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TOPIC: 1961 Span America summer project

1961 Span America summer project 4 weeks 12 hours ago #144293

I am helping to clear out and fix up an old barn that the owner is hoping to turn into a wood shop. The owner offered me this boat, if I am willing to fix it up. It has been sitting in the barn for the last 20-30 years. I shoveled 2-3" of raccoon scat out of it. I did a quick vacuum of it today. I pulled out the seats and other than some rodent damage they are in decent shape.

i have been combing through the helpful information on this site. The engine is 1961 and I suspect the boat and engine have been together the whole time. If I had to guess on the model based on the library on the site, I would say a VIP Runabout or Pirate. The former owner thinks it was completely restored in the 90's after a storm damage insurance claim.

The exterior fiberglass looks clean and solid. The keel hardly has any wear. There is dense and solid foam under the floor. The floor feels solid. I am not sure if is has stringers inside the foam. The floor has me confused. It is all fiberglass except the seat benches are covered in sheet metal and then there are two open patches of foam on the floor that were cover with sheet metal. The sheet metal has rusted away in places. It looks like it was glued down to the fiber glass. You can see in the pictures what I mean. This seems odd to me. Any suggestions on what I need to do? If everything under the floor is still good, can I just lay new fiberglass over the open patches? How do I know if the floor and transom are sound? I am going to pull up the rest of the metal and see what I find.

You can also see in the pictures that the fiberglass is cracked toward the middle of the engine well. Looks to me like someone stepped there while working on the engine. Is that something to be concerned about?

I will also need to get the engine figured out at some point.

This is all new to me but I am willing to learn. I enjoy restoring old things and this is just too good to pass up. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Dan

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1961 Span America summer project 3 weeks 6 days ago #144298

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There are Span America boat experts and lots of fiberglassing experts (and motor experts) that can help with all of your questions. If you have patience and keep asking questions, you should get the information you are looking for. When you have motor questions, try posting those under the J.E.G.O. Forum which stands for Johnson Evinrude Gail and Other. Good luck... nice boat project. I am one of the learners here as I am not a teacher... I have learned much from these experts and am so grateful for their help!

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1961 Span America summer project 3 weeks 6 days ago #144307

Thanks Dr.Go for the tip on where to post the engine questions. As a newbie, asking intelligent questions is difficult.

Given that I have access to the foam in the floor, do I need to dig around so see if the stringers are rotten? What is the best method for testing the stringers? Do I drill into them to see if the wood is wet or rotten?

In the photo you can see the red fiberglass where sheet metal was glued down. The dark middle is the foam. The seat bench is covered in sheet metal as well. I will be pulling that up next time I can get at the boat.

Thanks for any advice anyone can give.
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1961 Span America summer project 3 weeks 6 days ago #144309

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I will let the experts jump in and give you the best direction on how to check all of your concerns... and yes those are legitimate concerns that all need to be checked out. The experts will have good step by sort information to keep you working efficiently and effectively. Here is my edit update... go read the 59 Crosby post on this same main forum as Waterwings gave very good advice on many of your questions for another build looking at similar issues.

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1961 Span America summer project 3 weeks 3 days ago #144343

Welcome aboard. Looks like a nice rig. I cannot answer your questions about model and the stinger/foam/sheet metal inquirie. Hopefully someone will chime in.

Span America Boat Co. and later Span Boats, Inc. had a very interesting history. They made boats for just over ten years with many owners, many plant locations, many intrigues.

Andreas

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1961 Span America summer project 3 weeks 3 days ago #144345

Thanks! I am pretty excited to fix it up and get in on the water. I have been reading everything I can find in the forums. I am starting the think this is going to be more than a summer project. :)

I do hope some of the experts on the forum with weigh in. As I am doing some research, I am wondering if it has hollow fiberglass "stringers". I am not seeing a wood subfloor. Just fiberglass and foam.

Dan

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1961 Span America summer project 3 weeks 3 days ago #144355

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Maybe send a pm to TheToyBox ... I believe he knows lots about the Span America boats. He may have not seen this thread yet.

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1961 Span America summer project 3 weeks 2 days ago #144359

Thanks, I did see him share lots of info on some of the other threads. As a newbie, I didn't want to be presumptuous and start DMing the experts.

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1961 Span America summer project 3 weeks 2 days ago #144362

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Understandable. He may be busy with many other things and perhaps he may not be able to get on here often enough to have caught this thread. You can always blame me for sending you his way and worse things that could happen is no response if he doesn’t have time. I just seemed to recall reading threads over time that he knows theses boats well. Maybe with patience, others may have helpful information. I try to read all of the threads because you just never know what you might learn that is still very helpful. I am little help, so I am just trying to kick the can down the road a bit. Now I sound as old as I am lol.

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