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TOPIC: 1958 Wilson Restoration begins (slowly)

1958 Wilson Restoration begins (slowly) 2 years 5 months ago #119323

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Thanks to endless hours of reading - I am taking the leap to start my restoration. I will be going VERY slow! Thanks to all for sharing their work to help me built courage. I thought...it is has a broken transom anyway, so unless I fix it, I cannot use it. Crazy to believe, but the transom wood still felt damp after boat sat in inside storage for 6 year in Wisconsin (was last registered in 2010 when I bought it with original trailer. Wish me luck :. Dr.Go!

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Re:1958 Wilson Restoration begins (slowly) 2 years 5 months ago #119328

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Just a clue the transom might be rotten...steel screws. Transom was only one thickness of 3/4" plywood with a 3/8" added layer for the motor. The previous owner ended up with a tear in the transom glass skin. Fortunate the whole back did not tear off and sink it.
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Re:1958 Wilson Restoration begins (slowly) 2 years 5 months ago #119330

Dr. Go,

In my experience, about 99% of 50s & early 60s boats need the transom rebuilt, given the primitive plywood of that era.

yours, satx

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Resistance to tyrants is obedience to Almighty God.
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Re:1958 Wilson Restoration begins (slowly) 2 years 5 months ago #119342

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I agree. At least I knew the transom needed replacing going in. I figured with a $150 initial investment for boat, good trailer (with good tires and bearings), I had a good place to start. I just want to do a good job and take my time by following the advice here. The new transom will be marine plywood with a few more laminations.

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Re:1958 Wilson Restoration begins (slowly) 2 years 5 months ago #119457

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Can anyone help me interpret this Wilson Boat transom tag?

I assume the 14 represents the model is considered a 14 foot (13-6" actual). Does anyone think it is possible the number 275 means this was the 275th boat built in 1958 (or since they started building glass boats?)...I think they made glass boats in 1957, but think all wood boats prior to that. How could there be any way to find out? Maybe I should talk to Gene Gene since he said he has a retired friend who worked at that factory?!
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Re:1958 Wilson Restoration begins (slowly) 2 years 5 months ago #119476

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Wow, that transom looks like it's easily replaced. I have to split my hull to do mine.

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1960 slickcraft catalina
1963 g-w invader ski-bird
1972 g-w invader drag & ski 14
Portage Michigan

Re:1958 Wilson Restoration begins (slowly) 2 years 5 months ago #119495

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I will say that having this simpler configuration on this older boat (no splash-well and open back) makes less work overall. Good thing because I can't be sure yet how good my results will be until I practice on some new scrap wood. I am glad I am not splitting the hull/deck, nor cutting out a splash-well or cutting out the back-side of the boat... Though I still want to do the best job I can to save this boat because I understand it to be very rare (simple, but rare).

Good new that I just found the bottom wood to be dry where I cut it back slightly to accept a thicker replacement transom (transom wood was wet, but floor was dry and no rotten after 52 years of use and 6 years dry storage). Kudos to the Wilson boat builders!
Dr.Go!
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Re:1958 Wilson Restoration begins (slowly) 2 years 5 months ago #119604

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Sorry for the late post.
Looks like a normal Wisconsin transom to me.
When I replaced transoms there is a tendency to over engineer it. Usually go about 1 1/2" by laminating two 3/4" exterior plywood pieces sandwiched with fiberglass mat and then overlaid with glass cloth. That way there is piece of mind knowing that even if you want to hang a larger motor it's not going to rip out. Start by making a cardboard template and get the fit as tight as possible

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Re:1958 Wilson Restoration begins (slowly) 2 years 5 months ago #119611

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Thanks for the advice. That confirms what I was thinking too. It means a lot knowing you have done many and know the results. This is my first, so thanks for boosting my confidence. I will just remember patience, pattern, dry fitting each piece before laminating, and measure twice (maybe 3 times) and cut once. I will try a scrap piece after the template and slightly over size it so I can slowly trim to get a tight custom fit and then use that as a pattern. I also hear you should do a pretend "dry run" on how you have all of your materials and clamps laid out (with plenty of back-up and perhaps a partner to help you move more quickly when you are actually working with cure times). I am still in hull prep stage, so it may be awhile before I do the pattern. This might be one of the only 1958 Wilsons, so I am trying to be extra careful!

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Re:1958 Wilson Restoration begins (slowly) 2 years 5 months ago #119632

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Here's what I do when laminating the two pieces together. I used to clamp 'em but could never seem to get a tight bond. It later dawned on me that the whole shebang was going to be sealed when the deed is done anyway so I would take the two matching pieces, spread a heavy coat of resin, lay a single layer of mat and then resin coat the other half. Fit the two together and get 1" screws, even the cheap drywall type and screw both pieces together using dish soap or bar soap coating the screws ... a lot of screws! . The screws draw the two halves together tighter than you know what. You can remove the screws when the resin sets because they didn't stick (soap).
First time I did this I didn't remove the screws....thought what the hell....later ran into problems drilling drain holes etc. Seems no matter where you put a screw it will always be right where a drain hole goes :angry:

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Re:1958 Wilson Restoration begins (slowly) 2 years 5 months ago #119641

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Sounds like uniform compression with that method. I have read that as one of the better options. Especially if you cannot access all areas for clamps or through bolts due to restrictions or limited clamps. I learned your soap on the threads method from my high school wood shop teacher when I was building my Glen-L Tiny Titan 8' Hydroplane...at 17 years old, I must admit to over engineering my transom...they called for a 1" (or just over)and 15" for a 10 (maybe 15hp)...but I wanted a 20hp, so built about a 19" with 2" lamination...I wanted to hammer that boat and jump it off of rough water...still picked up cooling water and never doubted its strength. Hit 47mph with a 6'4" 185 lb kid. Thank you for the tips!

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Re:1958 Wilson Restoration begins (slowly) 2 years 5 months ago #119700

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Need more advice:

The original interior hull was finished in Gray with the black and white flecs splattered all over:
1. Do I clean it (interior hull) and try to put a clear epoxy coat over it to preserve the original color? (since it looks like seat areas show fibers from sitting wear)
2. If I clear coat it, how do I remove the red and black paint overspray from the PO rattle cans used on deck and seat backs? ...see picture (note: seats are now removed and will make new removable)
3. Could I just use white top side paint and cover the entire inside hull and make it cleaner looking? (since whole outer boat will be white?...or does this ruin the "original" factor? (note, though my boat is originally red top with white bottom, I believe the Wilson info said a white on white was another factory version)...if it had fins and a good windshield, I would likely keep it red, but it is a simple boat with no fins and I will not have a windshield, so I was thinking simple white on white with white interior to make my first restoration easier...Thoughts please...all comments and ideas welcome.
Thanks Dr.Go!
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Re:1958 Wilson Restoration begins (slowly) 2 years 5 months ago #119704

We just used grey porch and deck paint on ours. It was economical, looks nice, and will hopefully be durable.
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Re:1958 Wilson Restoration begins (slowly) 2 years 5 months ago #119717

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Wow - that whole boat looks nice. Thanks for the advice. It seems to keep that original interior look. I was worried I could not duplicate that speckled black and white micro-splatter on Gray. I was thinking of throwing a couple of rubber shower matts on the floor that I could remove to help be more non-slip. I cannot tell what is on your floor...is that something different where it is darker (like a no-skid texture, or a mat? I should consider some way to ensure the floor is not slippery in 2 small areas in front of my bench seats...What are the best ideas for this?...silica sand in paint, or a grip texture paint or treatment, or just mats???

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Re:1958 Wilson Restoration begins (slowly) 2 years 5 months ago #119723

We left the bottom unpainted and glued in some outdoor carpeting (also grey). There are a lot of guys on here that can give you better advice than I can. We were working with a tight budget and schedule.

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Re:1958 Wilson Restoration begins (slowly) 2 years 5 months ago #119737

I stripped the inside of mine, painted it with Pettit Topside white then used a toothbrush dipped in Black rustoleum and flicked it by pulling back on the bristles with rubber gloves. Came out pretty good I think. Did this 4 years ago and it's still going strong.



Bob
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Re:1958 Wilson Restoration begins (slowly) 2 years 5 months ago #119749

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Neat Bob, never thought of a tooth brush method. Dave, keep posting those pics of the Tomahawk, I should be picking mine up tomorrow.
As for the inside exposed bilge/floor area I've heard that truck bedliner works well. Never tried it or even saw it but some brands are rough surface paintable. Comes in quart/gallon sizes and brushed on.

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Re:1958 Wilson Restoration begins (slowly) 2 years 5 months ago #119752

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Waterwings - great looking and great idea with the toothbrush! Thank you for that tip!! That sounds doable for me as an amateur (with a little practice on a sample first). Yours is the look I was envisioning in white but did not know how to do the flecks. I think the white will look better with me wanting a white boat (with a stripe or 2 somewhere on the deck and maybe white interior some day with color stripes to match boat stripes...though that day is far off. This helps a lot because I might as well start with the transom fix with white finish.

63 Sabre - that is an interesting thought. To be simpler, I was thinking 2 small rubber mats I could remove...but I just might read a label or two and look at a sample application at the store if they have one.

Thanks for the help. Dr.Go!

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Re:1958 Wilson Restoration begins (slowly) 2 years 5 months ago #119761

Oops I lied sorry, I used Interlux Brightsides white and I also mixed in some Interlux Allgrip for the bottom, it's basically a non-skid, works great no slip in bare feet and won't tear up the bottoms of your feet.

Bob

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Re:1958 Wilson Restoration begins (slowly) 2 years 5 months ago #119763

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That sounds like even a better overall solution. Thanks for the update! Now I just have to get in there and get that transom work done so that I can sand the entire deck and hull and scrub out the inner hull. What is best for general cleaning of the inner hull? just dawn dish-soap, water and a bristle brush scrubber to ensure everything is scrubbed loose? I was thinking of the dish soap in case their was ever any greasy contaminants in there that might prevent paint from sticking. I guess it couldn't be more obvious that this is my first Rodeo.

Who are the best suppliers of the Paints? I have made purchases from Jamestown Distributors and West Marine, but I think I read of other good places somewhere.

Thanks

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Re:1958 Wilson Restoration begins (slowly) 2 years 5 months ago #119781

I'm embarrased to admit it, but I ordered my Rustoleum Topside through Walmarts website. Got a really good price and it was on my doorstep 3 days after I ordered.

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Re:1958 Wilson Restoration begins (slowly) 2 years 5 months ago #119827

I think I got mine from West Marine because I didn't want to wait and by the time I figured in shipping vice local price and tax there wasn't much difference. West Marine is the most expensive that I've seen though.

The dawn soap should work fine. I actually stripped my deck but it was so old it was lead based paint and I had to use a special stripper that rendered the paint harmless once it was scrapped and dried. It wasn't cheap though, close to $70 for a 3 gal tub I think but it needed to come off and I could just throw the bag away in the garbage with no issues. I think I used Interlux precoat as the primer.

Great paint and primer, goes on smooth and flows nice. I actually used a brush for all of it and you wouldn't know it!

Bob

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Re:1958 Wilson Restoration begins (slowly) 2 years 5 months ago #119878

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Thanks...great tips and reassuring. I think I will give the interior hull a good wash (long dry) and then paint and try the flecking with the tooth brush. The original glass looks good, so I think that new paint will cover that really thin overspray. I have learned to keep a list of all of the things that need to be done so that I do not forget (and also so I can get my supplies ordered ahead of time). It also gives me time to run through the whole process to ensure one idea doesn't mess up the next step's idea...and time to improve that list as I learn more here. Thanks to all who have helped so far! I want this resto to last the next 50-60 years so future owners don't have to re-do or scrap it.
Dr.Go!

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Re:1958 Wilson Restoration begins (slowly) 2 years 5 months ago #119896

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The good DR...Sorry to get off subject just this once. Is there an address in Tomahawk where I might get some info on the '58 I have?
Tks, Cal
Tried messaging you but hit a dead end.

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Re:1958 Wilson Restoration begins (slowly) 2 years 5 months ago #119897

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63 Sabre - No problem. I have a friend who lives in Tomahawk...I will start with him and see if he can send us in the right direction. Don't the build plates in those boats say "Division of Harley Davidson"? I know they make all of the fiberglass stuff at the Tomahawk Harley plant and truck down to Milwaukee for assembly...I was thinking that Harley must have purchased Tomahawk boats for their glassing expertise??

New question perhaps you (and others) can help with. My Epoxy guide book from the manufacturer says that when I make a laminated marine plywood transom, that I should wet out both mating surfaces and then apply a thickened layer of epoxy ketchup/peanut butter with a notched trowel and then clamp per any of the many methods talked about on this site...however - they did NOT mention layering any wetted out glass matt between wood layers (like I have seen some do). Which way is best?
Dr.Go!

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Re:1958 Wilson Restoration begins (...again) 1 year 10 months ago #127000

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I think I see how easily my distractions lead to NO Progress.

First picture shows how the boat restoration somehow got buried.

Next pictures shows how getting junk put away and bringing a priority back to the top of the "to do" list allows for possible progress.

Last picture shows a small amount of progress. PO painted red over faded lighter original red. Sadly, a rough grinder was used and left gouges I removed. Do I sand until I remove all red original outer coating down to cloth? It can look smooth and good in spots that still have red. Ultimately I will use filler to sand to all flat surfaces, but I just do not want to dig deeper than I need to. I can see where patience is needed during these steps. I still can also use opinions on my previous post...can't believe it took me so long to get back on this!
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