Restoration 1959 Aluma Craft FD

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Joined
Feb 9, 2024
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LOCATION
Zephyrhills Florida
I posted a few days ago and some seemed interested. So I figured I'd start a thread of my restoration. I'm hoping to have it on the water in around 5 or 6 months.
Step one for me at this moment is remove all the rusty bolts people have installed over the years and replace woth either stainless hardware or rivits, remove the wood transom and prep for a new one, clean all the corrosion off the boat and prep it for paint and restore this original steering wheel as good as I can.
 

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Got half the boat scotch-brited. Turns out it takes a lot of scrubbing and scotch-brite to get 3 decades of corrosion off an aluminum boat.
 

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Scotch Brite is pretty rough on the aluminum. SOS pads and water is super fast and leaves a better finish on them. I have done three with this method. The pad will also let you know when to move on to the next area as it starts out difficult to move and as it breaks the film it gets super slippery. Try it!
Reliability on the old engines? They could not be more simple, rugged and reliable and when you are finished with boating you can hand it down to the next generation. We do 100 mile runs with them all the time. Fuel economy? Yes but then again you are only running 35hp and you will pay dearly for a new 4-stroke. Would take years and years to make up the difference!
 
You should check out my restoration journal. Now what I did is completely different LOL. I can't believe you have a 1959 alumacraft fd aswell! I can't wait to see what you do

https://www.tinboats.net/threads/1959-alumacraft-fd-restoration-project-journal.47182/
I think I mentioned this on your journal, gwar822, but I'll throw it up again just for giggles..
Your boat appears to be a 1956 FD if I'm reading your serial correctly.
FD-2810 it what it looks like? (Roameroftheearth's boat is serial-ed at over 10,xxx)
The following screenshot is Alumacraft's actual records on the FD.
 

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I think I mentioned this on your journal, gwar822, but I'll throw it up again just for giggles..
Your boat appears to be a 1956 FD if I'm reading your serial correctly.
FD-2810 it what it looks like? (Roameroftheearth's boat is serial-ed at over 10,xxx)
The following screenshot is Alumacraft's actual records on the FD.
Ohh wow I'll re check! That's interesting thanks!
 
Scotch Brite is pretty rough on the aluminum. SOS pads and water is super fast and leaves a better finish on them. I have done three with this method. The pad will also let you know when to move on to the next area as it starts out difficult to move and as it breaks the film it gets super slippery. Try it!
Reliability on the old engines? They could not be more simple, rugged and reliable and when you are finished with boating you can hand it down to the next generation. We do 100 mile runs with them all the time. Fuel economy? Yes but then again you are only running 35hp and you will pay dearly for a new 4-stroke. Would take years and years to make up the difference!
The only reason I'm going with red scotch Brite pads is because I'm going to he painting the boat. Not restoring the aluminum. Otherwise I would be doing an sos pad. The hull is very corroded though.
 
So I ended up getting a 2001 Johnson 30hp. I paid a premium of 1600$ for it with the controls, however it's in mint condition and the person I bought it from is a 4th generation Johnson technician. It has had everything gone through and rebuild as needed and runs amazing.

A newer 4 stroke just wasn't in the books and indont think it would have been the best choice for this boat. (I'm building a stand for it this weekend)
1000016143.jpg
 

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Last year, I sold a 0-hour Johnson that had been found in a wet box in a storage room behind a closed boat dealership by guys cleaning the place out. New in the box!

A customer traded it to me for a bigger motor that fit his boat better, and I sold it to a fellow who was absolutely thrilled. At first, I thought you were the guy! I'm in VA and you are in FL, but that sure looks like the same motor!

Good find! If taken care of, that engine will still be running for your grandchildren years from now.
 
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Last year, I sold a 0-hour Johnson that had been found in a wet box in a storage room behind a closed boat dealership by guys cleaning the place out. New in the box!

A customer traded it to me for a bigger motor that fit his boat better, and I sold it to a fellow who was absolutely thrilled. At first, I thought you were the guy! I'm in VA and you are in FL, but that sure looks like the same motor!

Good find! If taken care of, that engine will still be running for your grandchildren years from now.
That's so cool. I'm excited to run it for many many years to come.
 
Got my Steering mechanism in the mail. I was amazed the only thing needed to adapt the factory wheel was simply sand down the woodruff key and it slid right on. Paint is in the mail for the hull. What do yall reccomend for the transom? I really don't want to do wood as I have a vengeance against wood in boats. I know it's perfectly fine. But I wouldn't even know what kind of wood to buy. I at least want to router the edges of the wood to make it look good. I'd still love to do starboard, but that might not give the strength I need.
 

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Got my Steering mechanism in the mail. I was amazed the only thing needed to adapt the factory wheel was simply sand down the woodruff key and it slid right on. Paint is in the mail for the hull. What do yall reccomend for the transom? I really don't want to do wood as I have a vengeance against wood in boats. I know it's perfectly fine. But I wouldn't even know what kind of wood to buy. I at least want to router the edges of the wood to make it look good. I'd still love to do starboard, but that might not give the strength I need.
White Oak would be my choice for the transom wood top coated with 3 coats of spar varnish.
 
Three good non-wood options...
  1. Coosa Bluewater
  2. 1-1/2" schedule 40 square aluminum tubing stacked
  3. Pre-made aluminum transom from TBN - TBnation Aluminum Transoms
  4. SeaCast molded and installed as one piece. www.transomrepair.net
1. Coosa cuts and fits pretty much like wood, so it's the easy choice, and it will never rot, obviously. Costs a couple hundred bucks, last time I bought some.

2. The stacked aluminum USED to be a cheap, better way to do it, but now aluminum is $$$, so not sure the current cost. Depends on where you buy. Pretty easy to do, though. Cut them to size, lay on a flat surface and weld them together and sand flat. Requires a MIG or TIG welder with Argon gas shielding, or just take it to a shop, which should be pretty cheap. My last boat had this, and it was absolutely flawless. I miss that boat! Mine was raised to a 20" transom. Ground the top weld flat, then gave up and left the ugly beads. Added a solid transom plate, and it was awesome. Super strong, and lighter than the wood.
Message_1627603203364.jpg

3. You can also buy a pre-made one from TinyBoatNation. It looks like they run $500-$700

4. SeaCast is a 3rd option. I have used a lot of SeaCast over the years, and it's an excellent product. It is about the same density as wood, (floats in water) but is super-duper-tough, extremely strong. It is about $250/ 5 gal. bucket, and it looks like my old boat would have used 2 buckets, so about the same cost as aluminum:
1712156366807.png

With the Seacast, you need to make a mold of your transom shape, mix and pour the transom, strike it flat, and then install as usual. It's really awesome stuff.

I had all of these options available when I did my last rebuild last year. I ended up using doubled plywood, sealed well. I probably won't have this boat more than 20 years, so I am not worried about ever having to replace it. I surely sealed mine better than the factory, so it will probably last even longer.

If I had a lifetime boat, I would probably go with the aluminum tube transom. I love that it's so light, keeping my transom as light as possible.
 

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