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1987 M254 REBUILD

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  • 1987 M254 REBUILD

    On to my second mako. I sold the 235 and picked up this 254 hull in very rough shape on a decent aluminum trailer for cheap. My plans have already changed a lot from when I started and Im sure they will again, but here is the rough idea.

    -Three piece
    -flat deck
    -center pilot house

    I have removed the bottom paint using lye gravy covered in plastic over night, then scraped off with a long handled razor blade scraper. Peeled off like butter. Finish sanding now with 80 grit, one pass and its ready for epoxy. I have started cutting up the cap with the intention of reusing as much of it as I can, but that may change as I go. Fuel tank and transom are out. Rear fish boxes gone. The gunnel will likely be a straight shot all the way around with cup/rod holders. Live well in rear of center pilot. Heres some pics.


    Great to have the site back up and running, thanks to all who keep this place running.
    Last edited by BIRDIE; 12-31-2019, 11:23 AM.

  • #2
    Have you decided what type of deck material you’re gonna use? I’m thinking 1” honeycomb. Not too expensive. When you turn it onto a 3 piece hull, you going to core the hull sides? I’ll be following along. Best of luck.


    • #3
      I would like to as it is about the same as my cost for 3/4 marine ply at about $80. But I’ve been doing the cost breakdown on everything and my local ply is much cheaper even when using epoxy. It’s also additional work securing things mounted to the deck, and I have no experience with that. Ply will limit the head scratching. The original deck will be used but recored. There are a lot of areas I don’t think will need to be re done but we will see. If it’s even a tiny bit wet it’s coming out.

      Im not sure if I will put supports on the hull sides or not. I love a cantilevered look all the way around, but i think i will feel more comfortable with some support. I may do every 2 feet or so.
      Last edited by BIRDIE; 12-31-2019, 11:27 AM.


      • #4
        Did some work today. All the foam is removed and the deck is cut into sections that I will hopefully be reusing. I cut the front cap deck from the sides, anchor locker and it will be reused. You can see the ply is like brand new, I will spot check around to see if I can keep it as is and seal with epoxy. I power washed the interior. Everything looks pretty good, glass work pretty sloppy but they sure did lay it on thick. Next up is cutting stringers back and grinding transom area for install. New stringers sections will attach to old ones via scarf joint then glassed over.

        From what I saw today Im not concerned with using marine ply. The ply in the pic below is 33 years old.

        This mako did not have the front 50 gallon gas tank in it, instead it was a huge unused hatch. It has a big liner in it that is gel coat finished which is nice. I can use this as my front hatch hopefully. All the other hatch lids/liners are good enough to restore and reuse. I have enough to utilize almost every inch of under deck storage which is nice.

        More to come

        Foam came out in huge chunks which was nice. Foam under the deck was soaked.


        • #5
          Birdie, you're making my back hurt just looking at the bending, lifting, bending,'re doing.

          Good job. Keep up the good work.
          Ole Joe
          Just floundering around
          White Hall & Ocean City, Maryland
          1978 Mako 25


          • #6
            thanks Joe. I let the machines do all the lifting Not too bad today, but the next logical step is grinding to prep for the transom install next weekend. Not looking forward to it but cooler weather is coming and I have my outfit down well enough that I dont itch....too much


            • #7

              I got the template made and transom cut. The template was made with 3/8 shims all the way around, so in the pics it looks too short, but once shimmed it fits in line with the top corners of the hull and has room for bedding. The curve on the transom is 2". I supported the hull with a 12' beam over the trailer to keep everything nice and straight. I would have put in on the ground but I dont have anywhere else to store the trailer. I started out with the beam standing the proper way but it didnt have enough width to be comfortable, so i layed it down and added a 6x6. The running surface is supported and I know its perfectly straight while I rebuild. Now someone come help me put this transom in :help:


              • #8
                Got some hours in today. I took an hour and made my mold right, very glad I did. Melamine with taped edges, with a bit of overlap around the sides.I scuffed the surface again and vacuumed it, then gave a neat coat of epoxy which soaked in pretty nicely. Then I came back with some thickened resin to fill all the holes and to make a nice transition between the transom skin and the melamine. I let that start to kick just a little then hit it with another coat of resin. Stuck a layer of 1708 to that then rolled on resin to wet out. Squeegeed till I was happy. I forgot how hard it is glass alone.

                You can see what looks like air bubbles but its all the fillers in the transom skin behind the glass. I really like using thickened resin under the glass, but it can be hard to tell what is thickened resin and what is air bubbles. I will fill the cutout next with some layers of glass until it is flush, then continue with full layers. You can see how the glass it at an angle, I forgot my clips and just had to go for it after I realized it was a bit sideways. It covers the surface area I needed it to so no harm no foul. '







                • #9
                  Havent updated here in awhile, but ill catch everyone up. Got the transom core in, and threw a scaffold up around the boat to help the process. Bracket mold built and just finished adding 6 skins of 1708. The bracket transom will have 3x 3/4 ply transom, and the stringers will be extended through the existing transom and connect to the bracket mounting plate.

                  Finished the outer skin layup. 6 layers of 1708. I double overlapped all the seams, basically went in a criss cross pattern as I did transom, sides, and bottom. Im not sure thats the best way to go, and I could have gotten away with less glass by offsetting seams....BUT all the angles are about a half inch thick and 4" or so wide. Laid up 2 layers and the epoxy started to kick, cleaned all my tools, then laid up the last three. Came out pretty good, had a few small air bubbles I will fill. Next up, 3 layers 3/4 ply then 6 skins on the inside. This thing is probably going to weigh 300lbs rough guesstimate, maybe ill steal the bathroom scale when it's done.