1978 Starcraft SUS 16ft - Rebuild and Fix'er up

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silentbravo
Posts: 58
Joined: 03 Jan 2021, 19:59
Location: Idaho

1978 Starcraft SUS 16ft - Rebuild and Fix'er up

Post by silentbravo »

I got this beauty from my uncle about 2-3 years ago. Didn't even get it out on the water until last year, and had to do a bit of work to it then to outfit for Kokanee fishing/trolling. The boat sat outside for about 5 years before I got it, and the weather/pine needles certainly didn't do it any favors. I'm setting it up for lake trolling (mostly figured that out last year) and bass fishing on the local lake/reservoir. May use it on the river at some point, but I'm not experienced enough to be playing on rivers yet.

Here's the best picture I have at the moment, and can't really get a good one until I put it back together and move it.
P1090140.jpg
It has a 1993 Johnson 48 SPL (2 stroke) that runs real nice at mid-WOT, doesn't idle very good. Will have to look into that. Also has a 1998 Honda 4 stroke 8hp, runs like a champ that I got from my friend on trade. Then this last year I installed a Minn Kota Maxxum 80lb electric trolling motor on the bow. I only got to use the TM once before we put the boat away last year, so that gave me an idea on some more mods for that lol.

Here's the shortlist of mods to be done:
  • Rebuild Transom - In progress as of 4/11/21
  • Rewire almost everything, adding electrical accessories - Have most of the parts in hand, or shipping to me
  • Addon to the center console
  • Repaint the deck
  • Rebuild the bow deck
  • Add fishing rod storage
Seems so simple in the shortlist format! Maybe we should break that out a little bit.

Transom
I have pretty much everything to redo this and have just glued the first pieces together today. Need a few rollers for the epoxy and maybe mixing sticks. Will go into more detail in next posts.

Electrical
Here's where it gets fun. I love low voltage electrical, did tons of mods to my truck and the boat is getting the same treatment.
  • Will be running a lot of new wiring and replacing some
  • New bow navigation lights on either side of the boat, since the trolling motor is in the center and in the way of traditional combo nav light.
  • New fishfinder on the console, already purchased a Garmin 93sv, need to mockup the mount
  • Old smaller fishfinder on the bow casting deck (already installed, but could move)
  • Under gunnel LED lighting for night fishing
  • 2 new batteries for the Maxxum TM at some point, installed under front deck.
  • Already have the onboard battery charger for the 2 TM batteries, Pro Charging Systems Dual Pro Recreation series (2 battery)
  • Pro Charging Systems B.O.S. Battery Optimization System to be connected to the TM batteries to keep them real healthy
  • New switch panels installed to console
  • Kill switch installed to console (possibly/probably?)
  • Tachometer
  • Deep cycle 35AH "accessory" battery installed for all lights/fishfinder/etc
  • Blue Sea Systems Add-A-Battery switch and ACR for the cranking battery to accessory battery
  • Bilge pump
  • Blue Sea Systems Dimmer switch for onboard lighting
  • Battery meter gauge for the 2 TM batteries
  • Probably something else... I'm forgetting
Center Console
  • I need to build a better lid for the top of console. Was considering some fiberglass lid with a spot for the tachometer to fit into, similar to what all the new boats consoles look like, rounded toward the driver (aerodynamic).
  • Windshield was an idea, but may or may not happen
  • Installing various electrical switch panels/etc
  • May replace some of the wood and/or repaint what's there. Not in that great of shape
  • Mount 9" fishfinder screen somewhere
Rebuilding the Front Deck
  • Needs wood replaced, rotting out in parts.
  • Install a recessed TM foot pedal tray
  • Install a removable seat base
  • Reconfigure the layout below this, to fit batteries, recharging electronics, foot tray, and try to keep some storage available
Fishing rod storage
Not sure how to go about this yet. There is dead space on the sides of boat that might work, will make a post about this later.


Should be able to do all this in a couple weekends right? lol :LOL2:

I'm not sure what this boat is worth, or could be worth in nice shape. I expect it's basically the same as a vehicle where you will almost never realize an increase in worth for mods done. I do know that boats are a hole in the water you throw money into, and in some respects I don't mind, but I also do not intend to spend LOTS of money on some repairs to the boat. The exterior/waterside for example, I have no intentions of repainting or spiffing it up. The boat doesn't have to look amazing, it just needs to float, fish real nice and get me back from wherever I take it. Anyway, if I can get everything accomplished here, this is going to be a sweet fishing machine that I hope to be taking out a lot. This is my first boat, and only had it out a handful of times, so plenty to learn on my part. Anyway, follow along if you are interested. I typically post a lot of pictures so it should be nice to look at occasionally. Will probably have plenty of questions as well. :lol:
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1978 Starcraft SUS 16 O/B
Powered by:
1993 Johnson 48 SPL - 2 Stroke 48hp Model: J48ESLETE
1998 Honda 8hp - 4 stroke Model: BF8A
Minn Kota Maxxum 80lb electric TM
Boat build log

silentbravo
Posts: 58
Joined: 03 Jan 2021, 19:59
Location: Idaho

1978 Starcraft SUS 16ft - Rebuild and Fix'er up

Post by silentbravo »

* Please excuse the green tint to the pictures. The boat is under an awning with transparent green roof, so it adds that tint. I try to remove some of it, which can mess up other colors.

Big thanks to DaleH on this forum for his how-to on basically the exact same transom and boat. I am pretty much copying that build. Link to that thread here, New Transom – 1976 Starcraft Holiday 15 Model

Here is the back of the boat disassembled. Plenty of holes.. some not necessary anymore. Will see how I want to go about fixing that.
P1090193.jpg
P1090196.jpg
Here is original? transom removed. You can see how good of shape it was in.
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Bent like a banana
P1090204.jpg
Here is what a $70 sheet of 1/2" AC plywood looks like, getting cut up.
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20210403_144438.jpg
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I never really got a convincing answer either way about more plys in a transom being better on my other thread. Plywood prices are ridiculous, actually pretty much all wood is high right now. 1/2" is slightly cheaper so I went that way. Now the original transom the little wings were separate, but I am building them into my new transom as one piece. They probably aren't critical to the structure, only 1 bolt goes through that part of the transom wood, just a 1/4" bolt on the side. I'm sure from factory they did it that way to get more transoms out of a single sheet of plywood. It's only 12" tall without those wings.

I left some room on the sides to screw the pieces together for gluing. Used Titebond III and put the first pieces together today.
20210411_160505.jpg
Will let this dry for a while then cut it out precisely and test fit. If everything is looking good I will attach the 3rd piece and sandwich the center/small wings into the middle.

After it's all together, put it back into the boat and drill smaller holes, same size as a holesaw arbor bit for the larger holes, then remove it and oversize the holes to fill with epoxy, when I epoxy the entire thing. Hopefully if I get the smaller holes drilled exactly straight then the holesaw arbor will follow that and drill straight through. I guess it doesn't need to be to precise since it is being filled with epoxy and redrilled again now that I think about it.
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1978 Starcraft SUS 16 O/B
Powered by:
1993 Johnson 48 SPL - 2 Stroke 48hp Model: J48ESLETE
1998 Honda 8hp - 4 stroke Model: BF8A
Minn Kota Maxxum 80lb electric TM
Boat build log

Weldorthemagnificent
Posts: 1118
Joined: 12 Mar 2017, 12:09
4

Re: 1978 Starcraft SUS 16ft - Rebuild and Fix'er up

Post by Weldorthemagnificent »

I really love these hulls for no reason other than how they look. If it's in good shape it's worth fixing up. No it'll never be worth a pile of money no matter how much you spend but who cares. As long as you intend to keep it and it suits your requirement for fishing. Good luck with your project!

Sent from my CLT-L04 using Tapatalk


silentbravo
Posts: 58
Joined: 03 Jan 2021, 19:59
Location: Idaho

1978 Starcraft SUS 16ft - Rebuild and Fix'er up

Post by silentbravo »

Thanks Weldor. It does seem to be a nice platform to build on, and quite capable.

First thing to get some comments about on electrical is for the starting/accessory battery arrangement. I have a typical starting battery and then a smaller 35AH deep cycle battery which will be combined with the starting battery during charging via an Automatic Charging Relay. At first I was planning to have both batteries next to each other at the back of boat, easy to combine them with short wires if needed, and then I would need to run 2 sets of 10AWG duplex up to the console for my switches.

Then I got to thinking that small battery may not even really be useful to help the starting battery if by some chance it went dead or got weak and needed help, so instead I could move the small battery up near the console, and only run a single 10 AWG back as a charge/combine wire to the starting battery/ACR. 10AWG will carry 30 amps and neither of my outboards charge that high so it should be fine. That would let me have 2 small runs of duplex to my switches at console, and only a single run to the back.

I'm not really worried so much about using wire, but if in reality the small deep cycle won't be able to do much for the back battery then it doesn't need to be back there really. Also it may work out better for space constraints to move the Acc. battery forward, I haven't got that far in the build yet to see if it would be better at console or in back anyway.

Some more details about the parts.
Accessory battery: https://www.mightymaxbattery.com/shop/1 ... a-battery/
ACR+On/Off/Both Switch: https://www.bluesea.com/products/7649/M ... _Kit_-_65A

Any thoughts?
1978 Starcraft SUS 16 O/B
Powered by:
1993 Johnson 48 SPL - 2 Stroke 48hp Model: J48ESLETE
1998 Honda 8hp - 4 stroke Model: BF8A
Minn Kota Maxxum 80lb electric TM
Boat build log

Weldorthemagnificent
Posts: 1118
Joined: 12 Mar 2017, 12:09
4

Re: 1978 Starcraft SUS 16ft - Rebuild and Fix'er up

Post by Weldorthemagnificent »

A good budget wire I have used for similar purposes is booster cables. Harbor freight in the States or princess auto in Canada are good sources for these on sale. I run tiller boats but like to have the battery/batteries up front for weight distribution. I run the booster cables (clamps removed) from the batteries back to a distribution point where I tie in the motor, fish finder, bilge etc... Maybe not exactly what your needs are but it may get your creative juices flowing.

Sent from my CLT-L04 using Tapatalk


silentbravo
Posts: 58
Joined: 03 Jan 2021, 19:59
Location: Idaho

1978 Starcraft SUS 16ft - Rebuild and Fix'er up

Post by silentbravo »

I had also considered bringing my lithium powered jumper pack. Those things are great. Can jumpstart a diesel truck 10 times from about a 3lb battery pack. They aren't even that expensive.
1978 Starcraft SUS 16 O/B
Powered by:
1993 Johnson 48 SPL - 2 Stroke 48hp Model: J48ESLETE
1998 Honda 8hp - 4 stroke Model: BF8A
Minn Kota Maxxum 80lb electric TM
Boat build log

User avatar
DaleH
Donor
Posts: 3068
Joined: 12 Dec 2014, 14:32
6
Location: Eastern Mass

1978 Starcraft SUS 16ft - Rebuild and Fix'er up

Post by DaleH »

silentbravo wrote: 12 Apr 2021, 01:13Big thanks to DaleH on this forum for his how-to on basically the exact same transom and boat. I am pretty much copying that build. Link to that thread here, New Transom – 1976 Starcraft Holiday 15 Model
Looks great, love it!

And thank you for your kind words!

silentbravo
Posts: 58
Joined: 03 Jan 2021, 19:59
Location: Idaho

1978 Starcraft SUS 16ft - Rebuild and Fix'er up

Post by silentbravo »

Made some progress, but weather is not cooperating for any epoxy/painting.....

Here is the final glue, 3rd piece attached and weighted down
20210417_115134.jpg
Turned out real nice. Here's the profile after sanding. Came out at 1 7/16" Good thing it wasn't 1 1/2", it barely squeezes in at this thickness. 15 plys of wood here using 1/2" AC plywood
P1000788.jpg
P1000789.jpg
Stars of the "Sanding Show". I started with an orbital sander, which was quite slow to take off the glue, then switched to air sander to really knock the glue off the wood and just used the orbital for some finish sanding.
P1000790.jpg
Here it is after mockup in the boat and marking holes. Drilled them out oversized. Most were about an 1/8" over actual size. The scupper/drain tube holes are 1" but I only had 1 1/2" hole saw so they got a bit bigger. That's fine by me though, that will be one of the main spots water collects to drain and that will be some extra safety to keep the wood away from water.
P1000793.jpg
Here's a really useful tool. Big Gator Tools V-Drillguide. You drill through it on your workpiece to make sure you drill exactly straight. The underside has a V notch so you can place it onto round objects (pipe) and drill straight through those as well. Hopefully the corresponding holes in the boat are actually straight and line up....
P1000794.jpg
P1000795.jpg
For the 2 sizes of holes I needed a hole saw blade, I pre-drilled with 1/4" which is same size as the pilot bit in the hole saw chuck, to try and keep those holes straighter with a place for the pilot bit to follow. That was the idea anyway, seemed to work.
P1000797.jpg
Finished holes
P1000798.jpg
P1000799.jpg
Dang, 10 picture limit per post is lame
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1978 Starcraft SUS 16 O/B
Powered by:
1993 Johnson 48 SPL - 2 Stroke 48hp Model: J48ESLETE
1998 Honda 8hp - 4 stroke Model: BF8A
Minn Kota Maxxum 80lb electric TM
Boat build log

silentbravo
Posts: 58
Joined: 03 Jan 2021, 19:59
Location: Idaho

1978 Starcraft SUS 16ft - Rebuild and Fix'er up

Post by silentbravo »

Epoxy testing with RAKA Inc. epoxy. Found it cheapest on ebay, but only had one choice, the UV type with slow hardener. I really need fast hardener right now as it's to cold... Anyway I made a test batch as I have never used this before and slapped it on a few pieces of wood and tested another "trick" I found on this forum too.
P1000801.jpg
I have several holes in the aluminum transom skin that aren't needed anymore, and came across an interesting way to patch them on this forum. Take an aluminum can, clean it, cut out some disks slightly larger than your hole and epoxy them on. One other note was to use a ball peen hammer to dimple the hole so the disk will sit lower and you should be able to epoxy/sand pretty flat to the surrounding material. Link to that post is here Getting rid of holes - neatly

2 holes to test patching
P1000802.jpg
Small disks I patched in. This didn't work to well, as the epoxy took about an hour to even start to setup, so the disks didn't really want to stay in place that well. I will let it cure till next weekend or whenever and see if it was a useful patch or not, shouldn't be hard to remove it if it didn't work.
P1000804.jpg
Made some other repairs to the back of boat. I removed some patched in rivets from previous repair and put in proper solid aluminum universal head rivets. Another bit of information I found on this site, to buy these rivets from Aircraft Tool Supply https://www.aircraft-tool.com/ They did seem to be the cheapest option. I bought 3 sizes of rivets, the heavy duty rivet cutting tool, check gauge, and air hammer compatible rivet sets. Now I have a lot of rivets... but I can use these in other projects as they are pretty tough. Anyway, here are the first few rivets replaced in the back. They are the shiny headed ones in a line.
P1000807.jpg
The back of the transom is bowed out pretty bad from the transom wood giving way, so that popped out all of the original rivets in this area. The knee brace is also partially cracked and my dad also noticed some of the rivets for the bottom of the knee brace have been replaced and aren't in that great of shape either so we are probably removing that and rebuilding/reinforcing it.

So the transom wood is ready go be epoxied, but have to wait for a nice weekend. I have to fix the rest of the holes in the transom skin and finish paint prep and start that too, but paint is also weather dependent...

Now that I received like 90% of my Anchor Express order, with the Ancor wire, I can start doing electrical which isn't weather dependent.
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1978 Starcraft SUS 16 O/B
Powered by:
1993 Johnson 48 SPL - 2 Stroke 48hp Model: J48ESLETE
1998 Honda 8hp - 4 stroke Model: BF8A
Minn Kota Maxxum 80lb electric TM
Boat build log

silentbravo
Posts: 58
Joined: 03 Jan 2021, 19:59
Location: Idaho

1978 Starcraft SUS 16ft - Rebuild and Fix'er up

Post by silentbravo »

I think I may have an addiction to Blue Sea Systems..... lol :lol:
20210403_192032.jpg
(this isn't even everything)

Did some mockup and installed a test piece of plywood for the center console to mount the fuse blocks/etc
20210404_172828.jpg
I also replaced the original switch panel with a Blue Sea systems panel. This was super easy because it had the exact same bolt hole pattern as the original, same size bezel and the hole cut out didn't need to be modified. Basically just screwed it in and done. The original Seadog panel was flimsy junk and used the old school glass fuses. I'm all about ATC fuses.. and breakers.
20210404_172821.jpg
Started by prewiring the 2nd switch panel in the house today. I have terminated all the switch outputs into a 6 way Deutsch connector. It is really easy to pin Deutsch terminals, so I will just pin each accessory wire as I run it into the mating connector end. Easy to service and add to by disconnecting the plug.
P1000813.jpg
This particular Blue Sea Systems switch model 4306 is from the WeatherDeck series. It has fuses built into it, as well as some nice LED lighting. Red LED's are lit when accessory is off, Green LED when Accessory switch is on. It also has a feature that combines 1 switch to power both navigation lights at once. So with a single switch you can turn on front nav lights (red/green) and the white anchor light, or with a second switch you can turn on only the anchor light. In the 2nd picture I am pointing to the jumper wire you have to add from the NAV Diode terminal on the board, to the 3rd switch output to enable this feature. Blue Sea publishes good documentation on there website about this here, Weatherdeck 6 position switch
P1000814.jpg
P1000815.jpg
That's about all I've got to so far. I need to cut out the hole for the 2nd switch panel and install it, then I can also do some wiring inside the console between the switch panels and fuse block.

Here are 2 of my documents I am using for notes on the wiring if anyone interested on what accessories/ideas are going on.
boat electrical layout v2.jpg
boat wiring diagram 12v.jpg
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1978 Starcraft SUS 16 O/B
Powered by:
1993 Johnson 48 SPL - 2 Stroke 48hp Model: J48ESLETE
1998 Honda 8hp - 4 stroke Model: BF8A
Minn Kota Maxxum 80lb electric TM
Boat build log

Rebelwork
Posts: 94
Joined: 11 Nov 2020, 13:04
Location: Odessa,Mo

1978 Starcraft SUS 16ft - Rebuild and Fix'er up

Post by Rebelwork »

Better shape than mine when started...
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silentbravo
Posts: 58
Joined: 03 Jan 2021, 19:59
Location: Idaho

1978 Starcraft SUS 16ft - Rebuild and Fix'er up

Post by silentbravo »

I know those sucker trees grow fast, but that one is pretty big that has grown up between the boat and trailer frame! :shock:
1978 Starcraft SUS 16 O/B
Powered by:
1993 Johnson 48 SPL - 2 Stroke 48hp Model: J48ESLETE
1998 Honda 8hp - 4 stroke Model: BF8A
Minn Kota Maxxum 80lb electric TM
Boat build log

User avatar
Makaw
Posts: 15
Joined: 17 Oct 2019, 17:53
1
Location: Michigan

1978 Starcraft SUS 16ft - Rebuild and Fix'er up

Post by Makaw »

Great build! Thanks for posting your wiring diagrams. For some reason my brain has always struggled grasping electrical-related information, so seeing different setups is a big help. I'll be following closely!
Bloody-knuckled generalist. Current restomod: 14’ Starcraft Seafarer with '67 Johnson 20HP FD-21R

silentbravo
Posts: 58
Joined: 03 Jan 2021, 19:59
Location: Idaho

1978 Starcraft SUS 16ft - Rebuild and Fix'er up

Post by silentbravo »

5/19/2021 Update

Making progress over the weekends :D Onto the pictures!

The transom board is 95% complete. I have one small void in the plywood to add epoxy to, then it's done/ready to install. I was hoping to get it installed this coming weekend, but will see how the weather pans out. This transom board is holding back some progress. The splash well can't be put back in until the board is in. I can't rebuild some of the structure around the splash well until it's back in... can't put the motors back on, can't install the bilge pump, and need to do more wiring at the back. Oh I will also paint the exposed part of the transom board after it is installed. I used UV resistant epoxy but read that it doesn't hold up so well, so I will just paint it. I do want to keep it natural colored below the spash well, it does look pretty... as you will see.

I took the board down to my neighbors shop to epoxy it since it was to cold out, and I could work on it in the evenings this way.

Setup and ready to go.
P1000818.jpg
Some of the tools I brought/used.
P1000819.jpg

I tried the special epoxy roller once or twice and didn't really see much benefit in using it over the cheapo brush. For a large surface sure, but not this small of a project. Heat gun was to use for popping bubbles, was only somewhat effective.
P1000821.jpg
Soaked the epoxy bottles in warm water to get them to cure faster. I have the slow hardener and the shop wasn't super warm, so I tried this. Still took 30-45 minutes for it to start hardening.
P1000820.jpg
First side done/coated and holes filled. Edges were done once or twice on this first application
P1000822.jpg
P1000824.jpg
P1000825.jpg
I used blue painters masking tape on the back side to seal the holes. This worked pretty good. Some of the holes had chipped out large strands of the plywood and the small voids weren't sealed well with the tape, so those holes leaked out epoxy... It was taken care of on later applications.
P1000823.jpg
This looks like finished product on the other side.
20210511_191327.jpg
I used the cheapo brushes and they worked real nice for applying the epoxy. After lathering it on there good, I went back and did the light brushing across the whole piece (tipping). There were still a few bubbles across it but this isn't a show piece and it wasn't super important to be perfect. The brush worked real nice. I only bought 2 of those, and ran out of them quick (1 time use). I also bought 2 of the cheap foam brushes and decided to try those. I think those may have worked even better than the brush. I used the foam brushes on the last coats and they worked real nice. Also this RAKA epoxy has almost no smell. You could probably do this in your house pretty easily, with very minimal ventilation. I won't recommend that... but I don't think it would be an issue. Final product weighs 26 pounds in case anyone was wondering haha.
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1978 Starcraft SUS 16 O/B
Powered by:
1993 Johnson 48 SPL - 2 Stroke 48hp Model: J48ESLETE
1998 Honda 8hp - 4 stroke Model: BF8A
Minn Kota Maxxum 80lb electric TM
Boat build log

silentbravo
Posts: 58
Joined: 03 Jan 2021, 19:59
Location: Idaho

1978 Starcraft SUS 16ft - Rebuild and Fix'er up

Post by silentbravo »

5/19/2021 Update Continued

OK on to the boat itself (still transom related).
I had several holes from old transducer installs that are no longer needed. I showed my first repair attempt above with the small aluminum can disc cut outs. I "upgraded" my tools for hole repairs.... (dad suggested another tool I didn't know he had, which he has almost everything it seems!) He had a punch set, typically used for putting holes in cloth/vinyl I think, upholstery related anyhow, but worked perfect for making small perfect discs.
20210515_083757.jpg
So I tried a new method for some of the largest holes. I taped the discs to the back of the metal, and epoxied from the inside. I made little pockets with the blue tape and filled them up with epoxy. This took a while to dry but I just sanded off the bulges flat, and the aluminum discs were glued to the other side almost flush, so it worked out real nice.
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The other small holes I can't get to the backside, so I had to epoxy on the same side as the discs, as previous. I peeled off my first attempt discs because they didn't adhere quite flush, but these came out better, waiting for the epoxy to setup much gooeyer so they stuck in place and didn't wander off...
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Then I decided to paint the inside of the aluminum skin of the transom. Rustoleum Self etching primer went down, then some Rustoleum Professional Primer, then Rustoleum Semi Gloss White. Hard to see the colors, the canopy the boat is under is translucent green roof so it casts a green shadow on everything... I did this to seal the aluminum and epoxy patches. There was some corrosion from the old transom board that had rotted into the aluminum a bit, so I wanted to prevent that ever happening again... not that I hope to ever replace this transom board again either.
20210516_153922.jpg
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1978 Starcraft SUS 16 O/B
Powered by:
1993 Johnson 48 SPL - 2 Stroke 48hp Model: J48ESLETE
1998 Honda 8hp - 4 stroke Model: BF8A
Minn Kota Maxxum 80lb electric TM
Boat build log