1999 Starcraft Superfisherman Transom Restoration

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One thing that I'm looking at right now as a potential challege or issue is the wood thickness, combined with the added 1/16 plate i'm going to attach. The channel the wood sits down into, as well as the support struts that bolt all this together is pretty tight as it is. I don't want to jam it down in there and put undo stress on the aluminum. Because the difference is a mere 1/16", What Im thinking of doing is once I have the new wood fabbed up, I can simply route 1/16" deep channels in the wood to accomodate the support struts. I can't imagine this would compromise the strength in anyway being so little, and it would fit together much better this way. Anyway, thats a ways down the road at the moment.

That is what I would do, and seal the heck out of the ply. Especially those partially exposed laminations when you route out the 1/16 grooves.
 
Something that has me thinking as I do this. Corrosion, like rust on steel, needs oxygen to do its thing. My thinking is, once as much of this is cleaned out as possible, sealing the metal when I coat with epoxy will prevent the process from continuing.

Keeping in mind I'm far from a qualified expert, I would want to remove all of the white corrosion before coating.
 
Keeping in mind I'm far from a qualified expert, I would want to remove all of the white corrosion before coating.

I'm doing my best here, but I have to tell ya, there is quite a bit and its been very difficult to remove it. I had to resort to a dremel with a little cutting bit to get it out of the pits. What is interesting is once you buzz it out of the pit, its usually underneath what looks like good metal right beside the pit.

I would say that as of now, I have about 90% of the white crud out of of the tin. There are still tiny specs of white here and there that would take me another week or ten to remove... lol. I used the dremel on all of it.. which is insanely tedious, then scoured and scrubbed the ever living piss out of it with white vineger and stainless brushes.
 
OK guys, I wanted to keep this thread moving and let you know where I stand. Most of the aluminum has been cleaned up about as good as I can possibly get it. Quite honestly, there was a bunch of pits and it took a lot to clean them. Even so, I'm not 100% sure its all completely out of the tin.

In the one bottom corner, as I was cleaning, I noticed an odd spot on the bottom of the hull, right were the folded edge of the transom skin is riveted to the bottom of the hull. Ugh, another hole, right through the bottom of the boat. :mad:. Its a tiny hole, maybe a 1/16. It appears water got trapped in there and you guessed it, ate through. I went around the entire perimeter of the transom edge and so far, haven't found anything else, but this is a bummer. I'm concerned now that there is more corrosion damage in the seam.

I really don't want to scrap the boat. My thinking at the moment is that this boat is a 5 year plan, maybe 10 and then i'm off to another. So, I'm going to complete the repairs as planned, fix up that new pin hole and seal it good and be done with it. Hopefully, I can get some quality years out of it before I unload it and buy another.

To put it honestly. This boat was used in salt/brackish water and I probably should have known better. I got a bit of boat fever because of how the rest of it looked and had to travel 4 hours to look at it. Shame too, the rest of the boat is in pretty nice shape. More updates to follow.
 
New Update.

The weather here has been batshit crazy and my schedule just didn't give me a lot of time recently. However, I kept plugging away at this thing and honestly, things are looking up. I have been cleaning the tin like a madman now for a couple of weeks, an hour or so at a time. As I may have mentioned earlier, a tiny cutting bit on a dremel buzzed right through the white stuff in the pitting, following that up with two different courseness stainless wire brushes, then a pure vineger bath/scrub, then rinse. She cleaned up pretty darn well if you ask me.

Beginning of fabrication time. I was going to use the transom wood as the template to make my new tin skin, but realized it was going to be a touch short in spots, mainly at the bottom, and I wanted bit more coverage down there. I had a huge sheet of cardboard in the garage and used it to make a template off the old wood core, then added the small bit to the bottom to ensure I have as much of the transom skin covered. It came out perfect and I'm ready to transfer this to the metal and cut it out. More to come.IMG_1142.jpeg

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This weeks update. Weather was a bit warmer so I could feel my fingers better. Been going over all the pits with a fine toothed comb to ensure its as good as reasonably possible. Pretty happy with how it cleaned up. IT WAS A LOT OF WORK. I will say that.

I made a template off the old wood core to use as a basis for the new metal skin. I had to add a little to the bottom as I took out the Z channel that the core sits into to clean the corrosion out from between it and the outer skin. I wanted to make sure the new tin completely covered this area and the rivet holes were well within the new skin so it all goes back together flush and not half the new tin covering half a rivet hole. Hard to explain without pics. After test fitting the cardboard template and ensuring perfect fit, I cut the new tin and slid her in. Perfect fit with maybe 1/4" of clearance on each side. I did clamp it down tight and take a grinder to clean up a little where it was off on the curved bit. Happy.

This weekend is supposed to warm up so I will be drilling out all the mounting holes and getting wood blocks cut and drilled to use for clamping. There is one area, on each side of the transom where I won't be able to get clamps that deep. Brainstorming how I can get solid clamping pressure down there when I get to the epoxy stage.

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There is one area, on each side of the transom where I won't be able to get clamps that deep. Brainstorming how I can get solid clamping pressure down there when I get to the epoxy stage.

Temporarily clamp blocks of wood to floor framing or whatever then use wedges against them and the new skin? Clamp a length of wood at the top then use wedges against it at the bottom?

Can't ever have enough wedges!
 
Temporarily clamp blocks of wood to floor framing or whatever then use wedges against them and the new skin? Clamp a length of wood at the top then use wedges against it at the bottom?

Can't ever have enough wedges!
You and I think a lot a like! I was actually thinking. I have a couple of scissor jacks that came out of vehicles I owned. I may be able to put them up against the flooring on their side and crank them up till I get adaquate pressure against the skin and a block of wood to distribute that pressure over a larger area. I do like your idea.. simple and easy. Thanks bud!
 
You and I think a lot a like! I was actually thinking. I have a couple of scissor jacks that came out of vehicles I owned. I may be able to put them up against the flooring on their side and crank them up till I get adaquate pressure against the skin and a block of wood to distribute that pressure over a larger area. I do like your idea.. simple and easy. Thanks bud!

Things like that work. Just get something close then use shims to tighten things up. I can't say how many times I've used wood door shims for stuff like that. I always have them on hand.
 
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