Restoration tips & Comments

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Restoration Tips
1964 Sales brochure
Courtesy of P. Guibord 2006

Good Trailer Info
Coutesy of ACBS
1965 Aroliner Specs


These are some tips and comments that individuals have shared with us with may be helpful in your quest for a beautiful restoration job.

If you wish to add your experience(s), please send them to our webmaster. Enjoy ...

They are randomly added as they come in.

Tip: Lake Scum on Hull Question: Has anyone found a great solution for lake scum on hull ??? ...

Try using an enzymatic cleaner. The enzymes will break down the proteins and chlorophyll in the phytoplankton and it will come off easily. Methyl chloride will also work well.FG

Comment: 1: Good Morning.
spent time thinking of your suggestion on using "enzymatic cleaner" for lake scum ..... then I tried OxiClean brand liquid soap, works FANTASTIC !!!! wet hull, scrub on Oxi at full strength, let sit for a few minutes, rinse off, WOW, thanks for the great time saver tip ! DW

Comment: 2: As for oxiclean, it's highly "oxidated" and actually blows up some types of molecules pretty well. It's a great product. You can also use the crystals in hot water to make a very potent paste. I'm glad you've found something that works.FG

Tip: front cabin leak/weak spot - tried aluminum putty, next try epoxy

Comment 1: I have several of these types of spots, but most of them have cast aluminums gussets for strength. Try Sikaflex 291 or 3M 5200 sealants. They stick to anything and everything!

Tip: Roller vs Bunk Trailers ?

Comment: 1: Regarding trailers, I never had an opinion before I was starting to have a really close look at Relic's hull. Now I've noticed that where the rollers sit, there are impressions on the hull from constant backroad pounding. I used to take Relic to a couple of lakes north of Victoria and the gravel roads really beat her up. Since then, I think that bunks would be better since they should distribute more of the load. As for rollers, they are designed to sit on the hull, not on the ribs. Ribs are thicker and have less flexibility. I would suspect that they could suffer damage under certain conditions. FG

Tip: Deck leaks ?

The only place this boat leaked was through all the bolt on fittings and seams on any top surface that had that old hard grey caulking so I chipped it all out using a plastic scrapper then masked every seam evenly spaced and used GE silicone aluminium colour and you can't tell there is anything there. All new stainless nuts bolts and screws where also sealed with the same product & all fasteners got blue loctite.

Lots of elbow grease and scotch bright goter done RS

Tip: Replacement windshields ?

Hi Guys I just dragged my Debonaire out of the bush last week. I'm going to refurbish it and use it. I have an older ( circa 1976 ) 20 Hp. Mercury O.B. on it. Can you tell me where I can get some windshield clips and what is the best way to glue the windsheild back together - one corner broke off sometime, somehow in the past. I have owned this boat since 1984 and picked it up in Red Lake ,Ontario. Thanks for any help you can give. Don

Comment: Hello Doug , I found a plastic company that reproduces boat wind shields.Email OR web site Good luck to Don.
Rhys Stephenson

Tip: Replacement windshields ?

October 8, 2008

I thought I would share the following.

Debonair windshields:

I recently got my hands on some methylene chloride to " glue " the two halves of my boat windshield together. I'm afraid it will only be a patch job as the amount of vibration inherent in running a boat would probably not allow the crack to stay together without further addition of thin ( 1/8 " ) plastic sandwiching the actual windshield material. Until I can afford a replacement windshield this will have to do. Luckly it is just a small corner bottom portion of the windshield that broke off so it will not affect the vision of the driver very much.

Happy boating. Don

Tip: Replacement Wood ?

I have decided that marine plywood is one, too pricey and two, not as nice a fix as what I have planned for the front seat backs. I recently bought some Ipe ( pronounced Epay ) wood to replace the seat backs. This is an exotic wood which is used for marine use in place of teak. It is cheaper than Teak and will survive the rigors of the weather. I will resaw it to half inch thickness, glue up a panel and saw it to shape on my bandsaw. I still have the aluminum trim that fits the top edge of the backs.

If you are looking for a source for "Ipe", I got mine at lumber/index2.htm

That's in Manotick. (near Ottawa)

Happy boating. Don

Tip: Various from experience

The very best for the 2008, Doug!

I thought I'd forward three item to you for your info and for possible posting on the website.

I owe you a response to your Sep 19 email on the rivet gun and the history search with Transport Canada:

Princess Auto's air driven riveting tool package for $74.99 - It is a gun for installing pop rivets.

Request to Transport Canada's Access to Information Office (613-993-6168) for information on the history of the boat based on the boat's license number. Transport Canada informed me that DOT records indicate a Manitoba owner applied to register an ‘outboard boat’ as 5F 2521 on June 17, 1971. Owners particulars could not be divulged because of privacy laws. No other history found.

I have attached a synopsis of what I know and have done to date regarding the boat. Perhaps you might add it to the Photo Gallery and History of the site Click here . Perhaps you would also consider changing the caption under the picture to 'Little Beachcomber - Circa 1947? Serial 5214?'

I offer the following for the 'Restoration Tips' section of the web site. The items are those I identify as ones that might be interesting to restorers and were gleaned from my internet search..

Transom Repair

Aluminum should be 5086 or the less expensive 5052 alloy - 5086 is preferred if using in saltwater.

Recommended sealants

Marine Tex and Gluvit are epoxy base and do not flex - aluminum flexes - not recommended for areas where flexing occurs.

Sikaflex 291 and 3M products (5300 sealant) are recommended - high strength and flexible - most boat builders use Sikaflex

Use sealant in all holes and use high tensile stainless bolts, nuts and fender washers.

Rivet replacement and repair

Go to Click here - click on Aluminum Boat Questions and then scroll to Aluminum Boat Rivet Replacement & Repair.

Foam for Flotation

Any structural foam will do - (webmaster note: I used dock foam flotation - expensive, but it does not absorbed water)

If water is trapped between the foam and the hull, corrosion will occur

Enclose foam in a watertight chamber, or

If foam is to be sprayed on or attached to an aluminum surface, prepare the surface with a zinc-rich primer and several coats of epoxy first

If foam block is to be used, attach it so it hangs no more than half-way to the bilge (i.e., half the distance from a seat bottom to the hull) to prevent it from eventually soaking up water.

Motor Shaft Length

Go to Click here

Boat / Trailer Fit

Go to Click here

Cleaning Aluminum Hulls

Several restorers have used 3M Scotchbrite pads - mainly medium (red) pads.

Bilge Finish

Truck bed spray liner seems to be popular. Apply after leaks eliminated and per product instructions.

"Little Beachcomber"



Jan 2008

Tip: The "Perfect" Polish Job

Hi Doug,
As requested here is a little write up on how to polish. 
A college friend of mine did the polish.  Steve at Gashopper Performance (204)-795-5950.

Sand orbital 320 then hand sand 1000 grit.
Cut with first cut pad using brown tripoli bar @ 3000 rpm.
Second cut use Hall Green pad with Green chrome Rouge @3000 Rpm.
Finish the polish with Blue moon jeweler bar @ 2600 rpm.
I am using a DeWalt variable speed polishing hand machine. For the hard to reach places Zephyr Pro 40.

About 60 hours work.
Thanks   Davy D.   Aug 2, 2016
Click here

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