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  1. #1
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    1988 Bass Tracker 1800FS Restoration...

    I am doing a complete hull-up renovation of a 1988 Bass Tracker 1800FS

    Before I start, let me go into a bit of a history regarding this boat... My brother had acquired this boat from a neighbor up at the family cabin in 1998... He secured a personal loan from our mother to purchase this boat... which he did but he never got the title... a huge mess right there for me to sort through...

    Apparently, for some motor repair work, he took the boat to Bethel Marine... and they did the work... but couldnt test the motor because the mechanic has discovered a "T" shaped crack in the lower unit... That was in 1999... It sat up there all those years til I started the process of trying to get it back in 2007... this whole mess was finally resolved in 2008...

    I finally brought her back home... with full intentions of doing a complete restoration with some modifications here and there... I started doing the renovation in late spring of 2008...

    Here are the 4 pictures of her sitting up at the Marine place... waiting for the whole title/ownership mess to be resolved...




    I immediately went to work after bringing her home... removing the rub rail seats, lids, and the carpeting... I only left the lid for the gas tank/oil tank compartment in til it was time to remove the top cap... You could see how bad the flooring was rotting away...










    Here are the set of pics from mid-summer when a friend and I worked on deattaching the top cap from the hull... I already had taken off the motor and wasnt able to take pics of the process... Here are the pics showing more "damages" to the boat... including the rotting floor which has broken apart... and brown drip stains from the transom seeping out of the bolt holes...









    I got sidetracked with several things so the boat had to be put on hold... until recently when I got a renewed determination to complete the necessary repair work, new transom, new kneebraces, new stringers, and new flooring in then the top cap goes back on... As you can see, theres NO wood in this boat except for 1/4 plywood for the flooring... it was only glassed on the top, not bottom which is why it rotted away easily... and the transom... I cut open the enclosed stringer to get to the foam... it was completely saturated with water... turns out that there is a "drain" hole on the inner wall of the stringers... which would allow water to go from the bilge into the stringers, soaking the foam... I must have removed anywhere from 300 to 800 lbs of water-saturated foam... I will be pouring in new foam after I get all the new crossbraces and stringers glassed in... then the new floor will be glassed completely on all sides then put in...





    Heres the hole in the stringer wall I was talking about... its the dark spot on the bottom of the stringer wall... I could poke my finger thru that and see it wriggling on other side...



    A good view of the transom with most of the wood removed... I dont like how theres an opening in the stringer wall... I will be closing that off...



    I will be cutting off and grind/sand down those two poor examples of a so-called cross brace... in one pic... that cross brace didnt need to be cut off... it was already very loose... just broke right off...



    Failure is not an OPTION!!! She will be completed... She has a 1988 Mercury XR4 150 bolted to a stand in the garage waiting to be bolted back onto her...

    As for the modification... She will be used primarily for Muskie Fishing... and I will be building a huge livewell that will go in front of the consoles... this livewell will also double as a extended casting deck... so I would be able to have two friends join me instead of one... She already has two livewells behind the seat as shown in the pictures... they will be converted into coolers...

    I will be using Epoxy resin for new fiberglass work... Once the fiberglass job is done and the top cap is back on, I'll be adding this n that little by little... such as gauges, control, jackplate (4in Manual), wirings, plugs, red LED lights around the boat on the inside, new seats, new cd/radio, speakers, carpeting, Lowrance HDS (console and bow), custom windows, etc etc...

    Thoughts, feedbacks, advices would greatly be appreciated here!!!

    Enjoy!!!

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    #2

    Re: 1988 Bass Tracker 1800FS Restoration... (Rebel9921)

    Wow that is a lot of work and quite the story behind it. You are doing a great job. Please post more pics of the progress and the final product. Modifying the boat to fit your needs...that is the way to go...



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  4. Member totalbeverage's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: 1988 Bass Tracker 1800FS Restoration... (ProcraftMike)

    Keep it up Your doing a fine job.



  5. Member racefan's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: 1988 Bass Tracker 1800FS Restoration... (totalbeverage)

    lookin good so far

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    #5

    Re: 1988 Bass Tracker 1800FS Restoration... (racefan)

    man that looks like an insane amount of work, Im sure you'll be proud of it when completed.....Keep us posted and good luck




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    #6

    Re: 1988 Bass Tracker 1800FS Restoration... (Rebel9921)

    Here are some updated pics taken today...

    Those two pictures are of me cutting the 3/4 Plywood for transom and kneebraces...



    This is the hull after doing more grinding/sanding/cutting... I cut out all those poor so-called "crossbraces" I will be installing 5 sets of crossbraces, leaving the bilge open, made of laminated plywood... I also cut off the remaining edge of the floor off the hull...




    Those sets shows the transom wall and how much has been done...




    The boat originally only had two kneebraces... and I want to add 2 more knee braces for extra strength... Right now... I just want the transom strong enough for 200HP even tho its rated for 150... the "old" line where old transom was at wasnt long enough for the knee brace to be added to the outer stringer, so I had to make the transom a bit longer which is indicated by the black line... it'll be perfect... all 4 knee braces will be epoxied and glassed onto the transom...



    I already put everything away before I thought of doing a mockup with new transom walls and outer knee braces in place... I'll do that tomorrow if I remember... I did a mockup earlier today and it sure looked GREAT!!! Maybe Friday I'll work on cutting the inner knee braces and do a complete mockup...

    Enjoy!!!

  8. Moderator JeffA's Avatar
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    #7
    nice work so far, please keep us updated.
    thanks

    "If you're going to mess with the king's queens, you better watch your ace, jack!"..
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    #8

    Re: 1988 Bass Tracker 1800FS Restoration... (Rebel9921)

    Great work you are doing there, thanks for the pics


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    #9

    Re: 1988 Bass Tracker 1800FS Restoration... (Rebel9921)

    I cut some more 3/4 plywood today for the inner kneebraces... then I did a complete mock-up with the transom and the knee braces in place... sure is looking very SWEET...

    Next step is to do the laminating... then I'll need to do some final cutting/sanding to get everything to fit... then its time to attach this n that to the hull...

    I also ordered a CMC Manual Jackplate (5 1/2 setback)... cant wait til that goes on...

    meanwhile, enjoy the mock-up pictures...









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    #10

    Re: 1988 Bass Tracker 1800FS Restoration... (Rebel9921)

    Looks great!! It shoud really last a long time now for you. I had an 89 1600TF and it was well built. Evenf or it's time it had more modern interior than my 92 Ranger!! Congrats and I'll be lookign forward to your progress.

    Also not sure how the 1800's were but the 1600's need Transom wedges to put a little more negative angle ont he engine....they would porpoise like a SOB!!

    Joe





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    #11

    Re: 1988 Bass Tracker 1800FS Restoration... (Rebel9921)

    Update: The new CMC Manual Jackplate (5 1/2 inch setback) arrived today... still waiting on the carpet samples from BassCat...

    The jackplate looks very SOLID... complete aluminum/stainless construction... sweet... cant wait to mount it on the boat!!!

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    #12

    Re: 1988 Bass Tracker 1800FS Restoration... (Rebel9921)

    goodluck. it is looking great



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    #13

    Re: 1988 Bass Tracker 1800FS Restoration... (biggfill)

    Rebel, Looks like you've done your homework. You're doing an awsome job!!! One mistake I've seen on "cap off restorations" is... once the cap comes off, the sides of the hull starts to relax outward. Before you start glassing, make sure you brace the top edge of the hull to match the cap. I've seen guys stiffin there hulls with glass, but then they couldnt get the cap back on because the hull had sagged outward.
    Awsome job!!! Looking forward to watching the progress.

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    #14

    Re: 1988 Bass Tracker 1800FS Restoration... (Rebel9921)

    Man I thought I had a project when I started restoring my 86 Challenger. I'm suitably impressed with the amount of detail you are showing to the Transom. Great job. Keep those progress pictures coming. Your efforts make it easier for me to convince my better half on what I have to do. Again great job.

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    #15

    Re: 1988 Bass Tracker 1800FS Restoration... (The Southerner)

    That looks great! Really makes me feel good about my resto job to be. Will the factory gas tank still fit with those knee braces, or will you be using something different? Nice work! Cant wait to see it finished.
    1989 Bass Tracker 1800TF with a 150 Mercury Blackmax.

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    #16

    Re: 1988 Bass Tracker 1800FS Restoration... (Basketcase)

    If I stayed with only two knee braces in original places, yes the gas tank will fit... but since Im "restructuring" the knee braces and stringers... nope... and besides... the gas cap on my Ram is on the drivers side... so it'd be easier if I rotated the gas tank so the gas cap will be on the left side of the boat too... Just drive up to a gas pump... pump gas into both at the same time and not wasting time...

    Finer details will be fully thought out later in time... right now, my main focus is to finish the hull... get the transom, knee braces, and stringers all done then the flooring on... once thats done... then I can worry about getting the top cap back on and go from there...

    I also am renovating the boat trailer too... I've pretty much cut off all the sidesteps and fenders... I plan on ordering fiberglass fenders from BassCat... I also will herculine the trailer... no more worries about rust or paint chipping off at all...

    It is certainly a time and money consuming project... but like I said, all worth it in the end!!!

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    #17

    Re: 1988 Bass Tracker 1800FS Restoration... (Rebel9921)

    That's a great idea to move the gas filler to suit the truck.

    Question? The foam that was in the stringers, was it different than the rest of the foam between them? I was wondering if they used a denser foam for structure or if it was just the same old 2# foam you usually see. To redo it are you going to fill the stringer sections with foam, cut the excess off, and glass the top back in? Just curious how you plan to attack it. Do you have any pictures of the stringers before you cut them open? Cant wait to tear into mine. Probably going to pull the motor this weekend and start cutting the floor sections to prepare for pulling the cap.
    1989 Bass Tracker 1800TF with a 150 Mercury Blackmax.

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    #18

    Re: 1988 Bass Tracker 1800FS Restoration... (Basketcase)

    The foam is the SAME all over for the boat... Once you take off the flooring... you'll see several open holes that was used by Tracker to pour in the foam... they never sealed those holes up either...

    I will be cutting out the stringers... then I will lay down two layers of epoxy resin fiberglass... then will use marine plywood to rebuild the stringers and crossbraces... Only the bilge will be free lengthwise while the stringers and the outside of the stringers will be divided into compartments where I will then pour foam into... I also have to cut out the stringer wall that makes up the bilge because if I left it there and used it to place my inner kneebraces, the kneebraces will cover up the lower motor mount holes, thus I have no choice but to widen the bilge area...

    The only thing that will be covering the compartments would be the flooring... but basically the underside of the flooring will be fiberglassed then epoxied onto the top of the stringers and crossbraces... for waterproof seal... I probably will add stainless screws to really BOND the floor to the stringers but will do that while the epoxy resin is still wet so that the resin can wrap itself around the screw shaft... the screw shaft will be countersunk then either Marinetex or Epoxy Resin will cover it, ensuring some degree of waterproofing... once the flooring is done and fiberglassed entirely onto the hull, I then will spray epoxy primer all over the interior of the hull before putting the top cap back on and the carpeting on...

    Im sorry I dont have any pictures you wanted... I got so excited with cutting out the flooring and forgot all about the camera which was sitting maybe 10 feet away from me... I swore that will not happen again...

    BE SURE to check the stringers and the crossbraces... my crossbraces started to delaminate from the hull... which is why I decided to cut them all out... Im doing it all over again and Im doing it all the RIGHT WAY this time!!! She will last me for YEARS before I retire her!!!




    Modified by Rebel9921 at 5:26 PM 4/25/2010

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    #19

    Re: 1988 Bass Tracker 1800FS Restoration... (Rebel9921)

    Just an update: Im waiting for the sun to come out, then I'll be taking pictures of the new goodies I purchased for the boat and the trailer...

    I recently purchased a pair of Fiberglass Fenders off a 2000 Ranger Trailer... I will be welding on some stuff onto the trailer first, such as winch post, winch mount, spare tire carrier, C-Channel steel (for fender brackets), and 4 more bunk brackets (I feel that 2 bunks werent sufficient, felt more comfortable if I had 4 bunks instead of 2) then the trailer will be sanded/grinded to bare steel then herculined...

    The trailer's old hitch was cut off and will be replaced with a Fulton Fold-Away Tongue Kit...

    New bunks will be attached, then I'll put the hull back on the trailer and will go full bore on completing her this year and have the top cap back on... Am looking forward to be placing orders this week and receiving everything by end of next week!!!

    Its not all about the boat, but about the trailer too!!!

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    #20

    Re: 1988 Bass Tracker 1800FS Restoration... (Rebel9921)

    Man I'm watching your work closely, I've got the exact same boat sitting in my shop and am fixing to start my re-do in a couple of months (got an old truck that my 15 year old and I are fixing up for him that has to come first) so your pictures are a big help. Keep up the good work and thanks for postings.

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