Friday, August 14, 2015

Friends with Boats

Our friend Larry took this picture of us as we were both racing to Woody's Warf for a weekend refreshment.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Misc Summer Ramblings

This week I got in a new Scott Outboard key float this one has the motor pictured on the red side. My old one had a broken tab and had the motor on the white side. It's a perfect compliment to the Red/White steering wheel.

We met a new neighbor this weekend with a brand-new old Fiberglassic. This is Matt in his 1959 Glaspar Lido. The yellow and white looks great on this boat and he is proudly running the vintage Johnsen. There's 4-5 of us now in Newport Harbor... time to start a club?

This is a shout out to my friend Bill who runs with a Pirate Crew out of Key Largo, FL. He brought me this flag as a gift. All the members in his social boating club run these on their boats. He said they try to steal each others flags, so I'm going to keep an eye on this one.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

1960 Wilcox Crittenden Stern Lamp

When we bought the boat the original stern lamp was missing. The good news is the Dorsett base was intact.

The Dorsett's were originally fitted a translucent plastic "beehive" lens on the stern lamp. I went on the hunt and found an Ebay seller with some Dorsett parts for sale. I emailed him and asked if he had the stern light and we made a deal and as soon as it arrived I installed it on the boat.

The seller shipped me the lens and pole but there was no socket and bulb so I went to the auto parts store and bought a replacement socket and turn signal bulb. The bulb was super bright and unfortunately super hot. The result was on my first outing, I burned and disfigured the lens. I was able to salvage it but it was burnt on the inside, discolored and mis-shaped.

Since the night I burned-up my lens, I've been emailing folks on Craigslist and Ebay with Dorsett boats/parts for sale. Always asking if anyone has a lens and if so would they sell it to me... with no luck.  Well looky what I found on Ebay last week:

Turns out the Dorsett stern lights were made by a company named Wilcox Crittenden and were outfitted on many 50's and 60's era boats. The base of the Ebay find is not a Dorset base but the locknut, stainless steel pole and lamp socket are a perfect match! It has the original socket and small bulb.

This one will get cleaned up and installed for our next sunset cruise!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Vintage Mercury Quick Silver Ride Guide Steering

One of the other issues we sorted out this winter was the steering system. Due to the combination of age and salt water the steering was becoming tougher to operate. In fact one time last summer I put the boat in the water after sitting unused for about 10 days and I could not turn the steering wheel. After a little gentle persuasion and some WD40 on the steering ram tube we were back in business. But it kept getting a little worse ever week. Then finally after sitting the boat for 6 months this winter... the steering was frozen.

This original marine steering system was manufactured by Kiekhaefer Corporation out of Beaver Dam WI. Better known as Mercury, Kiekhaefer manufactured these steering systems designed for dealers to install them into new boats.

My issue was the back of the steering cable where it attaches to the motor. The steering rod was rusted into the steering tube. Trying to salvage the cable proved fruitless. After liberating the cable from the boat I cut the steel tube off but made a critical error and cut through the outer sleeve of the steering cable. I took the cable and had the tube rewelded at the cut but the welding flash was blocking the cable from going past the weld.

Going back to the drawing board I dug out a NOS Quick Silver steering attachment kit I bought off of Ebay. Most of the parts were the same as my setup but the steering tube was a larger diameter than my steering cable so I never used it. So I went in search of a 13' steering cable to match the mounting kit.

I was lucky to find a 13'6" Mercury 76043A13 "Super Ride Guide"cable (dated 11-28-90) from Precision Marine in Rancho Cordova, CA. This cable was a take off and is a heavier cable than my original (with a larger diameter steering rod and tube) but the under dash connection is identical to my Ride Guide steering ram under the dash.

The install was simple bolt in but you do need to completely disassemble the steering ram to install the cable but its a simple R&R and went back together very easy with no special tools. Now my "power steering" is working great!

The dealer who setup our boat matched the Scott Motor Gauges and and Quick Silver steering system into a very nice dash layout. When I was repainting the motor I stripped the gauges and steering wheel and gave them a coat of Wake White to match the motor. Then I added the red lower accent to the steering wheel to match the two tone motor cowl.

The final touch was the OEM Ride Guide emblem from

Now I need an upper emblem for the steering wheel. I've seen these where they have Quicksilver and/or Dorsett lettering on the top. I've never seen any for sale so I may need to have it made.
'60 Dorsett Belmont with DORSETT label on the Quicksilver steering wheel.

'60 Dorsett Belmont with QUICKSILVER label on the Quicksilver steering wheel.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Ready for the Road 2015

In addition to the motor I did some trailer upgrades this year. I stripped and painted the trailer rims to match the motor and added stainless steel baby moons from Hubcap Mike in Orange, CA. I also installed some loading guide posts (the PVC verticals are off in the pic) and added four new Stoltz bow and keel urethane rollers. Finally I installed a new set of now-removable taillights and a new front wheel jack.

Here's the trailer ready for the road behind my '66 Chevelle.
I have to admit, I really like the patina on the trailer!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The While-We've-Got-it-Apart Flying Scott Repaint

At the end of last summer we started having issues shifting the motor. We've never had reverse but even worse was the shift lever was becoming increasingly difficult to move from Neutral to Forward. I could push it with the cables but it got to the point that I couldn't move the lever by hand when it was disconnected from the control cables. The issue was rust in the shift lever post that runs across the top of the mid section of the motor. Unfortunately to get to this part, the power head needs to be removed. So in the grand tradition of "while-we've-got-it-apart" I decided to repaint the entire motor.

The most common question this winter... "Do you remember how to put it back together?"

The process started with disassembly. Thank goodness Karen came out with the plastic bags and a sharpie marker. Its all so obvious when its coming apart but a bucket of bolts it pretty intimidating 2-3 months later when you start reassembly. I recommend dis-assembly with a friend you will be very thankful later.

This is not fun.

By far the worst part of this project was glass-blasting the parts. I bought a $100 Harbor Freight cabinet and two 40lb boxes of glass blasting media. I started the painful process of blasting every square inch of every part. Some parts were too big to fit in the cabinet and needed to be blasted with the cabinet open or out of the cabinet altogether. The biggest challenge is my compressor only flows 5 gpm and you really need 10 gpm for the cabinet to work well so it was very slow going. In the end, I made it work but it would have been a whole lot easier and probably cheaper to send it out for blasting.

Sending it out would have been cheaper than buying a bigger compressor
and a whole lot easier than the 20-30 hours (yep) of stripping.

My friend Mike is an old boat owner and professional painter, ordered me a quart of  '60 McCulloch Wake White (which is also '59 Thunderbird Colonial White). He got me the paint, thinner, clear and catalyst. He even offered to let me use his paint booth. But I decided to do it on the side of the house so I could take my time and learn a few new skills.

Once everything was stripped, on Mike's recommendation I rattle canned everything with self-etching primer. You can buy this stuff at AutoZone and it is really amazing. I went through 3 cans as I stripped and primered every part, nut and bolt on the motor. The next step was to paint the disassembled parts. I thinned the paint 50/50 and shot it through a $20 HF paint gun. For this part of the process my little compressor was just fine. Every part got multiple coats of Wake White enamel. The paint flowed really great and looks amazing.

When I started the project I planned on reassembling the motor on the back of the boat. But the best decision I made was to make a motor stand to use for reassembly. I got the plans online and spent an evening building it. This was a life saver as I could assemble in the garage, roll it out to the side of the house and paint the assembled components. Basically I put the motor back together piece by piece with primed and painted bolts and then torqued the bolts and painted them again after assembly.

When the Scotts were made they came in all white or in two tone. I decided to do the two tone Red/White cowl treatment using the same red-orange color as the power head. And in the "while-we've-got-it-apart" theme I also pulled the Scott gauges and steering wheel and re-painted them. The Steering system is a Quick Silver Ride Guide and I painted the steering wheel two tone with a red accent. (Thanks for the idea Eduardo!)

The final touch was to repaint the cowl trim. I painted the base and then hand lettered the script and then knocked the paint off the top of the letters to get back to the chrome.

Once everything was reassembled I put on a final coat of color on the whole assembly and shot the entire motor with a couple of coats of clear to give everything a final seal. I will say the clear is not easy to shoot and it has some runs, drips, flaws and few fuzzy's that flew in from the backyard paint job. But overall I'm happy and this motor after all it is going back into the water. If it was show boat I would have had my friend Mike paint it, but then it would be painful to put it in the water.

Reassembly went pretty smooth as I've done this several times now. A big help is the manual I have posted. Its got blow ups of the parts and gave me an indispensable guide to reassembly. This was a 3 month project working a little on weekends with a big push at the end.



The good news is I think it looks really good and the shifter is working great. I'm even hoping I will be able to use reverse this year.