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1960 Glastron FireFlite 15' Restoration

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  • 1960 Glastron FireFlite 15' Restoration

    Hey Everyone,

    So i recently acquired a free 1960 Glastron FireFlite with no motor or trailer, and in need of alot of work. I assumed right off the bat that i would have to put alot of work into it, but seeing as how i've always wanted a boat and this one was free, i thought i would give it a shot.

    Anyways, this is the first time i've ever attempted a boat restoration, but i am very inclined to doing this sort of work and am quite excited to get 'er done. All i need is a little direction.

    I started by gutting the interior of the seats and controls, and then moved on to removing the top portion of the boat by getting rid of the trip and sawing through the fiberglass. Currently im working on removing the old rotted plywood floor and getting ready to replace the transom.

    So for now, my questions are.

    -What materials should i be using for the floor and transom? -I figure 1/2" pressure treated ply for the floor and the current transom looks like a few sheets of 3/4" ply glued together.

    -What about foam underneath the floor? -The haul on this boat is very shallow and thus far it looks like there is no foam in place. Should i put in some foam when i replace the floor?

    Anyways, any help and advice you folks could lend me would be much appreciated.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: 1960 Glastron FrireFlite 15' Restoration

    Nice boat!

    You've got your work cut out for you, but it's worth it- She's a classic!

    There are a few of them out there, too- So you should be able to contact other owners and compare notes. A few photos can be found on this page-


    Here's a SUPER nice one-

    As for foam in the floors, It's your choice- I'd avoid using a poured in foam, though. There is no real reason for it, and it can cause a lot of problems down the line with drainage if not done right.

    But- Keep in mind that the boat was not built with any kind of floatation- it wasn't required at the time.



    • #3
      Re: 1960 Glastron FrireFlite 15' Restoration

      Thanks andgott, I have heard that the pour-in foam can be tricky. i was planning on using foam board (i've seen it at home depot before).


      • #4
        Re: 1960 Glastron FrireFlite 15' Restoration

        I used the sheet foam under my floors... You can see it on my restore thread, or on my web page.

        I was able to 'cram' enough in there to get about 3/4 sheet in there, which will give me about 200lbs of added floatation. Not as much as I'd have liked, but FAR better than nothing! I figure at least it'll offset the motor



        • #5
          Re: 1960 Glastron FrireFlite 15' Restoration

          Hey, so i was looking at your restoration page and was wondering how exactly you fused those sheets of plywood together for the transom.


          • #6
            Re: 1960 Glastron FrireFlite 15' Restoration

            Originally posted by beliskner View Post
            Hey, so i was looking at your restoration page and was wondering how exactly you fused those sheets of plywood together for the transom.
            I laminated them in place using Epoxy resin thickened with Cabosil. My transom was not flat- It bends outward- so I couldn't glue a couple of thicknesses together outside the boat then epoxy them in place. I had to put the first layer in, being careful to maintain the shape of the original transom (I needed braces, and had to install it in sections rather than one sheet of ply). Then, after that, I laminated more layers on, using plenty of epoxy/cabosil mixture and clamping it all down well.


            • #7
              Re: 1960 Glastron FrireFlite 15' Restoration

              Yeah that makes sense to re-construct it in the boat first. I was considering trying to make the transom first then installing it, but for strength purposes i suppose that makes more sense. Where do you buy the epoxy resin? I have looked around online a bit, but am still unsure. Also, the original transom looks like three 1/2" sheets of plywood fused together. Is there any way i could improve the design to make it stronger?


              • #8
                Re: 1960 Glastron FrireFlite 15' Restoration

                It's hard to tell from the photos- is the plywood part of your transom straight, or curved?? If it's straight, it won't be a problem to laminate the new transom outside the boat, then fiberglass it in place. If it's curved, you might want to do the laminations in place like I did.

                That is a fairly complex transom, due to the fins- If the transom IS curved, You'll want to get good measurements of the curvature so you can replicate it. When it was built, they more than likely laminated the transom while it was in the mold- so the mold held the shape of everything. Without it, when you take the old transom out, you'll loose the shape- and getting it back will be tough without some kind of reference.

                Several layers of laminated ply will be plenty strong- Don't worry about trying to make it 'better'.

                I get my fiberglassing supplies from U.S. composites- They have great prices on resins, cloth, and fillers. I only use Epoxy resin- It is so much better than poly in so many ways that I can justify the higher cost- I figure if I'm going to put all of this labor in to it, I am going to do it RIGHT. But, to each their own.


                • #9
                  Re: 1960 Glastron FrireFlite 15' Restoration

                  Well it looks like im in luck -- My transom is straight, not curved. However i took more pictures and measurements just to be sure i don't screw up.

                  Being able to fabricate a new transom outside makes my life much easier. Thanks alot for the advice-I have a feeling it will save me a ton of dickering and trial by error.

                  As far as US Composites. I'm located in Canada so im probably out of luck, but i'll keep my eye open.

                  Also, when it comes to glassing the floor. Am i going to be using fiberglass mat or cloth? Someone told me mat is over-rated and someone else said cloth isn't good enough. What do you use?


                  • #10
                    Sign up today
                    Re: 1960 Glastron FrireFlite 15' Restoration

                    I used a 50" wide, 10 oz "E" cloth for my floor. I'd use cloth over matt for most applications, it's stronger. Matt has the advantage of being far more flexible, ift conforms to curves and odd shapes better. Just remember most matts arent compatible with epoxy!

                    US Composites MIGHT ship to canada- I dont know. Its worth a shot.


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