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Aristocraft 19 New Owner! Would like help!

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  • Aristocraft 19 New Owner! Would like help!

    I just purchased a 1980 Aristocraft 19 from a friend's father in law. The boat was used regularly for 12 years, then the family moved to Missouri and parked it on their farm. They have not touched it since then. That was 25 years ago.

    I had the pleasure of purchasing the boat for next to nothing. I am planning on going to get the boat from their farm on May 4th! It is of course in rough shape. It basically is going to need a lot of elbow grease to get it up and running again. I am going to "fix it up" instead of restore it. I want to make it operational and nice, but not necessarily period correct.

    I am told the motor is ruined, however I do not know if there is cause to think that other than just sitting for 25 years.
    I am planning on checking to see if the foam is water saturated (I know it most likely is, however it has been sitting nose up, so wishful thoughts).
    The stringers are fiberglass so I should not have a problem with those.
    I am told the transom is still good, however I feel that may be optimistic.
    I know I am going to need to replace the steering cable.
    I will need to replace all the rubber lines and whatnot.
    I am planning on checking the fuel tank to see if there is any rust in the tank or lines.
    I am planning on rebuilding the Bilge pump/Blower and modding the bilge pump to be automatic with an Arduino board.
    I am planning on having the top professionally painted as it is the crown jewel of the boat.
    I am planning on completely redoing the upholstery/interior of the boat.

    All that being said, I know I am in for a large project. I expect it to take a year or more as time and money are available. I am mechanically inclined and have worked on a lot of cars and other similar type projects. I am however new to boat work. I understand how to operate them, but not necessarily all the ins and outs to watch out for as I am doing this project. I understand a lot of first opinion is to tell me to run for the hills, to find a different boat. I get it. I am going to put a lot of time and money into this boat, and it will probably not be worth the time and money put in, if I ever have to sell it. I am not doing ti as an investment, but rather because I enjoy projects like these, I think this boat will look great when I am done, and if I am going to accidentally ruin a boat while working on it, I would rather it be one I have put next to nothing in.

    So what I am asking for, is not advice on how to get myself out of this project, but rather advice on critical things to check and be cautious of while I am doing this project. I would like advice on any common pitfalls that I need to watch out for!

    Thanks in advance.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/6b9yfkttw2...13459.jpg?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/6cr61maq49...57566.jpg?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ugw4xzy11a...70808.jpg?dl=0

  • #2
    Welcome aboard.

    I had a 9Teen at one time and I loved the old gal. Your plan looks good. Except for one thing - Why use an Arduino board for the bilge pump? You don't need an unproven computer controlled pump when there are plenty of proven and reliable bilge pumps and automatic switches.

    She looks a little rough, but not beyond saving. A nice thing is compared to many other old boats, Aristocrafts have very little wood.

    BOAT SPECS FORUM HELP STARCRAFT FORUM SHOP iboats
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    Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

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    • #3
      I forgot to mention that http://aristocraftboats.com/ still has or did have some parts like windows. The current owners are the sons of the original makers of AC boats.
      BOAT SPECS FORUM HELP STARCRAFT FORUM SHOP iboats
      Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
      That is what the forums are for.
      Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

      Comment


      • #4
        congrats Jcboff. I hope yer project turns out well. imho, for what yer planning, a Nineteen is a great place to start. mostly because of their mostly fiberglass construction. i think the wood you'll find in these boats will be a square block of wood glassed to the inside for where the drive mounts to. under the fiberglass deck (inner liner) is some plywood that is there for the ft. motor mount lag bolts. the seats are all wood. other than that, no where else i'm aware of. just the foam yer talking about and are concerned over. i am too. in my boat too. great. you've done plenty of research it seems. good job.

        imho, i'd try to keep the drive and engine matched up. drive's have ratios. engines are designed to fit in their boat. change the engine and ya may need to change gear ratio in the drive. + any mating to the boat issues that may arise.
        assuming you stay with your existing drive/engine combo. do get the OEM only service manual. read it. it has facts about your engine/drive in it. you can look at your manual here.
        confirm proper s/m by serial number. i think ya might need #3.

        go to the adults only section here on iboat. a whole goob of great info there on many subjects.

        don't forget the rubber on the drive. drive shaft bellows, shift shaft bellows, and a water hose. exhaust bellows too. however it can be ran w/o exhaust bellows with out ramification other than it don't direct the exhaust of the prop hub. but ya gotta have the others intact or ya sink.
        check the drive out good. most of the work i've had to do to mine has been drive work.

        read though the AristoCraft forum. there are not that many pages. but a wealth of info lies in them.

        again. congrats on your new AristoCraft. you'll love it after ya get her on the water. + the fun of making it into what you want.

        oh, and ditto on what GA Boater says about AristoCraft. go to their website, aristocraftboats.com if ya call them, Bill is the son of the oem of AristoCraft. Scott is Bills son, so the grandson of the oem AristoCraft. his name was Claude. imho, there's is one of the best American entrepanuer success stories i've heard.
        + last i heard. seat covers still were available in red. I'd give them a call to see if that's still so. i don't know if the seats were in your mod idea. but these back to back seats in a Nineteen work great for fold out lounges. me and my better half sleep on them often. mighty comfy too.....

        enjoy your new boat man!

        if ya got more questions just ask. as ya can see from the thread before this one. us Nineteen owners are just itchin to share what we know and found out about our boats with others...
        'Lime Time'
        1975 AristoCraft Nineteen
        Mercruiser 165hp (chevy 250 L6), MC-1 drive

        Comment


        • #5
          Adding to Ziggy's wood comments - The other wood is in the two deck hatches and a small triangular piece to blend the deck into the bow at the very front.

          So wood in the seats, two hatch covers, the bow filler and the small transom piece. The rest of the boat is fiberglass and poured flotation. They are a fairly heavy boat, but sturdy.
          BOAT SPECS FORUM HELP STARCRAFT FORUM SHOP iboats
          Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
          That is what the forums are for.
          Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

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          • #6
            The other wood is in the two deck hatches
            yep, i forgot about those. for sure are wood.
            and a small triangular piece to blend the deck into the bow at the very front.
            wow. that i didn't know about. i don't have that piece for my boat. just an empty bow. perhaps i'm missing a piece of my boat that i didn't know even existed. ya got any pics of this piece. a piece like that would kinda spruce up the inside of the bow a bit. albeit, take up some space. and i've been known to use all the space i have up there to stash items of use when i use Lime Time as a floating camper. any further info on this triangular piece would be very interesting.....

            They are a fairly heavy boat, but sturdy.
            i've never weighed mine. i always thought they were kinda light and sturdy. best info on weight of a nineteen i got here on iboats (any further info on weight would be good to hear about too). here.
            Last edited by ziggy; April 22nd, 2017, 08:14 AM. Reason: add comment
            'Lime Time'
            1975 AristoCraft Nineteen
            Mercruiser 165hp (chevy 250 L6), MC-1 drive

            Comment


            • #7
              Ziggy - The sliding hardtop adds a lot. 1980 19 with top is 1950 lbs. bare. The boat specs has the same weight for a non-hardtop, but I know it takes a few people to take one off. The 1975 link shows 1650 lbs., I had a '72 with the 1650 weight, maybe the HT is 300lbs. All AC specs - http://boatspecs.iboats.com/Aristo_Craft/bp/20br1021

              I don't have any pics of the one I had. The bow piece was cut to fit flat with the deck, rested on the sides of the bow and a piece of 2X4 in line with the keel was screwed on the underside closest to the deck for rear support.
              BOAT SPECS FORUM HELP STARCRAFT FORUM SHOP iboats
              Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
              That is what the forums are for.
              Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hello Jcboff, and congrats on the nineteen. I have a '78 that I've been fixing up over the years, as time and money permit. Like you, I wasn't necessarily trying to restore it, but to make it safe, dependable, and nice. Its been a great old boat. had lots of fun and made lots of memories with it.

                You have a sound plan in place, and a realistic expectation. I think you're going to end up with a boat you love.

                ​Just wondering, why was the engine condemned? If it's just stuck from sitting, it may loosen up with some pb blaster in the cylinders. if its too stuck, it may still be rebuildable, as it was a runner when parked. or, It may even be a seized gimbal bearing...... just a thought. (assuming it didn't get water frozen in it and crack)

                ​in the engine compartment, along with the rubber hoses and such, you should plan on changing the upper exhaust bellows and the flapper that stops water from surging back in thru the exhaust.

                ​also, to change out all the outdrive bellows (you are definitely going to need to do this), you are going to want to purchase the spline tool to remove the bell housing hinge pins. its about 12 bucks online. A 1/2" allen fits, but is really likely to strip the 12 point heads. stripped hinge pins are the opposite of enjoyable.... don't ask me how I know this......

                If you're going to have the engine out, definitely get the alignment tool to make sure its all just right when you put the outdrive back on. Its a good idea to double check the alignment any time the drive is off anyways. {you have to pull it to grease the u joints**

                ​put a water pump rebuild kit in the lower unit

                Another thing to check while the outdrive is off and youre doing the bellows is the lower shift cable. if it binds, the engine will die during shifting due to the shift interrupter not working correctly.

                You should check operation of the trim limit and gauge before you take the outdrive apart. check the condition of the wires for the trim limit switch and trim gauge sender when you have it apart to do the bellows, as you have to take a bunch of it apart anyways if you ever want to change them. the wires on mine were corroded right through when I got it, and its a pain not knowing just how youre trimmed. its also a pain to contemplate taking it all apart just to change the stinkin switches. it would be a bigger pain to have the stinkin old switches (that you were thinkin about changing) fail right after you put it all back together. when I changed mine out, I ordered the whole transom install kit also (those with experience advised me to get the one from mercruiser, not aftermarket, so that's what I got) then just cut the old bellows off, do your thing with the senders and whatever else, and you have everything you need to put it all back. if you do end up changing out the trim switches, it helps to grind down a 1/4 drive 7/16 socket to get at the top bolt on the wire retainer.( another tip I got and followed from those who had been there before me).

                ​I was lucky, and as far as I can tell, the foam in mine was never saturated, so not much help here on that end of things. Oh, and fwiw, one more place they used wood was the dashboard. I just re did the vinyl on mine.......

                ​Hope some of this is helpful, or will be once you get there. Its not all inclusive for sure, just some things ive learned from mine. Definitely get the service manual....

                ​Good luck with the project!


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                • #9
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                  Thanks to all for this invaluable information -- particularly the trim tab stuff. I also just purchased a 1978 19 and am looking at the restoration. Call me crazy but I bought the boat from a guy in Spokane just by looking at pics -- the boat is being shipped back to the East Coast where I do my boating in the St. Lawrence River/1000 islands. I let a local one pass me by last fall and have been kicking myself -- I like the idea of a hard top and the 19 foot hull is the perfect boat for the famous St. Lawrence chop.

                  The one thing I could add to the discussion for Jcboff is that the boat looks like it could really use some TLC on the gelcoat/fiberglass exterior that looks like it's got a lot of oxidation. You can pay someone to do this or just look at the U tube videos on sanding down the surface, filling it, and resealing/polishing the surface.

                  As for the engine -- these boats were powered with the mercruiser 4 cylinder. I think the 120 version is underpowered -- one reason I went with the 170 hp. I've heard of some of these with the straight 6 165. I am also unsure of the condition of the engine since it's supposedly been sitting idle for 15+ years. Look at it this way -- the worst thing that can happen to you is that you repower the boat. You buy a bloc for about $2,500 from any number of companies. My mechanic has suggested retrofitting at 4.3 mercruiser 6. Not sure I'll go that route. There's a good argument as some have referenced to maintain the configuration. I actually found a guy with a rebuilt 470 bloc that is looking to unload it -- so I'll go that route if need be.

                  Artistocraft supplies parts -- I'm getting new windshield and side windows as well. They are also making new back seats, which were missing from the boats. The windshield is $350 and the new seats are $525.

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