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Thread: Wooldridge Alaskan Refurb

  1. #1
    Member fatbacks's Avatar
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    Default Wooldridge Alaskan Refurb

    Picked an old Wooldridge Alaskan 17.5. Bottom and welds are all in great shape and I figured this would be be an awesome boat if I gave it some TLC.

    Here is the plan:
    • Drop the old motor and I have a brand new Mercury 115/80 Jet I'm installing
    • Install Merc Smartcraft gauge
    • Planning on replacing the floors because they are pretty soft
    • Replace all the wiring to/from batteries to motor and console
    • 4 blade stainless impeller from Wooldridge
    • Replacing passenger window
    • Will probably need to do some repairs on the canvas top
    • Probably re-pack the bearings on the trailer.



    I am kind of a mechanical idiot and I am sure I'll have some questions... here is the first round:

    • How can I clean out fuel tank? Or can I just suck it dry and then install new Racor fuel filter?
    • Do anyone know where the flotation foam is in this boat? Does it have a tendency to soak up water?


    She aint pretty, but here she is:



  2. #2
    Member fatbacks's Avatar
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    Default

    Here is the spec sheet the folks at Wooldridge sent me. Thought I would throw it on here for a reference.



  3. #3
    Member DanielApplin's Avatar
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    Flotation foam will be in every nook and cranny from where the floor starts behind the windshields all the way to transom, if its been outside and uncovered alot it will be extremely heavy and soaked with water. If its been covered up a lot then i will just be really heavy. It comes out pretty easy though just get a long sawzall blade and a flat pry bar and start popping it out. I just did an old Wooldridge Classic and removed an estimated 250-300 pounds of extremely soaked foam.

    Pull fuel tank out and dump everything out, then flush with clean gas and repeat until what your dumping out looks like something that you would run through your brand new motor.

    - dan

  4. #4
    Member fatbacks's Avatar
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    Default It's a start

    Day One Complete:

    Pulled floor boards - Biggest floor board was soaked and weighed over 100 lbs
    Ripped out wiring - It was a mess. Redo later.
    Ripped out all foam - Floor foam totally waterlogged, foam along gunwale halfway waterlogged.
    Shop Vac'ed out 25 years of leaves, silt and grease.

    Overall I probably dropped about 400 lbs off the boat.

    Tomorrow's agenda:
    Start on re-wiring the boat
    Start figuring out new flooring - after seeing how wet the wood was below the vinyl, I am hesitant to go that route again.
    Re-pack hubs on trailer.


    Questions:
    I am going to wash and scrub everything with degreaser as it seems a little 2 stroke oil is coating a lot of stuff. Is there any special wash for bare aluminum boats or is that wasting my time?










  5. #5
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    Go to walmart and get some Castrol SuperClean in the auto dept, it cleans it all. I'd check the condition of the metal anywhere the foam was touching it they had a huge problem with sprayed in insulation(foam) anywhere it made contact with aluminum, the soaked foam made some kind of acid that ate up the metal. A good friend of mine surveyed many boats over there and could take a screwdriver and easily poke holes in the bad metal.

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  6. #6
    Member DanielApplin's Avatar
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    Nice work man, looks like the foam came out in nice big prices, usually you end up with a million little 2 lb chunks

  7. #7
    Member DanielApplin's Avatar
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    Looking twice now that seems to not be sprayed in

  8. #8
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    yup looks like regular white foam, the sprayed in is a urethane foam(i think) and more of a yellow/tan color. You should be good. Another member on here filled under his deck with pool noodles for flotation.

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    Member atvalaska's Avatar
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    Lightbulb take a look around...

    u need a bigger motor than a 115, do some weight to HP... on a few motors (outboard horse power per pound of motor) mec 2 stroke 348lbs 4 stroke 386 lbs
    WHEN IN DOUBT> THROTTLE OUT.......

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    On the Wooldridge chart you posted earlier it says max jet HP is 115. That's actual HP at the jet correct? So unless you found a 165 HP outboard your closest choice that you'd easily find is a 150. I'd sell your 115 and buy at least a 150. You'll probably never wish you had a smaller motor, ok maybe when your trying to remove it from a gravel bar. I have an AKII with a 225 and I wouldn't want any less.

  11. #11
    Member fatbacks's Avatar
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    Default No Substitute for HP....

    Talked to the folks at Wooldridge and they said that the max it is rated for is the 115/80 jet. They said it is a great size motor for the boat. I agree, there is no substitute for horsepower and ideally I would have a 150 hp (at the head) motor. From my research, plenty of people have used this exact same hull with the 115/80 jet and been plenty happy with it. I also read of a few folks who had a 90/65 jet on there and it worked but wasn't ideal. Hoping that the 115/80 performs well now that I've dropped a few hundred pounds off the hull.

    Reality is, that this is a pretty small boat with a skinny beam. It is never going to be a load hauler, but it will be good for camping trips with the family, dip netting and fishing. I'll take it hunting, but I'll make my buddies carry all the dead animals in their boats

    Re-wiring the 12v DC system and replacing all the fuel hoses today - the folks at Polar Wire will probably get to know me well.




    ****Side note, if anyone is in South Anchorage and wants some 2 stroke mix gas, I have about 15 gallons I pulled from the tank. Looked clean when I pulled it.

  12. #12
    Member Stanly's Avatar
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    Buy the wire and connectors from Polar Wire in Anchorage. Their stuff is the best, located on the frontage road off Diamond...
    When the HOGS show up, somethins gonna DIE!!!
    Blood Sport
    32' Custom Wooldridge
    MMSI #: 338181573

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    Another choice for heat shrink connectors is Fastenal. I have purchase there connectors and T&B brand zip ties they offer a good selection. If you have time to wait on shipping Amazon has a pretty wide selection of marine wiring products.

  14. #14
    Member fatbacks's Avatar
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    Default Done tearing it apart, now rebuilding.

    Installed new fuel hoses, Racor filter, and fill hose:



    Then scrubbed the boat a bit. Tried to get some of the scum off the bottom before I install new floors. Probably could've scrubbed it all and made it look shiny, but not worth the time.






  15. #15
    Member fatbacks's Avatar
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    Default Wiring...

    Went by Polar Wire and they we super helpful getting me the whole kit to rewire the boat to include the shrink wrap connectors and overkill on wire gauge. In theory it should be pretty simple. Wiring in two batteries, outboard motor, 4 switch fuse panel, bilge pump, lights, wipers, and fuel gauge.

    Here is the plan so far - work in progress. Still missing the sending wire for the fuel gauge on the drawing.


  16. #16
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    I had one of those w/ Yammie 115/80, great boat, fuel use was very reasonable, (I thought), seemed best to worst on step was 4.6 to 6.4 GPH.. Max load was about 1100 pounds.
    Acid wash if you want to clean it, nows the time as its empty.
    Considering that weight is the enemy, do you really need two batteries....?
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

  17. #17
    Member Yukoner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akgramps View Post
    I had one of those w/ Yammie 115/80, great boat, fuel use was very reasonable, (I thought), seemed best to worst on step was 4.6 to 6.4 GPH.. Max load was about 1100 pounds.
    X2! Words of wisdom.
    That boat does well with a 115 and a 4 blade stainless impeller. Ideally a 2 stroke DI to keep the weight down.
    Its not a monster load hauler, but 2 guys, light gear, and a boned out moose will work out ok.
    If its apart, one really good addition is to raise the gunnel heights to mimic the "new" style (after 2007) Alaskans. A bit more freeboard is always nice.
    Never wrestle with a pig.
    you both get dirty;
    the Pig likes it.

  18. #18
    Member fatbacks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukoner View Post
    If its apart, one really good addition is to raise the gunnel heights to mimic the "new" style (after 2007) Alaskans. A bit more freeboard is always nice.
    Definitely looking at doing this. Might be a project for next winter though.

  19. #19
    Member fatbacks's Avatar
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    Default Some assembly required.....

    Got the wiring harness built and installed. Right now it runs power to the console and wires in the bilge and fuel gauge. The motor has its own wiring harness that connects to the smart craft gauge. Looks kind of messy but waiting to clean it up until everything is installed.

    Under the console - also have a Contura 4 Switch fuse panel by Blue Sea going on the dash.


    Stern view - Wired for one battery, but can easily expand to two if I put in a radio or other devices.


    Also, threw up the canvas to see if it needed repair work. May need a a few buttons replaced but largely in good condition. Good thing, that saves $1500.




    This weekend I am repacking the hubs, cleaning it up a bit more and then hanging the motor on Monday. Also going to cut a new piece of aluminum to cover the dash. Old dash has so many holes I figured I would start new.

    Right now it is Beer:30 and my lower back hurts!

  20. #20

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    spray that thing with some acid wash and it will shine

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