The Rebuild

The Eastern rebuild was going to be a simple fix, replace the internal leaking, under floor mounted, gas tank and fix a small spongy spot in the floor.  Upon cutting into the floor it very quickly turned into much more.  This boat was made very cheaply and hacked together with scraps and inferior NON marine products by the factory, no marine lumber here, cdx plywood and pine untreated framing 2x4's.  From scrap wood, pine framing lumber, car mats, nails and poor construction, along with the lack of a bilge pump and drain plug turned everything into major rot factory.  The boat is a 22' Eastern, 1988 vintage, and there was only 1 owner before Tunuts (a family member) and is 100% original.  No modification, changes or additions have ever been made to the boat from the day it left the factory, heck not even a dang cup holder, in fact the motor that came with the boat when new, a 115 Merc of the same vintage, had the original spark plugs and has no more the 200 hours total. 

Fuel Tank Update

A new fuel tank was ordered by Tunuts through Eastern themselves, in the beginning of December.  Last week it came in at Eastern but they said we could not buy it now because they had none in stock and they just got an order for a boat.  They informed us they would order us another one that would take another month or more to come in.  This is as bad as customer service can get!  The order was canceled and we ordered a tank through another dealer and it is expected to arrive in less then 3 days.  It's a good thing we had the common sense to have Eastern order us a new tank before we needed it, because they would not have had one in stock for themselves, something does not sound quite right when you do not carry any inventory of a custom item like this.

The 115 Mercury Motor

The motor has been gone through, all fuel lines have been changed to ethanol safe lines, the carburetors have been gone through along with all filters on the motor.  The lower end has been removed and the water pump has been replaced along with all seals in the entire lower end.  The trim cylinders have been fixed as their seals were also leaking.  New sparkplugs and a new ignition pack was installed as only 2 cylinders were showing spark when tested.  The lower end is still off at the moment because we are waiting to hook up the controls up first so the shift linkage can be set properly.

Please note that when this boat was originally "built" the Eastern boat company was owned and run by different owners then they currently have.  The new Eastern boats are completely different and the build quality is far superior, so we were told.  Remember this boat was slapped together 23+ years ago.

All photos were taken with android cell phones on the spot and at the time of discovery, that is after we stopped laughing and shaking our heads. (if you notice weird colors on some images it is from a heater we were using to help cure some areas)

This is under the leaning post foot, no caulking on any screw hole.

This is under the leaning post foot, no caulking on any screw hole.

This is under the leaning post foot, no caulking on any screw hole.

The underside of the leaning post foot, no sign of any caulk on any screw hole.

Floor, no problem there!

First view of under the floor was shocking. Notice the stringers that run bow to stern and encased in fiberglass look crooked, you will see why later.

Another view.

Here is the reason the bow to aft stringers look cooked, they are just scrap pieces of untreated  2x4's laid in for no real reason. Notice they are not attached to the plywood stringers, heck they are not even close to the stringers and one end is has a 45 degree cut, waste not want not.  NOTE this is the same brace you see in the picture to the left after the glass was removed.

The tube that goes from the center console to the stern is glued together with no drain holes so all wires and cables sit in a tube that is full of water.  Granted it would not be a issue in the south, but most people here in the north do not winter their boats in heated buildings. note, the eastern factory is in New Hampshire. Update, after removing this tube there was 2, 1/4" holes drilled in it but they clogged long ago.

This was a cross stringer, consisting of a piece of plywood as a stringer and a 2x4 on each side, there is nothing left, just the bolts that held the 2x4's on and some thin glass that was not attached to the floor or sides.

Note the cross stringer does not really do anything, it does not touch the sides of the boat nor it is secured to the floor.  The 2x4's that the floor was attached to are rotted away, the glass is minimal and was not attached to the floor or the side of the boat.  Everything just floats in thin sheets of glass at the most.

Here is the fuel tank after it was removed.  It's a nice heavy 30 gallon tank, except for the dime size hole in the back bottom corner. The tank was sold for scrap aluminum, as the price to repair it was almost the same as a new 50 poly gallon tank.

This is where the tank was, notice the rubber padding.  These are slices of automobile rubber floor mats.  Actually three different ones, one black, one blue and one tan and all different patterns, rather fancy.  Makes you wonder if these came from a junk yard, employee's vehicles or visitors vehicles when they were not looking.

Here you will see how random the build quality is, when the picture is enlarged you will see how unimportant they seem to think the 2x4's are on the floor, not only are they not attached or even close to the stringers, they are laid out in a random haphazard pattern.

Here you see how these "special" tank pads were mounted, they were NAILED to the 2x4 stringers, this allows the moisture to permeate into the 2x4's evenly so everything rots and sags evenly.  They could have at least used a galvanized nail, but no...

Here is the stringer that runs over the fuel tank with the 2x4 on the camera side removed. Notice the pile of rotted wood in the keel, and this is under the tank, the rest of the boat had even more.

Notice the nice even cut on the top of the plywood stringer, chainsaw carpentry, or a Monday job? 

Starting to clean up the hull., we can't even tell if there was a 2x4 in the keel, there could have been at one time but now there is just rotten wood and with so much rot throughout the boat there is no way to tell.

Opening the next to the last bay we noticed something different. Notice the short 2x4's that they lay flat on the floor, well they forgot one, there is only one on one side, not the other. Might have been a Friday boat. Granted the way they are installed they serve no structural purpose anyway. These 2x4's are entirely missing in the last bay.

Another view of the missing support.

All the so called supports that are coming out are removed, just need to clean up the edges now.  Notice the missing supports in the bottom of the screen.

Another view.

Edges are now cut back and ready for grinding.

Notice there is NOW a drain hole in the bottom of the transom, this was done by us, there never was one, just a disaster waiting to happen, seeing there is no way to ever get the water out.

The Eastern's next dance partner, a 16 grit sanding disc.

Slight pause in the action to build a garden tractor will be back with more fun soon.

Here is the reason for the pause, had a perfect 18hp twin cylinder motor, and found a near perfect riding mower on Craigslist for next to nothing because, it had a very blown motor, put them both together and we now have a like new riding mower to sell for boat funds.

Grinding with the 16 grit disc is done.

Another view.

and another, next dance partner is 60 grit with a palm sander and then we start making the cross stringers, but not until next year.

Decided to forgo the sanding for a bit and start dry fitting the Stringers.

Another view of the stringers are slowly getting dry fitted.

Console tube getting fitted, everything is still all dry fitted.

Another view of the console tube getting fitted, everything is still all dry fitted.

Another view of the console tube getting fitted, still all dry fitted. Note the 2X4's that lay on the floor under the stringers are full size and are structural, unlike the original ones.

The 2X4's on the floor have been spit coated (50% resin 50% Acetone) and are
peanut buttered
to the floor, along with the first new stringer. The 2X4 on the stringer is there for support only and will be replaced with a new pressure treated one later down the line.

Another view.

Another view, along with the genius behind this madness looking at his handiwork.

Stringer #2
peanut buttered.

Gas tank dry fit. Note this tank was a 28 gallon and is not the final one. The final tank will be 50 gallons.

Stringer #2 glassed.

Stringer #3
peanut buttered.

Stringer #3
peanut buttered
and stringer #1 glassed.

Stringer #3
peanut buttered
and stringer #1 glassed.

Close-up of stringer #1 glass work.

Close-up of stringer #1 glass work.

Stringer #1, 2 and 3 are all glassed.

All support 2 X4's are
peanut buttered
and ready for glassing.

Starting of the 2 X 4 glassing.

First of the 2 X 4's to be glassed.

2X4's on the floor are now glassed in.

Another view, along with the console tube path.

Another view, along with the console tube path.

Mounting plate for the bilge pump glassed in.

A quick shot of the nose that has some nasty scratched before repair was started.


All Righty Then!




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Last Updated: January 31, 2013

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