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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Rotorua New Zealand
    Posts
    1,022

    Wellcraft Nova undergoes a conversion from Sterndrive to Outboard.





    The Project.



    Inboard/outboard to outboard conversion on 1985 Wellcraft Nova with Indmar Vortec 320hp 5.7 litre V8 engine and Alpha one drive. Replacement engine to be one or two Johnson 4.0 300hp V8 outboard engines.



    The boat arrives. We remove the engine and leg. We then removed all appendages from the transom both inside and out.
    Prior to purchase we could see from photos that there had been some restoration done to the transom. Prior to purchase I had been assured that both the floor and transom were solid and that the boat had recently undergone a $US15k refit on mechanicals and transom etc.

    On Closer Inspection. We foundthe phrase restoration was not correct. It appears as though poor quality repair work had been done on two or three different occasions on the transom. It became very quickly apparent that the whole transom would require removal through to the glass and gellcoat.
    At some point in it’s more recent history heavy Woven Rovings glass had been laid over the transom, engine bearers hull sides etc, it covered everything up to and including the first bulkhead forward of the transom. It had been poorly applied and had not been clearly thought out. Some of the glass we were able to rip off the substrate. Some areas the cloth had not been wetted out properly and had consequently not stuck. Much of the substrate had apparently not been prepared for glassing contributing to the poor adhesion of the glass. Excess resin had been allowed to accumulate at the base of the transom and require considerable grinding to remove. This excess was between ½ and ¾ of an inch thick in places.

    We removed more than one full rubbish bag of grinding residue (dust). The positive was the removal of plenty of excess weight.

    Rebuild preparation. The transom removal was quite straightforward; the removal of the recently added glass cloth was time consuming and tedious in the extreme. I have decided to remove only that which is necessary for our transformation. So complete removal on the transom and parts of the existing engine bearers, which we will need to laminate to. A straight edge showed us the remaining laminate on the transom was fairly straight and would require no rectification.

    The Plan. We plan to build a pod on the transom and incorporate a boarding platform on either side of the engine(s). We have purchased one Johnson 4.0 300hp V8 outboard to power the Wellcraft. However I am not convinced one engine will give me enough speed so the reconstruction has to be strong enough to take the weight of two V8 outboards with minimal alteration. The pod will provide positive buoyancy when the boat is at rest.

    To support the weight and stresses imposed by possibly two V8s we plan to build longitudinal bracing glued and glassed to the existing internal engine bearers and forward to the first bulkhead. These bearers will extend aft through slots in the reconstructed transom and will form part of the pod structure. Internally the braces will also go to the full height of the transom/topsides and will extend forward to tie the transom to the aft topsides giving additional support to the topsides/hull join.
    These braces will be constructed from 1 thickness of ¾ in thick Okoume/HW ply and then glassed using 1 skin of 600grm Double Bias E glass. The inside layer of laminate will consist of a single skin of +/- 45* 600grm Double Bias.
    Reconstruction of the transom will consist of one layer of ¾ in Meranti/HW ply, This layer will consist of 4 separate sections. The internal transom will then be glassed using two layers of 600grm Double Bias E glass with a lighter layer of 100grm ‘boat cloth’ over the top. The boat cloth is only there as a sanding barrier so we do not reduce the structural integrity of preceding laminates. Some areas will receive a second thickness of 3/4 ply with another layer of 600grm DB glass to further support the installation of trim tabs etc.

    Corner joins will either be glue-coved and glass taped over or will have Cedar timber fillets glued into the corners and then glass taped over depending on point loading for that particular join.

    Resins and fillers will be by West Systems.


    The pod will be constructed from Okoume ply with the pod base for the jack plate attachment built using 4 pieces of ¾ in Meranti ply. Each ply join will have two layers of 600grm Double Bias E glass with the second layer extending 1 ¼ past the first. The internal corner will only require one layer of 600grm DB with an overall finished thickness of +/- 3 inches. Again internal corner bracing for the pod will be provided by Cedar timber fillets glued and glass-taped over. Other areas of the pod will be constructed from ½ in Okoume ply.

    Moving on. Today I started to prepare the original engine bearers ready to accept our bearers. Problem. The existing bearers have rot in them and the internal cavity on both sides contained water and all timber was soaking wet.

    So today I spent the day removing the original engine bearers. Yet another day of grinding with probably most of tomorrow on the grinder as well. That hopefully will be all but the end of the grinding preparation.

    Photos will be added soon, now it is off to the shower.

    Last edited by Smoking Joe; 12-11-2011 at 10:03 PM.
    Wellcraft Nova 230 XL, 300hp Johnson.
    Seahawk 45 Sport Fisher, twin 306hp Volvo.
    Steadcraft 28, Yanmar 300hp. Sold.
    Markline 800, Volvo 300hp. Sold.
    Haines Hunter V19, Volvo 170. Sold.
    16ft 6in Figlass Sidewinder, 140 Suzuki. Sold.

  2. I have been there before about 20years ago.Had a 1970 23 ft formula. It had a 5.7L 350 cu.in 300hp Merc inboard-outboard.Boat had a very deep V bottom.I converted it over to an outboard(235hp v6 evinrude) with a bracket. .Boat picked up 10-12 mph and planed off 3 times quicker.Only had one problem,The old and the new were quite different in weight and boat floated like a cork .A V8 out board and moving the fuel tank back in the boart would have cured the weight-balence problem.I also missed the sound of the 350 due to it sounded like a gun boat.So good luck with your project.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    2,662
    Easily solved by using a sling to tune the proper Center-of-Gravity with the new set up using 45lb Olympic disks to simulate the OB weight.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Rotorua New Zealand
    Posts
    1,022
    Today I found that rather than grind off all the old glass in the old engine bay I was able to use a wrecking bar and a heavy hammer to lift off the glass from the original hull laminate. Some was easy, a lot was tough. In the keel area between the added glass and the hull laminate there was old engine oil and water. Sure glad I made the decision to remove it all. I guess tomorrow will be the same as today. Photo’s as promised.


    Delamination of woven rovens.jpgLet the rebuild begin.jpgRotten transom.jpgTransom now stripped.jpg





    Wellcraft Nova 230 XL, 300hp Johnson.
    Seahawk 45 Sport Fisher, twin 306hp Volvo.
    Steadcraft 28, Yanmar 300hp. Sold.
    Markline 800, Volvo 300hp. Sold.
    Haines Hunter V19, Volvo 170. Sold.
    16ft 6in Figlass Sidewinder, 140 Suzuki. Sold.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Rotorua New Zealand
    Posts
    1,022
    Quote Originally Posted by jp2dunk View Post
    I have been there before about 20years ago.Had a 1970 23 ft formula. It had a 5.7L 350 cu.in 300hp Merc inboard-outboard.Boat had a very deep V bottom.I converted it over to an outboard(235hp v6 evinrude) with a bracket. .Boat picked up 10-12 mph and planed off 3 times quicker.Only had one problem,The old and the new were quite different in weight and boat floated like a cork .A V8 out board and moving the fuel tank back in the boart would have cured the weight-balence problem.I also missed the sound of the 350 due to it sounded like a gun boat.So good luck with your project.
    JP, I am motivated by the speed gains with your conversion. In your conversion you lost 65hp and gained 10mph to 12mph. I would love to see a similar result with my conversion.
    Wellcraft Nova 230 XL, 300hp Johnson.
    Seahawk 45 Sport Fisher, twin 306hp Volvo.
    Steadcraft 28, Yanmar 300hp. Sold.
    Markline 800, Volvo 300hp. Sold.
    Haines Hunter V19, Volvo 170. Sold.
    16ft 6in Figlass Sidewinder, 140 Suzuki. Sold.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    New England/MA & NH mostly
    Posts
    670
    ...cheering you on SmokinJoe...already talkin twins...lol...nice bracket idea...project makes me smile...V-Toy...
    >> IF YOU'RE GONNA RUN WITH THE PACK...YOU CAN'T PISS LIKE A PUPPY !!!<<

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    massapequa,n.y.
    Posts
    10,933
    Blog Entries
    1

    Thumbs up

    hi Nev... looks like you have a handel on it,good luck and ill be watching.....
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  8. #8
    Joe ,it really is to bad that you were so misinformed on the true condition of the boat , and good luck considering owning a Wellcraft .......when doing any repairs structural or otherwise can sometimes be like opening up a can of worms due to the lack of poor workmanship , and the quality of the build .

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Rotorua New Zealand
    Posts
    1,022
    OG, thanks for not sayin "told ya so" and rubbing my nose in it. Appreciated bud....

    I am not surprised that I have significant work to do, after all it is a 26 year old boat. The transom failure was due entirely to appendages etc not sealed through the bolts and brackets. Many are fitted after market by sparkies etc and they just don't know or have the gear to do the job properly. These problems are not the making of the boat builder or a design fault.
    The engine bearers I am assuming were rebuilt/replaced when the other glassing was done so no surprises there that they failed.

    At the end of the day I had factored in some reconstruction and as it is my field of expertise it is no biggy. You had given me fair warning. Thanks mate.

    Quote Originally Posted by OFFSHORE GINGER View Post
    Joe ,it really is to bad that you were so misinformed on the true condition of the boat , and good luck considering owning a Wellcraft .......when doing any repairs structural or otherwise can sometimes be like opening up a can of worms due to the lack of poor workmanship , and the quality of the build .
    Wellcraft Nova 230 XL, 300hp Johnson.
    Seahawk 45 Sport Fisher, twin 306hp Volvo.
    Steadcraft 28, Yanmar 300hp. Sold.
    Markline 800, Volvo 300hp. Sold.
    Haines Hunter V19, Volvo 170. Sold.
    16ft 6in Figlass Sidewinder, 140 Suzuki. Sold.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Rotorua New Zealand
    Posts
    1,022
    Frank, Vtoy, thanks guys, I hope to have it knocked out in no time.
    Wellcraft Nova 230 XL, 300hp Johnson.
    Seahawk 45 Sport Fisher, twin 306hp Volvo.
    Steadcraft 28, Yanmar 300hp. Sold.
    Markline 800, Volvo 300hp. Sold.
    Haines Hunter V19, Volvo 170. Sold.
    16ft 6in Figlass Sidewinder, 140 Suzuki. Sold.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Rotorua New Zealand
    Posts
    1,022
    Progress report. I had decided that once the old engine bearers had been removed and before going forward I would put two layers of 600 gram Double Bias E glass with West Systems epoxy resin across the inside of the hull. So all surfaces were wiped with epoxy thinners then a "primer coat" of epoxy resin/glue powder slurry was applied. This was followed by the two layers of 600 DB.

    The next job is to replace the first section of transom and the first bulkhead going forward. I hope to get this completed next weekend.

    Epoxy thinners wipe down.JPGSubstrate primed with epoxy glue slurry.jpgTwo layers of 600 g DB.jpg
    Wellcraft Nova 230 XL, 300hp Johnson.
    Seahawk 45 Sport Fisher, twin 306hp Volvo.
    Steadcraft 28, Yanmar 300hp. Sold.
    Markline 800, Volvo 300hp. Sold.
    Haines Hunter V19, Volvo 170. Sold.
    16ft 6in Figlass Sidewinder, 140 Suzuki. Sold.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Vero Beach, Florida on way to Cincy Ohio
    Posts
    14,627
    Great project and the perfect conversion. I've thought of converting a 25' Nova to twin O/B's several times.
    You'll have a great rig when you're done.
    I'd rather be competitive w/junk I built in my garage than win w/stuff I bought.


    Checkmate Starliner w/TBD
    Checkmate 16' 140 Johnson
    Hydrostream 17' Vector FrankenRude I
    Laser 480 (?) 21' w/GT 200
    Glastron Carlson Conquest w/XP 2.6
    Glastron Carlson CVX 20 w/XP 2.6
    24' Sonic w/twin 250 Johnsons
    24' Sonic w/twin 250 HO Johnsons
    19' STV River Rocket w/FrankenRude II
    Allison XR 2002 w/Frankenrude II
    Hydrostream 18' V-King w/Frankenrude II
    28' Marinette Express
    32' Marinette Flybride Sedan

  13. #13
    nice job!!
    1979 Carrera SS7M

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    2,662
    Looking good Neville. Are you going to alter the cap slightly?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    port charlotte / punta gorda fl
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    looks good looks like you will have a great ride after its all said and done
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