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1997 1700 Overhaul Project

Classic Parker

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pelagic2530

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I figured I'd finally start this thread for the ongoing near-complete overhaul of my 1700. The work is currently progressing, and I'm about half done, but there's a lot of different things going on so I'll probably start from the beginning and work my way forward from there.

Back story: I purchased this boat in early 2018. It's a '97 1700 with a 2007 115 Evinrude ETEC. I'm a mariner by trade and I kept finding that when I was on vacation and wanted to fish, often times during the week there was nobody to go with me. Fishing the 2530 by myself is often a hassle, so I started looking for a smaller boat that I could trailer, launch, and run by myself for solo fishing. I wanted to keep it in the 17-18' range due to storage constraints, and I wanted relatively low freeboard in order to run crab trotlines from it. At the same time, I wanted a durable boat that could handle a little bit of nearshore work as well as the bay and inlet fishing I do. Lots of searching led me to this particular boat, and I picked it up for what I felt was a fair price.

From the beginning, I knew it was a project boat. There was a pretty significant soft spot in the bow that was indicative of needing a new deck. The electrical system was non-existent, with cables being led directly to the battery at the stern and no switch, meaning to turn the boat "off" you had to physically take the terminals off the battery posts. The navigation lights didn't work, the gauges for the most part didn't work, the steering cable was about shot, and the topside fiberglass was in pretty rough shape. She needed some attention.

Fast forward about two years. The boat was sitting in Delaware with little use and no progress. Work simply got in the way. On a quick afternoon run, the steering finally gave out. We limped her back to the dock and I decided that enough was enough. In the meantime, the soft spot in the deck had (unsurprisingly) grown quite significantly and was spelling out a whole new deck, with console removal. I made the decision to trailer the boat to my house in Virginia and to start the project in earnest.

From the beginning, the following is the list of projects that needed to be accomplished:

Major Projects:
-Replace deck and fuel tank
-Replace steering system
-Remove/install entirely new electrical system distribution system from the batteries on up.
-Add house battery/move batteries to console
-Re-work NMEA network to support electronics, new gauges and instrumentation
-Add thru-hull, livewell and washdown
-Replace and rewire all equipment on the boat.

Minor Projects
-Install new anchor locker hatch
-Install new bilge hatch for greater bilge access to pumps, wiring, etc.
-Replace all deck pie plate hatches
-Replace navigation lights with LED fixtures
-Replace deck cleats with pull-up fittings
-Install tackle station in console
-Remove, seal, and reinstall all deck fittings
-Patch various screw holes from old T-top in console
-Remove various non-used deck fittings and patch holes
-Install new rod holders in bow covering boards

A lot of this work is already well on its way or completed, and some of the jobs listed are rather broad in their scope. Basically, everything on the boat is being replaced or reworked in some way; when I'm done the only things left over from when I bought her will be the hull, the engine, the shell of the console, and the steering wheel. Everything else will have been changed out in some way. There will not be a single piece of original wiring and very few pieces of original hardware left over. My goal is to take the best of the projects that I've found on here, and incorporate them into mine. I'll keep working on posting the progress I've made to date, and try to document the things that I learned along the way.

Here's a few pictures of what I started with:
Truck Boat Trailer.jpeg
This is the boat as I bought her.

Boat Trailer.jpeg
I removed the T-top shortly after I brought her home. It was just too big for the boat, and in the way constantly. I may evaluate putting a new one on at some point, but for the time being, the old one is for sale😁. I'm told it came off a 21' Parker, so at least it's on brand.

Here's where we get into some of the gnarly stuff:
Anchor Hatch4.jpeg
The soft spot in the deck started on the stbd side, just aft of the anchor hatch bulkhead. I suspect the anchor got dropped on the deck one too many times. Originally it was about a square foot. By the time I got around to starting the project, or about two years later of being under cover and lightly used, it had grown to the entire foredeck to the forward side of the console. Lesson learned: DO NOT let your core get compromised.


Wiring Nightmare.jpeg
Console Nightmare.jpeg
Wiring Nightmare 2.jpeg
Console Nightmare2.jpeg
Here's the wiring nightmare that waited for me inside the console. The whole thing was filthy. There was no rhyme or reason, wires ran anywhere, fuses were all over the place, and the whole thing reeked of automotive connectors and corroded wiring. Everything you see in this picture was a rip-out.

Battery.jpeg
Here's the location of the battery. It's exposed, it's the only battery, and there was no infrastructure (switches, circuit breakers, bus bars, etc.) to speak of. Originally I was contemplating going with a bigger battery and moving it to the console, but after some research and feedback from members on here, and discovering that it would fit, I decided to go with two GP24s and a BEP cluster switch. MUCH more on that project to come.

So, like I said, this was the starting point. Everything you see here is long gone, which I will document in future posts. Stay tuned!
 

Puck-n-Fish

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Thanks for the detailed pictures. As the owner of a 1997 also, its interesting to see how other boats from that year have aged and weathered.
 

Puck-n-Fish

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My biggest issue with fixing anything inside the console is space. I can barely squeeze my upper body through the door to get both arms and hands inside to work on something...and even then its borderline panic trying to get back out. In light of that, I enjoy working on this size boat... nothing is overwhelming!
 

pelagic2530

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My biggest issue with fixing anything inside the console is space. I can barely squeeze my upper body through the door to get both arms and hands inside to work on something...and even then its borderline panic trying to get back out. In light of that, I enjoy working on this size boat... nothing is overwhelming!
One thing I've learned throughout this process... if you have a LOT of work to do inside the console, or something that's delicate or complicated, take the door frame out of the console. It's a PITA, but you wouldn't believe the difference that the extra inch or so on all sides makes. Since I was basically starting from scratch, minus the steering/throttle cables and the engine harness, I went one further and pulled out the glovebox as well, so I had tons of access through the front of the console. I'm not sure how I would've been able to do what I needed to do without removing those. I contemplated having a removable hatch fabricated for the front of the console, in order to reach straight in to the rigging surfaces, but it turned out to not be necessary.
 

pelagic2530

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Part One: Fuel tank/deck replacement.

The obvious starting point for the project was replacing the rotten deck. Since the console was going to have to come off in order to facilitate that, there was little point in starting any of the electrical overhauls before it was back in for good.

Due to a lack of time and especially any sort of covered space in which to do the project, I elected to have the deck replaced professionally. It just wasn't a can of worms that I wanted to open at that time. Given the time and space, I would have been willing to give it a shot, but in this case it made more sense to outsource it.

While the tank was showing no signs of a fuel leak, given the age of the boat I made the call to have the tank replaced at the same time as the deck. Again, it just didn't make sense to rip the whole deck up, and then have the potential to have to do it again in the near future should the tank decide to fail. So that was added to the list.

The shop performing the work was Nansemond Marine in Suffolk, VA. They have a long history of working on Parker, Privateer and C-Hawk boats and are a current C-Hawk dealer. After talking to Gib, the owner, I was impressed with his knowledge and experience and agreed that they were the right facility for the job. I dropped the boat off in early 2020 with the agreement to work on it as his time allowed, as I wasn't in any huge hurry. Gib replaced the tank, deck, foam, and rigging tube, greatly improving the access to the rigging from the console. The job was done quickly and professionally, and I'm very pleased with the results. The tank is 38 gallons, 1/8" aluminum, and coated with epoxy. The old tank looked OK when it was pulled out, but there was some corrosion and ultimately I'm glad I made the choice to replace. I went with Awlgrip with nonskid additive for the deck, rather than gelcoat. While replacing the rigging tube, they also ran a new Uflex M66x17 steering cable to replace the frozen Teleflex cable. For anyone wondering, 17' appears to be the correct length for the control cables for this boat.

I have some pictures that were taken during this process, I'll try to update this post with them once I can figure out the best way to transfer them off the chip they're on.
 
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