The Skipjack 24' has four (very solid) fiberglass enclosed stringers that run the entire length of the boat. Towards the stern there is a drain passage through each stringer. When I got the boat home I decided to drain some standing water in the bilge. (As I have mentioned previously the boat had sat for 10 years in the previous owner's driveway.)
Both the bung hole in the transom and the drain passages through the stringers were clogged with leaves. When I reached down to remove the leaves and other debris, my plans for continuing with this boat nearly came to an abrupt end! There was obviously a manufacturing defect with the boat from back in 1977... The two main stringers (center) were huge and were glassed to the floor with heavy fiberglass cloth. However, as I felt around the drain passages through them I could tell that they hadn't been sealed at this point and glassed over properly. The water had gotten in and completely rotted the bottom portion of the wood in the stern section on both sides (this is what supported the engine mounts!)
To cut a long story short (coz I've gotta go back out there and work on the boat today)
I towed the boat to the local boat shop and had them pull the motor and put it aside. I brought the boat home - minus the motor. I then cut the two center stringers out on both sides at the stern of the boat and removed all of the rotten wood.
One important note: I did leave one side of the fiberglass 'shell' of the old stringers intact, until the new stringers were in place. This is because I needed to know exactly where the engine mounts had to go! I used the shell as a template to drill my new holes...
Sportfish IV is a 1977 24' Skipjack currently being restored.
Moderator: Bob Fisher
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- After the fiberglass had set I sprayed them with rubber undercoating
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Capt. Aussie Bob Fisher