1980 Browning images/cuddy/Aerocraft Mach II


I'm done rebuilding
After a second bout with a scalpel wielding surgeon at the local hospital, removing more moldy stringer splinters.   My bride (the checkbook captain) said I was finished with that project.  "Park it and Sell"   she commanded.  Weakened from medication and not willing to become the subject of more serious spouse abuse, I complied to the admiral's commands.

Trying to save a few bucks on the initial purchase of a boat, may not have been the best thing you did or can do.   I came across this hapless craft in need of repair, for a mere few pocket dubloons.   I just couldn't resist the temptation.  I could restore it myself.   After all, I built a few custom rods, I am very electro-mechanically inclined, rebuilt a few homes and am handy in the garage.   "I can do this!"

Labor intensive, dirty, ichy work, I spent the hot summer in the driveway, instead of on the water.   Additionally I spent a few $K's on medical bills.   Learned alot, thanks to many knowledgeable people on the various boating forums.   My hat is off to you that have finished a total restoration.   20 years ago I would not have quit on a project like this.  But at my age (60), I prefer to enjoy life, cruising & fishing, being on a boat, on the water, instead of in it working on one in the driveway.

Pissed away a beautiful summer !!
End of story.
Synopsis of a boat restoration: or IMHO
I don't know much, made some bad descisions, and I am certainly NOT a seasoned boat building expert but, I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express once ..........

You are reading this because you believe there are structural problems with your boat and are planning or doing a re-build.
What I'm about to convey would bring a lot of flak on most Boating Forum threads.   I have read a plethera of threads and books on the rebuild subject and in retrospect, analizing this project, this is MHO.   I hope I can instill some thought in you before you commence on your project boat and perhaps save you a alot of agony and perhaps a few gold dubloons.

I won't say all older small boats with foam floatation are wet under the floor.  But, it's probably a sure bet.  The amount of saturation is the question.
Bilges get wet, period!   Fibers wick water, period.  Old foam holds water and will never dry, period!   Wood Rots! period!
Water always finds the path of least resistance and gravity will show it the way. Rain, wash and splash water (not drained properly in foamed boats) are the biggest culprits in ruining boats.  Your old foam is wet and saturated!

The object of boating is to NOT ever having to use the floatation.   But, things happen. (hopefully to some one else)
The OEM placement of foam in most boats seem to only keep the bow up out of the water or they turtle when swamped. Gives ya something to hang onto.   Which, I guess, is better then a complete scuttling.   Eitherway your boat is ruined.   Insurance payoff is the same with or without foam floatation.   You don't need foam to trap water.
I was planning on doing the plastic bottle fill and adding the construction foam for the voids and sound deadning.   It would save on foam floation volume/weight and won't soak up water.   A hull puncture could possibly break one bottle, but the balance would still be intact and full of air. USCG code does NOT require the use of foam only a form of floatation in boats less then 20' in lenght.

IMHO, there is no use building a 100 year boat.
Our boats were most likely built by, cheap labor, using cheap materials and the bare minimum in required safety or seaworthyness in mind, and it still lasted for 20+ years .... then you and I bought it!
Did it have super-graphite-composit-honey-combed floors?   NO!
Did it have pressure-treated-never-mold stringers?   NO!
Was the hull layed up with epoxy impregnated bulletproof kevlar?   NO!
Was the transom built with industrial-never-rot kryptonite?   NO!
Did it get wet and rot?   Yes!   But it took a decade or more.
Did the 6 layer gelcoat scratch and fade?  Yes!  ... What's wrong with paint?
Don't Carpet.   It is what caused your sole problem to start with.
Don't over spend or overbuild your project boat! Most important, PROTECT yourself when working on your project!

Re-build it reliable, structurally sound and safe enough for your personal use.   Any boat that needs stringer/floor & transom rebuild is most likely already off the "trade-in" charts and reached a flat level in re-sale dollars.   It's "real" dollar value, with or without rebuilding, is going to be about the same.   After all, you bought it!   So, the only thing of any real value is the enjoyment you get from working on it and then reaping the benefits of your hard work on the water.  Resurrecting an old scow will bring alot of self-satisfaction, kuddo's, an education and flatten your checkbook.   Doubtfully will your Love Boat bring you any more dollars then it cost you to begin with. (save a few true classics)   Think ROI when you do your rebuild.  Build a 10 year boat, enjoy the water and give the next generation a project boat....

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