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  1. #1
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    Default 1985 Sea Sprite 185XL Rotten Deck Replacement

    Hello all,

    I have been lurking in the shadows for weeks reading everything I can on how hard it might be to replace a rotten floor myself.

    I'm quite handy and pick stuff up pretty quickly and after having read stuff from Ooops and FriscoBoater I think I can handle this.

    Will be sure to post lots and lots of pics to share my project and hope someone else might learn something as I learn it.

    My reason for this post is a question for the group. Water is the enemy and any place I can keep it from entering is all the better!! With that being said, my boat currently has a ski locker between the back to back seats. I'm strongly considering doing away with it when I resto the deck. What are yours thoughts? Will I regret not having the storage space?

    Thanks for reading and for answering any and all questions one I get going on this project!!

  2. #2
    Moderator ezmobee's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1985 Sea Sprite 185XL Rotten Deck Replacement

    They are pretty handy. As long as the compartment drains and the wood is well-sealed, you'll have no issues.
    1976 18' Starcraft SuperSport 90HP Evinrude
    Restoration thread http://forums.iboats.com/boat-restoration-building-hull-repair/18-starcraft-supersport-restoration-357767.html
    1966 16' Starcraft Jupiter 85HP Johnson
    Restoration thread http://forums.iboats.com/starcraft-boats/ezmobees-1966-jupiter-338633.html sold

  3. #3
    Supreme Mariner oops!'s Avatar
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    Default Re: 1985 Sea Sprite 185XL Rotten Deck Replacement

    yeah....that ski locker is a real good thing to have.....it also lets you have an instants glance into the stringers.

    as ez said....if you have the locker wood sealed correctly....and proper drainage to the bilge....you are fine.

    as well.....the ski locker is also a place to let air into the hull to dry the interior of the hull
    The Hull Extension Thread
    great info on all aspects on boat building with detailed information.

    http://forums.iboats.com/boat-restoration-building-hull-repair/hull-extension-progress-pics-234392.html

    IN MEMORY OF Our friend SpinnerBait_Nut LESTER WRIGHT July 31, 1953 - Nov 26, 2008 RIP

    IN MEMORY OF Our friend Tashasdaddy Robert (bob) Griffis. October 27, 1948
    November 29 2010 RIP

  4. #4
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    Lightbulb Re: 1985 Sea Sprite 185XL Rotten Deck Replacement

    Well, bit of an update. The wife graciously gave up her parking spot in the garage so i can actually get the boat inside to start assessing the damage and it aint looking good.

    Got the old seats out as they were completely toasted from being left to the elements. Surprisingly the floor under them was solid. The floor clear down the center of the boat is soft. I tore the carpet out of the ski locker and the wood in there is gone!!

    The previous owner had screwed a very thick piece of wood into the floor in the bow. Its the pic attached that looks like an arrow. I was curious as to what was under it. I found a large crack in a fiberglass floor. Does this mean the bow seats and boxes are part of the cap??

    Will i have to pop the cap the replace the stringers and floor?? God i hope not as i think that is way above my abilities and means!!

    Guess my whole reason for this post was to get ooops or FriscoBoater or someone with a helluva lot more knowledgable than me to tell me what i'm looking at.

    Thanks guys!!

    photo.jpgphoto1.jpgski locker.jpg

  5. #5
    Captain friscoboater's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1985 Sea Sprite 185XL Rotten Deck Replacement

    It looks like you will need to pop your cap for sure. That bow piece is a part of the seat area, and to get to the stringers below, you have to take the cap off. Now, you could resto up to that point and scarf the stringers together if the stringers under that area are ok.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 1985 Sea Sprite 185XL Rotten Deck Replacement

    Thnx for the info Jay!! I'm trying to decide if i limp it through a month to get some use out of it this season or say screw it on this year, leave it in the garage and start on the floor project!!

    Have to say, popping the cap really scares the ****e out of me!! LOL

  7. #7
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    Default

    Well. Put a lot of thought into it. We have maybe another month or so of boating left. Gonna limp it by and then tear it's guts out about November!! I'll be in touch for sure!!

  8. #8
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    Default

    Well hello everybody. Getting ready to start my rehab project. The power plant is solid, had another mechanic tune it up and took it for a check ride on the Ohio River the other day. She ran great, no loss of power at WOT, was very responsive and cruised the river very nicely.

    Engine has been winterized and the wife has graciously given up her spot in the garage so I can work on it all winter. We have a boiler for heat in our house and it's piped into the garage so I should be able to keep it nice and cozy all winter long.

    Anyway, the reason for this post.

    This is a Sea Sprite 185XL open bow, the back seats and doghouse were demolished by the PO. I'm hoping someone else out of the thousands of iboats members has a sea sprite or knows where one might be. I'm really hoping to find pics of how the boat looked new or to get some good ideas as how to rebuild the doghouse and Jump seats.

    Any responses will be greatly appreciated and please post all the pics of doghouses you like or have built. I've thought of doing some sort of convertible jump seats that use the dog house to be either a jump seat or they can be adjusted to become a sun deck if wanted.

    Anyway, enough of a rant for tonight. Will be on tomorrow with pics of the demo!! I start my journey tomorrow, wish me luck!!

  9. #9
    Moderator ezmobee's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1985 Sea Sprite 185XL Rotten Deck Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Me1stBoat View Post
    Any responses will be greatly appreciated and please post all the pics of doghouses you like or have built. I've thought of doing some sort of convertible jump seats that use the dog house to be either a jump seat or they can be adjusted to become a sun deck if wanted.
    Bayliner had some models that did just that. Capris I think. bear69cuda's did I remember. Check out his thread http://forums.iboats.com/boat-restoration-building-hull-repair/1999-bayliner-project-292511.html
    1976 18' Starcraft SuperSport 90HP Evinrude
    Restoration thread http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=357767
    1966 16' Starcraft Jupiter 85HP Johnson
    Restoration thread http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=338633 sold

  10. #10
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    Default

    Thnx for the heads up on that thread!! That's real close to what I'm wanting to do!! Getting real excited about starting things off!!

  11. #11
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    Ok. Need some advice on tools. RotoZip aint getting it done. Tried the jig saw, broke a blade in about 5 minutes. 18v DeWalt circular saw seem to be working ok but hard to get into some places. Hey Frisco Boater what did u use to cut out the rotten floor??

  12. #12
    Rear Admiral GT1000000's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1985 Sea Sprite 185XL Rotten Deck Replacement

    Welcome Aboard Me1stBoat,

    You have entered the twilight zone of boat owners...

    Have fun with this undertaking...it will by no means be easy or fast, but the pride that will come from splashing your newly restored boat will make all the itching, cussing, sweating and bleeding well worth it!

    As to what is best to use for the tear down...

    My two favorites so far are a sawzall with bimetal blades and a 4-1/2 grinder with cut-off wheels...they both take quite a bit of getting used to operating, but make demolition quite fast...afterwards you can use the grinder with 24, 36 or 40 grit sanding discs to get the glass properly prepared for repairs.

    Remember to protect your eyeballs, lungs, skin and hearing...most of these things can not be restored like our boats can be...

    GT1M
    Why a Fiberglass Boat?...Because they are,"The more beautiful, more seaworthy, more elegant, more easier to get chicks in, nicer, more common, more socially accepted, more politically correct boats."Quote by oops!
    Tight Lines and Float, Float On!
    Links to everything having to do with this restoration...
    1988/2014 Glasstream Resto-Mod
    INDEX...
    PAGE ONE
    PAGE TWO
    PAGE THREE
    PAGE FOUR
    Trailer Thread

  13. #13
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    Cool Re: 1985 Sea Sprite 185XL Rotten Deck Replacement

    Thnx for the advice GT. I made it through my 1st day and the biggest thing i learned. Damn i'm getting old, my body is starting to hurt in places i didn't know it could hurt, LOL!!

    Well anyway, gonna try some different tools to demo the floor. I have a rotozip with the right angle blade attachments. One of the blades is rated for fiberglass so we'll see how this works. Gonna try to stop and take pics as i move through this, so here are todays pics.

    First off was glad it fit in the garage, at least i can get it into the heat and work in somewhat comfortable surroundings.

    IMG_0054.jpg

    Started by getting the seats out of the way and then started ripping out the carpet, as bad a shape as the floor was in the carpet still had a nice amount of hold. Wasn't rotten and came out in pieces at least. As i started to rip it out i noticed odd little circles placed throughout the floor. It looks like they put the floor down and then flowed the foam in through these holes. Is this common practice, don't think i've seen it mentioned anywhere in the resto threads i've read so far. Anyway, here's some pics.

    IMG_0043.jpg

    So anyway, started using the rotozip to cut away some of the glass so i could see how bad the damage actually was. The wood deck is gone, completely soaked with water and comes apart when i drag a pry bar across it. So much for being able to cut it out and use it as a template. Started digging into the foam and of course it's wet too. Seems like it's only wet in spots though. Determined this by looking at the color of it as i was cutting chucks of it out.

    Cut me a nice little inspection hole so i could get to one of the stringers. Got kinda excited when the top of the stringers were solid as a rock but then my hopes got gut stomped when i realized there was nothing behind the glass towards the bottom of the stringers as you'll see in the following pics. 1 big thing that surprised me was how damn thick the foam was. Must have been at least 6 inches of it. Is this normal?? Anyway, here's a pic of where i was tearing out the foam.

    IMG_0048.jpg

    and a pic of the hole i was able to punch in the side of the stringer that had nothing behind it.

    IMG_0047.jpg

    So, guess that's my 1st day of boat resto, i have so many ideas running through my head. Every once in awhile i have to stop and tell myself, 1st things 1st, gotta get the demo done before i can start building, LOL!!

    Hope all the pics came through as i had to edit this post about 12 times to get it right.

  14. #14
    Seaman PaJon's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1985 Sea Sprite 185XL Rotten Deck Replacement

    If you can get the pictures to post, you can repair anything on a boat, lol. Pulling the cap isn't all that bad. You will need several friends to help ( free beer attracts helpers fast ).Getting supports under it and lifting it is the worst. The demo was always the most labor for me, and it also is the longest part for me. I haven't found an easy way to remove soaked foam yet so maybe another member can help with that. Good luck and keep posting your progress.

  15. #15
    Rear Admiral GT1000000's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1985 Sea Sprite 185XL Rotten Deck Replacement

    Great start, I am in the same "boat" at the present time...rippin & tearin out...

    Don't get discouraged, keep at it...this is the hardest part of the entire job, once you get through this, and ready for some assembly, it will start to look better...
    at least I keep telling myself that

    From what I have seen so far in here...

    the answer to your questions are, yes, check out friscoboater's restoration thread, then link to his youtube channel...a ton of excellent information and how to's.
    also, check out one of the heaviest hitters in the forum...you will find him listed in the sticky labeled, "How to's and other Great Information", he is known as OOPS! and his thread is listed as #11.

    Q#2, yes, it can be that thick and more, something about Coast Guard regulations and used for both floatation and sometimes structural.

    and Q#3, although you did not really ask it, yes, the more you look the more you will find rot...it seems to be "par for the course" when it comes to restoring 'glass boats, if it has wood, and it got wet, or it is more than a bunch of years old, the wood is probably toast...
    On the bright side, when you replace everything properly, you should easily get another 20 plus years out of the boat, longer if you can store it out of the weather...
    as for me, if I get it to last that long, the younger generation in my family can figure out what to do with it when I'm gone...

    Oh and as far as feeling muscles that you forgot you had, I guess that is a side benefit to all of this, it is like going to the gym, but instead of wasting your time and money just sweating and groaning, you will end up with a nice boat...

    Best Regards,
    GT1M
    Why a Fiberglass Boat?...Because they are,"The more beautiful, more seaworthy, more elegant, more easier to get chicks in, nicer, more common, more socially accepted, more politically correct boats."Quote by oops!
    Tight Lines and Float, Float On!
    Links to everything having to do with this restoration...
    1988/2014 Glasstream Resto-Mod
    INDEX...
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    PAGE FOUR
    Trailer Thread

  16. #16
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    Default Re: 1985 Sea Sprite 185XL Rotten Deck Replacement

    start by removing the rubber insert in the rub rail...that will reveal some rivets. Drill those out and remove the rest of rub rail...you may need a utility knife to cut the sealant in the gap. once that is removed you will find more rivets...lots of them...holding the cap to the hull. remove these. Next step is very important...brace your hull, either by adding support to your trailer or building a cradle



    I built mine upside down and flipped hull afterwards but you can build it before and slide boat off trailer and into cradle....the goal here is that nothing can move, you want zero flex in your hull while replacing the floor.

    once you have it cradled/supported, remove the cap. I did this by lifting along the edge as I went and sliding 2X4s to hold it up. once it is all broke free, you need to acquire a case of beer and bribe 3 friends into throwing out their backs...be sure to lift it where the weak points are. (add a brace between the 2 consoles to make this easier) and place it on saw horses or 2X4s on the ground (saw horses are easier, as you don't have to bend down).

    Once that's done have fun with the demo work...replace deck and stringers, and if you had it supported your cap should fit back on with no troubles just reverse the process.

    Look forward to seeing your progress, and remember that this may be a necessity for you, but it should be fun as well, take your time, avoid letting frustration get ya down.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: 1985 Sea Sprite 185XL Rotten Deck Replacement

    JDA, thnx for the pic. Do i still need to build the rack and everything if the boat is still on the bunk trailer? Will that support it enough to keep it from flexing??

  18. #18
    Lieutenant JDA1975's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1985 Sea Sprite 185XL Rotten Deck Replacement

    you will need to add more to the support, you can use the bunk trailer and build more support onto it, but I redid my trailer so removed it from it. Basically your center and sides should not flex, that rack cost me a grand total of 12 2X4 and 2lbs of screws, about 26 bucks. and I can walk all over that thing and it doesn't move at all.
    ~Judge David Ackerson~

    My This and That Upholstery Thread
    ......Disclaimer: its not all boat, some misc upholstery too
    http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=546429

    My Pontoon Seat Build/Upholstery Thread

    http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=536567

    My 1982 Skeeter SS-1 Sport Fisherman Restoration Thread
    http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=511063

  19. #19
    Rear Admiral GT1000000's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1985 Sea Sprite 185XL Rotten Deck Replacement

    Hi M1B,

    First things first, make sure the hull is properly supported, like JDA said...it might get enough support from the trailer, but it might not...when you start ripping everything out, things start to get pretty flexible... a little added support now will save many headaches later on...

    Then, on to removing the cap...they are all different, but after you remove everything that can be unscrewed, unbolted, or otherwise taken off, then you can start to take off the cap...

    First of all, take pictures...lots of pictures, from all angles, our memories cannot be relied upon.

    Second, take measurements...I like to use a string line down the center of the boat from front to back...makes a pretty good reference point...you might need a second set of hands, so that when you take measurements from the string line, it doesn't move around and throw your ciphers off...make notes and OH yeah, did I mention, take pictures

    I would note the length, width, height of the deck, anything that can be used later to verify that things are going back together correctly...

    Then you can remove the rub rail insert, if it is rubber, and it is stiff, you can use a hairdryer or a heat gun on a low setting, to warm it up and maybe be able to pull it out, remember to look for any end caps, take them off, then remove any screws that might be holding it down, then you find the metal rub rail channel is held with rivets or screws, a ton of them, take them all out, and put the rails away carefully so they don't get bent or severely damaged, if they are scuffed or scratched, they can be revived with lots of elbow grease...

    OK, if you have gotten this far, you are probably ready to pull the cap...use a combination of screwdrivers, prybars, and common sense and start carefully trying to separate the cap from the hull, go slow and be meticulous...all the way around...when you get to the transom, try to separate the cap from the transom as best you can, if it gets real difficult or doesn't want to budge, take pics, post them and we'll figure it out...

    Look at the pics in my resto thread and get your self set up in somewhat a similar fashion, if you need more pics, let me know, but basically you will need a couple of trusses, and a couple of come alongs, ratchet straps, and/or rope...also you will need some scrap pieces of lumber to use as shims so you can lift the cap a little at a time as you go around...if you can get a board all the way across the cap, you can set up some temporary supports to the ground, to do the front part, raise your jack all the way up, or even higher, with shims, add the supports to the ground, then lower the jack. You can use the same method for the aft section, just lower the jack all the way, add your supports to the rear of the cap and then jack it up... you can also use your trailer to raise and lower the boat, fore and aft, kind of like a see-saw...
    Find some good solid lifting points on the cap and attach your lifting rig to it, if you were able to get the boards all the way across, and your cap is not heavy like mine is,you can attach your lifting apparatus to the boards and go to town ...this will take little brain teasing and ingenuity, but I'm sure you can figure it out...
    Once you start to lift the cap off of the hull, go slowly and make sure you are getting a clean separation, wires, cables, hidden screws, etc, can all keep it from lifting off.
    Just take your time and ask questions of the Iboaters, we will help any way we can...
    And YES, I did it completely by my lonesome, and my cap is the entire interior of the boat, probably weighed as much as the hull, maybe more...and it only tool about 3 hours, including throwing together the trusses...
    The description of how to do it is probably more confusing and takes almost as long as the actual job...and there are probably as many ways to do this as there are Iboaters...

    If any body has any further inputs, please add away, the more the merrier

    And yes, this is my1stboat, too!

    Best of Luck and remember, we are here to help, so don't hesitate to ask lots of questions...oh yeah and Pictures, lots of pictures...

    GT1M
    Why a Fiberglass Boat?...Because they are,"The more beautiful, more seaworthy, more elegant, more easier to get chicks in, nicer, more common, more socially accepted, more politically correct boats."Quote by oops!
    Tight Lines and Float, Float On!
    Links to everything having to do with this restoration...
    1988/2014 Glasstream Resto-Mod
    INDEX...
    PAGE ONE
    PAGE TWO
    PAGE THREE
    PAGE FOUR
    Trailer Thread

  20. #20
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    Default

    Quick update. Had a little time after dinner to try the rotozip zipmate. Let's just say Rotten Deck 1, Rotozip 0 at this point. Lol.

    Thnx for all the great input on popping the cap. I'm going to try and do it without popping it if I can as all my bow seating is part of the cap.

    Anyway, looks like I'm on my way to Lowes to buy a reciprocating saw and a respirator. That rotozip threw a ton of fiberglass dust in the air.

  21. #21
    Rear Admiral GT1000000's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1985 Sea Sprite 185XL Rotten Deck Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Me1stBoat View Post
    That rotozip threw a ton of fiberglass dust in the air.
    So will every other method you use...
    Cover your self thoroughly in talcum powder, use long sleeves, protect your eyes, wear hearing protection, long pants, try to cover ANY exposed skin, or you will be itching like MAD...if you only get some goggles like I did, use a little vaseline to help seal them around the edges, otherwise get a full faceshield respirator, looks like a gas mask, but with a huge lens, they run about a hundred bucks, but their greatest advantage is they don't fog up as readily as the goggles will...
    Have fun,
    GT1M
    Why a Fiberglass Boat?...Because they are,"The more beautiful, more seaworthy, more elegant, more easier to get chicks in, nicer, more common, more socially accepted, more politically correct boats."Quote by oops!
    Tight Lines and Float, Float On!
    Links to everything having to do with this restoration...
    1988/2014 Glasstream Resto-Mod
    INDEX...
    PAGE ONE
    PAGE TWO
    PAGE THREE
    PAGE FOUR
    Trailer Thread

  22. #22
    Lieutenant Commander zopperman's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1985 Sea Sprite 185XL Rotten Deck Replacement



    yes... talc is great... scarf is helpful... good gloves are huge. boots...
    Zak

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimS123 View Post

    Over-engineering only means that there may be a simplier way to do it. Not that the outome has fallen short of the objective!

  23. #23
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    Default Re: 1985 Sea Sprite 185XL Rotten Deck Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by zopperman View Post
    good gloves are huge.
    Got the gloves covered. i worked in the fire svc prior to starting my own computer business. Still have some of the gear laying around. Here's a couple pics of the gloves i've been wearing. The patches on the palm and backs of the fingers is Kevlar.

    IMG_0063.jpgIMG_0064.jpg

  24. #24
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    Default Re: 1985 Sea Sprite 185XL Rotten Deck Replacement

    Got a little work done this evening but i need a Lowes trip like i said earlier. Here are some pics with questions.

    Attachment 121351

    It appears my deck does not run all the way over to the sides of the hull. That bottom square box runs all the way along the side of the boat ending just past where the captains seat would be. I dug into the foam underneath it and didn't hit another stringer. Is this going to cause problems on trying to mate the deck to the hull on the sides??

    This pic shows it running up the side of the boat.

    Attachment 121352

    Let me know what you guys think.

  25. #25
    Supreme Mariner oops!'s Avatar
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    Default Re: 1985 Sea Sprite 185XL Rotten Deck Replacement

    hi bud........welcome to the dry dock. looks like you are having fun.

    couple of things for you.......

    i found that when i was ripping my boat apart.....that all my muscles were sore......i mean really sore. at the time, i was in pretty good shape from moving appliances and mattresses all day.
    i am still sore when i do a rip and strip on customers boats. but it is a wee bit better form the first time...lol

    the circ saw cut to the depth of the deck works best. you will leave a "lip" around the edge, but we can worry about that later.

    i know that you want to see whats under there.....and how much you have to do......but be patient.......the circ saw will heave the deck cut in less than an hour.....and up it comes.

    then you can see everything.

    the little pidgeon holes in the deck were for adding foam form the factory.......i did a thread about foaming and installing a new deck.....ill give you some reading here.....it may help during the tear out.

    http://forums.iboats.com/showthread....deck+foam+hull

    your roto zip threw a lot of dust in the air.......well wait till you start grinding....lol

    after the deck is out....one easy way to remove the wet foam is with a pick axe maul......a 3 inch wide blade on a pick axe...... it takes 1/2 hour of absolute go for it agony.....but its all out in no time. the tip of a chain saw also chews foam like soft butter.

    hope this helps
    cheers
    oops
    The Hull Extension Thread
    great info on all aspects on boat building with detailed information.

    http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=234392

    IN MEMORY OF Our friend SpinnerBait_Nut LESTER WRIGHT July 31, 1953 - Nov 26, 2008 RIP

    IN MEMORY OF Our friend Tashasdaddy Robert (bob) Griffis. October 27, 1948
    November 29 2010 RIP

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