Sea Ray 1979 Reborn Page 2

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Rebuilt winch

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SR1979_Rigger_Board_Supports.jpg (40562 bytes)
Support braces

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New seat

Home Salmon Busters™ Great Lakes Info Tips and Trix Capt. John's Log

5/25/07  UPS brought the new parts to rebuild the Power Winch 912.  For less then a 100 bucks I have a electric winch more than amply to load my new rig with ease.  Wired the truck with the new winch harness and checked the trailer lights. Had lots of grief cutting 3 angles all at once with the supports for the rigger board.  Many cuts before John J finally figured this out.  Double compound angles is beyond my expertise with wood.

To dos:  fuel system needs new hose from tank to fuel pump on the 305 small box Chevy.  Have to add another pickup to the fuel tank for the 15 hp.  Shut off valves need to be installed with back check valves. Bird struts to hardtop.  Net holder place, yet to be found?  Borrow 3 riggers from Jerryriggin.  Order BJ diver rod holders.  Stain board.  Installed vinyl backsplash.  Sound-proof new motor box. Need to go over safety equipment.  Wire in new parts to the Power Winch 912 and run wire from truck battery to rear of truck.  Gas and splash for first sea trial.  Put name on boat.  Plug gauge hole with part.

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Boat lettering
SR1979_Steering_system.jpg (59295 bytes)
Steering Issues

5/27/07  Filled the many holes with Marine Tex.  Left over stuff from when I had my Cherokee that was still good after 5 years.  Laid out final design of a soon to be installed trolling board.  Coming up with adequate bracing to deal with the stress of 12 pound cannon balls with 4 foot of leverage requires careful thought.  On schedule to get the rig to Bear Lake Marine in 2 days!

5/28/07  Got some work-thru issues with steering, cuz once the main engine is turned off, you have to fight the power steering ram.  This does not bode well for running the 15 hp four stroke Johnson OB under trolling conditions.  Cleaned up some of the mess in the boat for tomorrow's hike to Bear Lake, MI, which is 27 miles from my place, or the best part of 20 bucks away at 3.50 a gallon.

5/29/07  Taking boat to Bear Lake for controls on the trolling motor and installing liftable trolling motor mount.  Oiled the teak battery covers with ATF.  It red and far less expensive than teak oil.  ATF works as good and lasts just as long, if not longer.

5/30/07  Made the back splash panels to cover the transom area, they came out better that expected.  Picked out the new cockpit side combing cushions and they look simply beautiful.  Picked up a 20' piece of 7/8" stainless to make the bird pole stanchions and new rocket launcher for the hardtop top.  

5/31/07  UPS brought me 2 new captains packs Big Jon riggers, went with BJ cuz they are American Made (in Traverse City, MI).  Assembled these.

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SR1979_throttle_kicker.jpg (28971 bytes)
Helm Throttle
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EZ Steer

6/5/07  Had a few days off from Project SR1979, as my boat was at Bear Lake Marine getting the 15 hp. 4 stroke Johnson kicker hooked up.  I now have turn key ignition (elect. start), steering, shifter box, and a dash board instrument gauge.  This stuff was pricey, but all things are when you go first class. If you figure in the trolling plate, controls and motor this whole deal cost me about 4k.  Overtime, I'll get most of this money back, because this motor trolls on about half gallon per hour...or less.  Silently may I ad, cuz hearing this motor run is almost non existent with zero noise and certainly NO smelly smoke, like from a 2 cycle motor....sweet!

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Steering Cylinder
illustrated photo

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Side Cushions 

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Side Cushions

6/7/07  Pulled off all the stock Mercruiser steering apparatus in preparation of installing a system that lends itself to a better autopilot and year of trouble free precision boat control.  Our fishing depends on how easy the boat operates and fishes the big water.  When my budget allows, a new hydraulic autopilot will run the kicker back thru the main outdrive steering.  Hydraulic steering is almost effortless and the new, "to be" installed cylinder ran 2 large rudders behind 520 hp on my former Cherokee.  This Sea Star cylinder is articulated where it mounts to the boat for compensating differing angles of tiller arm, or rudder.

I will be sacrificing 1/2 of an inch of hard over turning, cuz this cylinder has 7 inches of travel compared to the stock system of 8 inches.  For the benefits and cost savings, the road I'm on suits my needs.  I was gonna do this switch in the fall, but just could not see the stock steering doing a job I'd accept.  The added force turn the kicker, without the main engine running was too much for anyone, but maybe Hulk Hogan with 28 inch biceps.

I do not recommend this custom change over to anyone with less 30 years of owning and maintaining their own boats.  Leave this complicated stuff to the pros in the boat yards.

Note:  This can not be stressed enough, precision boat control with a vessel that holds a true course & speed is the reel-deal when it comes to big water fishing.  Often anglers blame several reasons as to why their catches suck, dreading to go to the fish cleaning tables with catches that are almost downright embarrassing.  If this happens to you, take a good long, hard look at the way your boat trolls.  

Ask yourself this question: Do I control the boat.... or does the boat control me?


6/8/07  Started on the hardtop stanchions for what's called bird holders, these are vertical stacks of rod holders for planer boards, or lead core.  Installing studs on the starboard side cockpit combing cushion.  Engineering final placement of rear steering cylinder.  Rigger board with cut-out for the controls/cables from the kicker motor is on today's list too.  Generally, I only spend a couple of hours each day (or less) getting a few simple jobs done.  There's no immediate rush, cuz I'm waiting on the final steering parts to arrive and there's enough light stuff to keep me busy until then.

6/9/07  Pulled off the cable steering completely in readiness for hydraulic.  Installed 7/8" SS steel tubing for bird holder that run from the gunnels to the hardtop.  Mounted fish box carrier, after checking closely for clearance.  Drilled out the main tiller arm from 3/8" to 1/2".  Was just going to bush this, but egg-shaped wear in the hole in the tiller arm meant I'd be a lot better off with a new hole perfectly shaped round hole.

Page 1 2007

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Page 5 2008