Sunday, April 19, 2015

REWIRED THE 1955 CRESTLINER

I'm the kinda person that feels that equipment should function as it was meant to be when new.  I noticed that the navigation lights, bilge pump and power outlet on the old Crestliner were not operable.  It was pouring rain today and I pledged to myself to make all that stuff work.  I started to investigate what the electrical problems were and noticed a lot of home made wire splices and connections.  Tracing wires was impossible as they wrapped around cables and the colors were varied.  I laid down under the dash with the snipers in my hand and cut away every wire under there and started fresh from the battery to the dash with new wires.  It's a long process to run wire on a boat to each electrical item but it's also refreshing to know the job is done right.  First the bow light then the bilge pump and then the power outlet.  And then, and then, and then-----

Yep, just cut it and toss it out.
 It requires a lot of stuff to work on a boat.  Wiring requires patience too.
 That navigation light on the bow is valued at between $450 and $600 depending on the condition.  Mine is pitted and requires chrome.  I checked the cost of chrome for that light and they want $400 to chrome it.  I'll polish it and apply antique green and cream to it.  
 I really want to rework those antique teak seats but it is a monster of a job getting them out of the boat.  Those are the original teak wood seats that came from the factory in 1955.  Teak is a high quality wood that has been used on marine vessels since day one and can be brought back to it's original condition with some TLC. 
Below shows the steering cable with my new wiring behind it.  I ran the wires through a plastic loom to protect them from rear of the boat to the front dash.
 There's that bow light (navigation light) I mentioned earlier.  This light has green and red glass in the enclosure.  Some folks don't understand why that is.  The green is on the right side of the enclosure and the red on the left.  When travelling down the lake in the dark you may see a green light in front of you out there in the night.  If it isn't moving it is a boat sitting broadside to you facing to your right.  If you see the red light on an immovable boat, it is facing to the left and sitting broadside to you.  If it's dark and you see a green and red light together coming straight toward you;  move cause you're going to hit a boat head on.  Get the idea?  $450 ----- a lot of money for that light.
The shot below shows the throttle cable housing and ignition wiring going through a hole in the right corner of the dash.  All that has to be disconnected to remove the dash for reworking.
 Below shows the control cables going through the back of the front seat at the upper corner just under the gunnel.  The holes in the seat are factory as is the routing of the cables.  And yes, they have to be disconnected and pulled through the holes to get the seat back out.
 Below is an excellent shot of the "red" steering cable passing through a hole in the top left corner of the teak dash.  It connects to the steering wheel from the other side of the dash.  Yep - has to be disconnected.  This looks like a winter project to me as it seems the whole boat will be have to be torn apart to get all the cables and wiring out of those holes in the seat backs.  The black springy housing contains the new wired I installed today.  Nice touch.
 Here is an excellent picture of the cables and wires passing through the seat back.  The black housing is mine from today.
 And finally, the cables and wires pass through the rear seat back to attach to the engine and battery.  Sounds complicated but it is ultra simple.  Just time consuming.
I believe I will buff the entire boat with rubbing compound to achieve a chrome finish.  That's how its done.  Big buff pad with compound and a high speed buffer.  I don't have to remove anything to do that.  The engine is going to get a face lift too.  New paint will be applied to a prepped engine housing.  Original colors will be used and new engine cowl decals will be installed.  And, that's about as far as I want to go with this project.  I bought it to run.  Not look at.   I do want to run this boat on Fort Loudon Reservoir upstream to Calhouns Restaurant which is on the water at Knoxville.  The restaurant has its own dock and its downtown.  The Holston river runs right beside the entire city of Knoxville.  It will be a very special night in that old boat.