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  • In need of help! Dry rot?

    I just got some really bad news. I dropped my boat off to get some work done on the alternator last week, and i just got a call from NorCal Mastercraft saying that my 1983 stars and stripes had dry rot everywhere- stringers, transom, and floor. To be honest I am a little lost. I bought the boat because I thought the stringers in a 1983 mastercraft where made of fiberglass, not wood. As far as I know, dry rot is a real ****er and renders the boat pretty much useless unless I was to have loads of money laying around. What the heck should I do? Are the stringers really made out of wood in an 1983 S&S? Is it salvageable? Having a boat meant a lot to me.

    I really need somebody's advice/knowledge who knows much more than I. I'm a college student and invested quite a bit in this boat. Its a rough day today.

  • #2
    As far as I know, all glass (meaning not wood in the middle surrounded by glass) stringers did not start till mid 1983.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Czechmate View Post
      I just got some really bad news. I dropped my boat off to get some work done on the alternator last week, and i just got a call from NorCal Mastercraft saying that my 1983 stars and stripes had dry rot everywhere- stringers, transom, and floor. To be honest I am a little lost. I bought the boat because I thought the stringers in a 1983 mastercraft where made of fiberglass, not wood. As far as I know, dry rot is a real ****er and renders the boat pretty much useless unless I was to have loads of money laying around. What the heck should I do? Are the stringers really made out of wood in an 1983 S&S? Is it salvageable? Having a boat meant a lot to me.

      I really need somebody's advice/knowledge who knows much more than I. I'm a college student and invested quite a bit in this boat. Its a rough day today.
      So sorry to hear this. The fiberglass stringers/floor were a mid year change in 1983. So, some '83's are wood and some are glass. The glass version looks like this:
      Attached Files

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      • #4
        Originally posted by tph View Post
        So sorry to hear this. The fiberglass stringers/floor were a mid year change in 1983. So, some '83's are wood and some are glass. The glass version looks like this:
        tph, what exactly should I be looking at for reference? As far as my memory serves me, I cant tell difference between your engine bay and mine.

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        • #5
          I believe its the location of the exhaust hose. Wood stringers, the hose goes outside the stringer, glass the hose sits to the inside.

          Sent from my LG-D851 using Tapatalk

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Czechmate View Post
            ..I really need somebody's advice/knowledge who knows much more than I. I'm a college student and invested quite a bit in this boat. Its a rough day today.
            So here's my take on this after 37 years of old school Mastercrafts. Take it or leave it.

            As far as I know all of the older boats were wood stringers. At some point (83) the wood got a resin coating with glass overlay and someone in their infinite wisdom said that was good and no more wood. I say that is not true. You are a good point and case. Even the 83 and up through that generation is wood with glass. I may be wrong but I have often challenged anyone to correct me by busting one open and showing me something other than wood internally. I still say the same today.

            So, that said, you have an issue that will take more time than money, however the material will cost a little. I am doing an 81 now that is stripped to the bare hull on the inside. I am cutting stringers as we speak.

            I'll start with the engine and work down to the hull:

            Room to work

            An engine hoist to lift the engine (many different ways to lift the engine out) / pull the transmission out with it attached.

            Remove the drive shaft

            Remove the carpet (in as much of one piece as practical for a template to set in new carpet)

            Cut out the floor (use the oscillating saw to cut the fiberglass tabs and keep the floor in one piece / side for side, etc for a template)

            Clean out all of the foam and do not plan on replacing that mess

            Use the same saw or disc grinder to cut the old stringers out

            Lay in new stringers

            Glass the new stringers

            Reset the engine

            Put in a new cutlass bearing in the shaft strut

            Replace the shaft

            Align the engine

            Set in new flooring

            Carpet

            Done deal

            All that said to say this; there are at least five threads here that cover every single step required to do this as well as several experts on face **** that can answer any question that you could possibly have. You'll need a shop or garage to do the work. Storage space is often a challenge. I have a larger garage so I have plenty of room. Your mileage may vary. OR.....sell it cheap and let someone else do it that sees the potential and has the love of labor for the project.

            Easy work, time consuming, relatively inexpensive (less than $1K if you shop frugally)

            When you're done it's good for another 25.

            Material: four Douglas fir planks (2 - 8" and two 10") where some folks use LVL planks, a 50 foot roll of glass mat (and maybe a little more), approx. 8-10 gallon of epoxy resin (some prefer the poly-resin) however six gallons may get you by, an oscillating front-blade saw, maybe a disc grinder, a shop vacuum, protective clothes (fiberglass itches), plyboard (marine or not, I choose not and put epoxy on builder grade plyboard), carpet, strut bearing, feeler gauges, wrenches, etc.

            Find one of several threads here and other on the Nautique forum. Lots of experience, write-ups and photos to be found. Don't forget YouTube.

            Time is mostly the issue but if you plan this out, get the material, and work the plan, you can do it in 4 good solid working weekends.

            Read up a little more as I suggested and decide for yourself. It is really not hard, just tedious and time consuming if you lolly-gag around.

            A guy on face **** cut out his two main stringers last week in 1.5 hours. Just an example of how to plan the work and work the plan will get you through this in a timely manner. He's a first timer on stringers. Some people spend months and into years on a restoration. You are not looking to restore but to refurbish with one thing in mind.....quality work in a short amount of time.

            The pictures above are merely a reinforcement for the engine mount and do not necessarily mean there is a woodless stringer. There has to be something more in that stringer to hold the bolted connections, etc....I need to see a picture of anything different but all I have cut open are rotted wood inside the layer of fiberglass.

            Otherwise I have seen labor/material cost a bunch as you have stated...upwards of the entire job in the $3K - 5K range.

            You can do this with zero labor charge. Jump on it and make it happen. You'll have a new appreciation for boats and your personal project. Nothing like it other than finishing and walking away

            Could be a worse day so look at this as an opportunity to learn and persevere. God made you smart enough to be a college kid. Learn from folks here and your experience and pass on the legacy knowledge to your generation and the next. Most importantly, finish college even if you sacrifice a few summers of boating. You'll come out far ahead.
            Last edited by waterlogged882; 03-09-2016, 08:14 PM.
            93 190
            (safe click)

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            • #7
              Wood construction

              I may be wrong but I have often challenged anyone to correct me by busting one open and showing me something other than wood internally. I still say the same today.
              Attached Files

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              • #8
                I have seen that very picture more times than I can count.

                I am not looking to be corrected by a pamphlet.

                Show me from first-hand experience of cutting, looking, and photographing.

                I am not saying you are wrong nor that I am 100% correct. I am saying that no one has ever demonstrated as I stated.

                No need for me to argue the point. I stand on the challenge to cut one open when needed and snap a photo.

                .
                Attached Files
                93 190
                (safe click)

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                • #9
                  Thoughts are with you brother!!!!!! I hate this news

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                  • #10
                    Good to see your still above ground Sporky...........

                    Very helpful post too.
                    ___________________________________________


                    ________________________________

                    Originally posted by bturner2
                    Myself I'll live on the edge and surf without a helmet.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by waterlogged882 View Post
                      I have seen that very picture more times than I can count.

                      I am not looking to be corrected by a pamphlet.

                      Show me from first-hand experience of cutting, looking, and photographing.

                      I am not saying you are wrong nor that I am 100% correct. I am saying that no one has ever demonstrated as I stated.

                      No need for me to argue the point. I stand on the challenge to cut one open when needed and snap a photo.

                      .
                      Chuck, if I understand what you're saying, you want someone to prove a negative. Please don't take this as a personal affront, but who in his right mind is going to cut open an 83 or 84 on up just to prove a point if he isn't having structural problems? I mention 84 as a reference because it sounded like you were saying that later boats than 83 may have had glassed wood. If so, when do you theorize this construction practice stopped?. If there are 84 and up with stringer issues due to their being glassed wood, where are they? Believe me, if this is true, it's quite a black eye for MC. But in all my years on here, I don't recall ever seeing anyone with major stringer issues in a model purported to have other than wood stringers. So instead of challenging the rest of us to prove a negative, please show us the evidence that MC was using glassed wood stringers past some point in 83. If I'm wrong, I'll certainly admit it, but it seems like quite an allegation to make, only to back it up with "prove me wrong."

                      Again, no personal affront is intended. It's just a lot to swallow.

                      All that said, MC was still using wood in boats into the late 80s from what I have read (I didn't cut up the apparent plastic and aluminum bits in my 93 to prove it was wood free though.
                      Previous: 1993 Prostar 205

                      Red 1998 Ski Nautique, PCM GT40, 310 hp, , Acme 4 blade, Perfect Pass SG/Zbox.

                      FAQ


                      Be kind. Have fun.

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                      • #12
                        Czechmate...tough news to take when you thought you were safe from this.

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                        • #13
                          For what it's worth; My '82 had the exhaust on the centerline side of the main stringers.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Czechmate View Post
                            tph, what exactly should I be looking at for reference? As far as my memory serves me, I cant tell difference between your engine bay and mine.
                            His are glass stringers because the engine mounts are attached to a steel plate and if they are wood the engine mounts would be attached to the wood stringers.

                            Wood...

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jetlag View Post
                              His are glass stringers because the engine mounts are attached to a steel plate and if they are wood the engine mounts would be attached to the wood stringers.

                              Wood...
                              Glass...
                              Attached Files

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