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 7
'Get Out the Turpentine, Ma, I'm Done Painting'

Boy, I gotta tell you that refurbishing a boat gets to be work. And, that is NOT a good word around me. I like that fishing and shooting the bull with all you folks that visit the Stick Marsh. 'Work' is no longer a word I care to see, hear, smell, taste, feel, or do!!

But, we started the project and - dang it - we will see it through!

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. Finally, we painted the interior and floor of the old Skeeter, making sure the floor was skid-resistant. 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.

Then, we really got serious and went back to guiding anglers out on the Stick Marsh!!

And, boy has it been a GREAT Fall, Winter and early Spring season so far! Just take a look at all the fishing adventure reports and photos we have posted on our web page. Lots of big bass, with a 13-lb. 7-oz. monster leading the pack and a 12-lb. heavyweight holding down second. The 10-11 lb. bass were pretty few and far between, with only nine coming over the side. But, the numbers in the 8-9 lb. range were awesome. And, we found lots of giant crappie this season. It was a snap to catch them, once we knew where they were. The reports and photos speak for themselves.

When we finally got a break in the guiding, our next step with the Skeeter was to clean everything up and do the cosmetic work. That was followed by exterior painting.

Basically, the exterior of the Skeeter Hawk was in pretty good shape. We had to take care of some mounting holes that are no longer to be used, as well as sand the oxidized paint well. In some cases, we filed the holes with Bondo and sanded them smooth. With others, we went with plastic plugs that were just the right size to snap in. These plugs are normally used to hold various car body parts together, such as the linings in the truck to the truck wall. They work great, have very thin flat heads, and can be painted right over.

Masking off all the metal trim areas, we applied regular marine topcoat enamel with both roller and brush. After sampling a few shades, we opted to go with a darker green than the original color of the boat. We also decided to stray a bit from the OEM solid color scheme of yesteryear and paint the lower section of the rig, to include the bottom of the hull, a light gray.

Now, with the interior done and the exterior painted, we installed new mounts for the swivel seats we will soon add.

Next to do is use a wire brush wheel and buff off al the metal trim around the rear transom area and the bump rail. That will be a short task and we will finish it up with a polishing with a good metal polish (the old military standard, BRASSO, works well). Then, we will need to place the boat on a trailer and rig it out with all the original equipment we came up with.

It is starting to look like you really CAN make a silk purse from a sow's ear!!

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.


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