My name is Marc Diller and I restore classic fiberglass Correct Crafts. Attached are the photographs and documentation of a 1977 Ski Tique I purchased and then completely restored from the trailer up. This boat had severe structural rot, engine problems and a worn out interior. However, on the bright side the original gel cote was in great shape and all the original hardware was still on the boat. My intention was to restore the boat to near original shape with a few new modern conveniences. The boat was originally accented with a gold interior, carpet and lettering. My intention was to restore the boat to original colors, but I could not find the exact gold indoor/outdoor carpeting. I love the blue Correct Craft used, so the “restored” boat was done in blue accents.
As with all the restoration projects we have done, I do all the fiberglass and cosmetic work myself, my engine guy does the motor rebuild plus restores all mechanical components and my interior “folks” remake the exact interior. All the major components of the boat were removed, stored or sent to the proper person for work. I have included a few pictures of the motor and interior being rebuilt. Every part of this boat was taken down to its basic foundation and rebuilt from there up.
Structural – I took a lot of pictures and detailed measurements while removing the floor and stringer system in order to produce an exact and better reproduction of the boats skeleton. The foam used to protect the boat from sinking, in the long run, did more damage than good. Every boat gets water in its hull from normal use, but the foam traps the water and after time, caused the wood stringers and bulkheads to rot. Wood works great for boats as long as the water has a way to get out and air has a way to get in. These old correct crafts have enough foam in the deck and forward hull to float, even if swamped. I did not put the damaging foam back in the boat stringer and bulkhead system. I did add small access “passageways” in the stinger and bulkhead system for the water to naturally escape to the bilge. I also completely fiber glassed every portion of wood in the system, where others just “paint” wood with resin. If the boat is allowed to dry out properly after use, the wood will last forever! The ¾ inch floor was screwed down, all seams and connections with the hull were laminated with bi-directional fiberglass. I modified the floor panel to the rudder and mufflers for easier access for regular check ups. I also laminated wood to the transom for a new teak swim platform. The final fiberglass touch was a brand new coat of light gray gel cote in all visual compartments.
Engine – The engine (302 4-barrel Ford “maranized” by Escort) was completely torn down to the crank. The block was boiled to remove baked on lake sediment and the crank was balanced. The distributor was full of rust and we were amazed that the engine would even run. The ignition was changed to a breaker less ignition system for better performance. Because the engine sits in the boat at an angle, we put a wedge between the carb and intake manifold to level the carb. This helped the carb function normally and acted as a high rise for a little more power. Another problem was that the 3-inch exhaust hose leaving the exhaust manifolds were really kinked, because of the tough angle going through the floor and into the mufflers. We fabricated steel elbows that allowed straight sections of hose to be used and the entire system went together much smoother. All parts were painted with original Ford blue or black heat resistant paint as necessary.
Interior – All seat wood framing was replaced and sealed with black gel cote. The original seats had heat stamped quilting and we replaced this with real quilting in the vinyl. The blue vinyl was an exact match to the color Correct Craft used. One update the interior got was replacing the front passenger seat with a reversed, wider and tilting observer seat. This matched what the similar year Ski Nautique had in its interior. Even the deck vents were replaced with the correct color vinyl.
Reassembly – After the carpet was replaced, the engine was dialed back into place and the new interior was installed. The rust-oleem lettering on the side of the boat was replaced with exact replications in vinyl, which is much easier to fix if damaged. The entire boat was buffed and polished. The steering system was broken down, cleaned and greased. All chrome hardware was re-chromed and the prop, rudder and fins were polished to a high gloss. We replaced the “tough to use” transom ladder with a custom built teak swim platform. All the dash gauges and circuit breakers were removed, repaired, and reinstalled. Even the plexiglass speedometer was replaced with correct color. It seems like every part of the boat was restored, but to list it all would be impossible.
This boat was restored in the winter/spring of 1996 in order to be ready for the Correct Craft reunion at Sea World in Ohio on June 8. My only regret was not being able to get the trailer done for the show. Ralph Meloon told us later that the only reason we did not win first place for our restoration was because our trailer was not done. It was refinished as soon as the boat went in the water a few weeks later.
I love these old Correct Crafts and really enjoy seeing them brought back to life. If you or someone you know is interested in having a classic fiberglass boat restored, give me a call at 317-265-4764. We usually restore two or three a winter, and spend the summers enjoying them on the water.
Nolley Quality Fiberglass