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1981 SKi Nautique Restoration

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Wisky Badger View Drop Down
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    Posted: April-06-2017 at 9:53pm
Hello everyone,
This will be a thread documenting the rebuild of our families 1st Correct Craft. First I will start this thread out with some background information.   

I was lucky enough to grow up in a family that enjoys the outdoors and have parents and grandparents that have a can do attitude. Both of my grandfathers and my father are very handy and can build/fix just about anything.   As a result, I was witness to many different projects growing up and know I feel like I always need to have some type of project going on. They also made it possible to start waterskiing and boating at a very early age and that engrained my love of the water and boating. As far as boats our family has always has had I/0 or outboard boats so this will be our first adventure with a direct drive.   

A few years ago I found correct craft fan website and thought that restoring a correct craft would be a fun project someday.   So I would watch the for sale section and check craigslist searching for the right deal or a diamond in the ruff.   

Then in the summer of 2015 I decided that I would make the trip over to Green Lake on a Friday night to look at all the boats in person when they were on displayed at the boat show as a part of the Green Lake Reunion.   My parents decided that they would tag along with me and my daughter and we could go for dinner afterwards.   The show was great and it was awesome to see all the different models side by side.   I took a lot of pictures for reference and then we then left and went to dinner.   At dinner I could tell my mom and dad we’re also getting the Correct Craft bug.   There was a beautiful Inca Gold Barracuda at the show that was for sale for $3500.00 and my Dad said “Should I go and buy that Barracuda?”   On the way home from dinner my parents were talking a little more seriously about selling their pontoon that they hardly ever use and replace it with a correct craft. A few weeks went by and my dad said “hey Jake keep your eyes open for an older correct craft and maybe I will buy it if you think it’s a good deal and you do the work to restore it”.   That sounded like a great offer to me.

Fast forward to June of 2016 and I found an 81 Ski Nautique that I thought had some potential for a project. So I made a phone call to see if they were firm on the price.   I was informed that the price was firm, so that dream kind of died.   I continued to watch that boat and others on craigslist throughout the summer and no purchases were made.   Around Labor Day I jumped back on craigslist so see if the 81 was still for sale.   It wasn’t but I still had the contact information. I gave them a call they said the boat was still for sale and the price was now negotiable.   The next day my mother and I went to look at that boat and a few others.   We first looked at an 85 ski nautique that was in way better shape and the price was considerable higher.   That boat looked good but I followed Morfoot’s instructions for checking stringers and checked the cradle bolts with torque wrench and found that the stringers were most likely rotten so we decided to pass.    We got back in the car to go and look at the 81.   When we arrived to look at the 81 it was in rough shape and I knew it needed a lot of work.   We hooked up a hose and it fired right up. I then though about it for a few minutes; I knew I was not going to buy it for the asking price. It was the end of the summer so I made an offer that I thought could have been little insulting and was almost a little afraid to say it.   What do you know, they accepted the offer.   I called my dad and said “I found a Correct Craft, if you don’t buy it I am going to”.   The next day the 81 was brought to its new home.      



The plan is to keep it mostly original but the brown color scheme has to go.   The color of the new stripe has yet to be determined and is open to suggestions.
     
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fanofccfan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fanofccfan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-06-2017 at 10:14pm
What's wrong with the brown?!! Lol. I like it but hey it's your boat. Good luck with the project.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wisky Badger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-06-2017 at 10:15pm
Over the course of the winter of 2017 we have stripped the nautique of most of its hardware and have refinished the teak parts.

The last few weeks have gotten busier since the weather has started to break a little bit here in Wisconsin.

We have removed the engine with our high tech engine puller.

We have also started the grinding process. The floor and all of the foam (except the air box) has been removed to we can measure and blueprint the stringers. The stringers in this boat are absolutely shot.   Pretty much all of the foam within 1 to 2 inched from the hull of the boat was completely saturated. I think we have removed about 6 construction sized garbage bags of foam so far.   I found that a small drywall saw works wonders for removing the foam.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gary S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-06-2017 at 11:30pm
Great start on a great project. Looks like it's in capable hands. Brown was a hot color back in the early 80's,looks to be trying to make a comeback in the new G series boats too. Done right and within reason just about any color will look good,but reds and blues always seem most popular. Good luck with it and keep us updated!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Watauga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-06-2017 at 11:43pm
Lookin' good. Keep going, and keep the pictures coming. Farmers can fix anything!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-07-2017 at 4:24am
Jacob,
Love the project and your endeavor! Yes, keep the pictures coming. Before you remove any hull side graphics, trace them since the tracing can be used for a paint mask if you do restore the hull.


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Keep it original, Pete
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote quinner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-07-2017 at 8:39am
Jake, Go Blue or Go Home!! There is an electronic file in the reference section for the 81' Graphics, make it easy to get a gerbermask cut.

Here is a fine example of a Blue 81'
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Timr71 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-07-2017 at 11:33am
Awesome project. I love these kinds of threads. Good luck.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MI-nick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-07-2017 at 1:00pm
the brown looks awesome...please keep it...
As far as I can tell, I'm not quite sure...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wisky Badger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-07-2017 at 6:02pm
In the registration packet from the previous owner we found an old business card from Watercraft Sales in Three Lakes that I though was kind of cool.   

There is no date on the card so I don't know if it was originally sold there or if it was just there for some service.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Donald80SN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-07-2017 at 6:15pm
I believe that is where Pete B. worked. I think I see him in the photo putting -100 antifreeze in come engines for winterization.

I too vote for brown, but if I were changing it, I would go with Orange or Tangerine. Tim B. had Christines Marine, in Orlando, a site sponsor build him an original Red interior for his 1980 SN. They were able to reproduce the stamped in design into the vinyl . I do not think Tim has finished the project yet, since he has a few to do, but an original interior would be smoking. Not cheap in price but it would be correct.

JMO,

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-07-2017 at 6:47pm
Originally posted by Donald80SN Donald80SN wrote:

I believe that is where Pete B. worked. I think I see him in the photo putting -100 antifreeze in come engines for winterization.

Donald

Actually, the picture is too recent. When I was there the big storage shed with Watercraft painted on the front wasn't built yet.
Jacob,
Was the previous owners name Egan?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wisky Badger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-09-2017 at 8:55pm
Pete,

Previous owner's name was not Egan.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wisky Badger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-09-2017 at 9:14pm
I made a little progress on the 81 this weekend.   The stringers and air box are now removed.   The secondary stringers came out pretty easy but the primaries were a beast to remove. The tops of the stringers were pretty soft but I should be able to use the bottoms for templates for the new stringers.   I also now understand when others say that grinding under the front deck is not on there top ten list of fun things to do.

More grinding to follow.   

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wisky Badger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-24-2017 at 10:10pm
We have been making a little progress on the 81 so I will show some updates.


The swim platform and teak pieces have also been refinished.   We lightly sanded them and then applied 5 to 6 coats of Watco teak oil.   

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bkhallpass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-24-2017 at 11:28pm
Obviously it would not be original, buy that particular graphic looks awesome in just about any color. We've seen it in lime green, and bright orange. I particularly like the bright orange, but, course, I like orange. Alan's blue graphics look awesome, but I do't think it is original blue. Been a few years since I saw Alan's boat, but it seemed there was some sparkle or metal flake in the blue he used.

Anyway, search around there are photos. I think its one of the few graphics you could do in almost any color.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wisky Badger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-25-2017 at 12:52pm
I really like the graphic on the 1980 and 1981 ski nautiques so we will keep the graphic original.   So far we have narrowed the graphic colors down to non original colors of navy blue or red or factory colors of marlin blue and the brown may still make its return.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fabcon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-25-2017 at 7:15pm
Keep it brown, you don't see many
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wacko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-26-2017 at 6:44pm
I also vote to keep it brown.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ultrahots Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April-27-2017 at 12:02am
I also contacted them about this boat. Rude group at that shop and you really never did know if they wanted to sell it for the Lady or keep it for themselves. Glad to see it will be put to good use. Like the Brown as well as it is a very cool color on that hull.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wisky Badger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-14-2017 at 9:49pm
I made a little bit more progress on the 81 since my last post.   I have all the stringers roughly fit but need to do some more work on them before they are ready for CPES.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wisky Badger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-14-2017 at 9:58pm
I also cleaned up the mufflers. They got a new coat of paint and some stickers I found at Home Depot to help locate the tops and correct flow when I reinstall them. I am not sure the will stay on the mufflers but I think they look good now.
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Here are mufflers

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wisky Badger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-29-2017 at 6:47pm
I haven't had a lot of time to work on the 81 lately between honey do protects and taking the family boating earlier this weekend, but I did make a little progress.   All the the wood that is going back into the boat has had two coats of total boat cpes from n
Jamestown applied.   This is the first time I have used the product and the application was very easy.   Hopefully I will have more exciting progress to report next time.

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The primaries are now bedded and fillets are complete.   I bedded them with Total Boat Thixo 2:1 epoxy and the fillets where done with epoxy and cabosil (peanut butter).   I decided to use the Thixo for bedding the stringers because I was working alone and on a time crunch.   I also used the cradle to help bed the stringers and position them in the correct location.   I put some spacers between the cradle and the stringers to account for the thickness of the fiberglass that will be installed.   Don't mind the dirty cradle, I will get it cleaned up before it is installed.

I have a lot of the glass cut and hopefully I will get it installed tonight or early this week.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wisky Badger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-23-2017 at 7:48pm
I am planning on refoaming the boat and reinstalling a fiberglass floor. For those of you that have gone this direction can you give me an idea on how many layers of fiberglass I need to lay on the floor. I was thinking I would use three layers of 1708 is that enough, is it overkill or should I be considering another weight of glass?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ultrahots Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-23-2017 at 9:00pm
When I did my 87 I used 3 layers in different thickness. I think it was a 10.6 to a 6. ? I still have extras of all 3 rolls in the shed for my 80 when I get to it. I used 4lb foam. Floor is solid as a rock.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wisky Badger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-23-2017 at 10:27pm
Terry, after the 4lb foam hardened up but before you layed the glass did you have to be carefull about setting anything on it or stepping on it to avoid impacts or is it pretty solid?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wisky Badger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July-23-2017 at 10:07pm
Empty resin bottles are a good thing.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wisky Badger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July-23-2017 at 10:19pm
It has been about a month since my last update so here is a quick update of the progress I have made.   

The stringers are completely glassed in.   I do have to do some touch up work to finish but for the most part they are done.   I decided to add an additional bulk head forward of the where the battery box is located.   Since the battery box seems like it could be a possible point of weakness for water intrusion I thought that it couldn't hurt to have the extra bulk head to keep the foam in the bow the boat dry incase of a failure.   I am a long way from being done with this restoration but it feels good to have this portion of the project almost complete.

Next up is to install the battery box, finish the plumbing.

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