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Hull restoration
Submitted By: fixb52s
Date Created: 05-27-2008
Description: The hull looks good, but the gelcoat is faded. Some wet sanding and polish will clean it up.
Related Projects: 1986 Chris Craft Scorpion 178 BR
    Deck and stringer repairs
    Interior
    Mechanical
    Sea trial
    (Hull restoration)
Tools / Materials: Go to the Boating Store


Doesn't look too bad
This is what the boat looked like when I brought it home. The stripes were replaced, but do not follow the original lines. That "LTD" also looks out of place.

New red stripes were just placed on the old faded ones, so it all has to be removed. A heat gun helps here. The hull was also stained when I filled the fuel tank up. The heat of the day expanded the fuel in the tank, and it leaked out of the vent, getting all over the sides of the hull. Not only did this stain the hull, it also turned the stripes into a gooey mess.
Stripe removal


Coming off
Taking the stripes off is a real pain. The old adhesive remained on the hull.

Some acetone removed the old adhesive. This left the surface clean, but the gelcoat is raised where the stripes protected it.
Adhesive removal


Stripes removed
The stripes and adhesive are gone, but the raised lines remain. The entire hull needs to be wet sanded to remove the oxidated gel and blend the lines in.

The hull is being wet sanded with 220 grit paper. Gelcoat is pretty thick but one must be careful not to sand through to the fiberglass. The purpose of sanding is to remove the weathered top coat. The sanding also smooths the finish and minor scratches can be blended out. The color of this boat is actually a light grey, not white, and the true color is coming out. The lines of the boat look better without those '80s era pinstripes.
Sanding


First sanding done
The lines left from the pin stripes are now blended in. When polished, no evidence of them will be left. Now the hull will be sanded with 400 grit, followed by 1000 grit paper to further smooth the surface and prep it for polishing.

To clean the upper hull, the rails and snaps came off.
Bright work


Looking naked
The rails add to the boat. Removing them makes it plain.

When I got the boat, it was named "Jay Bird". I also found an old name too, "Sloppy Seconds". The transom area here was spray painted black to cover it. All of this will be sanded off to the gel coat, removing any traces of these old names. I have a new name, but wil not say it at this time. I do need to get a new Ron John sticker though because this is a cool store.
Old boat names


Buffing
Some rubbing compound and a buffer is bringing the 22 year old finish rather well.

After polishing was complete, the rails were reinstalled.
Reassembled


Snaps
All 70 some snaps were replaced.

After a lot of time with the polish and some new stripes, it looks better. All that is left is to clean up the gel inside the bow and around the helm.
Done


Swim deck
The teak parts were refinished and reinstalled.

The old light was corroded so a new one will replace it.
Bow light


Better

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