Aluminum Fly fishing Drift boat refurb project.

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by jcalderon, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. jcalderon

    jcalderon Member

    Well, after trying like hell to save for a clack, then a raft, and having "something come up" each and every time, I have decided to refinish and refinish my old (80s) alumaweld drift boat and trailer. The trailer was a (poorly) home built job that some rednecks fabbed up somewhere along the line. I am in the middle of refinishing that with Tylor Strand.

    Here are some of the mods we are doing to the trailer:

    -Grind trailer to bare metal, smooth out and inspect all welds, re-weld some of the crappy stuff.
    - dissassemble the bearings, hubs, spindles, inspect and repack with grease.
    - new fenders (the old ones were rusted and shitty)
    - all new wiring and lights including 3" flush mounted LEDs in the fenders.
    -new safety chains and tie downs with 2" weld on clevis mounts.
    - New tongue and coupler, new bunks and a solid wood floor.
    -all new stainless hardware
    -roll on herculiner exterior finish.

    As soon as the trailer is finished we will be starting on the boat. Right now, it is a gear chucker special with a bench seat up front and no seats in the rear. Here are the future mod plans for the boat itself

    -Replace the bench seat with a flat floor and pedastol mount. Swivel seat and front casting brace.
    -Add rear seat, or rear cooler with rear casting brace.
    -Build anchor holster inside the transom for safe anchor transportation.
    -refinish the outside with fresh paint, or grind down existing paint and pollish the underlying alumiunum.
    -Re finish the interior of the boat with rhino lining or something similar.
    -Polish existing interior parts and diamond plate floors.
    -fab side pull anchor system.
    -fish pond boat bags on both sides of rower.

    I will post pics in the days/weeks to follow. and if anyone has any brilliant ideas about thier perfect drift boat interior, please chime in!!! We are still in the planning phase of the boat, but we will start working on it next week.
  2. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Jesse, sounds like a time consuming but well thought out project. I wish you the best during the process and hope that some photos hit the site...before and progress would be cool, memories of your labor of love.
  3. jcalderon

    jcalderon Member

    Thanks alot mumbles. I forgot to mention that I will be recoating the bottom of the boat with GLUVIT. I will try to create a writeup for that as i hear the stuff is slick as snot and really changes the way the boat slides over rocks..... The last few summers I have been doing my best bobsled impression pushing the boat through the shallow stuff and jumping in as it gets deep.
  4. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    I did some bobsledding on the Satsop one dry summer and of course on the Hoh a month or so ago when the flow was around 950cfs or so. I'll keep checking back. Maybe you'll inspire me to find a cheap drift boat that needs some wife hates you already.
  5. Itchy Dog

    Itchy Dog Some call me Kirk Werner

    I salute your efforts to restore your old boat and trailer on two accounts:

    1. The time and effort will rekindle your love for the old skow in ways that a new boat could never touch.

    2. It's a great example or recycling and reusing- very green of you :thumb:

    Looking forward to a photo essay and of course the finished product! :thumb:
  6. Alaska Fisher

    Alaska Fisher Member

    Might consider sandblasting the trailer and powder coat it.

    Then using soda blast the aluminum boat. This worked out quite well for me one time. It won't chew up the aluminum, but makes it ALL clean. Wash away too.

    I did a boat with my son, and we have great memories of the work, and of course the first time out.

  7. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

    What kind of soda? Grit size?
  8. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

    Lookin' forward to the pics. Working on a boat really connects ya to it. Sounds like good modifications and additions to me.
  9. jcalderon

    jcalderon Member

    Thanks guys. I will be on the coast this weekend, But monday I will start the writeup. I got some decent pics of the trailer halfway torn apart. I wish I had full "before pics" but nevertheless, you will be able to see a ton of progres......

    Thanks for the reccomendation for the sandblasting, but the trailer is already shiny and smooth because we spent 3 nights grinding and sanding it with grinding wheels. I will use roll on bedliner to coat it. The boat however, might get blasted and refinished. We will see.

    Thanks thus far for your suggestions and encouragement.

    Tight Lines.
  10. jcalderon

    jcalderon Member

    So does Tylers Wife! Shes about to have a baby in a week or so and tyler is always in my garage! BTW kudos to TYler for some great design ideas and some kick ass welding.....

    Dont overlook this guy if you have projects that need to be done.
  11. Alaska Fisher

    Alaska Fisher Member

    My son is now 21, and the origin of the bag of soda has been lost in the moving waters of time. I got the info from a antique car restorer from Massachusetts, who has since moved to Key West and is now a pirate (or something like that, maybe attorney).

    The boat looks today, like it did the day it was painted, so I know it works. Looks the same minus the three feet of snow on top...

    Have fun. Pictures are great.
  12. jcalderon

    jcalderon Member

    ALAKSKA, What can you tell me about painting on the aluminum? what type of paint and primer did you use? Should I rattle can or invest in a sprayer unit?
  13. Zane Wyll

    Zane Wyll Member

    Jesse 1 can of black 1 can of green 1 can of tan and a couple fern leaves = REDNECK CAMO hurry up with the boat will ya I need a ride on pass. I am boatless at the moment..
  14. jcalderon

    jcalderon Member

    DANM ZANE! What happened to that "baller" skiff you had? Get a new one stat!

    And thats a "no go" on the redneck camo. Its gotta match my jeep! Call it what you want..... All I know is i have yet to see an all black drift boat.!
  15. Zane Wyll

    Zane Wyll Member

    sold it! going over at the end of the month to get a new one.
  16. jeff bandy

    jeff bandy Make my day

    Jesse, Really looking forward to your upcoming boat work reports. I have a old 14' Al. that is in need of some TLC, big time. I have no experience with Al. and will be following your lead on this.
  17. Alaska Fisher

    Alaska Fisher Member

    Things were done by this antique car restorer. He blasted it, primed it, painted it for $100 as I recall. I could buy the material for what he charged and it's a professional job. Interior white, exterior is sky blue.

    Sorry, I can't give more details. Post it on a car restoration site...
  18. feather flinger

    feather flinger feather flinger

  19. Itchy Dog

    Itchy Dog Some call me Kirk Werner

    If you're going to all the trouble to refurbish and trick out the boat, I'd recommend not rattle canning the paint. In fact, I'd have the paint applied professionally for best results. I don't know nothin' about painting, but I would assume a professional shop will use a special paint and application process to insure optimal adhesion. Maaco is running a $199 special- saw it advertised along with Sham Wow and male enhancement pills while watching WEC Wreckage late one night ; )
  20. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson Yakbowbw

    He jumped all over my bad fortune like a hobo on a muffin, and took my spot on a guided steelhead trip down the Sol Duc. I had to step out of the trip because of my neck, and a head injury to my youngest son. Hope he catches a few. I should get the first ride in the boat for being such a good friend. I am going to swing over to inspect the progress. I will take pictures and post them for him.