MFF US Southeast > South Carolina

Boat Rehab


I have started the rehab of the boat. I actually started a month or so ago, I am just getting started on the journal of this project. This is a 1977 Mark Twain V-Sonic 180. It's a 18' walk-through cruiser with a Mercruiser 888. This 18', 188 horse power I/O is a classic that just needs some TLC from me. Here's a couple pics from the time I bought her in 2007.

Here is what I have now....

I have run the boat once in the past 3 years, not at all in the past 2. This is due to financial ramifications. I have half-heartedly tried to sell the boat, but I didn't get any takers and I really didn't try to hard. I have decided to get her back into shape; either to use or sell. The catalyst to getting her ready for sea was a neighbor of mine. He owns a marine interior company, doing all aspects of installing and repairing cushions, carpet, helms, canopies, and covers. He was moving and needed some plumbing work done on the pool in his back yard. I told him I would do the work for trade, not for payment. I did the plumbing, he got me the marine vinyl I needed to recover all the cushions on my boat. I felt I could do all the work myself as it wasn't going to be a professional job, but a functional job.


There are 3 bow cushions, all held in by snaps. I left off the snaps as they are not really needed. If there is any cushion slip, I can put a couple blcoks of wood on the bottom of the 2 side cushions. There are holes for storage on the 2 side cushions, so this would be quite easy. I pulled the 3 out of the bow and set them on end in the garage to let the water drain out. After a week of standing on end, I pulled the old vinyl off the plywood and cushion. I took a screwdriver to each staple to make sure I got every one out of the wood.

It took quite a while for the cushions and wood to dry, but they finally did. I put them into plastic bags, laid them on the new material, and cut the pattern. I then started on the straight edge, pulled the material up approximately 2", and stapled the row. I made one big mistake here that I am debating on changing. The staples I used are not Stainless steel, so they are going to corrode fairly quickly. I also did not stain the bottom of the wood, so I will probably revisit these 3 and fix those errors. With that aside, I am very happy with how the first 3 turned out.



Last weekend was the start of the bench seat. It looks like someone took 3 foldaway boat seats and screwed them to vinyl covered plywood. I took the seats off the plywood and then stripped away the torn vinyl. I put them in a closet with wire shelving, put fan on them, and left a dehumidifier on overnight to dry them out. Getting the foam dry is the biggest challenge, but i am getting better at it. I wanted to get away from 3 cushions side by side to one long bench seat. While the foam was drying I applied a couple coats of stain to the bottom of the plywood for extra protection and better looks. I also picked up a box of stainless steel staples, which I should have have used on the bow seats. I put each foam cushion in a plastic bag and lined them up side by side on the back of the new vinyl. I decided to use masking tape to hold the cushions in place as I wrapped and secured the new vinyl. I used a different technique on the ends of this bench and I like the looks and function of this the best. The bench seat came out great, so I went ahead and took out the backrest to the bench so I can work on that next weekend.
  I will get the boat on the water and then revisit the bow seats with stain  and stainless steel staples.  I have been in discussions with various people about whether to drain the gas tank and the consensus is that it would be the best way to go. I'm not sure what I will get done this weekend, everyone in the house is sick.
  Here is some more pics from last weekend.


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