Crabbing Skiff Rebuild - On a tight budget
For about 3 years, my brother and I have been threatening to replace the deck of our crabbing skiff because it was getting rather spongy. Neither one of us is small by any stretch of the imagination so it was just a matter of when we would end up putting a foot through the hull. Last fall after our final crabbing trip, we bit the bullet and went past the point of no return and took a saw to the deck. We found that the deck was constructed with 3/8 plywood that was about 75% rotted with a thin sheet of fiberglass over top. about 25% of the pieces of styrofoam that was under the deck were water-logged. Remarkably, the stringers appeared to be sound and in pretty good shape. We attached PT 2x4's to the stringers to make it easier to attach the new deck.
We replaced the decking with 3/4 exterior grade plywood after giving the under-side 2 coats of exterior paint to help protect it. In hindsight, we should have given it a coat or two of fiberglass resin instead but...The original wiring was all either run on the surface or embedded in the fiberglass, we re-ran it in the bilge inside PVC conduit.
We then rebuilt the bow deck that our father added in the 90's and installed speakers for a BOSS Mechless stereo...no more listening to music from our cell phones. We then covered the decking with a layer of fiberglass.
Lacking the skills to do a good job with the fiberglass, we opted to cover the deck with indoor/outdoor carpeting figuring that if all else fails, we could use the boat as a practice putting green.
Next step was, we painted the inside with epoxy based paint...
The had noticed that the transom flexed a little more than we would like so, lacking the skills to rebuild that ourselves and the funds to pay to have it done...my brother fabricated a couple brackets out of 1/4 aluminum.
We are also replacing the circa 1990 Hummingbird FF with a Lowrance Elite-4 FF/GPS combo unit. The only thing left to do now is to re-install the center console and hook everything back up. We hope to be able to splash it on Sunday, we thought it was ironic that the ole girl will be ressurected on Easter.
Looks like you and your brother are not amateurs any longer.
Looks like you guys did a great job from the pics !!!
Great work, don't forget your PFDs!
send a pic of the outside of your skiff, like to see the hull. You forgot to say how many beer's it took.
Chuck, the inside of your boat looks like a 1980 something Ski Barge. Is that correct? Loved those boats. Wide beam and pretty light. Great crabbing skiff.
I will try to get a pic by this weekend. Not a single beer was consumed while working, we were scared enough we would mess something up with clear heads!
Correct, it is a 1985 25th anniversary model. Its a 19 footer with a 6 foot beam so it is very stable for running a trotline even with the sizes of my brother and I. The sides are thin and flimsy but, when we cut out the old flooring we left about a 2 inch lip all around to attach the new floor to. Since the new deck is securely fastened to the stringers, it seems to have stiffened up the sides a fair amount.
We keep the trotline on a garden hose reel that is bolted to the bottom of a pedestal seat. There is a pedestal in the stern for laying out the line and another about halfway between the console and bow for winding it in.
Garden hose reels sure beats pulling it in by hand. You fellas did a real nice job. Looks great!