1996 Starcraft Fishmaster 140 Restoration/Rebuild

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Joined
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LOCATION
Yorktown, VA
So I have acquired a decent hull for the right price and am doing a full restoration with my brother and hoping to get the boat on the water by July. Transom was looking very dicey due to old pressure treated wood, but the rest of the hull is pretty spotless albeit some minor corrosion from carpet bunks.

Here are the plan's so far:
  • Anneal/fit a new transom due to an unhealthy amount of corrosion
  • Fabricate an all aluminum transom with my Tig from some spare aluminum sheets a buddy spared me
  • Paint interior/exterior after Alodine treatment and zinc chromate primer
  • Foam the boat to be unsinkable because it will get flats usage and light bay usage when whether permits
  • Extend casting deck and add storage underneath
  • Replace all flooring due to rot, seal with epoxy, then cover with raptor liner for more water resistance and UV protection
  • Remove factory rod locker and install new rod storage for more floor space and easier access to rods
  • Re-wire electronics, livewell, and re-locate bilge pump outflows
Quite a project on our hands, but the price was just right for us. We’re both in our mid 20’s and wanted to build something from the ground up. Until one of us gets a house, this boat will live in a trailer in a storage unit. This boat will definitely hold some sentimental value for us and we definitely have our work cut out for us.
 

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We have worked on the boat a few full days so far and here is where we are at now.

Initially thought transom *may* have been save-able, but after removing the old PT I seem to have found corrosion on the seams and quite a bit of thinning. Drilled out all rivets, removed transom, and treated the seam with Alodine and Zinc Chromate. Man was getting all of those rivets a real tedious task….

Boat has been fully gutted and will be cleaned and prepped for foam. We will be putting much more than they did at the factory, we want every crevice filled so if we take too much water in the bay we’ll still float. Can’t put a price on your safety!

Next couple of weeks will be annealing a new sheet of 1/8” 5052 for the transom. Will use a MAPP torch, temp stick indicator @ 650F, and build a form out of plywood to get the shape right. Shoutout to @DaleH for all the info on your old post and transom rebuild!
 

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Whew....that transom was a bunch of rivets to drill out !! Looked forward to your progress. What are ya gonna hang on the back for power ?
Yeah it was quite the tedious task hahaha... I'm gonna hang an older 25hp mercury on the back, I believe this year the block was made by Yamaha. Ended up buying a motor from a retired owner of a local marine shop who fixes and flips them!
Whew....that transom was a bunch of rivets to drill out !! Looked forward to your progress. What are ya gonna hang on the back for power ?
 

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Thank you all for the warm welcome!

So I got caught up at a wedding most of this whole weekend but cut the piece for the transom and got a short amount of time annealing/bending. Here is what I have so far. Didn't have time to build a full form to bend it, so used a variety of clamps and 2x4's cut/routered to fit. It's a bit rough of a start and I can tell this will take quite some time, I was running into problems with the piece cooling extremely quickly and realized I would need a full form to cover both top and bottom to allow the piece to not dissipate heat so quickly. The plywood would cost around $80 to build the form out.

I realize annealing and hammer forming this by hand will be a LONG process so I decided to get the piece bent at a sheet metal shop. I can get it bent and corners welded to match the factory piece for around $150 which sounds way worth the money over the labor hahaha; was told to just bring in the old piece and new sheet, and they said they'd get me right. Only an extra $70 to save me weekends of work? Seems well worth it to me. Hopefully if they can get it out the shop by this week I can drill the holes and get it mounted back to the boat this weekend.
 

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Small update, so the sheet metal shop that was bending the new transom piece totally snapped the sheet of aluminum I gave them. They gave me a call and told me I was most likely sold the wrong grade of aluminum (6061), which would make sense since annealing/bending that sheet by hand felt like I was hardly making progress (6061 anneals at 100F higher than I was heating it!). I'm going with the sheet metal shop's material so if they mess up this next piece it's on their dollar.

Luckily the metal supply store is willing to own up to their mistake and is giving me a free sheet of 5052 hahaha. Guess I'll be using that new sheet to fabricate the new transom brace.

Originally I was going to use the 6061 as the face plate for my transom brace since it is a stiffer material, but have heard that using dissimilar materials has the potential to introduce galvanic corrosion so I will steer clear of that for now. Especially since I'm adding in a whole new transom, last thing I'd want is to set it up for failure by doing something like that.
 
6061 is crazy-strong material, but needs a lot of heat to anneal, as you found out. I've never heard of it corroding other aluminum, though. What did the metal shop tell you about that? I would ask, if you haven't.
 
6061 is crazy-strong material, but needs a lot of heat to anneal, as you found out. I've never heard of it corroding other aluminum, though. What did the metal shop tell you about that? I would ask, if you haven't.
Thanks for the tip! I called around and asked some of the boat builders I know who said I shouldn't have a problem with it if I treat it with alodine & chromate primer. I got sketched out by a welding forum saying that mixing different grades of aluminum can cause galvanic corrosion problems.

Guess I'll be using the broken sheet of 6061 for most of the transom, the extra rigidity is very nice!
 
Been a little wrapped up with life & work but finally got to fitting the transom this past weekend. Man was that way harder than I thought it would be….. Outside is fully sealed and I’m quite happy with the results.

Got everything in with Cleco’s, and just have a littleeee bit more knocking to get those corners to fit the hull flush (corners mainly). I think the straight parts of the mounting face that will be riveted are 1-2mm off in terms of angle, and the corners are roughly about 5-10mm off.

Also debating whether that small of a gap will fit into place once the seam tape is down and rivets are bucked in place 🤔.

If anyone has to install a new transom to their boat I would say start from the BOTTOM of the boat, then work your way up to make sure everything is snug along the seams.
 

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I realize annealing and hammer forming this by hand will be a LONG process so I decided to get the piece bent at a sheet metal shop. I can get it bent and corners welded to match the factory piece for around $150 which sounds way worth the money over the labor hahaha; was told to just bring in the old piece and new sheet, and they said they'd get me right. Only an extra $70 to save me weekends of work? Seems well worth it to me.
**** ... you got LUCKY for sure, go buy a Lottery ticket! When I went to replace both the OUTside and INside skins on my Star Craft transome replacement - versus rebuild - NO tin knocker around here would even touch it! My neighbors heard me clanging away for days, annealing the alloy with gas, then hammering it into shape with a HUGE rubber mallet over various tree stump ends carved into various diameters, curves and projections by the chainsaw, haha!

WOW ... you're indeed one lucky son of a $##$$%!!!!!!!!!!
 
I've seen smokin deals on craigs for boats that were in great shape. If they gave me that boat for free I wouldn't take it. Too much work and money to fix it. I just had to replace the transom on my boat and it was 1 months work. Never again.......
 
I've seen smokin deals on craigs for boats that were in great shape. If they gave me that boat for free I wouldn't take it. Too much work and money to fix it. I just had to replace the transom on my boat and it was 1 months work. Never again.......
I hear where you’re coming from, unfortunately we’re limited on size of boat and needed something very specific that would fit in a storage unit and had the right beam width plus side height.

Best boat we could find by a long shot locally from us, and we looked for 6 months or so! Plus can’t beat the memories we’ll get out of this thing, we’ve always loved custom building things
 
Transom is finished! Extremely lucky to have a sheet metal shop bend the piece for us although I had to re-do some of the shops corner welds cause penetration was very poor.

Transom was acid etched, aloldine treatment, then a layer of thin chromate primer. Flashing/seam tape was laid, sealant applied, and rivets were all bucked…. PHEWWWW that was quite a lot of labor but I am VERY pleased with the results, even had a ship builder buddy take a look for us.

Next up is stripping the interior before framing and foam. The end game is near 😊
 

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