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I posted some pictures in the Boat Talk Gallery of a 1988 178xl. Was talking to someone who said to talk the guy into giving it to me. Maybe offer $250 for the trailer. If all else fails, sell the trailer, and I know someone who wants a boat as an obstacle for a paint ball course. But anyway, anyone who has restored a boat, if you could take a look at the pics and let me know what you think, I would appreciate it. There are more explanations in the picture captions.

Floor is bad

Needs a paint job (or at least a good waxing)

Has been sitting for the last 5 yrs

Engine has about 50 hours on it

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Won't need to paint the hull. Probably needs to be wet sanded. I just had to do my boat, and that hull had brighter red than my '01. To restore the hull I have had to do the following:

1. Wash the hull with marine boat wash soap.

2. Wet sand with 800 grit wet sand paper.

3. Wash.

4. Wet sand with 1200 grit wet sand paper.

5. Wash.

6. Compound. I used 3M Imperial Finishing compound and a rotary buffer with wool pads. Expensive stuff, but it works very well.

7. Wash.

8. Polish. I used Meguair's Marine Polish to feed the gel coat. Wet sanding and compounding opens the pores on the gelcoat surface, and polish helps feed the polish to ensure the shiny finish lasts longer.

9. Wax. I used Meguiar's Flagship Premium wax with a rotory buffer and foam pad. 2 coats. You'll be the karate kid before you're finished.

10. Rest the arms and shoulders.

Time? Took me more than I'd like to admit. I did it at night and on weekends. The guy who had the boat before me I think just added gas, booze, and people.

First things first: Getting the engine to work, and then checking the integrity of the stringer and transom.

Maintenance. Your boat will most likely need the transom bellows repair kit, rear shift cable, impeller kit, gear oil, engine oil filter, engine oil change, ignition tune up kit, ignition wires, spark plugs, and very likely a carb rebuild, and old fuel disposed of.

Transom repair kit Mercury part # 30-803098T1.

Rear shift cable kit # 865436A03

Impeller kit 46-96148T1

High Perfomance Gear oil 92-858064K01

High Efficiency Oil Filter 35-858004K or Q

MerCruiser 25w40 92-858048K01 and 92-858049K01 (1 quart and 1 gallon)

MerCruiser Points (Delco) Ignition Tune-up kit # 34235A1

MerCruiser Dist Cap (Delco 4 cyl) 392-9459T1 or Q1

MerCruiser Ignition Wire kit 84-816761K5 or Q5

NGK Spark Plugs BR6FS

Carb repair kit? Depends on whether you have a Rochester 2-Jet, or if you have a Mercury MerCarb, there are 2 versions with different repair kits.

Shift and throttle cables from the remote control to the engine will likely need to be changed out too.

There have been a few member on this forum who have completely restored their maltreated older Chaparrals with stunning success.

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Ditto to what Shepard said! Chaparral, especially our vintage ones, seem to have a great gelcoat and so, can take a lot of obuse and be pretty forgiving. I only add that if you've never worked with a rotary buffer as I hadn't, I'd go with a random orbiter type. It's more elbow work but not much chance of burning into the gelcoat. Mine looked as bad as yours but after a lot of work, it looks like a mirror now.

In your photo album, you mentioned concern about the windshields not lining up....

The reason that your windshield panels don't line up is probably that the side panels of your walk thru (the vertical gray vinyl and possibly carpet covered panels on each side) are probably rotted out allowing one or both sides of the dash panels to sag and those are what support the windshield panels. When I got my boat, these panels were missing entirely and the previous owner had braced up the dash with a vertical 2x4 on each side. Once those side panels are in place the windshield panels should line up properly. I *think* I have pictures of these panels in my restoration thread (link below) which might show what needs done. Our interiors are very similar.

There are two other restorations very similar to ours which you might check out...

ChefP and Watson534.

Just one other thing..... I see the boat was registered in Oklahoma so I doubt that it has seen salt water but after setting idle for 5 years, the cooling system is probably pretty plugged up, especially the heat exchanger. You'll for sure want to remove and clean that as well as replace the thermostat and hoses.

Thanks for posting the photos and if you have any questions, post 'em here. Lots of help and experience around and by all means, keep the photos coming!!

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More....

I see where you were hoping to try and start this motor right away.

I wouldn't attempt starting it al all. Couple of reasons......

It has set for five years and so I'd wager there is NO oil in the cylinder walls. To turn it over now would be like throwing sand into the cylinders and I'll wager she's bound up anyhow. Best to for right now, remove the plugs and give each cylinder a good shot of fogging oil or just regular oil and let that set for a couple of days before trying to crank it over. And when you do try to crank it over, leave the plugs out. Just get the pistons moving up and down freely. If it is bound up, you might have to first get things loosened up by hand cranking. Also, changing the oil and filter beforehand wouldn't be a bad idea. While doing this, look for any evidence of water in the oil. After 5 years, any gas in the tank, lines and carb are not gonna be any good and your carb bowl is probably filled with mush..... so in the long run, not a great idea to even attempt to start her right away. Might cause more damage than she had to begin with.

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Shepard, how long did it really take you to get yours done. I have a 23 footer that needs gelcoat refurb. I actually just bought the sand paper. Before I get started, I'm curious of the possible time it will take and whether I should do it now or wait until winter and find an accessible storage facility. My current storage place is not accessible during winter.

The other question is, when I start sanding it by hand, is it back and forth in a straight line or circular motion or either?

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In an attempt to keep whatever sanity I have, I did not keep track of actual hours. I do know it took me a full day to do the port side alone; arms and shoulders were plenty sore, and it was a slow shuffle into the house when the mosquitoes finally chased me away from the boat in the evening.

I'm no pro, but I used a circular motion with the wet sand paper. I had to do some back and forth action just under the gunnel moulding, as there is a lip about 1" high. I did use boat soap in a bucket of water to frequently clean the sand paper.

Do the boat now if you can - I'm vain, so I didn't want my boat hitting the water looking the way it did. I'm not 100% done yet - the plan is to have her ready for Victoria Day weekend...which reminds me, I need to get off my arse!

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Thanks. 1 day a side isn't bad. I thought it took you weeks of labor. I will start working on it when it comes back from the dealer. Besides, the weather isn't really stable yet where I want to put into my fixed dock and leave it.

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Old boats, cars, motorcycles etc. require time, money and patience. If you have some of all three you will end up with a nice boat. Otherwise check out some more adds.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have an '89 2100SX that has been well maintained. Still costs time and $$$ to keep it up and store it. I spent 5500 deer to purchase and I have spent that much over the last three years to have it and fix little things as they need fixing. I figure any boat owner is going to spend 1500 - 2000 per year to maintain and have a boat, I just don't have a payment because I paid cash for mine... I have looked at newer boats and the prices make me grateful for what I have. The family has lots of fun on our Chaparral. We are ready to go to Lake Powell for two weeks, 3 days and a wake-up.Wadepoparazzi.jpg

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I have an '89 2100SX that has been well maintained. Still costs time and $$$ to keep it up and store it. I spent 5500 deer to purchase and I have spent that much over the last three years to have it and fix little things as they need fixing. I figure any boat owner is going to spend 1500 - 2000 per year to maintain and have a boat, I just don't have a payment because I paid cash for mine... I have looked at newer boats and the prices make me grateful for what I have. The family has lots of fun on our Chaparral. We are ready to go to Lake Powell for two weeks, 3 days and a wake-up.

I think it is still better then pay loan every month. Once you bring boat in shape, she needs about the same money for maintenance as new one. But most manufacturers defects already fixed. Also, it is much less painful to scratch her while docking, drill new holes, modify, etc.

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