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14' Aluminum Boat Restoration

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  • 14' Aluminum Boat Restoration

    Well thanks to the help of Matt86m and the interwebs I made my first boat purchase last weekend. A beautiful yacht in the form of a 14' aluminum Sears, year unknown. Since my DD build is for the most part wrapped up, I needed something new to work on, and what better than a little fishing boat for the summer. I scored this bad boy for a steal of a deal and it came with a 6hp Johnson 2 smoke as well that actually runs, a little rich at the moment and doesn't want to idle but I believe it's the gas/oil I used as well as the feeder line is shot. The overall boat is in great shape with minimal dents, as well as the transom (which I regrettably already started pulling out) . I filled it up with water and it's holding tight with no leaks so I'm happy with it. I'm planning on doing a full restoration on it over the next couple weeks and hope to have it in the water by May.

    The day I bought it:

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    The plan of attack for restoration:

    - Full sand/clean down to bare aluminum
    - Repaint
    - Prime with either SeaHawk Tuff Stuff, Interlux Interprotect, or Rustoleum Self Etch for Aluminum
    - Paint with Pettit Paint Ultima ECO Bottom Coat Antifouling paint for Aluminum - White
    - Coat Interior with a Topside paint (not sure which yet, but something non copper) - White
    - Build casting deck. Some hardcore aluminum boat enthusiasts advise against this for purity of keeping it original, but, I'm doing it anyways haha. The plan is to build a 2x2 wood frame from middle bench to the bow and then cover it in a marine ply. As well as a cover from rear bench to transom/stern with openings for gas tank and life jackets.
    - Pull open compartments in the bow and center section for oars, lures/fishing supplies, and of course beverages
    - Cover all wood in carpet. I was initially going to do it in a Faux Teak padding, like Seadeck, but it's either aggressively expensive or doesn't hold up well so instead I'm leaning towards trailer bunk carpet, probably black (I know it could get hot, but I really don't like grey).
    - Repaint outboard in white with new/vintage Johnson graphics
    - New fuel line and adapters for gas tank
    - Two moveable seats that can be reconfigured, haven't quite wrapped my head around this yet.
    - Rod holders, cup holders, etc.

    The whole purpose is to make this thing a true fisher. I want to keep it light so I can get one other buddy and maybe a girl on it. Really stoked to get this thing in the water.
    Here are a few reference photos for what I'm thinking. I won't be removing any of the benches like these guys did though for structural purposes. I'm open to any input/advice.


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  • #2
    I got started on Sunday removing all the extra hardware and starting to sand

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    When initially looking at the transom, I thought the interior one might be compromised so I started ripping it out. This was a mistake, took me almost an hour to get off and ended up being in really good shape, so the exterior section is staying on. I'll just sand, resurface, repaint, and re-caulk it. Sanding is really time consuming, so hopefully one more full day and it'll be prepped an ready for primer/paint

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    • #3
      Kewl build, will be following along.

      Always fun to see other people throw money into a hole in the water.

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      • #4
        That's bitchen. Not a fisherman myself but I can appreciate the time and energy (and $$$$) it takes to restore something of this caliber.
        LIEVENSE RACE SERVICES
        RACE & PLAY CAR PREP
        WELDING & FABRICATION
        CAD DESIGN & WATER JET
        FULLY INSURED TRANSPORTATION SERVICES

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 4wdBoss View Post
          Kewl build, will be following along.

          Always fun to see other people throw money into a hole in the water.
          I told myself I was going to take a break from spending money once I finish my sand car, apparently not, not it's on water.

          Originally posted by L.R.S. View Post
          That's bitchen. Not a fisherman myself but I can appreciate the time and energy (and $$$$) it takes to restore something of this caliber.
          I'm hoping that majority of this project cost wise will just be time, but that's what I said about the DD too...

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          • #6
            Very Cool!!!

            My boat has an aluminum angle as the base for the floors so no chance rotting out. Just a thought for yours but 2x2 wood will work as well.

            Tinboatmafia I can see the shirts and stickers now!!!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Matt86m View Post
              Very Cool!!!

              My boat has an aluminum angle as the base for the floors so no chance rotting out. Just a thought for yours but 2x2 wood will work as well.

              Tinboatmafia I can see the shirts and stickers now!!!
              I thought about doing this, but in all honesty I'm no good at welding aluminum, I'm not positive rivets would be a quality solution, and i'm more or less trying to save some money on the frame so 2x2s it is I think. But we'll see as I get closer

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              • #8
                Very cool. I've never been into fishing so much. I remember one vacation when I was a kid where we hit all the major lakes in Northern CA and rented little boats like this and my Pops and I fished. But I haven't really fished much since then. I recently went out w/ a buddy 'fishing' on his much bigger AL boat (it reminded me of something a harbor cop would be in, no idea what they call that kind of boat) and man, it was awesome. Alllllllmost made me think I should take up fishing. Let's face it, it's just a great excuse to be out on some peaceful water with a good buddy or two and some beers. I'm sure this boat will bring you those good times when you get it all dialed in.
                -TJ

                "You can lead a horse to water... but you can't make it dune"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by tjZ06 View Post
                  Very cool. I've never been into fishing so much. I remember one vacation when I was a kid where we hit all the major lakes in Northern CA and rented little boats like this and my Pops and I fished. But I haven't really fished much since then. I recently went out w/ a buddy 'fishing' on his much bigger AL boat (it reminded me of something a harbor cop would be in, no idea what they call that kind of boat) and man, it was awesome. Alllllllmost made me think I should take up fishing. Let's face it, it's just a great excuse to be out on some peaceful water with a good buddy or two and some beers. I'm sure this boat will bring you those good times when you get it all dialed in.
                  I fished religiously growing up. Being that I grew up, and now live again, less than a mile from the Newport Harbor made it really easy and fun as kids to ride our bikes around to different spots around the harbor. We had a teacher in middle school who owned a pontoon and he used to take a group of us out fishing in the afternoons after school and that opened my eyes to how many more spots you could actually fish when your were on the harbor and not just on the perimeter. I always wanted a small boat for fishing the harbor, then eventually a sport fisher for Catalina/San Clemente islands, as well as a boat for the river, but doesn't everyone.... When I saw how cheap this boat was I couldn't pass it up. It'll be my vice for the duning off season. But instead of going really fast and then stopping for a beer, i'll be going really slow and stopping for a beer. But at least fishing along the way haha.

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                  • #10
                    I knocked out a rendering of what I'm thinking for the deck

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                    • #11
                      Finally was able to get a day working on the boat. Decided to cut out a section of the middle bench and started building the struts that will run width ways across the boat. I'll box these in as well as reinforce what's left of the middle bench. Also got the main deck ply cut. Went with a 5/8" Marine ply that wasn't very cheap but is very very strong. 11 ply vs Home Depot 6 ply.

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                      Oh, and I also bought another aluminum boat over the weekend too haha. This thing went up for sale for a really good price and I still needed a trailer so I went and grabbed it. Came with an 8hp Mercury Mariner, 2 Trolling Motors, a fish finder, seats and a bunch of other goodies. The boat and motor will go back up for sale when I get them cleaned up ASAP. All the other stuff I'll keep for my current project.

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                      • #12
                        If you want to add flotation to the boat (I assume there was foam in the bench seat) you can use pool noodles. I have a buddy that removed all the old foam and cut and packed noodles in place of new foam. They also have a better rating for flotation.

                        I like it so far. Keep it up and keep buying boats!!!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Matt86m View Post
                          If you want to add flotation to the boat (I assume there was foam in the bench seat) you can use pool noodles. I have a buddy that removed all the old foam and cut and packed noodles in place of new foam. They also have a better rating for flotation.

                          I like it so far. Keep it up and keep buying boats!!!
                          That's a good call. I planned on putting new foam down along the stringers before the deck goes in and that would be a good fit. The nice part about the deck is it will all be easily removable so I can add new foam as needed.

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                          • #14
                            I couldn’t tell you the first thing about fishing, but this thing will be rad when it’s done! Dilly Dilly better be painted across the back in bud light blue before it hits the water

                            sweet project man!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by nickc313 View Post
                              I couldn’t tell you the first thing about fishing, but this thing will be rad when it’s done! Dilly Dilly better be painted across the back in bud light blue before it hits the water

                              sweet project man!
                              Hhahaha that's a good idea

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