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1965 21' Century Coronado


Our shop loves Coronados....period. In our opinion they are the Cadillac of large powerful utilities. There are few boats that can match them for moving people effortlessly with classic grace and styling. Most of them could do more than 50 mph with a boat load of passengers. Then they slice right through the water. They can also be had at very reasonable prices...making them one of the best classic boat values in the market today. Maybe that's why I personally own three of them.

The boat came from Austin, TX. The original bottom had been fiber-glassed over some time ago, pretty much destroying the bottom. Also, some cosmetic changes had occurred over the years which detracted from this model's original beauty. She's to receive nearly everything. New bottom, new sides and transom with the glue & screw method to strengthen the boat and prevent those plank seams from forming. She'll also receive some new chrome, interior from A&A, flooring, and Bimini top to protect her occupants form the intense Texas sun. This boat is surely worthy of a complete restoration.

The glass covering had delaminated, allowing most of it to be pulled off in sheets.
Ok, you get the general idea. With VERY few exceptions, fiberglass and wood boats go together like oil and water....they don't! We're replacing more and more bottoms that supposedly had 'professionally installed' glass bottoms. Sometimes I wish more had been done, then our bottom replacement business would even be better than it is now. I just hate this stuff. Remember, the wood moves and fiberglass does not. Alright, just two more and I'll move on.
Here we go...
You must replace the battens. To not do so is foolhardy and asking for trouble.
We decided to remove the hullside planks while the boat was upside down, it's just a little easier...especially towards the bow. You're reaching down rather than up. As we're going with all new African and skinning prior to reattachment guess what we do next? That's right...add a layer of 3m Okume for strength over new battens. We 5200 the base to the battens, which allows some flexibility of the structure within. Gluing even new wood to new battens without a proper sub-base can result in split planks on larger boats, as they have more flex in them. The Okume base prevents that. I did a 1950 Riviera more than twenty years ago with the Okume base and the boat looks nearly as good today as when it came out of the shop. You will still need to varnish as needed, but plank seam separation will not be a factor. It's just to protect the wood and finish. This is money well spent.
Before we attaché the Okume base we paint the battens with bilge paint thinned about 40% with CPES. Let it sit overnight. Once the bottom and chine strake is on, the you can add the chine splash rails. We had to make new ones, and steamed them for two hours prior to attachment. We use 3" dry-wall screws with washers as temporary fasteners to hold in place for two days. Then we remove, seal, and then permanently attach with 316 stainless fasteners. After two days the rails will retain most of their shape after you remove them. Then it's pretty easy to reattach. We also bed in 5200 to provide that water tight seal to keep water from penetrating between the wood and just festering there.
Remember, two coats of CPES, two coats of 2000e primer, and two coats of bottom paint.
Walla! See, nothing to it.
The only way to plank, the router method. My buddy Dannenberg once showed me how to do this on his own barrel back! Yikes. It does take more time in the set-up, but as you can see the results are worth it. Have you ever seen such a beautiful thing. I just love tight seams. You'll notice the blocks at the bottom near the chine. Those are for the clamps. Just remove and fill the tiny screw holes with Famowood when done. It's in the painted area anyway and does not hurt the boat.
Yes, now that you ask. We do have a woman that works in the shop. She's a very hard worker, a little anal about her work (a good thing), will do any dirty job that needs to be done, rides a Harley, and could beat the crap out of all us guys. She has indeed threated to do that if we don't do a better job keeping the bathroom clean. Just thought you'd like to know.
Some things just can't be improved upon. One is longboard sanding. Is it hard? Is it tedious? Do your arms fall off at the end of the day so you can't even hold your glass of milk at dinner (or beer after work)? Yes, yes, and yes. BUT...you can't get better results with any other mechanical tool...at least that we've found. So, as Nike says...just do it!
Dropping in the awesome 454, and getting the shinny stuff ready. About a hundred hours later you have a finished boat. The Bimini is a nice touch.

What a beauty! Now she's on her way back to Austin. By coincidence, we have another '65 Coronado coming in from Austin the week this one goes out. What are the odds of that?