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1980 Nautique restoration (new member)

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  • 1980 Nautique restoration (new member)

    Hi all. Just picked up a 1980 Nautique here in Ontario, Canada. 351 Ford Windsor engine. This will be my first project. I'm a contractor but not a mechanic. Looking forward to learning new skills via this project, including fiberglass work and maybe some mechanics. Seeing wayoutthere's 1979 project success has definitely set the bar. Anyways, I'm hoping to post a few questions and comments here, and to learn from other people's experiences.

    At this point we have removed the fiberglass floor as well as any wood framing that could be removed without disturbing the foam. I left a 2" apron of fiberglass floor where it meets the sidewalls of the boat.

    Initially I didn't want to remove any foam, but after inspecting the stringers and seeing that they're unfit, It looks as though it will be tricky removing those stringers without removing the adjacent foam. I'd be interested in hearing from others on the merits of keeping / replacing foam, or rebuilding without foam as per wayoutthere's project.

    This will be my first time hoisting an engine. Looks as though we need to build some sort of gantry crane, lift engine, set engine on trailer, and then haul trailer to storage. (I have a few storage locations around town but none of them with a high enough ceiling for doing the lift inside a garage. Hence the transport logistics.) Prior to engine hoist, I'm going to have to get a better understanding of where to disconnect the engine from the drive shaft, exhaust, electronics, intake, etc etc. This will require significant research on my part.

    Likewise, going to have to remove gas tank. This seems like a more straightforward task than removing the engine.

    Few pics below. Looking forward to this project.

    Thanks in advance for any comments, constructive criticism, etc.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Corb; 05-23-2021, 10:19 AM.

  • #2
    You will find valuable information on They are into older boats.


    • #3
      Got your pm, happy to answer any question and offer any tips that may help on your rebuild.

      There are members on this site and who are the ultimate authority all things nautique, members from both sites jump right in and help out answering questions, sharing knowledge and offering advice.

      Thats a nice boat you picked up, STOP, stop right now and go buy a jumbo sized box of gallon zip lock bags a couple hundred zip ties, some graph/grid paper, a box of jumbo contractor garbage bags and a 10 pack of blue tape for scratches and grease that make more work that might not be needed at this point.

      BEFORE you dis assemble the boat any further,
      - make 2 drawings (floorplan & elevation) with very clear notes from bow to stern these notes will include a lot of measurements of all kinds.
      - check engine alingment now, read up on how critical this is.
      - measure, note and sketch as you dis assemble, put all screws nuts bolts and washers into ziplocks for each component and mark the bags, it's important because you won't remember when it's time to rig and you don't know what's critical and what's not.
      Take the boat off the trailer and buck it up sqaure and level side to side so it goes back together straight and sqaure, they twist and flex and that will rear it's ugly head during rigging on a small boat.

      next ski boat rebuild i will find the angle on the hull bottom when the engine/shaft angle reads 12* and buck the hull up @ said angle.

      the wood is going to bad, every piece, from the boweye to the stern lifting eye (with the exception of the piece the rudder port is mounted to, maybe)
      it's the only piece on mine that was still dry. The bow piece may still be serviceable and it's tough to get to.

      the foam has to come out, tough at first but once you can get flat shovel down on the glass it pops right out and you will find moisture and water between it and the glass all over.
      They glassed in the stringers with mat and threw some woving on the important bits i.e. the engine location rudder port and stern lifting eye.
      the foam served 3 roles in my opinion.
      1. noise and vibration harshness, it made the boat feel solid and quiet.
      2. some amount of structural probably because of the choice of wood and lack of glassing that wood in correctly.
      3. to shape the floor, that's why as you'll see the floor is not symetrical around the engine stringer elevation transitions, the foot rest and wherever else around the boat.

      the hull is layed up really good, they could have bonded the hull and deck together a little better which reminds me, dont take the rubrail or windshield off unless it's absolutely neccessary, mine was off and the windshield was cracked when i got it.
      the stringers and floor is where the ball was dropped, the running gear was installed good, but the lesser rigging and methods used killed the already poor choice of wood and lackluster methods of installation

      A lot of projects never get finished or sold off or hit the dump, at times it might be overwhelming. this is a small boat, not a big material list to rebuild and easy all around job just takes some time but the end result is a huge payoff so stick with it.

      Last edited by wayoutthere; 05-24-2021, 08:32 AM.


      • #4
        second vote for CCF.COM


        • #5
          wayoutthere, thanks. That's a ton of advice. I'm already on with the ziplocs and the notes, but you raise a good point about getting it square and level off the trailer. Agree, this is going to be a big, slow project, but it's great. The boys and I love talking about it and planning the next moves. Will look forward to posting any updates. Thanks again.


          • #6
            keep your thread updated with pictures along the way, where are you located, thinking temperature for the glass work. We'll talk when you get ready for that part.