Welcome to V-Drive California, a site to share my 1975 Sanger Flatbottom Bubbledeck Family Ski V-drive information with others that love the water and hot boats

Friday, February 15, 2013

Underwater Gear Upgrades

The next and final step in the reconstruction of this 1975 Sanger Family Ski was to resurrect the underwater gear from its original '75 beginnings to newly updated and capable parts that can handle the additional power provided by the 496 stroker engine. While not going totally 'overboard' in costs with new parts many of the existing parts were simply inspected, tested and repaired as necessary.
This is the BEFORE work was completed

First off I removed the skeg, the prop strut and the rudder. All of the parts are steel and have welded parts on them. The welds require an inspection usually on a yearly basis to verify there are no cracks along the joints. I had all three pieces magnafluxed and inspected and revealed a few very fine hairline cracks that would have never been seen by the naked eye. All of the parts were re-welded and re tested once again and passed. So the parts are good for more safe future use. The guys at West Coast Frame do great work.

Then the parts went to the powder-coater for a silver coating to be applied. Dynamic Coatings , 1551 N. Broadway, Stockton CA - see Paul. The guy does great work.

The strut was re-installed with new stringer washers and stainless hardware thru the strut plate that I had fabricated during the last update with all new engine rails, cross bracing attachements and all new hardware.

The next item to come apart was the cavitation plate and all the old rusty zinc plated hardware into the bottom and the transom. This included removing all the turnbuckles, 1" cav-rod, eyelets, bases, pillow blocks and the block plates. Now because my boat was all original it had Finishline stainless steel cav rod, eyelet, and turnbuckle hardware already installed on it and in very good condition. So that was all cleaned up and re-used.

Correcting the geometry of the cav-rod to turnbuckle angle was the main problem that was being addressed by this update to the boat.

So, I spoke with Phil at Bergeron Engineering in Arizona and he provided me with the finest billet aluminum extended pillow blocks around, These things are really pretty too!

I installed the new blocks along with my newly polished block plate and it came out looking very nice.The polishing was done by Britex in Carmichael, CA. Dennis does great work there.

The block plate was resealed to the transom and all new stainless steel hardware was used to mount the Billet aluminum blocks with stringers washers on the back side.This time it was done right, ANOTHER BOAT LEAK SEALED!!!

The actual cav-plate itself had been beat up pretty bad and I almost ditched it and bought new.

BUT!... after having it looked at by my powder-coater Paul and he said he could make it all better and prettier than before, I let him have a go at it. He came up with a custom powder coat color that matched the boats red metallic color and it was an amazing transformation.

Almost didn't want to put it back on the boat! Too pretty for underwater!

With everything together, the final thing to do was fitting of the turnbuckles to the new setup. They had to be cut down in size to meet this new geometry. All the pins and clips were replaced with new stainless steel. All the base flatheads were replaced with new stainless allen heads, and the eyelet hardware was replaced with stainless socket head cap screws also.

With the plate and rudder going back in I also installed a new Billet aluminum rudder stuffing box by Phil at D21 Enterprizes. This is another really nice piece that Phil produces "all by hand" and some machine work too... This boat now has all of the latest D21 billet parts installed that he produces.

Click the link for all his parts available through his website.

Made some changes to the water pickup and outlet lines, the fuel filter was remounted with a billet bracket and also removed all the wet header plumbing. Just cleaned it all up and made it a much simpler easier system.

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