Old Man South Fork Skiff Update

Welcome to another edition of This Old Boat.

When we left her, I was just starting the long, tedious process of sanding down the interior prepping for new paint. With all the wonderful winter weather we’ve had in Western North Carolina this February, this has turned into a game of “hurry up and wait for good weather.” Yesterday the sun shined, the thermometer hit 60, and fiberglass was flying.

Old boats are like scary onions, the more layers you peel away, the more horrified you become. I found some bad gel coat spots that will need to be filled, along with some joints where the side trays hit the floor that have separated. Nothing major, but enough to take a few more dollars out of my wallet. The main challenge I found on this last round of work is the floor, and more specifically the Rhino Lining that is adhered to the floor. I’m not really a fan of Rhino Lining for the interior of boats, as it adds significant weight and if not done professionally, in a booth, can turn out looking like dog shit after a few months of abuse that the floor of a drift boat takes. What I really don’t like about it, is that it turns out to be the nuclear option.

I tried 40-grit sandpaper, a metal bush wheel on a grinder, and I stopped just short of going all mad scientist on that mofo with acetone. Apparently, once a bed liner is in, it doesn’t come out short of a nuclear holocaust. The boat is now at the stage where my meager skills leave something to be desired. Luckily on this one, I know a guy. The Skiff is heading over to McMinville, Tenn., for Todd Gregory and the boys at Towee Boats to love on her for a while. Fiberglass, gelcoat, paint, and a new front pedastal box will all be done in what I’m sure is a timely manner. While the boat’s in Tennessee, all the wood pieces should be done, and I will get them pre-stained with 8 million coats of varnish. Keep an eye out for the next post, Fiberglass 101.

– Dave

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