer that would still be on the water today. Our goal when finished, is to have "an original 1966 condition 20' fiberglass Chris Craft Sea Skiff" to dock along side our 1966 38 Commander. If the restoration is good enough, I'll be taking this one to the Mt. Dora 2008 boat show. The ACBS recognizes any boat of 1968 or older as a "Modern Classic" and I suspect there will be a lot of pretty informed boaters down there who have never even seen one of these low production boats. Most people would fail the test when asked "did Chris Craft ever build a fiberglass Sea Skiff". The correct answer is "yes"

I am very impressed with the integrity and sensible construction used on this boat. It is VERY STRONG, and it is built EXACTLY like the Commander series. It has transverse and longitudinal hollow fiberglass box beams, just like a Commander. There is NO WOOD that comes in contact with water. The engine stringers are wood, but they are free standing heavy timber pieces that span from fiberglass to fiberglass.

Encapsulated marine plywood has been bonded to the inner wall of the fiberglass hull with polyester fiberglassed straps, to serve as a medium to screw into and hold those vinyl finish panels. They all look perfectly preserved.

The windshield has to come off in order to get the minor pitting out of the aluminum frame. The upholstry (seats) will be a pretty easy job, and it will have to match the motor box (which is presently intact, but needing a top and needing a through going over to tighten everything up.

I'm not sure if the motor will have to come out at this point or not. I was optimistic when I got it started, but the freeze plugs are steel and rusted out(the 327 block is an automotive transplant) and they are darn near impossible to get at because the motor mounts are in the way. The new Paragon transmission is a beast, and it won't fit onto the motor without the motor being lifted, so it looks like I'm in for a weekend of wrestling with some big iron. Not sure just how that's going to be done, but rest assured, "it will be done".

Janet spent the day at the lake house with her family, and she said early this morning, "you have to work on the boat today". I smiled when I heard that, and I asked her to repeat it so I could savor the moment, ha !

I'll post some photos later this eve when I get a chance to upload them.

Regards, Paul



After a year of restoration work, part time here and there, this is the almost end result. The windshield isn't installed yet, but as you can see, she's a runner! I discovered the motor is actually an automotive block, with higher compression than the 8.0:1 Chris Craft 327F, this one has 8.5:1 and the lowest power rating for that motor was 250-hp. This boat will FLY !!


Here are more brochures
http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/m ... 1170963414

Here's what one sounds like (mine being test run while on the trailer)







July 2009 UPDATE: New Videos and Photos ! The boat is running great, and gets compliments where-ever we go. I have yet to compound out the hull and get the Chris Craft script rechromed.

Quiet morning July of 2009, birds were chirping, then the 327F was fired up.
Turn up your speakers for this one, even though it's a small block, it is a BEAST !










Here she is July 2009 at speed on the Cumberland, in front of Alan Jackson's fish camp.






Yeee Haaa, running two cleaning tools at the same time! Lots of noise and action too.

With virtually all of the flooring, side panels, and floor structure out, the pressure washer was used to great effect today. Years of grime came off everything, sucked into a 12 gal wet/dry shop vac.

I hosed everything down with a degreaser first, let it sit a few days, and I think the grime came off easier.

The shop vac got just about every drop of water, and all the grime along with various bits of "things" dropped into the bilge over the years. It's virtually clean now.

I'll let things dry (got a fan in there now) and will take the shop vac to it again before I begin painting the bilge and side panels (Interlux steel gray, an almost exact match for the paint in the hull, matched with a chip I took to the marine paint store).

This is sort of the peak of the curve, regarding disassembly. The fuel tank still remains to be dealt with, but everything else is clean and it will be easier to work on now. Looking inside the tank with a bright light it seems to be okay. I was tempted to drop a glow stick down into the tank, but I didn't want you guys to read about me in the newspapers, so I figured I better not. I don't know about any danger there, but didn't want to push my luck!

I measured again today, and I can get a 55 gal polyethylene tank in there, but not real sure I want to. 50" x 25-1/2" x 15-1/2" with a taper on the bottom to be installed in the bottom of a transom. I would install mine horizontally along the bottom of the rear seat. Plenty of room down there, but I'm sure what seems to be a simple task will become a big one. I will, however, take the old tank out because I have to replace that rubber filler hose, a job I'm really not looking forward to.

The removal of the tank and an internal flushing will probably save me some headaches in the future, just by getting all the junk out of there I can't see right now.

As a hedge against the "old tank blues" I have a nice RACOR fuel filter and water remover to install on the suction side of the tank.

Now the job of getting down there to work on that rudder hook-up assembly will be cleaner, thankfully. There was about 40 years of Lake George dirt and grime collected back there.

CC didn't use the automatic bailing device on the glass boats, that they used on the wood boats, probably because they didn't need to evacuate that much water. It would have been a nice addition, and I have a spare one. Hmmmm, perhaps, but no....it would take another hole in the hull to do that.

Time now for a nice cigar on the deck and a glass of Black Label on ice (shaken, not stirred)

Regards,
Paul

















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Paul
Paul

January 16th, 2007, 4:22 pm #20

First, here is a link to the thread "first look inside", showing what the boat looked like when it arrived in Nashville, after being shipped from the south shore of Lake Ontario.http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/m ... 1162070768



This boat was built in the Cortland, New York, Chris Craft Corsair Division's plant, where the 19' Commander Super Sport and 23' Commander were built two years later. 70 were built in 1966, and 10 in 1967.


Well today I can announce that all the vinyl covered panels, all flooring, all interior trim of any kind, the gear selector, steering wheel, steering system, gauges, are out of the boat. It's basically a bare hull with lots of stuff inside now that needs to be cleaned up. I plan to take a pressure washer and shop vac to it tomorrow, but for today all the major disassembly is done.

The motor runs, the new (old) transmission is here, along with four spare exhaust logs and a couple risers.

The gear selector is from MORSE, and it's a good unit, but heavily pitted. I'm going to have it restored and replated instead of using a new one. The funky steering wheel is going to be powder coated and reused too. Gauges have been sent off for restoration.

I am quite amazed at the sheet after sheet of vinyl plywood that has come out of this thing! Two layers of side panels, one to line the inside of the long ski storage pocket, and they extend all the way to the bow of the boat. Numerous other fit and finish pieces, all wrapped with vinyl. Just looking at all those copper staples, now I know I must buy an electric staple gun for this project, because I don't think my hands will survive a million concussions with the old mechanical style. Since so much of this boat is flatwork, I plan to do that because it's so easy to do. I'll do that in my shop during the coldest weather of the season, and I'll be out in my "boat capsule" when weather will permit. The reassembly process should be very fast and rewarding.

Yes, I've purchased one of those (Cortland) New York boats built in the Finger Lake region, so the two guys who are most likely to see another one are Bill and Tom, because I don't think there would be too many of these that ever got south of the Mason Dixon line, and fewer that would still be on the water today. Our goal when finished, is to have "an original 1966 condition 20' fiberglass Chris Craft Sea Skiff" to dock along side our 1966 38 Commander. If the restoration is good enough, I'll be taking this one to the Mt. Dora 2008 boat show. The ACBS recognizes any boat of 1968 or older as a "Modern Classic" and I suspect there will be a lot of pretty informed boaters down there who have never even seen one of these low production boats. Most people would fail the test when asked "did Chris Craft ever build a fiberglass Sea Skiff". The correct answer is "yes"

I am very impressed with the integrity and sensible construction used on this boat. It is VERY STRONG, and it is built EXACTLY like the Commander series. It has transverse and longitudinal hollow fiberglass box beams, just like a Commander. There is NO WOOD that comes in contact with water. The engine stringers are wood, but they are free standing heavy timber pieces that span from fiberglass to fiberglass.

Encapsulated marine plywood has been bonded to the inner wall of the fiberglass hull with polyester fiberglassed straps, to serve as a medium to screw into and hold those vinyl finish panels. They all look perfectly preserved.

The windshield has to come off in order to get the minor pitting out of the aluminum frame. The upholstry (seats) will be a pretty easy job, and it will have to match the motor box (which is presently intact, but needing a top and needing a through going over to tighten everything up.

I'm not sure if the motor will have to come out at this point or not. I was optimistic when I got it started, but the freeze plugs are steel and rusted out(the 327 block is an automotive transplant) and they are darn near impossible to get at because the motor mounts are in the way. The new Paragon transmission is a beast, and it won't fit onto the motor without the motor being lifted, so it looks like I'm in for a weekend of wrestling with some big iron. Not sure just how that's going to be done, but rest assured, "it will be done".

Janet spent the day at the lake house with her family, and she said early this morning, "you have to work on the boat today". I smiled when I heard that, and I asked her to repeat it so I could savor the moment, ha !

I'll post some photos later this eve when I get a chance to upload them.

Regards, Paul



After a year of restoration work, part time here and there, this is the almost end result. The windshield isn't installed yet, but as you can see, she's a runner! I discovered the motor is actually an automotive block, with higher compression than the 8.0:1 Chris Craft 327F, this one has 8.5:1 and the lowest power rating for that motor was 250-hp. This boat will FLY !!


Here are more brochures
http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/m ... 1170963414

Here's what one sounds like (mine being test run while on the trailer)







July 2009 UPDATE: New Videos and Photos ! The boat is running great, and gets compliments where-ever we go. I have yet to compound out the hull and get the Chris Craft script rechromed.

Quiet morning July of 2009, birds were chirping, then the 327F was fired up.
Turn up your speakers for this one, even though it's a small block, it is a BEAST !










Here she is July 2009 at speed on the Cumberland, in front of Alan Jackson's fish camp.






The more you take apart, the more you see that needs to be fixed. Here is the dashboard before I started taking things apart there. Steering gear had to come out, no question about it, the cable was frozen and I just didn’t want to EVER have to deal with it again. I tried to heat things up, use ATF, etc., but it didn’t want to cooperate. Therefore a new one is on the way, and I’m upgrading to the NFB rack and pinion (no feedback) Teleflex while I’m at it, rather than replace it with the plain rack and pinion.







Instruments naturally had to come out, because good instruments are like jewelry on a boat. Crappy instruments just remind everyone how old the boat is.


One of the first things we did, was to remove the instruments and send them off for a rebuild. This costs about $150 per unit, but it’s well worth it.


Now I’m wondering what to do with that really cheap looking piece of masonite, with the fake vinyl wrapped around it??




My plan is to replace this with a 3/8” piece of solid mahogany, and I may actually recess the instruments and all the other devices into the wood, so they fit just like original. Switch shanks don’t seem to have any additional room, and it would look pretty cool to have the gauges recessed a bit into the wood. This is a task that will take some time and patience.

Regards, Paul
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