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1972 Starcraft Super Sport 16' Conversion to Center Console

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  • 1972 Starcraft Super Sport 16' Conversion to Center Console

    Hey boaters.

    I am going to pull my boat out of the dry rack this winter and convert it to a center console. I spent about 300 hours on the thing this summer and had a blast. I just couldn't stand driving it. My buddy bought a 19' Whaler Outrage which I fell in love with the concept of standing and driving.

    First off, I want anyone who knows anything that could halt this project to speak up now before I tear into it. I am looking to utilize existing consoles and windshields to convert into one middle console. We will be replacing the floor, running steering and electric through PVC in the floor, and possibly replacing the transom if rotted. I am going to pull out the front bow seats and make more of a triangle pad for easy anchor access. Considering moving the battery to the console.

    Here are some pics of the boat as is today. Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    Re: 1972 Starcraft Super Sport 16' Conversion to Center Console

    hi... welcome to iboats !

    i dont think any people here are gonna talk you out of doing the conversion.

    it CAN and IS DONE all the time....

    I would only caution you against having a metal boat to begin with (just a little iboats forum fun there)

    there are many starcraft lovers here... look in the starcraft section below the main forum, you will see lots of beautiful restorations and re designs.

    post your progress here... we can and will help you every step of the way !

    cheers
    oops
    The Hull Extension Thread
    great info on all aspects on boat building with detailed information.

    https://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=234392

    IN MEMORY OF Our friend SpinnerBait_Nut LESTER WRIGHT July 31, 1953 - Nov 26, 2008 RIP

    IN MEMORY OF Our friend Tashasdaddy Robert (bob) Griffis. October 27, 1948
    November 29 2010 RIP

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    • #3
      Re: 1972 Starcraft Super Sport 16' Conversion to Center Console

      Not wasting any time, I went to my parents house tonight where the boat is stored and began tearing things out. I removed the seats, side panels, rear sliding doors, bow seats, port and starboard consoles, carpet, and plywood. The floor was extremely rotten, the only thing keeping you from going through the floor was the carpet.

      After pulling everything out, my dad and I tried to brainstorm a little bit on how things would work moving from a dual console to center console boat. Here are the questions I have.

      1. Steering / Throttle. I am trying to use existing parts, so I am moving the console back further than it sits now. I am doing this because the steering cable and throttle cable have to move over several feet. I figured I can find the happy medium where the length will still work by moving the console back. Does anyone see any issues with this?

      2. Structural strength. Considering I will be making a T-Top cage and mounting a console to the floor of an aluminum boat, we thought we'd strengthen the two mounting rails under the floor with some treated lumber. This would give us something to bolt too when attaching the console and T-Top. How would you do it?

      3. Any issues with moving the batter from the stern to the console? I'd like to seperate the gas tanks and battery.

      We are going to re-design the bow seats to accomodate an anchor but still give room to stand at the bow when pulling the anchor in. I hated kneeling on the seats and trying to pull in 150 feet of rope.

      Another idea we had was using the existing consoles (left and right) to build one console, then raising it somehow about 8 -10 inches to make driving easier when standing. Throttle hookup is still and issue. We will take both windshields and combine them into one for the center console, keeping the Starcraft look.

      Here are some pictures from today.

      Click image for larger version

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      • #4
        Re: 1972 Starcraft Super Sport 16' Conversion to Center Console

        Here are are a few more picturesClick image for larger version

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        • #5
          Re: 1972 Starcraft Super Sport 16' Conversion to Center Console

          Here are a few images of the floor. It was bad.Click image for larger version

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          • #6
            Re: 1972 Starcraft Super Sport 16' Conversion to Center Console

            Originally posted by jacobmeyers View Post
            we thought we'd strengthen the two mounting rails under the floor with some treated lumber.
            DO NOT use treated lumber in you aluminum boat!!!!!!

            Hey! I got the twin to you boat!!! cept mine is a 73. do you have a 85hp as well??? I'll be watching your thread!
            1973 Starcraft Chieftain 21ft ***VinTINage Chief***
            https://forums.iboats.com/showthread...36#post3678136

            1973 Starcraft Super Sport 16ft ***Miss. Sippy Skew***
            https://forums.iboats.com/starcraft-...me-573261.html

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            • #7
              Re: 1972 Starcraft Super Sport 16' Conversion to Center Console

              You know i heard that from some of the threads I've read in the past. I guess the treated lumber reacts with the aluminum?????

              I have the 800 Mercury on mine. Also, the windshield has a different shape on the side. Your Starcraft looks like it's in prime condition!!!

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              • #8
                Re: 1972 Starcraft Super Sport 16' Conversion to Center Console

                There is copper in the treated wood and copper and aluminum don't get along well. Use exterior plywood or any lumber and seal it well before installation. Spar varnish works well and is much cheaper than epoxy which will be the next thing you hear. I'm thinkin that since you are going to use the original steering cable you might be able to use your existing control cables to since they were also sized to the console location. Remember when moving the battery you need large cables to carry the starting current for the motor. Mounting the side control will be awkward to operate if mounted on the port side of the console, not sure how to solve that one. Just a few thoughts.

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                • #9
                  Re: 1972 Starcraft Super Sport 16' Conversion to Center Console

                  I work for a toy company, we make models in our model shop out of massive blocks of foam. We have TONS of scraps going out in the trash daily, I've been collecting them for under the floor. Does anyone know if Expanded Poly Styrene (same as a foam cup) is an issue for using under the floor? It does absorb water to a certain extent. I'd worry about weight of a water logged foam block, and also the moisture trapped under the floor.

                  I can use a lot of the existing foam because it seems as though it's in great condition.

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                  • #10
                    Re: 1972 Starcraft Super Sport 16' Conversion to Center Console

                    Cool boat. I thought long and hard about converting mine to a center console. I end up deciding against it, but it was purely a personal decision. I think you will be very happy with a center console and look forward to seeing it come together.

                    On the foam, I would not use traditional (white/bubbly) styrofoam... Most folks use the pink (home depot) or blue (Lowes) foam sheets (which is "closed cell" foam and thus less prone to water absorption) OR the 2-part pour in foam (not a lot of folks do this in aluminum boats, because its pricey and can impede drainage). The 2-part is more common in glass boats because water is not supposed to get under the deck and it adds structural strength. Some folks chop up pool noodles as well. Lastly, some folks have thrown in ping pong balls, old detergent bottles, etc... (but I am too anal to have a bunch of soda and detergent bottles clanking around under my deck).

                    I just got done foaming my metal boat with the blue sheets. You can clink the link in my signature to see how I did it. Lots of options here - I would go with what suits your needs/preferences and budgets, but I think the white styrofoam of yesteryear is generally frowned upon.

                    By the way very cool that you work for a toy company... Sounds a lot more fun than my job
                    My Project Thread: 1988 Sea Nymph GLS - 17'

                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      Re: 1972 Starcraft Super Sport 16' Conversion to Center Console

                      That white styro stuff you have there will absorb water, but, only if it's subjected to sitting in water for long period of time. So, you can use it, shoot the price is certainly right Just be sure to keep the bow high and the drain plug out when you park her.

                      If you didn't already have a bunch of free foam stuff on hand I'd suggest the pink or blue foam board like PMC mentioned.

                      1983 26' Starcraft Sportfisherman 261V Rebuild
                      1976 22' Starcraft Islander Rebuild - SOLD
                      1984 16.5' Sea Nymph Ski Sport Rebuild
                      1980 16' Sea Nymph SS 165 Rebuild (swapped)
                      1968 15' Starcraft Jet Star Rebuild (sold)

                      115' of Beach on Lake Huron

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                      • #12
                        Re: 1972 Starcraft Super Sport 16' Conversion to Center Console

                        Thanks guys. Iboats is right, people on here are just loaded with knowledge and advice. We also have boxes upon boxes of play balls, I was thinking of using those as well.

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                        • #13
                          Re: 1972 Starcraft Super Sport 16' Conversion to Center Console

                          Here are some drawings I've done over the last few months. Believe me, driving one of these dual consoles Starcrafts in Lake Erie chop makes you think about standing up to drive all summer. I drove my buddies 19 Whaler Outrage a few times and just absolutely loved it.

                          I have a hard time parting from the simplicity of the tin can for a glasser.

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                          • #14
                            Re: 1972 Starcraft Super Sport 16' Conversion to Center Console

                            I was actually going to add "play balls" to my list... A guy on here recently used those... I don't have the link handy, but I remember seeing it...

                            As you mentioned, Metal boats are great for their simplicity, easy to work on, restore, etc... Lots of benefits for us DIY guys.. One downside: They don't ride nearly as well as a nice glass boat. So, the reason that whaler ride may have felt good in comparison to your boat is the fact that it is a glass boat (not necessarily the center console set-up)....
                            My Project Thread: 1988 Sea Nymph GLS - 17'

                            sigpic

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                            • #15
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                              Re: 1972 Starcraft Super Sport 16' Conversion to Center Console

                              Originally posted by Pmccraney View Post
                              I was actually going to add "play balls" to my list... A guy on here recently used those... I don't have the link handy, but I remember seeing it...

                              As you mentioned, Metal boats are great for their simplicity, easy to work on, restore, etc... Lots of benefits for us DIY guys.. One downside: They don't ride nearly as well as a nice glass boat. So, the reason that whaler ride may have felt good in comparison to your boat is the fact that it is a glass boat (not necessarily the center console set-up)....

                              His boat has about 2000lbs on mine as well. I was just referring more to the set up. I wouldn't mind finding an old Islander to work on as well. For some reason, I like those...

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