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1966 21' Century Coranado

If you’ve been to this web site before, you already know how fond I am of the Coronados.  They are surely one of the sturdiest wood boat models ever constructed…and for good reason.  Nearly all of them are powered by huge V8s providing the speed, soft ride, handling, and overall performance that they were designed for.  They were not cheap during those golden days, this particular model costing more than a comparable Cadillac at that time.

The Achilles heel of these fast and powerful boats, however, is their single-planked bottoms.  Due to their speed, many of them took more of a pounding and the single-planked bottoms just don’t hold up as well…in my opinion after doing well over fifty bottom replacements.  That’s why, even with 5200, we will only replace Century bottoms with double-planking.  It only makes sense to add that second layer for strength…especially when in every other aspect it still looks original.  Why not?

This boat comes from New York and is one of the last and most beautiful of the wood model years before changing over to fiberglass.  The hardtop adds much to this boat and provides the owner much valued sun protection while also allowing him to slide the forward portion back to get some rays if he and his passengers want that or some extra ventilation.  The boat is actually in very good condition otherwise and only needs a new bottom, some attention to the chine splash rails, and a refinished transom.

Removing the hardtops from boats is never easy.  You have to hunt around to make sure you’ve removed all the fasteners, then gently pull it from the boat with enough men to make certain it doesn’t get dropped…either on the boat or someone’s foot.  It’s best to use a hoist if you have one available.  The boat rolled over easy enough and we could see more of the bottom and why she was taking on water.  The splash rails were pretty much toast and the chines had separated about ½” from where they were suppose to be. 

As always we cleaned and de-greased the bottom structure and began work on replacing the battens after bringing in the chines with clamps and new bolts/fasteners.  After they were sealed and painted with thinned bilge paint we went to work on the inner layer with BS1088 European Okume.  Do not use the Asian.  It’s cheaper in more ways than one.  Stick to the good European stuff…you only want to do this once. After the inner layer was completed we began dry fitting the outer planks, making sure we left about 1/16” gap between the boards so the 5200 has some room to ooze out and provide that cushion for minor expansion.  The bottom laid down nicely and we faired with 40 grit, then moved up to 80 grit before sealing, priming with two coats of Interlux 2000e, then two coats of Interlux Hard Racing Bronze bottom paint.  You’ll note from one of the photos that we place a bead of 5200 on the top and bottom seams of the hullside chine planks…along with the bottom transom plank.  You MUST do this or you will still get seepage of water in the boat. 

While waiting for the paint to fully cure we stripped the transom and prepared for finishing.  All went well and then a heavy coat of bilge paint was sprayed on and allowed to dry for several days before re-assembly.  Oh yes, now for putting that hard top back on.  Much patience is needed for that, but no one got hurt and she went back on without a hitch thanks to the hoist doing the heavy lifting.  As you can see, she turned out quite nice and is ready for some dry-bilge boating back home in NY.

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