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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I picked up a tiny speedboat about 2 summers ago and have been kicking around the ideas of fixing up the hull. The boat looks like a nice 1960's or 70's metal flake finish but it has been worn down over time. The metal flake has s feeling of about 120 grit sand paper. The bottom side has some gouges and repairs I'll have to make so it will get painted instead of trying to keep the metal flake. The top side doesn't look like it's going to be that bad, but I would like to put a clear layer of something over the existing metal flake to keep the look and make it shine/protect it. I've been reading about gel coat systems vs painting and all that crap, but I can't quite figure out if I should just put an automotive clear on it, or do a 2 part clear epoxy or find a clear gel coat like http://www.carbon-fiber.us/clear-gelcoat-quart-p-267.html?

Anyone done anything like this before?

It will be a slow going project since I didn't really want a boat, but when a buddy asked me to get it out of his parents driveway fast and said $250(!) I had to do it. It doesn't have a motor yet, but I'll figure that out. I'll try to take pictures of it soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Give you an idea on the size...
(no, the little boat motor in the top left corner is only 2hp... it won't push this very well)


Tiny thing. Anyone ride the water mouse boats at Disney???


Simple little boat


Cockpit


Rough finish (you can kinda see the metal flake)


This shows the area that was under the seat vs the exposed finish. I want it to look like the pretty side.
 

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The only thing to really worry about with fiberglass is making sure no water gets in. As long as the finish seals the glass and there's not already water entrapment then it's up to your taste as to what it looks like. Most decent primers will take care of the sealing just fine.
 

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Interlux and several others make some cool new marine paints that self level so well you can put them on with a roller or brush and they shine like glass. They use different base coats ect whether you are going over glass, wood, metal ect. Typically 3 coat. primer, base, top. Go to their site or west marine site and you can see the paints and at least in the paper catalogs they have a pretty good write up on the process.

Those little speed boats are sweet and can fly with a 40+ hp motor. I think there is a "tinyspeedboat" site on the web. I just watched a bunch of video's couple of weeks ago on these boats. checkmate used to make a bunch of them. 40-50+mph with 40 or 50hp motor. Go Kart on the water!
 

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Dude
That is so sick........

It needs to be painted in the correct 60/70's package...go retro :thumbup:
 

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Hell no, paint it the same color as the bug with a matching trailer!

Russell89 is right about making sure the glass is sealed and that there is no water in it. Metal flake is one of those finishes that is next to impossible to match because it never lays down in the same pattern as the original. As small as that thing is, I'd just pan to paint the whole thing. A two toned job on that would only take a couple of quarts of top color. Then I'd go to a marine supply for the clear top coat. I would not use regular automotive paint as the constant exposure to harsh conditions will ruin it fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think I am leaning towards the 2 part epoxy like MAS Epoxy or West Systems. I have used the MAS on a wooden row boat and it made a relatively pretty finish that was clear. Upon looking at the MAS information, it boasts a strong finish for "wet through of fiberglass, structural fabrics, sheathing, clear coating, saturation coating, sealing wood and vacuum bagging."

I think I will look into that for the top side and do a regular below the water line paint on the underside.
 

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I restored a cobra of the same vintage, with purple metal flake gel coat. DO NOT use an automotive clear coat, it will look like *** and you will be redoing it in a few years when it starts pealing off in chunks.

I used a epoxy paint called Endura, it was metal flake. The boat's gel coat was to far gone to try and save.

Have fun, boats are money pits - but ones like that are fun projects.
 

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justwork said:
Have fun, boats are money pits - but ones like that are fun projects.
Hum... seems to me that Isuzus are money pits too. If you got one, why not have two? :happy7:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I flipped it over, sanded down the Marinetex that was gooped onto a few gouges and applied some fiberglass paint. I went with a blue thinking it would match the topside when it got cleared. Not a close match... maybe next time I'll do a grey or silver. Oh well, it looks better than it did. I went to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore (thrift store for building materials) and they had just gotten in three pallets of varnish and stains from Lowes or something. I bought 18 pints of spar varnish for $.50 each. I thought for that price I'll try it. It said it would work well in marine environments and protect from UV rays and since the metal flake is almost completely exposed, it should grab really well. I flipped it back right side up and put it back on the trailer with the new bunks. The topside only took 1 pint to cover the whole deck (and I got some left over). I figure I'll go with 2 more coats and let it be. I'm going to have to cover some areas that have holes so I think I'll use a white paint in the cockpit and splash well.

After I get this done, its on to the motor/controls and interior. I've got a lead on a motor, although I'll have to modify the transom. I think I am going to go with sparkle vinyl for the seats.
New blue bottom

turning slowly

Turned over- you can see the old dull finish

oooohhhhhh shiney!!!!

Not a good match

New bunks


Type of vinyl I want to cover a seat with:

 

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Excellent start on a cool boat! :sunny:

As far as color match maybe you can blend a couple of colors together to try to get the shade you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Lots of good news this weekend! I had a chance to drive a couple things for the first time (you'll only hear about this one until "Project Winning" is unveiled!") I picked up the boat from a marina/service place on Friday. They had a '78 35hp Evinrude on consignment and offer to sell it and install it. I thought what the heck, it was ball park what I was wanting to spend and I knew that it'd be done right. Well they took a week or so longer than they said, but I made it clear I wanted it for this weekend and I got it friday. It starts right up and idles really well. I couldn't have asked for anything better (except maybe cheaper...) They warned me that the lack of a 'V' on the bottom of the boat makes it very difficult to turn and slow to respond. They wanted me to put a kill switch in it in case I flipped myself out. I told them I'll wait for the first cautious test run in it to decide.

I trailered it out on that afternoon and slung it in the water. Fired up and idled up through a long inlet (couple miles) and got it going pretty good. They were right about the turning part; apparently the motor is enough to push the boat even when going sideways. So when you turn the boat, the boat turns and the motor keeps going the way it already was for a little while. I'm gonna have to put a little skeg thing down there so they will pull against each other and get it handle better. Ran it all over the place for the hour and a half I did the test run and only had two problems: 1). apparently moving the pin from "trailer" mode to "running" mode is not the only way to lower the motor down. There is also a lever that lowers it the last 20-30 degrees... that first throttle punch almost stood me on end! and 2). the engine won't run after 40 minutes of the tank not being vented. Ooops. Atleast they were both easy fixed.

Today I went out and it was VERY rough. I found a nice hole that leaks down the port side where the top and bottom halves meet. Every wake I hit sprayed a line of water in on my legs. Then a HUGE storm that delayed the TN game blew through and everyone at the ******* yacht club went scrambling to reposition. I was tied up cross ways on my buddy's boat and the waves came from the stern and started crashing into my cockpit. We ended up reposition and cutting his anchor loose before I was dragged (*SIDEWAYS*) by a cigarette boat that he was tied to. He got angry at some house boat and took off forgetting I was back there. Not gonna do that again!




too much beauty in one picture!



Still need to make a seat.


Squatch Shot

**EDIT** Should this be moved to other vehicles? Thread took a different direction...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Megan and I decided to take the little boat out to Riverbend (http://www.riverbendfestival.com/). Every June Chattanooga has a huge music festival down on the river front. They had a barge with a stage on it and the whole riverfront parkway becomes a festival. On the last night, they have a great fireworks show and everyone comes to watch the closing act and then the fireworks behind it. Since it is on the riverfront, we decided to take out little boat down and check out the fireworks. There are usually lots of yachts and other spend-the-night boats that come down and party it up for the shows. Last year we paddled the canoe from the opposite side of the river :shock:

The ride down was nice and smooth (we normally cruise the lake side of the dam, but the river side is so much more calm). We made it from the ramp into down town in about 10 minutes. For any history buffs or anyone who has ever seen Rock City or Ruby Falls, that's Lookout Mountain in the background.


We tied up with my friend's friend and walked around the festival. My parent's friend's are on the board at the aquarium, so he got VIP passes and gave them to us so we ate dinner on stage and hung out for a while. Then we went on a sunset cruise. About 1/4 mile upriver was where Megan and I got married at the Art Museum on the cliffs next to the walking bridge:


Crappy half-way dark cell phone pics

Then we went back, tied up and went to watch Lauren Alaina (hometown girl) sing about Georgia peaches. During her last song, my buddy and I untied and jumped in our little boats to check out the fireworks from the middle of the river. After the fireworks, we tied up again to wait out all the big boats and wake before heading back. I got to meet Lauren Alaina while we were waiting.

The blue barge is the stage:


Then is was back upriver to head home. Bridges:


My buddy's little boat- He copied me after seeing mine!


The walking bridge with the Art Museum again:


It was a great time and it was made even better by VIP tickets and a little boat!!!
 

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Too cool! I still remember the 1st time I saw a little Checkmate mini speeboat like that with a 50hp when I was a kid. I wanted one bad. Thing was fast as stink! What a great way to play with your boat. You're making me crazy. I haven't been out in a couple of weeks and probably won't be again till the end of the month. Great pics. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I haven't had the little boat out in a few summers with the pregnant wife (2015) and a 1 year old (2016). I think I'll try to get it out this summer if possible, but we ended up buying a new house. Coincidentally, the new house is directly across the street from where I bought the little boat! She's moving back to the same neighborhood!
 

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I just realized my response the other day didn't take when the forum was acting up.

I know the feeling. my boat has been on the water about and hour or so since I punched a hole in it 2 years ago. Hull repaired last year as was a lot of catch up maintenance. Had 1 chance to do a test run mid summer last year. After that not enough water in the river to float it all season. I had to put it away last year without a proper fuel draining because of a control cable issue. That's been fixed and she seems to be running good in the drive. Hack and I tried to launch it a couple of weeks ago but the water was just a bit too high for trying an untested boat. Right now the river is blown out with flood. Hopefully before too long.

Glad to see you still have this little bugger. They are cool little fun boats! :D
 
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