Part 2 - Bottom detailing, finish
sanding, stain & varnish work
On March 16th,
we trekked over to the Fish Brothers to pickup the completed hull. It was a
good day, we had good weather with sunny skies, and we tucked Impulse
safe and sound inside our shop.
some "before" finishing photos, using the green aft seat from my
beloved Obsession. The engine
box, flooring and ceiling panels with be stained and finished bright
and the upholstery will be burgundy.
We spent several
days detailing and sanding the bottom of the hull, first with 120 grit on
our random orbital sander, followed by Scotchbrite Pads. We took our time
and got the bottom real smooth.
Remember - if you wanna be fast - you gotta be
we applied two coats of Pettit Easypoxy Burgundy Marine Enamel Paint, using our
rolling & tipping technique. The result looks like it was sprayed. This 17
foot flat bottom ski boat is gonna fly with that 327 Chevy engine, and the
sound of those 3 deuces kicking-in will be pure magic. Stop by the shop and
check it out.
the bottom was detailed and painted, a stain test-board and final stain selection were next on
our schedule. The owner Bob Mueller was present for this special ceremony
and of course, had the final decision on the stain color to use on hull.
This is a very important decision, for once the stain is applied and under
several coats of varnish, the color of the hull is set. We had a fun
afternoon, sanding, staining, and varnishing our stain test-board and Bob
did a great job of selecting the stain that we wanted - Interlux Red
Mahogany Filler Stain.
After the stain
selection was properly documented and witnessed, we spent several long days
hand sanding the hull with 80 grit sandpaper. This was tedious work, but
also great therapy as the hull was prepared for the application of the
traditional Interlux Red Mahogany Filler Stain. The actual filler stain
application is a two person job, Donnie applied the thick stain with a foam
brush and after the surface began to dry, Bill followed with rags, rubbing
cross grain to force the filler stain into the grain of the mahogany. Then
the stained surface was buffed with clean rags to produce an even, red
mahogany color. We did the deck and transom first, and were very pleased
with our stain color.
After a day of
rest, we then applied the filler stain on the hull sides. Donnie was the
Stain-Meister and Bill followed as the Stain-Scrubber. This was pretty messy
and tedious work, around six hours to stain the entire hull, but the results
were well worth the effort. The dark, rich mahogany stain must then be
sealed with two coats of Pettit Clear Sealer.
And special thanks to Ruth & Leo
R&L Engines for
the donation of two 100% cotton R&L t-shirts. These soft cotton
t-shirts worked great rubbing the filler stain into the rich
grain of the mahogany wooden hull. We got real messy, had
a great time and had some fun taking the photo opt.
the Interlux filler stain was allowed to dry overnight, we lightly tacked
the hull and then applied the first coat of Pettit Clear Sealer using our
rolling & tipping technique. We were very careful not to disturb the tender
filler stain and applied a nice, even coat of sealer. After the first coat
of sealer was allowed to thoroughly dry, we lightly sanded the hull with
Scotchbrite Pads and then applied the second coat. The sealer helps to bond
the stain with the mahogany and prepares the surface for the many coats of
varnish. We are planning for 12 coats of thick, amber tinted Epifanes
After the bare
mahogany hull was stained, sealed and protected, it was time to pull the
motor and return to Gary and his crew at
Larry's Auto Machine
for completion. The oil pan had to be
replaced with a more shallow design and the C72 Borg Warner transmission had
to be replaced with a more shallow Model C71. They also wanted the motor
back for more time on the dyno to properly setup the progressive linkage on
the three Rochester carburetors and dial-in the motor to ensure that we got our desired 375
and his crew at
Larry's Auto Machine
are true motor heads who spend hours in the dyno room to work
and verify results. They made a few more adjustments and changed a few more
parts on our vintage 327 Chevy, then put the motor back on the dyno for
final adjustments to reach and verify our goal of 375 hp. We got it on the
second pull, 386 horsepower on the dyno, we were very excited.
here for video - our 327 Chevy on the dyno !!!
two coats of sealer, we scuffed the hull with Scotchbrite pads on our
orbital sander and then we hand sanded. Lots of hours, but the mahogany hull
has now been faired, hand sanded, stained, sealed and is now ready for
varnish. We are planning for six coats of
varnish now, and then bring the boat back in the shop in the fall for
additional detailing and probably six more coats of thick, amber tinted
Epifanes varnish. We sand between coats with 320 grit paper or just
Scotchbrite Pads on our orbital sander. We are actually fairing the hull
with varnish, and with each coat the surface gets smoother and smoother.
Again, lots of hours but the results are always well worth the extra time
the deck hardware was made for this boat, cast and supplied by Bud Bracket
of Maine Classics. Bud was very patient with us as we agonized over the
placement of each piece. Then we filed and fitted each piece to properly fit
the contour of the hull, before being sent to the chrome shop. Mickey at D&S
Custom does all our chrome work, and his crew will take the time to file and
shape each raw casting into a masterpiece. The level of their polishing and
chrome work is beyond compare.
steel rub rails, cutwater and transom bands were supplied by the Fish
Brothers. We took some time to custom fit them to the hull. It was also time
to sand and paint the interior pieces and seat bases. Lots of sanding and
lots of thick marine burgundy paint. The wood was well sealed.
JC Signs applied
the gold leaf lettering on the transom. This is quite a process and takes several days to
complete. The dashboard was also stained and the many build coats of varnish
Then the boot stripe
was taped and painted with two coats of Pettit White Boot Top paint.
while the motor was out, we moved inside the hull for some paint
touchup and began to fit the seats and flooring.
we finally got the call we were waiting for from Gary
and his crew at
Machine. The motor was done and
ready for pickup. So we trekked down to Groton, Connecticut to pickup the
motor and hauled back to the shop. The freshly painted motor mounts were
then bolted on and the motor was very carefully reinstalled in the hull.
What a beautiful 327 Chevy motor!!!
Rollins then installed the cockpit half round trim with burgundy marine
upholstery. Steve does all the upholstery and custom boat covers for our
shop. He is the best, is easy and fun to work with and his shop
is just up the street.
the deck hardware was custom made for this boat, cast and supplied by Bud
Bracket of Maine Classics. Mickey at D&S Custom did all our chrome work, and
his crew took take the time to file and shape each raw casting into a
masterpiece. The level of their polishing and chrome work is beyond compare.
boards for the aft cockpit were then sanded and stained with a darker,
contrasting Jacobean color. Many hours were spent sanding, prepping and
staining each individual board.
Then the covering
boards were prepped and a nice thick coat of tinted Epihanes varnish was
applied to darken the stain color, but still let the grain of the beautiful
mahogany show through.
was also stained, varnished and dry fit into place.
floorboards were sanded and stained with Interlux filler stain, the same
color as the hull sides. Many hours were spent sanding, prepping,
staining and then varnishing each individual floorboard.
And the varnish coats continued to build, twelve coats
are planed !!!
Click here for Part 3 - Rigging and Prep for
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