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Complete rebuild of 1979 Checkmate Eluder

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  • #16
    Re: Complete rebuild of 1979 Checkmate Eluder

    Here is a photo of the test fitting of the flotation boxes and battery trays. One thing I saw during the demolition phase was that some water had gotten into the flotation boxes from above (there wasn't a top on them), possibly from where the steering cables pass through the splashwell. I'm adding a piece of 1/8 plywood to go over the flotation box, and sloping it downward so any water will run off. This of course will be painted with epoxy on the inside and fiberglassed on the outside to make sure that it's waterproof.

    A bit of 20:20 hindsight - with the cap off the boat and no rear seats or fuel tank in the way this location for battery trays looks perfect. HOWEVER, now that the boat is back together I've discovered that it's a b*%#% to reach the battery trays, I wish I'd have left them much further forward.






    I've often heard that bondo has no place in a boat, and that's mostly true. However, it's slicker than snot on a doorknob for temporarily holding pieces in place - mix it with a little extra hardener to speed curing time and it will cure extra brittle to make it a snap to remove with a wood chisel or screwdriver. A couple blobs of bondo are visible in this photo where I'm working on fitting a battery tray.






    After test fitting everything I glassed all the plywood parts for the flotation boxes and battery trays. Instead of doing them one at a time I took a shotgun approach to save time. I put a layer of wax paper on a large piece of plywood, put a sheet of peel ply on that, then the first layer of glass cloth. I arranged the parts on the glass cloth as tightly together as possible, and marked their outlines with a felt marker. Then one at a time I painted epoxy on the bottom of each part, wet out the corresponding area of the glass cloth, pressed the part onto the wet-out cloth, and then painted the edges of each part with epoxy. Then the tops of all the parts were painted with epoxy, the top layer of glass cloth laid over them, and enough extra epoxy painted on to ensure good wet-out. Finally a sheet of peel-ply was put over the top ply of glass. Since the temperature was only around 60 I chose fast epoxy and used a hair dryer to help speed wet-out.

    Once they cure, these parts will be tabbed in place using 7725 cloth. By using peel ply they'll be ready to install with no additional sanding.







    Here's a photo of the battery tray and flotation boxes installed. The gunwale flotation boxes are ready for foam, and the rear ones are waiting for the lids to be tabbed in, then they'll be filled with foam and finally glassed.





    Here the flotation boxes are complete, I had pre-glassed the tops and finished up by tabbing them in place using 7 oz glass tapes about 3 inches wide. The shop lights are keeping the epoxy warm enough to cure, and my circular saw was the closest thing to me when I needed some weight to hold down a corner.


    Checkmate Rebuild: https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...eckmate-eluder

    “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”

    ― Isaac Asimov

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    • #17
      Re: Complete rebuild of 1979 Checkmate Eluder

      Originally posted by metriccrescentwrench View Post
      I posted this over there as I was doing it. That's where I found some of the Check specific information which helped me so much with this rebuild (especially the information about the flotation boxes). I just figured that it was about time I posted it here on iboats as well.
      I thought the restoration looked familiar, great project!!! You're Groundloop from CM website. I'm cmpulse170 from over there.LOL!!!

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      • #18
        Re: Complete rebuild of 1979 Checkmate Eluder

        I traced cut lines for my ski-locker, said a quick prayer, and went at it with my jig saw. I must have done something right 'cause everything came out perfect, I'd wanted a half inch between the ski locker and stringers and that's what I got. I glassed the deck with one ply of 7725 cloth, and fabricated and installed seat boxes.

        More 20:20 hindsight - I went with seat boxes because that's the way the boat was originally. If I'd have had half a brain I would have glassed a second layer of plywood to the deck where the seats are and bolted pedestals in place. It was a total pain in the a#$ getting my hands inside the seat boxes to got the seat frames bolted in place. It also would have reduced the complexity of installing carpet.







        I found a ski locker frame and cover on ebay for $20, all I used was the frame. I made a custom ski locker cover on the water jet at work.






        As I'd mentioned earlier, in an act of pure genius the previous owner screwed a Hot Foot to the hull and went all the way through the balsa core and outside skin. [IMG]http://checkmate-**********/forums/images/smilies/brickwall.gif[/IMG] Luckily there was no water intrusion into the core. To repair those I used my dremel with a router bit and cut about 1" diameter holes through the core down to the outer skin, being certain that the exposed outer skin is clean and sanded so that epoxy will have the best possible bond to it. I also ground out a shallow valley around the screw holes.






        I put duct tape on the bottom of the hull over the holes, (don't need epoxy dribbling down the side of the hull). The inside of the routed out area was coated liberally with epoxy and the screw holes filled with an epoxy/milled fiber slurry to nearly the top of the core. After that cured the holes was filled to the top with a thick micro-baloon - epoxy slurry and two plies of glass layed up over the entire area.


        Checkmate Rebuild: https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...eckmate-eluder

        “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”

        ― Isaac Asimov

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: Complete rebuild of 1979 Checkmate Eluder

          This boat originally had plastic covers for the dash on both sides. Well, after more than 30 years that plastic was cracked and dull looking.





          I removed the plastic from both sides and was surprised at what I found under it on the driver's side.





          I talked to Mike at the factory and he told me what I expected to hear, those plastic inserts haven't been available for years. I toyed with the idea of building a flat face for the dash, but finally decided I could make an interesting looking dash out of what was already there. Soooo.. I filled all the openings with plywood, glassed over the wood, and filled and sanded (and filled and sanded and filled and sanded).




          Then applied primer and finally painted them white.







          Here's what it looks like with new gauges, new dual rack NFB steering, and a new steering wheel.



          Attached Files
          Checkmate Rebuild: https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...eckmate-eluder

          “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”

          ― Isaac Asimov

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: Complete rebuild of 1979 Checkmate Eluder

            Instead of attempting to figure out the existing wiring mess I decided it would be much easier (and safer) to start over from scratch. I spent quite a few years designing industrial control panels so this wasn't a big deal for me. I started out with a list of all things electrical which I'd install, then drew a wiring diagram including engine connections. One of the changes I made was to install flexible conduit from the front to rear on each side (I wound up with 2 pieces on the driver's side), and another piece across the rear, to make wiring easier and to facilitate changes in the future. I did the bulk of the wiring with the cap still hanging from the garage rafters since it was way easier to access everything.

            Here's a photo of the conduit along the starboard side under the gunwale, along with the alarm buzzer, shifter, and safety kill switch.




            And here's the piece across the rear, along with the fuel filter/separator:




            Here's a photo of under the dash when the wiring is nearly complete. I brought power forward, went through a master switch, then to the fuse block. All ground wires go to a common ground buss. I had several thousand feet of aircraft wire laying around and decided to use that (it's very high quality wire - you can hold it in the flame from a lighter and it's not damaged at all). The only downside of doing this is that I'm not using standard colors, but each and every wire is numbered at both ends and numbered on my wiring diagram.



            Checkmate Rebuild: https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...eckmate-eluder

            “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”

            ― Isaac Asimov

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: Complete rebuild of 1979 Checkmate Eluder

              Originally posted by The Enforcer View Post
              I thought the restoration looked familiar, great project!!! You're Groundloop from CM website. I'm cmpulse170 from over there.LOL!!!
              I've gotten so much help here on iboats getting my engine right that I figured it was time to share some experience with the rebuild project.
              Checkmate Rebuild: https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...eckmate-eluder

              “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”

              ― Isaac Asimov

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Complete rebuild of 1979 Checkmate Eluder

                I decided to clean up the fuel tank before re-installing it. I have the original 30 gallon aluminum tank, built in 1979. I decided to pull the fuel pickup to see if it had a strainer, and if so to see what it looked like (no, I just couldn't leave well enough alone). Here's how that turned out:




                I got that out with an EZ out and bought a new pickup tube from iboats. I also discovered that the fuel level sender was toast, so pulled that and bought a new one of those as well. With the sender out I could see inside well enough to confirm that it was very clean, so that was good news. An in the course of installing the new sender I discovered that there is one and only one way that the screw holes line up (I would have thought they'd be in a symmetrical pattern, but NOOOOO!!!). With a bit of elbow grease I got the tank cleaned up and ready to re-install.

                Checkmate Rebuild: https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...eckmate-eluder

                “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”

                ― Isaac Asimov

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Complete rebuild of 1979 Checkmate Eluder

                  Because I had redesigned the deck somewhat I couldn't use the old console sides as patterns for new ones. I lowered the cap into place temporarily and made cardboard mock ups, test fit them, and then cut 1/2 inch plywood for the new dash sides. These were glassed on each side with 7725 cloth, filled, sanded, and painted.








                  The forward bulkhead was in pretty bad shape so I made a new one of those as well. The old one had vinyl on it, I filled and sanded the new one, painted it gloss white, but later decided I'd like it better carpeted.








                  While I was at it I designed a new logo for the dash and cut it on the water jet at work.

                  Checkmate Rebuild: https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...eckmate-eluder

                  “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”

                  ― Isaac Asimov

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Complete rebuild of 1979 Checkmate Eluder

                    Since I chose to use a Hot Foot I didn't need a control box, so decided to use a billet shifter from Eddie Marine with an integral neutral safety switch.





                    Since the side panel was so thick where the shifter needed to be mounted I had to fabricate an offset arm for it. Once again, thank goodness for a water jet at work.




                    Checkmate Rebuild: https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...eckmate-eluder

                    “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”

                    ― Isaac Asimov

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Complete rebuild of 1979 Checkmate Eluder

                      I removed the windshield and side windows to clean them up (there was the start of some corrosion on the frames), decided I didn't like the aluminum look so painted the frames black.





                      While I was in the painting mood I painted the bilge black, painted all the visible areas in the stern grey using bilge-kote (being careful not to paint the area that would later need to bond to the splash-well). I had some bilge-kote leftover so painted the area in the bow that wouldn't get carpet (it would be hidden by the front bulkhead, but slightly visible with the hatch open). Once all the paint was dry I mounted the bilge pump and float.







                      Checkmate Rebuild: https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...eckmate-eluder

                      “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”

                      ― Isaac Asimov

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: Complete rebuild of 1979 Checkmate Eluder

                        I installed my new carpet before putting the cap back on, it was way way easier to do it this way. As I have already admitted, it was somewhat of a pain getting the carpet perfect around the seat boxes, and if I had it to do all over I'd have gone with pedestals.








                        I also got the seats and ski locker frame installed with the cap off, more room to maneuver that way.




                        Planning ahead for steering and control cable installation, I installed two large Adel clamps.









                        I was toying with the idea of building custom speaker enclosures but decided to save time and purchase marine 2-way box speakers instead (in addition to the two speakers in the front bulkhead). These will be recessed under the side panels, so I mounted those while access was still easy.

                        Checkmate Rebuild: https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...eckmate-eluder

                        “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”

                        ― Isaac Asimov

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Complete rebuild of 1979 Checkmate Eluder

                          Here's the last photo taken before reinstalling the cap. All of the wiring that could possibly be done to this point is complete, as is the installation of control cables, etc. At this point I had also wet sanded the entire boat, buffed it out, and waxed it. I'm amazed how good 33 year old gelcoat can look, IMHO Checkmate is one of the best out there when it comes to the quality of their gelcoat.





                          Before permanently installing the cap I ran a bead of sealer around the hull, then dropped the cap in place. Then I filled the space between the transom and splash well with filler made from microballoons, cabosil, and epoxy. After that cured I fabricated a fiberglass piece to go on top of the transom where I had to cut to remove the cap, and reinstalled the rubrail using special rivets made for fiberglass.

                          Here's what the interior looks like after installing trim on the console sides and bottom of the dash, installing the windshield, mounting the HotFoot, etc. Notice that the HotFoot is set up for my left foot - the hull is sloped where the driver's right foot goes so it would sit at an extremely awkward angle. I've seen a couple of other boats with the HotFoot set up for left foot operation so decided to go that route. It was really no big deal to get used to, took me less than 30 seconds to be comfortable with it.



                          Checkmate Rebuild: https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...eckmate-eluder

                          “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”

                          ― Isaac Asimov

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: Complete rebuild of 1979 Checkmate Eluder

                            I fabricated a backer plate for the lower jackplate mounting bolts






                            Mounted the jackplate and engine









                            Mounted the front speakers and a hatch cover on the front bulkhead which I cut on our waterjet with the Checkmate logo in it:

                            Checkmate Rebuild: https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...eckmate-eluder

                            “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”

                            ― Isaac Asimov

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: Complete rebuild of 1979 Checkmate Eluder

                              Instead of going with a ladder I built a small platform, again with the Checkmate logo in it. I used some of the original ladder, and fabricated the rest from scratch.





                              Checkmate Rebuild: https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...eckmate-eluder

                              “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”

                              ― Isaac Asimov

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Sign up today
                                Re: Complete rebuild of 1979 Checkmate Eluder

                                I obtained new decals from Checkmate to replace the original ones. Here are a few photos of the completed boat. Unfortunately I never took the time to take any glamor shots with my good camera.











                                And here's one when i took it out last spring. The engine still wasn't running right when I had it out then, and in fact I spent nearly a year getting multiple issues with the engine straightened out. I found this engine on ebay and thought I was getting one that was ready to bolt on and go. It turns out that at least two other members on iboats have bought engines from the same guy that I did and have had similar bad experiences. I've detailed that information in the non-repair outboard forum - I don't want to go into much detail about the engine here 'cause this thread is meant to be a celebration of bringing a sweet old Checkmate back to life. I'll just say that if anybody is thinking about buying an engine from Frank Mathews near Savannah they should look it over much better than I did before making the purchase.


                                Checkmate Rebuild: https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...eckmate-eluder

                                “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”

                                ― Isaac Asimov

                                Comment

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