Mark's Project Toon

Discussion in 'Boat Modification Journal' started by Mark J, Feb 3, 2007.

  1. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Four Oaks, NC
    Well last weekend as some of you know I aquired a motorless 24' pontoon boat.
    As most of you know I'm not really a toon fan mainly from the towing aspect of it. I have to tow atleast an hour in any direction to dump one in the water.
    Atleast 2 hours to dump one in a lake with some good catfishing.
    I have always wanted to do a project toon just to see what I could come up with. Kind of like wanting to build a racing sailboat even though I dont give a flip about sailing or care to learn.

    The toon is a 1977 Riveria Cruiser. It's seen better days but is a sound toon to this day. It's days will become better and better. It had already been stripped of furniture and was basicly a carpetless wood deck with a console and railings.
    I wouldnt have it any other way for a project boat. Less to unbolt and haul to the dump.

    I piddled on cleaning a pontoon for about 3 hours last Sunday basicly getting the feel for how the thing was put together and compiling a mental to do list.
    I crawled under and over it while getting my thought processes going.

    This week I put together two devices to screw in the drain holes of the toons complete with gauges so I can put 3 pounds of air in each toon and use some leak detect on the outside of the toon to find any leaks.
    With the gauges I can monitor any air pressure loss between the days I work on it.

    Last night and this morning I went shopping for shop supplies.
    I bought grinding wheels, cutoff wheels and abrasive disks for my right angle grinder.
    I bought a gallon of aluminum cleaner that can be dialuted with water. This stuff is awesome.
    I bought some paint remover to help loosen up the bottom paint that was put below the waterline.
    And I bought another toolbox. I buy a new 19" toolbox for every project I have going. Some projects have 2 boxes. I buy the same kind every time. 8 bucks and change at Lowes and has a removeable tray.
    I keep my project essentials in these boxes like grinding wheels, drill bits, sawzall blades, counter sinks, and small pieces I dont want to loose.

    I'm going to totally rebuild this toon from the trailer up. It will come completely apart and every nut and bolt in it will be changed to stainless in the process.

    Today I removed the railings. I wound cutting just about every bolt with a right angle grinder and cut off wheel. It saved alot of busted knuckles, cussing , and damage to parts I want to reuse like the railings and deck skirt.
    They are a must for boat remodeling and boat building. Mr. Grinder is my friend.

    Next I removed all the wiring from the pontoon and the console. Then the steering cable and what was left of the captains seat. Bobpaul, I'm still waiting for you to tell me what you'll knock off for those dents and the broken captain's chair.:big_smile:

    And today I sprayed down the outside of the pontoons with the acid cleaner.
    Yep, there is aluminum under that scum and oxidation.
    Tomorrow , I hope to get the deck off and map the crossmembers and get them removed, cleaned up and touched up with some galvanized primer.
    that will leave me with two pontoons and some body work.
    At some point these pontoons were damaged being winched onto the trailer from dry ground or by a forklift at a boat motel. There is a dent on the bottom of each pontoon about a foot from the stern. I'm going to try to pull these dents which will require drilling holes in the toons but thats what they make tig welders for.:big_smile:
    Once I get any leaks identified and fixed I'll polish the toons.

    The redecking I'm still mulling over. I would rather save some weight in redecking even if its only 50 pounds.
    I know I wont be going back with treated 3/4" plywood and I know I wont be going back with marine plywood. There really isnt any need to. If it were a boat hull and submersed in water I would.
    I'm leaning towards some nice 5/8" exterior plywood. I'll glass the bottom of each panel with 12 oz biaxial fabric and epoxy. Once I get each panel installed I'll glass the whole topside in with 6 oz biaxial fabric and epoxy.
    This deck will last well beyond me and be real strong. You could play football with scuba tanks on it.

    I'll probally opt for marine vinyl for a floor covering. My preference is Seadek but Seadek will run me right at a 1000 dollars to cover it versus 350 or so for vinyl. Seadek is a nice product. Easy on the feet and easy clean. Oh well, not this time around. Using Seadek I was intending to inlay the BOC logo in the middle of the floor. Its a cut, peel, and stick product.

    I'll be building a new console. Wider and a little taller. I plan to put built in tackle drawers in the front and sides of the console. I'm already in the design phase of this console. Right now I'm trying to design in the lid feature.
    To access wiring and the inside of the console I can remove the tackle drawers or flip the whole top open like a hatchback.
    I'm hoping that my washdown pump, pressure tank and filter will fit in the bottom of the console. I need to get the measurements of that unit to plan for it.

    The stern of the pontoon boat. The aluminum transom is cracked. Thats no big deal as this is a 2 piece aluminum transom with 2 pieces of 3/4 plywood sandwiched inbetween. The new transom will be all aluminum.
    Other then the transom itself the whole back end of the pontoon will be scrapped and a new one rebuilt to hold the batteries and fuel tanks.
    I want to build a simple engine cover that clips into place over the engine to divert the noise from the engine rearward.
    I have a 2 stroke 60 horse that Bobpaul has been going over with a fine tooth comb so its not the quietest thing available but its paid for except for the bill Bobpaul gives me.

    While I'm talking about the transom I want to mention treated lumber and aluminum. The two dont go together. People say its the new stuff that is the problem but I beg to differ. This transom could have been repaired but the pitting on the aluminum plates that were against the treated lumber is bad. Real bad. I wouldnt put a piece of treated lumber old or new anywhere near an aluminum boat. Copper sulphate is one of the wood preservatives. Copper and aluminum are two dissimilar metals. They will attack each other.

    Aluminum just isnt the best material to build boats out of from several standpoints but I have 2 now:crazy:

    The trailer. Was built in a welding shop I believe here in NC. Its a steel trailer and appears to be well built and sturdy. I'll strip it, prime it and paint it. I want to attempt a few things like raising the trailer lights in the rear up onto some guide ons. I also want to put wheel fenders over the tandem axle. Pulling it in a rain or on wet gravel pack road leading to a boat ramp would make one big mess.
    I had actually considered mounting the trailer lights to the pontoon boat itself using just a plug and go feature. It's still a possibility and I'll go down that road when I get to it. I would probally have alot less problems from water and road shock.

    This was just my opening salvo. There will plenty more to follow as I'm going to try using several different products I've never used before like the vinyl flooring. I'll do the tests with the adhesives on the epoxy that I use and all along I'll be throwing in some miscellaneous accesories that I build or buy.
    I will go ahead and tell you I have one item I picked up over a year ago sort of as a premonition of owning a pontoon.
    Its a 12 volt coffee maker with a 8 cup capacity I think. I couldnt pass it up at Boater's World for 12 bucks.:lol:

    I'll start getting some pictures up tomorrow evening. There isnt a whole lot to look at other then to see what it looks like. Taking a pontoon this old apart is proving to be more difficult then building a boat from scratch.
  2. BAM

    BAM New Member

    We are looking forward to this series, as I know you will document and keep us posted from start to finish. Good luck and Godspeed.

  3. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    sounds like a heck of a plan cant wait to see it in the works
  4. Ol Man

    Ol Man New Member

    Sounds like you have enough to keep busy till spring..:big_smile:
    I, for one, am going to keep an eye on this thread. It is real interesting...

    Ol' Man
    Fanatics are the first to betray their beliefs in order to defend them.
  5. bilyjojimbob

    bilyjojimbob New Member

    North Carolina
    sounds like fun. im a body man and just wandering why the holes in the bottom? i would drill 1 hole big enough to get a round rod in through the top of the pontoon and knock it out from up there where its not so critical in keeping the boat afloat. and if you use a hole saw you can tig the hole right back in place. just a thought.
  6. CatfishHateMe

    CatfishHateMe New Member

    i want a pontoon in the future to rebuild like your doin. sounds fun, im gunna watch this and follow this series. thanks
  7. Bobpaul

    Bobpaul New Member

    Supply NC
    First of all, if you read the fine print, you'd have found that refunds were negotiable while you were still in sight. After you rounded the corner I breathed a sigh of relief:big_smile:

    The engine work is coming along just fine. I've never worked on a Mariner model of this design, but I bought a couple of bigger hammers and I feel confident I can get those parts all back under the hood.:roll_eyes:

    I thought a 70 hp force was odd with their one carb does all, but this engine you gave me to work on has two carbs that operate 3 cylinders. No worry, I'll probably adapt the carb from that old Farmall tractor in the woods so you'll get plenty of gas.:big_smile:

    Initial inspection of the engine showed excellent compression, all 3 cyl's in the 140 range.

    Spark only on the number 1 cyl. Further testing showed the switch box/power pack went bad.

    Electrical out put from the stator and trigger assembly showed it was all within specs.

    Some ignition wire deterioration, repaired and tested good.

    Switch box was replaced and voltage to the coils was all in the 190V range.

    Carburators had the equivilant to molasses in the bowls. They got cleaned and rebuilt, and new fuel lines.

    There's one thing about the stator they puzzles me. There are 6 wires coming from it and 1 wire is clipped off close to where it comes out of the stator. Monday, I'll pull the fly wheel and get the part number from the stator to see what it was originaly designed for, or Mark might know if it's ever been replaced. I'll report on the findings of the stator Monday.

    I'll be doing the water pump Monday also.

    This engine should be ready to run by the end of the week. I'm waiting for a small coupler that broke. It couples the throttle shafts of the two carbs. It should be in sometime towards the end of the week.

    I have a 2 stroke 60 horse that Bobpaul has been going over with a fine tooth comb so its not the quietest thing available but its paid for except for the bill Bobpaul gives me.

    Take out a second mortgage:roll_eyes:
  8. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

    Mark, I to am going to watch you rebuild this contraption that Bob pawned off on yea.:tounge_out: :tounge_out:
    I am going to pay close attention at your console because I have searched all over for one to my liking and have come up empty handed. What you described is what I am looking for so if you post enough info or pics of the design I will copy it unless you say not to.:big_smile:

    Bob on that carb deal I think I have an old carb off a WD 45 Allis tractor about 1941 model that most likely will work.:big_smile:

    Mine has the 5/8 ply wood on the deck and I am with you on the treated wood for aluminum it will be disastrous to it. That aluminum cleaner you are talking about will clean those things like new. I have a gal here or almost a gal left that I cleaned mine with.

    I am now in the process of adding a changing room to the back of mine so the ladies can have a potty to use, mostly for the kids that will be on-board.

    I am looking forward to your updates, keep them coming and coming often.
  9. Bobpaul

    Bobpaul New Member

    Supply NC
    What do you mean, "Pawned Off". Have you got any Idea the price of scrap aluminum these days?
    BTW Bubba, you ever sell that talking dog?:lol:
  10. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

    Naa, Never did Bob. I figured we could make money off him when we open our BBQ and bikini waxing business:tounge_out:
  11. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    West Tn
    mark here is a motor for the Toon. I think it would push it down without a problem.:big_smile:
    Just watch out for the prop wash though..

    Enjoy reading the update and look forward to more chapters of it.
    Bubbacat I sure hope your not cooking or pulling HEHE

  12. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Four Oaks, NC
    Tom, good idea. Now if I were a body man these toons would be a cake walk.
    I'll get er done though. Thanks for the idea.

    Bubba, building a console doesnt lend itself to those shapely thigh and midriff consoles chopper glassed but you can build something that works for you easier then you can find or buy one.
    Copy me? Go ahead but Bobpaul writes all my fine print. If you smash your finger in the hatch back .....Willard who???

    Pete Kildrow, I have you to know I have already ordered one of those engines but thanks for bringing it up. I have to start looking for a 28 foot bronze prop in 13 pitch.
  13. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    Having been through a similar (bare shell) process with my old bow rider I am looking forward to this series of posts.
    Following on from your intention to pressure test the 'toons you might be interested in something we used to do "back in the day" with tube frame race cars.
    The whole tube frame was pressurized and connected to a gauge. If the frame was to develop a crack, the pressure drop on the gauge gave instant notification.
    I've always thought that a similar set up would b useful on a pontoon boat with a a couple of P.S.I. in each 'toon and a gauge for each...W
  14. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Four Oaks, NC
    Hey I like experimental developement. There is an unused threaded neck I think on each pontoon under the deck I could probally use for something like that.
    I had thought about dropping a hose into each pontoon from these ports and connecting them to a good Sureflo self priming pump. If the need ever arose you could make some water fly fast. These toons arent compartmentalized so this toon can go down or atleast roll over.I'll know more once I get it all tore down. I just hope the inner sides of the pontoons and brackets are in as good a shape as the outer.
    I think where this toon has been leaking is at cracks in the welds. Bob showed me a few and I've found a few more.
    When I pulled the plugs I got about 4 cups of water out of the starboard toon and the port toon was bone dry.
  15. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Four Oaks, NC
    We've been having cold weather the last several weeks so not much progress in the toon department to speak about except that it is completely torn apart.
    Without Mr. Grinder I would still be in the process well into next year.

    I ordered some HTS-2000 which is the aluminum brazing rods. Actually its a solder as it liquifies around 730 degrees which is below brazing temps.
    This stuff is tricky but works. You have to really clean your metal and tin the parts you are going to join. Sounds simple but not really. Melting the rod is one thing but to tin your metal has to be up to temperature for it to hold.
    I ordered 2-1/2 pounds of rods so I'll have plenty to play with.
    I have no doubts that it will work as well in the DVD they supplied but just like brazing, running a tig or mig you have have to develope a feel. This rods have 9 metals in them over the Alumaloy rods and others having 3. I think the main metal in all of these type rods is Zinc.

    I made a T out of aluminum Square tubing with it today with some scrap. I wound up breaking the joint but my failure was in the tinning process. I could tell the metal had not reached sufficient temperature for the tinning to bond to the aluminum. I need to slow down and take my time. I feel rushed for some reason.

    What I'll use this stuff for? Well some pin holes here and there and to fill up some of the deeper pitting on the toons. I have done this with success Sunday during gusty winds. Not ideal conditions with mapp gas and aluminum that dissipates heat real quick.
    If I can get the hang of it and get the strength out of it like they manage in the video it will come in handy with something like small brackets or filling in unused holes in the railings.

    The search is on.
    I have been searching for a rubberized coating to roll on the pontoons below the waterline. These toons are pitted and as a result of pitting the aluminum is thinner in spots then what I care for. Without alot of major work that would be a major cost I'm searching for a product that will protect the bottom and sides of the toons. Something more then paint. This would be like a jacket. I think I've found the product and the same product with a diffent formulation can be rolled onto the fiberlgassed deck as an antiskid. It comes in 19 diffent colors with different aggregate densities including no aggregate. These aggregates are chopped rubber. Probally reycled tires.
    It will cost a quarter of what marine vinyl would. This product is made for boats and is used widely on cruise ships and yachts.

    I am waiting on a verbal conversation from their technical support staff. I have to make sure this is what I'm looking for to coat the toons. As for the deck I only want to verify that it will bond to an epoxy based substrate.

    Right now I'm trying to get whats left of the bottom paint off the toons. Its a job . The paint comes off with stripper but it doesnt leave bright aluminum underneath it without alot of work.
    I can have them bead or sandblasted at no charge but I've backed up on the offer because of the pitting. If the guy sandblasting isnt a professional in the business I could very easily be out of a couple of pontoons or be faced with massive repair attempts. I think I'm on the right track with this and have spoken to a few people in the business that say they would be looking along the same lines. Anything on the top half of the toons is weldable. Anything in the pitted zone is very hit or miss whether it can be welded due to contamination so the best course of action is to pressurize the toons and fix any pinholes below the waterline with the aluminum rods and heliarc anything above the waterline. Then coat below the waterline and go from there.
    I really think the leaks are from the cracks above the waterline.

    While I'm at it I'm taking a grinder sanding disk and knocking the rough stuff off the trailer. I've found another coating that is aluminum based to paint the trailer with that blocks rust. Its actually a primer but most people never top coat it. Its durable and looks good as it is.

    When I put the pontoon back together I'm thinking about skinning the underside of the deck. Skinning doesnt have to be fancy and I'll probally just use some 26 gauge galvanized sheet metal like used in HVAC. Its not heavy and costs a whole lot less then aluminum sheet.
    The advantages of skinning. It keeps the water down out of the crossmembers and actually gives the pontoons some lift from a less disturbed airflow underneath. People that have done it say you can really tell a difference when you turn it into a wind. Speed increase isnt that much, maybe a few MPH but efficiency would be where the biggest gain is.
    Some toon companies are skinning the rear 1/3 of their toons and a few are skinning the whole underside.
    I'm going to roll some ideas around in my head on this. I may not flat skin it, I may put an arch into it. I'll just have to play around with it when the time comes. I've got the use of a sheet metal shear and an 8 foot solid brake and a 10 foot finger brake. If I can build HVAC transitions on the tail gate of a truck that look like they were made in a sheet metal shop this job with these tools is childs play.:big_smile:

    Even with these modifications I'll fall well under the weight it once was.
    Like I said earlier. I know I removed real close to 500 pounds of flooring. The new floor will be just as strong but a whole lot lighter. this gives me some breathing room for add ons.

    I'll discuss more as things develope and as I learn of different products I could use.
  16. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

    Mark I have heard some of the long time tooners that I talk to say good things about a product for the under side of the toons and its called Shark Hide. I'll see if I can find a link to this product.

    I also Skined the front half of my toon.
  17. jerry9497

    jerry9497 New Member

    Tobaccoville NC
    Have the pontoons been in salt water or is pitting coming from fresh water? how old are toons? just wondering.
  18. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Four Oaks, NC
    Bubba, I'm familiar with shark hide. Its a product that can be put on with a brush, roller , or rag. Its a protective coating in the sense that it protects from algae, crustation, etc. It also is supposed to gain you speed.
    What I have been looking for would be something alot more then paint or an aluminum protectant. Something measured in mils of thickness like another skin.

    As for the pitting it could be the result of 2 different things. Its only pitted below the waterline where the bottom paint was on the toons.

    It could have been the wrong bottom paint. The common types of anti fouling paint contain copper. This would put two different metals in contact with each other and copper to aluminum is real bad.

    It could have sat in saltwater for extended periods and then painted in an attempt to stop the problem.

    I'm leaning towards saltwater simply because the bottom paint appears to be in the pits.
    Other things can cause it even on freshwater particularly docked in a marina with electrical hook ups. If the grounding is not correct on the docks and electricity in minute amounts is leached into the water it can and will do the same thing to aluminum boats.

    I've found the product. I just got off the phone with their technical support people. I'll use the AQ formulation without aggregate below the waterline and use the regular formulation on the deck with aggregate.
    These people tell me this stuff will take a beating and would work well as a protective barrier on pontoons provided I clean the metal and scratch or etch it followed by a metal primer or their primer. I can put as many coats as I want on the toons to build them up to the point I'm satisfied with.
    Putting this stuff on the deck will save around 300 dollars and more then likely outlast marine vinyl. I can always touch up or recoat with ease and no glue. I can choose what size and density of the rubber aggregate I want to use.
  19. Bobpaul

    Bobpaul New Member

    Supply NC
    That looks like a good product, and could do the job for the pontoons.
  20. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

    Mark I went and looked at that stuff and was very impressed. I might just strip all the carpet off mine and use that on it.

    Can you say good by to mold around the rails and easy wash down.