AM Wood

Century Speedster

Owner - Alex Hunt

On April 17, 2004 this Century Speedster was transported to the Vintage Race Boat Shop for some motor work, convert generator to alternator charging system, minor wood work, and a bottom paint job.



The older generator charging system on the 350 Chevrolet motor was not dong the job of keeping the battery fully charged, so a new marine alternator was installed. With the help of Jim Kondrat, we found the proper pulley and brackets, but we had to fabricate a few pieces to ensure the correct fan belt alignment. First, the assembly was dry fitted, then removed and spray painted to match the engine, then reinstalled. I know - picky, picky, picky - but attention to detail is our specialty !!!



The bottom of this Century had been replaced years ago, with an inner layer of marine plywood and an outer layer of narrow planks bedded in 3M-5200 adhesive. The result is a very strong, water tight and flexible bottom. But the adhesive had oozed out just a titch on all the seams, so it took many hours of sanding with 120 grit paper, to get the bottom smooth and ready for the first coat of paint - Interlux Brightside, sea green.




As you can see above, we spend a lot of time on the bottom of each boat - in fact the first thing we do is to hoist the boat off the trailer for a thorough bottom inspection. We then spend many long hours on a creeper, aggressively sanding for a very smooth surface and to expose any wood issues. Then we take the time to repair as required. But the bottom on this Century was in excellent shape, so only aggressive sanding with 120 grit paper was required. After sanding, the bottom is vacuumed, tacked, wiped down with Dupont Final Prep, and the boot stripe gets taped. Finally, the first coat of paint is applied - using our "rolling & wicking" technique.

  Remember - if you wanna be fast - you gotta be smooth !!!



After a second of of Interlux paint on the bottom, the bootstripe was taped and painted with Pettit Specialty Boot Top white paint. Then the cutwater, transom bands and exhaust trim rings were re-installed.




We also had to repair two cracked frame members - by "sistering" with fitted pieces of mahogany - bedded with 3M-5200 adhesive and through bolted.  This make for a very strong, but flexible repair.


And finally, the new alternator system was wired - with great attention to detail by ace mechanic - Donnie McLean !!!



That's it - the bottom and bootstripe have been painted, the new alternator system has been installed and wired, and the cracked frame members have been repaired. Time for spring launching, always the fun part, and on May 22nd, we launched AM Wood at the Wolfetrap Ramp - cause for great celebration - even in the rain !!!





Next, we adjusted the shaft stuffing box, noted a small leak coming the stern, that will stop when the boat has swelled, and we changed the oil, filter and spark plugs. The motor ran very well, and seemed to really like the new alternator charging system.




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