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Mine was a 1976 SF18... A stolen recovery the original owner just gave up on and it was sitting in the dirt in front of his house - no trailer, partially stripped (it was actually stolen twice.... from the same owner....), and the HIN removed, filled in and hand painted over with cheap latex paint (the entire transom).

Not bad - for only $900... I had it towed home on a borrowed trailer and dropped on my driveway. It took three years all told to restore.. As I've said many times - wish I still had her....

Here's a few pics...

the first item, after tearing it down was a complete re-build of the console. When we started it had no door (or anything else) and had three major cracks and tons of screw holes... First item was a complete re-hab and Awlgrip of the console, then a new teak door and mahogany rodholders on each side... New instrument panel and sunshade out of Plexi, then the initial rigging with new gauges, steering hub, shift and throttle....


Now we're cooking - a new trailer (hull weight on one of these was only 1400lbs...), after new fuel system (new tank, new lines - everything replaced), I made a new HIN (at the advise of the marine patrol back then - with the correct original number), re-fitted all the various hull pieces - then water sanded out the entire exterior hull to bring back the original gelcoat, then compounded and waxed the hull -- Note the horizontal rod holders - also 5 quarters mahogany with six coats of polyurethane on each one - matching the vertical rod holders for six rods per side... A labor of love.... (I'd never do that again - not ever...).


Finally rigged out and on the water - note the live wells - faired in perfectly with the variable deadrise hull of the SeaCraft on the bottom - the in-floor live well was converted into a wet well for ropes, nets, etc. A few months later we added a depthfinder box (everyone used paper machines back then, in 1983...) and a set of pushpole holders for the backcountry...


First launch.. like I said, wish I still had her... I used to hook and line her as far offshore as 30 miles - solo... while also fishing everywhere else up and down the coast and across to Flamingo...
 

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Not a sepia filter just what you get when the photos are almost forty years old.... Wish I could find the shoebox full of the pics from way back when...

At one time I even had pics of the first skiff ( a micro with a custom interior) that we put together in 1976... step by step in black and white starting with a new 16’ Starcraft aluminum hull...
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Cool story going back in time. I wish i had a place to work on it, it's still solid with not a single soft spot anywhere and in surprisingly very good shape but she is nearly 45 years old non the less and still has the original shallow 20" transom. I did quite a bit of cosmetic work to it including re wiring it with tin plated wires but nothing structural. Best thing i did was to fabricate and install the coaming bolsters.
919.JPG
 

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Back then, many of us took that small wooden splash well barrier right in front of the motor and added a second plank to it, hinged so that you could unfold it upwards to complete blocking off the splash area (with barrel bolts to secure it at it's full height, all the way to the height of the gunnels..). The ones on mine were both five quarters mahogany, with five or six coats of polyurethane. If I had it to do over again - all the bright work would be black or white starboard (including that teak door and frame). Brightwork is a pain if you're on the water a lot - and the starboard is forever with zero maintenance.

No doubt that low transom in those old hulls could be a problem.... You can clearly see from the pics when we were working on it - with no splash board in place just how low the transom was - and how vulnerable you might be in a following sea or backing down in a sea.. More than one SeaCraft was lost when the operator forgot to take that into account...

You'll also note that I didn't have any sort of helm seat in mine - I was younger then....
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Please don't remind me about the vulnerability of the transom. I like teak although it does require some maintenance. Mine had the hinged teak boards across the transom because the barrel bolts are still there but the previous owner replaced it with a single shallower piece of some exotic hard wood that looks similar to teak in grain and color, Forgot what kind of wood he said it is.
284.JPG
 

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The lowered board is because, unless you drop the top board - if you trim the motor up it strikes it.... The Master Angler version of the SF20 had a full fiberglass shield to fix the problem - it curved outward sufficiently to seal up that entire gap - from the deck to the top of the rear gunnels.. Wouldn't be hard for a good glass shop to come up with a version of it for anyone wanting one (except for the cost of a one off fabrication..). Would hardly need two layers of glass either since all you're doing is ensuring the integrity (water wise) of the splashwell area.... I've see similar things on Conch 27's..... but they're usually part of an entire closure that included a cutting facility on top of the motor....
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have seen the cowlings you are talking about on the older SF 20's and played with the idea of fabricating one. Theoretically having a cowling would resolve the low transom issue really, although they do take up some cockpit room and aren't aesthetically very pleasing.
 
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