Starcraft 11 ‘ 6″ Boat Refurbishment – Part I, Seats

After turning it right-side up, just before towing it
This is part one of a multi-part effort to return this boat to life.  It was last licensed in 1999, I found it upside down in about a foot of water.  No telling how long it had been there.  I was able to float it out; there is a lot to be said for aluminum.  One seat, and the wood on both sides of the transom, were almost completely rotted away, the wood on the two remaining seats was heavily damaged.  There is a lot of work to do, and, I will start with the seats.
I had already removed the seats from the boat, and we power washed the boat and seat boxes yesterday at the local car wash.

Step one was to use a wire brush on my drill to remove surface rust from the galvanized sheet metal box that provides structural support to the seat, and protects the Styrofoam flotation located under the seat.
Step two was to disassemble the galvanized sheet metal box to allow access to blind nuts that with machine screws hold the wood seat to the box. This required the removal of 10 pop rivets, which I did using a one quarter inch drill bit on my drill.
Before wiring brushing
Before pop rivet removal
Pop rivets removed

The flotation Styrofoam is 33 3/4 inches long by 10 inches wide by 6 inches high.  So,  33 3/4 in. x 10 in. x 6 in. = 2025 cu. in. per float, we know we have two floats, and we know there are 231 cubic inches per gallon, and that a displaced gallon of water weights 8.33 lbs.  Therefore, ((2025 cu. in. / float x 2 floats) / 231 cu. in. / gallon) x 8.33 lbs. / gallon = 146 lbs of flotation; more than enough to float the boat, even if it is holed in a bad way.

Visually the seat is slightly wider at the front than at the back, maybe a quarter of an inch overall. Measuring the length of the installed seat, that is the width as installed in the boat, it is 46 7/8 inches at its fore-aft midpoint, on its top surface. On its bottom surface the width is 46 3/8 inches. So, there is a taper of 1/2 inch in the overall width, wider at the top and narrower at the bottom of the seat; this is to accommodate the narrowing of the hull. This will slightly complicate cutting the seat to fit. The width of the seat, that is the four to aft dimension as installed in the boat, is 11 3/8 inches.
Ready to remove rails from seats

The condition of the galvanized coating inside the box is good. I will not disturb that. On the bottom horizontal surface of the box, the surface facing the hull of the boat, there was significant surface rust. I will remove that with the wire wheel, and paint the box.

Disassembly complete

Step three was the removal of the “angle iron” rails from the bottom side of the wooden seat. This required a flathead screwdriver, impact drill, and 3/8 inch socket. (These rails are then pop riveted to the three-sided galvanized sheet metal box that holds the Styrofoam, the seat then forming the top of the box.) Turns out, these lengths of angle iron are aluminum. I find that a curious choice, since the boxes are galvanized sheet metal.

As step four, I decided to finish preparing for paint and painting the seat boxes. This involved more wire brushing, cleaning with a spray cleaner, and then wiping down the boxes with paint thinner. The paint is oil based.  Battleship gray, what else. Damn that looks good! You can see the reflection of the paint can!


That’s it for today. On to another project while the paint dries.