We did this project over the winter, but I'm finally getting around to posting it up. I've spent years looking at other people's posts as I undertook different projects on the boat so I hope this may help some of you and give you some ideas.
My parents bought this boat new in 97 and we'll turn over 1500 hours on it this summer. Over the last 15 years we've added a ballast system, a tower, and upgraded the stereo. We took good care of it but 15 years of scratches, dings and wear were starting to show. We decided it was time to do a refresh and really didn't realize what we were getting ourselves into. There was a massive amount of time put into this project and in the end we had fixed the gelcoat blemishes, wetsanded and buffed the entire boat, replaced the steering assembly, painted the trailer, replaced the bunks, added a new boat buddy and boat buckle straps, and repainted the window frame. Plenty of other small repairs were done as well. I hope you enjoy the pictures.
Stripped down and ready to get to work
A small look at the type of damage we were dealing with. Nothing major, but small stuff all over the boat.
We got the gel coat from gel coat products in Seattle, the only place that had Sanger colors.
It's very nerve wracking taking sandpaper to your boat for the first time. I got used to it, but by the time I worked through all the grits to get it smooth again my shoulders were killing me.
We used aqua buff 1000 and 2000 for buffing. This project is the extent of my experience, but I was happy with how it worked and would use it again.
It was nice to see it start shine again.
Newly painted window frame. If you disassemble your window make sure to mark it well, it was quite the puzzle fitting it all back together.
The original steering cable that was used on our boat was discontinued, so we were forced to replace the entire helm assembly to fit a new cable. We had tried to retrofit a cable to fit on the original helm a few years back but the steering was never perfect and it quickly tightened up. With this new setup we're back to one finger turns. This is asked about pretty often by Sanger owners so I thought I'd put plenty of pics up. You'll also notice the three switches on the right side of the wheel which we added for our custom ballast sysem. We did our best to make them look stock.
We made this plate to fit the new helm and blend in with the rest of the dash.
My dad, a lifetime farmer, came up with the method for getting the boat set up on blocks and then back on the trailer. I thought WW might get a laugh out of the setup.
Seeing the boat hanging like this made me REALLY nervous.
The straps were connected to vehicles to hold the boat in place as we backed the trailer under the boat again. Big sigh of relief from me at this point.
The trailer with a fresh coat of paint, new bunks and carpet, and boat buckle straps added on. New boat owners may take these for granted but after 15 years of taking straps on and off the back it really makes me smile ever time I cinch these things up.
So there she is minus the rub rail, which we weren't expecting to replace. Like many other parts on this boat the original had been discontinued, so we went to the newer stainless rubrail and I love it. And if you're wondering what the PVC pipe over the ski pole is that's our "tusk" which we rest the tower on when it folds down. This was of course dad's idea, since PVC pipe is only slightly down the list from duct tape, WD40, and baling wire when it comes to standard farm repair materials.
And there she is after a day on the lake. It's hard to tell from the pic but we did give the teak some much needed love. Also my brother hit the side decal with some acetone which is why it's a bit faded. I still haven't quite forgiven him... Can anyone make a duplicate?
It was a lot of work, but we are thrilled with the results and couldn't be happier with our Sanger. That being said, I hope I never have to do any type of gel coat work again. If you think having someone do gelcoat repair on your boat is spendy, it's only because you haven't tried it yourself. What a tremendous pain in the ass!