Casting a Boat Steering Adapter

Discussion in 'Lost foam casting' started by FishbonzWV, Oct 3, 2023.

  1. FishbonzWV

    FishbonzWV Silver Banner Member

    I'm getting things lined up to re-power my 1959 Feather Craft SkiBo.
    One of the upgrades will be a rotary steering system. The old cable steering system had a 15 degree tilt built in because the dashes were flat. Most new boats have the tilt built into the dash so the rotaries are a straight shaft. I needed to make a 15* wedge to get the wheel out of my lap and be large enough to cover the holes from the old mounting.
    Carved a couple 5" x 3/4" disks out of XPS and glued them together. My 9" disk sander with tilt table was too small so I made a jig to fit the 6" belt sander. Used double sided tape, stuck the coupon to the jig and let it grind down until the jig landed on the rails. Cut a 2 3/4" hole in it and broke the edges. Coated and let dry overnight.

    Dusted off the furnace and fired it up this morning.These small pours get me every time. I'm hovering over it, waiting for it to gulp and fill, then cuss and figure it was a failure. Surprised again, it filled.

    Got it drilled for mounting and polished it up.
  2. Tops

    Tops Silver Banner Member

    Oh, shiny! Be nice to see a shot of it in the boat, looking over a stern the tumblehome on those boats!
  3. FishbonzWV

    FishbonzWV Silver Banner Member

    It's going to be a total re-fit. Got a 2001 50hp Johnson with tilt/trim, controls, wiring harness. Will change out the 12v wiring for the nav lights too.
    The boat came with it's original '59 35hp Johnson, I put a '61 40hp on it a few years later. This summer, put a '78 35hp on it. Just not enough power.
    Yeah, the tumblehomes separate the FC's from the rest of the Tinney's. Although, there were a lot of nice ones made back in the day.
    This one is not a barrelback, '58 was the last year of them. They changed the whole lineup in '59, making larger boats with ample freeboard. This one's the "family boat" for the dog and grandkids. I take the barrelback out for "show and tell". :)

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  4. ddmckee54

    ddmckee54 Silver Banner Member

    You send the grandkids, or the dog out to do the polishing on that thing before the "show and tell"?
  5. FishbonzWV

    FishbonzWV Silver Banner Member

    Once you get it polished an annual buffing keeps it nice.
    Now getting it in that condition the first time took weeks. Removing 60 years of oxidation and the multiple scratches, plus not being aggressive enough with the cutting because I didn't know what I was doing, wore me out. Now I could do it in a few days.
    Tops likes this.
  6. FishbonzWV

    FishbonzWV Silver Banner Member

    Decided that ugly cap on the steering shaft had to go and looked around for a pattern to mould.
    Will it cast?


    Hell yeah!


    Home brewed lathe to trim it to size.


    Now I'll have to re-cast the wedge to fit the cap. Good excuse to play in the sand!
  7. ddmckee54

    ddmckee54 Silver Banner Member

    A picture is worth a thousand words... I don't see any pictures of a "wedge". You owe us more words.
  8. FishbonzWV

    FishbonzWV Silver Banner Member

    Don, the wedge was the topic of the post. (see first pics)
    I have version 3 ready to cast and after mock up, realized it needs a spacer for dash clearance of the rotary mechanism.
    A set of stern handles on a foam follower for the '46 Runabout and a set of 3" bullet cleats to be cast.
    I was going to cast today but snow started flying.


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  9. ddmckee54

    ddmckee54 Silver Banner Member

    Whoops..... didn't see the "re" in re-cast. As Rosanna Rosannadanna would say - "Nevermind!"
    FishbonzWV likes this.
  10. FishbonzWV

    FishbonzWV Silver Banner Member

    Hot off the press.
    The little ring didn't fill. It was just above freezing when I put it in the sand so not enough mass to carry the heat I guess.
    I shut off the burner 1 minute 15 seconds after the last ingot melted, probably could have added another 15 seconds due to the cold.
    Still had a great finish on the pieces in the the sand moulds.

  11. Tobho Mott

    Tobho Mott Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    Yeah you did, they look great!

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  12. FishbonzWV

    FishbonzWV Silver Banner Member

    Test fit.
    The new wedge fit the cap perfectly. Filed a rabbet by hand for the cap to sit on and accept a 6/32 screw.

    I'm going to make a new mounting plate. The 12 o'clock hole made the cable too tight against the dash. The 1:30 hole lets the cable droop too low. I couldn't tilt the plate to make up for it because the front and rear mounting hardware conflicted.
    One step forward...
  13. FishbonzWV

    FishbonzWV Silver Banner Member

    Steering project completed.
    Used a piece of 3/16" aluminum plate to make the adapter. With the solid plate I was able to screw the spacer to it so that was a plus.


    It's going to be nice not hearing the old cables squeaking.


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  14. FishbonzWV

    FishbonzWV Silver Banner Member

    Continuing with the rehab, no casting involved.
    There were a couple things on the trailer that I thought weren't compatible with hauling an aluminum boat.
    The two rollers that supported the stern, unless positioned directly under the transom could cause a hook to develop in the hull. Now that I'm adding a 50 pound heavier motor and the boat is 65 years old, it was time to replace them with bunks. Fabricated those out of doubled up Trek deck boards since pressure treated wood is corrosive to aluminum.
    Paint job was needed too.
    Trailer Rehab.jpg

    The other item that concerned me was the center rollers. There's a 1" keel strip down the hull and that's what the boat sat on with solid rollers. We've seen keels split out before on these. I made split rollers to replace those.

    Another problem I ran into was finding a replacement shock. The old ones were 9.5" x 13", the closest I could find was 9.5" x 15". The coil springs sat in pans and if the frame bounced to 15" they could fall out.
    Welded a 13" piece of chain to the axle, cut a slot in the cross member for a link to protrude through and fastened.

    Getting the trailer back under the boat was much easier with an A frame to lift the bow. I fought it with a jack and piers getting it out from under it. Doh
    Last edited: May 17, 2024
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