First Boat Project-1987 Cabo 216

Lifeislarge

Member
Sep 25, 2019
273
241
49
Jax Beach
Name
Erik Batsford
Boat
Cabo 216 Cuddycon
Howdy y'all. I bought my first boat this week after living at the beach in NE Florida for 11 years. I've always had access to OPB's and was hesitant to buy one until now. And it's a doozy. Not sure why I always end up with weird stuff but having looked at boats and Googling the heck out of every model that caught my eye (and lurking on here) I saw this one come up and went for it. It's a 1987 Cabo 216 Cuddycon. I always liked the idea of a CC but with a wife who's reticent about boating and young grand children I figured a small cuddy was the way to go.

These boats seem to have a good reputation on the West Coast and have a lot of space to get around the console. I like the 110 gallon tank for going offshore and the rear deck space is ample with plenty of storage and baitwells. Boat came with a running 94 Evinrude 200, hydraulic steering and a Si-Tex SP-70 auto-pilot. I don't know how any of this works. I was a mechanic for the first 10 years of my work life and have done a bunch of carpentry so at least I'm tooled up and have some idea of how to use them.

This week I managed to bring it home on shoddy tires, build a sturdy gantry, and remove the middle console and fuel tank. Boat needs to be rewired so I'll try to tackle that while the new tank is being built. The wiring at the helm is a mess and all the switches and gauges need to be replaced. Most of everything below deck needs to be replaced. But it should clean up nicely and be a good boat to learn some stuff on.

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Lifeislarge

Member
Sep 25, 2019
273
241
49
Jax Beach
Name
Erik Batsford
Boat
Cabo 216 Cuddycon
If anyone could share pics of their bilge and any wiring updates at the helm and for battery relocation I would greatly appreciate it. Mine is a total mess. I think today will be spent scraping foam out of the hull ugh.

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Spoons

USCG Master
Oct 21, 2004
1,402
827
San Diego/SF Bay
Name
Capt. Erik
Boat
21' Center Console
Nice! Please let me know what tools you use to scrape off the foam.
 

Mike_I

I Should Upgrade My Account
May 19, 2006
1,154
508
Irvine
Name
Mike_I
Boat
Cabo 216 First Love
Welcome new Cabo 216 owner. Check below for the ongoing two threads regarding Cabo 216's. You'll find a lot of information on restoring your boat and a lot of guys willing to help you by sharing their knowledge and experience. Good luck on restoring your boat, keep us posted with lots of pictures.
 

Lifeislarge

Member
Sep 25, 2019
273
241
49
Jax Beach
Name
Erik Batsford
Boat
Cabo 216 Cuddycon
@rustman this is one of the two threads that I found on my initial search when I saw the boat posted. I've been researching boats for months and having never owned one I've had to rely on forums to get the good, bad and the ugly on all the brands. When it popped up I messaged the seller then started looking for info.

Your boat was pristine compared to mine and I won't ask you what you paid for it but I hope you stole it. I just re-read your thread and noticed that you went with what looks like a shorter, taller tank. Still 110 gallons? I can go custom or with the Moeller 80 gallon for half the price. My original tank slid way back into the rear bulkhead under the deck and it sat on the stingers with a bed of foam underneath it. The only concern I have with duplicating the original tank is that the only mounting points were tabs on each corner bolted into the stringer. Two had broken off but I suppose I can order it with 1/4" tabs instead of 1/8th".

I've always been a "buy once, cry once" kind of guy so going with the aluminum 110 gallon seems to be the best way to go. FYI the tank I pulled was make by a company called Skyline Industries out of Utah that's no longer in business.

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bparker1225

Ocean Addiction
Sep 27, 2004
1,916
1,439
Leucadia/Los Zacatitos
Name
Bill Parker
Boat
21' 6" Cabo-Cabo Bill
Great project! Keep us posted on your progress. What are you doing about a fuel tank? Also for for deals on wire online. Use only tinned Anchor wire. Suggest youglass another pvc tube as a wire run while the tank is out.
Bill
 
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Fishbones

Your wife thinks about ME
Nov 7, 2005
8,441
654
58
Chula Vista
Name
Rich
Boat
One Off 28' Custom Built Skipjack (SOUTHWESTERN) & 18' Sylvan (Short Runs)
Doesn’t look like an original tank to me, that one might possibly have a larger capacity than the factory tank. We decided to go with Moeller 80 gallon tank for three reasons: 1. Repowered with a much more efficient outboard than the two strokes from the 80’s
2. No corrosion problems
3. Much cheaper than a custom tank
80 gallons is plenty of range for a 21’ boat, If went to go farther then we’ll take the 28’ Skippy.
Good luck with the project and keep posting photos
 
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Lifeislarge

Member
Sep 25, 2019
273
241
49
Jax Beach
Name
Erik Batsford
Boat
Cabo 216 Cuddycon
I did plan on another tube with a T to run wires to the seat console where the batteries will go. I don’t have a 28’ Skippy ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ so this will have to be able to comfortably go 50 miles offshore on clean days if I want to fish the ledge. I like the idea of having range and I’m pretty sure that a new aluminum tank that has an air gap around it instead of moist foam will outlast my ownership. Going to install drains in the rear bulkhead like Rustman did to let it drain into the bilge. Spending a lot of time researching and looking for deals on the electrical updates and also trying to figure out what electronics to install.
 

rustman

Member
  • Aug 4, 2005
    616
    865
    Irvine, Ca
    Name
    Rusty
    Boat
    1986 Cabo 216 Cuddy-Con
    @rustman this is one of the two threads that I found on my initial search when I saw the boat posted. I've been researching boats for months and having never owned one I've had to rely on forums to get the good, bad and the ugly on all the brands. When it popped up I messaged the seller then started looking for info.

    Your boat was pristine compared to mine and I won't ask you what you paid for it but I hope you stole it. I just re-read your thread and noticed that you went with what looks like a shorter, taller tank. Still 110 gallons? I can go custom or with the Moeller 80 gallon for half the price. My original tank slid way back into the rear bulkhead under the deck and it sat on the stingers with a bed of foam underneath it. The only concern I have with duplicating the original tank is that the only mounting points were tabs on each corner bolted into the stringer. Two had broken off but I suppose I can order it with 1/4" tabs instead of 1/8th".

    I've always been a "buy once, cry once" kind of guy so going with the aluminum 110 gallon seems to be the best way to go. FYI the tank I pulled was make by a company called Skyline Industries out of Utah that's no longer in business.

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    The fuel tank I replaced was original, but I could not find the manufacture info. Lots of Cabo owners went with IMCO to have custom tanks made so that is why I chose them. My original tank was 95 gallons and I figured I wanted at least that much. I did my research and did not want to foam in the new tank like the original.

    As you can see in my pictures my tank now sits on the heavy duty flanges that run the length of the tank sealed to the top of stringers with 5200 and stainless lag bolts. The tank bottom is primed with zinc and has a 1/2 “ gap around all sides for good air flow. I will be long gone before this tank needs attention.
     

    Lifeislarge

    Member
    Sep 25, 2019
    273
    241
    49
    Jax Beach
    Name
    Erik Batsford
    Boat
    Cabo 216 Cuddycon
    Got the foam cleaned out of the hull (two large garbage bags) and sprayed with bleach to kill off any microbes. Once it's dry I'll prep it and paint it. Still impressed that there's zero rot under there even with wet foam. I will be adding the drains to the rear bulkhead as I've seen others do and the new tank will be installed sans foam.

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    Lifeislarge

    Member
    Sep 25, 2019
    273
    241
    49
    Jax Beach
    Name
    Erik Batsford
    Boat
    Cabo 216 Cuddycon
    Today I focused my attention on the trailer with a rewire and new lights. The new tires and wheels I ordered arrived this afternoon so tomorrow I'll be pulling all the hubs and bearings apart to clean and inspect. Hopefully won't have to replace them all. Have new trailer guides arriving tomorrow as well so at least if I have to move it I will be safe doing so.

    So much goes into preaching safety when it comes to boating and yet there's people towing garbage trailers around that could easily kill somebody on the road. I took a huge risk pulling this home in the condition it was in and won't do that again.

    Finally, my new Snap-On compression tester arrived today as well so I tested my 25 year old outboard and whew... all cylinders have good numbers and are all the same. Found a thread on another forum with a pretty good decarb process that I might do once it's on the water just to make sure I'm getting the most out of it.
     

    Lifeislarge

    Member
    Sep 25, 2019
    273
    241
    49
    Jax Beach
    Name
    Erik Batsford
    Boat
    Cabo 216 Cuddycon
    Today was a good day. Trailer is finally finished and ready for the road. Installed a $30 backup camera in my truck that I picked up off Amazon and it works great. No more feeling my way around. Also picked up a low hour 2001 Yamaha 200 HPDI to keep as a spare in case the old Rude decides to crap the bed. I'm tempted to switch it out just because. All of my other stuff that I ordered showed up as well so that should keep me busy for the next few days.
     

    Lifeislarge

    Member
    Sep 25, 2019
    273
    241
    49
    Jax Beach
    Name
    Erik Batsford
    Boat
    Cabo 216 Cuddycon
    The Yammy will provide better overall performance, I would switch them out.
    I'm considering it. If I can find controls locally it'll make for an easier decision. Didn't come with controls or a prop but for $1200 I couldn't pass it up. Boat still has the original Yamaha gauges and ignition switch but I don't know if they work and I don't have the key. I get it though, now is the time to do it.
     

    Lifeislarge

    Member
    Sep 25, 2019
    273
    241
    49
    Jax Beach
    Name
    Erik Batsford
    Boat
    Cabo 216 Cuddycon
    Finally got a break in the weather today and managed to get a few things done. First I cut an access in the front of the cabin to get a look at the drain hose on the anchor locker. Was getting water in the bow and that was the culprit. Not sure if it's good or bad that the bow wasn't filled with foam??? but I had clear access to the hose and fitting and can easily replace now if necessary. Finished it off with a 5" deck plate.

    The wood floor of the seating console was rotted out as were a couple other pieces so I cleaned that all up and started cutting pieces of marine ply to refit. All will be epoxied and glassed in. New bottom will be stronger than the original to support three batteries being relocated there.

    Also painted the hull and bilge. Used Rustoleum enamel and added a can of Valspar enamel hardener to the gallon can. We'll see how it sets up tomorrow after a 24 hour cure. May or may not need a 2nd coat.

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    Lifeislarge

    Member
    Sep 25, 2019
    273
    241
    49
    Jax Beach
    Name
    Erik Batsford
    Boat
    Cabo 216 Cuddycon
    So of course I have a bazillion little (and big) holes from screws and such in the transom and hull. Previous owners weren't what I'd call fastidious when it came to repairs so most of them have big globs of petrified epoxy laid over them haphazardly. Well not today Satan!!! My OCD overtook my desire to go in another direction and I started prepping to make the proper repairs of these hull gnats.

    I also removed the rub rail today so it would be easier to wetsand and polish. It's time I cleaned this thing up as I'm losing the vision I had when I started this project and I'm trying not to feel overwhelmed. Still a ways to go but we'll get there eventually.

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    Lifeislarge

    Member
    Sep 25, 2019
    273
    241
    49
    Jax Beach
    Name
    Erik Batsford
    Boat
    Cabo 216 Cuddycon
    Well this is interesting... Did some up close and personal inspecting of the bow while looking to address some scratches/gouges in the gelcoat. Found a couple of spots that looked like cracks which turned out to be cracks. Looks like it hit something once or twice. I don't want a leaky boat so I'll be delving into the wonderful world of fiberglass repair. I took this on as a learning experience and dammit I'm gonna learn something.

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    Lifeislarge

    Member
    Sep 25, 2019
    273
    241
    49
    Jax Beach
    Name
    Erik Batsford
    Boat
    Cabo 216 Cuddycon
    Well, she's officially gutted. Pulled all the wiring, cables and the hydraulic steering hoses. Good thing too because it was a mess and there were a lot of issues hiding behind black cruddy conduit.

    Decided to swap over to the Yamaha 200 that I picked up as a back up so I need new controls, harness, cables and a prop for that.

    Now I can start doing the glass and gelcoat repairs in earnest without all the crap hindering access.

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