Wooden Boater
...on the Auglaize, Maumee & Tiffin Rivers
Port of Defiance, Ohio
Chris Craft Pennant
18' Riviera
Hull No. 18-R-660
Garwood Pennant
16' Ensign
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Our "ShopNotes" are a record of what we do to maintain our boat each season. We've discovered that every spring we spend days re-looking up articles and going through our notes to figure out just what to do and the order to do everything in. Ramblings include wood preparation, our varnishing method, engine tips, wishlist for next season, etc...
Our Chris-Craft Riviera get 400 to 800 hours of ride time in per season,
it is a well enjoyed "user" boat. Our dogs don't miss a ride and friends are
always volunteering to see how she rides... But we still like our little boat to
Look and Run her very best. The following are just some of my random
thoughts on what I do each season, want to do next, or wish to do later...

Over Epoxy, I varnish with Ephifanes...
(takes a year or 2 to dry completely.)

Over Stained Wood, I use Schooner 96...
(very hard & durable clear finish, but
dust & insects show up more.)

To apply, use a good quality Brush for
under rub rails, along edges, etc.
Then I apply the rest using a West System Roller &
Tip off the roller marks with a cheap Foam Brush...

Which Ephifanes to use?
I use several coats of
the "Wood Finish Gloss"
Topped with a coat or 2 of
"Clear High Gloss Varnish"

For either varnish - Dull
with scotchbright pad
between coats and
sand with 220 before
last 2 coats....

Drips & Runs can usually be handled with a
Sharp "Cabinet Scrapper Blade" & 220 grit Sand Paper.
Thick runs should be removed in layers...
First remove the highest point along the entire run,
carefully work it down until it seems soft and allow it to
dry some more... (1 to 2 hours is usually enough time.)
Scrap some more, sand, and repeat as necessary...
Double check Engine Drive Shaft alignment!!!
I check pre-season before I get the boat wet, but usually don't make any adjustments, I just take a mental snapshot of the coupling alignment. Usually the shaft end is a fuzz low, but after being in the water overnight, I recheck the alignment and it's been very close every year.
I check it again after 3 days in the water and again whenever the chance arises...
Special Note!
Our Riviera has been
expoxied and has a West
System bottom on it. This
movement is proof that
total encapsulation is
nearly impossible (especially
using original wood...) and
is not recommended by me...
My thoughts on bottoms for future restorations...
West Bottom - Future restoration very hard (Can't disassemble to copy planks...)
3M 5200 Bottom - My concern with the 5200 bottom is the same (disassembly)
Should I use something like 3M 101 between the bottoms? (probably not...)
Is there anything out there that cuts/dissolves 3M 5200?

New Spark Plugs are Cheap!
Just go ahead and
Replace them every season or two...
Carry a spare set in the boat...

For our Chris Craft KL...
Champion J-8J
NGK R-5670-6
Spark plug gaps should be around .028"
Check/clean the points. Set the gap .022" (or better yet, convert to Petronix)

To fine tune the timing, loosen the distributor and go wide open throttle.
Advance the timing by slowly turning the distributor until you hear pinging.
Then turn the distributor the opposite direction to retard the timing until the
pinging stops (never let an engine ping, the detonation will destroy the engine)
To fine tune my carb's main jet settings, I start at 2 1/2 turns open.
Slowly close the jet watching the Tach reading as it increases to
the engines peak RPM, then open the jet about 1/8th of a turn...

Deck Seams...
I use mahogany Silkaflex caulk & paint in the
Seams with Interlux 301 White Boot Stripe paint.
Bottom painted with "Pettit 1959 Copper Hard Racing Bronze."
I use a cheap small 4" roller to apply it...
Don't thin in, don't tip it off, it looks best just rolled on thin.
(2 coats minimum for the wow-shine...)

More available in our new "Boat-Log" aka "Cruise Log"

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