Archive for May, 2010

Riviera’s Pre-Season Prep

Friday, May 28th, 2010

We are preparing for another fine boating season. Our Chris-Craft Riviera is almost back together and the rivers are getting down to a safer level:

  1. Cleaned and inspected the bilge. — Found a few small soft spots. Picked at the soft spots a little with an awl then sanded to bare wood all around the areas. Applied heat to the bottom beneath the area and a fan inside for a few days to help remove any moisture. Soaked the areas down with CPES. After 6 days, recoated with West System epoxy.

  2. Rudder and shaft logs have new flax packing installed. Shaft log’s hose replaced. (ShopNote: 2′ of 1/4″ flax packing is enough for 5 – 1″ rings. Shaft log uses 1 1/2″ hose with #28 or 57mm hose clamps. Packing and Locking nuts are 2 1/4″)
  3. Fuel tank removed, cleaned, reinstalled. — Removal was necessarily to access the rudder log and change the packing. Also changed the fuel tank’s strap connections.
  4. Fuel lines — Will be replacing all the rubber hose with copper tubing…
  5. Interior — Need to put the floor and seats back in…

Sorry there are no pictures… Somewhere in the middle of all this my camera died and I lost about a week’s worth of pictures.

The fuel lines will be reinstalled later today and hopefully we can get our Riviera in the water this weekend.

Riviera’s 2010 Pre-Season Inspection

Monday, May 24th, 2010
Our Chris-Craft Riviera has been home almost 3 weeks and things are looking good this year.
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Last year at the end of the season, we were taking on lots of water (from the rudder’s packing). Plus the 2009 preseason inspection was frightening to say the least…

West System bottoms can have unexpected problems with water trapped in the wood!

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Our biggest concern this year was the integrity of the bottom and the packings for the rudder and the shaft logs. The shaft-log packing wasn’t a major concern because of its accessibility and the fact that it’s been re-packed a few years ago. The packing for the rudder was hopefully the cause of last year’s water problems — not something with the bottom.

First was accessing the rudder-log…
(which still contains the original flax packing)

The fuel tank and filler-tube.
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The fuel tank’s fill-tube removed.
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Filler-tube and it’s parts…
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Not being sure whether the fuel tank would fit out the hatch nor wanting to take any chances damaging the deck, I opted to remove the fuel tank through the starboard side along the engine and out the backseat.
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With the fuel tank removed, accessing the rudder assembly was possible. Simply removing the control arm allowed the rudder to fall out as the packing was that bad… To facilitate re-installation, I had a couple 2 1/4″ wrenches cut out of 1/4″ stainless steel.
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Since I’m changing the rudder-log’s flax packing, I may as well change the shaft-log’s also.
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So first, pulled the shaft
and removed the coupling…

…and the shaft-log apart

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The other major concern this year was the condition of the bottom. It’s integrity is of utmost importance and with last year’s discovery has been on my mind ever since…

What about future boating? – restore our GarWood

Where? – addition to the garage

Time frame? – a couple years plus 1 extra in-case? (2013)

Can we get 3 more years from our Riviera’s bottom?

We began by cleaning the bilge with a dry brush, plastic putty knife, and vacuum cleaner. Once most of the loose debris was gone, some TPS was mixed up and used to further clean the bilge. We used one rag to scrub away the grim and another to wipe and dry. New rags were rotated in as necessary to keep from getting any setting water in the bilge.

Three small spots were found on the port side beneath the backseat and floor area. Each spot was near old screw holes used during assembly of the West System bottom merely 12 years ago in 1998.
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I wiped out the section to be worked on with denatured alcohol and started investigating the soft spots with an awl and discovered the compromised wood to be fairly localized. Two of the spots only seemed to affect a single layer of the plywood, but the other went through 2 layers and softened the third layer.

All in all, we have only spent around 30 hrs investigating to this point, but we’re feeling good about everything so far. Hopefully, we’ll be able to maintain our Chris-Craft until our GarWood get her restoration (starting this fall?).

Musical Woodies?

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

A very exciting day as we brought our Riviera home from its winter storage facility… The day was quite hectic because our GarWood and Sandrail was already in the shop. I pulled the buggy out in the morning and repositioned the GarWood a bit.

When I woke up in the afternoon, I had to preform my daily ritual of a bite to eat for me and the dogs, a short boat ride to an island down the river for the dogs to run, snoop, and do their business… And finally back to the task of getting our Chris-Craft home.

I continued by moving our car across the street, then we pushed and pulled the GarWood out of the shop and into the driveway beside our house. The Riviera is a little longer than the Ensign so a few things had to be moved around the shop to accommodate it. Rounded everybody up and into the truck to go get the Riviera. Everything hooked up alright and the tow went uneventful other than a little traffic.

Our Chris Craft Riviera is home and in the shop. It’s a tight fit with her rudder against the back wall and the tongue being about 2 inches too long to close the garage door… Gee, I really-really need this building to grow. I had to park the sandrail behind the shop for the time being and will be putting most-all of my efforts into getting the Riviera into the water and out of the way of a much needed shop addition.

Once the Riviera was in the shop, we had to relocate our GarWood somewhere out of the elements. We towed her back to where the Chris-Craft was stored for the winter.