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  1. #1

    My 1971 Sidewinder Restoration

    I've been meaning to start a restoration thread for this boat for a while, but have not really had much time.

    Brief History of the boat......This was my wifes grandfathers boat bought new in 1971. He re-powered in 1979 with the Chrysler 140 and when rigging the new motor did a really bad job repairing the old motor mounting holes in the transom. The transom, floor and stringer all rotted and the boat has sat in a garage un-used since.

    I have gone about this whole restoration a little backwards, but it's been pretty fun and I'm looking forward to getting it back on the water. I cut out the splashwell, removed the rotten transom, cut out the floor and stringer myself. I resorted to professional help with the new glass work and gel coat. Originally, I planned on just building the floor and transom back with some new carpet and seats.....But, after I had all that done I decided that it looked too good and the rest of the boat looked like crap. So I decided to have the entire boat sanded down and put new gelcoat on.

    As I mentioned earlier the boat has a 1979 Chrysler 140hp outboard. I pulled the carbs, cleaned them really well, installed new gaskets and floats, replaced the fuel lines, plugs, etc. The motor is running really well now on the muffs and is super clean for a 30+ year old motor. I ended up repainting the lower unit last weekend and changed the color to black. I had the cowling repainted as well as white to match the boat. We pulled the logos off the side and filled the holes in the cowling to make it look a little cleaner. I'll get some pictures of that up next weekend (working out of town).

    Anyway, here are some pictures of the progress so far.












    I cut the splashwell out to get to the transom which would litterally fall apart in my hand.







    Cut the floor out and ended up cutting out the bulkhead and replacing it too.


  2. #2
    There is nothing cooler than the old winders. They are as timeless in design as the Hydrostreams are and both still look great today.
    I think you should scrap the old Chizzler in favor of a 70s 1500 inline 6 Mercury. It'll make it a lot more fun package. You might consider a pad on the bottom while you are at it too.
    Last edited by MercNuts; 06-12-2011 at 09:45 AM. Reason: clear coat advice was dumb after seeing transom cut
    bama hama

  3. #3
    Here are some pictures of the motor:



    Some varnish in the bowls:



    New gaskets and floats:





  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by MercNuts View Post
    There is nothing cooler than the old 'winders. They are as timeless in design as the Hydrostreams are and both still look great today. You may be surprised how close to new it would look if you scuff it and clear coat it.

    I think you should scrap the old Chizzler in favor of a 70's 1500 inline 6 Mercury. It'll make it a lot more fun package. You might consider a pad on the bottom while you are at it too.

    I'd love to hang a nice Merc on the back, but I'll wait till the Crizzy blows up first. I'd considered the pad, but to be honest this will really be a ski/sandbar/cruise boat for the wife and friends so I decided against it.

    Too late for just clearcoat............I'm not finished posting......hehe.

  5. #5
    Question: What was in that floor under the floorboard other than the center stringer? Was it loaded up with foam or styrofoam down under?

    If I ever find a red metalflake one that is decent I am going to buy it and put a inline 6 with XS stickers onit. I saw one like that somewhere in the last century and it was may be the best looking small boat I have ever seen.
    bama hama

  6. #6
    This is about the point I decided to go with new gelcoat too. The splashwell is glassed back in, new carpet and new seats. The seats looked too nice to not match the boat at all.



    This is a "cover" that was made to cover up the bilge area and hide the fuel tank, battery, etc....It's hot coated plywood and nice carpet. I have a nice set of JL770's that are going to mount in it as well.....hopefully next weekend.











    Built up a little battery tray since the floor is not level here. You can also see it's next to one of the knee braces that was added.



    Here is the gelcoat progress. I decided to do a white hull with the black stripe on the topside and a black stripe down the middle that will kill just under the windshield frame. I need to get some updated pictures next weekend because I ended up having all the holes filled in the dash and a couple of other things.















    The rub rail has also been replaced since these pictures were taken with a nice new one. I am hoping to start rigging the boat next weekend when I'm home from work. It is getting new everything.

    New Steering Wheel
    I ordered a nice carbon fiber panel for the dash
    New Gauges
    All new wiring...battery, bilge pump,etc....
    JL M400 Amp
    (2) JL M770's
    I am having a new windshield made from Lexan and hope to get it this week.



    Anyway, there she is in all her glory....I'll update this next weekend.


  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by MercNuts View Post
    Question: What was in that floor under the floorboard other than the center stringer? Was it loaded up with foam or styrofoam down under?

    If I ever find a red metalflake one that is decent I am going to buy it and put a inline 6 with XS stickers onit. I saw one like that somewhere in the last century and it was may be the best looking small boat I have ever seen.

    There is/was nothing under the floor....just air space. There is really only about three inches of room between the bottom of the floor and the hull and then it tapers out to nothing on the sides.

  8. #8
    Coming along nicely. Keep up the good work!

  9. #9
    I had a 1971 sidewinder with a 74 150 merc ss it was a great boat. I had alot of fun in it and it rode nice for a 16' boat. Good luck with the project. Cant wait to see it finished.

  10. #10
    there is one of those somewhere aound here.saw it out from under the cover once,but he keeps it coverd all the time,has a v-4 yammi from what i coud see,but looks like it's working out great,and staying in the family too.keep us posted

  11. #11
    WOW!, looks great! Hope mine turns out 1/2 as good.



    Brian

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    #2 iron from the Mayo clinic, Fla. / Blue Ridge, VA.
    Posts
    5,648

    Cool very nice !

    love the idea of bringing the chrysler back to life the rub rail can be sanded and buffed back shiney thanks for sharing. fun out
    most overnite successes usually take at least 10 years


    Certified turd polisher,

  13. #13
    Classic boat I had a 73 rallysport which was a splash of the sidewinder yours looks great. I beat that boat to death and it has been sold and put to rest. I ran it in 2-3 foot chop for many years the bottom would flex. I miss that boat would buy another one at any time any where. Good luck they are timeless. Rick

  14. #14
    So if you dont mind me asking, what are you gonna have into this project when its complete?

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by 18ftswitzer View Post
    So if you dont mind me asking, what are you gonna have into this project when its complete?
    I have tried not to think about the money very much as it's going to be pretty painful. I'll have so much into the restoration that I could have probably bought a brand new one (somebody is still making them).

    I'll have about 10K into the boat, motor and trailer......which is pretty good money, but it has so much sentimental value it's worth every penny and should last another 40 years.

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