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Repairing My Boat; Tree Damage

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Last December we had a wind storm blow through here that caused a tree limb to fall on my covered Crestliner. I came home from work late the day it happened. The tree limb was from a healthy White Pine tree, and thankfully it wasn't the whole tree. The base of the tree limb was roughly 10" in diameter. The limb broke through the 2x4 frame that supports my 20' x 30' heavy duty tarp. I looked at the tarp and tree limb with a flashlight, then went back inside the house, too tired to deal with it after a long day at work.


The next day I removed the tree limb with a chainsaw, and removed the tarp so I could survey the damage. The tree limb crushed my hardtop about 12-18" on the left rear, which also shattered one of my solar panels and bent the angled hardtop support brace. Thankfully none of the glass was broke.  Being December, all I did was repair my 2x4 frame, took pictures, and put the tarp back over the boat, with a new 10x12 tarp over the 4ft hole in the main tarp.


It could've been much worse. I've never had to repair anything like this before, so I spent the next 6 months formulating a plan.










Most of the left side support braces were bent like this one


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I also used 3/4" x 1/8" angled aluminum to reinforce the bracket. I used grade 8 bolts, nuts and washers to attach the angled aluminum to the upper portion of the bracket.





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Posted (edited)

Now it's time to try to put the bend back in the flattened left rear corner of the hardtop.


This is what the right side looks like



This is what the left side looks like







I placed a basement floor jack under the flattened crease that I could reach with it.



I then used a ratchet strap to force the left side of the hardtop in toward the center.




Edited by Todd in NY
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This helped put the correct bend back in the left side hardtop. I bolted the angled bracket in place and took a break because it was getting dark outside.





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I have some finish work to do on my next day off. Then I'll replace both water pump kits on my outboards and be ready for the rest of the 2022 fishing season.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Shakemsam said:

Weld it! My 24 Sabre had stress cracks in the same areas. 


How did your Sabre get stress cracks?

Edited by Todd in NY
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The HT on a Sabre is pretty much a structural piece. If there is a negative about those hulls, it is that they flex A LOT! The HT absorbs that flex. I also had the longer HT with the full length windows. I'm sure that contributed to the stress I had vs yours. Still....I would get it welded considering the damage you had. Check locally for a welder. Lots of guys would come to the boat. It's only a 15 min job.

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I worked on the boat for a few hours yesterday. When I bought the boat 5 years ago, it had some aluminum diamond plate welded to the angled support brackets. I had to cut through that diamond plate in order to remove the support bracket for this repair.






 I decided to use some 2" wide by 1/8" thick aluminum "bar stock" to re-connect that diamond plate to the support bracket. I started with a 3ft long piece of aluminum and cut the 2 lower pieces 4" long. The pieces for the top were cut to 4.25" and 4.5". I measured and marked the pieces, clamped it in my bench vise, then cut them with a hacksaw. I used a file to smooth all of the edges.


The bottom two pieces were easier to fit than the top two pieces.



The top diamond plate was bent outward quite a bit, so it took some time and effort to bend it into a more usable angle. I was able to leave the top left piece straight. But the right side piece needed two bends in it that I used my bench vise and a dead-blow hammer for.




I used 1/4" grade 8 bolts and washers and grade 5 nylock nuts to attach these aluminum pieces. I also added a 1/4" x 1" stainless fended washer between the aluminum pieces and the grade 8 washers on the side you can see in the pics.


Next task was to attach the rear roof to the 2x4 board that the floor jack was holding up. The original screws were standard size deck screws. But the force of the tree ripped those screws out. So I used 1/4" lag screws to secure the roof to the board. I also added a 1/4" flat SS washer under the lag screws. The left lag screw is 2" long, the center one is 2.5" long, and the right one is 3" long.




Now I was able to remove the floor jack without any sag in the hardtop. Next task will be to add the new solar panel to the HT.

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More power to you!!

Not only did you put your money into it ,but also your soul!

Now that boat is really yours. I Bet you that every time you step on it , you will look at it and have a feeling of accomplishment.

You deserve to win LOC this year!

Edited by rolmops
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Thanks rollmops! I bought this boat in the fall of 2017, and started dumping money, time and soul into it in April 2018. It has been a fun journey, and over the years, I've set this boat up to be what I wanted in a fishing boat. Winning the LOC would no small feat.


I documented all those repairs in the thread linked below...


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Yesterday I installed the new solar panel and tightened the roof to the "rafters", for lack of a better term. The rafters were bent downward, away from the roof. It looks like they were originally help in place by a white unknown adhesive. I drilled a 1/4" hole through the roof and four rafters, then used stainless steel bolts, nylock nuts and 1.5" diameter washers to pull the roof and rafters back together. All holes were sealed with Boat-Life caulk. I also installed a new set of 4-rod holders because tree damage broke the set I had there before.


I'm done with the damage  repairs. Now I can move on to replacing the water pump kits in both motors and start fishing. Thanks for following, and stay safe!









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10 minutes ago, PA Matt said:

Nice work so far. A lot of people would have thrown in the towel.



Thank you! This is the best boat I've ever owned. It's right at home on every lake I've fished so far, from Cranberry Lake in the Adirondacks, to Oneida Lake and Lake Ontario. It's too nice a boat to just throw in the towel. It's the last boat I'll ever own.

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