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Old Dec 06, 2007, 04:29 AM
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windward's Avatar
Australia, QLD, Brisbane
Joined Oct 2007
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Help!
sterling 63 chris craft

Hi I was given a sterling 63' chris craft model that has been partly built. I have always had an interest in model boats and will enjoy restoring her. I have been looking thru the forums and the quality of the boats and information is amazing. My problem is where do I begin? I will try to attach some photos. Firstly I would like to fibreglass the hull but some of the port hole windows have been put in crooked. Should these be removed before glassing or is it better to live with them as they are? Should they all be removed and put back in after glassing? Would I be better off sealing the hull some other way ? The mahogany transom is cracked and poorly fitted -What should I do? Any advice would be greatly appreciated? Sorry about all the questions but I realy want to get it right.
Many thanks Ray
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Old Dec 06, 2007, 07:09 AM
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Bonita Springs,Fl.
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Morning Ray; Oh boy! Another 63' Motor Yacht. Looks like you've already made a good start by sanding off the paint on the hull and thats where you start. Generally when you build a model boat you start with the hull and it's insides and then proceed to the decking and the superstructure. You won't want to remove your decking but the superstructure is removable so that's out of the way. Then just start with the hull and go.
There are several threads on this model on this forum so look along some more and read them. That will help.
Also the transome is a thin layer of mahogany glued onto the last bulkhead which is pretty thick as I remember it. You can gently chisel the old mahogany off, sand down the bulhead and apply new mahogany. Find a large container about the same diameter as the transome and tape the wet (dampen with a sponge) mahogany to the container and let dry to get a preformed sheet for the transome.
As for the portholes they should be removable with a little effort and starightend out before you put any fiberglass on the hull. Put the glass over the holes and them cut the holes open with a sharp knife to fit the metal ports and reglue them in place. I used clear silicone caulking to seal the ports so water can't get in. You can't see in them anyway so that worked out fine. If you put lights inside they will still shine through the clear caulking.
So ask all the questions you want and we like a lot of pictures of the progress. Others here will talk to you about the FG as that's something I don't like to do on a wood hull. Proper sealing and painting is usually all I ever do with them but there are a lot of opiions on the subject here.
Good luck with your project and please keep us posted. Pete
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Old Dec 06, 2007, 07:13 AM
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Oops. I see now that the hull hasn't been paintd and that's good so whatever you do with it will be ok. You have the instructions there in the box so just read them and follow them to the letter and you should be ok. You have a great basis for a really im[pressive model there so you should have a lot of fun with it. I would change the power to twin screws though. It will run a heck of a lot better. It's a big model and fairly heavy when completed so the extra power helps a lot.
One other thing. If you paint your hull you need to seal the inside of it to help keep water out. You can do this with epoxy and a brush for the most part but up in the bow you may have to spray some clear coat in there unless you want to remove your deck.
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Old Dec 06, 2007, 07:21 AM
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63' Motor Yacht

Here's a couple of pictures of mine. There are lots more on this topic so scroll down and check 'em out.
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Old Dec 07, 2007, 04:57 AM
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Australia, QLD, Brisbane
Joined Oct 2007
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63 chris craft

wow I love the pics of your boat. I'm inspired! I'm glad you mentioned the twin motors because I realy prefer the look of twin but I was having trouble justifying the change. (not any more) What size motors do you suggest? Also regarding the hull. I only thought of fibreglass because I thought this was the best option but I have never done this before and am open to other ideas. I had a closer look at the port holes and they are well glued in. Also only 2 are a bit crooked and so I though maybe I could stenghten the hull without taking them all out. I ordered some mahogany timber today to repair the transom and for other bits on the boat. One forum suggests using an automotive type filler on the hull and auto paints. The hull is a bit rough and I would love to smooth it out and improve the lines.
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Old Dec 07, 2007, 07:43 AM
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Morning again Ray;
First thing is to check the hull construction against the plans. If the hull was assembled according to the plan and all the wood is where it's supposed to be then your hull will be plenty strong enough. As for fairing the surface that's a good idea as once the paint goes on it difficult to resand.
Autobody stuff like Bondo is used extensivley on model boats just like on cars. Get a piece of wood about ten iches long and two or three inches wide and wrap some fine sandpaper around it. Then run it over the hull in straight lines back and forth horizontaly. The fine will smooth out the high spots and leave the low spots alone thereby letting you see them. If they are very shallow you can sand them out but if they are deep you should try to fill them with spackle or Bondo or something like that.
This gets a little tricky at the bow because of the compound curves so I used a toilet paper roll with the sand paper wrapped on it to do that area. Worked great but had to go at angles instead of straight back and forth. Eyeball the hull down the sides and directly from the front to see the high and low spots and then shape it to what you want. Nice and smooth and even on both sides. Take your time with this as it's the basis of the whole rest of the boat. It has to be right.
What I like about painting the hull is that you can spray on a light coat of primer and then sand again to see any more high and low spots. At this point you can still sand and repaint lightly until the hull is nice and straight and smooth. Then you can start painting seriously or put the fiberglass on and after sanding that until it's nice and smooth then paint. Either way it's a lot of sanding and smoothing to get it right. Takes a lot of time but it's worth it in the end.
As for the portholes they can stay in and be painted as on the real boat they were not silver or chromed. Here's a picture of the real boat that I lifted off the forum. I woud try and get them out though so they wont interfere with the sanding and get all scratched up. Up to you.
The paint I used was Krylon that I bought at my local Ace Hardware. Works just fine and you can rub it out after it cures to get a really shiny hull. I drew on the water line and painted the bottom first and then the top of the hull. My water line is auto pinstriping,black,two narrow lines with a space between them. That worked well too but you can use what you want for that.
When I did the power I went with MACK Products as they had a package that included everything I needed and at that time I didn't know what I needed. Their instructions were good and I had no trouble installing everything. The two motors were #3150 but that was 12 years ago so I think the numbers have changed and so have the motors. There are lots of different companies making tons of motors anymore so you can shop around for the best stuff at the best price. I still think MACK is the best but it's pricy to say the least. Depends on your budget for these items.
One thing that I would do if I built another of these models. I would paint the inside of the hull completely maybe even two coats and then put some water in the hull to see if it leaked anywhere. I didn't do that with mine and I have had two leaks pop up over time. Not serious but leaks non the less.
So what else do you want to know? Pete
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Old Dec 07, 2007, 01:08 PM
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Ray; Look at the tool bar up above and click on "Search". Then type in "63' chris craft"and up comes a list of items for that boat. Look down a few threads and find the one from Bub Faulkner "Chris Craft" and click on that. Now you'll see quite a bit about your boat including some more pictures of the subassemblies on mine. All of the threads listed are concerning this model so there's a lot more info for you. Pete
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Old Dec 07, 2007, 08:30 PM
DO OR DO NOT--THERE IS NO TRY
United States, AZ, Prescott Valley
Joined Mar 2006
154 Posts
Sterling CC Motor Yacht Restoration

...........I restored one that I started when I was about 12-13 years old. I carried it around all these years (I'm now 67) and restored it for my son in law who has always remarked at how much he likes the old classic line yacht.

After reading through this "thread", I pretty much did what was suggested. I gutted the model; cut off the top; restored interior ribs etc for renewed strength (the old balsa was kinda dryrotted); fiberglassed the hull; repainted the entire model. I enhanced it by adding 3Vbus for running lights; added radio control that I couldn't afford when I was 12-13.

You'll quickly note that I added a flying bridge when I started the model so many years ago. I liked it so kept it.

If you have any questions, please let me know!!!

AZCAPTAIN
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Old Dec 07, 2007, 09:11 PM
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There you go Ray. The exact same thing your up against right now.
Great job AZCAPTAIN. So glad to see another one of these 63 footers saved from oblivion. Maybe you could tell Ray how you did the fiberglassing as he is interested in that. I have never done anything like that so not much I can help him with there.
I'm in the process of freshening mine up a little and fixing a few bottom leaks. I'm restaining and clearcoating the decks and anything else i can fix up without taking it apart. It's not bad enough for a complete redo. Not yet anyway. Besides I want to get it in the water this weekend if I can and get a few pictures of her actually getting wet.
I like the flying bridge and the way you fixed it up. I like the stand you made for it too. I need to make one for mine as it never has had a proper one.
Good job on your boat and thanks for sharing your story with us. She looks great in the water. Pete
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Old Dec 07, 2007, 09:48 PM
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Australia, QLD, Brisbane
Joined Oct 2007
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Thanks guys I'm realy going to have my hands full keeping up with your standards. Any clues on how I can remove the port holes without destroying the balsa? Also I think I should remove the deck (somehow?) so I can epoxy and paint the inside. I am looking for Mack products in Oz. Thanks again I'm inspired
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Old Dec 08, 2007, 09:06 AM
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Take a thin blade and work it around inside the edge of the porthole metal and pry out at the same time. If you damage the wood you can fill the damage with plastic wood or some such or Bondo. That will be a small repair that won't show after you paint.The deck you can try the same thing with a flexable blade like a filet knife or a thin blade saw only don't pry the deck off. You may split the wood and screw it up so it's unusable. Tyr to cut along the deck edge and not perpendicular to it.. The cut will be smoother then. No telling what kind of glue was used on it and it may pop right off if your lucky.
What your talking about is the best way to restore your boat. Anything less will leave you with possible leaks like I have. You only have to take the front deck off anyway. The rest you can get to no problem. Just go slow with it and take your time. You can do it. We can help. Ha!
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Old Dec 08, 2007, 09:37 PM
DO OR DO NOT--THERE IS NO TRY
United States, AZ, Prescott Valley
Joined Mar 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norgale
There you go Ray. The exact same thing your up against right now.
Great job AZCAPTAIN. So glad to see another one of these 63 footers saved from oblivion. Maybe you could tell Ray how you did the fiberglassing as he is interested in that. I have never done anything like that so not much I can help him with there.
I'm in the process of freshening mine up a little and fixing a few bottom leaks. I'm restaining and clearcoating the decks and anything else i can fix up without taking it apart. It's not bad enough for a complete redo. Not yet anyway. Besides I want to get it in the water this weekend if I can and get a few pictures of her actually getting wet.
I like the flying bridge and the way you fixed it up. I like the stand you made for it too. I need to make one for mine as it never has had a proper one.
Good job on your boat and thanks for sharing your story with us. She looks great in the water. Pete
On the fiberglassing. I didn't do anything special. I DID use the lightest glass fabric I could find and polyester resin (very smellly--be sure to have ventilation if you use polyester) from SIG manufacturing, a co. that's more geared to airplanes than boats--but a good source. They have a website.

Since the keel was really dryrot I started there. I used a large piece of fabric that would cover the hull bottom including the keel. I tacked it with cy glue in all the right places--like along where the keel meets the bottom of the hull. Then, I just went ahead and applied the resin, working it in and keeping out the bubbles--which is very important. After the 1st coat set, I added a second coat of resin. Then I glassed the port and starboard hull sides, respectively. I let all dry thoroughly and rough sanded very carefully--you don't want to got through the fabric. I did this to find the indentations, etc. I continued to add coats and sand until the hull was perfectly smooth. I then sprayed Krylon primer and again sanded, looking low spots. When I was satisfied the finish was consistent, I sanded to a very smooth finish to ready for paint--I also used Krylon.

As far refinishing the interior, I WOULD NOT remove the decking. Just add sister ribs when and where necessary. Hand paint the inside with polyurethane and overspray with maybe a brown or grey to "finish" the interior. That's what I did. The decks were sanded smooth and sprayed with minwax marine grade semigloss poly several times. I again, hand saned with very fine grit to an excellent finish. In my opinion you don't want to take away the "old" look of the model, just spif it up. New decking might look too new.

As far as the portholes are concerned, rip 'um out and go back with one of the many wood fillers on the market to fix. THEN cover the sides of the hull with fiberglass and resin.

Hope this helps. Let me know if I can be of futher help.
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Old Dec 09, 2007, 09:07 AM
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Way to go AZ. She's really looking good. As for "Ripping " out the portholes do be carefull as the metal parts are no longer available.
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Old Dec 10, 2007, 06:37 PM
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The Norgale III is all shined up and ready to go. Maybe tomorrow I'll get to the pond and see if she still leaks. Hope not. Anyway with all this fixing up of older CC's I was shamed into this long delayed cleanup. She still had some mud on her from when the roof blew off my storage place in hurricane Wilma two years ago and I'm glad that she's all cleaned up now. Funny. This all reminds me of one of my old girl friends. HoHoHo!
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