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1997 1700 Overhaul Project

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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.
 

pelagic2530

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Part Two: Battery Addition/Relocation.

Since the entire electrical system was up for replacement, the logical starting point was the batteries. The boat came with a single battery that was installed in a box, on the deck by the stbd side transom. This was less than ideal for multiple reasons: weight of the battery too far aft, battery exposed to the weather, no room for proper wiring or power distribution. The "system" that was in place had nothing when I bought the boat: no battery switch, no breaker in line with the house fuse panel, and no switchboard; the only two switches were "pull" style inside the console glove box and neither worked.

The plan for the batteries and first-level power distribution was as follows:
-Install mounting boards inside console on deck and aft bulkhead
-Install (2) GP24 battery trays to hold start and house batteries
-Relocate start battery to inside console and add AGM house battery
-Install BEP cluster switch in vertical configuration
-Install 60A circuit breaker for house load
-Install Blue Seas Powerpost to consolidate grounds
-Install dual bank battery charger

Console after cleaning. The rigging tube coming up through the deck was installed by the shop with the deck replacement. Previously there had been a rectangular opening from Parker that would let any water that intruded under the console to run right on top of the tank. Thumbs down for that design. Now, it should be relatively waterproof.
Console Floor.jpg

The battery that came with the boat was in surprisingly good shape, so I retained it. I added a GP24 Dual Purpose AGM from West Marine that was on too good of a sale to pass up. I would have preferred a dedicated Deep Cycle AGM, but I'll see how this one does. If it performs poorly, I'll likely swap it for the start battery and get a Lifeline AGM for the house battery.

I forgot to get a picture of the mounting boards before they were installed, but they were made out of 1/2" starboard. I didn't want to deal with through bolting everything to the aft bulkhead of the console, and there wasn't sufficient thickness in either the floor or the bulkhead to use screws. The mounting board on the deck was mounted using the same screw holes as the console, and the board on the aft bulkhead is secured using two of the bolts that join the two halves of the console together on the top, and two through bolts on the bottom. Those two are the only through bolts for the equipment on the aft bulkhead.

I went with an in-line configuration for the BEP switch. With the confined area inside the console and the need to reach around the glovebox when it's installed, mounting it vertically closest to the console door gives the easiest access to the switches. Before installation, I replaced the wires on the back of the switch with marine grade wire and shrink connections, as per Warthog's advice. I also made the connection with the small red wire as recommended in the instructions, so that the VSR is only powered when the engine switch is on to prevent battery drain. As has been pointed out, this is not in the instructions available online, but is included in the package.

BEP Switch with modifications:
BEP Switch Rear.jpg

Console with mounting boards and batteries, battery charger, and switch mounted:
Mounting Boards, Batteries, Charger, Switch.jpg

For the battery charger I went with the ProMariner ProSport HD20. I specifically liked the fact that, out of the 20A capacity of the charger, it can direct that current to whichever battery is more discharged. So rather than 10A dedicated to each battery, you can end up with say 6A going to the start battery (charged through the VSR first) and 14A going to the house battery. It also has a dedicated feature for AGM charging, which will come in handy when I eventually switch the batteries to both AGMs. For now, I'm leaving the power cable to the charger with the three-prong 110 plug that comes installed. I like the flexibility of being able to store the cord entirely within the console, and charge either through the door or through the glove box opening. When the system install is finalized, I may change that to a flush mount plug. For ventilation, the charger will only be run with the console and glove box doors open.

In order to keep the number of terminals less than 4 per stud, I installed a Blue Sea PowerPost as a negative terminal block. This will have the following terminals: Negative in from house battery; Negative out to fuse block negative bus; Negative out to bilge negative bus; bonding wire to fuel tank. The start battery posts will have the following: Positive- 2ga wire out to BEP cluster; wire in from battery charger. Negative- 2ga common ground out to house battery negative; 2ga wire out to outboard harness block; wire in from battery charger. House battery: Positive- 2ga wire out to BEP cluster; 12ga wire out to fused bilge pump float switch; wire in from battery charger. Negative- 2ga common ground out to start battery; 2ga wire out to PowerPost, wire in from battery charger. The wiring will be secured to the bulkhead mounting board via screw fastened cable tie mounts.

Coming out from the BEP switch will be the positive 2ga wire to the outboard harness block, and a 6ga wire feeding a 60A Blue Sea resettable breaker. The breaker will in turn feed the positive side of the fuse block. More on the fuse block and switch panel in a later post.

Here's the first-level distribution system mostly finished. Still needs the wires run for the outboard harness, boots and mounting bracket top for the start battery, the fuse holder for the bilge pump float switch, and the wiring to be cleaned up and fastened, but I haven't gotten a picture of the final product yet and this gives you an idea of the layout.
Battery Distribution.jpg
 

Seaway85

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I really appreciate the detail in your posts, as I'm sure others do as well! Keep up the good work/reporting
 

RedTaco

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Bro, you're killing this project!!!
I'm planning on updating my 2004 1801 and I'm saving this thread for future guidance!!
Thanks for the in-depth description of your improvements!
Also, as an English teacher, I appreciate your impeccable use of language and grammar throughout your thread. Your attention to detail crosses all disciplines!! Keep up the fantastic work!!!
 

warthog5

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Your doing good....I probably would have still went with the square configure cluster for the BEP.
 

pelagic2530

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Thanks for the replies guys. Things got a bit busy with "real" work last week so I was short on time to update the thread. Work on the boat is progressing steadily, I'll try to get some more stuff posted up here this week.

Here's the "final" picture of the primary distribution system. Obviously things will change a bit as the rest of the wiring goes in. There's some protective looms that I'll install once I finalize everything, but I'm overall happy with it for now. You can see the inline fuse holder for the bilge pump float switch above the house battery; that will be the only inline fuse anywhere in the system. The small black wire by the BEP switch is the ground for the switch itself, which will run up to the negative side of the fuse block when it's installed on the glove box insert.
Battery Distribution Final.jpg
 

pelagic2530

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Part 2: Deck and Access Hatch Replacement

The hatches that were on the boat when I bought it (I would assume stock) were overall inadequate. The pie plates over the fuel tank pickup and fill fittings were past their prime and posing a leak hazard. The bilge access hatch and the anchor locker access hatch, both the same size "slam" hatch, were both too small. Finally, the console hatch was in good shape but fitted with a (what I consider to be) cheesy bolt-style latch. I decided to fix all of these issues.

For the pie plates, I decided to replace the fittings entirely. I went with the same size, so no new holes needed to be drilled. However, both were in the newly installed deck, and even though they were newly reinstalled I knew I just wouldn't feel right if I didn't ensure they were properly sealed and bedded. So, I pulled them out, and dremeled the edges down to clean wood. I also over-drilled the screw holes, making sure not to break through the bottom layer of fiberglass. I found that a good way to do this is to put a small "flag" of tape on the drill bit at your desired depth, and as soon as the tape touches the surface, stop drilling. After the holes were drilled out, I sealed the edge and the inside of the holes with epoxy. A small brush works well for the edge of the cutout, and a cotton swab works well for the screw holes. After the holes were wetted out with the thin epoxy and it was given a bit of time to start to kick, I filled them with thickened epoxy using a syringe.

I learned several tricks during this process. The first (and most obvious, I suppose) is to make sure not to over-thicken the epoxy! Not only does it kick much faster, but you also will not be able to suck it up into the syringe. The second was to slowly drip the thickened epoxy into the hole, rather than insert the tip of the syringe in and try to fill it from the bottom out. Dripping it in keeps air pockets from forming beneath the layer of epoxy. If you suspect you've formed an air pocket, poking at it with a toothpick will usually sort it out. Also, the wood core will continue to absorb a surprising amount of the epoxy, which is a good thing. You just need to be ready to re-fill the hole with more epoxy as the level dips down.

Pie plate hatch drilled, sealed and filled:
Pie Plate Removed Sealed.jpg

I elected to install the screw-in style pie plate hatches, on the thought that I don't need to access these hatches frequently and I think they'll provide a better seal. I'm somewhat still on the fence with them, as I'm not a fan of how the two holes tend to accumulate gunk. I may go back to the pry-out type later on down the road, we'll see. The hatches were bedded with 4200, as I did want the adhesive quality to help maintain the integrity of the seal but I don't need the permanent nature of 5200.
Pie Plate Installed.jpg


Anchor Hatch: I documented this as part of an earlier post, but I'll paste it in here for continuity. The opening of the existing hatch was just too small to be useful. An anchor of the size needed to hold the boat wouldn't fit through it. So I wanted something to maximize the width of the opening. A larger rectangular hatch would likely have been cheaper, but would probably have only opened up the clearance by a couple inches overall due to the width at the bottom. So, I decided to go with a rhombus-shaped custom hatch from Boat Outfitters.

Here's what I started with:
Anchor Hatch4.jpeg

Cutout for the new hatch, with cut edges sealed and screw holes overdrilled and filled with epoxy. You can see the width of the original cutout as the white area at the bottom edge:
Anchor Hatch3.jpeg

The holes in the vertical bulkhead proved to be a bit harder to fill with epoxy than the ones in the deck. In the end, I pretty much just gooped them up, and sealed over the front with Gorilla tape, which sticks hard enough to not peel off while the epoxy dries. This usually leaves a small "smear" of epoxy on the surrounding surface, which then needs to be scraped off after it cures. Not a huge deal.

New hatch installed:
Anchor Hatch2.jpeg


Much bigger opening and much better access! As I found out later when I went to wire the new navigation light, I can fit my whole head and shoulders into that compartment. A DRASTIC improvement overall.
Anchor Hatch1.jpeg
Overall I'm very happy with it. The hatch is extremely well made and has high-quality components. I will say that Boat Outfitters is VERY proud of their products, but the quality in this case is worth the expense. This was a custom build, which was significantly more expensive, but they were very responsive and easy to work with throughout the process.

Bilge hatch: A significant portion of this project involved working in and adjacent to the bilge space. The rigging tube arrangement in the boat ends at the forward bulkhead of the bilge, but on the outboard side of the starboard stringer. Wires to the bilge then come under the stringer to the bilge, and wires going up to the starboard covering board fish their way up through the rigging tube. Overall, VERY difficult to reach, involving putting pretty much your whole arm and shoulder through the bilge hatch. Plus, a lot of the wiring for the pumps and lights runs through the bilge and would need to be rigged along the bulkheads, not to mention the installation of the thru-hull and the pumps themselves. For these reasons, I decided that I needed the largest bilge access hatch I could fit in that space.

After doing some research, I found that the biggest one I could fit was only a couple inches bigger in all dimensions than my existing one. Here's the kicker: the cutout for these hatches is at least an inch or so bigger than the hatch opening itself. So my plan was, make the cutout for the new hatch, seal the core, and then leave the hatch uninstalled and work through the cutout until all the installation was complete, then install the hatch last. Let me tell you guys: those extra couple inches of clearance made ALL the difference. working through that original hatch would have been nearly impossible; working through the new hatch cutout was at least bearable.

Cutout for the new hatch in progress. You can see the difference in size; it looks minimal but in reality it makes access MUCH better.
Bilge Hatch Cutout.jpg

Bilge hatch and the screw holes were over-drilled in the same manner as the pie-plate hatches described above:
Bilge Hatch Sealed.jpg

New hatch vs. old hatch. WAY better access to work, although the edges of that cutout were a bit sharp after they were sealed! If I had it to do over again I think I would have sanded them over a bit.
Bilge Hatch Old vs New.jpg

Finally, the console hatch. Much like the bilge hatch, I realized at the beginning of this project that I was going to spend A LOT of time working inside a very small console. With that in mind, I elected to remove the whole starboard door to get myself a few extra inches of clearance. Again, it made all the difference. I can get my whole upper torso into the console now, which made doing the electrical installation in the last post a thousand times easier. Not sure if I'd have even been able to do it with the hatch in place; it'll most likely be the last thing that gets reinstalled at the end of this project.

When I custom designed the new anchor hatch, I ordered a locking slam hatch from Gemlux to be installed. I figured the ability to lock the hatch might make it a slight bit harder to steal my stuff if I'm ever travelling with the boat or leave it at a dock overnight, and the extra expense is minimal. I ordered the same latch for the tackle station I'll be installing, keyed the same, and another spare keyed-alike slam latch for the console hatch. Since the hatch was already removed, it was a quick and easy upgrade; a couple measurements and a hole saw later, and I've got a latch I'm much happier with.

New latch, still need to clean up the starboard where the old bolt-style latch was:
Console Door New Latch.jpg

Overall, I'm much happier with the state of the access openings on the boat. I cannot stress enough the difference that installing the new anchor hatch and removing the bilge and console hatches made when in terms of making the rest of the project easier. It's a pain to do, but it is well worth it in the long run if you've got a lot of work to do.
 

pelagic2530

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Part 3: Bilge and Seacock installation

As stated earlier, part of the project was the installation of a livewell system. We fish for striper with live spot quite a bit up in Delaware, so this was an important addition. The boat did not come equipped with a thru-hull pickup, so installation of one was necessary. While I was installing the plumbing, I elected to also install a washdown system. Since the stern of the boat sits fairly low in the water, with the scuppers sometimes submerged, I wanted to limit the amount of water I introduced into the boat while washing down fish blood, sand, whatever. My thought was that a washdown hose is a more efficient use of water than dumping a 5 gallon bucket on the deck. We'll see how often it gets used, but now was the ideal time to work it into the project.

The bilge as found was pretty much a nightmare:
Bilge Black Hole1.jpg
Bilge Black Hole2.jpg

I didn't do a great job photographing it in it's original condition (these pictures were mainly for dimensions) but it gives you a bit of an idea what was there. Of special note is the wiring nut lying submerged in bilge water :oops:. All of the bilge wiring pretty much ended up as a rip out. As I dug into the existing systems, I discovered that the bilge pump and float switch were from a cheap, generic manufacturer. Would they have worked if reinstalled properly, who knows. Is that where I want to pinch my pennies, absolutely not. Out they went. The screw holes were drilled out and filled with epoxy, luckily the wood was dry.

Here's the bilge cleaned up with the mounting points for the new bilge pump, switch, washdown pump, and thru-hull backing plate prepped. All mounting holes were, as usual, over drilled, filled with epoxy, and re-drilled for the proper size screw:
Bilge Sanded Holes Sealed.jpg

To mount the thru-hull, I took a page out of Warthog and BradH's book. The plan was to create a fiberglass lay-up with woven mat and epoxy, and then epoxy the mount to the hull, gel coat over, and drill and install the thru-hull and seacock mount. To get the proper size mold for the mount, I used an empty peanut can. This also had the advantage of being made of cardboard, so I could rip and peel it away from the mount if need be. I trimmed the lid of the can to make a template of the proper diameter, and traced out 10 circles onto fiberglass cloth:
Fiberglass Mat Circles.jpg

After cutting the circles, I used a Preval sprayer to spray the inside of the can with mold release wax. This was my first time using a Preval, and I was impressed with the spray pattern. However, the mold release seemed to sag pretty badly on the vertical walls on the inside of the can. Maybe someone with more experience spraying the stuff can comment on what I did wrong there.

I laid up the 10 layers of cloth, soaking each with epoxy, and laid a layer of epoxy on top. After curing, here's what I ended up with:
Seacock Mounting Board.jpg

Obviously, not EXACTLY what I was looking for, but workable. Again, maybe someone with a bit more experience in glass work can shed some light on why it bubbled up around the edges like that. The purple coloring around the edges was the mold release, which incorporated itself into the layup as well. Pretty sure it's not supposed to do that.

I cleaned it up with a oscillating multi-tool and an orbital sander, and mocked up it's position in the bilge. The finished puck is about 1/2" thick. I then marked the bolt holes for the seacock, drilled and tapped the mount, and epoxied it to the deck:
Seacock Mount Drilled Epoxied.jpg

Next, I re-sanded and prepped the bilge area for gelcoat. I elected to go all the way to the centerline, in order to fix the spider cracks you can see in the picture above. I also drilled the hole through the mount and deck together once the epoxy was cured. All told, the thickness of the mount/hull was right around an inch.

I bought Parker gelcoat from Cecil Marine for this and some other touch-up projects around the boat. I figured this would be as good a place as any to practice, since I wasn't particularly concerned with the aesthetics of the bilge. I initially tried applying it with a 4" foam roller, but quickly realized that it was too bulky to get where I needed it to (plus it soaked up a lot of expensive gelcoat!) so I switched to a small brush. Needing to do it again, unless I had a really large area to do, I would probably use a small foam brush as an applicator.

Gelcoat applied:
Seacock Mount Gelcoat.jpg

Here's where I ran into a bit of an issue. I drilled and tapped the mounting holes before installing and gelcoating the mount. During the gelcoating process, some gelcoat got into the holes and mucked up the threads. Not a huge deal, but the fiberglass mount didn't really seem to accept the tap threads well in the first place, and chasing them again to get the gelcoat out made it worse. The screws still threaded, but I'm not sure that the threaded hole is the best way to do it. If I were installing it again, I would likely size the holes for stainless lag screws, and go that route instead of machine bolts. It's a bit academic, since the seacock base threads through the hull into the scoop pickup, but I would probably feel better about it. Either way, the base isn't going to be turning and is very secure:

Seacock Mounted.jpg

As the case was, I did not have to trim the top of the pickup to make the seacock base sit flush to the mount. At 1" thickness, the 3/4" seacock I chose was able to screw all the way down onto the pickup. Both the seacock and the pickup are Groco units purchased from Jamestown Distributors.

Here's an interesting problem that I ran into while installing the seacock. Both the base and the pickup are designed to be fastened to the hull. The scoop screws to the hull with three small screws. The base bolts down with three bolts or screws. The problem arises due to the fact that the scoop needs to be oriented in order to face forward; the base needs to be mounted so the handle clears obstructions; and both of them need to thread into each other. Try as I might, during dry fitting I was never quite able to get everything to match up perfectly with the scoop and base in the correct configuration, and the whole assembly nice and snug to the base. In the end, I elected to mount the scoop pickup first, bedding it with 5200 and fastening it to the hull. This is critical, because the sealant around the base of the scoop pickup is what keeps the hole in the hull from leaking, so it's vital that it is flush with the hull and fully bedded. After it was cured, I screwed the base onto the top of the threaded pickup stem, getting it as close to the correct orientation as possible. It turned out that the closest I could get it was about a 1/6 turn off from tight. I likewise bedded it with 5200, and fastened it down with the bolts. Once the 5200 cured, the slight gap was filled in and the whole assembly is rock solid.

After much additional wiring and installation (more on those later), here's the final product:
Pumps Installed.jpg

The livewell pump is a SPX Johnson 550gph dual port pump. The livewell I'm installing is a 13gal tank, and a pump of this size is what the manufacturer recommended. The washdown pump is a SPX Johnson 2.9gpm diaphragm pump with a built-in strainer. Both pumps were installed with a little extra length in the wiring harness, in order to facilitate replacement later on down the road. Out of the box, the inlet and outlet fittings for the washdown pump were configured 180 degrees opposite from the way I needed them, which caused a brief moment of panic envisioning hoses running all over the place. However, removing the screws around the flange between the pump and motor housings allowed me to rotate the pump base, so it could be installed in the correct configuration.

Bilge Pump Float Switch.jpg
The bilge pump and float switch are both Rule units. The bilge pump is an 1100gph, non-automatic pump. I stayed away from the automatic pumps, as they're difficult to troubleshoot and some have a tendency to run down the batteries via a constant milliamp draw for an electronic switch. The float switch is a Rule-A-Matic Plus. I prefer the enclosed float switches as there is less chance that the switch can become obstructed by a hose or other object that comes loose in the bilge. They can still be tested by means of a small toggle on the side of the housing which raises the switch inside the box.

The hoses all run up to the port aft corner of the boat, where the bilge thru-hull is. The livewell will be mounted a little forward of the transom on that side, and will drain overboard through a thru-hull yet to be installed. The washdown hose will likely sit somewhere under the port covering boards once I can come up with a good way to stow it.

On an entirely different note, this is my 1,000th post on ClassicParker! I've been part of this site for almost 14 years and it's been great to have as a resource while researching projects, troubleshooting problems, or looking for inspiration. Glad to be part of this community!
 
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Megabyte

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Well detailed write-up, and good accompanying photos.
I've been watching this build with great interest.

Congratulations on your 1000th post!
 

Andy

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Part 3: Bilge and Seacock installation

As stated earlier, part of the project was the installation of a livewell system. We fish for striper with live spot quite a bit up in Delaware, so this was an important addition. The boat did not come equipped with a thru-hull pickup, so installation of one was necessary. While I was installing the plumbing, I elected to also install a washdown system. Since the stern of the boat sits fairly low in the water, with the scuppers sometimes submerged, I wanted to limit the amount of water I introduced into the boat while washing down fish blood, sand, whatever. My thought was that a washdown hose is a more efficient use of water than dumping a 5 gallon bucket on the deck. We'll see how often it gets used, but now was the ideal time to work it into the project.

The bilge as found was pretty much a nightmare:
View attachment 26461
View attachment 26463

I didn't do a great job photographing it in it's original condition (these pictures were mainly for dimensions) but it gives you a bit of an idea what was there. Of special note is the wiring nut lying submerged in bilge water :oops:. All of the bilge wiring pretty much ended up as a rip out. As I dug into the existing systems, I discovered that the bilge pump and float switch were from a cheap, generic manufacturer. Would they have worked if reinstalled properly, who knows. Is that where I want to pinch my pennies, absolutely not. Out they went. The screw holes were drilled out and filled with epoxy, luckily the wood was dry.

Here's the bilge cleaned up with the mounting points for the new bilge pump, switch, washdown pump, and thru-hull backing plate prepped. All mounting holes were, as usual, over drilled, filled with epoxy, and re-drilled for the proper size screw:
View attachment 26464

To mount the thru-hull, I took a page out of Warthog and BradH's book. The plan was to create a fiberglass lay-up with woven mat and epoxy, and then epoxy the mount to the hull, gel coat over, and drill and install the thru-hull and seacock mount. To get the proper size mold for the mount, I used an empty peanut can. This also had the advantage of being made of cardboard, so I could rip and peel it away from the mount if need be. I trimmed the lid of the can to make a template of the proper diameter, and traced out 10 circles onto fiberglass cloth:
View attachment 26468

After cutting the circles, I used a Preval sprayer to spray the inside of the can with mold release wax. This was my first time using a Preval, and I was impressed with the spray pattern. However, the mold release seemed to sag pretty badly on the vertical walls on the inside of the can. Maybe someone with more experience spraying the stuff can comment on what I did wrong there.

I laid up the 10 layers of cloth, soaking each with epoxy, and laid a layer of epoxy on top. After curing, here's what I ended up with:
View attachment 26472

Obviously, not EXACTLY what I was looking for, but workable. Again, maybe someone with a bit more experience in glass work can shed some light on why it bubbled up around the edges like that. The purple coloring around the edges was the mold release, which incorporated itself into the layup as well. Pretty sure it's not supposed to do that.

I cleaned it up with a oscillating multi-tool and an orbital sander, and mocked up it's position in the bilge. The finished puck is about 1/2" thick. I then marked the bolt holes for the seacock, drilled and tapped the mount, and epoxied it to the deck:
View attachment 26476

Next, I re-sanded and prepped the bilge area for gelcoat. I elected to go all the way to the centerline, in order to fix the spider cracks you can see in the picture above. I also drilled the hole through the mount and deck together once the epoxy was cured. All told, the thickness of the mount/hull was right around an inch.

I bought Parker gelcoat from Cecil Marine for this and some other touch-up projects around the boat. I figured this would be as good a place as any to practice, since I wasn't particularly concerned with the aesthetics of the bilge. I initially tried applying it with a 4" foam roller, but quickly realized that it was too bulky to get where I needed it to (plus it soaked up a lot of expensive gelcoat!) so I switched to a small brush. Needing to do it again, unless I had a really large area to do, I would probably use a small foam brush as an applicator.

Gelcoat applied:
View attachment 26477

Here's where I ran into a bit of an issue. I drilled and tapped the mounting holes before installing and gelcoating the mount. During the gelcoating process, some gelcoat got into the holes and mucked up the threads. Not a huge deal, but the fiberglass mount didn't really seem to accept the tap threads well in the first place, and chasing them again to get the gelcoat out made it worse. The screws still threaded, but I'm not sure that the threaded hole is the best way to do it. If I were installing it again, I would likely size the holes for stainless lag screws, and go that route instead of machine bolts. It's a bit academic, since the seacock base threads through the hull into the scoop pickup, but I would probably feel better about it. Either way, the base isn't going to be turning and is very secure:

View attachment 26479

As the case was, I did not have to trim the top of the pickup to make the seacock base sit flush to the mount. At 1" thickness, the 3/4" seacock I chose was able to screw all the way down onto the pickup. Both the seacock and the pickup are Groco units purchased from Jamestown Distributors.

Here's an interesting problem that I ran into while installing the seacock. Both the base and the pickup are designed to be fastened to the hull. The scoop screws to the hull with three small screws. The base bolts down with three bolts or screws. The problem arises due to the fact that the scoop needs to be oriented in order to face forward; the base needs to be mounted so the handle clears obstructions; and both of them need to thread into each other. Try as I might, during dry fitting I was never quite able to get everything to match up perfectly with the scoop and base in the correct configuration, and the whole assembly nice and snug to the base. In the end, I elected to mount the scoop pickup first, bedding it with 5200 and fastening it to the hull. This is critical, because the sealant around the base of the scoop pickup is what keeps the hole in the hull from leaking, so it's vital that it is flush with the hull and fully bedded. After it was cured, I screwed the base onto the top of the threaded pickup stem, getting it as close to the correct orientation as possible. It turned out that the closest I could get it was about a 1/6 turn off from tight. I likewise bedded it with 5200, and fastened it down with the bolts. Once the 5200 cured, the slight gap was filled in and the whole assembly is rock solid.

After much additional wiring and installation (more on those later), here's the final product:
View attachment 26480

The livewell pump is a SPX Johnson 550gph dual port pump. The livewell I'm installing is a 13gal tank, and a pump of this size is what the manufacturer recommended. The washdown pump is a SPX Johnson 2.9gpm diaphragm pump with a built-in strainer. Both pumps were installed with a little extra length in the wiring harness, in order to facilitate replacement later on down the road. Out of the box, the inlet and outlet fittings for the washdown pump were configured 180 degrees opposite from the way I needed them, which caused a brief moment of panic envisioning hoses running all over the place. However, removing the screws around the flange between the pump and motor housings allowed me to rotate the pump base, so it could be installed in the correct configuration.

View attachment 26481
The bilge pump and float switch are both Rule units. The bilge pump is an 1100gph, non-automatic pump. I stayed away from the automatic pumps, as they're difficult to troubleshoot and some have a tendency to run down the batteries via a constant milliamp draw for an electronic switch. The float switch is a Rule-A-Matic Plus. I prefer the enclosed float switches as there is less chance that the switch can become obstructed by a hose or other object that comes loose in the bilge. They can still be tested by means of a small toggle on the side of the housing which raises the switch inside the box.

The hoses all run up to the port aft corner of the boat, where the bilge thru-hull is. The livewell will be mounted a little forward of the transom on that side, and will drain overboard through a thru-hull yet to be installed. The washdown hose will likely sit somewhere under the port covering boards once I can come up with a good way to stow it.

On an entirely different note, this is my 1,000th post on ClassicParker! I've been part of this site for almost 14 years and it's been great to have as a resource while researching projects, troubleshooting problems, or looking for inspiration. Glad to be part of this community!
Wow, great post... thank you! I like how you installed the bronze seacocks. The seacocks on our 2013 2520 XLD are not fastened with anything; not bolted; not screwed. (Just held in place with some adhesive/caulk and, the threaded tube). I wonder if bolting them was overlooked, or if it is a common practice with Parker? Our last boat had 18 bronze seacocks of varying sizes. ALL had backing plates and were through- bolted.
 
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