31 Contender "Dream Overhaul" begins.

BoattronicsBoattronics Posts: 5,198 Admiral
Sometimes things happen for a reason. My boat was not up for sale, but I was made an offer I couldn't refuse, despite my summer vacation plans (with the boss, she was not happy!). She was gone before I had a chance to say goodbye. Within days before I sold, I had received a message that my next dream hull I had mentioned overhauling on social media, a 31 Contender, was going up for sale soon. They had heard my interest in said vessel, and we came to terms very quickly. It was meant to be!



Tony Bossela, a local fishing legend, was the original owner. He heard I had her and had begun restoration, and paid a surprise visit!



First order was to strip the boat completely. I earned a new respect for the Contenders build quality cutting out that console lol! We cut out the floor, and exposed the leaky tanks.



Thanks to a trusty chainfall, the tanks came out without much of a fuss.



The tanks were definitely toast!



After a lot of back and forth with myself, (it actually took weeks), I finally made a decision on the new tanks and ordered a custom 340+ gallon configuration. This will save half the tub in the console, which saves rigging/maintenance ease, while also giving me a huge range. We deleted the fresh tank in the back in favor of the fuel exspansion. Two new 25 gallon fresh tanks in the forward saddle storage extreme will give me both all the fresh water I could want on extended trips, but also offer instant 400lbs of bow ballast, but more on that idea later.



The console restoration began yesterday. The holes have been filled and shes ready to get faired out and primed (ambitious I know) tommorow. 



We recently did the same exact vessel overhaul, and I'm doing the same configuration as I did here, except with a 24" Simrad which is the same dimensions as this Garmin.





After the tanks go in the next couple weeks, the build will be going full blast. After repairs, mods and fairing, the entire vessel will be painted with Alexseal inside and out. The paint scheme is the exact same down to the custom formulas as seen on the world famous "Grander Jarret Bay" yacht.

Updates will be somewhat slow at first, but the build speed will escalate towards fall. We are hoping to be finished by Christmas, though again, that's being very ambitious. Thousands of man hours are ahead of the team in the coming months.

Obviously my Contender isn't the Grander, but I have no shame in copying her exact paints, metal and softsides to the T.

T,  for "Trinity" that is. Here is the beautiful Grander, for scheme reference.

Tony Eden-
Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
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Replies

  • wrecks311wrecks311 Posts: 1 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the update Tony. Trinity will be one hell of a boat when your done. Paint scheme will be amazing! Always impressed with the Boatronics touch. Look forward to future updates. 
    Tight lines
  • PangamanPangaman Posts: 743 Officer
    Nice, you don't worry about just having one MFD for redundancy offshore?
  • BoattronicsBoattronics Posts: 5,198 Admiral
    Thanks guys! The boat will have a second station, with another mfd in it.

    Now that I'll be doing extended trips, I'll get a hand held as well. Not to mention phone apps, I'll be covered.

    Power will be Suzuki 300's. I'm saving 20k over the Yamaha option!


    Tony Eden-
    Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
    Boattronics.net
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  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 11,124 AG
    That's going to look great when it's finished.  
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • BoattronicsBoattronics Posts: 5,198 Admiral
    The door originally opened vertically, which I thought was a death trap. We are modifying and reinforcing the new setup to hinge to the side.





    The console is close to being faired out now.


    Tony Eden-
    Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
    Boattronics.net
    Over 80 seperate, recent reviews from captains on this forum-
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  • BoattronicsBoattronics Posts: 5,198 Admiral
    I've done lots of Contenders, so I've saved up quite a few ideas over the years. I actually finished rewiring another one last night. 



    Mine is going to be the craziest wiring job ever seen in one, once my console is done I will begin planning the inside layout.
    Tony Eden-
    Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
    Boattronics.net
    Over 80 seperate, recent reviews from captains on this forum-
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  • BoattronicsBoattronics Posts: 5,198 Admiral
    My console is now ready for primer

    .
    Tony Eden-
    Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
    Boattronics.net
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  • JustDaveJustDave Jacksonville FlPosts: 194 Deckhand
    This is gonna be one sweet **** ride for sure when your done! Cant wait to see it. Save some time in the shop for my rig though :wink: I think the "Snapper season Anchor challenge" convinced my wife I need a trolling motor on my boat so hopefully Ill be talking to you about it soon :smiley:
    1995 Stratos 2500WA Twin 2013 200HO ETECS! 
  • seapro15seapro15 Posts: 183 Deckhand
    What went onto the console between the two pics? Did you spray with gel coat and now you'll primer and paint that?
  • livebaitlivebait Posts: 792 Officer
    As you do this job would you keep a log of man- hours involved? Always had to crunch numbers in my career. Maybe the 1st million dollar 31’. Jus’ funning’
  • BoattronicsBoattronics Posts: 5,198 Admiral
    Sounds good Dave, we will hook you up so you never have to throw a hook again!

    Yes Seapro. No more gauges. The helm will be one giant screen, wall to wall. A 24" will just barely squeeze in.

    I'm tracking every minute, every penny spent livebait. Gotta make sure we can stay profitable. 

    Drove to Ft.Pierce yesterday to get my tanks from TNT Custom Boatworks. I must say they made a great product, with a quicker build time and 25% cheaper than any other quote I got. Over a thousand dollars saved with them was well worth my drive!



    Even after driving all day, I couldn't stand it. Had to hoist them up into the boat for a dry fit. 


    Gonna epoxy coat them, and then I'll be ready to glass them in. We have an awesome setup planned. All three tanks have two pickups, so all three tanks will be plumed to both engines for ultimate fuel system redundancy. There will be a stainless three way valve at each fuel filter.
    Tony Eden-
    Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
    Boattronics.net
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  • BoattronicsBoattronics Posts: 5,198 Admiral
    Coal tar epoxy coatings under way. Ready for second coats today. 


    Tony Eden-
    Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
    Boattronics.net
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  • PangamanPangaman Posts: 743 Officer
    I used speedytanks out of New Jersey when I replaced mine. It comes standard with the coal tar epoxy. They beat all the manufacturers I called in Florida. They claim to use superior aluminum than the other manufacturers. Something about American aluminum being superior to the Chinese aluminum a lot of the companies use. Lot of good reviews on thehulltruth for them.
  • rookiemistakerookiemistake Posts: 1,170 Officer
    Off topic but your guy got a number for fiberglass and gel coat repairs? Thanks
  • mcgatormcgator Posts: 7 Greenhorn
    Looks like the “Triple Play” correct?
  • TrapperTrapper Posts: 264 Deckhand
    I don't have his fiberglass guys number but I'm betting it is Jack Barsh with Full Throttle off St Augustine Rd. He does **** good work and stays busy year round, hell of a guy. I worked with him between jobs and Tony was next door to us.
  • BoattronicsBoattronics Posts: 5,198 Admiral
    This is correct. Jack is the man!
    Tony Eden-
    Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
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  • BoattronicsBoattronics Posts: 5,198 Admiral
    Progress has finally begun on the Trinity. From here out, it will be full speed ahead. Here you see transom cracks being grinded out and filled with resin and mat.




    Tony Eden-
    Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
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  • StonehengeStonehenge Posts: 129 Deckhand
    Looking good.  What year is the hull?  I've got some spider cracking on my 96 contender around the same areas you are showing in these photos.  Assuming just cosmetic concerns?
  • BoattronicsBoattronics Posts: 5,198 Admiral
    Yessir it's a 2002, and it's all cosmetic. Painting the entire vessel, so it has to be perfect. 

    Moving on, more cracks along the rubrail getting filled, and most of the transom is grinded out.



    Now for the livewell mods. The livewell system is good, but we are making it much better. First, we are glassing the overflow holes shut. Next we are installing gemlux adjustable fills and adjustable drains. This way the tank can be pressurized whether we are running or not, or the water can be instantly adjusted to any level right from the well.



    Next, we will attack the stock scuppers. The new Gemlux version has a check ball in it, so no water can enter the deck when backing down, etc.


    Tony Eden-
    Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
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  • Snatch-UmSnatch-Um Posts: 1,347 Officer
    Those new fittings look awesome, especially the adjustable livewell drain. 
  • gatortroutchampgatortroutchamp Posts: 145 Deckhand
    What are your repowering her with?  
  • BoattronicsBoattronics Posts: 5,198 Admiral
    300 Yamaha's. 

    I decided against glassing the overflow shut. Instead, I'll put another adjustable drain there! Figure it's a win win. 
    Tony Eden-
    Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
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  • livebaitlivebait Posts: 792 Officer
    What changed your mind from the Suzuki's? Good looking fiberglass work.
  • BoattronicsBoattronics Posts: 5,198 Admiral
    Resale value mostly. That and we plan on fishing areas like Louisiana and the Bahamas, where Suzuki parts are scarce in a pinch.

    I decided against glassing the overflows closed. Instead, I'm adding adjustable drains there too. That way I can pressurize running or not, or allow it to function as normally designed. Win win! 

    One of them was impossible to get to, so we cut a hole, installed the new fitting, and glassed the hole back closed.





    Fwd bulkhead got glassed up. Gonna need to be strong to hold two 8's and two 12's.



    90% of the cracks are history now.



    Next we cut out two of the old bulkheads to make space for the larger tanks. The forward bulkhead is now resting in it's new spot, ready to be glassed in.



    Next we will glass in the tank standoffs, drop the tanks, and foam them in. Its starting to get exciting!

    Also, we are glassing in a pad in the bow for the Rhodan trolling motor. Here is another Contender we recently did to use as a reference. 




    Tony Eden-
    Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
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  • PangamanPangaman Posts: 743 Officer
    Its better not to foam your tanks in. Any water that gets in between the foam and the tank will corrode your tank. It is better to have air space around your tank. Water that gets on your tank won't corrode it if it has air. Called crevice corrosion. Did some research when I replaced my tank. All the experts seemed to agree with no foam if you want your tank to last.
  • BoattronicsBoattronics Posts: 5,198 Admiral
    edited September 11 #28
    I researched this extensively. In Contenders, this is what you do. The foam encapsulates the tank, it's in a completely sealed box. The problems in Contenders have arised when owners remove the inspection hatches, and then don't properly seal them back. That's what happened to mine, but they still lasted over 15 years.

    Further, we have used a much heavier gauge aluminum. Further still, and here's the kicker, I put several coats of coal tar epoxy on them. The original tanks were not coated. Lastly, great care will be taken to glass them and seal them in. This installation will be bulletproof, and likely outlive the rest of the vessel.

    Foaming them in makes the entire structure more rigid, and prevents structural failure, which would happen quickly with tanks of this size on standoffs only.
    Tony Eden-
    Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
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  • Sea SnakeSea Snake Posts: 5,435 Admiral
    Just curious, as to why wouldn't you just put an access plate where you had to cut a hole to install the overflow drain ?

    Get a fancy flush mount SS one or something......you'll never be able to get to it again, by sealing it back up.


  • BoattronicsBoattronics Posts: 5,198 Admiral
    The previous one lasted over 15 years, and i would assume between my care and better materials this one will last longer. Besides, we got glass flying everywhere right now. If it fails, I'll install a plate. But I'd rather keep everything as clean as possible. 
    Tony Eden-
    Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
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  • BoattronicsBoattronics Posts: 5,198 Admiral
    Dropped the tanks in and foamed them in today. 


    Trimmed up nice, ready to glass them in.


    In this pic, you can see the piece of deck we have cut out, that we will make a full opening sized bilge hatch, twice as big as the original. A grown man will easily be able to step down and easily sit in the bilge for maintenance. 


    Instead of the stock, two rigging pipe configuration, we are adding a third rigging tube as well.

    Tomorrow we glass them in, and prepare fuel lines. Two pickups per tank, so both motors can select any tank on a three way valve, another huge improvement over stock.
    Tony Eden-
    Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
    Boattronics.net
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    Please call with any questions or a free estimate for the lowest price/best work available!
    904-545-1270
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