Skeeter Hawk - Restoration project of a used bass boat by Jim Porter. Provides a detailed process of restoring this classic used Skeeter bass boat.

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'The Autopsy'

The first thing we did was hose out the boat and scrub the flooring and interior sidewalls. Now 'sanitized', the Skeeter' was ready for a thorough examination.

Here were the visual findings:
  • The last registration was in North Carolina in 1989.
  • There was a B.A.S.S Reward Offer sticker on one side, indicating an owner was at one time a member of B.A.S.S.
  • The metal data plate on the transom was void of any data, save a number stamped into the metal (2-931). We assume this to be a serial number, with the '2' possibly indicating 1962 manufacture.
  • The boat had a lot of small screw/bolt holes in the sidewalls, top superstructure, transom and floor. There were many screws and bolts still installed, but securing nothing. The holes in the flooring indicated possible leaking and interior stringer/floor damage. Ditto for holes in the transom.
  • Although there were some stress and weathering cracks in the outer surface of the boat body, there did not appear to be any impact damage.
  • The hull surface had been glassed a number of times. First, there was glass repair along the center runner, probably due to beaching on rough shorelines. There was also an area of minor glasswork 3 feet forward of the transom area and on the starboard side. It appeared to be minor surface repair and not due to a breech of the hull. In all, the hull appears solid and in good condition.
  • The outer 'skin' of the boat's floor was obviously sprayed on over some sub-floor material - probably plywood. The 'skin' was still adhered to the sub-flooring in approximately 30% of the floor surface. The other 70% were not adhered and could be pressed down to the sub-floor with your hand. This indicated sub-floor/exterior floor bonding failure and probably wood rot from moisture.
  • Surprisingly, the transom appeared solid and free of rot.
  • The seat pedestals are four-sided glass-over-plywood and are glassed to the exterior floor. They appear to be in acceptable condition. The seats, themselves, and the swivel mounts are old and deteriorated.
  • The outer surfaces of the hull, top cap and interior are faded and partially oxidized. A thorough cleaning of the hull should allow effective repainting. A spot polish application to the outer hull shows the original color to be Seafoam Green, a standard color of the time.
Next, we cut a 3 X 3-inch hole in the exterior floor material just forward of, and centered on, the transom. We found no solid subflooring; only soft rotted wood, which could be easily removed.

We, then, cut another hole in the flooring at the longitudinal and latitudinal centers. The same rotted wood was found.

A decision was made to remove the exterior flooring. This was done with a Dremel tool and cutting disk, as well as a Saber saw equipped with a short blade. A 2-3 inch lip was left around the perimeter of the removed flooring to facilitate later subfloor replacement.

The exterior floor material was approximately 1/8th inch thick and was fiberglass/resin sprayed with a form of chopper gun.

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The subfloor was not plywood, as had been suspected. It was comprised of a matrix of 3 X 9 X ¾ inch blocks of some type of wood, obviously hand-laid on the inner hull surface. The outer wood blocks were found to be tailored to fit into corners or other irregularly shaped areas. Placement of the blocks appeared to be from the center outwards, based on the block shape tailoring on the sides of the floor area. The inner hull surface was sprayed with some form of resin to allow the bottom of the blocks to adhere. After laying the blocks, residue on and between the blocks indicates the blocks were sprayed or painted with some form of clear resin compound to seal them. The exterior floor was then sprayed over the wood blocks forming the subfloor.

Next, we have to remove all the rotted subfloor material and determine a replacement.

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