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Submitted By: fixb52s
Date Created: 04-27-2008
Description: The interior didn't look too bad. The side storage panels were gone, and the gunwale padding was replaced with carpeted pieces. The vinyl was brittle and hard, but could be used for a season. Since the deck had to be rebuilt, it all had to come out, so some replacement will happen.
Related Projects: 1986 Chris Craft Scorpion 178 BR
    Deck and stringer repairs
    Sea trial
    Hull restoration
Tools / Materials: Go to the Boating Store

Rear seat
The seating has seen better days. The vinyl was dyed in a few places, and seams were coming apart.

I like the front seats, but they too are coming apart. Some wood in them is rotted, and the vinyl is as hard as a rock.
Front seats

Even though the firewall was replaced in the past, it was never sealed up, and rot was taking hold. This will make a good pattern for a new one. Or so I thought...

A new firewall was cut from 1/2" cabinet grade ply. I was not thinking when I used the old firewall as a pattern. I should have looked at it first. This thing is too small!! The sides don't meet up with the gunwales. The seat would cover this up, but these gaps bother me. Oh well, more wood cutting.
That don't look right!

New firewall tht fits
Another new firewall was cut after measuring the boat. 2 pieces of 2X2 were screwed to the firewall so it can be screwed to the deck and support the seat. Since the firewall sits at an angle in the boat, these pieces were cut for the proper angle when the firewall is in the boat. The hole on the bottom will allow access to the front engine mount. This actually was required when I aligned the engine earlier this year when I replaced the lower drive bellows.

This is what was left of the rear seat support. Again, it was not sealed and was rotted. It kind of fell apart.
Rear seat support

New seat support
The new support was constructed with the 1/2" ply and 2X2 lumber. The old parts were a good pattern for the sides and front, but I had to wing the rest. I used a lot of screws because I want this strong.

I looked at some photos sent to me by a fellow iboats member who happens to own the same boat as I do. He sent me a lot of great photos of the interior. Through them I saw that the bottom seat panel extends to the gunwales. Again, I used what was in the boat as a pattern, and it turned out too short. At least the frame was correct, so I just cut a new front panel. I also rearranged the seat support top frame so I can get my life vest pack in. There should be enough support here.
Even newer support

Rear seat support almost complete
This is the support and the firewall together to check for fit. This will all be screwed together when it is in the boat.

The firewall and seat were put in place to check for fit. So far, so good.
They fit!

Engine compartment bulkheads
These pieces go between the firewall and the transom. Again, they are unsealed wood and are rotting.

This time, I put the bulkheads in to check for fit. They were fine except on the deck. The new deck follows the stingers and steps up to the transom. A pattern was made for the proper deck shape. These pieces follow the deck properly. The circular cutout is for the bilge vent hose.
New bulkheads

The firewall was fiberglassed. I looked at doing the same to the seat support, but it would have taken too much work. I put a coat of paint on all of it to seal it up. Even though the support is not glassed, it should last for some time, and if I have any moisture problems in the future, I can then decide if needs to be rebuilt.

The front panel was cut out for speakers and a vent, then covered with carpet. I am just waiting for the new fuel tank to come in so I can get the center deck and in. For now, it is sitting in the den (wife is on a business trip...lucky me).
Ready to go in

New fuel tank
I was in a holding pattern on the interior because the fuel tank needed to go in. The old tank had many pin holes and corrosion from the years of use. I tried to patch them, but more kept appearing. To play it safe, I just had another built. The tank dimensions are such that I could not find one pre-built, so it had to be manufactured. It came from Sunrise Marine Tanks in Venice, FL. I sent him all the specs and a drawing and he had it built within a week.

Since the deck was completed and the tank went in, new carpet was installed. It is starting to look like a boat again.
Carpeting installed

Sundeck support
This is what is left of the sundeck supports. The ends were getting hollow due to rot. New ones will be cut from 2X3 stock.

The sundeck pieces were rebuilt and painted prior to installation
New sundeck support

Firewall and seat support
These pieces were installed (good thing, I needed to get them out of the den). Everything fits like a glove.

The holes for the sundeck hinges were worn out, so some drywall locks are used to firm them up.
Holes too big?

The sundeck was reinstalled. When I got it, it was previously rebuilt and just carpeted, so it will do for now. I will recover it later.

I put the old seats back in for now so I can take it out to the water.
Seats installed

Another view
Some more work is required, like some end mouldings around the helm, kick panels, a snap in carpet for the bow, and some new skins for the seating and side panels. And the stereo needs to be installed.

A new stereo was installed for some noise. A 12V power port was also installed so the tubes can be blown up with the 12V pump. This stereo also has a plug so an IPod can be directly connected. 6X9 speakers are in the rear seat and 6 1/2s are mounted in the front kick panels.

Switch panel
The switch panel looks faded, and I like the look of wood, so I built this panel. I used a piece of luan and used the old panel as a template. I made the switch labels with a Dyno label maker using clear tape with black letters. I stained the panel, added the labels, then clear coated it with polyurethane. I added all new switches and fuse holders because the original ones were showing signs of wear and corrosion.

I replaced all the wire connectors leading to the switch panel and wired it all up. I also wired the stereo and the 12V power plug. All works well. I do need to do something with the steering wheel.
Helm complete

Kick panel
I also made new helm kick panels. I also mounted the speakers and fire bottle. The speakers are up a little high to protect them.

I also made a wood panel for the passenger side because the plastic chart was pretty weathered. I now need to make a snap in carpet panel for the bow, and get some new vinyl for the seats.
Minor details

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