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18' Thunderbird Cuddy

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  • 18' Thunderbird Cuddy

    Hi all. I just took title of a 18 foot 1968 Thunderbird Cathedral Hull Cuddy cabin boat. I'm very excited about getting this boat in ship shape and out on the water. I definately have my work cut out for me though. It is an outboard model with no motor. The max HP on the ID tag says 250. Does anyone have any reccomendations for motor size? 250 seems like a lot for a boat this size, and would be strechting my budget. Also there are some stress cracks across the top of the gunwale just forward of the transome. They look like there just in the gel coat. Is something to be concerned with? The boat will be following me home on Monday. Once I get it home and cleaned up I can post a lot of photos. Looking forward to receiving any advice or comments from all the Thunderbird experts.

  • #2
    Re: 18' Thunderbird Cuddy

    Got the boat home and finally had a chance to inspect thouroghly. It is a 1968 Cheyene Deluxe OB. My digital camera is not working at this time, so no photos yet. I definately have a project on my hands. The transom is soggy and needs repair. Also, where the mounting holes are for the toilet that once was there is some delamination. I have not pulled up the deck yet but its probaly safe to assume there is some rot in the structural members below. The previous owner put in a new deck of marine quality mahogony plywood, but they did not seal it water tight. I hope to salvage and reuse the plywood. Any way I got my work cut out for me. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Here's my plan still in its infantcy.

    I'm thinking about converting it into an open fisherman. Instead of removing the whole cap, I was considering cutting it in place to get rid of the bulk head and accessing the transom for repair. Is this a bad idea?

    By open fisherman I mean open deck space with a raised deck where the bulkhead is with storage below. Maybe six stategicaly placed pedistal seat bases, so seats can be interchanged with accesories. Also, considering a 115 Mercury Optimax with tiller controls. I still have plenty of time to figure out the plan, so any input would be great. Looking forward to hear some of your opinions and advice. Thanks again,
    Brew

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    • #3
      Re: 18' Thunderbird Cuddy

      Any information that I ever found on this boat indicates that it was rated for up to 200 hp, not 250. That rating was based upon having two engines, simpley because no one made a 200 hp engine in 1968.

      I'm sorry to hear that you want to cut this boat up. TBird cathedral hull boats are somewhat rare, so many would be horrified at that thought. Not my decision to make, but I hope you pick another boat to modify.
      Please don't PM me on advice issues - let's keep that in the forums, so that everyone can benefit. Please note that I do not email PDFs, etc. I have a bandwidth limited aircard for internet access. My avatar does not mean I have any offical link to iboats. I just like it!

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      • #4
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        Re: 18' Thunderbird Cuddy

        I was just given a 19ft Cheyenne or Comanche not sure which yet. I will add pics. 140hp Johnson (runs) and a dual axle trailer. I too was thinking of removing the cubby but decided against it. I have my work cut out for me here. I could use any advice on how to do it and where to find missing parts (I have some windshield parts and am missing some).
        Here's the pics.
        Attached Files

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