Monday, May 9, 2011

1999 Sport Nautique

On April 30th, my wife and I drove out near Albany, New York (14 hours each way) to pick up our, new to us, 1999 Sport Nautique. The boat had most of what we were looking for and it was around the price range we wanted to be at, so we drove out to pick it up. Boat looked good when we got there, so that was exciting. My friend John was nice enough to let me borrow his F-250 diesel to drive there and back too. That was awesome and a big thanks goes to him for trusting me with his truck. That thing was great to drive but really sucks the diesel down. I think it cost us just over $500 to get there and back.

So I got the boat home and new I had some work to do on the boat. First thing is to take the teak deck off the back, sand it down and re-teak oil it. I'll post pictures later, but it turned out great. I also took to bottom brackets off it and media blasted those, then used my powder coating over for the first time. The first back didn't fully coat them, so I resprayed them and rebaked the brackets. They aren't perfect, but they look 100 times better than before and now they match the boat since I used white powder.

I also wet sanded the rear of the boat where I removed the old stickers that said, "Official World and National Tow Boat". I sanded it with 340 grit, then 800 grit, then 1000, then 1500, then I buffed it with 3M finishing compound. It turned out great! I buffed the entire outside hull and it really cleaned up nicely.

Then I moved on to the interior. I had already removed the rear seat and I think it's never been removed before judging by how much dirt and grime was under it. I cleaned all the carpets and wiped the boat down. I was looking at the dash and notice the radio was very poorly installed and the dash had a few cracked parts around where the mounting screws go through the plastic. I then removed the radio, and I'll be making a new piece to go back in the mounting area. I also removed the entire dash and I'll be fixing the holes or creating new mounting areas with fiberglass or epoxy. I'll have to see what works better.

I really like projects like this and being able to use my tools (media blaster, powder coater, welder, etc.)

I also notice tow cracks in the tailer where the guide poles are welded to the frame. They both had cracked from what looks like being hit one too many times. I went to Harbor Freight yesterday and picked up their 90 amp mig welder for $120. I've never mig welded, but I have done stick and TIG before. I figured for the price I would try it, and honestly it worked great! I was able to lay down some welds and close up the cracks last night. I still need to do some clean up work and lay down some more filler, but all in all it worked great.

Some day I'll get a good TIG machine, but until then my little $120 Mig will work for all my mild steel projects. My garage is turning into quite the fun little work shop and I'm loving it!