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Juice75

Deck and Hull Separating

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Juice75

Hi everyone, it's been quite a bit since I've posted here, so be gentle.  

I'm replacing my rub rail on my '99 Sunsetter VLX, and one of the rear corners has a small gap between the deck and hull.  What's the best process to repair something like this?  I want to fix it now to keep the gap from getting worse.  We've had this boat for 13 years, and don't have any plans to sell it in the near future, so I want the 'Bu to last.

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Bill_AirJunky

Hey Juice,

It's not an unusual problem. If your not surfing the boat & listing it heavily, you'd never notice it. The remedy the dealers do is basically to compress the upper deck & hull as much as possible & then fill the gap with a product like 3M's 5200 (applies like caulk, but it's a super strength adhesive).

Good luck with it!

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Juice75

Thanks Bill.  I'll at least fill the gap with 5200.  I don't think my little wood clamps would do much to compress the gap.  :)

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granddaddy55
1 hour ago, Juice75 said:

Thanks Bill.  I'll at least fill the gap with 5200.  I don't think my little wood clamps would do much to compress the gap.  :)

Do you use it from the inside for this issue when not removing rub rail? Or another product ,

I need to correct my 4 year leak and clean my carpet from the stains and re attach carpet to top of wall with a 3m spray adhesive 

so I guess I need to wipe or lightly scrape out of seam on inside the accumulated debri from the water silt ? 

vacuum well , let dry for how long ?

Then apply the 5200 and let it dry for recommended hours

is this a Monday through Friday operation for all phases during season or wait till you have a rain out weekend, start on Saturday ?       apply 5200 to seam that day after cleaning seam  and carpet, wait 2 days, reglue carpet on Tuesday let dry rest of week 

only five days Monday -Friday after getting boat wet on Sunday I assume won’t cut it to be back on water Saturday?

Edited by granddaddy55

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Bill_AirJunky
47 minutes ago, Juice75 said:

Thanks Bill.  I'll at least fill the gap with 5200.  I don't think my little wood clamps would do much to compress the gap.  :)

Yea, we managed to close the gap using weight on the top deck, ie; lead, forklift pushing down, etc.

As for the dry time, it all depends on the conditions. Is it hot out? Humid? Rain? In a shop? We never did the job by only doing it on the inside. The factory told us to remove the rub rail, clean & dry it, compress the gap as much as possible, and fill the gap with the 5200. We never had to dry it more than a few days but it's pretty hot & dry here in the summer. Plus we always did the job indoors.

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granddaddy55

Lead !!!!!! Brilliant during dry phase, I just can’t see removing that rail , even the corners by themselves are hard, new corners don’t even come holes pre drilled for I guess good reason .  

I get a fairly dry winter, want to do this from inside only , under carport for dry time this needs to be a January deal which is our only winter month

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Juice75

Grandaddy55 - taking the rub rail off wasn't too bad on mine, and it's 19 years old.  Just had to drill out about 100 rivets.  Now, putting the new rail on is going to be a different story.  I haven't figured out a good plan for drilling holes in the rub rail that line up with the existing holes in the boat.  That's going to be the really fun part.

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BlindSquirrel
39 minutes ago, Juice75 said:

Grandaddy55 - taking the rub rail off wasn't too bad on mine, and it's 19 years old.  Just had to drill out about 100 rivets.  Now, putting the new rail on is going to be a different story.  I haven't figured out a good plan for drilling holes in the rub rail that line up with the existing holes in the boat.  That's going to be the really fun part.

I don't think you are supposed to hit the same holes. I've been researching doing mine, there are a few good videos on youtube. The way I understand is you use stainless screws in new holes you pre-drill after you fill in the old ones. Cool boat by the way...:cheers:

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Juice75

Ah, good to know!  Guess I need to do a little research.  That sure would be easier than trying to match up the rivet holes.  Nice boat back at you.  Have you ever had the sundeck lift replaced/repaired?  I've greased mine a ton of times, but that things is still crazy loud.  I swear the whole lake looks at me each time I open the rear hatch.

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BlindSquirrel
1 hour ago, Juice75 said:

Ah, good to know!  Guess I need to do a little research.  That sure would be easier than trying to match up the rivet holes.  Nice boat back at you.  Have you ever had the sundeck lift replaced/repaired?  I've greased mine a ton of times, but that things is still crazy loud.  I swear the whole lake looks at me each time I open the rear hatch.

I have replaced mine! My old one was similar and finally quit. Although I couldn’t find a direct replacement, I even reached out to the manufacturer... but never heard back. I found one on eBay for ~$65 that I made work. Made it work by extending the base as I couldn’t find the same exact size. Not pretty, but you never see it. Whisper quiet now. I’ll see if I can find the one I bought.

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BlindSquirrel

Yeah that is called a linear actuator. The closest one I found to oem was the 18” one. Just search eBay for that. Some guys on here have converted their decks to a manual lift with oil shocks, like the lift gate on an suv. I thought about that, but replacing the actuator was easier for me.

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Juice75

Thx for the info.  I'll look at eBay now.  I've also thought about converting to gas shocks, but cutting through the aluminum honeycomb to install the latch looks like a pain to me.  Plus, lifting with the switch looks cool, as long as it isn't making dogs heads explode with the sound.

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Juice75

BlindSquirrel, you are a genius!  I found an actuator on eBay for $63 that will do the trick.  Can't believe I didn't do this years ago.

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BlindSquirrel

The body of that will most likely be too short by 3 inches or so, assuming you got the 18" one below, mine was. Meaning when it is in the full down position it will be 3 inches too short. I made an extension for mine and all is well. I didn't use the hardware that came with it, just cut the clip off the original wires and connected the new ones. Note, the red wire from the boat connects to the white wire and the white wire from the boat goes to the red on the new actuator. I got mine all buttoned up and almost heat wrapped, red to red and white to white.... only to find out it was backwards..... 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-18-Inch-Stroke-Linear-Actuator-1500N-330lbs-Pound-Max-Lift-12V-Volt-DC-Motor/112887896341?hash=item1a48a49915%3Am%3AmdfXAjchkXMgJEmUIpXpOCQ&var=413290696393&_sacat=0&_nkw=linear+actuator&_from=R40&rt=nc&_trksid=p3692.m570.l1311.R1.TR12.TRC2.A0.H0.Xlinear+actuat.TRS0

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Bill_AirJunky

Yea, no way you will hit all the same holes. Some, maybe. The trick is to not barely hit one & end up with an egg shaped hole & a rivet that is loose in there.

As for installing the rub rail, I've only done it in very warm area. Soak it in hot water, heat up the shop, leave it out in the sunshine, use a heat gun, whatever it takes to heat it up & make it easier to install. No way I'd attempt it in the cold. Probably crack & split all over.

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Juice75

Bill - I'm in Texas, so I have the 100 degree sun helping get the new rail soft and pliable.  I put a mark in between all the holes, so that's where I'll drill the new holes.  Going to attempt getting it all buttoned up tonight, so I can be back on the water by Friday.  Here's hoping it all goes well.

 

BlindSquirrel - that's exactly the one I got!  I'll look into making an extension if needed.  And thanks for the wiring tip.  I would have had it backwards, too.  It should be here Monday.  I can't wait to stop scaring all the people on the lake when I lift the hatch.

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Juice75

Well, it wasn't easy, but my wife and I just finished installing the new rub rail.  Glad we did it ourselves, instead of paying the dealership for the install.  Plus, they would have had the boat for two weeks, due to their backlog.  Now, we'll be back on the water Sunday.

 

Thanks for everyone's help and tips.

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BlindSquirrel

Pics? Any tips? I’m going to be replacing my rail soon too. I’ve had it for a few months building up the courage. How long did it take you?

21 hours ago, Juice75 said:

Well, it wasn't easy, but my wife and I just finished installing the new rub rail.  Glad we did it ourselves, instead of paying the dealership for the install.  Plus, they would have had the boat for two weeks, due to their backlog.  Now, we'll be back on the water Sunday.

 

Thanks for everyone's help and tips.

 

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Juice75

I didn't take any pics of the process, but here are the steps I used, and some tips.  All in, it took the two of us probably about 4-5 hrs, but that was spread over a couple days.

Tools needed - if you have a Harbor Freight close to you, you can get everything cheap there.

  1. Rivet gun - get a good two handed gun.  I tried with a small grip squeeze rivet gun, and unless you have hands of steel, that won't work. 
  2. 3/16 x 1/2 aluminum rivets - on my '99 VLX, it took about 120 rivets.
  3. 3/16 drill bit and drill
  4. Big tube of 3M 5200
  5. Heat gun
  6. Rubber mallet

Removal Steps:

  1. Remove the plate from the back that joins the two ends together.
  2. Pull out the center section
  3. Drill out all the existing rivets.  I didn't worry about trying to get the entire rivet out.  The outside ring would pop off, then the body would fall into the boat, or hang in the carpet.  For those, I just pulled them out from the inside.

Install Steps:

  1. Use a grease pencil to put a mark where the new holes will be.  I just put one in between all the existing holes.
  2. Fill the old holes and any gaps with 3M 5200.
  3. Pick a hot, sunny day, and lay both pieces out in the sun for a few hours.
  4. After the 5200 dries, start at the back installing the base rail.  
  5. Drill a 3/16 hole in the center of the rail, lined up with the grease pencil mark.
  6. Install the first rivet - make sure to push hard against the boat to ensure the rail is flush and the rivet is also.
  7. Repeat step 6 around the boat.  The the corners, use a heat gun to get the rail to sit flush.  Be gentle with the heat gun.  When the rubber gets shiny from the heat, it's on the verge of melting.
  8. When you get back around to the back, cut the rail as close as possible to sitting flush with the other end.  I used a tubing cutter to cut the rail.
  9. To install the center section, you may need to heat the center piece a bit to get it started.  Don't heat the channel rail that's attached to the boat.....yet.
  10. Once the center is started, guide it with one hand, and use the rubber mallet to pop it into place.  You may have to heat the base rail at the corners if the gap closes up there.
  11. After the center rail is in, cut it as close as possible.
  12. Install the plate at the back.
  13. Step back to enjoy the new rub rail, and shake out your sore forearms.

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