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Constellation Bottom Repair - New Member In Need Of Reassembly Advice!!!

Framing, planking and fairing. Repair, or reconstruction. If it's hull related, you'll find it here.

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stecks
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Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 7:48 am

Constellation Bottom Repair - New Member In Need Of Reassembly Advice!!!

Post by stecks » Sat May 19, 2018 4:08 pm

Illinois/Mississippi River 1970 38' Carvel double planked bottom (1/4" plywood inner, 5/8" philippine mahogany outer). Original construction included canvas strips between inner and outer planking, at seams and along keel (and chine).

Refurbishment Summary
- Stem area inner plank repair by replacement of forwardmost inner plank plywood sections one each side (following minor stem rot repair) and reattachment of outer planks (removed for access).
Also, while out of water...
- Remove garboard outer planks along length of boat for examination and treatment of inner plank plywood in the vicinity of, and joint with, keel
- Refasten removed outer planks, and possible additional (unremoved) sections as time permits, with upsized screws
- Examine and recaulk bottom/transom and keel/plank joints
- Recaulk bottom (outer) plank seams

My questions center on how best to put the pieces back together (repair of stem area rot damage otherwise appears straightforward).
- Should I treat replacement inner plank plywood section surfaces/edges with CPES, or West epoxy, or both, prior to installation?
- Should I bed the replacement inner plank plywood sections - with something between them and the frames/stem/keel? If so, bed with what?
- I realize I should bed the outer planks - with something between them and the inner plank plywood - but what is recommended? Dolfinite? Something else? [Note: In forum review I see reference to use of 3M-5200 in bottom repair, and that has been verbally recommended to me, but is that something I should even consider for this type of repair?]
- Is it recommended that canvas similar to original construction be used between plank layers? Based on forum review it appears that use of canvas may not be recommended. Is that correct? Is it simply left out of the equation?
- Should I treat the outer side of existing inner plank plywood/edge along keel - approximately 8 inch width each side - exposed by removal of garboards with CPES, West epoxy, both, or something else?
- Should I attempt to apply something (bedding material, thickened epoxy filet, other?) along the inner plank/keel joint (outside or inside?) prior to reattachment of garboards? (This question asked in the interest of enhancing watertightness.)
- Should something be injected into holes when installing new screws in outer planks? If so, what is recommended? In the refastening section of Jim Trefethen's book "Wooden Boat Renovation" it is recommended to inject 3M-5200 in screw holes to seal the potential gap between plank and frame. Is this really recommended? Wouldn't it "permanently" lock the screws in?
- What type of caulk is recommended between garboard planks and keel?
- What type of caulk is recommended in bottom/transom joint?
- What type of caulk is recommended in bottom (outer) plank seams?
I would end with a question about material for filling of below-waterline screw/bung holes, but I have already learned there are many varied opinions about that...

THANKS FOR ANY ADVICE THAT YOU MAY BE ABLE TO OFFER!!!!
MIKE STECKEL

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tkhersom
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Re: Constellation Bottom Repair - New Member In Need Of Reassembly Advice!!!

Post by tkhersom » Wed May 23, 2018 5:37 am

Hi Mike:

First I want to warn you that even though I own a cruiser I have never completed these kind of repairs, so what I am about to respond is NOT first hand knowledge and I am not a professional restorer, simply an armature. I feel it is important to know where your information is coming from. There are others on this forum with much more experience than I have.

First I will say that there should be no reason to use CPES and West System together. One or the other is a matter of opinion. Personally I would probably use CPES from what I have read, but I have spoken to restorers who prefer West System. I do think it would be beneficial for you to use one or the other.

A 5200 bottom is a complete system that is used on runabouts and utilities. As I understand it to do the system correctly you need to flip the boat and do the whole bottom at one time. 5200 is seldom used in cruiser repairs as it is very solid and can create trouble in other areas. I have heard of people bedding their planking in Boat Life, Life Calk. I personally think this would be a better choice. 4200 may also be better than 5200. I would need to do more research before making these decisions.

I would not put 5200 in my screw holes.

Once the bottom is put together and you are looking to caulk the seams to prevent water infiltration while she swells, I have been very happy with Davis "Slick Seam".

I hope this helps and does not confuse matters worse. I am hoping that some of the more experienced cruiser guys will chime in on this subject to give you better advice.

Good Luck! :D
Troy in ANE - President CCABC

1957 CC 21' Continental "Yorktown" (Mom's boat)
https://www.chris-craft.org/boats/22625/
1958 CC 38' Connie "American Beauty"
https://www.chris-craft.org/boats/22607/
1985 Formula 242LS "Gottago"
1991 Formula 36PC "Band Aids"

Life Is Too Short To Own An Ugly Boat

stecks
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Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 7:48 am

Re: Constellation Bottom Repair - New Member In Need Of Reassembly Advice!!!

Post by stecks » Fri May 25, 2018 7:47 am

Troy,

Thanks for the reply, and no it does not confuse matters. I appreciate the summary of 5200 bottoms, I kind of gleaned that from forum research but was not sure about the potential applicability of the technique to cruiser or localized/spot repair. I think I'm convinced it is something I should stay away from. I am getting some good guidance from Don Danenberg on another website. Don is basically recommending traditional/original (re)construction techniques which makes good sense to me. I had hoped by my posts to tap the knowledge base to make best use of advanced materials in my repair project.
Thanks, Mike

jfrprops
Posts: 2001
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 10:41 pm
Location: Powhatan Courthouse Virginia

Re: Constellation Bottom Repair - New Member In Need Of Reassembly Advice!!!

Post by jfrprops » Sun May 27, 2018 1:01 pm

I sort of stayed away from your post because it would require such a long series of responses to be helpful to you...and a lot of typing for me....Troy's advice is right on....except for the fact that he is an "armateur"....but is not wired exactly right anyway...and that is why he is universally loved. Don D. is a perfect source on this. I have done all these jobs at one time or another and would be glad to discuss any particuliars one on one.
good luck, John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)

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Matt Smith
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Re: Constellation Bottom Repair - New Member In Need Of Reassembly Advice!!!

Post by Matt Smith » Mon May 28, 2018 6:51 am

John and Troy are right, I love the Boat buzz, but you can get so many opinions that it will make your head spin. Don s advice is clear and makes sense. But what makes the most sense is to focus on one method and focus on that. There are so many solutions that will work, like opinions, one of them is right for you. My vote is stick with Don D. Plus if all goes wrong, you can go online and complain? Thats what really brings out the opinions. HA.
1948 25' Chris Craft Sportsman
1958 Chris-Craft 17' Cavalier
1937 16' Special Racer
1968 40' Rice Trawler
1968 11' Crab Skiff
2018 Hole in my head

http://www.WoodyBoater.com

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Don Danenberg
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Re: Constellation Bottom Repair - New Member In Need Of Reassembly Advice!!!

Post by Don Danenberg » Mon May 28, 2018 11:32 am

Since he is 'repairing small sections' at the stem and garboards, I recommended that he stay with the original boatyard bedding compound and canvas so that it moved like the other 90% of the bottom he is not re-planking.
5200 would also work but might make stiffer areas where used.
Where the original planks still exist there will be leakage (because the original compound is likely dried to powder by now), but he can use the Interlux underwater seam compound (30-years ago we called that "bug-putty" because it was poisoned so Toredo worms wouldn't bore into it) just prior to launch so excess is spooged out as the planks swell up. He may very well have to do this every season just prior to launch.

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tkhersom
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Re: Constellation Bottom Repair - New Member In Need Of Reassembly Advice!!!

Post by tkhersom » Mon May 28, 2018 11:51 am

Thanks John, Matt, and Don for adding to this thread. :D

As you all know I LOVE the cruisers! Anyone willing to save one should be encouraged any time they can be.

Don: Have you ever used Slick Seam? It is very popular here on the coast of Maine. I think the Interlux seam compound is very similar and would be a good choice also.
Troy in ANE - President CCABC

1957 CC 21' Continental "Yorktown" (Mom's boat)
https://www.chris-craft.org/boats/22625/
1958 CC 38' Connie "American Beauty"
https://www.chris-craft.org/boats/22607/
1985 Formula 242LS "Gottago"
1991 Formula 36PC "Band Aids"

Life Is Too Short To Own An Ugly Boat

stecks
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 7:48 am

Re: Constellation Bottom Repair - New Member In Need Of Reassembly Advice!!!

Post by stecks » Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:21 am

I just revisited this after some time away and noticed the additional follow-up contributions. I feel I must send thanks again to all for taking the time to respond to what I now realize was an overwhelming original post. I apologize for the shotgun approach, I've always had difficulty condensing thoughts. John and Matt you are right that I had a lot out there for consideration and I realized the potential for many different opinions in response. Luckily I received some expert clear path guidance and concurrence which makes me feel comfortable going forward. There certainly seems to be many opinions regarding the treatment of plank seams (and materials to use) - one outstanding concern is whether I need to apply a particular seam material/type (polysulphide?) to the garboard/keel and bottom/transom joints.
Thanks again. Mike Steckel

jfrprops
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Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 10:41 pm
Location: Powhatan Courthouse Virginia

Re: Constellation Bottom Repair - New Member In Need Of Reassembly Advice!!!

Post by jfrprops » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:34 pm

Mike, I got a specific communication from you via the site but it is weird and I don't know how to reply? John in Va
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)

stecks
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 7:48 am

Re: Constellation Bottom Repair - New Member In Need Of Reassembly Advice!!!

Post by stecks » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:23 am

John,

I attempted to send a direct message since you indicated you might be willing to discuss particulars one on one. I have just now resent it via instant message (within the site application). No big deal really, my question concerned treatment of major joints(whether I should apply a compound/sealant) since there seems to be a variety of opinions about bottom plank seams. My understanding is that Chris Craft double planked carvel cruiser bottoms don't really need seam compound (other than for fill during swell-up) but I want to make sure I don't miss something on the keel/garboard, bottom/transom, etc. joints.

Thanks,
Mike Steckel

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