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UPDATED - Off season boat restoration project - vintage Alumacraft Retriever - painting has begun photos added -Restoration is 99% completed

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UPDATED - Off season boat restoration project - vintage Alumacraft Retriever - painting has begun photos added -Restoration is 99% completed
So last fall I bought a boat from Duckboats.net legend Ron Shuna, and we actually worked out a deal where it came with a "second boat".
I'm a huge Alumacraft Ducker fan, and have had a couple of them now over the past few years...this "second boat" is the "DO" model or "Retriever".
The owners before Ron made some "improvements" like swivel seats, and a sand grit bottom with a custom paint job...and removal of the Styrofoam for buoyancy in two of the three benches.
KNOWING HOW RARE THESE ARE, as only 205 were made I decided to take this on as a restoration project.
First thing I did was to contact Alumacraft and asked if they still did boat restorations - which they do, and they were interested in seeing this boat. I still haven't had the time to bring it down to St Peter, but I plan to at some point to have them go over the rivets and seams and make sure its watertight before I continue the rest of the restoration.
I also asked them for the Serial # location, which I was told could be in any number of locations on the boat, but I have yet to actually find that. The only number I can find anywhere is a "70" cast into the
transom.
Here are some pics of the project.

...bringing them home.



Some of the images were not posting correctly, so here goes again...

Assessment of the boat, it is complete with all three benches in original configuration and original hardware. Two of the three benches are missing the Styrofoam for keeping the boat from sinking if capsized. The two also have grooves worn in them from the swivel seats that I should be able to fill in with bondo and sand down and paint. I also have the wood from the transom to pattern new pieces as they are rotten.




Pics of stripping with chemicals...which by the way worked great if you have 12 hours to wait between application and removal. The paint just peels / falls off at that point.








After some time, I was getting impatient with snails pace of progress and decided drastic measures were in order. I took the boat to Brighton Sandblasting up in Blaine MN, crossed my fingers and hoped that they knew what they were talking about... and believing in them telling me that the boat would be just fine. FOR THE RECORD, the blasting worked, and it worked extremely well, I could not be happier!!!







One final marking I found after it was sandblasted



The only other number I can find anywhere on the boat, the "70" cast into the transom.




Here's a shot of the underside of one of the benches, these would take some time to recreate as the amount of detail in making these were rather impressive.






That is all the progress I have made so far, I do not have a heated garage, so its essentially just a showroom right now...that and the fact that my wife is thrilled beyond measure that I currently have two boats in various states of repair/restoration in the garage over the winter here in the Twin Cities...

Last edited by:

J D Lewicki: Aug 12, 2019, 6:10 PM
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Re: Off season boat restoration project - vintage Alumacraft Retriever In reply to
Pretty neat hull. I'm only getting the last five pics though

Tony
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Re: Off season boat restoration project - vintage Alumacraft Retriever In reply to
Neat project, interesting info. Are you going to add flotation ?
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Re: Off season boat restoration project - vintage Alumacraft Retriever In reply to
I to am havoing trouble with pictures, not all but some. wazup?
"There is nothing- absolutly nothing half as much worth doing as messing about in boats or with boats. In or out of 'em, doesn't matter." Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham

Shiny side up,
Wicker T, Booker T & Charlie Brown
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Re: Off season boat restoration project - vintage Alumacraft Retriever In reply to
Wow, what a great looking hull! Never seen one before.
I could put one like that to good use down here.
Is she gas motor rated??


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
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Re: Off season boat restoration project - vintage Alumacraft Retriever In reply to
Ok, I reattached some of the pics and hopefully they are coming through now...
To answer some of the questions,
Yes I am reinstalling the styrofoam, and yes it is rated for a motor, although not a very large one...the flyer says it is rated up to a 3 horse.
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Re: Off season boat restoration project - vintage Alumacraft Retriever In reply to
So for those of you who are unfamiliar with what the Retriever is, it's the exact same hull as the vintage Alumacraft Ducker without the top...slightly higher sides... and a square stern transom for a small motor.
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Re: Off season boat restoration project - vintage Alumacraft Retriever In reply to
Pics show now.
I understand why you wanted to take off the paintjob!
Looks like sandblasting was the way to go too, nice fresh surface to prime & paint.
Keep us posted on this one!


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
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Re: Off season boat restoration project - vintage Alumacraft Retriever In reply to
Making some progress on my Alumacraft Retriever...finished priming a couple of weeks ago and just last night started painting the interior.
I am using Parkers Coatings primer and Paint and I went with something to try to match the original factory paint, and it appears that the "dead marsh grass" color
is pretty close.
You can see my ducker hanging in the back for comparison...I realize that the lights suck and the factory original paint is 50+ years old, but its not too far off.






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Re: Off season boat restoration project - vintage Alumacraft Retriever In reply to
You leaving that open like that or does it get a deck?
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Re: Off season boat restoration project - vintage Alumacraft Retriever In reply to
I love it. I honestly didn't know this model even existed. Great job I'm sure you'll have fun with the finished boat.
?..
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes" - Thomas Jefferson
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Re: Off season boat restoration project - vintage Alumacraft Retriever In reply to

Ok, one more update, I finally have the boat almost entirely restored...99%
The Retriever has come along way from the day I brought it home.
I still need to either make decals or see if I can find the proper ones for the model.
Otherwise it is good to go.

I was originally going to just replace the bench tops, but the designer really over engineered the benches with bracing, and pass-through carriage bolts as well as spacing bands. Figured it would be way too difficult to duplicate.
I was able to pattern the wood for the stern, apparently they are rated for 5 HP motors.
I used as much of the original hardware as possible.
There were three original screws that I had to either cut or drill to remove, and the transom is using waterproof torx screws for holding the two pieces of marine grade plywood to the fantail.
There is piece of wood on the inside and the outside of the fantail.
The screws pass through pre-drilled holes from the inside which were patterned to match the holes in the fantail, and then screw directly into the piece on the outside for a nice clean look.
The first picture is the hull ready to have the benches installed...just after filling it with water for a leak test.
The next pic is showing the bottom of the benches with new flotation foam installed.
Third is the benches with the final coats of paint and the wood for the stern along with the bench bracing.
The last picture shows the boat with everything installed ready to go...I'm not sure why, the last picture keeps trying to rotate to the left.[/b][/i][/u][/strike]
If you scroll back to the beginning of the post you can see the before compared to the after.
# DO 170

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Re: Off season boat restoration project - vintage Alumacraft Retriever In reply to
Good morning, JD~


What a sweet vessel - her lines make the heart sing - with lots of great workmanship!


I cannot wait to see a nice portrait or two of her when she's afloat.


BTW: I always post each of my photos between lines of text (not in a single bunch). This seems to help with the orientation.


All the best,


SJS.

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: Off season boat restoration project - vintage Alumacraft Retriever In reply to
Thanks

Last edited by:

J D Lewicki: Aug 13, 2019, 8:30 AM