1981 Skipjack 24 Open - KNUCKLEHEAD

nweiner

Newbie
Jul 2, 2009
13
22
United States
Name
Nathan
Boat
24’ Skipjack Open
Hi All - long time lurker and not much of a poster. I have noticed a bunch of outboard conversion threads and want to start another one so that we can all document and share information with the many others who may be contemplating the same project. I know will have some questions moving forward and have been very thankful of the huge knowledge base on these forums of all aspects of boating and fishing.

I had been wanting to get a boat for a very long time and a couple years ago I brought home this 24 Open to fish and play on. I purchased the boat from a local family and had a great experience with the whole process. My family and I had many a fun time on the boat and am very happy with the purchase. The boat is a great combination of size and capability with out getting too large to handle solo and was made only a couple of miles from my house!

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1st family harbor cruise the day we bought the boat

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Fast forward a couple of years and many hours on the boat and it started to have some engine troubles. Before I knew what had happened the engine was pulled and all the wiring torn out of the boat on the side of my house. No turning back now!

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Got the engine and drive out to assess the condition of the transom and stringers. Overall everything was in good shape considering its age and construction. I will have to do a few patches of holes here and there but everything is still solid and intact.

FYI all motor and drive related parts are up for sale along with the swim step and anything else I may have pulled off in the process. I have messaged a few guys on here that were looking for various parts and was able to make a deal on those parts.

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Once everything was pulled out and cleaned up I gave Tom Rogers at Saltwater Specialties a call to do the patchwork and bracket build based on info from another thread on BD. Tom initially quoted me 2-weeks to do everything...so off to Ontario we went.
 
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nweiner

Newbie
Jul 2, 2009
13
22
United States
Name
Nathan
Boat
24’ Skipjack Open
Tom got started right away diving into the transom patch and any repair that needed to be done. He did not find much wrong with the transom and the wood was dry which was very promising. There were a few spots he had to repair but everything was solid.

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While working on the repair we decided to refinish the whole transom which means I lost the cool boat name decal that previous owner had made. We had decided to keep the name the same since knucklehead is certainly fitting for me and my son. I am sure it is fitting for everyone else on this board as well... Now I have to decide if I want to rename the boat or keep it the same.

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nweiner

Newbie
Jul 2, 2009
13
22
United States
Name
Nathan
Boat
24’ Skipjack Open
In the beginning I sent Tom the following picture of a boat I saw outside one of my customers randomly one day. I told him this is what I wanted and he got started measuring, laying out, and building the bracket.

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Layout

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Internal Bracing

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Welding

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Underside and reinforcement for the large swim platform

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Close-up of welds

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One thing I forgot to mention - and I think I may have seen someone else have this issue - is that the top of the swim step bracket lines up with the scupper holes for a 25" shaft motor. Fortunately since Tom was doing the bracket build and mounting he was able to get creative on the build so that there are no issues with the scuppers being covered. If you look closely you can see the scupper poking up from behind the platform on the starboard side when the bracket was being laid out against the boat. A 30" shaft motor would not have this issue, but the motor and step would be much higher off of the water. I wanted a lower platform to make getting in out of the water a bit easier.

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Hole to allow water through the bracket from the scuppers

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Rocket Dog

Tagging and Bagging
Mar 2, 2010
1,378
554
SoCal
Name
Rocket Dog
Boat
passenger again
Tom is the man, he made a killer bracket for the Sea Ox 23c when I had it.
 
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bob311

Newbie
  • Dec 7, 2018
    52
    41
    34
    huntington beach
    Name
    bob
    Boat
    23' sanger alleycat
    Very Nice work. I will be joining you on doing a 24 open outboard but will be mounting a 2019 20” mercury 300. What power are you going with. Also how much did your guy charge for the bracket?
     
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    nweiner

    Newbie
    Jul 2, 2009
    13
    22
    United States
    Name
    Nathan
    Boat
    24’ Skipjack Open
    Thank you. The price was very competitive with the other guys you see making out board brackets on the net. The main difference in going with Tom is that he was able to physically measure the boat and account for some things I may have missed on my own. There was a fair bit of curve in my transom along with the scupper holes being at different heights port to starboard. He also mounted it and had some tricks to go make that more smoothly than I could have done on my own.

    In the end the price + mounting was probably equivalent to another “name brand” + shipping. I sent you a DM w/ some more info if you want to discuss further.

    I am planning on Yamaha 300 for the power. I want to go with new but at open to used as well. I will go with all new rigging and controls.
     
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    Tuna Vic

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Mar 17, 2010
    2,367
    863
    Whittier California
    Name
    Victor
    Boat
    18ftC/CWellcraft Calico Time II
    Nice work,the name was on then off and it looks like the same name was on again? Just wondering what happen there?
     
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    nweiner

    Newbie
    Jul 2, 2009
    13
    22
    United States
    Name
    Nathan
    Boat
    24’ Skipjack Open
    Nice work,the name was on then off and it looks like the same name was on again? Just wondering what happen there?

    Creative editing? It was the only shot I had showing the scupper issue I described. Probably the same think that happens when a movie has f-ed up chronology.
     
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    nweiner

    Newbie
    Jul 2, 2009
    13
    22
    United States
    Name
    Nathan
    Boat
    24’ Skipjack Open
    I am curious to see how your boat handles with the outboard, do you plan to also add a pilot house?

    So am I! I still have a lot of work ahead of me. No plans for a pilot house at the moment. I do like to open everything up and have airflow. However, I will probably do front and side curtains for the colder days.
     
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    kastmaster

    Almost A Member
    Dec 13, 2011
    153
    12
    Newport Beach/ CA/ USA
    Name
    joshua
    Boat
    kastaway
    Hey There Nathan, stoked to find you and this project on here! I cant wait to see this vessel come to life. I did the same thing to a 20 Open with a deep V and couldn't be happier with how it performs. I powered mine with a 175 but if i had the choice again i would have put a 200 on it. The 300 will be perfect for the 24 IMHO. Let me know if you have any questions on what i did with my build. CHEERS! 🍻
     
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    SDCORALS

    Newbie
    Sep 9, 2020
    13
    4
    39
    San Diego
    Name
    Chris Gagnon
    Boat
    20' Skipjack Open
    Hi Nathan was wondering if you knew if Tom is still working on boats? I see that saltwater specialties is permanently closed. I'm looking for some help with my 20ft open.
     
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    Da Mad Anglah

    Old fut who still misses home on da islands
    Oct 21, 2020
    57
    66
    Idaho (and sometimes Honolulu)
    Name
    Chris
    Boat
    '93 18' Weldcraft "Rod Rage"
    Nice build, Nathan! As for the decal on the back, any sign shop worth a damn could reproduce it for you from just your photos. I do this kind of stuff all day long (mainly RV graphics for dealerships), wouldn't take but an hour or so to trace, clean and run a cut line for the printer/cutter to do the job.
    Nice thing here is you could change the colors and size once its "vectorized", and choices for vinyl (such as reflective vinyl or metallic overlaminates) to really make it pop is just another choice for you!
    Chris
     
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