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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SKEETER HAWK PROJECT


PART 3
'I'm Walking the Floor Over You'

We cut the original flooring out of the Skeeter, leaving a 2-inch lip all the way around. That is intended to allow us to re-install the old floor over the new sub-floor we are installing. The intent is to simple glass over the cut line, smooth it down and re-paint it.

The floor was removed in the three pieces. This was due to the weight of the sections that had the seat pedestals glassed on. So, each seat remains on its section of the floor, plus there is a third piece that was between the two.

We removed all the rotted wood comprising the original subfloor (photo 1). Most was nothing but mush and a good bit of it seemed to have been dissolved by the water and the years. Washing it down good, our next step was to take a belt sander and grind down all the old resin spikes that had been between the boards. That was a snap. Once the inner hull was flat, we could then lay the new sub-floor smoothly along the inner hull.

used bass boats We chose to use marine plywood for the sub-flooring. The plywood had to be cut into sections to properly fit the curvature of the inner hull facing, as well as to make it easy to handle.

The hull of the boat was very well stabilized from front to back by three stringers embedded within the solid glass hull, itself. What appeared to be a 2 X 4 was embedded along the centerline of the boat and provided a forward protruding center keel for cutting the water forward and aiding steering (photo 2). Two other stringers were embedded towards the back of the boat, one to either side. Their protrusion provided stability in turns and held the boat on-line like rudders.

bass boats But, the hull had very little stabilization from side-to-side. It needed something to keep the hull from actually twisting (if you lifted the back and the front off the sawhorses, the hull would actually deform due to lack of side area reinforcement). So, we cut our marine plywood to fit in sections down each side of the boat and allowing for inner hull curvature.

After measuring and cutting the plywood, we thoroughly encapsulated each piece in fiberglass resin to assure resistance to future moisture (photo 3).

Then, we installed the plywood.

skeeter boats Next, we foamed all the openings between the various marine plywood sections (photo 5). We used the pressurized cans of foam you can get at any hardware store. That type form is what is called 'closed-cell' foam, meaning it will not absorb water and makes a good watertight seal (don't confuse closed-cell foam with Styrofoam; Styrofoam soaks up water like a sponge!!). Our final task in this part of the project was to smooth all the foam out after it had expanded and dried. We did that with a regular work knife with the replaceable razor blades.

Next, we are going to remove all the various nuts, bolts, screws, and home-made depthfinder mounts that had been added to the boat over the years and then start to reinstall that original floor. Come back and check on us from time-to-time. (This project is now getting to be WORK!!)


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