Rat's 1977 Polar Kraft 1440 refit

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Rat
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Location: Bertram, Texas
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Rat's 1977 Polar Kraft 1440 refit

Post by Rat » 01 Aug 2009, 12:57

This hull is a 1977 Polar Kraft 1440 my Brother in Law gave me (what a great guy huh?). She has spent most of here years banging around Reelfoot Lake in west TN. Considering her home lake, and her age, she is in very good condition. My BIL had already removed the midseat, he's a duck hunter, but it came with the hull in case I wanted to re-install it; my plan calls for leaving it out. There are no metal fatigue fractures anywhere on the hull, not even the frames/ribs and no leaks; she is well built. There is a single weld patch at the chine on the port side near the stem, Jeff said he punched a hole in her on a Cypress stump, it has been repaired and doesn't leak.

The transom is in real bad shape and is the first order of business.
transom rot (1).JPG
transom rot (2).JPG
transom rot.JPG
transom out.JPG
The new transom will be built to handle a 20" motor (the original transom was for a 15" motor). I like the height of a 20" transom for driving with a tiller handle extension while standing, the higher transom also keeps following seas out of the boat!
The new transom template.
new transom template.JPG
new transom template aft.JPG
Since I didn't have the ply I started thinking she could use some decks, so I mocked up a fore deck with some plastiboard.
fore deck (1).JPG
I haven't played with the height yet, but I think it will end up lower than this image shows. I only crappie fish and don't need the high deck for flipping, but for jigging brush and storage. There will also be an aft deck and maybe a sole, I haven't decided on the sole yet; I can always add it later if I want it tho.

The fit and finish is going to be 'bay boat' style, no carpet, epoxy/fiberglass finish.

So the goal is:
Rebuild transom to 20"
fore deck
aft deck
removable livewell/midship seat
bilge
electrical
Attachments
fore deck.JPG

Xtremeboats

Rat
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Rat's 1977 Polar Kraft 1440 refit

Post by Rat » 01 Aug 2009, 18:45

Made a trip to Lowe's today, not too bad under $100. Most of the decking is not going to be structural so I decided to go with outdoor ply instead of Marine grade 1088. The transom is structural, but I am going to wrap it in 12 biax fiberglass to handle the loads. The aft deck will be structural due to the added height of the transom, so it is going to be Meranti 1088 marine ply, as well as the transom stringers that tie in. Spent $70 on stainless hardware, just bolts and stuff.

Transom cut out with first coat of epoxy...
transom halves.JPG
Transom laid up. I am laminating two pieces of 7/16 ply for the transom. After the glass is added it will be an even 1" transom. I think I am going to add a mounting board as well, maybe a keystone shape in the center. I would like to go all the way across but the angle (that transfers the thrust to the hull) will only allow 1" under it; 1" just seems kinda weak to me. If it is I can always add it on later. The laminations are done with thickened epoxy (epoxy + woodflour) mixed to a ketchup like consistently, basically epoxy glue.
transom laminating.JPG
As you can see, I have quite a bit of weight on it. The ply is a little warped and I am trying to straighten it out a little bit.

Here is a shot of my GF16 in the back ground. Eventually she will be 16' x 48" at the chine, wood core sandwich composite; she's being put together by stitch and glue construction.
GF16.JPG
GF16.JPG (34.51 KiB) Viewed 15215 times
Back to it in a few, I need a glass of tea first.

Rat
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Rat's 1977 Polar Kraft 1440 refit

Post by Rat » 02 Aug 2009, 20:50

The transom lamination laid up well. It still has a slight bow in in from port to starboard, but I can live with it. I also messed up a little. The transom is 1 1/4" thick not 1"; so I need to get a piece of 1/4" ply to get it where is needs to be. So I started on the fore deck in earnest.

I dry fit everything together with temporary deck screws to see how I would like it. It is a little higher than what I wanted originally, but I also wanted it flush with the factory fore deck; so this is where I ended up. Boats are all about compromises right? At least I will have plenty of below decks storage!

fore deck in wood, fit looks good.
fore deck in wood.JPG
Same with the hatches cut out. I decided on two big hatches instead of three smaller. My original intent was to make one dry storage and pour 2 part foam into the unused space. However, I have opted for no dry storage, so just two big hatches that open into the belowdecks. Easier to get stuff in and out of as well as see what you are looking for; the starboard hatch will also be the anchor locker.
Hatch orientation.JPG
The fore deck cleats will look like this. They will be bonded to the Alu hull with 5200 and stainless bolts through the hull.There will also be a stringer that runs from the rear frame of the fore deck to the front frame of the fore deck that will act as a stiffener and divide the locker into two equal sections port and starboard.
Fore deck cleats.JPG
These show how I am gluing the battens to the bottom side of the fore deck. Again I am using epoxy glue. The will be no metal fasteners anywhere in the construction save for the stainless steel fasteners for the cleats and rear frame of the fore deck (to the factory seat). If there were a good way to make a structural bond between Alu and wood core epoxy I wouldn't use them there either, maybe someday.
first coat of epoxy.JPG
epoxy on the hatches.JPG
Battons glueing bottom.JPG
Battons glueing topside.JPG
Overall she is coming along nicely, just waiting for the epoxy to cure now. With building two boats I am out of work space in my little shop. I can't really work on other stuff until it is all cured. Eventually all surfaces will have three coats of epoxy as well as fiberglass on any deck surface.

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Waterwings
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Rat's 1977 Polar Kraft 1440 refit

Post by Waterwings » 02 Aug 2009, 20:57

Gonna be a nice rig, and thanks for posting the step-by-step process pics. 8)
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flintcreek
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Rat's 1977 Polar Kraft 1440 refit

Post by flintcreek » 02 Aug 2009, 22:29

Looking good, first time I have seen C-clamps like those. Good Ideal! Are you using the epoxy to glue the pieces together? Looking forward to more pictures.

Tight Lines.
Flintcreek

Rat
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Rat's 1977 Polar Kraft 1440 refit

Post by Rat » 02 Aug 2009, 23:24

flintcreek wrote:Looking good, first time I have seen C-clamps like those. Good Ideal! Are you using the epoxy to glue the pieces together? Looking forward to more pictures.

Tight Lines.
Flintcreek
Epoxy glue that I make. Mix up a batch of epoxy glue like normal, and then add wood flour until you get a ketchup like consistency. You can add more wood flour to make it less watery or to build fillets as well.

The c-clamp are just 3" pvc cut into 3" sections and then split, perfect tension for gluing parts together, and cheap!

Rat
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Rat's 1977 Polar Kraft 1440 refit

Post by Rat » 03 Aug 2009, 23:27

I got a little done on the ol' girl after work today. On the fore deck and hatches I put the second coat of epoxy, laid the 12 oz biax glass and wet it all out.I also drilled the oversized holes for the stainless screws on the rear frame of the fore deck. Didn't get a chance to get the plugs in before my neighbor called about a bad water leak he had. So I ended up playing plumber for a little bit :evil: At least I got a little glass down though.

As you can see I cut the glass proud. It is easier to cut it with a razor knife after it has cured than to try and get it perfect with the shears before hand. I also left plenty one the back so it will wrap down the rear frame about three inches to tie it all together and for abrasion resistance.
hatch glass.JPG
fore deck glass.JPG

Rat
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Rat's 1977 Polar Kraft 1440 refit

Post by Rat » 04 Aug 2009, 13:26

I have received a couple of questions on marine ply and epoxy so I thought I would post some thoughts here about them.
Marine Ply: When repairing, or building from scratch, a planing hull I use only Meranti 1088 Marine Ply and sometimes 6566. The structural characteristics of this ply is FAR superior to exterior grade ply from a box store. Technically I should be using 1088 or 6566 for my transom but I am fully encapsulating the exterior ply in 12 oz Biax fiberglass cloth which will give it more than enough strength. The transom knees will be 1088, lots of load (from the motor) there. The difference is the voids, BS 1088 does not allow any voids in the plies and there are 7 plies in a 1/2" sheet. In any event, marine ply will absorb water and rot like any other unprotected wood if not treated.

Epoxy: I use MarineEpoxy, not polyester (Bondo) or vinylester, for a couple of reasons. Epoxy will NOT allow water intrusion, poly and vinyl will unless sealed with another type of seal coat. Epoxy has better mechanical specs as well, shear, tensile, heat etc. Epoxy is far superior in every way, except price. There are several grades of epoxy as well, System 3 has superior specs compared to Marine Epoxy and when working on a hull that will see in excess of 65-70 MPH we will use System 3 on the main load bearing structures (runners and frames). Epoxy is not UV resistant, although you can add pigment to help with that. A good primer and top coat are needed or a UV resistant clear finish. We use epoxy based paints, like Sterling, to get a nice finish.

Fiberglass: I use Biax because it makes turns (around a radius) better than matt. Fiberglass adds strength and structure, and can be used on decks for abrasion resistance as well. If you have more questions you can post 'em here, no need to PM unless you really want to.

I am by no means a professional, just a hobbiest. But if you want to no more about stitch and glue composite construction you can check out Bateau.com.

Rat
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Rat's 1977 Polar Kraft 1440 refit

Post by Rat » 06 Aug 2009, 14:56

Picked up some hardware, epoxy primer, paint and non-skid today from West Marine. Also ordered the Alu ZC primer; I have decided to paint the entire interior to match and leave the outside for now.

I also picked up a Seloco manual for my '71 'rude. Gonna learn how to rebuild carburetors and fuel pumps I guess. [-o<

I may be fishing before next weekend!

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russ010
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Rat's 1977 Polar Kraft 1440 refit

Post by russ010 » 06 Aug 2009, 14:58

take a lot of pics man! I can't wait to see the progress

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huntinfool
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Rat's 1977 Polar Kraft 1440 refit

Post by huntinfool » 06 Aug 2009, 22:20

Rat, I assume by your location that you could possibly be the same Rat that posts on TBH. If so good to see you again. I like what your doing with your boat. I do fiberglass repair for a living, so if you ever need some advice let me know. Good luck with your project...she looks real good.

Rat
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Rat's 1977 Polar Kraft 1440 refit

Post by Rat » 17 Aug 2009, 19:56

Yep, same Rat, good to see ya huntinfool! I got this fiberglass thing down Brutha, I just need to work on the pretty part :mrgreen: !

Haven't made much progress, been too hot plus I needed 7 days to let the 5200 set up properly. I should be back at it this week sometime, hopefully. Been reading up on the repairs for my motor, I hate working on motors...
I used 5200 to glue the cleats to the inside of the hull, fastened with stainless bolts through the hull, there will be a stiffener in the center between the hatches. Sorry, not much boat porn... :shock:
deck cleats.JPG

Rat
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Rat's 1977 Polar Kraft 1440 refit

Post by Rat » 18 Aug 2009, 00:14

I got the transom shaped and cut down tonight, as well as the oversized holes drilled, for potting the fasteners, and one coat of epoxy.

These 1 1/8 holes will be filled in with thickened epoxy, then drilled to 1/4" for the bolts through the transom. This way water will never get to the wood.
transom potted (1).JPG
transom potted.JPG
Hopefully I can get it biaxed and wrapped tomorrow evening; gonna try and get the fore deck glued down as well.

Rat
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Rat's 1977 Polar Kraft 1440 refit

Post by Rat » 30 Aug 2009, 23:12

Well, it only got up to 101 degrees this weekend, so I decided to do some work on the PolarKraft since it was so nice...

I potted the bolt holes in the transom earlier this week; so I only needed to remove the backing, sand everything down one more time and apply the last coat of epoxy resin. I don't think I need to wrap it in glass. But if it turns out I do I will build another one; this one has a little warp in it and I think will be fine, but if it drives me crazy I will rebuild it.

I also glues the fore deck down, even got some fairing compound in it and the hatches. Used the sander to do some shaping and hit the high spots. It still needs a one more fairing round. Also the hatches are warped as well (that's what I get for buying warped wood [-X ) so they are going to need hatch dogs, I wasn't planning on using them, but now I have no choice. The fore deck is solid as a rock, no flex at all.

I have decided to put a sole in as well as sides to hide the electrical and fuel conduits. I cut and fit the sole and need to get the rear frame and deck cut, but I need more wood. I am also going to add flotation under the sole. So I need to get some 1/2 and 3/8 ply.

I picked up the primer, paints and non-skid as well, some for the epoxy some for the Alu.

I am very pleased with the fore deck, super solid and lots of storage under the deck.
Attachments
These will be center drilled for the 1/4 inch stainless through transom bolts.
These will be center drilled for the 1/4 inch stainless through transom bolts.
Plenty of room for life jackets and anchors under here.
Plenty of room for life jackets and anchors under here.
first round of fairing on the hatches
first round of fairing on the hatches
Looks good from where I sit!
Looks good from where I sit!
Welcome aboard...
Welcome aboard...

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