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Making a cutwater

Bronze, stainless, chrome or steel. If you need information about the non-wood items on your Chris-Craft, pose your questions here.

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tim mahoney
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:49 pm
Location: California
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Making a cutwater

Post by tim mahoney » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:38 am

Making a cutwater was more of a challenge than I thought it would be. Not much is out there in the way of info. After some trial and error I have the process down and happy with the final results. The 65 cc super sport just had a 1/2" trim piece on the stem. I wanted the extra bling of a cutwater. This boat really isn't a super sport anymore so I took the liberty of designing a cutwater for it. The steps I took were as follows:

Used 1/8" Masonite for my template material.
2 wood strips 4" to 6" long clamped with a spring clamp to form the different angles. It can be easily adjusted. Using calipers only gives you a point.
Jig saw to cut the templates. One template each of starboard, port and stem outline.
.050 stainless steel cutwater material. I actually used .063 As that is what my welder had on hand. Some say to use bronze. Been there done that. Even if you get it welded right you then have to deal with the chrome plating and that is a problem here in Ca. Stainless polishes up so nice and much easier to find a polisher.
Some scrape 3/4" plywood to make the form on which the cutwater pieces will be clamped and welded to.

Now comes the hard part. Finding a good welder. More specifically someone that can weld stainless.
Marked my templates, starboard, port and stem. The outline of the stem template is used to check your form before and after the spot welding. My welder didn't have the boat so my form had to spot on. I wasn't about to leave the boat in a welding shop.

I have more details and pics if anyone is interested. I find that I am using my IPad more for taking pics but do have more on my small camera.

The cost of the welding and material was about $400. Doesn't include my time in the pattern making process. I wasn't planning on charging my client as this was something I wanted to see if I could get made without sending parts all over the country. He was all smiles helping me install it yesterday. It really makes "Cello" look classic.
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Mahoneywoodworks.com custom furniture, guitars and now boat fixer upper person.

Greg Wallace
Posts: 372
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 2:49 pm
Location: Indian Lake, Ohio

Re: Making a cutwater

Post by Greg Wallace » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:24 pm

Nicely done. Certainly changes the old girls personality.
Greg Wallace 23 Custom 22166 former Chris-Craft dealer Russells Point, Oh.

clarks
Posts: 64
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2006 5:55 pm

Re: Making a cutwater

Post by clarks » Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:45 pm

I had two cutwaters repaired and was never more disappointed. Don't repair make new , one was ok but the other look like hell and my customer had to prepay. I am going to try to have a new one made. Just was a waste of money and wasn't cheep.For what he charged me Mine could have been remade The guy that repaired them wasn't interested in making it right. So make new and don't have them repaired.

Riviera Wish
Posts: 220
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:58 pm

Re: Making a cutwater

Post by Riviera Wish » Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:12 am

Tim,
Saw your Buzz post on fabricating a cutwater. I am contemplating making a cutwater for my 18' Riviera. Do you know if a small MIG welder would 'work'? My son has a MIG and is a decent welder though not a professional. Also, would using .050 stainless make the fabrication easier or harder than .063? Would appreciate any additional guidance, details and photos you can provide. My email is [email protected].
Thanks,
Steve

clarks
Posts: 64
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2006 5:55 pm

Re: Making a cutwater

Post by clarks » Sun Apr 19, 2015 4:23 pm

nice job look great, going to try to make one also for a big holiday

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Don Vogt
Club Executive Team
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Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 4:51 pm
Location: seattle, wa

Re: Making a cutwater

Post by Don Vogt » Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:05 am

Jim Thorpe in Idaho makes fabulous cutwaters that will fit on your hull like a glove. My question is why bother trying to do it yourself? Yes, it is not inexpensive, but the result speaks for itself.
1938 Chris Craft 17' Deluxe Runabout "Jennifer II"

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