First Boat Project-1987 Cabo 216

Lifeislarge

Member
Sep 25, 2019
289
253
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Jax Beach
Name
Erik Batsford
Boat
Cabo 216 Cuddycon
I was invited to take a factory tour of the Cabo factory in Corona. John was very proud of the product he was putting out. At the time , he was using state of the art glass and resin materials and laid the hulls by hand and made them way thicker than his competition. He refused to use a chopper gun to speed it up. It is amazing how many of these 30 year old hulls are still around and in top notch shape.
That's awesome, wish I'd had that opportunity.
 

Lifeislarge

Member
Sep 25, 2019
289
253
49
Jax Beach
Name
Erik Batsford
Boat
Cabo 216 Cuddycon
Soooo clean. Soooo bright and white and all the new electrical doodads are going to look soooo nice mounted to this beautiful backdrop.

I glued in a piece of 3/4 marine ply so there'd be something to screw into. Faired it somewhat then used up some gelcoat that was close to expiring. Beats the hell out of the dark dingy brown and will make any future repairs or installs a lot easier.

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Fishbones

Your wife thinks about ME
Nov 7, 2005
8,456
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58
Chula Vista
Name
Rich
Boat
One Off 28' Custom Built Skipjack (SOUTHWESTERN) & 18' Sylvan (Short Runs)
Time to get busy
 

Lifeislarge

Member
Sep 25, 2019
289
253
49
Jax Beach
Name
Erik Batsford
Boat
Cabo 216 Cuddycon
Time to get busy
Lol oh I'm busy alright. Sanding and sanding and more sanding. Now that I've paid for that paint it's more important than ever to get this right.

But things are coming together. Weather is warming up so epoxy is kicking again and I have less and less tune ups to do as I go along. Once I have primer on it I'll really be able to see how bad I am at this but for now it's just about eating the elephant one bite at a time.

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Lifeislarge

Member
Sep 25, 2019
289
253
49
Jax Beach
Name
Erik Batsford
Boat
Cabo 216 Cuddycon
Weather turned shit again so I changed directions and went after some stuff that's been on my mind to get done before primer goes down.

Bedded in 1/4" aluminum plate anywhere things will be mounted like the bow pulpit and the console for the t-top.

Cut the holes for the Lumitec courtesy lights on the cabin. Put one right above the step up on either side and one on the front of the seat. The lights protruded into the cabin so I stole a bowl from my wife and made housings that'll be glued in on the inside behind the lights. Turned out nice and smooth so whatever I put on the walls should conform nicely over the bumps.

Took out more foam, and most of the buried rigging tube. Without all that foam there's plenty of room to run the rigging straight through the transom into the bracket for a nice clean install.

Bedded in the 1/2" PVC board to core the forward decks. Still can't believe they didn't do that at the factory. I'm sure they're strong enough but I just couldn't stand the springiness. One layer of 1708 epoxied over them should be plenty.

Cut the holes for the drains in the fishboxes in the new location. Drains down to a half an inch of water now. I'm also going to install thru thru hulls further back in the boxes for the cooler drains. Doesn't make sense to let them drain into the bilge when I can let them drain into the fish boxes which then drain out the transom.

Also got all my hatch lids sanded and tuned up and ready for primer. Can't wait to see them one color again.

Bow looks pretty straight.

Weather is supposed to cooperate over the next few days so hopefully will get more done.

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Lifeislarge

Member
Sep 25, 2019
289
253
49
Jax Beach
Name
Erik Batsford
Boat
Cabo 216 Cuddycon
Well, I got the coring under the forward deck laminated with some 1700 and all I can say is, for all the work that I've done this far, this has produced the most gratifying and tangible results yet. It's night and day, rock solid. In fact, I'd hazard a guess that it's even add some torsional rigidity to the entire topside forward of the helm.

After finishing up glassing in the coring I decided to give all the walls inside the cuddy a good thick coat of epoxy to freshen it up, marginally strengthen it, and to give a nice clean surface for the new interior to adhere to. Also mounted my courtesy light housings.

I can also say that every square inch of the hull has been sanded at least once. My back and shoulders are killing me. Remind me to kick anyone who's fond of running through oyster beds right in the ass. So, some tune up to do on the bottom but nothing a little epoxy won't cure.

I honestly think I laid my last piece of glass on the boat this week and am now in final preparation for the finishing. I'm so damn meticulous and am wondering if the juice is worth the squeeze. I've fixed, upgraded, and modified EVERYTHING about this boat that others have seen long before me as well as some things that were personal and logical to me. Moving forward, every boat I build will have ease of access and serviceability in mind.

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Lifeislarge

Member
Sep 25, 2019
289
253
49
Jax Beach
Name
Erik Batsford
Boat
Cabo 216 Cuddycon
Got the first round of fairing done on the bottom today then removed all the silicone around the cuddy and scrubbed every square billimeter topside with a green scotch brite pad and Dawn mixed with some Purple Power. Sucks when your wife walks up and says "How come you don't clean the house or wash my car with that kind of attention?". Found a few tune ups to do before primer goes down but I still have to sand it so no big deal.

I am leaving nothing to chance on the paint so if Alexseal says scrub I'm gonna scrub. Funny how my wife didn't offer to help ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 

Lifeislarge

Member
Sep 25, 2019
289
253
49
Jax Beach
Name
Erik Batsford
Boat
Cabo 216 Cuddycon
Just a quick update... The tips of my fingers are bleeding. At first I thought I had some kind of flesh eating disease but turns out that I'd just sanded them off like everything else on the boat.

Getting sooooo close to paint. Got the bottom mostly faired and I won't know how well until I get primer down. Topside and the sides are sanded to 180 and ready for primer. Still have a couple of tuneups to do on the leaning post bit that's almost ready for paint as well.

I have a million boxes of goodies. All brand new shiny boat stuff and I can't wait to get them on the boat. I ended up going with Silver Grey HullBlanket from Sailrite for the cabin walls and I'm replacing the carpeted boards that border the shelf with teak. Mostly I can't wait to see it one color.

I'm sore, burned out, and yet, I wake up looking forward to more punishment. I feel like I have an angel watching over me as I keep finding little things that would've totally buggered up the paint had they not been revealed. An example would be old strainer thru hull screw holes that were filled with silicone that I didn't see till today.

So yes, I keep adding to the scope of the project but it'll be right.
 

Lifeislarge

Member
Sep 25, 2019
289
253
49
Jax Beach
Name
Erik Batsford
Boat
Cabo 216 Cuddycon
Went out yesterday and picked up a hard top for the boat. Tried to get an idea if it'll work by suspending it over the boat but couldn't get it high enough to really tell if I like it. The Cabo has angles and the top doesn't. I like the functionality of it with the speaker pods and the electronics box, and the resets for the lighting but it has to work aesthetically. My fabricator says he can make the pipe work so I guess we'll see. Would love some feedback.

Also been doing some stuff that I don't want to do once it's painted. Ran a 2nd rigging tube down the starboard stringer to carry the wiring for lights, speakers, and pumps. I think it'll be better to separate the motor rigging and steering hoses in the main tube and run the rest in the other.

Ended up putting a couple of layers of 1708 under the splashwell to tie it in better to the transom and give it more structure. Welded up the mounting plate for the bracket in the bilge with some 1/4" X 2" aluminum flatbar so it's entirely supported on the inside of the transom.

Bought more plumbing stuff, a rigging tube for the motor to come out of top the bracket https://www.hardin-marine.com/p-100...-hull-rigging-flange-kit-2-id-25-od-hose.aspx (went with the stainless steel) and finished tuning up the bottom.

Weather sucks for spraying so I'll just keep on making progress in other areas.

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Dan Salazar

Member
Aug 23, 2014
412
1,037
70
Costa Mesa
Name
Dan Salazar
Boat
Rum Runner
Hard top looks great I think it's appropriate size for the boat
A couple of thoughts considerations:

I personally don't like operating any electronics in overhead like that with the possible exception sound system

Consider aluminium fabricated storage utility rack on top of the hardtop

Rocket launchers and mount for VHF antenna will have to go off the aluminium structure not into the fiberglass hard top
 

Lifeislarge

Member
Sep 25, 2019
289
253
49
Jax Beach
Name
Erik Batsford
Boat
Cabo 216 Cuddycon
Thanks for the input Dan. I too am not a fan of stuffing electronics in an electronics box. What I'll probably end up doing is mount the VHF in there if it ends up in a comfortable spot to reach. I'd prefer a nice acrylic flush mount over inside the box with a door on it. The Simrads and stereo will be flush mounted in the console.

The pipe will be amazing. There'll be all the rocket launchers, outriggers, a reinforced plate to mount radar, VHF antenna, anchor light, you name it. Might even get a ladder built in to get up there. As for a rack I don't know what I'd use it for, maybe a spare tire? 😂

Whatever I end up with I have no doubt that it will be beautiful and functional. Bottom will be painted to match the hull color as well. Here's some more of my guys work...

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Dan Salazar

Member
Aug 23, 2014
412
1,037
70
Costa Mesa
Name
Dan Salazar
Boat
Rum Runner
Looks good. I'm not all that superstitious but I wouldn't want to walk under a ladder on a boat. I'm thinking the rear legs might work.
I can't get my fat ass under that ladder as you see it.
Going up the rear proved harder than anticipated especially when your offshore with some degree of bump and have wet aluminium
I envision using this a limited amount under relatively flat conditions when glassing for bigger tuna
The majority the time itll be stowed away so I have 360 walk around
 

Lifeislarge

Member
Sep 25, 2019
289
253
49
Jax Beach
Name
Erik Batsford
Boat
Cabo 216 Cuddycon
Door for the electronics access is done and ready for paint. Went ahead and epoxied some 6oz cloth over the ply and faired it all in. Too much? Probably but the devil is in the details...

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Lifeislarge

Member
Sep 25, 2019
289
253
49
Jax Beach
Name
Erik Batsford
Boat
Cabo 216 Cuddycon
Leaning post is tuned up, sanded and ready for paint. Also drilled and cut all the holes for the new Gemlux Cutting Edge cleats. Two on the stern and two mid-ship (why weren’t there any mid-ship cleats???).

I was stoked to pull clean, dry wood plugs out of the hole saw. I’ve seen so many boat projects with rotten core in the cap and it was a bit of a concern.

Had to cut a hole in the starboard gunnel to mount the cleat (adjacent to the port pie plate under the fuel fill) and have decided to put speakers in both. The t-top has speaker pods and I’ll put two in the bow, and two in the stern as well. Might even put a sub under the helm seat. I wasn’t interested in a stereo but I figured that most of today’s boaters demand it and the boat has evolved from a straight up fishing machine to a great all around family boat/fishing machine.
 

Lifeislarge

Member
Sep 25, 2019
289
253
49
Jax Beach
Name
Erik Batsford
Boat
Cabo 216 Cuddycon
Today was cool. Twofold cool in that the temperature was not hot and because I learned that I can make boat windshields.

This post is a bit pic heavy but I think it's worth it. Like many boats with windshields mine was original and was heavily crazed. I was faced with having one made at considerable cost, doing without, or making my own. I love a challenge. Somewhere in this thread I mentioned picking up a sheet of 1/4" acrylic for $30 off of Marketplace. Today was the day. I'd already Googled how to make an acrylic bender so I kind of knew how to make one but hadn't yet.

The acrylic bender turned out to be my old router table top and one of my wife's blow dryers. I needed a table with a channel in it (check), a heating element (check), and a way to clamp it down (router fence check). I took the heating coil and the cord out of the blow drier, hot glued some fiberglass in the C channel on the router table and laid the coil in the channel. Needed to insulate the coil so it wouldn't short on the aluminum channel. Wired the coil to some screws on either side, stretched it flat and then wired the cord directly to both ends. Boom, heat strip.

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Next I had to make a template of the original windshield. I used brown paper, laid it out then temporarily taped in place. Once taped to the original I started trimming it and taping again.

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Next I laid it out on the sheet of acrylic and marked the template. I knew there was enough material on one sheet to make two so I'd get a second chance if I needed it. After that I had to figure out the best way to cut it. Tried the table saw but that was a very bad idea as this stuff is very bendy. So plan B was to use my Festool track saw. This turned out to be awesome as I was able to make most of the cuts by moving the track around and had perfect straight cuts. Used the jigsaw for only the two radiuses at the top of the windshield where the bend is.

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Next I softened up all the edges and sanded them to 600. I'll probably end up polishing them once I get the paper off but I didn't want to wetsand until it was time.

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Now the fun starts, things get bendy. Now keep in mind I've never done this before nor did I know how long it needed to heat up before it would bend. So I took a piece of scrap and my phone and timed it. Took about 4.5 minutes to become pliable. Screw it then, let's do this. I'd marked the bends on the template and on the cutout and lined them up with the heating element, clamped the cutout down with the fence on my router table and started the clock. At four and half minutes it was there. I gently lifted on the piece until it was at just a bit past 90 degrees, unplugged the heater and held in place till it cooled. First bend done successfully.

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I then moved the table to the other end and did the same thing. And it worked. Finally I had to figure out how to get the bend at the top of the windshield. Everything I do on this boat has to be an exact replica so I added a couple of 2X4s as an extension and flipped it over straddling them. Put the lip under the clamp and started the clock. When it was ready I bent it up and held it at the correct angle (I'd checked it on the original) and when it was cool out it came.

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I have to say I am more than thrilled at the outcome. It's an exact replica. I know I had divine help in this because I'm not that good. But being able to check this off the list is gratifying and a big win as the guys on here who were making them wanted $500 and wouldn't ship unless I arranged freight.

I really appreciate everyone who's been along on this journey with me as there have been days when I asked myself WTF are you doing and the only answer was I don't frikkin know. Just have to sand the topside one more time at 150 and I'm spraying.
 
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Fishbones

Your wife thinks about ME
Nov 7, 2005
8,456
683
58
Chula Vista
Name
Rich
Boat
One Off 28' Custom Built Skipjack (SOUTHWESTERN) & 18' Sylvan (Short Runs)
Be careful drilling the holes... DO NOT use a regular high speed bit
 
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