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Stringer Replacement 86 Silver Nautique.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NCH20SKIER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-01-2022 at 1:28pm
I had my windshield powered coated and am very pleased - for me satin was the choice.
Be prepared for some sanding and finessing the parts and pieces back together following coating and the oven bake.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrewmarani Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-04-2022 at 11:32am
Thanks, gloss had me worried, shows all the flaws.  I will probably go with satin.

Thoughts on how much of the gray and white pebble finish should I remove in the bilge?  I need a solid bit for the stringer glass and i'm planning to coat the bilge with a white epoxy bilge coating when I finally get that far.  The old pebble finish is stuck on hard, must be some type of epoxy.  i'm leaning toward heavier removal close to the stringers and leaving more further inside the bilge but making sure all of it has it's surface sanded/ground to get a good bite for the new coatings.  Along the lines of what shows in the picture, still have work to do around the rudder post and the bolts..  Thanks.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrewmarani Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-04-2022 at 4:10pm
It would simplify the grinding and glassing at the transom if I can get the two exhaust nipples out.  I'm sure others have removed them.  Can I just pull the screws and tap them out with a hammer and a block of wood or does it get complicated?  
Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gary S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-04-2022 at 7:05pm
Should just tap out- don't hurry. Little heat from a heat gun will help too. You might have to replace those wood blocks anyway including the lift ring block and the rudder block,they use the same pre rotted wood that were deemed not good enough for stringers Wink
As to white bilge paint think about that. I just painted one with Interlux white,it shows everything. My cooling system U dripped,it left a rust that really stood out. Personally IMHO a off white or a grey like the newer boats might be best.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrewmarani Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-12-2022 at 7:48pm

Removed the screws from the exhaust nipples and tried to tap them out with a hammer and block of wood but nothing moved.  I will try a heat gun next and see how things go.  Probably have another go at removing the pylon at the same time, working around it is a pain.

 

Grinding is mostly done but I’m sure there will be some touch up work once I get to installing the stringers and start concentrating on exactly how the fiberglass matts are going to lay.  I’m working up the layup schedule now using info from other stringer rebuilds.  Once I’ve got the schedule finalized, I will post it for comments.

 

Coosa Board has been delivered and I’ve set up an efficient cutting plan, won’t be much left after I’ve installed the stringers and deck. The secondary stringers where ¾” x 12’ and the mains where 1½” x 13’ so I’m going to lay up the secondaries out of three pieces of ¼” Coosa and the mains out of three pieces of ½”.  

 

Per some information from online, I will use a slightly thickened paste of resin to glue the Coosa together.  I’m going to use a vacuum bag technique to press the three layers of Coosa together for the stringers when I glue them up.  I have a vacuum pump that I picked up somewhere along the line so the rest of the vacuum bag setup only cost about $50 in fittings.  Sometimes we use HEPA negative air machines on our jobs, which require venting to outside the construction area so I have 6 mill plastic disposable ducting that comes flat in a 100’ roll.  Seems perfect for a vacuum bag to slide the stringers into.  Just cut the length I need, install the little hose fitting, slide the stringer in, seal the ends, suck out the air and squish.  What could possibly go wrong!

 

Once the Coosa stringers are glued up, I will scribe them to fit the hull and then layout and cut the various notches before installation.  The deck will be ½” Coosa with a fiberglass matt on the backside and a seal coat of resin on the topside


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrewmarani Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-24-2022 at 12:52pm
Hull grinding is (hopefully) done. Currently I'm gluing up the stringers using the vacuum method I described earlier.  Had some learning curve on that but it's working nicely, really does squish the three layers together well. Very easy to line things up once the stringer is in the bag before turning on the vacuum pump.  Both secondary stringers are glued up and once my daughter wakes up, we will glue up the first of the primary stringers..

I'm coating one side of the Coosa with a flat spreader, basically just wetting in the Coosa.  Epoxy on the mating piece of Coosa gets spread with a fine notched trowel.   Epoxy is squeezing out of all joints so i'm getting a good coat but only a small amount comes out so sanding off the excess only takes 10 minutes or so.

Once the picture gremlin is slain, I will post some pictures showing the operation.  It's 15 degrees outside so if I feel really motivated in a bit I will heat up the pylon and see if I can twist it off the very cold steel base.

Ahh, daughter just walked in and delegated this glue up to her brother. He objected by explaining she had already developed the necessary skills but she demanded he expand his horizons to help him with future work.  Guess I am teaching her some people management techniques after all.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1980SN2001 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-12-2023 at 3:36pm
I am as new to boat repair as it gets but I recently ground down my bilge all the way to raw fiberglass on my 1980 SN to put on new Total Boat Bilge Epoxy. I tried and tried and tried to just get the spots that were lifting up and cracking but the more I ground the more I found so eventually just took it all down to raw fiberglass. I figured if I am this far and I really don't want to have to do this again if the new Bilge Epoxy starts to lift up because of the old gel coat was cracking and peeling. Also if you only do some it will definitely be very visible, atleast with the Total Boat Bilge epoxy because it shows every minor blemish underneath. This part of my repairs generated the most dust though. Confused Just thought I'd throw that out there.

P.S. Thank you for posting your stringer job here. I've only had my boat for about 6 months and have done a ton of work to it but I will inevitablly have to tackle the stringer job someday and these threads are a great resource. I haven't posted much at all but but this site and its users have already been invaluable to me with the knowledge and advice they freely share. Beer
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrewmarani Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-14-2023 at 8:44am
Welcome to the site.  I usually start here when I plan a new repair to my boat. Thanks for the advice, I was planning to use the total boat bilge epoxy.  Sounds like I'm not done grinding yet!

If you haven't run across it, electrical wire size is usually a problem in the older boats, Correct Craft was a bit light with the gauge.  I've run larger positive and negative wires from the dash to the engine (Negative) and solenoid (positive) and completely rewired the dash.  There's a post here somewhere describing the work.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote va-river-tique Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-16-2023 at 7:03pm
Did you ever get the dimensions you needed?  I think all 86 Skis have the same measurements but I do have a Silver that I can grab some numbers for you.  I'm also looking to so stringers in the next year or three so this thread caught my eye along with the elephant.

pylon to base of observer's seat.
pylon to inside edge of battery box.
pylon to base of driver's seat.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrewmarani Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-18-2023 at 5:01pm
No, I still need those dimensions.  If you can send them that would be awesome.  Yeah, i've been following the elephant discussion as well.  Not sure what I can do to help.

Currently I have the main stringers made, cut to the curve of the hull and notched for the engine cradle etc.  Too cold last weekend to epoxy them in place and I'm taking my wife away this weekend just for fun or, perhaps, to make up for all the previous weekends spent working on the boat...

Since it's been too cold to epoxy, I've started roughing out the Coosa floor panels and the installed secondary stringers give me a level line at the right height to work from.  Lot's of measuring, cutting and shaving to fit the curve of the boat's sides.  Once I have the floor panels cut and dropped temporarily in place, those dimensions will help me figure out where to reinforce for screws.

i've got pictures of the progress to post but waiting for picture posting to go active again.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote va-river-tique Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-30-2023 at 3:13pm
I took these measurements from the bow side of the pylon.

pylon to base of observer's seat is 12 1/4 inches.
pylon to inside edge of battery box is 26 1/4 inches.
pylon to base of driver's seat is 6 inches.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrewmarani Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-30-2023 at 3:44pm
I have all the stringers epoxied down but not yet glassed in.   I'm now laying out and cutting the deck Coosa to fit but not install. Once I have the deck fitted, I will use the scraps to finish off the little parts that epoxy to the secondary stringers at the exhaust mufflers and the sections next to the motor and the primary stringers. THEN i can finally glass in the stringers and move on to foam.  I will post my Coosa cutting plan at some point, though I keep revising it as I see a slightly better layout.

This has been a very patient process. I'm working outside so I'm temperature dependent on any epoxy work.  I put a skirt (using something called a concrete blanket that we use in my company) around the hull to the ground.  Two electric heaters under the boat on a 45 degree day will raise the hull to 60 degrees, good enough for West Systems fast set epoxy.  But I need 45 degrees on a weekend to actually do any epoxy work.

Anyway, your dimensions are very timely and appreciated.  Once I have the deck fitted, I'm going to set the seats and engine cover and mark out where everything is fastened onto the deck parts in permanent marker so I can install the anchor points in the Coosa.  Should be there by this weekend with a couple of work nights this week.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrewmarani Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-30-2023 at 4:03pm
Adding in a lessons learned...  I am using West Systems fast set epoxy (bought the 4 gallon jug at West Marine) and Total Boat for the fiberglass matts.  I also bought six tubes of Total Boat Thixo adhesive epoxy to glue the stringers down.  I really liked the Total Boat adhesive epoxy constancy and the using a caulk gun makes it super simple to install, plus you can stop in the middle of tube come back a day or week later and start up again just by changing the nozzle.  BUT, due to the internal stuff in the tube, you probably get a half a tube of epoxy from each tube so it takes a lot of tubes and the stuff is moderately expensive.  I used four tubes to install and fillet one secondary stringer.

Since I was reluctant to give up the simplicity of using a caulk gun but didn't want to spend that much money, I took an empty tube apart and redid the plunger part to make it shorter and removable.  Now I mix up the West System to a peanut butter consistency and pour/scoop it into the tube, add the plunger and put it in my caulk gun.  Works great and i've used that same tube for the rest of the stringers and the fillets. Pumping epoxy out of a tube is way cleaner and faster then scooping it out of a mixing bucket and apply it with a spatula.  Does take 15 minutes or so to clean up the tube with acetone so it will work next time out. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrewmarani Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-30-2023 at 4:12pm
One more, then I need to go back to money making work.  Leaving that 1" of old fiberglass on one side of the primary and one side of the secondary stringers (shows in my pictures) was awkward during demolition but made reinstalling the stringers very easy.  Just put the epoxy on that 1" of fiberglass, put more on the bottom and push the stringer down and over against the 1" fiberglass.  Then wedge a couple of boards from the sides of the boat to the secondary stringer to keep it pinned in place.  On the primary, just wedge boards from the secondary.  No need to worry about getting the stringers in the right spot or keeping them straight.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gary S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-30-2023 at 7:07pm
If you want to save some money over the West system and have quality products check this place out- http://www.uscomposites.com/products.html  many boats here in past have used their products. They ship fast and are there to answer any questions.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrewmarani Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-04-2023 at 4:42pm
Going to back up and post some pictures showing the progress now that I understand the IMGBB picture posting thing.

Starting with the hull cleaned out, ground down and ready for stringers.  Probably still have a bit more work on the bilge section.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote andrewmarani Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-04-2023 at 4:50pm
Stringer pieces cut and ready to epoxy up.  Vacuum bagging a secondary stringer.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote andrewmarani Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-04-2023 at 4:55pm
A secondary stringer fresh from the vacuum bag.  Both primary stringers glued up, notched, cut to the hull shape and ready for installation.



EDIT:  Pretty as those stringers are, I made a mistake in the notches for the engine mount bolts.  See my edit note on page 3 where I posted the layout sketch for the stringers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrewmarani Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-04-2023 at 5:11pm
Secondary stringers being epoxied into place.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrewmarani Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-04-2023 at 5:20pm
The current state of affairs.  Primary and secondary stringers epoxied into place but not glassed in.  That section of deck is only installed temporarily, as is the engine frame.  Working on fitting the decking to the hull and laying out the seats and engine cover attachment points so I can reinforce those locations.  I need the scraps left from fitting the deck to make up the stringer build outs at the engine and the exhausts.  Tomorrows project is to start cutting up those scraps to into the stringers.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fanofccfan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-04-2023 at 10:06pm
Nice progress. Oh how the pictures help entertain me and others!  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote samudj01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-05-2023 at 9:31am
Looking good. Thanks for the pics
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrewmarani Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-05-2023 at 9:42am

At first I leveled the boat using a 4’ level but I wanted the boat exactly level with no twist when I started epoxying in the stringers..  While trying to figure out a simple way to check for twist in the hull and level the stringers as I cut them to the shape of the hull, I remembered my laser level. The laser has a magnet hanger so I used some small hose clamps to attach a long steel bolt to the back davit hanger, you can see the level and the bolt in the picture.  I set the laser at 8” above the old floor level and rechecked the boat for level.  No surprise, it wasn’t exactly level and had a slight twist.  By the way, what points to measure for leveling front to back is a bit of a guess as the original floor definitely wasn’t flat.

 

I used the 4’ level and a long straight edge to check the sides, from side to side and the laser level to compare points on either side of the bottom working from back to front.  The boat is hung from the davit points but I’ve got supports under the back corners and the front roughly at the windshield to take some load off the davits points and stop the boat from rocking when I’m in it working.  I adjusted the davit hangers and shimmed the supports until I had the boat hull level by laser.  No matter how much I tried, if the hull was level side to side, the top of the sides, side to side just behind the windshield was a ¼” out by the 4’ level.  Back of the boat side to side at the top of the sides was level.  So the boat was built with a slight twist, not enough to matter and I elected to level the floor to the hull, not the sides.

 

Once the stingers where epoxied in I checked them with the laser.  Three where good at 8 ½” below the laser.  One secondary was correct in the back but was a ½” high by the time it got to the front.  15 minutes with a belt sander leveled it out to match the others.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wayoutthere Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-07-2023 at 5:26am
Originally posted by andrewmarani andrewmarani wrote:


The current state of affairs.  Primary and secondary stringers epoxied into place but not glassed in.  That section of deck is only installed temporarily, as is the engine frame.  Working on fitting the decking to the hull and laying out the seats and engine cover attachment points so I can reinforce those locations.  I need the scraps left from fitting the deck to make up the stringer build outs at the engine and the exhausts.  Tomorrows project is to start cutting up those scraps to into the stringers.






Nice work, great idea using coosa
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blammie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March-02-2023 at 4:48am
So I'm also in the process of rebuilding a '68 Barracuda. I have one stringer removed and ran into a snag sourcing new stringer material. I originally was thinking I would use a vertical grain Douglas fir, until I was quoted over $900 a piece for a 2x10x14. I can get by with a 2x8 and shave a little off the price, but probably not enough to make sense. Pretty much, it seems I am priced out of anything with vertical grain. I'm now leaning towards Coosa board, having found a source in the Detroit area, and realizing it is going to be cheaper or comparable to Spruce or DF. One concern I have is the motor mounts. I've read some guys mentioning difficulty keeping screws set in Coosa. Is there any truth here? I'm looking for guidance from guys that have actually been through the process.  I was initially thinking two layers of 3/4" with staggered seams for the stringers, but I'm thinking I might mimic Andrew and go with 3 layers of 1/2". It feels like those joints will be stronger. My question is, how do I assemble them? I don't have a vacuum setup, but I do have plenty of clamps.  Obviously, I'll resin them together, but should I just clamp, or should I consider screwing them also? and if I screw them, what do you suggest, wood screws, or possibly through bolts?  Also I'm wondering about my motor mounts. Should I expect any issues. I am figuring to pre-drill the stringer and secure the mounts with lags, just like I would with wood. Your advice would be much appreciated. The further away I get from wood products, the further I am from my wheelhouse. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrewmarani Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March-03-2023 at 4:32pm
If I hadn't used the vacuum set up, I would have used a combination of stainless deck screws and clamps.  I was originally worried about not having enough time to epoxy all three layers in one move but my basement was about 60 degrees and I had lots of time once the material was spread thin on the Coosa to adjust the pieces and set up the vacuum rig.  So I figure you should have plenty of time to lay up three pieces and run screws into them. Make sure you put epoxy on both mating surfaces.  I wet one out with a smooth spreader and then spread epoxy on the other with a fine notched spreader.  I put silica adhesive filler in the epoxy to thicken it some.

I've run screws into the Coosa and they take up fine but are easy to over torque and strip out.  I would glue up all three layers, then clamp a section tight, run some screws into that section to hold it tight, then move the clamps to the next section and repeat. An alternate would be to set the three layers on a long 2x8 and screw right through the Coosa into the 2x8, once it's set up, pull the screws and your good to go.

On the 86', the engine mounts bolt to the aluminum frame that sits on the stringers so no worries about them tearing out.  I am NOT planning to run lags down through the frame into the Coosa (like it was originally), instead I plan to through bolt the frame to the stringers from the side.  I would not trust heavy uplift loads to a wood type screw in the Coosa.

If you don't have the aluminum frame to support the engine mounts, I would cut some holes or a slot down near the bottom of the stringer, put a block of aluminum in there as a load spreader and through bolt down from the engine mount, thorough the stringer, through aluminum block and put a nut and lock washer on it from underneath.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrewmarani Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-08-2023 at 7:48pm

Been a while since I posted on this, life sometimes gets in the way of the best of plans.  

I glassed in the secondary stringers a month ago or so.  I cut and fitted most of the 1/2" coosa for the floor.  This weekend I epoxied in the short pieces of stringer that sit next to the mufflers.  The coosa is only a 1/2" thick and that didn't seem wide enough for a location that supports both a fixed section of floor and the removable panel next to it so I epoxied another piece of 1/2" about 1 1/2" tall against the short stringer piece to widen it to 1", You can see the clamps holding the second piece in place in a picture.  You can't see it in the picture but I cut a 45 on the down edge of that added piece so the glass will wrap down it easily.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrewmarani Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-08-2023 at 8:00pm
Coosa is not a great screw holding material so I'm using T nuts to hold down the drivers seat, the observers seat, the hinges for the engine cover and the hinges for the back seat.  You can see the layout of the seats on the upper side of the front section of flooring and you can see the T nuts and the doubled up coosa on the underside.  I've also applied a layer of glass to the underside as reinforcing.  I still need to cut out the hole for the battery box.  Many thanks to va-river-tique for those dimensions, major help.



I seemed to be pulling the observers seat support out on a regular basis to crawl up under the front for one reason or another.  In the earlier floor I installed two machine thread inserts into the plywood floor and used two 3/8" bolts inside the base (with an added wire grab kind of thing that allowed me to remove them by hand) to secure the base to the floor.  Same sort of operation now with the Coosa, only i've got T nuts in the Coosa to run the bolts into. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrewmarani Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-08-2023 at 8:16pm
So take a closer look at the upper side of the floor where the drivers seat base is drawn in.  See that short diagonal line on the corner that will be next to the side of the boat?  DO NOT run a screw through the drivers seat base in that location!  Why, you ask?  Well, the hull of the boat is right there on the other side of the floor and people have been know to screw through to the outside of the boat, causing a leak that puzzled them for months until they cut their hand feeling along the bottom of the boat looking for cracks.  

That's also why the reinforcing on the underside of the floor is clipped off in that area.

Moving on.  Does anyone know where to buy a new battery box?  Mine is in reasonable shape except for the top flange, which is wavy as hell.  It's going to be very hard getting that thing to sit flat on the floor and take carpet neatly.  Rather buy a new one if I can.

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Joined: May-31-2005
Location: Baltimore, MD
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrewmarani Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-08-2023 at 8:24pm
Last picture for now, showing the front floor sitting in place for fitting check.  You can't really see it in the earlier stringer picture but i've notched the stringers down at each floor joint location so I can run a piece of 3" wide Coosa under the seam between two pieces of flooring to tie the two pieces together when I epoxy them down.

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