Crestliner CX 1754 Project

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Jul 3, 2018
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I’ve been reading lots of the threads here getting ideas for my latest purchase. So it’s probably best I start a thread so there’s some background when I start asking questions. It’s a 2001 Crestliner CX 1754, came with decent trailer and a non-running Mariner 90 2 stroke. So far I got the motor running with a new voltage regulator, and I’ve replaced all the fuses to get some of the electrical working. It needs a lot of little things at this point, and a lot of beautifying. But I love having a project to work on over the winter months and wanted a bigger boat I can use in local smallmouth bass fishing derbies for which this will work great for. It’s replacing my first ever boat, a 12 foot Lund with a 9.9 Evinrude.


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You have a very nice boat there. It has enough size and motor for you to just about do any kind of inshore angling. Congratulation on your purchase....there are lots of great ideas on this website., and people to help out with those ideas.
Just bought the same boat from my cousin in North Carolina a few months ago. Mine still has the stock Johnson 50hp 2 stroke. Love that boat. Congrats on your upgrade.
Making a little progress over the last couple weeks, trying to pick away at a few things before the snow flies.

Pulled the entire dash out so it can go in the shed and I can work on getting everything functional. There’s only a few random wires so it’s not too bad, I think I just need to clean up a lot of connections. Fuel gauge is the only one functional but I confirmed the Speedo works with a bit of air in the pitot tube so it’s the tube itself that I need to sort out. Will continue this process for the rest of the gauges, switches, radio, and horn until it’s all working. I did order some speakers and will reuse the old radio if i can but I suspect I’ll need a new one. I absolutely do not need a radio in a fishing boat but since it’s already there we’ve decided I need to get a working one.

The front deck was covered in rubber matting so I enlisted help from one of the kids to strip that up, and start pulling carpet up from under the matting. Most of this is coming up easy which I appreciate but there’s lots of work left to do. I’m still trying to decide on carpet vs vinyl, that will likely come down to cost and local availability.

I have new u-bolts and bearings for the trailer, new winch strap and chains, and some interior lights for the boat all on their way so we’ll see if I can get any of that done before it’s too cold and miserable here for outdoor work.


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Progress will be slow over the winter months especially but I had some nice days and got a bit done over the past week. Dash came out and got completely disassembled, I ended up repairing some cracked plastic parts and painting everything since the plastic is far too damaged from years of sun to bring it back. I spent some time troubleshooting gauges, I can confirm that the fuel gauge and Speedo work, the rest currently do not. Replacement gauges aren’t cheap and not that important so I’ll at least clean them up and pretend like their functional. I can also confirm the radio is shot, that’s something I can deal with down the road since it’s a fishing boat, not a party boat. I have all new switches and a new horn on order, once those come in I’ll get the top part of the dash all put back together. Carpet is being ordered today, going with a basic grey 16 ounce marine carpet since there’s no such thing as cheap marine carpet in Canada but I still want a relatively good product so I don’t have to do this again in 2 years. Next on my list is to clean up glue residue from the lower dash pieces and start pulling hatch covers to get them in the shed for when carpet arrives. I have heat out there so I can hopefully make some progress on the nicer days. Before, during and after photos below.


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Dash looks great. Curious what adhesives and paint you’ve used to bring all that back to life?
Thanks guys, it’s turning out pretty well so far. Lower section of dash is a Krylon textured plastic paint, the gauge sections are all rustoleum paints, primer, semi-Matt black and gloss clear topcoat. I don’t expect it all to last a lifetime where it’s just spray bombed but I’ve had decent luck with these paints for outdoor projects so hopefully it’ll hold up for a while. For the repair area I used Gorilla Glue gel instant adhesive to bond the cracked pieces and to bond a small piece of thin acrylic under the missing piece. Then I filled thst missing piece in with some 5 minute epoxy to blend it into the rest of the plastic. It’s solid but also has a bit of flexibility too so hopefully I can avoid cracking it on re-install.
Winter has hit here in Nova Scotia, but I can still make some progress as I’ve pulled all the floors and hatches out of the boat and dragged them into my now packed shed. Everything is disassembled and I’m working away at pulling carpet. Carpet comes off easy, glue residue not so much. I’m currently scraping most of it off with a small chisel, then using lacquer thinner and scotchbrite pads to remove the rest. It’s an awful job but it’s coming along, although I want to try a wire wheel on my grinder to see if that a little easier. I still have to deal with the grip tape that was installed all over the front end, I’m hoping a heat gun will help with that process because it’s well adhered and not letting go.


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At this point the dash is done except for a horn button that is on back order. I replaced all switches with led light up ones, the horn button also has a led light in it. New stereo is installed, had to make a plate to mount it because the previous stereo was din and a half and this is just a din sized stereo. That mount plate is just an old plastic cutting board cut, trimmed, and sanded smooth. I also restored the steering wheel and the mounts for the windshield, all were seriously oxidized so they were lightly sanded and then hit with the heat gun until the ozidization was gone. Before and after photos of the dash are attached, the photo of the windshield mount clips has a cleaned up one on top and the oxidized ones are the two below. Next on the to-do list is carpet, that’s my hope is to have all carpet done by the end of the Christmas holidays.


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First, congratulations on finding a great boat. I really love Crestliners, especially the newer, welded boats. Very tough, and arguably the best riding boats for their size and HP ratings. The fact that it will hold a 90 HP tells you something about the construction.

I really like the work you have done to the dash. Krylon Fusion is outstanding paint for plastics. I have restored a number of things, and it holds up as long as the original plastic in many cases. I built our house in 2005 and painted the green plastic shutters blue. Had a friend help power wash the house this spring, and he asked when I got the new shutters. I was confused for a sec, but when I looked carefully, yes, they DID still look new. THAT is some good rattle-can paint!

16 ounce Granite gray marine carpet is standard. Comfortable underfoot and durable, and if you keep it from cooking in the sun, it will last a long time. Even just a blue tarp goes a long way toward protecting your investment.

Do you have Amazon in NS? We took a 2-week driving trip, and crossed on the Bar Harbor/Scituate Cat ferry, and did the coast all the way up and around, and ended up back in Maine. Really beautiful place, and still one of our all-time favorite vacations.

Not sure if I can add much, as you seem to have everything in control. Very often, electrical is just a matter of replacing corroded terminals and a few switches. I often see guys make a mess of something that wasn't too bad to start with, costing them much time and money.

If you have any questions of decisions, post them up and hopefully you will be steered in the right direction.
Thanks Thill. The carpet was a big decision since I knew the effort and cost going into it and wanted to get it right the first time. 16oz regular grey carpet is definitely the safe option, but now that I have started getting carpet on some parts I’m pretty happy with my choice. I do have both a canvas cover, and a large tarp for winter to help protect everything and keep it as dry and out of the sun as possible. We certainly have Amazon out here and I’ve taken full advantage and made use of Amazon Warehouse to keep some costs down. Electrical work doesn’t scare me too much, it just requires a lot of patience and a little common sense. Luckily nothing has been hacked too bad in the boat so it’s easy to follow everything as I get it cleaned up.

For a long time I questioned why people came to NS on vacation, but as I get a little older and a little wiser I’ve become more appreciative of what a little space and a lot of natural beauty can do for a person. I understand now, and I’m glad you got to experience some of what I get on a very regular basis up here.
I am right now wearing one of two T-shirts I picked up in Halifax. Been there twice, but only one day each because it was part of a cruise ship stop. Wish I could have stayed longer in NS.
When I ordered my carpet I looked online for advice on how much carpet I would need to redo the floor of my boat and I settled on 26 feet of carpet. Unfortunately that’s going to leave me about 5 feet short. 🤦‍♂️ I’ll get as much done as possible for now and I have another roll of carpet ordered to finish things off in the new year. For those wondering, for a 17 foot Crestliner or similar bass boat with multiple hatches needing carpet, you’re looking at a minimum of 30 feet of 6 foot wide carpet to do the job properly. And I would highly recommend going with 35 feet if I was to do this again.
When I ordered my carpet I looked online for advice on how much carpet I would need to redo the floor of my boat and I settled on 26 feet of carpet. Unfortunately that’s going to leave me about 5 feet short. 🤦‍♂️ I’ll get as much done as possible for now and I have another roll of carpet ordered to finish things off in the new year. For those wondering, for a 17 foot Crestliner or similar bass boat with multiple hatches needing carpet, you’re looking at a minimum of 30 feet of 6 foot wide carpet to do the job properly. And I would highly recommend going with 35 feet if I was to do this again.
Sage info man. I’ll keep that in mind after next season when I redo the carpet on mine. Happy holidays.
Good advice. I got an account with Sparta Carpets, and I'm very happy with their prices and fast delivery. They are on Ebay as "boatcarpetsales" and I think they are on Amazon too. I have a Spectrum that will be getting restored and carpeted soon. I'm going with Marble Gray again. Looks good, is very comfortable, wears long and is probably the best bang for the buck. Who knows what else I'm going to run into on this boat, but it should be interesting.

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It’s a big moment to have the front deck done and set in place for now because it means I’m making progress, and it just looks awesome. The side panels and floor still have the old carpet in place and I really can’t do much with that until the spring. The back deck, seat area, and console will all get finished up in the shed over the next few weeks. The list of things I can finish up before spring is getting smaller but I know once March rolls around I’m going to be scrambling to finish up and put the boat to use so I’m staying motivated to get it all done while I can. Ignore the snowy footprints for now, it happens in Nova Scotia in December and I’ll take care of that and all the dust and carpet bits before the first run in spring.


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I dont know that I would have your patience when restoring my boat !! I would have to expand your "shed" into something I could heat and keep on working !!! I see all these resto projects and often wonder how you folks can be so patient !!

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