In episode 10, the crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get back to work on the 19-foot Cuda Craft. First, Austin was tasked with installing new rod holders throughout the gunnel. The catch? Because of the boat’s design and the location of the new rod holders, great care was needed to ensure the holders were angled correctly to protect the hull.
Up next, the Cuda Craft was sent to Steve for some custom rigging on two live wells. To properly rig the live wells, Steve had to ensure he drilled the correctly sized hole for the high speed pickup for each live well. These are designed to flow fresh water into the live well without continually running a pump.
Steve then attached a ball valve on top of the pickup, which provides added protection against water leaks if a pump breaks.
Steve then plumbs a spray head and overflow drain for each live well. He has some great tips to consider for boaters installing their own live wells. After the plumbing is complete, Steve installs aerators into each live well, which help keep bait alive and healthy.
Watch the exclusive clip below.
In this episode, we also learn about one man’s dreamboat – a 25-foot Mako – and watch as Steve rigs a pair of self-leveling trim tabs on a classic Boston Whaler. We also see the amazing conclusion to the 19-foot Cuda Craft!
Originally, the Cuda Craft was brought to MCU because the fuel tank was leaking. But as the team inspected the deck, some major problems began to surface.
The team at MCU discovered a deck full of poured foam that wasn’t attached or evenly filled. The foam not only added float to the Cuda Craft, but also caused the boat to become saturated with water.
The team carefully chipped and scraped away the foam all the way down to the stringers. Once finished removing the foam, they discovered the stringers weren’t properly bonded to the boat, which presented even more trouble for the 12-year-old Cuda Craft.
Before bonding the stringers, the crew sanded all around the boat and then applied new FGCI fiberglass and resin to properly bond the stringers. Once complete, the Cuda Craft was ready for new bilges, limber holes and a new deck.
Watch the exclusive clip of the boat deck removal below.
The team at MCU is now ready to install a new deck on the 19-foot Cuda Craft.
To make a new deck for the boat, the team chose to use a kiln-dried laminate for marine plywood, which is not only strong but will add an appropriate amount of weight to the boat to even out the ride and improve the boat’s overall performance on the water.
The first step to building the new deck was to create a frame – a template of the deck. After matching the laminate gelcoat to the boat’s interior, the team then began the careful process of layering the deck with fiberglass.
After covering the fiberglass material with resin and dried, a bonding agent is evenly spread to create a watertight seal. Then the core material – in this case it’s perforated marine plywood – is laid in place and then covered with an airtight layer of plastic.
Using a suction hose, the air is removed to create a vacuum-sealed hold between the plywood and bonding agent.
After removing the plastic, the plywood is then sanded down to create a smooth, even surface. After which, another layer of fiberglass material and resin is applied to the deck.
The boat is now ready for its new tank – a powder-coated fuel tank from TNT Custom Boat Works. To secure the tank into the boat, a small amount of foam is poured around the edges of the tank, which is then sanded down and prepped for a fiberglass sealant.
When the tank installation is finished, the new custom deck is installed and secured in place.
Watch the exclusive clip of the new deck being made below.
And watch the entire Florida Sportsman Project Dreamboat episode 8 below for more exciting boat renovations.
In this episode, the team remodels the dash panel, rigs new Yamaha Outboard engines and installs beautiful black TACO Rub Rail with a stainless-steel insert.
Here’s an exclusive clip with the 31-foot Contender.
We also jump back in the warehouse with the 21-foot Paramount, which needed a complete overhaul from the inside out, including replacing the stringers, installing a new transom, replacing the boat cap and now painting the bottom.
Before they can paint the bottom, the team at MCU needs to do some fiberglass work to the bottom of the hull – smoothing out any trouble areas that may diminish the boat’s on-the-water performance and give it a perfect running surface.
To smooth out the hull, a straight edge is placed along the bottom to determine the high and low areas. Any low areas are marked and sanded down. Once the low sections are prepped for new fiberglass, the bottom outlines are traced on paper – providing the pattern from which to cut new fiberglass.
The fiberglass pieces are soaked in resin before being applied to the boat bottom. Once dry, the new fiberglass areas are sanded smooth and the bottom painted.
Here’s an exclusive clip with the 21-foot Paramount.
This episode also features a fully-remodeled 46-foot 1977 Whiticar named “Sabre,” which is now worth a staggering $1 million, and a project for a local environmental studies center that needed a new power pole installed on its boat “River Scout.”
Check out the full episode below!
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