SKEETER HAWK PROJECT
'Paint and Other Things That Get All Over Me'
Our antique Skeeter Hawk is starting to look a bit better than the North Carolina Barn Rat that is was when we found it.
Recalling the previous write-up on the various parts of this project, you know we replaced the inner hull in its entirety, encapsulating the marine plywood in resin and filling all the voids with waterproof foam. Then, we replaced the original flooring over the inner hull and sealed it thoroughly. We also gave you a look at the antique supporting equipment we came up with: the 1950's MinnKota trolling motor, the 1958 Johnson outboard, and original Lowrance 'little green box' depth finder.
Our next steps are to clean everything up and do the cosmetic work. That is followed by painting.
The inside of the boat was a snap to finish up. We scrubbed it down and then applied light gray polyurethane paint to the sides, floor and seat pedestals. In addition, we added a bit of factory recommended grit material to the paint applied to the floor to make it a stable, non-skid surface. It worked great and the interior of the boat looks like new (in the pictures, you can see some water on the floor from a blowing rain).
We cleaned the MinnKota with a grease-cutting compound and then buffed off the corrosion and grease with a wire brush attachment on a 'DREMEL' tool. Then, the motor and flexible drive shaft were disassembled, cleans and lubricated. Once we had everything back together, we matched the original MinnKota green paint and painted the motor head.
The Lowrance depth finder looks and operates like new. It was really a remarkable find for us. In fact, we actually found two of them and both are fully functional. Neither required any maintenance, except slight cleaning.
The 5-1/2 HP Johnson outboard, like the Lowrance unit, is in near mint condition. It only has some paint fading from age and a few scrapes from handling over the years. Under the cowling, everything is like brand new.
We used 220-grit sandpaper on our orbital sander to remove the oxidized paint from a small section of the outer shell of the Skeeter to prepare it for a paint test. After applying a Forest Green shade of enamel, we found we might like it slightly lighter in color.
While preparing that section of the outer hull with the sander, we came across a really interesting sight. Under the oxidized paint, there appeared to be the outline of some lettering. There is nothing really there - no lettering material or other paint. We can just see a faint outline of the letters applied many years earlier and removed at some point later. I suspect the outline of the letters comes from the different weathering and sun bleaching of the exterior paint in relation to that with was covered and protected by the lettering materials. The font appears to be a form of Gothic style that we could not identify and all we can read are seven of what appear to be ten letters - ROUST_ _UT. So, it appears the boat may have been, at one time, named "ROUSTABOUT".
Someone out there may recall that name and the Skeeter and, if you do, we sure would like to hear from you. The rig has been a lot of places and seen a lot of water in its time. It would be interesting to learn about some of its adventures.
Next up are the tasks of smoothing the bottom hull, filling and finishing the many holes and deep scratches in the skin, and then painting. Once those tasks are done, we will be ready to mount the hardware on the Skeeter and place it on its trailer.
Hope you can join us as we continue along.
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