First Boat Project - 22 Sisu

Discussion in 'Downeast Projects and Boat Building' started by scicca200, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. scicca200

    scicca200 Member

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    Occupation:
    Corporate Desk Job
    Location:
    Toms River
    Boat Make:
    1978 Sisu 22
    Now that weather is finally warming up I'm getting started on my 22 Sisu. I live and work in Philly and the boat lives in Toms River near my in laws. Lots of driving and only able to get to it on the weekends so I'm mixing the DIY with getting help from some friends who have a lot more experience.

    I removed all the hardware off the gunnels this Saturday and quickly learned why everyone on here stresses decoring and back-filling with epoxy. Balsa looked like mud and had to cut a lot of it away before hitting dry core. Luckily I'm all patched up and just need to grind smooth and paint.

    The side fuel tanks are getting sold and I'll need to fill in the gussets the previous owner cut out to fit them. My buddy is going to help with ripping up the deck, getting a new fuel tank made, and rebuilding. Will post some pics along the way. I'm looking forward to helping out and getting some hands on learning experience.

    From what I can tell looking down the hatch there doesn't appear to be any stringers. Floors looks to only be attached to a couple of bulk heads which may explain the spongy feeling. Looking for opinions on this for the 22s. My thinking is its worth adding some in for added strength. I don't want to do this twice!

    Oh - local marina got me set up with fresh bottom paint! Once the boat is back together I'll look into getting it blasted and start fresh as there must be 20 layers of paint. Thinking that will be a 2020 - 2021 project...

    Also - any recommendations on a replacement helm? Thinking it probably makes sense to go hydraulic if going through the effort. Existing helm is making all the wrong noises. Tilt tube and pivot points on the outboard in good shape.
     

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  2. CapeCodNorton

    CapeCodNorton Senior Member

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    23 Crowley Beal
    I’m helping a buddy work on his 22 Sisu Bass Boat, I’ve always heard of their stout construction and after digging into his I now know what people are talking about. We only had to replace the balsa voting under the aft gunwales due to previous owners rod holder installation. It was fairly easy though since the gunwales come completely off aft of the trunk. The rest of the boat is dry! Good luck with your refit!
     
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  3. scicca200

    scicca200 Member

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    1978 Sisu 22
    My friend got started pulling up the deck this weekend. There's no stringers under there at all. Looks like it was the factory deck on there and at one point someone added a few layers of glass to stiffen it up. Is this normal? Planning on adding stringers in to shorten up the spans for the new deck. Any reason not to do this?

    Will post some pics once I have them.
     
  4. Genius

    Genius Captain

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    I believe I saw a Bruno that was cored with balsa, no stringers. I don't believe you can put stringers atop the cored hull. It creates a hard spot. Many ways to do it but you may want to consider some of the newer composites for decking. Nidacore/Carbon core can span some distances and be very stiff and light.
     
  5. Keelboater

    Keelboater Captain

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  6. CapeCodNorton

    CapeCodNorton Senior Member

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    The framing under deck isn’t layed out in the classic sense of longitudinal and transverse stringers but more of a boxed out chassis style frame with large voids in the center. The Sisu we are doing had 2 removable deck sections which cover these voids and were cored with balsa like the rest of the boat. They are really stiff as with any sandwich type construction. Consider using composite materials mentioned above and I think you’d like the results with glass on both sides. They should span those gaps well and remain stiff. 3/4” thickness minimum. We are going to recore some wet balsa and keep with the removable sections. It’s nice to access the bilges/fuel cell if need be.
     
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  7. scicca200

    scicca200 Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I'll be discussing with my friend that's helping me out.
     
  8. Big Joe

    Big Joe Member

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    22' Sisu
    This is what my Sisu looks like. My decking is in two pieces
     

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  9. scicca200

    scicca200 Member

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    Thanks for sending - looks you cleaned everything up real nice in there.
     
  10. scicca200

    scicca200 Member

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    Some pics of the deck coming up. Hoping for the tank to come out this weekend. A local shop is going to take it and use it as a template to make a new one. Some rot in the bulkheads so those will be getting replaced. My buddy has access to coosa so probably going to use that for the bulkheads / new decking.

    Balsa in the original deck was all rotted. Looks like there was a lack of drainage under the fuel tank. Foam was soaking up the water.

    She was a bit stern heavy prior to all this work. Hoping with the rot and wet foam/deck out of there she'll loose a decent bit of weight.
     

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  11. scicca200

    scicca200 Member

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    Fuel tank is out! Was a 60 gallon tank. New one being built per original's dimensions.
     

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  12. RickC137

    RickC137 Member

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    What is going on in that first pic? Is that old foam?
     
  13. scicca200

    scicca200 Member

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    Yes. There was lack of drainage under the tank. It was held in place with a bunch of glued down foam. Foam held on to water and rotted the bulkheads/tank.

    Good news is the hull is still solid all around down there including the thru fittings. Should be a good bit lighter with all that crud out.
     
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  14. scicca200

    scicca200 Member

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    Took a day off work yesterday and finally transferred ownership at the DMV. Always a fun time.

    Got over to the boat. Bulkheads are out. I spend some time cutting out plugs to fill in the holes the last owner put in the gussets. They are epoxied in with West Systems. Will grind down the paint around the plugs and add some glass. Hopefully this weekend...
     

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  15. scicca200

    scicca200 Member

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    Lots of smaller but important jobs this weekend. Little bit of rot in the upper left hand corner on the hard top is no more. Patched up with Pettit EZPoxy. Needs to be sanded down and shaped a bit more but a good start.

    Added some wrap around glass to the plugs I made for the gussets. They aren't going anywhere...

    Final job was cutting old beat up speakers out of the console and patching the holes. The starboard side was sealed to the point that it was hard to get off. Of course that side had rotted core... Luckily wasn't too bad and was able to dig out the rot and back fill with epoxy. Will fair it out and get ready for paint on the next work day.

    Fuel tank and coosa for the deck are delivered. Tank looks great. Should have a deck by memorial day. I'm anxious to get her splashed. Hopefully will take a week off work to finish electrical, new steering, and paint work in a six day sprint. Everything takes longer than planned...
     

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  16. scicca200

    scicca200 Member

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    1978 Sisu 22
    Looking for some opinions.

    The fuel tank / bulk heads are going in this week. I have to decide whether to paint / gel coat the bilge or not. Since this is an outboard model I won't be spending much time below deck other than checking on the bilge pumps / seacocks here and there. Is there a protective quality to dressing up the bridge that is worth doing or is this mostly done for aesthetics? I have to decide by tomorrow if I'm going to get it done this weekend or not. With lots of priorities and 4th of July weekend coming up (my goal splash date) I'm being choosy on how I spend my time.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  17. jdickau484

    jdickau484 Senior Member

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    I would just gel it. Seals up the glass from any water down there.
     
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  18. Toolate

    Toolate Captain

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    Gel would be nice but my 1984 Sisu had no gel in the bilge and it was fine- just red poly over woven roving and balsa core so maybe if time is really tight just close it up. You are doing the right thing everywhere here but the boat wasnt built with it and not essential. Get out there.
     
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  19. CapeCodNorton

    CapeCodNorton Senior Member

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    I totally agree, get in the water. I also like the ability to see the balsa, especially around the thru hulls, so you can see if you ever get water intrusion and rot before it spreads too far.
     
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  20. Pete Brown

    Pete Brown Member

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    Man stretching a Portsmouth is a sin. The Portsmouth 30 is a Sisu. Peter Brown bought the molds from Sisu in 1988 and started the Portmouth Boat Company. When Sisu went under in 1989, Portsmouth started making the Sisu 22 as well. Portsmouth went out of business in 1992. The 30' molds are at Eastern, but not in production. The old Sisu 26 is now the Lowell 26, and the Sisu 22 is made by Eastern. My advice - other than faring the hull for paint - don't mess with it. Royal Lowell has his reputation as a designer for a very good reason.
     
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