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TOPIC: 1961 Century Ski Dart Conversion

1961 Century Ski Dart Conversion 8 years 9 months ago #41908

  • Nautilus
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Here are some before/during/after photos of a Ski Dart that I picked up for $300. It was structurally solid as a rock, zero rot but butt ugly. Since I don't ski, I decided to change the configuration..."a little." Meet the "Bettie Page," the runabout Century never made:
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Re:1961 Century Ski Dart Conversion 8 years 9 months ago #41909

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OK...it won't let me load all the photos so I'll cut to the chase:
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Mentor to the unenlightened!

"Never allow logic to interfere with a boat purchase." - J. S. Hadley
"Vintage quality beats new junk every time." - J. S. Hadley
"Anything supposed to do two things does both of them half-assed." - J. S. Hadley
"Success makes...

Re:1961 Century Ski Dart Conversion 8 years 9 months ago #41912

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Engine compartment
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Mentor to the unenlightened!

"Never allow logic to interfere with a boat purchase." - J. S. Hadley
"Vintage quality beats new junk every time." - J. S. Hadley
"Anything supposed to do two things does both of them half-assed." - J. S. Hadley
"Success makes...

Re:1961 Century Ski Dart Conversion 8 years 9 months ago #41914

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Front cockpit...needs cleaning!
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Mentor to the unenlightened!

"Never allow logic to interfere with a boat purchase." - J. S. Hadley
"Vintage quality beats new junk every time." - J. S. Hadley
"Anything supposed to do two things does both of them half-assed." - J. S. Hadley
"Success makes...

Re:1961 Century Ski Dart Conversion 8 years 9 months ago #41916

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Quartering shot
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Mentor to the unenlightened!

"Never allow logic to interfere with a boat purchase." - J. S. Hadley
"Vintage quality beats new junk every time." - J. S. Hadley
"Anything supposed to do two things does both of them half-assed." - J. S. Hadley
"Success makes...

Re:1961 Century Ski Dart Conversion 8 years 9 months ago #41917

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Transom in bad lighting...
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"Never allow logic to interfere with a boat purchase." - J. S. Hadley
"Vintage quality beats new junk every time." - J. S. Hadley
"Anything supposed to do two things does both of them half-assed." - J. S. Hadley
"Success makes...

Re:1961 Century Ski Dart Conversion 8 years 9 months ago #41921

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I think she's gorgeous Nautilus/Gramhog, and welcome! Very nice indeed.

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Mark

Re:1961 Century Ski Dart Conversion 8 years 9 months ago #41928

Most excellent. Beautiful job.

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Re:1961 Century Ski Dart Conversion 8 years 9 months ago #41937

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Holy cow!! That is a show shopper. Beautiful.
Neil

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Neil and Mary Ousnamer

Re:1961 Century Ski Dart Conversion 8 years 9 months ago #41953

Stunning restoration! How long did it take to go from a painted hull and deck to newly painted hull and bright deck? I'm curious about the process you used: Did you use epoxy and fiberglass or 5200 or another method?

BTW, I believe is says Lake Keowee on the transom. We are not too far away on Lake Chatuge on the GA side. I know of a few other woodies on Keowee.

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2011 MALAHINI LAUNCHED 28 SEPT 2011


Lake Chatuge, GA

Re:1961 Century Ski Dart Conversion 8 years 9 months ago #41975

Great Job! she's a beauty!

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Re:1961 Century Ski Dart Conversion 8 years 9 months ago #41998

Gramhog wrote:

Quartering shot


I have another question:
The wooden plate I see just below the rub rail is for registration numbers, correct? Did you make or buy that?

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2011 MALAHINI LAUNCHED 28 SEPT 2011


Lake Chatuge, GA

Re:1961 Century Ski Dart Conversion 8 years 9 months ago #42006

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..WOW.N.: That is some serious Bling there. You have my vote of the day.. Did you even get a engine in the boat for $ 300.?

If that was a utility engine box originally ,(?) ,looks like you made a straight across center deck .. I like the side arrow or dart graphic..sort of doing the same logo on my Crosby mod... Reg # plate (?) , My friend had wood show boat in New York with a similar plate to easy varnish each spring,, One night at marina thieves pulled off side of boat, so that they could steal another speed boat & appear legal at 1st sight.. We see cradle display , But I believe a marine Patrol officer would draw attention to a moveable reg board , IMO.

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Re:1961 Century Ski Dart Conversion 8 years 9 months ago #42007

Holy Crap that's gorgeous!!!!! I can only hope my Resorter is close to that when I'm done with her.

Bob

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Re:1961 Century Ski Dart Conversion 8 years 9 months ago #42432

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I'll try to answer some of the questions.

Yes, I got an engine with the boat...original AMC based Graymarine V8...stuck solid. I replaced it with an identical engine...287 CID with a top-mounted 2-barrel instead of the single side draft carb. Don't ask me why I didn't use the opportunity to convert to a Chevy small block...I have no logical answer.

All of the framework and plywood was good but ugly. The hull was dinged-up and pitted...but solid. I covered the existing plywood hull with 1/8" marine meranti, using a solid coating of 3M 5200. I stapled it in place but the staples wouldn't go all the way in...perfect! They were easily removed after the 5200 cured and the tiny holes puttied-over.

I reframed the topsides using the existing curvature of the foredeck. The boat is quite wide so I built storage on either side of the engine, rather than waste the space. The side panels in the engine compartment can be easily removed with a few screws, making a lot of room for repairs, whatever.

The topsides use 3/8" ribbon sapele plywood, African mahogany, Honduran mahogany and fiddleback maple. The planks are individual pieces, all bedded with a dab of 5200 and two stainless steel screws at every frame. No stain was used...just 7 coats of Easypoxy varnish. The seams were filled with 3M 4000 after the varnishing was completed. The dash pieces are the fanciest sapele I had sitting around. The transom is 1/2" ribbon sapele marine ply over the original plywood transom.

Most of the hardware and gauges came from Ebay...where else? I designed/built the windshield frames...used 1/4" safety glass. The steering wheel came from a 1927 Marmon model 6-75 automobile. I made the adapter plate from aluminum. The cutwater is something I made from two pieces of stainless steel with a piece of 3/4" stainless trim running down the center.

I figure I have about $1,500-2,000 in the boat...and maybe 300-400 hours of spare time during last winter. The fuel pump died on sea trials and "some dumbass" had wired it so that the key wouldn't turn off the engine...both have been taken care of. She rides and turns well and probably makes turns for 30 knots...maybe a little more with a lower pitch prop.

Yes, I'm on Lake Keowee. I know most of the other wooden boaters here. I did a cosmetic restoration on Jim Lundy's 1947 Garwood two years ago. I also operate a wine and cheese cruise business on the lake: Matriarchyacht.com

Thanks for all your compliments.

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Mentor to the unenlightened!

"Never allow logic to interfere with a boat purchase." - J. S. Hadley
"Vintage quality beats new junk every time." - J. S. Hadley
"Anything supposed to do two things does both of them half-assed." - J. S. Hadley
"Success makes...

Re:1961 Century Ski Dart Conversion 8 years 9 months ago #42433

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P.S. Yes, I made the mahogany registration plates for the front. I forgot to mention that I bought the boat without a title and have been fooling around with the DNR since May trying to get it all sorted out. I still don't have it registered. If you live in SC, don't buy a boat without a title...it's not worth the hassle.

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Website: NautilusRestorations.com

Mentor to the unenlightened!

"Never allow logic to interfere with a boat purchase." - J. S. Hadley
"Vintage quality beats new junk every time." - J. S. Hadley
"Anything supposed to do two things does both of them half-assed." - J. S. Hadley
"Success makes...

Re:1961 Century Ski Dart Conversion 8 years 9 months ago #42466

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You made the right decision with the engine. Those old AMC's are warhorses. I believe you have the 327 block which was pretty standard in the Centurys. Difference was carbs. Here's a picture of the 327 that I have in my Sabre, 225hp with the dual side draft carbs. Pushes the 18 footer around 48mph on a good day.
Cal

I can't see what you have for ventalation in the engine box but I would strongly recommend a blower and open screens. If you seal the engine in that box you are a floating firebomb.
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Re:1961 Century Ski Dart Conversion 8 years 9 months ago #42481

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I dont even think I could have forseen the result after seeing all that paint on there.
An awesome job!

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Re:1961 Century Ski Dart Conversion 8 years 9 months ago #42502

Nautilus wrote:

P.S. Yes, I made the mahogany registration plates for the front. I forgot to mention that I bought the boat without a title and have been fooling around with the DNR since May trying to get it all sorted out. I still don't have it registered. If you live in SC, don't buy a boat without a title...it's not worth the hassle.


Thanks for filling us in on the restoration. It is stunning! If you had a way to register it in GA, you'd have no problems. GA only requires a title for trailers. Believe it or not, boats of this size don't have titles. I just sold a 2007 24ft boat to my father in NC and I gave him the original bill of sale and then wrote him a bill of sale for our transaction.

We have a place on Lake Chatuge in Georgia. Were you by chance at the June ACBS show on Lake Chatuge? I came by on Saturday to check out all the boats. My boat is a Glen-L design and someday, I may get the desire to restore or maybe build another. I have only posted here a few times, but I always check out the new projects when I see someone post one. The transformations can be amazing.

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2011 MALAHINI LAUNCHED 28 SEPT 2011


Lake Chatuge, GA

Re:1961 Century Ski Dart Conversion 8 years 9 months ago #42559

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There are four vents directly over the engine and a blower in the rear that pulls from the engine compartment and vents through the two rear vents above the transom. I believe that ought to take care of any/all gas fumes. If it blows sky high, I'll assume I was mistaken.

Concerning that AMC engine: I have the 287, not the 327. Also, in the photo you attached, it looks like you are still running the Leece-Neville alternator and voltage regulator.(?) Both of these items are impossible to find, aside from pulling them from junk engines. The marine fuel pumps aren't exactly readily available either, decent exhaust manifolds are scarce as are exhaust pipes, distributor rotors, caps, etc. If there is any good news about that engine, it's that nobody wants them so whole engines can sometimes be had for cheap...can't have too many spare parts.

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Website: NautilusRestorations.com

Mentor to the unenlightened!

"Never allow logic to interfere with a boat purchase." - J. S. Hadley
"Vintage quality beats new junk every time." - J. S. Hadley
"Anything supposed to do two things does both of them half-assed." - J. S. Hadley
"Success makes...

Re:1961 Century Ski Dart Conversion 8 years 9 months ago #42575

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Both of these items are impossible to find, aside from pulling them from junk engines.

If you'll shoot me a private message with the number off your unit, I'll check when I get to work Monday to see if Leece Neville still offers it or a suitable replacement, if you have a need for one. (We are a warehouse distributor for them.)

BOTH are beautiful engines, by the way! :kiss:

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Mark

Re:1961 Century Ski Dart Conversion 8 years 8 months ago #43145

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There is a business in St Charles, IL that has all the parts you would ever need for that engine including exhaust manifolds, hoses. They bought the entire inventory from Graymarine a few years back and are in the process of inventoring it. I even got the little clippy things that hold the exhaust elbows to the pipes. Graymarine Inc.

You have a beautiful looking boat there almost too good to get wet. Yes the blue and white were the colors for that boat. Not Century's best effort.
Here's a link to one that was sold.
www.mbbw.com/WIP/Brokerage%20listings/021-Craig.htm

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Re:1961 Century Ski Dart Conversion 8 years 8 months ago #43991

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Hey guy very nice and what a change considering the boat was a utilty , and just by chance......when redoing the boat did you add to the orginal framework ?

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Re:1961 Century Ski Dart Conversion 8 years 8 months ago #44151

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Yes...MAJOR mahogany framework was added. Those Ski Darts were built with an economy of framework. She's very solid now with four 1" port to starboard frames.

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Mentor to the unenlightened!

"Never allow logic to interfere with a boat purchase." - J. S. Hadley
"Vintage quality beats new junk every time." - J. S. Hadley
"Anything supposed to do two things does both of them half-assed." - J. S. Hadley
"Success makes...

Re:1961 Century Ski Dart Conversion 8 years 8 months ago #44544

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Nautilus wrote:

Yes...MAJOR mahogany framework was added. Those Ski Darts were built with an economy of framework. She's very solid now with four 1" port to starboard frames.

Very cool .

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