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PostPosted: 19 Apr 2017, 10:26 
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Joined: 09 Sep 2015, 15:49
Posts: 408
Boy they did turn out great I agree I would paint them to


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PostPosted: 21 Apr 2017, 01:51 

Joined: 17 Feb 2017, 22:06
Posts: 27
Well, it finally happened. I ran out of carpet tonight Looks like I'll be placing an order to finish the job. What's surprising is just how short I was. I've carpeted the floor, front & rear deck, bench, and two large gunwale panels. I also covered two small pieces of plywood for the tackle lockers on the front deck, but they were small enough that I could use scraps. I started with 6x25'. Out of curiosity before I bought the carpet, I got on a chat with Tracker support and asked them how much they used at the factory. The lady went off to research for 20 minutes and came back to tell me they used 16 feet on the 2000 Pro Team 165 - ya there's now way that's accurate. The boat has 16 feet of horizontally carpeted surfaces alone.

I'll have more in about a week. I was thinking a minimum order of 10 feet should do it, but I'm going to take some measurements and really plan out what I need. One thing I didn't think about up front was the direction of the carpet and how that plays into the cuts you make. I ended up making every piece run to the back of the boat, so a lot of the pieces had to be positioned in a less-efficient way on the roll when I cut it out.

Anyway, Here's how far 25 feet of carpet will go on a PT 165:

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I decided to place all the remaining pieces in their places so I could see what's left to carpet, and also really just to sit back and appreciate how good it's starting to look.

For the trolling motor tray, I wanted the lip of the tray to sit flush with the deck, or as close to flush as possible. I don't have a router and didn't want to spend money I'll likely never use again. So I used a circular saw with the blade set to 1/4" so I could take a little material off the deck and allow the lip to fit nicely into position. I went slow and test fit the tray often so I could ensure I wasn't going too deep or getting outside the lines of where the lip would land.

You may be able to see in the below pic, but I also pre drilled holes near each corner to the tray will be held tightly within the recess. I guess you could say I have a recessed, recessed trolling motor tray now!

Since the moment I started building the front deck panel, I've constantly had strength in mind because I'm a bigger guy. I don't want to have to baby the trolling motor pan because I'm afraid it might break. To help calm any fears, I riveted into place a section of 1-1/2" aluminum angle directly under the middle of the tray. Now, the weight will be spread across the plywood deck as well as the aluminum angle that's part of the bulkhead framework..

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PostPosted: 21 Apr 2017, 03:07 

Joined: 18 May 2016, 23:11
Posts: 15
[quote="sokmace"]It's almost time to mount the deck, so I spent some time this evening working on a few things that need to be completed prior to fastening it in place.

Since I have the new recessed TM tray now, I had to remove the cross brace and move it back quite a bit. It's at the back end of the TM tray, and a few inches from where the pedestal mount will be installed. I also needed to make a few relief cuts so the rod guides won't bend or rub.

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After I chose the final positioning for the deck, I measured, marked, measured again, and finally cut out the storage lockers that will be on each side of where the PVC tubes are. Each storage locker is 24" x 16" (at the narrow end up front). Plano 3700s are 14x9x2", so I should be able to fit a dozen boxes on each side. The 1-1/2" aluminum angle braces were riveted in place and will split duty for supporting the deck, hatch, and another section of carpeted plywood that will be the vertical wall at the front of the locker. You can see the carpeted floor already fastened into place.

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The rod guides will also have to be complete prior to screwing the deck down. I decided to give it a go with the flange some folks have recommended. I used my cheap, low power Harbor Freight heat gun and the bottom side of an EZ Swivel pedestal mount. I did some test runs on a few scrap pieces, and I'm glad I did. I was initially heating too far up the tube. When I compressed the tube against the form, the PVC would buckle a few inches above the area I was trying to flange. I also got it too hot. Here's the result I got on a few of the tubes that were good enough to install:

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Where did you get that flange at? I have looked all over to try and find something like that!


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PostPosted: 21 Apr 2017, 09:54 

Joined: 17 Feb 2017, 22:06
Posts: 27
craigman wrote:
sokmace wrote:
It's almost time to mount the deck, so I spent some time this evening working on a few things that need to be completed prior to fastening it in place.

Since I have the new recessed TM tray now, I had to remove the cross brace and move it back quite a bit. It's at the back end of the TM tray, and a few inches from where the pedestal mount will be installed. I also needed to make a few relief cuts so the rod guides won't bend or rub.

Image

After I chose the final positioning for the deck, I measured, marked, measured again, and finally cut out the storage lockers that will be on each side of where the PVC tubes are. Each storage locker is 24" x 16" (at the narrow end up front). Plano 3700s are 14x9x2", so I should be able to fit a dozen boxes on each side. The 1-1/2" aluminum angle braces were riveted in place and will split duty for supporting the deck, hatch, and another section of carpeted plywood that will be the vertical wall at the front of the locker. You can see the carpeted floor already fastened into place.

Image

The rod guides will also have to be complete prior to screwing the deck down. I decided to give it a go with the flange some folks have recommended. I used my cheap, low power Harbor Freight heat gun and the bottom side of an EZ Swivel pedestal mount. I did some test runs on a few scrap pieces, and I'm glad I did. I was initially heating too far up the tube. When I compressed the tube against the form, the PVC would buckle a few inches above the area I was trying to flange. I also got it too hot. Here's the result I got on a few of the tubes that were good enough to install:

Image

Image

Where did you get that flange at? I have looked all over to try and find something like that!


I made these on recommendation from a few guys on here. There's a guy on here that talks about how to do it, Richg99. You take a heat gun or propane torch and heat up the ends of a PVC pipe until it's pliable. Then you'll push the PVC down onto some kind of mold. I've heard a lot of people say the neck of a wine bottle works well. I used the bottom side of an old seat pedestal mount. Just spin the PVC while your work it with the heat gun and it flares out like that. I kept a bucket of water right next to me so as soon as I got the shape right, I could dunk it to set the shape permanently. Also, you don't want to let it get too hot or heat it up too high on the tube. I used schedule 40 PVC (thick-wall) and even the thick pipe would buckle a few inches higher than you'd like.


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PostPosted: 24 Apr 2017, 00:33 

Joined: 17 Feb 2017, 22:06
Posts: 27
It floats!

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Ignore the junky seat, bare wood/aluminum hatch lids, and the mess under the trolling motor. Between being stuck waiting for carpet and generally being tired of working on the boat but not fishing, I decided to pull a late-night blitz on Saturday to get this thing on the water Sunday afternoon. I haven't gotten the big motor running yet, so my daughter and I trolled around for a bit. I didn't throw too many casts, maybe 2 dozen times. I spent most of the time helping her fish and doing function checks.

I got all the wiring sorted out, installed bilge/livewell pumps, console, steering, old switches (and they actually work now!), etc. etc. I put about 4 gallons of fuel mix in the tank, primed the bulb until it was hard, and turned the key. It started right up, but died within 5 seconds. After that, I checked spark and fuel . I know gas was getting to the carb because I originally had the hose clamp too loose and some gas came squirting out the carb. Tightened that up and the bulb would get hard and no more leaks.

So I don't know what the problem is yet, but I didn't chase down every possible issue either. We were happy just trolling around the docks.

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Before I spend any more time on the motor, I'm going to do what I should have done a year ago when I got the boat and run a compression test. I think O'Reillys has them available for rent, so I'll run it by the store and test it so I can hopefully rule out the worst-case scenario. Fingers crossed. If compression is good, I think it has to be either the pump or something wrong with the carb. The motor turned over really strong, just wouldn't fire after that first time. Sounds like a fuel supply issue.

Question: is there an acceptable range for compression on an outboard like mine (1996 Force 40 ELPT)? From what I've read, it seems like ~120 is about right.


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PostPosted: 13 Sep 2017, 12:17 

Joined: 17 Feb 2017, 22:06
Posts: 27
At the end of April, I promised my wife I'd take the month of May off from working on the boat. Next thing I know, it's August and the boat became just another shelf in the garage. I finally got back to work recently and have a lot of updates to show, but first...

Story Time:

I live in an annexed suburb of Houston (Kingwood), about 30 minutes northeast of downtown. As I'm sure you're aware, we got hit hard by Harvey the last week of August. All of our creeks, rivers, and bayous swelled pretty quickly due to receiving nearly 50 inches of rain over the course of 4-5 days. Kingwood is on the San Jacinto river, which feeds into into Lake Houston in the southeastern border of the suburb. The river began to go out of bounds on Sunday 8/27. Downtown Houston was also under water. A county judge held a press conference and made a statement describing how first responders were already inundated with rescue calls from residents trapped in their homes. He put out a plea for anyone with a boat to consider assisting with rescue efforts. I was sitting in the AC watching cable TV and playing on my phone while friends and neighbors were losing everything only a few miles away. So I stayed up until 3AM that night getting my boat ready to serve. My motor troubles are well documented on this thread, and that night proved no different. I decided that even my trolling motor was better than doing nothing.

Here's some pictures from the first day of search & rescue in Kingwood, Texas:

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^^^This is a main road, appropriately named West Lake Houston Parkway. It served as a public boat ramp that day. We were the third boat out on the first day.

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For the first rescue, we paired up with some other locals and helped an elderly couple out of their home. The water had not risen to their house yet (pic of their driveway^), but you'll see later that they made the right call evacuating the first day.

I used to live in these apartments until I bought my house in 2012. I have coworkers and friends that still live there, but fortunately on the 2nd/3rd floors.

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Texas Forever

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Monster truck guy showed up at 5PM when I was loading up. This was probably the most practical vehicle of the day.

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It got much worse on day 2, but let me explain something to ya'll before we get to that. This Force 40 motor has not been run any longer than a few seconds in over the last 4-5 years. I've cranked it over countless times and it would not start 9 out of 10 times. Only a handful of times was I able to get it to run, but even then it would die within 5 seconds. Even after repairing a number of things and replacing some fuel and ignition components, it would not run - ever. When we unloaded the boat and started to head to the first address that called for rescue, I didn't even bother trying the motor. I put the trolling motor down and started on my way. However, there were 2 big problems: the water was not always deep enough for the trolling motor and second, the current was far too powerful for a little 43 lb thrust TM to handle. So I said a quick prayer and began to go through the same 2-stroke startup sequence I had tried dozens of times before with no success. That motor started on the first turn of the key and ran like a CHAMP ALL DAY.

I don't believe in karma or fate or destiny. What I do believe is that God caused that motor to run for three days straight so I could be at the service of others. I'm thankful for that.

Day 2: The next day, things got much worse. Up river is Lake Conroe, which under normal conditions maintains a water release rate of about 2,700 cubic feet per second. With all the rain they were receiving in Conroe, the San Jacinto River Authority made a decision to open the dam at a record rate - nearly 80,000 cubic feet per second. Combining a wall of water with 30-40 inches of rain (up to that point) caused the river to rise exponentially. The flooding capped out between the 800-year and 1,000-year floodplain lines. The first day, my boat was dragging bottom in some areas. Day 2, you couldn't see stop signs at those same spots.

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A nursing home put out a call for help after water rose into their first floor and forced the residents to hunker down on the second and third floors. They had 130 residents to evacuate, plus a handful of staff. They were well taken care of, but were beginning to run out of food and water and they had no running water either. We teamed up with about a dozen other boats manned by the coast guard, Texas state police, Game Wardens, HFD/HPD, the Cajun Navy, and a lot of ordinary people just like you and me. We carried about 130 residents down to the boats and led them to higher ground where they were transferred to shelters. It was heartbreaking to see.

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There were Blackhawks, Apaches, and HH-65 Dolphins doing extractions from rooftops. C-130s and C-17s were flying overhead surveying the area.

Houston's Finest:

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Day 3: The rain stopped, the sun came out, and the water levels began to go down. But much of Kingwood/Houston was still under water. We spent the day taxiing friends and strangers to their flooded homes so they could survey the damage and grab clothes and other essentials.

That motor never stopped running...

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My lower unit was beat. My prop is absolutely ruined, the skeg is bent, and I have no idea where my trim tab went.

The aftermath:

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The edges of 2 of the 3 prop blades were completely bent out of shape with the leading edge of the blade turning towards the front instead of facing behind the boat. Aside from dragging along shallow roads, hitting curbs/fire hydrants...I think the final blow was a submerged brick mail box I hit with at open throttle so I could get through a section with a pretty strong current. After that, full throttle would get me no better speed than as though I were idling.

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Day 4: After three days of search & rescue, the water levels receded and allowed us to shift focus from saving people to saving homes as the threat of mold creeped in. I'm still in awe with how people responded to a disaster and stepped up to serve their neighbors. Kingwood alone had hundreds of homes flooded. We had about a dozen boats working the first day, but I stopped counting at 70 boats on the second day when the flooding was at its worst. I had to wait an hour and a half in line before I could launch my boat on day 2. I had about 30 people that were rescued on my boat, but I believe the total numbers of rescues in Kingwood was about 300-400. Once the water levels went down, literally thousands of people showed up to help with demo and worked for 10 days straight. I led a crew from my church, which had about 100 volunteers split across 10+ crews each day. We started with demo work for our church members who lost their homes, and then just started going door to door until each home in the neighborhood was dry and ready for contractors. As of Saturday 9/9, only 10 days after beginning the clean up, nearly all of those homes have been gutted out, in large part to volunteers.

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Note the water line on this 6 foot fence. This is next door to the home where we did our first rescue - the elderly couple I mentioned earlier.

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I'm encouraged by this city, my church, my neighbors, and the work God can do with a junky old outboard. I think I understand why it's called a Force now.

Just wanted to share a more personal side of Harvey that you may not have seen in the media. Check back soon and I'll have an update on the build with new pics!


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PostPosted: 13 Sep 2017, 13:29 
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Joined: 15 Mar 2014, 16:57
Posts: 1933
Location: CT
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PostPosted: 13 Sep 2017, 20:13 

Joined: 12 Jun 2009, 22:29
Posts: 142
Amen my brother. You, and people like you, are the first responders. Not politican, but it's great to hear that Americans do what Americans do. God bless you, and all of our brothers and sisters.


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PostPosted: 13 Sep 2017, 20:24 

Joined: 12 Jun 2009, 22:29
Posts: 142
politikin
not sure if that's how it's spelled.


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PostPosted: 14 Sep 2017, 08:59 

Joined: 27 Dec 2016, 13:08
Posts: 2
Thank You, what else needs said. It is always nice to hear stories about how God gave you the "Force" to help out.


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PostPosted: 14 Sep 2017, 09:52 
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Joined: 20 Aug 2017, 22:03
Posts: 56
That's awesome man! People like you are the true heros down there. I wish I could have made the haul down there from VA but my boat is completely torn down right now.


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PostPosted: 14 Sep 2017, 14:43 

Joined: 17 Feb 2017, 22:06
Posts: 27
Thanks guys - I appreciate the kind words, but I'm definitely not one who deserves the attaboys! I had very little to with any of it and would have been sidelined without a whole lot of divine intervention. I was happy to have the opportunity to just be the hands and feet of something far bigger than me.

Now, here's a little update on the boat!

Having the opportunity to run the boat during Harvey really gave me some motivation to get back to work. With my new miracle motor, I finally have a fishing rig with all your standard functionality.

I knew going in to this deck that doing this would require a complete redesign of the console mounting and quite a bit of light fabrication. I finally settled on a design and went to work.

The framing is made from 1/16" x 1.5" angle aluminum paired with 1" square aluminum tubing for the upright supports.

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The extension adds 37 inches of fishable decking and supports up two 8' fishing rods, three 7' rods, and four 6.5' rods. I'm using the same 3/4" plywood I used for the front deck. Once I finish mocking it all up and instal hardware, I will wrap everything up in fiberglass to keep it water tight.

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Some of the rod holders on the right side will be a little tricky to get rods in and out, but I tested it out during the mock up and it works...I'll put my flexible, slower action rods and my daughter's fishing poles on that side.

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The rod locker lid will have to take an odd shape to fit around the console, but still open wide where it hinges up front. The console will be installed using raise tabs I riveted to the aluminum framing and will then screw into a 2x2 wood frame incorporated into the molding of the console.

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The space under the console and on the passenger side will be left open for foot room while cruising. The area in front of the console is going to be a built-in cooler. I'm going to line that box and the hatch lid with sheet insulation, and then order a drop in cooler insert so I can easily empty melted ice. On the opposite side, in front of the space where the passenger's feet will go, I'll add some walls using 1/4" plywood wrapped in carpet. That space will be another utility storage space for my gear.

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Still need to square up the decking and cut a little relief to make room for the 20 oz carpet that will meet at the seems.

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I noticed the new deck section sits a little lower than the front deck even though the framing for both the existing front deck and the new extended deck sit flush. You can kind of tell what I'm talking about in the picture below. I suspect this is due to the added thickness of the fiberglass and carpet that's already on the front deck. The front deck also has carpeting around the vertical bulkhead where the PVC rod guides start. That probably adds at least another 1/8-1/4" of rise. If the deck doesn't sit flush with the front panel after I glass it and add carpet, I think I may be able to shim it up a bit with some leftover strips of carpet or aluminum. Adding strips of carpet between the aluminum frame and the wood deck would also help absorb some noise.

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You'll notice that the two storage hatches on the front deck on each side of the trolling motor tray are currently hatch-less. When Harvey arrived, I had yet to wrap these in fiberglass and did not have enough time to allow the resin to cure before going out the next morning. Needless to say, the plywood lids I had planned on using got soaked and delaminated. So I also need to rip some replacements from some 3/4" ply I have left.

That's about it for now! I am going to wait until payday to order the carpet I need to finish up. Until then, I have a number of cosmetic odds and ends to work on:

-Cut out the hatch lids for the cooler space, passenger side storage box, and replace the two front lids that were ruined in the rain.
-Create 2 console trim panels: one to cover the old gauge holes and a second one to replace the weathered switch panel. I plan on using lexan/plexiglass and then wrapping in carbon fiber vinyl.
-Apply UV-resistant texture vinyl sheeting at the bow to give the front end a finished look. Will have to remove and reinstall the trolling motor for this.
-Rivet driver seat panel into place
-Reinstall hinge on passenger seat panel and rivet into place.
-Replace cracked factory bilge hose between pump and thru-hull fitting. Right now, I have a cheap plastic hose routed to my livewell - which is clearly less than ideal - but it was the only viable option I had at 3AM as I prepped for the flood!
-And last and certainly the most important task: get learned up on carburetors, setting idle right, etc. so the motor will idle without having to engage the throttle before it dies.


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