Last August I started a project, '60 14' Tomahawk ski mate on a Balko trailer. Like most of my fun time toys I couldn't decide what colors to use. Already did the red, blue, yellow, green etc. so decided to try white on white. After sanding the ski mate down I found that the original was actually white on white...imagine that. Just about got her finished up with some detailing to do. Now I can drag my feet during the winter. This is what I started with. Note the 5" rise added to the transom
Fun little runabout, easy to launch and pull. Shouldn't be too shabby with the '78 70hp Rude.
Hi! Tom here from Alabama. Just getting back to my 1960 Tomahawk project after 4 years of procrastination! I flipped the boat onto its back a few years ago but never completed the bottom. Im getting ready to resand, fill, prime and paint but havent totally decided on a paint product or color.
Im leaning towards white hull and light blue top, gray interior. Im very new to working with fiberglass so its led to alot of stalling on progress.
What brand of paint do you use? Ive been considering using rustoleum marine brand paint based on discussions with previous posters on this forum. The boat wont get a lot of use but i do want something that will hold up. Id be interested in knowing what products you use for filling pinholes, fairing, priming and paint? I love this little boat but the two of us are getting older by the minute!
It came with a Johnson super seahorse 35 hp motor which im in yhe process of repainting. Hoping the motor runs after all this work!
Looking forward to picking your brain if you dont mind? I could use the help!
Hey Tom. Not much brain to pick here. I'm not getting any younger either, 73.
Many years ago in the 50's I started out with a 14' Cruisers with a 35hp big twin. It was a fun boat. Over the years I had too many different boats to even count, some in the 20' and larger range, wood classics, inboards, outboards, IO's, et al. Never had a jet though.
What goes around comes around again. I wanted something that was light, easy to launch and retrieve, easy to pull and easy to handle but still was an eye catcher along with some nostalgia. I found this Tomahawk on Craigslist, it was in a storage facility sitting on it's trailer and that was all sitting on top of another trailer and that was filled with junk. Sorta looked like something you would see on the American Pickers TV show. No motor, no interior but it was solid and had a good windshield and all the hardware.
It's the second Tomahawk I'v restored so I did have some limited experiance on the design and what I wanted to do with it.
You my friend will benefit from what I've learned over the years. Albeit not always the best or easiest or smartest ways of doing things but think of it as old school shade tree inexpensive, not a lotta money to pee away.
For your basic questions I,ve used some pricey automotive paint, some pricey marine paint but found out that they were actually no better for my purpose than the Rustoleum. Maybe some teckie chemist can tell the difference but I've found that Rustoleum marine and regular are all the same. Assuming you still have the boat flipped and easy to work on you're past the hardest part. Wash the whole thing down with soap/water and a stiff brush. Let it dry completely and maybe blow all the water out of those pin holes. I use several products of different brand names but they are mostly the same. A thick strand body filler that some call 'peanut butter', a thin body filler that's pretty juicy called 'jelly'. or on the topside you can use a fairing compound. If you want we can get into detail along the way. When all the holes, scratches etc are filled and faired I use a high build primer then either spray or roll and tip with the Rusto with a hardner. I'll "splain" eventually. Rustoleum is easy to work with and can be mixed to get any color you can imagine. I did a light blue on a Shell Lake rocket that turned out perfect by mixing a base of white, a touch of blue and a smidgeon of green.
Why not start a thread under the "projects" label and we'll go through step by step.
That motor is a bullit proof workhorse if tuned up and running, all the parts are still available and reasonable. Easy to work on with a screwdriver, and 8" adjustable wrench.
Received your reply and cant wait to get starty! Thank you so much! Im on the road at the moment but will try to write to you tonight and give you some details. I have a few pictures of the boat and of the products i have to work with . Im excited to hear your experience with Rustoleum paints...ive been a bit overwhelmed with the different brands and “systems” out there which has contributed to my procrastination. I finally decided a few weeks ago that i need to just go ahead and get things going. Ive been a member on this forum for a while but havent been online for over a year. Looking forward to your knowledge and experience for sure!
Wohh! More than you'll need. I go by the old K.I.S.S. method. (keep it simple …..) One step at a time. If you stop and think about things they will never get done. I'm a pragmatist. Just do it, if you screw up, big deal, fix it and move on.
Step one …. It's not that shiny, just wet from the initial washing, see the soap suds on my garage floor
Ha! Now you know why its taken me so long! Way over thinking i know...
Let me give you a bit of background just so you know how i got where i am...
A few years ago while hanging out on Lake Eufaula, AL with family and friends, some guy pulled up in a beautiful 1958 or 59 Redfish. I love classic cars so this thing blew me away!
Being the impatient type, i got online and began a search for a classic boat of some sort. I found my Tomahawk on ebay within a few weeks later from a seller down in Jupiter, Fl. My son who was 12 at the time and i, borrowed a friends car hauler and made a two day trek to go and pick it up. I honestly had no idea what i was getting into. I just knew i had to have one!
Im now retired from the National Guard but at the time when i bought the boat, i had a pending overseas deployment within a few months so i didnt want to get knee deep in restoration efforts. While deployed, i spent alot of time reading and researching...pretty much became information overload.....
When I returned, i began disassembling the motor and sanding the boat bottom around the same time. I didnt intend to tear the motor down beyond a cosmetic repaint/refinish and hope to keep it that way. I know before im done, ill rebuild the carb, maybe fuel pump, and ignition components but for now, i just want to finish painting the cowl and outer components.
This is where i stand now. Ive been in quicksand for a while and am slowly getting the fire in my belly to get going!
As you can see in the pictures, i still have the boat on its back and i think my first step is to get those pinholes filled, folloed by fairing, priming and painting.
Next would be to flip it upright and begin on the top and interior. The boat has no interior peices so ill be scratch building seats and benches when the time comes. Your advice is sound...one step at a time and just keep moving forward! I appreciate that!!
So after sharing all of that, what are your thoughts on proceeding from here? Ive got to get those pinholes filled and planned to use the evercoat glazing putty.... im way open to suggestions and learning from your experience....more than willing to talk to you on the phone if your time allows? Whatever guidance you can give i would truly appreciate!
Thanknyou again for responding! Its nice to follow in someone else’s footsteps....
OK, I'll tell you what I did but not what you should do.
Looks like you have the hull pretty sell sanded down. I used a 220 grit paper on a palm sander to get an even finish overall.
If you have any deep scrapes, some that are gouges from running rocks or trailer loading they can be filled with the resin jelly and sanded smooth. The pit holes that are from the original manufacturing process I fill with the glazing putty. A little dab on your finger and just work it into the hole. After a few hours you can just take the sand paper on a block and finish it off. Once you are satified with your work I take a rattle can of gray primer/surfacer and just touch those spots. Any goof ups will stand out and you can re-do.
Amazing how the rattle can primer shows up those holes. After that is done you can either roll and tip your white Rusto or spray. If you roll and tip you have to add the hardner but only mix enough for what you can do in about 20 minutes. The stuff turns rubbery as the chemicals work. It will be dry to the touch in an hour and sandable the next day. I usually mix just enough in a small cake pan and use a 4" foam throw away roller and a soft varnish brush that you can clean out. You'll need to put at least three coats to get good coverage. Keep in mind that it is your boat and you do it your way. Dosn't need to be perfect unless you're going for a show trophy.
Here's a link to the process of roll and tip.
Yes i got a little carried away with the sanding, partly because the old paint had alot of what looked like fisheys and i wasn’t comfortable with filling and painting over it...the result is obvious where i wound up at the original fiberglass in alot of places. I do not intend to be this aggressive with the top surface after i flip the boat upright. Im planning to give it a good sanding to remove anything loose and then proceed with filling fairing priming and painting.
I have used the red glazing putty on some small radio control models and love the way it sands. I considered using it to fill those small pinholes but worried it may not hold up on the hull. As a result, i purchased the “Evercoat” two part glazing putty for this purpose. I have not tried it yet but hoping it is just as easy to work with and sand as the red tube stuff.
In regards to the fiberglass gel, are you saying i should use that like a fairing compound? I was afraid of using epoxy in this manner because i thought it would be really difficult to sand back level.
I live in Enterprise, AL but i have the boat at another property about an hour and a half from here. The trailer is nowhere near road worthy so i cant drag it here where it would be more convenient to work on. I tell you this because it may be a week or two before i can try some of your techniques and advice....dont give up on me!
I did bring the motor home with me and waiting for the weather to warm up just a bit more before i paint it...since the cowlings are off and i have free access to the power head, would you recommend just rebuilding or replacing the carb, fuel pump, points, magnetos, etc? Or should i wait until im at a point where i can attempt to start it and the trouble shoot from there? Just trying to throw smart money at it as opposed to blindly replacing components which may not need to be.
It has probably been well over ten years since the engine ran. The previous owner said he never ran it but that the guy he bought it from had done so....the previous owner i bouth the boat from had it about seven years before selling it to me so i really dont have a clue when it was last run.
I know mechanical things dont like to sit for too long...seals drying out etc....
I would start and run the motor first before replacing anything other than the water impeller.
If it ain't broke.....
The jelly is a bit harder to sand down, I never used fairing compound so don't know how it would react under water especially underway. Maybe someone else has experience with it.
Im pretty sure it’s suitable for below the waterline from what i recall. Its a vinylester product which isnt supposed to absorb water. It works and smells a bit like bondo, not too difficult to sand when compared to epoxy. Im really itching to get going again! We have another cold front coming through this weekend so it appears painting the motor will have to wait again too.
Shifting gears, what aircraft did you fly in the Navy? Im currently flying as a c-12 maintenance test pilot contractor for the Army here. I flew Blackhawks in the Army and also flew airplanes and helicopters for Customs and Border Protection in Pensacola, Fl..
I'm not the pilot. I was a dixie cup. Flew greyhound busses around the east coast and did years in Morocco, Africa and light cruiser out of Boston and Mayport, FL.
Waterwings (Bob) is the jet jockey.
Right now he's trying to fly a Century Resorter but having difficulty getting it down the runway.
What's the definition of cold front? This weekend our high temp is in the single digits. -12 for an overnight low. Our friends in Canada keep sending their leftovers to us in the Midwest.
Yep sucks to be you Cal, nice 75 degrees in Melbourne.
Tom, I had four different tours through P-cola. Last tour, when I retired I was the OCS Director from 2003-2007, shut it down moved it to Newport and retired. I was an NFO on E-6A Mercury (707). I did the real work, we had bus drivers to get us where we needed to go. LOL My prior Dixie cup days were as an Aviation Electronics Technician on EP-3E's out of Rota Spain.
Did 10 years in Patuxent River Maryland and it was time to get back to Florida so moved to Melbourne to work at Northrop Grumman. Still have a few house propjects before I can get back to work on the Century Resorter
Bob, you were in Rota? Did a stopover there when I flew out of Gibraltar in '65. Spent 1+ yrs in Sidi Yahia/Kenitra in northwest Africa.
Some R n R in Rabat. Never did get to Casablanca. Navcomsta. com security.
Bob, we worked out of Whiting Field for a while (96-2001) and then moved our office down to the regional airport and 9th ave. Sounds like we were there at the same time. I lived in Pace where I rode out Hurricane Ivan...im sure you tememver those days!
Tom yep, was an NFO instructor at VT-4 from '97-'99. I had quite a few old VQ-4 pilot buddies flying our of Whiting. When I was there for flight school '91 - '93 I helped coach a T-ball team lead by MAJ Rob Doss, marine helo instructor pilot up at Whiting.
Hey Bob! Still too cold to paint but ive cleaned up/polished some of the engine components (carb, fuel pump, cut out switch, etc). I ordered a product called “all fair” from Johnstown Distributors...looks like it should do what i want on the boat bottom in terms of filling pinholes, fairing, etc....
It looks like they have a pretty good line of products for the diy’r...im not changing course away from the rustolem marine paint i already own, but i kinda wish i had found these guys sooner.
Still too cold to get anything of significance started, but once it does warm up ill be hard at it! Hopefully not too much longer!
Cool glad you found what you were looking for. Yeah the cold makes it hard to get much done. When I was up in MD I had one of those small turbo propane heaters about blasted me out of the boat shed when working but still had to be careful what I was doing in case it got too cold after work was done. So mostly sanding, planning that kind of thing, no compounds.
Sweet! Looks outstanding. I do have parts that would fit if you need some. Ranone of those war horses last year on a '60 Shell Lake.
I ran a 26:1 gas/oil mix like it was originally designed for. Some guys say you can run 50:1 but I didn't want to chance it.
This boat and motor are actually in your area now. It was sold to a young family in New Iberia, LA. last summer
I need a guarantee that the weather in your area is going to be perfect. My daughter and her family are driving down from Green Bay, wi. today for a week of R&R at Orange Beach to spend some of their hard earned $$. No tornados please.
Orange Beach should be fine, especially compared to Wisconsin! Those tornados were pretty scary and missed our lake house by a little over 5 miles...way too close!
I love the picture of the boat you sent. That thing looks sweet! I like the matching color to the boat!
Ill let you know if i need any parts, I appreciate the offer! The only pieces im not happy with are the chrome trim which runs down each side. Both are a bit “crazed” and very lightly pitted...ive looked into having them rechromed but not sure i want to spend the $300 i was quoted just yet. If the entire project comes out like i hope, then maybe ill do that as a finishing touch.
Let me know if you run across any which may be in decent condition? I havent seen any on ebay in quite a while....