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1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL Complete Restoration w/ Photo's

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  • 1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL Complete Restoration w/ Photo's

    Hi everyone. I restored this Wellcraft that I picked up on ebay 2 years ago. It is my second complete restoration to date and I think it came out pretty well considering what I started with.

    The boat was totally gutted when I got it but I have been able to transform it into my next fishing boat.

    Here are a few pictures of it when I 1st got it.







    As you can see from the above picture the boat is missing the OMC King Cobra drive unit. Below you can see how the interior was completely stripped from the boat and the rotten floor.



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    1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL w/ 350 5.7 SBC and Alpha One

  • #2
    Re: 1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL Restoration

    The Ford OMC 460 King Cobra engine was completely shot not worth trying to rebuild. I was able to salvage a few parts from it however to sell and help finance the replacement engine.



    The cockpit was water damaged and not reusable.



    The remote was garbage as well.



    The cuddy was missing the hatch window and the interior lights were also no longer functioning.



    All of the exterior lights, cleats, and chocks had been removed. Presumably to to be used on another boat or boats.

    sigpic

    1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL w/ 350 5.7 SBC and Alpha One

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    • #3
      Re: 1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL Restoration

      I started out by removing the remnants of the old floor. It wasn't hard at all since the wood was brittle to the touch after years of neglect and exposure to the elements.





      After I got the floor out I removed the fuel tank and emptied the who knows how old fuel that was in it. It actually had about 40 gallons of stale fuel still left in it.



      After I replaced the fuel tank I started cutting the new wood for the floor replacement. I used 3/4" untreated plywood decking.



      I laid the new floor in place and made corrections to fit along the way. I took two 4X8 sheets to do the entire floor. I decided to have the seams run horizontally rather than vertically because I wanted the access holes to the fuel tank to have extra strength.





      Once the floor was down and I was sure that I had it exactly like I wanted it I then coated the underside and all of the edges with a layer of polyester resin. Once it had dried I applied a bead of liquid nails to along the surface of all of the stringers and cross beams and then set the floor in place. I secured it to the stringers with 1 3/4" stainless steel decking screws which were counter sunk. The screws were then covered a strip of fiberglass tape and polyester resin to ensure no water penetration in the future.
      sigpic

      1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL w/ 350 5.7 SBC and Alpha One

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      • #4
        Re: 1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL Restoration

        I tabbed the floor to the hull with a peanut butter resin mixture and fiberglass tape.





        Once I had the floor solid I decided to start working on constructing a doghouse for the new engine compartment. The boat had rear seats in it's previous life but not anymore. I plan on having that extra space available for fishing.



        Here is where I started constructing a new rear deck. Due to its position over the rear half of the engine I had to make it removable. Otherwise I would've liked to have been able to fiberglass it in and gelcoated. This will due for now though.





        With that all done I then laid the fiberglass on the floor and applied the resin. I actually used two layers of glass and resin. The second layer developed air bubbles under it and I had to sand them out and then reapply another layer of glass/resin to those areas, You can see where I sanded it in the next picture.

        sigpic

        1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL w/ 350 5.7 SBC and Alpha One

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        • #5
          Re: 1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL Restoration

          With the floor down I turned my attention to carpeting everything. i know carpet has no place in a boat but at the time it was my only option. Eventually i will rip it all up and redo everything and have a floor that I can washdown.





          The previous configuration had the side panels stop half way down from the reaching the floor. I decided to get some plywood and build new side panels that would cover everything all the way to the floor. I covered them in vinyl later. I am currently actually thinking about redoing this also and making the side panel all one piece of wood.



          I then decided to prepare the floor to accept the new seat boxes I had constructed. I placed the boxes on the floor in the position I wanted them and then cut the carpet around the box. I am a firm believer in not putting any holes into the floor that i just took the time to lay. The new seats will be secured to these seat boxes which in turn are glassed to the floor. The boxes where made out of 2x8s cut to length.



          sigpic

          1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL w/ 350 5.7 SBC and Alpha One

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          • #6
            Re: 1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL Restoration

            Once I got the seat boxes all installed I started mounting the seats. I also got the side panels wrapped in vinyl. I then started to wrap the seat boxes in carpet as well as the doghouse.











            sigpic

            1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL w/ 350 5.7 SBC and Alpha One

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            • #7
              Re: 1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL Restoration

              I removed the dash to completely rewire and replace the factory gauges. While it was off I repainted the bulkhead and cockpit area. In total I probably replaced 90% of all the wiring in the boat with new. All of the breakers were replaced and rewired.









              And dash completed with a new steering wheel, radio, and circuit breakers. I actually redid the gauges three times. The origical gauge case didn't rebuild very well so I rebuilt the case into what you see here. I then replaced those gauges with white faced gauges. (not pictured) It worked out better. I have a large compass, fishfinder, and gps. Also take a look at the new remote control. More about that later.

              sigpic

              1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL w/ 350 5.7 SBC and Alpha One

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              • #8
                Re: 1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL Restoration

                I then replaced some of the parts that were cannibalized from her.











                And I added some trim to the seat boxes to make them look a little more professionally done.

                sigpic

                1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL w/ 350 5.7 SBC and Alpha One

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                • #9
                  Re: 1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL Restoration

                  I installed the stereo system and speakers. Now I was able to at least listen to music while i was working. I found a Nice Bimini top on ebay and had to buy it. the price was perfect. The color wasn't a match but I thought that I would eventually be able to dye it to match the boats interior.







                  I was also able to finally get the old OMC engine out. I decided to swap everything out and convert it to a Mercruiser setup. The deciding factor for me to make the conversion was after I got the engine out I was able to inspect the transom assembly thoroughly. The steerring system was corroded solid. The gimbal was corroded beyond any use as well. It would've cost more to replace the OMC setup than to just change it over. I was glad I did since OMC is out of business and parts and labor on them are high.

                  I decided to go with a Mercruiser 230HP Chevy 305 and Alpha One setup. More on that later.





                  sigpic

                  1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL w/ 350 5.7 SBC and Alpha One

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                  • #10
                    Re: 1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL Restoration

                    Even though the boat had the massive OMC 460 in it, Wellcraft offered these boats with 260hp Chevy 350 engines as a base powerplant. I was hopefull that it wouldn't be underpowered. I ordered new shift and throtlle cables from eBay as the OMC cables didn't seem compatible. I thought the remote control would be interchangeable however I found out that it wasn't and replaced it earlier.

                    I prepared the bilge area for the engine. i put two bilge pumps in. Both are connected to a switch on the dash as well as being automated with a float switch. The main one is 1200 gph and the smaller one is 500 gph. I also installed two bilge blowers to really keep the fumes down to a minimum. I was ablt to find everything on ebay at rock bottom prices as it was during the winter months and demand was low.









                    After I got the bilge taken care of I prepared the hull for the transom assembly.



                    sigpic

                    1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL w/ 350 5.7 SBC and Alpha One

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                    • #11
                      Re: 1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL Complete Restoration w/ Photo's

                      Now that I am ready to install the transom assembly I am making sure that I have everything that I am going to need. I know that I will have to replace the gimbal bearing and change the bellows. I was trying to find someone to do it for me while it was off the boat boat but I was told that it would go on easier once it is installed. After getting some crazy quotes I decided to go it alone and see if I could do it.



                      I was sure that I had everything to proceed forward.








                      The last thing that I want to do is to install a bait well and water circulation pump somewhere in this area. I know what I want but haven't figured out just how to do it yet. Don't know if I want to recirculate old water or if I want to pump/draw sea water directly in from outside the boat and let the overflow drain out. The problem with this is that I would have to install the pump and inlet tube below the waterline of the boat. Not to enthused with drilling a hole through the boat below the waterline to let water in!!! I'll keep thinking on this one.
                      sigpic

                      1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL w/ 350 5.7 SBC and Alpha One

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                      • #12
                        Re: 1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL Complete Restoration w/ Photo's

                        I finally got the transom assembly on and motor installed in the boat temporarily. Just testing to make sure all of my clearances are correct at this point.









                        While I was at it I decided to go ahead and get the trim pump and battery box installed. I mounted them both on pieces of plywood cut to size and epoxied to the floor. Once again keeping with my "no holes in the new floor" policy.



                        sigpic

                        1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL w/ 350 5.7 SBC and Alpha One

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                        • #13
                          Re: 1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL Complete Restoration w/ Photo's

                          Here's my thoughts, tell me what you think. The bait well itself is 30-40 gallons. I will position it between the sidewall and doghouse in the rear of the boat. I was thinking of having the inlet tube and pump connected to the transom in the bilge near the regular drain hole below the water line. The outlet tube would be on the bait-well about 4' below the top edge and connected to a regular thru-hull bilge tube connector.

                          I was thinking that instead of an aerator I could connect the pump to a timer that would infuse the well with fresh water from outside the boat every say ten minutes or so. As the new water is pumped in the old water would be force out the top hole through the side mounted discharge tube. Thus guaranteeing fresh aerated water for the bait.

                          Is this feasible or am I missing something? I shouldn't have a problem with backwash because the pump will only be a matter of inches below the bait well. I can install a mini scupper in the well that only allows water in from the pressure of the pumped water but closes once the pump stops. It all sounds and looks good on paper but who knows what will happen in reality?

                          Anyone else ever try something like this?

                          Anyway, I have the motor in the boat at this point and everything connected.











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                          1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL w/ 350 5.7 SBC and Alpha One

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                          • #14
                            Re: 1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL Complete Restoration w/ Photo's

                            I then decided to align the engine prematurely.



                            As you can see the gimbal bearing needs replacing so my alignment was premature. I then started the process of replacing the gimbal bearing, bellows, water intake hose, trim position sender, trim limit switch, and lower shift cable.











                            I have to admit, it was a lot easier to do than I thought it would be.
                            sigpic

                            1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL w/ 350 5.7 SBC and Alpha One

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                            • #15
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                              Re: 1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL Complete Restoration w/ Photo's

                              With everything back on I once again aligned the engine and mounted the Alpha One. I will admit that it took me a while to finally get it aligned correct but once I did it slide right on like snot on a doorknob.











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                              1988 Wellcraft Elite 222 XL w/ 350 5.7 SBC and Alpha One

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