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Old 08-05-2012, 07:15 PM   #1
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I'm about to start a project on an older Chriscraft

I'm about to replace the transom and five or six planks above waterline planks on a mid 50's 57' Chris.j Dry rot has eaten up the starboard corner of this lovely boat. I'm stabilizing the rough 4 quarter Philippine Mohagony on the dock now and plan to mill it to 7/8" planking next week. Unfortunately the rub rail pulled away allowing water to penetrate the starboard corner, I may be sistering the frame and replacing rotten wood on this frame. I'm asking opinions on caulking materials as it's been years since I've done this, and I no there must be better products out there than the oakum and oil based putty I used as a youth. I've purchased Life Caulk poly-sulfide caulking in brown for the varnished transom. The hull sides are painted with one part poly paint. There has been some suggestion that I use 3M 5200 or 4200 for the sides. I want this boat to be repairable in the future should planks be damaged. In the old days we used Weld-wood glue or Weld-wood two part glue. I've used tight bond water proof glue for years with excellent results since. I'm open to comment on glue and caulking technique. At this point it seems the Chris was put together without oakum and appears to have a flexible caulking possibly a poly-sulfide. Sealing the back sides of the planking seems like a good idea. These old planks seem to be bare or possibly sealed with oil that has failed over the years. Replacing the planking looks to be very straight forward, there may only be one that will need steaming to bend. Any comments are welcome, I will post photos as we make the repairs.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:06 PM   #2
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Polysulphide was explained to me for anything below the waterline. Polyurethane sealants like 4200 take weeks to fully cure and tend to release, although they can work above the waterline. Was also told to avoid epoxy unless it is really flexible formula as old wood likes to move.

Good luck and would love to see pictures.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:11 PM   #3
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Have you considered the Sika products? I've used a number of them and they work well...

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Old 08-05-2012, 09:26 PM   #4
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Greetings,
If possible, try to use Honduras mahogany rather than Philippine. It is a denser harder wood. To the best of my recollection, framing (ribs and battens) on CC's was white oak (WO) NOT red oak. I have successfully used epoxy to sister and laminate WO ribs, battens and chines. When replacing planks, I used to paint all sides and edges before installation. Inside you can use a grey or neutral color.
It has also been years for me since I undertook such repairs and I can't remember what caulk I used at the time but I would probably use Dolphinite (sp?) for bedding planks. One could probably use it to fill small voids as well and then paint over it.
You're right IMHO to stay away from 4200 or 5200.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:56 AM   #5
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Mohagony

The Chris-crafts were made from Philippine Mahogany and in this case the frames are as well. I thought they would be white oak as well but in this case not so. The Sika products may be better, they are about half the cost. My knowledge as a wood worker is equal coats of finish all four sides of wood that is exposed to the elements. That is not practical on the transom where I plan on 8 to 10 coats of Captains or Epifanes. I have read that kerosine used as a penetrating sealer whatever I do they will be sealed from the back side.
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:40 AM   #6
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The person you might want to ask your questions to is Bob Lowe on the Grand Banks Owners forum. As former owner and operator of Oak Harbor Boatworks, a yard specializing in the repair, restoration, and upgrading of Grand Banks and most other makes, wood and glass, Bob is one of the most knowledgeable and experienced shipwrights around anywhere, particularly with regard to wood boat repair.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:09 AM   #7
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For parts that can be removed , the bedding is required to be replaced on a time (or damage) sked.

We use Dolphinite as it works better than most "modern" products , and re bedding is a snap.

The new PL glues seem to be waterproof and their expansion means less perfect woodworking skills are required.

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Old 08-06-2012, 07:07 AM   #8
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Greetings,
As an addition, I also seem to recall a wood filler product made by Petit that was available in mahogany color to fill cracks/voids in the brightwork. Could be this stuff. I used to apply one or two coats of varnish so the stuff wouldn't impart any additional stain to the wood then apply the filler and continue varnishing.
Pettit Paste Wood Filler Stains
The memory fades.....
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:06 PM   #9
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Thanks for the tips

Keep them coming.
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:29 AM   #10
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The work begins

Tomorrow we haul her out to begin the replacement of the transom and most of the starboard stern quarter. Unfortunately the owner had left exposed and neglected for 7 or 8 years. The boat is a good handler with only 1600 original engine hours on 8V71 Detroit's. 1969 57' Chris Craft Constellation. She is now in the yard waiting haul out tomorrow morning. Planking is 7/8 Philippine Mahogany. Unfortunately summer is not a good time to be hauling a wooden boat but the owner who lives aboard is currently traveling so now's the time. We will have to bust butt and get her back in the water quickly to keep her from drying out.
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:32 AM   #11
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That's going to be quite and undertaking.Are the keel and frames in good shape?
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:34 AM   #12
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Graphic details

The gunnel pulled loose exposing the corner frame and back side of transom and hull planking to rot.
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:38 AM   #13
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What yard are you hauling her out at?
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:54 AM   #14
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Ladd's in Stockton. They were willing to let us work on the owners boat and have years of wood boat experience.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:12 AM   #15
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Do not ever quit. She is a magnificent boat.
I would establish a good relationship with the sales guys from the following brands. Sika, already mentioned, Tubolit, and 3M. These guys got a bunch of new products to keep water away from wood. Yet, nothing is more efficient in that task than epoxy resin/compounds.
I would also make the best effort to use epoxy extensively and as much as possible as glue and also as impregnation system that you must use in no moving pieces. However, the most modern epoxy compounds are now elastic but they are pricy.
Yeah! You’ll have a lovely boat!!!

Good Luck
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:58 AM   #16
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I use the dry poly filla mixed with what ever paint or primer I am using. For fill / caulk / fairing above water line and for fill bellow fairing bellow. For clear coats I use the wood dust filler. YMMV

The Grenfell was not as bad but was on its way. Very comon issue with the old woodies IMO.

Just ensure no water from above ever gets in there again
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:33 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scary
Ladd's in Stockton. They were willing to let us work on the owners boat and have years of wood boat experience.
I may swing by Friday and take a peak. Sounds interesting.
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:50 PM   #18
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Shes out and on the hard

The valley has been very hot, to mitigate shrinkage as much as possible we are keeping her as wet and cool as possible. It's still a losing battle. the hull is in good shape for the most part however Chris's are double planked with canvas between the planking.
Some think to kept them tight for initial launch other figuer it's just another place for dry rot. It looks like we will have to caulk everything to the waterline. No broken frames so far. A little termite dodo in one spot but it looks old and not much damage if any. A trick for removing plugs is with a top secret drill bit that takes seconds. It 's agood thing as there will close to a thousand screws in the transom alone to pull and replace.
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:13 AM   #19
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Interesting project. Thanks for sharing the pictures.
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Old 08-18-2012, 05:28 PM   #20
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Farther into the demo

Removing screws is time consuming to say the least. They call this discovery for a reason, it looks like we are repeating a prior repair. The design of the deck to the transom planking lead to water intrusion relying on caulking and paint to keep it out. The corner frames have been replaced and will need replacement again. Meanwhile we are trying to keep the hull from opening with the wet canvas drapery. This job is getting bigger by the minute and the longer it takes the more recaulking will be needed in the hull.
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