My $250 Polarkraft

Discussion in 'Boat Repair Help' started by Pogo, Jun 3, 2006.

  1. Pogo

    Pogo New Member

    North Carolina
    Thought maybe you would like to know that I am just finishing up a rebuilding a 1981 14' Polarkraft and trailer that I picked up for $100 and that had been in an accident while the boat was being towed.

    I wish I had taken some "before" pictures, but ... believe me, it was pretty sorry.

    The first item I addressed was that the hull was twisted out of true about 15 degrees :sad2: After tying down the hull (bottom up) on 12 X 12 blocks and applying jacks at the proper points, I got it back true. Metal has a memory, however, so after slightly over-torqueing it, I had to wait 30 minutes and tweak it some more. Just to be sure, I waited 24 hours and checked again before calling this part finished.

    In the accident, the bow was not only dented in, but the eye pulled out of the bow skin. After removing enough foredeck rivets to allow me to lever (bend) up the foredeck from the front and give me enough space to work on the inside of the bow, I cut two pieces of Diamond plate aluminum - one 3/16" and one 1/8" which I bent into precise shape to match the hull curve (once hammered back to shape) and welded them from the keel to the gunwale .. the thicker piece on the inside and the thinner outside (a friend tells me that I've made an Icebreaker) :smile2: Then I mounted a new bow eye through both layers of Diamond plate. You can see the Diamond plate from both sides in the pictures.

    The transom was covered by an inner liner of 1/16" soft aluminum which only served to trap moisture. Once pulled, it revealed a transom tottaly rotted away.

    From 3/4" Okuma Marine ply, I cut two pieces to rough shape and epoxied them into one 1 1/2" thick. Having been cured at 140 degrees, the finished piece is far stronger than solid wood.

    Using the liner as a template, I cut the transom slightly oversize and an hour with a wood rasp got me the fit I wanted. Then, after staining and epoxying the transom was bolted into place.

    The liner had been bent over the transom top, so I bent a new transom cap from 1/16" T-4 aluminum and screwed it into place .. only three screws .. it fits so well it isn't going anywhere. I didn't replace the liner .. they're useless and besides .. this transom is just too pretty to cover up ... :smile2:

    Two feet forward of the rear bench set was a center live well flanked by two HUGE flotation tanks. The hassle of trying to get over all that to get to the bow convinced me there had to be a better way ... sooo .. out it all came!

    I left the live well through hull plumbing, however. It had brass plugs to close it off, so I left it in case I ever wanted to mount another one.

    For the decking (as much as I've finished), I used Okuma 1/2" ply, also stained and epoxied. It's currently big enough to give enough space to fish from and holds the cooler mounts. That 72 quart cooler is my second seat - big enough to be useful and still allow foot room on the sides.

    I eventually intend to enlarge the opening to under the foredeck and make a nice hinged wood cover. I am also considering making a hatch on the foredeck top, but I'm currently out of "round-tuits", so that'll just have to wait.

    The trailer was a project of it's own .. the frame was bent/twisted, but the axles/wheels/bearing were still in good shape.

    After straightening the frame, I extended the tongue 4' and installed a new ball receiver, winch, axle mounts/u-bolts and jack and beat the fenders back into shape (had to make one new fender bracket).

    Then, after prepping and cold galvanizing the whole rig, I made new bunks and installed my own "home brew" bunk slicks, guides and lights. The lights will eventually end up on top of the guides ... when I find more "round-tuits".

    I won't describe the hull prep and paint ... we've all done it and we all know what that takes ... elbow grease and time.

    So .. after about 120 man hours and about another $150 I have a rig that I like a lot. Big enough for two fishermen comfortably and small enough for me to launch/recover her alone.

    The engine shown is the 81 Merc-20 I picked up recently which takes a 1" spacer to get it to the right height, but my 2001 Tohatsu 15 fits just right without it.

    This boat replaces my 12' Alumacraft semi-V that I like a whole lot (and still miss), but that was just too cramped for two fishermen and their gear .. not to mention gas tank, trolling motor and battery and cooler. No problem with the Polarkraft.

    PS - I've never posted pictures and have used the Attachment Manager to upload a few, but have no idea if they'll show up in the post.