70’s Starcraft 14’ Seafarer “By Golly”


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I was able to start wiring utility lights. I have both blue and white LEDs. The softer blue are for higher “deck” lighting and I’m keeping the whites lower.

Blue on the bow deck.

One white recessed under the steering console to have some helpful working lighting when I’m in the helm seat.
Also starting the last of my structural additions. Tackling the port side reinforcement first, rear deck/seating will be last because I have no idea what to do there.

For the side hull reinforcement, I got a mock up cut last night and the pen lines show that I’m seriously toying the idea of incorporating some rod storage here that goes forward under the bow deck.

Found some spare pvc tube in my garage, so it looks like rod tubes are a-go!

I'm never a fan of putting all that weight up front on a small light boat, I much rather the operator be seated in the rear or have the console mounted at the mid seat location to avoid plowing through the water. I do however love the photo of you as a kid in that boat.
@Crazyboat The original configuration was a forward console, and since I couldn't shorten the steering cable (and didn't want to buy a new one), I was pretty limited with helm locations relative to forward/stern positions. For me the modifications have very much been about tradeoffs. Yes, it pushes a lot when not on plane, but it's not nose-heavy like you would think. That is due to low weight distribution of other items, mainly deep cycle batteries. Runs great solo, and when I have a buddy with me, they sit toward the stern. The extra battery weight also helps stabilize the boat significantly when not moving. Considering I'm mostly running solo for fishing using my trolling motor, this has actually been a benefit because my weight is well-centered. The bigger downside for me is that I'm simply losing a lot of spare capacity, so it is, at maximum, a 2-man (adult) boat.
I’m not great at documenting the various steps of each piece with pictures, but this will give you some idea of my process for adding elements like the side support.

1. Work up a fairly specific design plan (usually in my head)
2. Create a template for the wood piece
3. Rough cut the wood and test fit
4. Do some fine cutting to adjust as needed (keep in mind sealer, glue and carpet adds to dimensional specs, so if I’m carpeting I usually trim wood to allow 1/8”-1/4” gap for these things)
5. Next I try and pre-drill fastener holes if I know where I’ll be adding stainless steel wood screws
6. Finish sanding and clean off dust
7. At least a few coats of sealer (I’m using a high quality 25 year deck sealer)
8. Glue carpet, which is usually a few steps in itself
9. Install and hope it fits!
This is generally how I glue, one side at a time, weighing it down to get maximum interaction with the outdoor glue. It has worked pretty well. I’m some instances I have to use staples to help hold the carpet, but on flat areas the adhesive works great and has a rock solid hold.



These rod holder/support pieces were definitely the hardest I’ve had to carpet so far. Not fun.
Planning, taking your time and not rushing when working each phase of the project all add to the quality of the restorage / project, very nice looking job!
That's awesome job on the restoration, I will only give one piece of advice. I did the same kind of restoration on a Lone Star 14footer, and loved it fished out of it all over and had a great time with family and friends in it and like always you think you need to have more room bigger motor etc, so I sold it and I regretted till this day. So hang on to it, its a great project and it's yours with no payment.
I’ve really cranked on the boat the past few days to have it back in action for fishing. New EVA foam non-slip “floor” got installed and the new rear seat/deck is on too. Wired in two more lights and cleaned up the wiring under the front deck. Installed one of the rod tubes, going to hold on the other because I’m not sure how to mount it. I’m loving this boat!




@Stand Up @David Atkins @JohnT Thank you guys!

John, that’s great advice that I plan on taking. No plans on the boat going anywhere, especially with its sentimental value.
John is right, I had a wide body jon boat my Dad and I fished out of for years, had a guy at boat dealer talk me out of it on trade on a fiberglass bass boat, got to be a bit of trouble when my Dad could no longer help me load and unload the boat in back of my pick-up truck. Wishing I would have kept the jon boat because of the sentimental aspect, Dad is gone now but I remember all of those great days fishing with him in that jon boat.

And boy you have done an amazing job since last we spoke, looks terrific, great job!
It's been awhile since I last posted to this build thread, so here's a quick update! A few boat minor changes have taken place:

1. I installed a threaded post mount to the rear deck so I can use my casting seat from the rear of the boat. The slightly larger deck/seat has made this possible
2. I braced the rear deck with aluminum supports, the same way I braced the front deck
3. I moved all my blue LED lighting. They were WAY brighter than I expected. The direct blue lighting in the dark was overpowering, so I moved all of the strips to locations that were "recessed," which greatly improved nighttime visibility

Here are a few before/after comparison pictures. I still occasionally look through my old photos to see how far the boat has come. I'll post some more action photos soon of various trips this summer.



Thank you for posting all of the pictures! I picked up a SeaKing 14' a couple of weeks ago, which is basically this same boat with a Montgomery Wards sticker on it, 20hp Johnson and all. I was wanting to build a console for it, maybe a deck, and put EVA on the bottom like you did. This thread answered a TON of my questions. It's almost creepy, like you built what I was kicking around in my mind! Somebody in the last 55 years or so painted it (poorly) and I've been toying with color ideas. I bought grey paint for the inside but was on the fence because I didn't know what it would look like. I also am kicking around a center console because I'm solo most of the time and wanted the weight in the center. Your steering position is kind of what I was leaning towards. Problems solved! LOL!!

You do excellent work - and I have to say how much I appreciate it all being pretty much un-doable if you ever decide to return it to original. Not that you would want to, just that you could if you ever wanted to. That takes considerable more effort. Well done!
@beagle Thank you, the kind words really mean a lot. I've put a ton of work into the boat, but it's been so enjoyable to see it come to fruition. If you ever have any questions or want more details about a part of the boat build, let me know and I'll happily try to elaborate to share any insight that I've gained through the process. As you might see on this site, there are lots a resources and bits of info, but sometimes you have to dig around for them.

I ALMOST went center console with this restoration, the main reason being that I could have a seat dead-center in the boat that could hide my trolling motor batteries. I still think about it from time to time, actually. I don't have pictures of my current battery location because it's the one thing I'm quite embarrassed about - I ratchet strap them around my seat base... but this keeps all that weight low and centered. If you ever start a build thread on your boat I'll make sure to follow it!
Definitely one of the highlights of my summer was taking the boat on a feeder lake off Lake Michigan where salmon will stage before starting their river run. It was a tough bite but went 1/1 and the boat notched its gunnel for the first salmon caught!

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