Tag Archives: Upholstery

Carpeting the boat

I think in the last few months I’ve said to Susie multiple times, “It sure was easier and faster to take this apart than it is to put it all back together.” Nothing I’m doing is particularly difficult, it just takes a lot of time.

I’ve spent the last couple of months working on carpet in the boat. This may have gone faster if I lived in a place with more warmth, but Seattle in the winter is just not a location where we see 65 degrees F very often. The temperature matters because the glue used to hold down all this carpet, and all the parts being glued, need to be at 65 degrees. I did a few pieces indoors with the windows open, but the fumes were too much so I waited.

The first bit of effort involved all the pieces and parts that go in the boat. There are multiple panels , seat bases and lids that go everywhere in this boat. The basic steps are: trim the carpet to fit, apply glue to the panel, apply glue to the carpet, wait 15 minutes and get ready to stick. For example, this is the two “kick” panels that go under the bow in front of the driver. I disassembled these, removed the old carpet and then had to trim and glue on the new carpet. If you are observant you can see the wood from other panels and the new carpet ready for trim in the lower left corner of this photo.

Panels with old carpet
Panels with old carpet
Rear floor panel (removable)
Rear floor panel (removable)

So to save time I’ll skip over a lot of that work. It involved a lot of glue, staples, waiting for sunshine and waiting for sunshine. It eventually warmed up.

Next was putting the carpet in the interior of the boat. This was a remarkably similar task to the panels, just scaled up. Trim, glue both sides, wait 15 minutes, align and stick. I did the sides first, then a plastic trim piece that goes between the sides and the floor, and then finally the floor.

Port side looking aft - bare walls and floor with plastic trim piece waiting
Port side looking aft – bare walls and floor with plastic trim piece waiting
Port side forward
Port side forward
Port side done
Port side done
Starboard rear side carpet
Starboard rear side carpet
Starboard side looking forward
Starboard side looking forward
Driver's side panel
Driver’s side panel

Once I had the sides on, the floor was an interesting thing to do. It is all one big piece that had to be carefully trimmed and glued into place section-by-section without adding in wrinkles or getting things out of alignment in other sections too much. By the time it was done I was very satisfied with the end result.

Sides done, ready for the main floor
Sides done, ready for the main floor
Apply glue to carpet, apply glue to floor, get ready to go
Apply glue to carpet, apply glue to floor, get ready to go
Carpet glued down
Carpet glued down
Here is a look at the kick panels from earlier in this post up under the bow
Here is a look at the kick panels from earlier in this post up under the bow. You can see here that I actually kept the sides of the old carpet up under the bow. Unless you crawl up under there with a flashlight there is really nothing to see and the carpet still looked new. You can also see how much darker the new carpet is in this image.
Ice box and battery box covers are the pieces in the middle. The fiberglass sticking up is the base for the driver seat
Ice box and battery box covers are the pieces in the middle. The fiberglass sticking up is the base for the driver seat
Carpet is complete
Carpet is complete

Once I had the carpet in I could hardly resist the temptation to just throw in all the interior. It looks brand-new.

Interior shot looking forward
Interior shot looking forward
Driver's Seat
Driver’s Seat
Dog box from port side
Dog box from port side
Dog box from starboard side
Dog box from starboard side

If you are reading this post in the Pacific Northwest and you wish you could have brand-new seats done, you should contact E’s Kustom Fab-Up. I keep thinking that my next project should be a muscle car and I can’t wait to tear into it with the expert advice and fab work from E’s.  I just can’t say enough how great the upholstery looks and I’ve seen amazing things E’s has done with other classic cars, boats and trucks. Plus there are always some cool projects just hanging around in the shop.

I have installed the propeller, primed the fuel system… I think an on-the-water test is near.

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Getting ready for spring

Just a quick update since it has been ages since I last posted. After the long cold winter I’m quite ready for the weather to turn warmer. It’s been a long journey with this boat but I may be getting close to the end.

I got my rear seat back from my upholstery expert (who is also my cousin) on Monday. It looks great, just as do all the other seats. He now has the dog box and the bench part of the observer’s seat to finish up his work. I’ve begun to tear apart all the pieces that need to be carpeted with the new carpet. I’m starting with the rear set bench. I was a little surprised that the bench is actually a bunch of small pieces all screwed together to make the whole. In the end I think this will be relatively easy as it looks like very little glue and many staples. Staples are easy and quick. I’ll post some photos when everything is done. Here are some shots of the work in progress. These are just a few more examples of the hundreds of photos I’ve taken of everything in this boat to remind me how things were situated, attached, or were just plain interesting. I don’t know how cars/boats/airplanes/anything mechanical was restored before we had digital cameras.

It looks solid but is many pieces
It looks solid but is many pieces
The piece you step on when entering or exiting the boat
The piece you step on when entering or exiting the boat
A reminder of how the carpet looked on this part
A reminder of how the carpet looked on this part