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  1. #1
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    Default Advice Needed on Monark McFast 15

    Hello, I am new to this forum and would really appreciate some advice. I own a 1978 Monark McFast 15 with a Suzuki DT 50. I've had it for probably 6 years. When I first got it I had trouble with a seat base that was screwed to the deck kept coming loose for me. I just thought the scews were stripped so I used larger screws and finally put some drywall anchors in that are now loose too. I've also discoverd i have a pretty good sized soft spot around the area.

    Up to this point I had no idea how boats were constructed and that there was wood underneath the deck. Looking back it's clear now that I've got some rotting going on. I started searching the internet when I found this forum. There is a tremendous wealth of information on here and I've learned a lot. After reading some other posts I decided to check my transom. I drilled a hole close to the bottom from the inside and it wasn't pretty what came out, soggy, dark, mush.

    Like I said Ive never worked on boats before. I had pulled the outboard and started to take the rub rail off to try and lift the top off the hull. Once I started reading on here it looks like most people just cut the deck out to get to the wood underneath and then re-glass it when they are done.

    So I'm wondering, Is anyone familiar with this boat and would my original plan of taking the top off and working from the bottom up be a feasible plan?

    I've been reading a little about the seacast transom repair method. Would I be a good candidate for this?

    Or am I better off looking for another boat? I like the boat but I also don't really want to pour a ton of money into it.

    Here are a few pics. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Front.jpgback.jpgDeck.jpgCloseup.jpg

  2. #2
    Lieutenant Commander Cadwelder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice Needed on Monark McFast 15

    Welcome to iboats Dry Dock

    You have asked a question that many have asked.....is it worth the repair cost?

    The answer is no, it's not, but very few are, it all depends on how you look at it. If you look for another boat comparable to what you have there is a good chance it will need the same repairs. If you decide to repair yours you can figure you'll spend $1,000.00 to $1,500.00. Now with that said....if you repair yours you know you have a very sound craft that will last for years to come, but you will know you won't be able to sell it and get your money back, but if you look at the price of a new rig...then hey it's a no brainer.

    Hope I have helped you in your decision.

    If you decide to repair...we are all here to help in any way we can. Oh and in in answer to your question about the top cap...yes it is much better to remove it first.

    CW
    A good brand of engine is one that runs

  3. #3
    Supreme Mariner Woodonglass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice Needed on Monark McFast 15

    What he ^^^^said. DITTO!!! NOTE: This style of Bass boat CAN, NOT ALWAYS, but CAN SOMETIMES be a little bit of a problem in removing the Top Cap. CW might kick back in here with some pevious knowledge on the subject. The way the consoles and subdecks and livewells are constructed and attached to the hull can make it difficult in cutting free all the attachments not to mention the poured in foam that is added to the mix. These restorations can be quite daunting and effort filled. BUT... like CW said when you are done you will have a boat that will probably be BETTER than it came from the factory and will last as LONG as you want to keep it with NO more ROTTING issues to bug you. And with the costs of new rigs you WILL Save a TON of money in the long run if you want to put the time and effort into it. WE WILL help you with any issues that arise. If you decide to move forward, post more pics and start askin dem questions!!!!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Advice Needed on Monark McFast 15

    Thanks for the advice guys. I see I will need to make a decision one way or the other. On one hand i'm not really keen on spending that much money on a boat this old but your point about buying another used/new boat is well taken. I enjoy challenging projects like this the only issue right now is finding time to do it. I'm thinking about trying to pull my top cap off and seeing what I run into. I'm sure if I decide to go ahead with it I'll have more questions.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Advice Needed on Monark McFast 15

    After thinking about it some more I think I'm going to dive in. I finally got the top cap off last night. I ended up spending most of an evening getting the rub rail off. It was held on by regular steel screws and a lot of the heads were beyond grabbing a screw driver. I'll definiately use stainless screws when putting it back on!
    Here are a few pics of the project thus far

    .IMG_0043.JPGIMG_0042.JPGIMG_0044.JPGIMG_0045.JPG

    A few of the pics show where the main soft spot was on the deck. There was a piece of foam underneth that I was able to just pull off. It looks like there is an extra strip of ply 12-14 inches wide running down the middle. I'm assuming this is for extra support. I will now need to do some more home work to know how to proceed. Can anyone recomend any threads that have some basic glassing how to's for a beginner like me? I need to learn more about tools, supplies, etc. Hopefully this weekend I'll find some more time to search the forums.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Advice Needed on Monark McFast 15

    I really Like the idea of using Seacast on my transom because I wouldn't have to worry about it rotting again but after figuring up the cost I started rethinking. Since I'll need to learn how to glass anyway in order to fix my deck and I have everything pulled appart for easy access I'm guessing I could get by a lot cheaper by laying up a tradtional ply transom. The boat is 32 years old so If I can get another 20 out of it hey, not bad. THe transom is laid up with a piece of 1/2" and a Piece of 3/4" making it 1 1/4" between the skins. It also has a brace along the inside. See pics

    One question I had, I have a bunch of unused holes in my transom, Kicker bracket, old screw holes, different outboard etc, I had been thinking the seacast would fill these nicely. I'm assuming there is an easy way to fix/ fill these with epoxy or somthing?

    Again I will need to start searching transom repair threads. Here are a few pics
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    Moderator ezmobee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice Needed on Monark McFast 15

    Congrats on deciding to fix her up and welcome to the madness. Those early bass boats are great rigs and I think yours will fix up very nicely. Done properly, your rebuild will easily be WAY better than how the factory originally constructed it so it will definitely last you for many many years. In my opinion, your boat wasn't a good candidate for SeaCast anyway. Again my opinion only, but I think SeaCast is excellent for one main purpose: replacing the transom in an otherwise solid boat. Dig out the old transom with an electric chainsaw, pour in the new transom, done. With yours having deck and stringer rot which necessitated the removal of the cap, you're better off saving your pennies and doing a plywood transom. Properly sealed it will last as long as you need it to. As for your extra holes, with your new transom providing a backer, the holes in the skin can easily be filled with some thickened resin or other type of filler. The glass guys (which I am not) can better guide you on that. Good luck with your project.
    1976 18' Starcraft SuperSport 90HP Evinrude
    Restoration thread http://forums.iboats.com/boat-restoration-building-hull-repair/18-starcraft-supersport-restoration-357767.html
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Advice Needed on Monark McFast 15

    Finally got her flipped over and I'm working on getting the old deck out. It was a lot worse than I expected, mostly crumbled out. I've run into an issue I need some advice on. My boat has a rod locker along one side, The sides of it are ply and it obviously was put in after the deck was glassed in. I'm assuming I'll be wrapping the glass down over the side a little to tie the new deck in. Well this thing will prevent me from doing it along the one side. What I did was cut the old glass a couple of inches from the edge planning to try and work the old ply out from underneath and then pushing the new ply back in underneath and just tie the glass into the lip I left. Of course this is the only piece of deck on the boat that is still somewhat solid so It's going to be a lot of work to get it out this way but I think I can do it. I just want to make sure my plan is feasible before I go to all the bother. I don't really want to cut the locker out if I don't have to but let me know what you guys think. I've attached a few pics to try and help show what I'm talking about.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Advice Needed on Monark McFast 15

    A little update, I've been rather busy the last few weeks but have been working on the boat whenever I had a chance. I picked up some Marine ply for the transom at the local lumber yard, the deck was 3/8" ply. They didn't have any marine ply in that thickness so I just got a piece of exterior grade. My glass supplies came in the other day. I got some 1.5oz CSM, 1708, 5 gal of resin, some cabosil, glass bubbles, 1/4" chopped strand to make PB. And then some rollers, brushes, mixing cups etc. And also some pour foam.
    I'm ready to try my hand at some glassing! If I ever get done sanding that is.

    I've got the under side of the deck pretty well sanded down and cut some of the plywood. There will need to be a seam in the ply, I left it in the same place it was, on top of the 10" wide piece of 3/4" that runs down the middle. I'm thinking about gluing everything together with Titebond III before I Wrap it with a layer of CSM. Or should I wrap all the pieces individually? I'm attaching a drawing and some pics for reference.

    My next question is how should I attach my new deck to the deck skin i left on? Should I use thickened resin? I'm planning on wrapping the ply with CSM before I attach it to seal it. I'm just not sure yet how I'm going to attach it and how I'm going to clamp it together.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Advice Needed on Monark McFast 15

    Just thinking, do I even need to attach my new deck to the old skin?
    my plans are to cover the bottom of the deck with a layer of csm folowed by a layer of 1708 and another layer of CSM wrapping them down over sides to tab it in. With my console in there and my seat base in the middle I don't think it will move much. Or maybe I should just put a few beads of PL premium here and there? Any advice?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Advice Needed on Monark McFast 15

    Time for an update. I got quite a bit done this last week, My dad was down to help me the other night. We hoisted the top cap up off the dolly it was sitting on, I got a piece of 1/2" OSB which I cut to fit up underneath my upside down top cap, we then placed about 5 stacks of cement blocks underneath this then let the cap down on top of this. Now my deck skin was nice and solid since I had something to push against. I decided to attach my new deck with thickened resin. I had glued the new deck together with Titebond III and wrapped it with a layer of CSM. This morning My brother in law helped me and we gave it a coat of PB then clamped everthing down as best we could.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Advice Needed on Monark McFast 15

    And now for the ugly part. While my deck was curing today I brought my hull in from the barn and started grinding the transom down to get it ready for replacement. I was grinding along the bottom of the hull when I discovered more wood, it looked like balsa (I fly model airplanes so I recognized it). IMG_0010.jpgIMG_000111.JPGIMG_00113.jpg

    I then drilled a few holes and discovered that there was a layer of balsa underneath what I thought was the hull. some of the shavings were clean but some were rotten. I went ahead and finished grinding out for the transom replacement then I cleaned up and headed for Iboats.

    It didn't take me long to find "balsa cored hull" Now what to do, I've put quite a bit of time and money into it already but from what I read re-coring a hull is beyond what I want to get into.

    I noticed one area that seemed soft when I stepped on it. It was one side of the wide curved layups that runs up into the bow.

    Will this weaken my hull in that it would be dangerous or does it just make it heavier? Do I have any options at this point? Needles to say I'm felling pretty discouraged right about now!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Advice Needed on Monark McFast 15

    Sorry to bump this again but I really need some advice on how to proceed. Since I discovered I have a balsa cored hull and at least some of it is wet/ rotten does this pretty well give it a ticket to the dump or is there something that can be done? From the threads i found with this problem it didn't sound too hopeful.

    Thanks in advance for any help,
    Steve

  14. #14
    Supreme Mariner Woodonglass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice Needed on Monark McFast 15

    Can you determine the extent of the wet balsa? By drilling into it is it ALL wet or just an area?

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Advice Needed on Monark McFast 15

    I only found one area that was really bad. In front of the transom it was discolored but it still seemed pretty solid. I'll do some more test holes.

  16. #16
    Supreme Mariner Woodonglass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice Needed on Monark McFast 15

    NOTE: I am NOT a PRO. I have NEVER done this. I do not KNOW if this is the correct way to do this or NOT. I found this on another boat repair site. It is your decision if you decide to use this as your method of repair.

    How to Repair a Damaged Balsa Core in Your Old Boat

    1. Figure out how big of an area needs repaired, and draw a mark a few inches beyond it.
    2. Use some sort of cutting wheel that you can set how deep you are cutting. I have used a circular saw for this, until I found better tools it works great. Set your depth at about 1/4inch or less, and cut around the area you have marked.
    3. Use something to pry under the edge of the glass. The only thing holding the glass down would be the good balsa that is still there. The rotten balsa should give way quite nicely.
    4. Set the piece you cut out aside to use as a pattern for new glass. Make your new pieces. Make at least one piece the same size, and the rest a few inches bigger. Use either heavy roving or biaxial cloth.
    5. Use a wide wood chisel and a hammer to chip away all the balsa that is exposed. Try to get as much out as you can before you break out the grinders. Its rotten, it should come out easy.
    Go to someplace like www.fibreglast.com and order some new balsa. If you cant find any locally.
    6. Use a sander or a grinder to clean up the inner skin.
    7. Cut 2 pieces of 1-1/2 ounce fiberglass mat. The same size as your repair area.
    8. Have your glass and balsa precut, then use your brush and wet out the repair area with resin. Then lay one of the pieces of 1-1/2 ounce mat on some cardboard and wet it down with resin, then take it and place it down in your repair area, and brush out all LARGE air bubbles. Don't worry about any small ones, as they don't matter for what you are doing.
    9. Take your precut balsa and brush resin on the side that does not have the fabric holding it together, then quickly place it in the repair area over the still wet glass mat that you just placed in there. Use your hands to press it in as best as you can. After you get it in place. Take some wax paper and cover the entire repair, then cover that with cardboard. Place any kind of weight you can find on top of the card board. Books, magazines, newspapers, anything.
    10. Now walk away for at least 2 hours.
    11. Now remove the weights, the cardboard, and the wax paper should have kept the cardboard from sticking, you are ready to continue.
    12. Use a filler like dura-glass to fill in around the repair area, there will be some gaps between the old area and the new area. Fill these areas flush with the level of the new balsa, don't fill them to the level of the old glass layer. Let this set up. Then sand smooth if needed.
    13. Brush a layer of resin onto the new balsa over lapping onto the old glass. Wet the other piece of 1-1/2 ounce mat on the cardboard again, then place the mat onto the repaired area. Brush out the LARGE air bubbles ONLY right now. Take the piece of biaxial glass or roving, that is the same size as the repair and wet it out on the cardboard. Then place it on top of the still very wet mat. Use a plastic or rubber squeegee to work all the air bubbles to the sides and out. Do this as good as you can.
    14. Take the last piece of biaxial or roving and wet it out on the cardboard, the place it over the still wet glass you just laid down. Use a squeegee to work all the air bubbles to the sides and out. Keep working at it until all the air is gone or the resin starts to set up.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Advice Needed on Monark McFast 15

    Thanks for all that info Woodonglass!

    I did some more exploring today. it's actually a pretty good sized area. I think I finally figured out how it got wet. I found a small hole in my keel, I'm not positive but it seems this is where it got wet. IMG_057.jpgIMG_060.jpg

    I've got a few other chips in my gel coat like the attached pic. I've been reading some other post on gel-coat repair. What determines whether a chip/ gouge can repaired with gel-coat paste or if it needs to be glassed? If they do need to be glassed do I need to glass from the inside or can it all be done from the outside?

    I think I'm going to go out and cut out the bad section of coring and see what I find. I've been working on bracing the hull just in case it decides to try and reshape itself.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #18
    Supreme Mariner Woodonglass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice Needed on Monark McFast 15

    Those can ALL be done from the outside. YOu WILL need to lay some glass but I can talk you thru that. NO PROBLEM. If that circled area is ALL that is wet, I really think you can get her fixed and back on the water. Hope you find out that's all that is wet. Good Luck on your prospecting.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Advice Needed on Monark McFast 15

    I worked last night till got rained out then I continued tonight after work. I cut out a bunch of wet, rotten balsa. A LOT more than I originally thought was bad but that's the way it usually goes in a situation like this. I feel pretty confident that I got everything. It's amazing how you can have soggy rotten balsa and then a couple of inches away it's perfectly fine. The one side of my hull is pretty well gutted, the other just had a few smaller areas.
    IMG_0056.jpg

    Obviously more of what I thought were chips were actually leaking. Lesson learned, from now on my hull is getting checked out every time I get back from boating and every little chip is getting fixed!

    Another area I had hoped I wouldn't have to get into was my fuel tank supports. The rot went right up underneath the one side. They are basically just a formed piece of alluminum that is glassed over. When I started cutting along the bottom there was quite a bit of water that came out, my fuel tank screws were stripped and obviously there was water collecting underneath. I might take the other one off just to make sure it's OK.IMG_0060.jpg

    I need to get some supplies ordered and then get the hull cleaned up. Should I be using Epoxy for this repair or can I use Poly resin?

    I'm also working on my deck as I get time, I finished filleting tonight. I've got a question for you glassing pros, how would you go about glassing all the back end of the deck? see pic
    IMG_0065.jpg

    There are so many corners I'm not sure where to start. Would I be better off just using smaller pieces there in the middle and just wrapping them them 6 inches or so over the spar or whatever you call the tapered piece? I want to tab it to the cap at the same time.

  20. #20
    Supreme Mariner Woodonglass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice Needed on Monark McFast 15

    Poly will be fine.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Advice Needed on Monark McFast 15

    FINALLY! The grinding is behind me! Didn't quite get done last night so I finished it up tonight and I got my first layer of mat cut. I plan to use it as a pattern to cut the rest of the material and possibly use it to cut the balsa. BTW the balsa came in today. hopefully I can get the cutting done tomorrow night. We plan to go camping for this weekend so I won't get much more done till next week.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  22. #22
    Supreme Mariner Woodonglass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice Needed on Monark McFast 15

    Sly,

    You are doing some very fine work!!! You really are!!! I would recommend getting some bags of sand for "Clamps" and Plastic so it won't stick to anything. I am looking forward to seeing her completed.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Advice Needed on Monark McFast 15

    Thank-you for the generous compliment Wood. I too am looking forward to getting her completed. We are leaving on July 23rd for a week of fishing in Canada and I really, really, reeealy would like to have her done for that but that is going to take some serious git-r-dun.

    I've got a whole pile of bricks and I'm thinking about using those to clamp things down but I like the sand bag idea too.

  24. #24
    Supreme Mariner Woodonglass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice Needed on Monark McFast 15

    Due to the curvature of the hull, I REALLY think you should consider the sand bags to get better conforming and pressure dispersement across the patch. Just my opinion. Sand is only a couple of bucks a bag and you only need 2-3 bags

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Advice Needed on Monark McFast 15

    I soon discovered cutting and fitting the end grain balsa is very time consuming! I got most of it cut last week then we went camping over the weekend/ holiday. I picked up about 5 sand bags yesterday and I also needed salt for my water softener so I figureded those would make good clamps if needed. So this morning I took the forenoon off and with the help of my brother-in-law we got the balsa in. I first vacuumed the whole hull then wiped everything down with acetone. We put down a layer of CSM and then pressed the pre-soaked balsa in on top. The hard part was trying to get everything to lay flat and stay there. I used every bag of sand, salt I had. I had a feeling there were going to be some edges that did'nt stay down and sure enough, tonight when I took all the weights off there were quite a few places along the edges that were not bonded. I mixed up some resin and thickened it slightly and added some chopped fiber. I was able to lift up the loose edges by cutting the mat that holds the blocks together. I liberally applied the thickened resin and pushed them down in and weighted them down. I'm hoping this will take care of the problem. Hopefully tomorrow I can get everything glassed in. I'm running short on resin but I've got another bucket coming on Thursday.

    Once that is done I can work on the transom. The next stp will then be fixing the chips and dings on the hull. I'll probably flip it around for this. I don't have any supplies for this yet. I'm assuming I'll use epoxy to lay in some glass in the bad ones. Is there a certain kind of epoxy I should get for this? Also I noticed US Composites has a fairing compound to mix in epoxy. Will I need something like this to use for fairing? I'd like to get some stuff ordered so it's here when I'm ready to get at it.

    Attachment 101541

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