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Thread: 24 foot rebuild thread

  1. #1
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    Default 24 foot rebuild thread

    A few years ago I was sitting on my cousin David's porch on Jekyll Island, GA, looking out at his 24 foot Carolina Skiff that he had used as a work boat for a few years, and started thinking about how neat it would be to remake it into a flats skiff. David hauled plywood, supplies and other gear to and from Cumberland Island and referred to it as, “The Slab”. No frills, just a small outboard rigged with a side mount, stick steering system. The transom had been cut down to accommodate the smaller motor, but other than that, the hull was bare. For the last few years the hull had been sitting idle in his back yard, collecting pine needles. His 21 foot Carolina Skiff was his main boat and since his retirement, he was doing a lot more fishing than working, so the 24 footer just wasn't getting used.

    After a few beers, I asked him if he'd consider selling it to me if I ever moved back to Florida from the snowy north. He said, "I'll give it to you for exactly what I got it for, $700."

    A dream was launched.

    Back to Wisconsin I went to go back to work and started putting together a plan. I had no idea when it would come together or even IF it would ever come together, but I spent many hours thinking about it, paging through catalogs, surfing the web, making plans.

    To make a long story a little shorter, circumstances over the last year convinced my wife and me to make a major life change. We put our house in Wisconsin up for sale in August and started making serious boat plans. Hours of conversations with David, more hours of planning and the process of securing components began in earnest. A 115 Evinrude was secured from a guy in Stuart, Fl. A console was found on Craigslist. A trailer and T-top were salvaged off a wrecked Pro Line. Things were coming together.

    The house sold in February and we quit our jobs and headed south. We got to Cape Coral, FL and started looking for a place to live. The internet helped this process considerably and we had a very good idea of what we were going to do even before we made it down there. A few days later, we had an accepted offer on a house on Pine Island and a few weeks to wait before closing. Time to head to Jekyll and start getting things put together.

    Here are some pictures of what we started with. More to follow.

    boat pic 1.jpg

    boat pic 4.jpg

    console 4.jpg

    boat pic 2.jpg
    Last edited by plummer425; 05-02-2012 at 11:20 AM. Reason: space out pictures

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to plummer425 For This Useful Post:

    Frank - 0 (05-02-2012), keithsturkie82 (05-22-2012)

  3. #2
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    Default The build begins

    I wish I had many more picture to document this project, but we went at it hard for three solid weeks and really didn't take the time to take pictures. We have a few, but not enough to really give the project justice. I hope the before and after shots will be enough.

    We started day one with a rake, a shovel and a power washer. The boat had collected quite a bit of debris over the years, but after a solid morning of work, things started taking shape.

    Everything was washed down. Bleach, soft scrub and elbow grease were all utilized.

    The T-top was disassembled, wires yanked out and cleaned up. The console was taken apart completely, holes were patched, rotten areas ripped out and the entire unit was repainted.

    Prior to my arrival, David had the transom rebuilt to its original design by Curtis Harris in Brunswick, GA. Curtis is the granson of Willie Harris, the maker of the famous Willie Harris boats. We were in good hands.

    Once we got everything taken apart and cleaned up, we needed to put things back together. We put the console and T-top in the boat and I quickly realized that we had a problem. Both were too short for my 6'4'' frame. I would have to stoop to steer and wear a football helmet to protect my head from the T-top rod holders.

    We decided to build four inch bases to mount both on and this proved to be more difficult that we expected. Eventually, things came together and these bases were fiberglassed into the deck. No need to stoop and my head was safe. I would be the only person in the family that could reach the rods, but heck, it was to be my dream boat, not anyone elses'.

    The bottom was painted, the trailer was rebuilt (bearings, hubs, electrical) and the T-top and console were mounted in place. We were then able to trailer the boat to Darien, GA where the engine was being stored and had it mounted onto the transom.

    The pictures below show what was accomplished during our first two weeks of work.


    t-top and console basees.jpg

    boat in yard 1.jpg

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  5. #3
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    Default Turi takes over

    Along the way, we secured additional components - a Stealth Charger, electrical switches, wiring, lights, a fuel tank, to name a few.

    We then got a big break. Joe "Turi" Spatola, a former head rigger at the Carolina Skiff factory and personal friend of cousin David, had a week off and agreed to do the final rigging.

    We took the boat and all of the stuff over to Waycross and let him take over. For the next five days, I had the pleasure of watching a true craftsman at work. He hooked up all the lights, the switches, the fuel tank, the engine controls, everything. All the while, David and I handed him tools and did little odds and ends that needed doing.

    Turi likes things done right and often said, "If it were mine, I'd do it like this". We'd always take his advice. The end product is clean, orderly and well thought out. David and I could have got everything working, but it would have taken us twice as long and certainly would not have been as professional looking as it is.

    Not only is Turi talented, but a heck of a neat guy to spend some time with. I sincerely enjoyed getting to know him and learn from him. This project has his fingerprints all over it and I will forever be greatful for his efforts.

    We also bought a front bow deck from Satilla Marine in Waycross and Turi supervised us in its installation. We mounted the trolling motor batteries under the front deck and got everything hooked up and ready to go.

    On Friday afternoon, everything was done. The motor ran, the lights worked and we were ready to head back to Jekyll for sea trials.

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  7. #4
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    Default Sea Trials

    After completing a few odds and loading all the safety gear, we headed out for sea trials. We had a chase boat captained by another cousin, DJ, on call, but he wasn't needed. After a few laps close to the dock, we did some serious cruising, ending up at Dover's Bluff where we met up with a bunch of family members.

    I can't tell you how much fun it was to show them our finished product and take a few for a ride.

    All these folks have a lot of experience with Carolina Skiffs, especially cousin Mike who was the former president of the company. He gave his approval of our rebuild which was especially satisfying.

    Cousin Bernard also gave his approval and after driving the boat hard for a few minutes, raised his eyebrows and said, "This thing'll beat the pants off anything else around here''. Another very satifying moment.

    Bottom line, she hauls. Rides great and will be a true flats fishin' machine. The sea trials went flawlessly with no problems. The GPS had us doing over 40 mph with six people in the boat!!

    Hopefully, the pictures below will give you an idea of the finished product.


    boat a bluff dock.jpg

    family on boat.jpg

    at bluff.jpg

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    Capt. Jim (05-04-2012), Frank - 0 (05-02-2012), keithsturkie82 (05-22-2012), lsucole (05-02-2012), mikeinva (05-04-2012)

  9. #5
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    Default A few final thoughts

    We trailered the boat down to our new home on Pine Island and its getting plenty of use. She handles the shallow flats around here perfectly and should be exactly what I dreamed it would be.

    I could not have completed or even begun this project without my cousin David. It was his boat. He went all the way to Stuart, FL to test out the engine. He secured the trailer and T-top. He secured the console. He listened to my ideas for months, multiple ideas repeated multiple times. He also put up with me, my wife and three dogs for three weeks, working non-stop to put this whole thing together. Well, maybe it wasn't non-stop. During the process, we ate a lot of good food and drank lots of beer. We argued about things and agreed about things. But we got it done and it could not have happened without him. Thanks Cuz!!

    I also need to thank Kim, Carmen, Melinda, Mike, and again, Turi for all they did and put up with.

    The slab lives!!!!!!

    By the way, our dogs like it, too and it catches fish!!

    Hope you all enjoyed the story and use it as motivation to rebuild your own skiff some day. You won't be disappointed.

    dogs on boat.jpg

    Marty with snook.jpg

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  11. #6
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    Default

    You got a winner!
    DLX 2180 Yam 90 TLR

  12. #7
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    Default Dolphin Dancer

    Very, very nice Plummer. I love hearing (and seeing) what others have done or are doing to their Skiffs. It is not only inspiring but just plain cool.
    My hat is off to you. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. I know I am enjoing my Skiff.

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    plummer425 (05-02-2012)

  14. #8
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    Default

    Holy COW that is cool! I am in the process of re-doing my whole 1965 DLX. Right now I am getting the stuff together...the one thing that is cool about mine is that in needing to replace the rear deck, I actually made it removable. When it is time to run wires, electrical, batteries and the steering that will make it most fun.

    I am off to Nage Head this next week with the family sans boat :( but when I return it is going to be head on to get it done. My goal is to be able to turn it over to BPS for the final setup on the motor and throttle assembly on June 16th. You should check out my albums.

    Anyway, awesome job and enjoy, I know I will be very soon!

  15. #9
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    Default

    What an awesome story. I always love seeing someone's discarded past being repurposed but what a great find and cool project! I've always wanted to get an old boat and strip it down to the bones and re-do it. My dream is a Betram FBSF 31.

    Thanks for the thread. Enjoy!
    2011 JVX 18cc
    2011 Suzuki D60 4-Stroke
    Venture Aluminum Trailer

  16. #10
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    Default

    Wow! What a great project ... family project that is! You saved a lot of money but as everyone else has said this boat means way more than just a boat or project its time spent with the family on a project that ALL can use an enjoy for years to come. Think of the stories and experiences that will come from this rebuild. I can feel and hear the pride in your words. Good for you and Congratulations on a great FINISHED product. Enjoy !

    Frank - 0
    2012 JVX 18 CC 70 Suzuki
    PARADE OF SKIFFS 2012

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