Various stages of incompletion.

mcmxi

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There isn't much that's finished in my life with everything seeming to be an ongoing project with upgrades or repairs being the norm for me. The house, the property, the truck, the Jeep, the M1078, the tractors, the trailers and so on ... all projects in various stages of incompletion.

18 months ago I bought a boat which was my first and probably my last. Last summer I had the first taste of what boat ownership would or could be and I was hooked. The boat was in excellent condition when I bought it, and compared to the cost of a new and equivalent boat it was a very good buy. The original owner called me around Christmas to ask me if I would sell it back to him when he discovered the cost of a new Robalo R200.

As nice as the boat was, over the winter it occurred to me that the boat could be better, and it could be a project that I could complete. How nice would it be to have something that is complete, finished, done, such that all I have to do is maintain, wash, wax and enjoy the boat for the next 20 years. Perhaps getting this project done will be the first domino that falls.

Back in January I created a spreadsheet and listed a lot of nice upgrades and began ordering parts. A few weeks ago after getting my boat out of storage I took a week off work with the plan to get as much done as possible but it rained most of the week so no boat upgrades were completed.

Last weekend I was finally able to start on the upgrades and get a feel for the challenges that are part and parcel of working on a boat such as tight spaces, limited access, fiberglass, gelcoat, etc. I was going to title this thread "The ebb and flow of boat ownership" since that's how it's been with the upgrades. Some have been easier than I thought and others much harder. I'm nowhere near done but progress has been made. An old (cheap) transducer has been removed and three new transducers installed. A new jack plate with two transom backing plates has been installed. Bolting the new 200hp outboard to the jack plate is an easy job. The rigging will take an hour or so but again not hard.

Last night I was thrilled to discover that Robalo installed a large rigging tube between the center console and the rear bilge which will make pulling wires easy. Some have a very hard time getting wires from the back to the front, and since I have lots of wires to pull including for the three transducers, jack plate, trim tabs and second battery, this rigging tube is a game changer. I used the old transducer cable to pull two pieces of nylon line through the tube. I'll use the old transducer cable and one of the lines to pull the wires but will leave one line in the tube in case I need to pull something else through.

I still have to install the trim tabs which has been a bit of a fiasco. I originally ordered 24"x9" trim tabs then returned those for 18"x9" only to discover that they wouldn't fit on the transom due to Robalo's decision to limit the size of the mounting area. I returned the 18"x9" tabs and got 12"x12" instead, but even then, I have to remove some material from the stainless steel mounting plates and hinges to fit in the area that Robalo designated for tabs.

I'll provide some updates over the summer as I complete the other upgrades such as a whole new JL Audio sound system, a new GPSMAP display, Radar, VHF antenna, compass and more, and my very ambitious attempt to make a large, contiguous flat area on the console to allow me to install two displays.

Here's the old AIRMAR transducer with the marge larger and more capable Garmin transducer.

airmar&garmin.jpg


Measure ten times and drill once!

layout.jpg


Here are the three new transducers installed in the hull along with the view from underneath the boat. Transducer placement is important, and since the boat has an 18 degree deadrise I had to install one on each side of the keel. The long transducers are ClearView/SideView models.

GT56UHD & GT15M.jpg


hull_transducers.jpg


hull_transducers_2.jpg


Here's the jack plate installed and the bit of "machining" I had to do to clear one of the through-hull fittings. I cut and drilled a section of 3" c-channel to install on the inside of the transom to support the load. The upper bolts have a cast aluminum ROBALO branded plate that serves as a backer plate to support the load.

c_channel.jpg


jack_plate_mod.jpg


jack_plate.jpg
 
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mcmxi

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One thing is for sure, the quality of the work I'm doing is way better than a local boat dealership would do. I can't imagine the cost of paying someone to do all this.

So here are some photos of both ends of the rigging tube and the old transducer cable and two nylon lines already pulled.

rigging_tube_front.jpg


rigging_tube_rear.jpg


line_pull_front.jpg


line_pull_rear.jpg
 
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mcmxi

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I have lots more to do but most of the hard stuff is done. Once I install the trim tabs this week, and get all the cables pulled to the front I'll be done at the stern. I'll be installing dual Optima batteries tomorrow with a new shut off switch that will allow both batteries to be combined in parallel. Normally one will be used to start the engine and the other to run all electronics. Both are charged by the 70A alternator on the engine.

Here's a photo showing the current dashboard with my planned upgrade that will require fiberglass and gelcoat along with lots of cutting. I need to fill in the recessed area where the display and gauges currently reside to make one contiguous, flat are so that I can have two displays.

current_layout.jpg


New layout 2.jpg
 

mcmxi

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Here's the Radar/GPS/VHF mount that I've modeled in SolidWorks. It'll bolt to the aluminum tower using existing rectangular sections for this very thing. I have all of the material on hand and just need to cut, fit and weld everything.

mount_1.jpg


mount_2.jpg


tower.jpg
 
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hedgerow

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mcmxi looks like the boat is getting a lot of nice up grades. Can't say I have ever been a boat person. I have enjoyed a few that friends have owned. Years ago I had more shed space than I needed and took in a few boats and campers for storage. Have sold a fair amount of boats and campers for the folks that I stored there rigs as they got too old to use or something in there live happen. One statement that a old guy told me that I sold his big cabin cruiser for was there are two happy days of owning a boat the day you bought it and the day you sold it. Have fun summer with the boat.
 
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GeoHorn

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@mxmxi … VERY Nice work!

I’ve had a number of boats…. and NONE of them have been a “hole in the water”…

but they do become ”works of personal-pleasure” IMO…. so many toys and not enough time to spend on them all-at-once. :ROFLMAO:
 
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mcmxi

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there are two happy days of owning a boat the day you bought it and the day you sold it.
An oldie but a goodie! 😂 I already passed on the chance to sell this boat, but I tend to hold onto things and look after them. I've had my Jeep for 23 years so I'm fairly sure this boat will still be around and still be enjoyed 10 years from now. I despise salt water, and this boat has never seen it and never will.
 

mcmxi

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@mxmxi … VERY Nice work!

I’ve had a number of boats…. and NONE of them have been a “hole in the water”…

but they do become ”works of personal-pleasure” IMO…. so many toys and not enough time to spend on them all-at-once. :ROFLMAO:
Thanks! Yeah, there are many sayings about boats, some of them funny, but I don't pay attention to them because they're meaningless. I'm enjoying it and will get to enjoy the heck out of it this summer on some really nice lakes and a reservoir.
 

GeoHorn

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Got a Name picked-out for it yet? (a funny seen on the water on the coast: “Dixie-Wrecked”
(say it out loud)
 
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Tarmy

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Next up,
IMG_0383.jpeg
you gotta get some stuff to go with it…just sayin”
 
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mcmxi

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Got a Name picked-out for it yet? (a funny seen on the water on the coast: “Dixie-Wrecked”
(say it out loud)
A friend of mine often sends me photos of boats with funny names. Just today he sent me a photo of a boat named "Leaking But Whole". 😂

I don't know about the whole name thing. Not really my thing.
 
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Tarmy

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I always enjoy your lake photos ... beautiful. 🙂
I get a bit jealous of your terrain pics too….
I hope you have many fun hours on the Flathead lake(I am assuming that will be your preferred lake)…that entire area and your place near there is spectacular…
 
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mcmxi

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I get a bit jealous of your terrain pics too….
I hope you have many fun hours on the Flathead lake(I am assuming that will be your preferred lake)…that entire area and your place near there is spectacular…
Yes, I'm 15 minutes from Flathead Lake and it's definitely my favorite lake to putter around on. Hoping to put the boat in this Sunday if I can get all the things done that are mission critical.
 

WFM

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That's a great project. But I thought you never finished projects ???
This one looks like yiu nailed it !!!
Great job.
My fishing boat was a Lund 16' with side console and 50 hp Evenrude, three downriggers, planer boards and lots of nice salmon and trout were brought aboard. Then I started working more hours. Eventually sold it.
Once in a while when the blue fish were off the coast here my dad and I would go out the Saco river maybe two miles out into the ocean and catch the mighty fighting blue fish.
I'm not a but salt water, sea sick person so we would go twice a summer when we heard the fish were in.
But anyway there was always a big fishing boat we'd see heading out the Saco River and the name on the back ??
'DEEP POCKETS'
I always remember that and would laugh.
So Cap'tn, your welcome to name your boat that. Makes sense right.
 
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ctfjr

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If there ever was an example of "Boat ownership, a hole in the water to throw money into". . .

Nice work!

My dad was into boating his whole life. I know 1st hand the obsession it is :)
 
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GeoHorn

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Lake Austin has a few dockside restaurants which attract some pretty expensive boats and pretty people. One of them is similar to a floating drive-in …. with a sandy beachside volleyball court… college girls and guys are common players.
I was after a hamburger and pulling into a slip with my little 18-foot walk-thru when I noticed a gaggle of cute buttocks wearing thongs hung over the stern of a 4-engined cigarette boat… with the “captain” walking the deck talking business on a cell phone.
I looked again at the pretty row of buttocks….. sitting just above the stern…with the name of the boat…
....”Location”.

I think the owner may have been oil-field related.
 
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mcmxi

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I got the new outboard installed on the jack plate today, but due to the weather I didn't do much else. I put the EWK vacuum extractor to good use and started the process of emptying the 70 gallon fuel tank. I don't know how much is in there, maybe 25 gallons or so, but I want to start out with fresh, ethanol free gas so figured I'd use the gas from the boat in my Jeep.

vf200xb_install_2.jpg


ewk_vacuum.jpg
 
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