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1994 Crownline 196br restoration

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  • 1994 Crownline 196br restoration

    Hello all,
    I am recently new to this site. My wife had asked me in the past if I had ever wanted to buy a boat. I said that although I love being on the water, I never had the desire to own one. You always hear about the best 2 days of a boat owner's life etc, etc. Well, we now own a boat. We bought a 1994 Crownline 196br toward the end of September. The hull is in really good shape as far as the gelcoat and it has zero stress cracks. The 305 engine runs like a top and everything looks, sounds and feels good with the Alpha 1 gen 2 outdrive. Everything electrical works as well. It did need quite a bit of interior work and I did notice a soft spot in the floor in front of the ski locker. I felt confident that I could put a new floor in and whatever else was involved. After taking it out a couple times in early October and even tubing (we live in Michigan so it was a tad chilly) I started removing the interior. There was extensive rot on one of the bow panels. I did quite a bit of research into local shops to do the vinyl and decided on a guy with a lot of experience about an hour from us. After bringing him the pieces we wanted done and discussing the project with him we ended up deciding on an entire custom interior. The stuff that was in decent shape still wasn't great and with the age we figured it would fail soon as well. To go to a full interior versus trying to match bits and pieces wasn't a huge sum of money. We thought why not just do it all and have exactly what we want as far as colors and textures? I now under stand the acronym B.O.A.T. We went with an off white, grey and black carbon fiber.

    Back to the floor. I figured I would tackle the interior this winter, enjoy it next summer, then do the floor restoration. Well, after pulling out the interior my mind got the best if me. I started looking at the ski locker area and started peeling some carpet back. I soon realized that it will at least need some stringers replaced but likely all of them. I then decided to do it all this winter instead of putting a brand new interior in a rotten boat just to take it out again. We ended up taking it to a friends house where it could be worked on all winter in his pole barn. We had the majority of the floor removed and started tackling the foam. After removing the foam from a couple of cavities I called it a day. I was suddenly dreading digging all of that foam out. After thinking about a little bit I tried a different method the next time I worked on it. When we built an addition on our house we went with spray foam. The installers used a really long saw similar to a bandsaw blade but very thick and rigid to remove any foam beyond the face of the studs. They left that at our house and I held onto it. I took that blade over and ran it along each side of the stringer. Since the blade was so thick I could actually slide it horizontally and pry with it as well to separate it from the stringers instead of sawing. I would then use a pry bar to pull it out. It worked great and a lot of it came out in big chunks.

    I did some spot checking and see that the wooden supports for the engine mounts is bad. So, tomorrow I plan to winterize the engine and then start pulling it. We shall see how it goes.

    I wanted to start a post because after our purchase I really started reading the forums and enjoyed seeing the progress that others have made on their boats. Up until about a month ago, I knew very little about boats. I have already learned a lot and feel like I will know this boat inside and out by the time it is done. I am crossing my fingers that it will be ready for summer fun by May. It may be optimistic, but that is our goal. Regardless, in the end we will have a solid boat and will be confident in the fact that it is done right. Here are a few pics of the boat and the progress so far. Not sure of the best way to upload but read that some people use photobucket. Not sure if that is due to file size? I was only able to add one pic due to file size. I will resize some and add later. Have a great night all.

    p.s. sorry for the long winded introduction..

  • #2
    Get ready for a LOT of itchy work!!
    1961 Lonestar Flamingo - SPLASHED...Kinda!!
    Fabricating Decks, Stringers, and Transoms
    Paint Your Boat with Tractor Paint...Say What!!!


    • #3
      Yessir. I am not looking forward to that at all! But it must be done...


      • #4
        Some photos of the interior. It all came out. Not sure what the caulk was all about in the 3rd photo. Their attempt at keeping water from going behind the cushion? Obviously this was the panel that was completely rotted away.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by Superjet511; October 28th, 2018, 03:44 AM.


        • #5
          Seeing what I am getting into.
          Attached Files


          • #6
            Most of the decking removed.
            Attached Files


            • #7
              Photo of the saw blade I used. It worked great!
              Attached Files


              • #8
                The wiring is a mess! LOTS of electrical tape and butt connectors. This will all be addressed. But, by some miracle all of the accessories work....
                Attached Files


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Superjet511 View Post
                  The wiring is a mess! LOTS of electrical tape and butt connectors. This will all be addressed. But, by some miracle all of the accessories work....
                  At least it isn't like a 30 year old dried up engine wiring harness that's ready to shed all its insulation if you breathe on it.

                  Yay for another fiberglass boat project floor/stringer/transom job in the forum. Better long term entertainment than anything on TV these days. You know you're probably going to get about at least 3 to 6 months of content. (hopefully)


                  • #10
                    Superjet, this looks like an interesting project... I'll be following along. Looks like you're diving right in!
                    Location: West Central Illinois, USA 1997 Larson 186 SEi Bowrider I/O Mercruiser 350 #0F747565 Mag Alpha One Gen II #1A270120 Transom and Deck Restoration Project on my '97 Larson Bowrider


                    • #11
                      Some pics from yesterday. Not a lot done. But pulled the outdrive and engine. It was much easier to pull the drain plugs and fill with coolant with the engine on the stand I made. The u joint assembly and gimbal bearing look like they are new and everything felt smooth. I will put a new water pump in while the outdrive is out since I am not sure of the age. Alignment was right on. New bellows as well will go in. Next up is pulling the fuel tank and cutting the cap out. It will be nice to work on the hull with everything out now.
                      Attached Files


                      • #12
                        Looking good! Can't wait to see it all back together with that new apholstry.


                        • #13
                          Nice work so far looking forward to seeing the new go back in. Seems like forever when you gotta grind grind grind grind. But remember once that’s all finished the fun part begins. I’m almost ready to start my templates for stringers and bulkheads. Have fun and carry on
                          1987 Bayliner Capri 1750 (Work In Progress)
                          120 Mercruiser Engine S/N 2458751
                          MC-1 Drive S/N 2463635

                          Bayliner Capri 1750 Bow Rider Rebuild My Way



                          • #14
                            Thank you all for the compliments.

                            Is there a forum for your project? Interested in seeing ideas for stringer templates. I am thinking the existing stringers aren't going to come out solid enough for a decent template. I was actually thinking of making templates out of 3/4 polystyrene using a hot knife. At least with that material I could trim and adjust the templates without getting in and out of the boat and maybe mock it all together prior to cutting any stringers out of plywood. Not sure if anyone has done that on others forums? I would think it would be a huge time saver.


                            • #15
                              Sign up today
                              Cardboard and a hot glue gun. Used a chalkline like setting up concrete forms at deck level. Cut the cardboard in 3-4 foot sections. Hot glued the pieces together.

                              Marked and cut the stringers. Now the bad news no way out of climbing in and out a thousand times. I used the grinder to make fine adjustments/trimming the stringers.

                              I made a false deck. Just a peice of wood side to side in a few sections. Where the wood could lay on the chines flat. To make sure the 4 stringers mine had were all in the same and correct plane.

                              It is time consuming. But once you get going it isnt to bad just alot of exercise.
                              Dance with the waves,
                              move with the sea.
                              Let the rhythm of the water
                              set your soul free.

                              1987 Four Winns 170 Horizon.