Saved from the Junk Pile!
By "Boatmender"

    Part I: Damage Assessment


Webmaster's note: For the first time, the I.H.R. is bringing you a complete restoration of a hull from start to finish. This Viper was literally thrown away and it will now be brought back to a condition that will be better than new. Chris Brabender, along with help from his brother Paul, will be performing all the work from the initial dismantling to the final paint job. Chris has to his credit over 15 major boat restorations - some much worse than this one - of various make and size boats ranging from small pleasure craft to large offshores to full fledged race boats. The I.H.R. is indebted to Chris for agreeing to document this restoration and sharing his expertise with the rest of us. It gives us all hope for some of those projects out there!


Let me start off by saying that I am not claiming to be an expert on any of the following ideas I will be writing about through out this undertaking. However, I have restored four HydroStreams and a few other types of boats for fun over the years. There are many different ways to skin the Stream; these are some of the methods that have worked for me. When tackling large projects, I break it down into groups of smaller projects and treat each as a goal to finish. Setting small goals makes it much more palatable than trying to tackle the whole concept at once. At the beginning of most of my ventures most people say "what the hell are you going to do with that hunk of crap" only later to chew on those very same words when the job was complete (which by the way is my favorite part).

This 15' viper was given to me off of a junk pile by a friend of a friend. Over the next six months it will be completely restored to better than new condition. Right now I am still in the investigation stages of determining exactly what she needs. But I have a pretty good idea of what we will be doing. So far here's the plan. 1) Strip the hull. which includes removal of the deck, floor, foam floatation, transom, core & stringers . 2) Replace the transom, stringers, core and floor. 3) Replacement of the dash backing & some minor changes 4) deck & hull cosmetics 5) reattaching the deck 6) Refinish (5 color paint job) 7) rigging and interior..

Here are a few pictures of this beauty sitting on the junk pile and some quick observations. In the next part, you will see some good pictures of the deck being removed and other necessary dismantling on our way to attacking this project.

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1) Rotted deck (raised floor) which needs to be removed to investigate the core. 
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2) Deck rot as the result of poor glass coverage and unsealed screws. 
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3) Unrolled chopped strand matt. All over the hull. One of the main culprits for core failure. 
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3A) A poor core repair and a close-up of the rotted floor. 
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3B) The underside of that repair. 
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4) This picture shows the area of greatest concern. The light green indicates fractures created by a hard hit into a piling during a nor'easter. the blue indicates secondary bond failure, this was only to hold the foam in place. This foam will be removed to reinforce the hull and for the suspected recore.
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5) Transom damage.
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Pictures of side damage.


Stay tuned...