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Anyone here DIY on old boat like our old 911?

Hi guys,
Anyone here DIY on old boat like our old 911? Can we start talking about it here?

I am thinking of getting a cheap old boat and fix it up. It should be a unsinkable (whaller revenge, arima, keywest...), cuddy or at least a small cabin, space enough for 6 (18'-21'). I never have one and never look into how it is built/work, so is it a good idea? Is it more tricky than our old 911?
Let's start on wiring. Do the wires run just like cars or do they have to be water seal?

Thanks.

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Last edited by rnln; 01-21-2021 at 03:01 AM..
Old 01-21-2021, 02:48 AM
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Are you talkin' about a 14' Boston Whaler or a 30' Sailboat? That might help others guide you ... BOAT ... Break Out Another Thousand ... a long time ago ...

edited: You read my mind I see... that's easy enough ....

Last edited by KC911; 01-21-2021 at 03:02 AM..
Old 01-21-2021, 02:59 AM
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Hi KC, long no talk.
Yeah, I am thinking of something which I can have my whole family on it to go for fun and fishing, and to catalina island if possible. Another purpose is that I can also go diving with buddies too. So, around 18'-21' to fit in the side of my property, maybe.

also, anyone know any unsinkable beside those whaler, arima, and Keywest?
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Old 01-21-2021, 03:40 AM
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I have done a lot of boat DIY in my life. There are a lot of "unsinkable" boats on the market these days. Simply means the hull is filled with foam. The marine environment is harsh so wiring should be inspected and replaced if cracked or damaged, ends often corrode. Fiberglass boats are generally very simple structures, A hull a liner and a deck. Depending on the extent of restoration you wish to do the main problem would be separating the three as they are glued and then screwed together, you run the risk of damaging the fiberglass parts where they are glued together.

The next issue is most fuel tanks are laid in the hull and bonded in place. then foam flotation sprayed in the cavities of the hull. If the fuel tank needs to be replaced this can often be a chore to remove. If you get an inboard gas boat you need to ensure you get sealed components for the electrical system to avoid spark and possible explosion.

Grady white is a nice boat that has a great reputation and fits your specs as well as some of the others you mention.

Last edited by drcoastline; 01-21-2021 at 06:54 AM..
Old 01-21-2021, 04:52 AM
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Wiring no different than a car. You should solder and heat sharing the ends. You can also get crimp terminal connections with heat shrink sleeves built in. Crimp, then use a heat gun or lighter to seal them up.

I’ve seen all sorts of wiring messes on boats including where people have used household marrettes on bilge pump wiring, etc.

Anything like wiring for starters, bilge pumps, nav lights, VHF radio, should be soldered and heat shrinks and connected with a proper bus bar. Your life could depend on it. The stereo connections don’t matter in the grand scheme of things but sadly this is where many boat owners get it right so they can blast their Lady Gaga and Snoop Dog racket throughout the marina or lake...
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Old 01-21-2021, 04:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclebilly View Post
Wiring no different than a car. You should solder and heat sharing the ends. You can also get crimp terminal connections with heat shrink sleeves built in. Crimp, then use a heat gun or lighter to seal them up.

Iíve seen all sorts of wiring messes on boats including where people have used household marrettes on bilge pump wiring, etc.

Anything like wiring for starters, bilge pumps, nav lights, VHF radio, should be soldered and heat shrinks and connected with a proper bus bar. Your life could depend on it. The stereo connections donít matter in the grand scheme of things but sadly this is where many boat owners get it right so they can blast their Lady Gaga and Snoop Dog racket throughout the marina or lake...
^^THIS^^^ Boat wiring is literally garbage on 90% of the "entry level" boats from 15+ years ago and later - even from the factory. Think of the worst of Lucas wiring with water (fresh or salt) liberally applied. And it can be even worse if the PO has gotten into it. The good news is that it is IS simple, but just often really bad on older boats.

If you are planning on departing the coast (like from Long Beach area) and heading for Catalina, I'd want two motors minimum. Redundancy would be critical for anything more than a mile or so offshore, especially with family onboard. A sailboat would be OK with one, but they typically aren't great dive boats unless you are talking big money. Plus the whole learning how to actually sail the thing.

Good luck with your adventures.
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Old 01-21-2021, 05:50 AM
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I don't have a lot of experience with glass boats- we mainly fish fresh water and our boats are aluminum.
I agree with the above regarding wiring and fuel tanks - neglected wiring is just ongoing headaches and most owners seem mystified by electricity. Often all the wires are the same color - so that can make it even more interesting.
The worst problems I have seen in glass boats have been rotten wood - wood stringers, deck boards and especially the transom. The often use wood encased in glass and when it rots it is a bugger to fix.
I also see a lot of guys struggling with inboard motors and stern drives. Access to items like starters isn't as easy as a car. Some of the old stern drive units are just a disaster. Before you buy an old I/O research the motor and drive.
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Old 01-21-2021, 06:04 AM
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This guy has an interesting series of videos detailing exactly what you're talking about!

(He's a car guy that bought a boat!)

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Old 01-21-2021, 06:20 AM
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Boat wiring should be crimped terminals and then adhesive shrink wrap.
You shouldn't solder as vibration can make it come apart.
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Old 01-21-2021, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 911 Rod View Post
Boat wiring should be crimped terminals and then adhesive shrink wrap.
You shouldn't solder as vibration can make it come apart.
This - I've redone a few boats over the years ~ and you have to use marine grade wiring and connectors - there is a difference.

Mostly sail boats that I've redone over the years














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Old 01-21-2021, 08:54 AM
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I have an old 27' sailboat for 25 years now, most older fiber glass boat most have wood core in the deck and many in the hull, when that gets wet and rots major work to repair. Thats a really nice wire job pictured above, most won't look like that.

The other change in wire is it is now tin plated to help protect and the 120v system must be stranded type wire, the single conductor would get brittle and break from vibrations. I have a friend with a 20' aluminium with a 150hp nice boat for scooting around, small for open ocean though.

There is no cheap boat, is it a good idea probably not. But they can be fun. The newer aluminium boats are lighter, burn less fuel but ride a little rougher through chop.
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Old 01-21-2021, 08:57 AM
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Old 01-21-2021, 08:58 AM
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Nice job Jeremy, do you test float it in the pool?
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Old 01-21-2021, 09:16 AM
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Thanks everyone for input.
Not sure what should be the next area I should know about fixing up a cheap beat up boat, but here is how I started it. I never thought about boat, never even like the water until the virus decide to like us. Then I search CL and see that a boat which have 5/6 seats can be cheap as couple and up to $5k, indicated water ready. This gave me a thought of all the kids on the boat, then I don't have to worry about the corona virus and still can be able to release stress having family fun. Then I read more and the more I read, the more I add on what I want, then of course narrow down my choice and in the mean time increasing the price :lol: and I also realized that pricing now is completely different compare to before the corona virus decided to like us.

One of the opinion from someone is grab a good hull, an old messy boat with hull is still in good cond, then worry about the motor later. So, I am asking myself the question if it is easy to fix up the "messy" parts or I am dreaming? What involve beside the hull, motor, and some wiring? If the list of fixing up is like our old 911, or or a lot more simple?

Thanks again
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Old 01-21-2021, 11:11 AM
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Just as there is the "Porsche tax", there is definitely a marine tax.
Head guy at a local marina's maintenance shop says every so often somebody got a "great deal " on a $2500 boat, which quickly needs several thousand dollars of parts & labor because of something like rotted rubber bits that let water dilute gear oil, destroying an outdrive.

Unfortunately, it's usually someone who blew all available cash on the purchase, with nothing left for repairs.

Keep up on maintenance, and (smaller) boats don't cost much.
Ignore small issues, it will bite you in the butt!
Old 01-21-2021, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by rnln View Post
Thanks everyone for input.
Not sure what should be the next area I should know about fixing up a cheap beat up boat, but here is how I started it. I never thought about boat, never even like the water until the virus decide to like us. Then I search CL and see that a boat which have 5/6 seats can be cheap as couple and up to $5k, indicated water ready. This gave me a thought of all the kids on the boat, then I don't have to worry about the corona virus and still can be able to release stress having family fun. Then I read more and the more I read, the more I add on what I want, then of course narrow down my choice and in the mean time increasing the price :lol: and I also realized that pricing now is completely different compare to before the corona virus decided to like us.

One of the opinion from someone is grab a good hull, an old messy boat with hull is still in good cond, then worry about the motor later. So, I am asking myself the question if it is easy to fix up the "messy" parts or I am dreaming? What involve beside the hull, motor, and some wiring? If the list of fixing up is like our old 911, or or a lot more simple?

Thanks again
Agree buy a hull the engine, wiring, plumbing is generally pretty easy to replace. The fiberglass part of a fiberglass boat will last many, many, many years unlike wood, steel or aluminum. But, there are things to look out for such as core rot. A fiberglass boat is rarely all fiberglass, there is usually a core material in certain areas, such as cabin tops, decks and the transom (the back). This is more often than not wood, typically a balsam material in cabin tops and plywood in the transom and decks. Look around fittings and for cracks that may be emitting a brown ooze and soft or squish spots. If so the core is rotting and there may be delaminating. This isn't the end of the world but will mean more work repairing or replacing.

The next area of concern is the built ins, seating, cabinetry and such. Rarely is a good marine grade plywood used especially boats built in the last thirty years. More often than not a particle/flake board or MDF is used, so look to see that there isn't an delamination of these items or you will be rebuilding them.

Do your due diligence on a fuel tank. Fuel tanks are most often laid in the hull, foamed in then the liner and deck installed over it. They are not easy to replace.

Motors can be yanked and rebuilt or just completely replaced.

Last edited by drcoastline; 02-04-2021 at 06:28 PM..
Old 01-21-2021, 12:25 PM
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Nice Jeremy, I haven't seen a Force five in??? Three decades.
Old 01-21-2021, 12:28 PM
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Well I bought a old boat this year, but it definatly wasn’t cheap. I was into a home remodel at the time so I initially had some work done on the boat to get it up to where I wanted it. The problem I have is the boat is on a lift so it’s a little tricky working on the engine’s. I spent around $4,000 at the shop, 100 hour service, trim motors overhauled, oil pump replaced on one motor, it was leaking. Also water pumps, anodes, prop bushings, spark plugs, and anything else that wasn’t 100%. And the motors had less than 400 hrs on them.

I’ll be doing the next service, which will basically just be a oil change. I also ran new throttle and shift cables. Those were a pain, not much room to work.

I have not done anything to the wireing at this point. I have replaced the battery’s, I have three. I do plan on installing a windlass at some point. Like the cables there does not seem to be much room to pull wireing from the console to the front of the boat.
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Old 01-21-2021, 01:04 PM
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I did a little work on the boat today. I recently replaced the helm seat and today I sanded and polished the old screw holes I had filled. I didnít do a very good job of matching the color, but the holes are filled and I may try to touch it up a bit with some paint, or a decal.

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Old 01-21-2021, 01:14 PM
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Yeah man, boats are fun and grins, but they can be expensive and high maint. but so is a family..

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