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87 Starflite Questions

pony3xp

Active member
Hi All,

Brand new member. Been boating for about 10 years, but just picked up my first Checkmate yesterday. It is an 87 Starflite which is in need of some help. The question is: How much help?

Note that while I am very handy, and have done a number of different homeowner projects, including a lot of finish work, I have NEVER touched a boat.

Boat Background: 87 Starflite, looks like it was last used in upstate NY in 06. I think the boat is in very good shape considering the age. That said, it needs a lot of work. Here is what I can see:

The sides look really good and I think will buff out fine. Yes there are some scratches but I can not fine any cracking. All the "tape" will need to be removed and replaced.

The top has a number of spider cracks and is severly faded in some areas. I'm not sure this will buff out.

The rubrail will need to be replaced. It is missing in spots as well as dented. There are also good size fiberglass chunks in the nose and back corner right around the rubrail.

The floor I'm not sure about. The prev owner had it fixed on one side, and it feels solid, but it really looks uneven (there is at least an inch drop from the edge to the middle), and it doesn't really look like a "smooth" drop.

I'm planning on replacing the carpet anyway, so is that the best place to start? See what is under it and what condition the floor is in. I have read a bunch of posts where they talk about water and rot under the floor. I'm not sure I am ready for that:confused:.


Or do I just buff it, get everything mechanically working, fix the rubrail and use it?

I realize that someday I will need to do the full restoration, just not 100% sure I want to takle that at the moment.

Anything else I should look for or specific concerns on this model?

Thoughts/Comments?
Thanks!!
 

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Rob B

Moderator
Staff member
Hi All,

Brand new member. Been boating for about 10 years, but just picked up my first Checkmate yesterday. It is an 87 Starflite which is in need of some help. The question is: How much help?

Note that while I am very handy, and have done a number of different homeowner projects, including a lot of finish work, I have NEVER touched a boat.

Boat Background: 87 Starflite, looks like it was last used in upstate NY in 06. I think the boat is in very good shape considering the age. That said, it needs a lot of work. Here is what I can see:

The sides look really good and I think will buff out fine. Yes there are some scratches but I can not fine any cracking. All the "tape" will need to be removed and replaced.

The top has a number of spider cracks and is severly faded in some areas. I'm not sure this will buff out.

The rubrail will need to be replaced. It is missing in spots as well as dented. There are also good size fiberglass chunks in the nose and back corner right around the rubrail.

The floor I'm not sure about. The prev owner had it fixed on one side, and it feels solid, but it really looks uneven (there is at least an inch drop from the edge to the middle), and it doesn't really look like a "smooth" drop.

I'm planning on replacing the carpet anyway, so is that the best place to start? See what is under it and what condition the floor is in. I have read a bunch of posts where they talk about water and rot under the floor. I'm not sure I am ready for that:confused:.


Or do I just buff it, get everything mechanically working, fix the rubrail and use it?

I realize that someday I will need to do the full restoration, just not 100% sure I want to takle that at the moment.

Anything else I should look for or specific concerns on this model?

Thoughts/Comments?
Thanks!!

Welcome!!! As you have stated there are a number of posts on the floor restoration. Check out 175checkmate's restoration very detailed w/ pictures.
If you are going to replace the carpet i would check the floor really well chances are you probably will replace it along with the stringers. I went thru this as well. I ended up fixing a part of the floor knowing i will replace all of it this winter.

For buffing i used aqua buff 1000 & 2000 w/ a good buffer. Most folks here swear by and it made a believer out of me as well. See some of my posts i have a before and after pictures along with others who have posted. You've came to the right place this forum has tons of info. I'm sure others will chime in.
 

merc245

Well-known member
I 've been dealing with a black starflight for 13 yrs now. You'll most likely have to wet sand the deck to most the ghosting out.Don't get to agressive with the paper try 800 than so on to start than the aqua buff.After the 1st time you'll have to keep it up just about every year or so after(not as deep thou).I've sanded mine 3 times in the last 5 yrs.

Another area to check, The foam in front of the front bulkhead. Theres quite abit of foam that is capable of holding apx. 100 lbs of water in it.A real performace killer if u know what I mean.U can test by drilling a hole near the bottom of bulkhead.Most/some of the fellow Staflite owners have pull the foam out of the front.

Next trouble area would be the splashwell lip.I'd fashion a steel or Alm plate that comes up,around and over the lip. Just as a precauction or if U plan to run with lots of offset or big water or best of all BIG HP.I sure wish that was the 1st thing I did.Any fab shop should be capable

Theres many more questions I sure U'll have Feel Free and Good Luck :cheers

Mvc-003s.jpg


Mvc-001s.jpg


MVC-005S1.JPG


63739502209_0_ALB.jpg


Sorry Guys,I'm sure everyone tired of of seeing these pics again and again. But I'm having withdraws about now.
 
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pony3xp

Active member
more info

Hi All
(sorry about the length)

The temp reach 40 today in NH so I was able to do a little "digging". Please excuse the snow, i just picked it up on Monday and did not have a chance to cover it (I did today).

There are a number of restoration questions I now have. First, A lot of the "stringer" discussions have one going right down the middle. The starflite does not seem to have this, there is floor storage instead with what looks like 2 side stringers. is this correct?

Yes, I appear to have the forward "foam" storage area. Everything was still frozen so I didn't want to dig into this, but there was a bulkhead at about 7' into the underneath and the nose measures more than 10'. Later on this one.

Now the issues. The transom on both side has a crack at the top of the fiberglass (see pics). It is not big, and I can not make the transom move in any way, but didn't know if this was normal wear and tear or..... The crack is certainly big enough to allow moisture in.

The floor: Lets talk about the good side. Because of the floor locker, I believe that I can see the stringers. On the driver side, I can see the original stringer and it looks good until I hit the drivers seat, and then the top is definitely soft. Not a lot, but i was able to stick a screw driver into it and you can see some discoloration. I did not go forward beyond the drivers seat, but....

On the passenger side, you can not see the stringer, as someone repaired the floor and put a 2x4 pt (see pics) along side it. I have to believe that this would not be needed if the original stringer was all there:confused:. The repair was done with all PT, they glassed the top of the floor but that appears to be it.

All the wood in all the seats has been replaced. Would this be normal for an 87?

The side panels looked original with original wood and they we all fine.

The floor in the back of the boat looked fine, I banged it with a hammer in a couple of places and it did not move. The battery harness looked strong. That said, everything was still frozen and i didn't hit want to hit it that hard.

Questions:

1. (I think I know the answer to this one) Fix it right, now? This means I will have to rip up the floor that was just put down. I'm sure that I could easily get years out of the floor. The PT will last, but the stringers will continue to decay, right?

2. Assuming that the back of the boat is fine, can you replace sections of stringers? from what I have read, it seems like it would be easy to splice multiple sheets of plywood together if you were to replace sections?

3. Transom cracks? Is this a problem, or do I need to dig more to find out. I plan on trying, weather permitting, to take the rest of the engine of next weekend. Anything specifc I should look for.

4. Is there anyone local to NH that has a Starflite that I can come take a look at? I realize most will be in storage, but if in someones garage I would love to come look.

5. I looked but could not find any forum stringer discussion on Starflite's. If there is one, let me know, I am still finding my way around.

I still have a ton of questions, but I'll stop there for now.

Thanks all.

The mate10 picture is under the driver seat, it is difficult to see that you are actually looking at what I believe is the stringer. The mate11 picture is the passenger side and you can clearly see the PT 2x4.
 

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pony3xp

Active member
Pics of Transom and back area.
 

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pony3xp

Active member
Thanks Coop.

I had skimmed that post already but did not realize it was the same hull. I just read it in detail and it answered a lot of questions. If I do the rebuild, I think I will skip the locker as well.
 

Mark

Well-known member
Pony
If that crack in the transom is just that tiny one between the plates then it is not a problem. Most older Mates will have some minor gelcoat cracking in the transom or splashwell. I would seal them with some 3M 4200 or 5200 to keep water from getting into them though. What is important is if the transom is solid inside. Do you see any brown ooze coming out of any bolt or screw holes? Does it sound hollow when you thump on it? Stand on the cav plate of the motor and bounce...any movement at all? Often the entire floor can be rotten and the transom can be fine...especially with how they made Starflites. It is really all a matter of how the previous owners were in keeping the transom bolts holes sealed.
The bad news is with that 2x4 in the ski locker...you know you have a rotten stringer under there. When you open it up, it will be much worse than it appeared.
Fix it once, fix it right!
 

cooperider

Well-known member
Cracks in the motor well cooler area of these boats are pretty much normal for that boat. Some cracked right out of the mold, and were repaired. That area was very sticky since it was a complicated area to mold. There were airlines that ran into the bottoms of the coolers. This helped give it that extra bit of realease. Probably one of the hardest decks Checkmate had to pull from the mold.

Thats probably why they eliminated the coolers on the Pulsare 2100.

:surf:
 

pony3xp

Active member
Thanks Guys,

Mark, there is some white "drippings" inside on one of the bolts. It looks like it was something that was applied when the bolts were put in. IS there something applied when bolts are put in?

Nothing apparent outside, but it is tough to tell. I will take some more pics next weekend assuming the indian winter keeps up, and i will also have what remains of the motor off so I should be able to poke around on the holes. After I remove the engine, should I plug the holes just to keep water out? Duct Tape?

Hopefully the indian summer will continue and the foam in the front will be thawed, then I can remove it.

Thanks Again
 

Mark

Well-known member
Yup, good sign if it is white and on the inside. Means someone used sealant...the difference between a solid transom and a rotten one. You would be surprized at how poorly sealed many engine bolts are. You don't need to worry about the holes while it is out of the water unless you live in a rain forrest.
 

Boston Predictor

Well-known member
Just a tid bit of related info

A propperly rigged transom would have compression tubes. Compression tubes are basically 1'' fiberglass tubes that are epoxyed into the transom to distribute the stress from the engine better and prevent water damage.
How this is done in a nutshell is.. you first drill the bolt holes with a 1'' holesaw just until you reach the back layer of fiberglass.(Measure twice and cut once cuz you only got one shot to get it right) Clean the remaining core out with a small chissel or flathead screwdriver. You then coat your holes w/ epoxy. Then measure and cut your fiberglass tubes to the necessary length and coat them with epoxy and put them into the holes. This is the best way to mount your engine. No need for metal plates, and your transom will never crack at the bolts again;)
 

pony3xp

Active member
update

Hi All
Got the engine off the back and took the plate off. Took me by suprise when I saw that big crack sideways across the back....duh. :lol:

Since i needed to take the rubrail off anyway, i soon figured it out.
Anyway, got the carpet out and the floor in the front is soft. Whats up with the staples? They are definately a problem.

So the floor will be coming out next nice day. So here are the questions I have:
1. The boat is on a roller trailer. I have read (on here) that this not good if I remove the stringers and that it really needs to be braced OR on a bunk trailer. Is it ok to remove just the floor and leave the stringers?
2. Given that I think I will be into stringers anyway, can I block the boat on the trailer? I have a floor jack, could jack it up and put some "bunks" under it.
3. If yes on #2, where is the best place to put the bunks/supports ( I also posted this on the trailer section)?

It may be in the 30's this weekend (between snow storms), and i plan on removing some more pieces (gas tank, flooring, etc).

My last question is this. When I removed some of the rubrail, the plaistic just cracked into pieces. Some of this had to do with age, but some must of had to do with the cold. Should I not be working on the boat in the cold? (I was not saving the rubrail anyway).

Thanks
 

175checkmate

Moderator
Staff member
I would support the hull on bunks even before you take the floor out. It may be a good time to convert your trailer to bunks if your able.
 

teamhart2

Well-known member
Wow I respect you doing work right now in NH, it hasnt been that warm the last few weeks haha, Im waitin till it warms up a bunch more before I get back into it, although i had it mostly torn apart before it got cold. you can probably get away with pulling stringers and floor without any problem, but I would just rig up some temporary bunks, what I did on mine was just clamp some supports up from the trailer frame to hold up 2x4 bunks and really clamp em down hard, got it up off the rollers to where its still kinda sittin on them but you can spin em if you try, wasnt too hard
 

ross

Well-known member
also a brand new member!

just started as a member! hi have a 21' '87 starflite with a 200hp merc. black max on it......... when i put it in the water- for about the first half hour it aks like it has a governer on it! after that half hour or so goes by it really screams! about a 15mph difference! have any good ideas as to where to start? this would be a great help......tried plugs and the other obvios..
any replies would be helpful-thanks
 

ross

Well-known member
i have alot of the same problems w/ my boat that is that exact same! same color and everything -the black on the top will not buff out.i have tried everything-let me know if you have any luck!
 

pony3xp

Active member
back at it again

Hi Guys,

Ross, yours is the exact same color scheme, let me know if you get the shine back. Mine has been VERY neglected, so I think i will have to go to more extreme measures to get it back.

Anyway, it was into the 40's today with no wind. Started to rip things apart again. The patch job that was done on the floor was a joke. The PT 2x4 was laid right beside the rotted stringer (you can see it attached). It was screwed into it as well, not sure why, I just pulled it off without any problems....The guy laid the floor on top of the old floor (he did cut some of it out). He did put some type of "glue" on the bottom of the new floor so it would stick to the foam:brickwall:.

I have to agree with what everyone else has been saying about the foam, it is just keeping the moisture in. Ripped the floor up all the way to the front. Look at the picture below, the screwdriver is stuck into block of ice!:eyecrazy: I got the boat in Jan from a guy who had it in a old garage and the nose stuck out.... It has been covered since Jan, but I think the water has no where to go with the foam and the lack of holes in the center stringer. I also cut the front section out, but it was still to frozen to get it out.

Regarding the inside of the hull, it cleaned up like new.

So now for the dumb questions:

1. Does the gas tank just float? i.e. will it come right out once i get the floor cut away from it?
2. I left a lip on the edge where the floor met the hull. Would you run the new floor right up to the lip or would you grind the lip down flat and start from new.

Thanks
 

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