Century_Redds_Park-5491

1961 Century Coronado “Return of the Century”

This project started with a customer who came to Redd’s Pond looking for a Century Coronado like one he remembered from his teens. We scoured the internet for a months looking for candidates and ultimately found this one about 45 mins from our shop. we set up a visit, and found that it was a perfect restoration candidate.

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What we found is a  1961 Century Coronado with a restoration initiated 20 years ago, but never finished. While the previous owners did a great job tracking down almost every bit of chrome hardware and engine part almost all the woodworking remained.  Some structural work had been done in the stem and topsides frames, but otherwise most of the boat needed replacement.

I usually start a project like this documenting where everything I take off goes to guide reassembly, but in this case I had to start by trying to re-assemble the interior first to get an idea of what the interior looked like and to see if anything was missing.

engine box looking forward. The forwad bench and windsheild were only dropped in for a second
engine box looking forward. The forward bench and windshield were only dropped in for a second
looking aft from the middle bench. - Some upholstry remained, but would all be replaced.
looking aft from the middle bench. – Some upholstery remained, but would all be replaced.

From there I removed all of the interior I could and built a series of internal molds to retain the hull’s shape during the restoration and support it while upside down. We then rolled the hull over to remove the bottom planking.

Interior molds and legs built to hold boat in shape while bottom is removed and replaced. lifting and flipping jig assembled around it so I could flip it in place.
Interior molds and legs built to hold boat in shape while bottom is removed and replaced. lifting and flipping jig assembled around it so I could flip it in place.

The old bottom planks were removed and saved for templates as well as the keel while half the bottom frames (every other one so the hull stayed together and kept it’s shape).

The old battens had some wiggles which I wanted to straighten out, so the original locations were marked, but not cut untill I could establish fair lines.
The old battens had some wiggles which I wanted to straighten out, so the original locations were marked, but not cut untill I could establish fair lines.
half the new frames dry fit before priming with the new keel in place to keep them centered.
half the new frames dry fit before priming with the new keel in place to keep them centered.

Once the first half of the frames were replaced and fastened to the chines and topsides the other half of the frames were removed and replaced. The new keel was bolted down, then new plank battens fabricated and set into notches cut to match re-faired plank lines .

The Transom bow had been replace in the previous restoration work, but we re-established symmetry and adjusted the batten placement.
The Transom bow had been replaced in the previous restoration work, but we re-established symmetry and adjusted the batten placement.
All parts snaded and primed before assembly to keep the bilge cleaner, and give all structural parts a better fight against rot in the future.
All parts were sanded and primed before assembly to keep the bilge cleaner, and give all structural parts better resistance to rot in the future.
All new frames installed and back primed with original century colored bilge paint. Batten faired and dry fit before back priming and bedding.
All new frames installed and back primed with original century colored bilge paint. Batten faired and dry fit before back priming and bedding.

This was a great opportunity to double check fairness of the plank lines as well as the bottom of the hull. we made sure to double check symmetry, and a little fairing at the transom to help the hull get up on a plane as well as general smoothness.

 

Next came bottom planking. Since we had almost all the original planks we had general templates to rough out the planking stock. We were able to get some 1 1/2″ thick mahogany stock that allowed us to  make pairs of planks from a single board sawn down the middle, which not only saved time, but led to a lot less wasted material going into the trash.

Our bandsaw took a little tuning to be up to this task, but once it was dialed in, we were able to easily re-saw the 8-12" wide stock allowing us to sometimes place multiple plank pairs on a single board. Rollers leading to and from the saw allowed this to be a one person job.
Our bandsaw took a little tuning to be up to this task, but once it was dialed in, I was able to easily re-saw the 8-12″ wide stock allowing us to place multiple plank pairs on a single board. Rollers leading to and from the saw allowed this to be a one person job.

Once the bottom planks were made up and fit tight, we shaved a little of each edge, sanded, sealed the insides with Smith’s CPES and Century red bilge paint and then set all the planks in 5200 marine adhesive before fastening down. The small gaps and flexible glue allow the bottom to swell when soaked without applying too much pressure to the chines and pushing them out, while also having a rubber-gasket seal between every plank even when it has been out of the water and dried out for months. The bottom was then faired and sanded smooth with all screws set low enough to have a putty or wooden bung cover depdending on if it would be painted or varnished.

 

midway through bottom planking. plastic tubes were used to steam planks prior to being bent into place.
Midway through bottom planking. plastic tubes were used as steam boxes to steam planks prior to being bent into place.
Bottom planking installed prior to removal for back priming. I used as few fasteners as I could so the final instalation were as clean as possible, especially where they would be varnished.
Bottom planking installed prior to removal for back priming. I used as few fasteners as I could so the final installation was as clean as possible, especially at the bow where the ends of the planks would be varnished.

The topsides planks that were still on the boat were then removed as well for templating and the topsides and transom frames were inspected and repaired or replaced as necessary. The battens and the topsides planks were replaced again with re-sawn 6/4 stock being sure to prioritize  quarter-sawn stock to ensure stability as well as aesthetics.

topsides planks steamed in for a few days ahead while I fit the other planks and fasten them helps cut down on lost time. A day or two clamped leads to less stress when fitting and fastening.
Topsides planks steam bent in place and left clamped for a few days ahead while I fit the other planks and fasten them. This helps cut down on lost time. A day or two clamped into the curve leads to less stress when fitting and fastening.
Topsides aft planks left long to be trimmed when applying the transom planks to the stern.
Topsides aft planks left long to be trimmed when applying the transom planks to the stern.
The transom planks were last as Century applied the transom to the cover the ends of the side planks. The upper transom frame was replace as we found that it had been previously replaced and didn't have the correct radius adn was starting to rot on the ends.
The transom planks were last as Century applied the transom to the cover the ends of the side planks. The upper transom frame was replaced as we found that it had been previously replaced with incorrect radius and was starting to rot on the ends.
The transom planking complete.
The transom planking complete.
Once topsides planking was done, rough fairing started and any screws too close to the surface were re-set.
Once topsides planking was done, rough fairing started and any screws too close to the surface were re-set.
Once fairing was getting close to done bungs are set in and trimmed for final fairing.
Once fairing was getting close to done bungs are set in and trimmed for final fairing.
Final fairing before bottom paint. the bottom screws just receive a putty bung as they won't be visable.
Final fairing before bottom paint. the bottom planks’  screws receive a putty bung as they won’t be visible.

With the planking all completed, below the waterline was again faired, and the waterline marked off. Then a 2 day soak under a thin plastic sheet helped raise the kiln dried wood to a suitable moisture content before being sealed with CPES and covered in copper bronze bottom paint. The boat was then flipped before final sanding of the topsides to re-fit the deck before staining and varnish.

Water under the plastic helps soak the kild dried mahogany a bit to a better moisture content before the outter surface gets it's sealer coats.
Water under the plastic helps soak the kild dried mahogany to a better moisture content before the outer surface is sealed.
Before sealing I aligned the shaft strut and bored through the keel so the bore could be sealed and painted with the rest of the bottom.
Before sealing I aligned the shaft strut and bored through the keel so the bore could be sealed and painted with the rest of the bottom. The temporary block glued to the keel helps guide the start of the cut and prevent blow-out on the edge of the hole. There is a corresponding block on the inside of the hull for the same reason.
I didn't quite get the camera lined up, but you can just make out the cross hairs I was aiming for through the bore.
I didn’t quite get the camera lined up, but you can just make out the cross hairs I was aiming for through the bore.

 

The waterline was scribed on the boat based on the original planking and the bottom painted with InterProtect  and copper bronze bottom paint before setting up the flipping jig and getting her back upright.

While I reused as much of the deck as I could, I ended up replacing the aft deck and a lot of the foredeck due to rot.  With these parts fit, fastened and bunged, I finish sanded all bare wood, stained and varnished 12 coats. While a lot of the topsides and deck would end up painted white with the jet design it was much faster to varnish the whole boat than to try to work around all the curves and edges of the jet and keep them crisp.

Once flipped the old deck was laid out to make sure everything still fit before moving on to make it new.
Once flipped, the old deck was laid out to make sure everything still fit before moving on to make it new.
New aft deck and covering board fit and bored for some hardware. Most of this deck was able to come from a single board and has great color consistency.
New aft deck and covering board being  fit and bored for some hardware.
Here the deck is final sanded with seams routed in for putty and bungs faired down. The color difference between the side deck and new wood will be lessened by stain, but ultimatly hidden by white paint.
Here, the deck is final sanded with seams routed in for putty and bungs faired down. The color difference between the side deck and new wood will be lessened by stain, but ultimately hidden by white paint.
Our shop dog Jasper helping identify any rough spots left after fairing before stain was applied.
Our shop dog Jasper helping identify any rough spots left after fairing before stain was applied.
Stain starts to even up the color, but blends the new wood together nicely.
Stain starts to even up the color, but blends the new wood together nicely.
bow planks after stain.
Bow planks after stain.
The gloss builds quickly after a couple coats of primer epoxy and a couple coats of varnish.
The gloss builds quickly after a couple coats of primer epoxy and a couple coats of varnish.
Bow getting glossy
Bow getting glossy
But after about 10 coats I start checking my reflection.
After about 10 coats I start checking my reflection.

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Once the varnish was built up I worked with a local sign painter to re-develop the shapes for the white paint as well as have the name of the boat lettered in gold leaf on the transom. She pinstriped the outlines on the hull so I could come back and brush more liberally in order to get a really flat coat. 5 coats of varnish were applied on top of the transom lettering to protect it for seasons to come.

with the Jet and other white outlined I painted through with glossy white.
With the Jet and other white outlined I painted through with glossy white.
looks much crisper with the tape off! None of the original paint outline was left on the planks, so she had to work from a bunch of pictures off the internet and shape as best she could.
Looks much crisper with the tape off! None of the original paint outline was left on the planks, so she had to work from a bunch of pictures off the internet and shape as well as she could.
The name is gold leaf with boarder and shadow.
The name is gold leaf with boarder and shadow.

With the hull complete, attention was turned to the interior. The engine box had deteriorated as well as the fore-deck so they were replaced, some of the controls and hardware had been acquired by the previous owner so they were cleaned, reassembled and chromed. Other missing or broken parts were remade and chromed as well. All the benches and side paneling were in good shape and were just cleaned up for being re-covered with vinyl.

We had the original engine box, so this one was fabricated to match.
The original engine box was used to template the new one with marine plywood and fresh oak corners.
The original foredeck was replaced with new marine plywood and mahogany off cuts from the planking
The original foredeck was replaced with new marine plywood and mahogany off cuts from the planking.

 

The original dash and cowl around the gauges are fiberglass molded peices that are later wraped in matting and vinyl.
The original dash and cowl around the gauges are fiberglass molded pieces that are later wrapped in matting and vinyl.
Deck hardware and cutwater fastened on.
Deck hardware and cutwater fastened on.

 

The boat was then fully reassembled with all hardware and hard top and sent off to an upholstry shop to install the vinyl kit made from the original factory templates.
The boat was then fully reassembled with all hardware and hard top and sent off to an upholstry shop to install the vinyl kit made from the original factory templates.

The vinyl was re-made to original templates in a kit and installed by local upholstery group.

Forward dash with vinyl installed.
Forward dash with vinyl installed.
Engine box with vinyl installed.
Engine box with vinyl installed.
Boat on jacks to get on moving truck to come back to shop for systems installation.
Boat on jacks to get on moving truck to come back to Redd’s Pond shop for systems installation.

 

The engine was re-assembled, painted and test run by a local mechanic and finally the boat was re-wired with modern safety components such a main battery switch, a bilge blower and updated wiring.

327 Grey Marine Fireball V8 after re-build
327 Grey Marine Fireball V8 after re-build
Benches cleared out so the electrician could re-wire the boat and plumb fuel/exhaust.
Benches cleared out so the electrician could re-wire the boat and plumb fuel/exhaust.

 

Once the engine was test run and tuned and all wiring installed and tested, I invited a local friend to come take photos of the boat while we waited for a transportation company to truck it out to her new home in western New York.

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The boat is currently being stored for the winter awaiting summer commissioning. Check back for photos and videos of it running in the lake.

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