1961 Crestliner Restomod (Update) – Bench Seats

1961 Crestliner Restomod (Update) – Bench Seats

It has been a while since I have worked on the Crestliner.  Since moving from Proctor, the boat had sat in the unfinished part of the basement.  With the purchase of a boat cover and acquirement of a boat trailer, it moved into the backyard.  It has been there for a year now.

Earlier in the spring, I decided to put some time into the project.  I has actually been eight year since I last worked on the project.  In 2008, I had rebuilt the bow with new aluminum and fiberglass reinforcement, new paint on the outside and Grizzly Grip on the inside.

One of the things that I first noticed when I started to get back into the project was the Grizzly Grip and fiberglass at the stern of the boat, on the inside, had cracked and detached from the aluminum body.  Removing all the detached material, I sanded, cleaned, primed and reapplied Grizzly Grip to the area.

IMG_3378Next on the list, bench seats.  The original seats in the boat were removed in 2008.  The aluminum floats set aside.  At the time, a friend of mine was restoring a sail boat.  He told me about ipê.  It’s a tropical hardwood that has similar properties to teak, but costs much less.  He was using this wood on parts of his boat’s deck.  It was set, I’d use ipê, too.

When I set the project aside in 2008, I had built one of the benches.  Going with yacht or sail boat theme, the ipê pieces are spaced with caulking in the gap between.  The caulking, teak decking caulk, is strange.  It cleans up like a silicone caulk, but sands like a latex window and door caulk.

In addition to the caulking being available online (it was in 2008, as well), ipê lumber is also now available for purchase over the internet.  From Buffalo, NY, no less, with reasonable (in my opinion) shipping costs.  I ordered eight, 1″ x 4″ x 5′ boards.  The bundle arrived within a week, wrapped in cardboard and a dozen or so layers of plastic wrap.

I had forgotten the distinct smell of ipê when cut, as well as color of sawdust – yellow.  A new blade on the radial saw, and I was business.  The slats of wood were produced quickly – just ripping 1.¼” pieces.  The substrate, marine grade plywood, was assembled in 2008, and put aside.  A ¼” gap (or there abouts) between each slat, a bead of Gorilla glue, a lot of clamps, and within a day, the second bench seat came together.  Caulking filled the spaces between slats.

And that’s where we are at with the project at the moment.  The second seat needs to be cut to the correct length.  Final sanding is also required. Aluminum floats need installing, and then we can mount the seats in the boat.  A piece of ipê is also needed for the transom.  A handle of some kind is needed at the bow, and a bit of electrical work is still to be done in the boat, too.