Race Boat Shop
Owner - Alex Hunt
On April 17, 2004 this Century Speedster was transported to the Vintage
Race Boat Shop for some motor work, convert generator to alternator charging
system, minor wood work, and a bottom paint job.
The older generator charging system on the 350 Chevrolet motor was not dong
the job of keeping the battery fully charged, so a new marine alternator was
installed. With the help of Jim Kondrat, we found the proper pulley and
brackets, but we had to fabricate a few pieces to ensure the correct fan belt
alignment. First, the assembly was dry fitted, then removed and spray painted
to match the engine, then reinstalled. I know - picky, picky, picky - but
attention to detail is our specialty !!!
The bottom of this Century had been replaced years ago, with an inner layer
of marine plywood and an outer layer of narrow planks bedded in 3M-5200
adhesive. The result is a very strong, water tight and flexible bottom. But the
adhesive had oozed out just a titch on all the seams, so it took many hours of
sanding with 120 grit paper, to get the bottom smooth and ready for the first
coat of paint - Interlux Brightside, sea green.
As you can see above, we spend a lot of time on the bottom of each boat - in
fact the first thing we do is to hoist the boat off the trailer for a thorough
bottom inspection. We then spend many long hours on a creeper, aggressively
sanding for a very smooth surface and to expose any wood issues. Then we take
the time to repair as required. But the bottom on this Century was in excellent
shape, so only aggressive sanding with 120 grit paper was required. After
sanding, the bottom is vacuumed, tacked, wiped down with Dupont Final Prep, and
the boot stripe gets taped. Finally, the first coat of paint is applied - using
our "rolling & wicking" technique.
Remember - if you wanna be fast - you gotta be smooth !!!
After a second of of Interlux paint on the bottom, the bootstripe was taped
and painted with Pettit Specialty Boot Top white paint. Then the cutwater,
transom bands and exhaust trim rings were re-installed.
We also had to repair two cracked frame members - by "sistering" with fitted
pieces of mahogany - bedded with 3M-5200 adhesive and through bolted. This
make for a very strong, but flexible repair.
And finally, the new alternator system was wired - with great attention to
detail by ace mechanic - Donnie McLean !!!
That's it - the bottom and bootstripe have been painted, the new alternator
system has been installed and wired, and the cracked frame members have been
repaired. Time for spring launching, always the fun part, and on May 22nd,
we launched AM Wood at the Wolfetrap Ramp - cause for great celebration - even
in the rain !!!
Next, we adjusted the shaft stuffing box, noted a small leak coming the
stern, that will stop when the boat has swelled, and we changed the oil, filter
and spark plugs. The motor ran very well, and seemed to really like the new
alternator charging system.
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Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit
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