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57' Connie topside Fiberglass question

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StValentine
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57' Connie topside Fiberglass question

Post by StValentine » Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:33 am

I'm starting the process of bringing a 57' Connie back to life. I'm starting topside and working my way down, starting with the fiberglass. This is a shot of how it looks now. Any advice on the steps I need to take? Or, is there a website that walks me through the process? I want to make sure I do this right.
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evansjw44
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Re: 57' Connie topside Fiberglass question

Post by evansjw44 » Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:55 am

Before you spend a lot of time with the fiberglass you should consider replacing the vinyl. It's not the correct cabin top material and it's tearing at the edge. Water will delaminate the plywood underneath and it will decay. If you do the fiberglass first you will make a mess of it replacing the cabin top vinyl and have to do it over again.

As for the fiberglass, if you want it really flat and glossy you have to block sand and fill, block sand and fill, block sand and fill, finally prime, wet sand and prime, wet sand and prime. Finally you get to top coat and wet sand and buff. CC fiberglass wasn't all the peerfect out of the factory. You'll want to use Imron or Awlgrip the like to make it last. That stuff is usually sprayed but some can be rolled and tipped and get a good finish. Either of those products are highly toxic.
Jim Evans

StValentine
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Re: 57' Connie topside Fiberglass question

Post by StValentine » Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:52 am

Thanks. What is the correct cabin top material? Is it fiberglass just like the sides?

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evansjw44
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Re: 57' Connie topside Fiberglass question

Post by evansjw44 » Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:55 am

The original cabin top material is Nautolex vinyl. Its still available but only in 54" widths. Some people fiberglass the cabin top plywood. Its hard to get a nice finish on plywood.

Here's a point many don't consider. The cabin top plywood can be removed to allow an engine to be removed. There's no other way to get one out. Now, the GM 2 stroke diesels are out of production but there's plenty of parts. They can be rebuilt on board most of the time. But if you want to re-power to a modern 4-stroke the cabin top has to come off.
Jim Evans

StValentine
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Re: 57' Connie topside Fiberglass question

Post by StValentine » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:20 pm

Thanks. I'm going to find out what that material is over the cabin and see about replacing it. By the way, the engines only have 600 hours on them. Pretty impressive for a 44-year-old boat.

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Doug P
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Re: 57' Connie topside Fiberglass question

Post by Doug P » Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:50 pm

StValentine wrote:Thanks. I'm going to find out what that material is over the cabin and see about replacing it. By the way, the engines only have 600 hours on them. Pretty impressive for a 44-year-old boat.
For diesel....not even broke in :)

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Doug P
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Re: 57' Connie topside Fiberglass question

Post by Doug P » Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:54 pm

My question. You say you are bringing it back to life...why, what's wrong with it. With only 600 hours and it looks like it may be undercover, you may only need cosmetic touches. Did you get a survey?
Remember, original is only once.

StValentine
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Re: 57' Connie topside Fiberglass question

Post by StValentine » Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:01 pm

You are correct. It's mainly cosmetic. It does have a couple of planks above the water line near the deck that need replacing. Any idea how much something like that costs?

Other than that, it's a matter of sanding and varnishing and changing out carpet and draperies. I'm really looking forward to it. I have three sons and this is going to be their summer job this summer. Should be a bonding experience.

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Doug P
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Re: 57' Connie topside Fiberglass question

Post by Doug P » Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:39 pm

Sorry, can't tell you. Each boat and repair is different. But did you get a survey? Surveyor should be able to direct you to whom to use for repairs.

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evansjw44
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Re: 57' Connie topside Fiberglass question

Post by evansjw44 » Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:08 pm

At only 600 hours, there's a very good chance your fuel tanks are full of junk. Microbes et al. Diesel fuel needs to be kept clean and fresh or you'll be looking at some very expensive repairs, like a set of injectors.
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Re: 57' Connie topside Fiberglass question

Post by Jim Bell » Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:55 am

evansjw44 wrote:The original cabin top material is Nautolex vinyl. Its still available but only in 54" widths. Some people fiberglass the cabin top plywood. Its hard to get a nice finish on plywood.

Here's a point many don't consider. The cabin top plywood can be removed to allow an engine to be removed. There's no other way to get one out. Now, the GM 2 stroke diesels are out of production but there's plenty of parts. They can be rebuilt on board most of the time. But if you want to re-power to a modern 4-stroke the cabin top has to come off.
I have looked high and low for the correct Nautolex to no avail. What is your source?

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Doug P
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Re: 57' Connie topside Fiberglass question

Post by Doug P » Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:16 pm

I cannot see much embossed Nautolex on line....but for the auto industry, there is plenty. on Ebay I searched Alligator vinyl fabric.

StValentine
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Re: 57' Connie topside Fiberglass question

Post by StValentine » Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:52 pm

It appears the engines are fine. They made it from Chicago to Mobile with no trouble.

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Doug P
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Re: 57' Connie topside Fiberglass question

Post by Doug P » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:13 pm

StValentine wrote:It appears the engines are fine. They made it from Chicago to Mobile with no trouble.
Engines should be fine... But-
Jim was talking about fuel, take a sample to be tested or your engines may become anchors. After 44 years I will guarantee that you have many quarts of water in your tanks.

Microbial contamination shows up in filters and tanks in what is commonly referred to as SLUDGE or ALGAE. These microbes feed off the hydrocarbons and water present in most diesel fuel. The microbes multiply with astonishing speed. These bugs and their waste products clog filters, fuel lines, and shut down engines. They have abrasive and caustic properties that corrode fuel tanks and cause premature wear of close tolerance machined surfaces, such as fuel pumps and injectors. In the industry, the microbes are referred to as Hydrocarbon Utilizing Microorganisms, or H.U.M. bugs.

The most common H.U.M. bugs found in petroleum products are Cladosporium Resinae and Pseudomonas Aeruginosa. H.U.M. bugs enter your fuel system from contaminated sources. Every stop in the commercial fuel distribution process has the potential for breeding these bugs, and it only takes a few microbes to start a problem in your boat fuel tank. H.U.M. bugs need water to sustain them and multiply. They don’t survive in pure fuel. Water shows up in fuel tanks and storage vessels from condensation on the inside of the tanks or by entering through breathers in moisture-laden air. In addition to creating a breeding ground for H.U.M. bugs, the water present in fuel combines with the sulfur in diesel fuel to form sulfuric acid. Since water is heavier than fuel, this sulfuric acid sits on the bottom of tanks, usually trapped in a “sludge” of H.U.M. bugs and their waste products.

StValentine
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Re: 57' Connie topside Fiberglass question

Post by StValentine » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:34 pm

Sounds nasty. What would you recommend on a boat that's been sitting for over a year with little use? Is there an additive to negate the nasty stuff or would it be prudent to drain the fuel tanks and put in fresh fuel? I'm not opposed to replacing the fuel tanks if it's not too costly. And, by the way, thanks so much for the advice.

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Doug P
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Re: 57' Connie topside Fiberglass question

Post by Doug P » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:01 pm

There are several diesel shops in Mobile, call them and tell them the situation.

StValentine
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Re: 57' Connie topside Fiberglass question

Post by StValentine » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:55 pm

Got any names you can suggest?

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Doug P
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Re: 57' Connie topside Fiberglass question

Post by Doug P » Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:35 pm

I see that the boat "Betty" is still listed for sale. Before you layout one cent...GET A SURVEY, I expect at that low price that it will be a very expensive boat. Would you buy a $75,000 used car without an inspection?

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evansjw44
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Re: 57' Connie topside Fiberglass question

Post by evansjw44 » Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:03 pm

Doug P wrote:I cannot see much embossed Nautolex on line....but for the auto industry, there is plenty. on Ebay I searched Alligator vinyl fabric.
The original vinyl is not embossed. Its pretty much flat.
Jim Evans

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evansjw44
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Re: 57' Connie topside Fiberglass question

Post by evansjw44 » Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:11 pm

Like all other CC cruisers (or any other for matter) there are problems common to the model. You need to find some one who is experienced with the 57' Connie to go through it. For one, the hull rots around and under the windows and takes out the battens and ribs. They are prone to transom problems around the exhaust and down the cheek boards and across the transom apron. They tend to sag in the stern from a bit behind the engines to the transom. All CC cruisers are prone to leakage under the cap rails that usually involves the sheer clamp and deck boards. It goes on from there. If there'spaint where there should be varnish you can bet there's been water leaking and that means decay is likely. Window leaks in the deck house can be fun too.
Jim Evans

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Doug P
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Re: 57' Connie topside Fiberglass question

Post by Doug P » Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:33 pm

evansjw44 wrote:
Doug P wrote:I cannot see much embossed Nautolex on line....but for the auto industry, there is plenty. on Ebay I searched Alligator vinyl fabric.
The original vinyl is not embossed. Its pretty much flat.
Sorry. The photo looked like it was embossed

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evansjw44
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Re: 57' Connie topside Fiberglass question

Post by evansjw44 » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:19 am

I think the photo did show embossed. That's just not the original material. Some people shop the automotive material when looking for decking but the marine stuff is different. Some of it is getting hard to find.
Jim Evans

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Re: 57' Connie topside Fiberglass question

Post by High Seas » Sun May 18, 2014 2:34 am

On our 65' we pulled the vinyl, staples and trim off and then put down 4 coats of CPES epoxy. After that, sanded it down and put 4 layers of 6 oz cloth down. Took about 4 months but when you jump up and down on the top it does not flex like it used to with the vinyl. We found a lot of moisture under the vinyl when we pulled it! Plywood was black with mold.....

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whamm511
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Re: 57' Connie topside Fiberglass question

Post by whamm511 » Sun May 18, 2014 4:57 pm

High Seas says;
"On our 65' we pulled the vinyl, staples and trim off and then put down 4 coats of CPES epoxy. After that, sanded it down and put 4 layers of 6 oz cloth down."

What kind of cloth did you use? Did you treat or coat it with anything between the layers? How did you finish it? Or are you talking about Fibreglas 'cloth'?
Bill Hammond
1960 36' Connie
Flint/Port Huron, MI
http://www.chris-craft.org/registry/vie ... at_id=1708

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