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2001 Redfisher 16 Restoration


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I bought this 2001 16' Redfisher this past winter from a good friend who has had it for several years but wasn't able to get much use out of it. It quickly became the family's "boat of choice." Having now spent a fair amount of time tinkering around the boat, I've assembled a pretty good checklist of things I'd like to do to spruce her up a bit. What started as a few ideas for little comfort improvements has taken on a life of its own, and has turned into a more significant restoration project. This is my first foray into any sort of boat restoration. I've not worked with fiberglass (although the need for glass work on this is minimal, except for the console, which I may have someone do for me). I do intend to hire out some of the more significant tasks. But overall, the restoration is my vision for what I'd like to see. I will post plenty of before and after pictures as well as works in progress update in case it is interesting or useful to others. Overall, here are some of the bigger tasks I am looking at:

* Covering topside and under gunwale rod storage area with SeaDek (the topside is kind of dingy. I've scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed but just can't get it to shine). Also, one of the prior owners seems to have had a penchant for mounting things on the topside, so there are some annoyed screwholes). As part of the process, I am leaning towards changing the color scheme to sea foam green or blue.

* Priming and painting dry well, port aft fishbox, forward compartment and anchor locker (original boat color was yellow, but the color now looks like aged-brown. Also, several rust stains and scratches that I can fix up. After reading a few posts, my thinking is to sand to take of the existing top coat, prime and paint with marine grade paint (sprayed). 

* Redo the console. It is full of drilled holes and showing some wear. I need to redo the rocker switch panel, possible upgrade the throttle/remote, and the gauges. 

* New seat cushions for front cooler and the cockpit area. I hate the fold up seat design. I wish that whole area was storage (which I think is the layout on the Maverick). I am going to explore whether there is some way to modify this area to make it into more useful storage. Anyone ever tried this?

* Paint the engine. There is a giant gouge on the starboard side of the engine cover that has always annoyed me (I don't want my fishing mates to think I am reckless)! I will take this chance to have that redone. Was thinking of going all one color on the paint for the entire engine. I saw pictures on here of someone who went all black and it looked sharp. I was thinking all white to contrast the color scheme of the boat.

* Repaint hull to change the color scheme. 

Well, enough writing. I need to hit the dock and get some work done today! Cheers!



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  • 2 weeks later...

I've managed to get a fair amount of work done, so figured I would post some pictures in case they are of interest to others. 

I am covering the topside with SeaDek so I needed to get rid of the old seat back brackets. I removed the brackets and found the holes go straight down into the live well, so I had access underneath. I cut a piece of 1/4" starboard, put it in place from the underside with some 5200 and a few screws. Then I cut out a disc of starboard to drop into the hole and filled the hole and screws with Six10 from West Marine. Let it cure and sanded. It is now smooth and solid, so the SeaDek will lay down nicely over the top. I should mention that I used a product from West Marine called Anti-Bond 2015 to break down the old layers of sealant around the brackets. It works quite well. It is also handy when applying 4200 or 5200 on projects to clean up edges. 













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While this is a relatively easy change, I did run into an issue when I removed the rear pole holder. When the holder was installed, the installer carved a chunk out of the fiberglass insulation to allow the holder to fold down. The cavity was filled with water, and the fiberglass was saturated. To deal with this, I did the following:

1. Took a wet vac and sucked out all the water
2. Cut out the saturated insulation.
3. I tool the wet vac hose, put it in the cavity and put duct tape around the hose and let it run for a good hour or two. I was surprised at how dry the cavity was when I was done. 
4. Filled the cavity up 2/3 of the way with standard spray foam insulation. 
5. Once the insulation was set, I covered with a layer of Six10 and let it set. Then sanded it flush with the deck.
6. Since the Stiffy push pole holders are a different size, I made a plate out of Starboard to cover the old cut out, and mounted the new push pole holder over the top. 












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I've always been frustrated with the lack of convenient storage on the 2001 models. I understand the newer models have better storage capabilities. I've never been a big fan of the fold down seats, and the storage underneath is a virtually wasted space to me. So I took an unconventional approach that works for me. First, I removed the seat and seat back, which eliminated quite a bit of weight. Second, I raised the coaming walls so they rest just under the top lid. I used PVC board to raise the walls. It is significantly cheaper than Starboard, equally durable and weighs less. I was trying to avoid adding any weight, and think I achieved that by using the PVC board. After raising the coaming, I painted the box with marine grade paint and installed some Drideck. The box is not watertight, so I wanted to raise the bottom a little so my gear doesn't sit in water. Finally I constructed some boxes and storage so I can keep gear in the boat but also batten it down so it is not bouncing all over the place when running. I tested it the other day and there does not seem to be any change in how the boat sits in the water, operates or runs. And the storage is great! I will be installing SeaDek across the entire face of the new wall so you won't be able to see the transition from the original coaming to the new wall I built. Some pictures below. 






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Out with the old, in with the new...

I went out on the ledge today, and rewired the instrument panel with new actuators, switches and the new switch panel. How hard could this really be?

I'm happy to report that with minimal swearing and two cigars I was able to make the changes successfully. All the switches are doing their job, the engine starts, the kill switch kills and the 12V charger charges! Photos to follow.

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I'm in the process of replacing all the hinges on hatch covers. Mine had original Gemlux hinges. I am replacing with Gemlux friction hinges. For anyone looking for replacement hinges, the model number is FH-2185. On my boat the cooler seat has three screw holes. I used FH-1681 for that. You can order directly from Gemlux (www.gemlux.com) 


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