1960 Crestliner: Phase 2

Last week we headed to Illinois four days earlier than the rest of the family to get the Crestliner running and comfortable for the 4th of July.

While we were gone I had a rebuilt outboard put onto the back of the boat. When the shop installed the outboard, they also replaced the rotten transom board for me.

When we started the project, we had an idea that we would pattern a new floor with painters plastic or butcher paper. This didn’t work too well. It was very difficult to keep the plastic tight on both sides on the curved edge. It was also impossible to reach both sides at once without being in the middle of them. We ended up doing side to side measurements every 6 inches to create a pattern.

Not perfect, but not bad

The subfloor of the boat had been filled with styrofoam, but throughout the decades, it had become water-logged, crumbly and moldy. When I looked up replacement options for closed cell foam, the slick mix and pour foam that would have perfectly formed to the subfloor troughs was far too pricey for this project. After googling several types of closed cell foam, we landed on pool noodles! $50 for enough to fill the whole thing.

We secured the floor over top by screwing it into the metal ribs.

The next step was the front seat. My father had a bench screwed down on all sides, but we wanted to make it open up to provide access to the storage we found underneath. This was obviously the original design since the hinges were actually welded in place.

We decided to cover the seat and the floor with a vinyl imitation teak decking. It’s soft on the feet, non-slip, pretty to look at, and it keeps you from getting splinters. After the flooring we took considerable time to install some swivel chairs. It was difficult because they bolted in both sides.

During the spring we made some cushions for the aft part of the boat using some closed cell foam and sunbrella leftover from our sailboat interior. Our next step was to make some bases for them. We chose to do a rectangular plywood base with 2x2s as joiners in the corners. After we had them all put together and painted, we traced them onto the floor where we wanted them. I then took them out of the boat and cleaned the plywood floor carefully before sticking down the vinyl decking. Then we bolted down the side seats and left the middle seat as a floater, which can be also be used as a step or a coffee table.

The last thing we needed was to get the lights running on the boat. That was fairly simple as the wiring isn’t very complex so we just ran all new. We ended up buying new stern and fore lights as well.

Our last obstacle was some safety concerns on the trailer. Our forward winch wasn’t working at all, so we got a replacement for it along with some new tires at the local farm store.

We did a quick test run in the yard, as well as some backing practice. The yoke of the trailer turned out to be a bit crooked, so pulling straight back involved a sort of S pattern wobble with the steering wheel to compensate.

Finally we got to take her down to the river! I can’t wait to take her out many more times in the future.

Our Best Photos of 2016

Happy new year and welcome to 2017. I hope all of our readers made it, unlike all those celebrities that didn’t.

I haven’t had time to write anything new for the new year, so I thought I’d kick things off with a photographic retrospective of 2016. Deciding on our “best” photos is very subjective, and I didn’t actually ask Mary’s opinion on these. I just scrolled through all the folders of photos from the past year and picked my favorites. So, in no particular order, here are my favorite photos that we took during our adventures in 2016.

Cave Exploration, and a Taste of Real Hiking

There is a “cave” hidden down in the woods behind my Grandmother’s property.  To my knowledge it has been well over 5 years since anyone in our family has been able to find it.  Me and my cousins tried a couple years back, but with only vague memories of the path, and with everything overgrown we ended up wandering in the woods until sunset.

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This year I was determined to find it.  I started with a map of the general area from google earth, and then took this map around to some family members to see if there was anything they recognized. Everyone has their own path they prefer to take down to it complete with all the best landmarks: “big rock in creek,” “three small creeks and then a big one,” “the big hill,” etc.  I took some notes of where these landmarks kinda were on the map, which by the way on google it’s all just treetops anyway.  From this information we blocked out a square on the map where we thought the cave might be and devised our route.

For any family members reading this…From Grandma’s field…Down the big hill (there’s no tractor path anymore), stay north of the creek, you cross over two small creeks, and then through a big patch of stinging nettles.  I’m smiling in this picture, but they are horrible, best to have a machete or large stick.

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When you get to the nettles you may want to give up and go down to the big creek. Don’t, you will be going in the wrong direction.

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Instead you need to find the medium-sized creek somewhere in the sea of horrible stinging nettles.

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Then you will follow this creek roughly north west up the hill.  Along the path there will be many, many fallen trees and spiders in the way.  It will comfort you to know your only other option is nettles, so just suck it up.

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You’ll know its time to cut up the hill when you see these three large rocks up on the hill.  From your direction they will be on the left.

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Once you get to the top of the hill…It will all be worth it.  :).

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All of our family names are still there 🙂

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If you’re worried about the hike back…don’t..  When you get to the cave, you will discover you can see rows of corn from the top, and that there was a clear path there from the neighbor’s pasture all along!

Don’t worry you can still take it back.

P.S. iPhone compasses are not reliable.

Tree frog at the tanning salon

What’s an ambitious amphibian to do when it’s July in Illinois, but the thermometer is barely breaking 70 degrees?

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We ran into this guy contentedly catching a few rays from the porch light this morning.

Meanwhile both Mary and I are enjoying the cooler temperatures here along the Mississippi River as we prepare for a small town 4th of July bonfire.

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