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Changing the deck from one boat to another?

Old 12-12-2020, 08:37 PM
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Default Changing the deck from one boat to another?

So my little Baja I donít use the open bow, and want a lower slung windshield. There is a boat near me for sale that is the closed deck version, judging by the shape of the boat, all of the wood will be bad. At the price the owner is asking I should be able to part out the 4.3/alpha combo, take the deck, scrap the hull then sell the trailer and come out a little ahead.

My question comes into putting that deck onto my hull. Pretty sure from the pictures that the boat for sale has the same hull as mine which was common for Baja to use them over several models at a time. I am going to be fairly certain in my guess that the pop rivets holding the deck and hull together will not line up. Is this something I should just match whatever ones I can and then redrill the hull to match the new deck and hope I donít add enough holes that I weaken that section of my hull? Should I get everything filled on the hull and then re drill to match the new deck?

Yes, I know this makes no sense for this boat, however I have a big emotional attachment to it, I got it for free during my parents divorce and will probably be 50k in the hole on it when redone this go around. In the end itíll be the people in my wills problem to deal with haha.
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Old 12-13-2020, 07:30 AM
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Sounds like an ambitious project.

In general pop rivets are not a great way to hold a boat together even though it is common.

If you take the time to prep & clean the outside of your hull and the inside of the new deck at the joint you will have a much better result if you use an adhesive in addition to the pop rivets. Something like Plexus or even 3M 5200.

I don't think the extra holes will matter.
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Old 12-13-2020, 09:34 AM
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Easy task if the seam matches and as said above use adhesive.
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Old 12-13-2020, 09:51 AM
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I have zero experience on the subject but have read thatís itís really critical to support and stabilize the hull before popping the top or itíll flounder out of shape.

Thereís a few folks from the original baja factory on the FaceBook Baja groups that can probably tell you exactly what needs to be done and how.
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Old 12-13-2020, 10:16 AM
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I was very close to doing a deck swap or build in my 32 spectra. The hull was my ideal length and absolutely loved the way it handled and crushed the waves. Downside was the deck was butt ugly.

Regardless I had thought through what my plan of attack was going to be and I agree rivets are kinda worthless and I was going to use 5200 and through bolt. I even considered glassing in addition. Not everyday you need to swap out a deck so the stronger you bond it the happier the boat will be. My 28 saber and 28 challenger were both done in similar fashions right from the factory. Prior to removal a little bracing not a bad idea. No need to overkill.

I remember people poking at me for doing the same but really not that big of a deal as long as you have the place to do it. Just take your time and think things through before acting.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 12-13-2020, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Mbam View Post
Sounds like an ambitious project.

In general pop rivets are not a great way to hold a boat together even though it is common.

If you take the time to prep & clean the outside of your hull and the inside of the new deck at the joint you will have a much better result if you use an adhesive in addition to the pop rivets. Something like Plexus or even 3M 5200.

I don't think the extra holes will matter.
Had not thought of adhesive on it. However I remember some sort of silicon in the joint though. Donít think it was anything strong. Pop rivers are whatís on it now, and have been since it was new. Could just through bolt it which wouldnít hurt thatís for sure.

Originally Posted by Baja Rooster View Post
I have zero experience on the subject but have read thatís itís really critical to support and stabilize the hull before popping the top or itíll flounder out of shape.

Thereís a few folks from the original baja factory on the FaceBook Baja groups that can probably tell you exactly what needs to be done and how.
I have one on my list of people to call.

Originally Posted by getrdunn View Post
I was very close to doing a deck swap or build in my 32 spectra. The hull was my ideal length and absolutely loved the way it handled and crushed the waves. Downside was the deck was butt ugly.

Regardless I had thought through what my plan of attack was going to be and I agree rivets are kinda worthless and I was going to use 5200 and through bolt. I even considered glassing in addition. Not everyday you need to swap out a deck so the stronger you bond it the happier the boat will be. My 28 saber and 28 challenger were both done in similar fashions right from the factory. Prior to removal a little bracing not a bad idea. No need to overkill.

I remember people poking at me for doing the same but really not that big of a deal as long as you have the place to do it. Just take your time and think things through before acting.

Good luck and keep us posted.
Thats what I was thinking, Iím sure a fiberglass guy who has built boats will be better than me, but is it really that difficult? I have a place to work on it, my scarab is my project this winter, next is the Baja. Have been gathering parts for the Baja for the last couple years. Iím thinking if one deck comes off and another one goes on pretty much right away I donít know how much the hull would flex. Both will be going to paint very soon after.

Want to have the new deck off prior and get the HIN removed. These boats had the HIN on both the hull and deck right above and right below the molded in swim platform. Have dealt with enough issues on this kind of crap that Iím not doing it again.
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Old 12-13-2020, 07:56 PM
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Just donít ask for any recommendations from formula!!!!

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Old 12-13-2020, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by 1MOSES1 View Post
Just donít ask for any recommendations from formula!!!!

They havenít been mention in this thread. Perhaps you should start another one in the beware section.
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Old 12-13-2020, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by tmmii View Post
They havenít been mention in this thread. Perhaps you should start another one in the beware section.
it was a joke...itís a well documented issue.

no sense of humor on these boards...
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Old 12-14-2020, 06:24 AM
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If the donor and your hull are the exact same hull, you will have to measure the hulls (X,Y & Z) to verify the fitment as different models that are from the same hull/ same mold, can have different side heights that will be the difference between the new deck fitting directly and the potential for a lot of fitting, cutting and more discouraging - 2 tore up hulls

If the sides are different in height/cut profile, the decks will be designed to fit accordingly. Loft the hulls and see what comes up, it may be very straightforward deck swap. Having the pop rivets should make a clean removal of the decks (drill heads and punch through).

+1 on the 5200, the more solid the bond the better the outcome.
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