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Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by NorCal Boater, Jul 29, 2017.
What a great restoration thread (-:
Man....there is still so much to do but I have been continuing to chip away.
After my friend went back to Cal we were at a place where the motor fires up, gauges all work and there is power to the new switch panels. We tested the outputs but did not wire anything permanently. I needed to get the new carpet on the inside hull-sides so I could tuck the wire harness up under the gunnels. Before I could do that I needed to get the very old adhesive off first and we all know how much fun that is. So armed with my angle grinder and a wire cup brush I suited up and attacked. As expected it was really messy but it actually came off pretty easily. Here is both sides ready to put on the new....
I bought the carpet from Boat Carpet Central. Really good people to deal with. The biggest problem with installing the new carpet was the temps. The adhesive is supposed to be in an environment over 60 degrees and it has been so cold here in the south I couldn't get it done. But late last week it finally started warming up enough to get after it. Below is after installation....
As of a couple of days ago I got the steering cable and all of the wiring up under the gunnel. I have been going back through the wiring and cutting out, and replacing, 32 year-old corroded connectors. From the new switch panels, the blowers, bilge pumps, horn, GPS and courtesy lights are all functional.
I've recently made a decision to reupholster the cockpit seats and side panels. This was a hard decision as Cobalt has always had such nice interiors in their boats. As I have said, this project is not a restoration but more of a Resto-modification with much being updated. As much as I like it I'm growing a bit weary of the Cobalt tuck-n-roll look from the 80s. It's classy but I feel it dates the boat. Here is what it looked like originally....
I'm still designing the new and it will still have the deep contours but it will be two-tone and a bit more modern looking. I somewhat like the look of the newer Cobalts from the 90s and early 2000s. I'm currently taking apart the old seats and panels for the upholsterer. I hope I'm doing the right thing.
When I had the seat redone in my 230 We.my upholster guy made a suggestion to eliminate all the piping which really up dated the look.
That's the plan with one small exception. I'm going with two-colors on the new interior and I am going to use navy piping between the 2 colors only. The hull of the boat is Navy blue and I wanted to bring that color inside the boat. There will be very little of it. I've also found a place that will embroider the Cobalt logo in a couple of the vinyl panels. This is similar to what Cobalt does in their newer boats.
Here's the before and after
Very nice! I'm waiting for my vinyl to arrive so we can get this started....
Impressive. I really like the old Cobalts. The Engine looks pretty new?
I can see it's a small block but that's about it.
What a great boat.
You should do a YouTube of the restoration.
I know I would subscribe.
Jester, I barely have time to work on the boat and I'm doing 99% of myself. If I had to stop and video everything I would never get finished. And I have given myself a date of April 12th to have it finished.
The motor is a 383 Stroker of unknown horsepower. The last shop that worked on it estimates somewhere between 350-400. The motor was built about 13 years ago and only has a couple hundred hours on it. The guy who built the motor was abducted by aliens or something cuz no one can find him. I owned the boat with a partner from 1989-1998. I bought it back 2 1/2 years ago. When I got it, the motor had a blown head gasket, a bad starter and some exhaust manifold issues. This particular Cobalt model had some issues with water ingestion due to the location of the motor and sitting a bit too low in the boat. My old partner solved these issues by adding a closed cooling system an IMCO Power-Flo Exhaust system and the custom-built elbows you see. The engine runs very strong now and I just need to tidy up the wiring, get the seats reupholstered (waiting for the vinyl) and refinish the teak trim.
It's getting there....
Well it's really nice.
I can certainly understand the "Stop and Video" thing. It is time consuming, especially if you want to do it right.
Keep us posted, and when you get it out there, take a video of you hauling A$$ on the lake.
That would be cool.
Will do.... But you could possibly see it in person. I grew up in Seattle and have been boating most of my adult life, 50+ years. In Seattle we grew up with Unlimited Hydroplane racing. I recently discovered that Hydro Fest will be on Lake Guntersville in late June of this year and I am planning to come up for the races. I am the administrator of the Cobalt Forum, Club Cobalt and I am trying to organize a meet that weekend with some other members from the area. It would be great if Club Cobalt and Club Sea Ray members could raft up or something.
Nice work with your project Shawn. It is nice to see other's work. Mine is hiding under a tarp in over 4' of snow right now.
I have been plugging a way at the Cobalt this spring. After I got the carpet on the hull inside I had the upholstery finished on the side panels then I installed them so I could finish the wiring and courtesy lighting.
I also started putting some of the refinished teak trim back on
This week I reinstalled the wet bar and started putting the helm cabinet back in....
A month or so ago I also rebuilt and refinished the teak swim platform. This was in pretty rough shape but I think it came out pretty good....
Tomorrow the fuel tank goes back in and I will put 10-15 gallons of gas in it and start the motor. It's been a few months since it ran but it should be good. The swim platform will go on Wednesday and on Thursday I will have all of the seats back from the upholstery shop. They will go in Saturday and Sunday.
I'm starting to think I might actually finish it.
Shawn that boat is going to be beautiful!
looking very nice.....good work....
Thank you guys....
Looks AWESOME Shawn! Keep the progress-pix coming!
Late last week I put the fuel tank in and towed the boat to the gas station and put in 15 gallons. (holds 52) Back to the house and it's time to fire the engine. The mechanical stuff has been done for a while and I last started the motor last January and all was good. Expecting nothing less I turned on the battery switch and the first thing I notice is the fuel gauge is not working. I mean dead....no needle movement at all so a bit of testing and I determine the gauge is bad. I bought these gauges from a woman whose husband bought them 18 years ago to put them in a Sea Ray he was refurbishing. Unfortunately he passed away before he got that far. So the gauge set is NOS Faria but no longer made by Faria. Fortunately I found a matching new gauge at Great Lakes Skipper.
So fuel gauge issue solved it's time to start the motor. Cranking, cranking.... Got fuel but no fire even with starting fluid. Put the voltage meter on the coil with the ignition on and I got zero volts. So I run a jumper from the ING post on the switch to the + terminal on the coil and she fires right up. Cool. Check the gauges....uh oh. No oil pressure. Shut it off and start checking and the gauge is good. Hoping the sender is bad I order another one from Boatersland and it arrived late today. I had oil pressure the last time it run so fingers crossed it's just the sender. I didn't hear anything in the motor that sounded weird so I'll find out tomorrow when I install the new sender. As for the coil wire I'm just going to run a new wire from the ignition switch to the coil and bypass the harness and the 2 plugs. I'm wishing now I had run all new wire through the boat.
I've started putting upholstery back in. The bolsters for the cuddy went in Sunday and my wife is sewing the new cushions after I cut new foam on Saturday. Here is the start of the cuddy....
Under the white hatch is where the porti-potty goes. Love that fur but it was in too good of shape to tear it out.
I got all the seats back from the upholstery shop last Friday and I then assembled them in the frame and added the armrests. Here is the finished unit sitting on the engine cover. This is how it sits in the boat. That is a fixed, back-to-back unit that mounts to the engine cover. Because the helm is all the way to starboard you are looking at the helm seat to the left. That double seat faces forward and the passenger gets the fold down footrest.
Below is the backrest of the triple-wide stern seat and below that is a close-up of the Cobalt logo I had embroidered in the center.
I am hoping to put all of that in Thursday or Friday but these 3 pieces are a 2-man job and all of my friends are working. May have to see if I can get someone over after work.
The plan is to put her in the water Saturday morning and leave her in for a few days while I re-bunk the trailer. Looking forward to actually cruising her again. She has been on the trailer pretty much for 3 1/2 years.
Drum roll please....
LookING great Shawn. Nice touch on the embroidery! Amazing how gremlins emerge after a few months.
I expect drone, no, HELICOPTER video of this boat while underway! Good luck!
Looks great Shawn!
I can do the drone Ron but I have to learn to fly it better before I take it over the water. Don't want to splash the wrong toy.