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new 1988 Ceria 2556 ...found some rott ....please help-gctid368282

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    new 1988 Ceria 2556 ...found some rott ....please help-gctid368282

    I just recently acquired a 1988 2556, and it seemed to be in very good condition but when i got it home and was alone with it, pocking around in the engine compartment, I found something that made my heart sink instantly. The piece of wood that (i believe) just holds the gas tank in place, is pretty damn rotted, this sits right on top of the stringers, directly behind the gas tank and in front of the engine. (they sound and feel solid banging on them I have yet to put any more holes in the boat) One of my big questions is how is this boat made? were the stringers glassed and then this piece put on, or....if this piece is bad, has it now more than likely migrated to the stringers? The last thing i want to do is to start cutting into this making a mess and getting in over my head. Can this piece simply be removed and replaced with something to keep the thank in place? I believe the rot is because the tank is aluminum and the condensation over the years. Thanks for any and all help.

    #2
    No need to panic yet. Just remove the offending piece to see how it's attached. I'm pretty sure that it's not intrigal to the stringer system from how you described it (but a photo would be very helpful). Use the old piece as a template for a new one, and just make sure that you seal the new piece correctly. If you want piece of mind, when you remove the old piece drill a few "test holes" in the stringers and see if the wood inside is still good. Naturally seal up your test holes if all looks well (I reccomend epoxy filler for the sealing up job.

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      #3
      Thanks Dewman,

      Greatly appreciated. I will get some pictures I dont have them at work..... the piece is only about 3ft long, but is "molded" around the stringers with glass so a simple cut and remove would be a bit tricky to get a template .... its so rotted that i don't think its going to be in one piece. The rest of the boat seems to be good with the exception of a 1 x 1.5 foot soft spot on the fly bridge, where there is a small crack where I believe water penetrated i was thinking of cutting off the "skin" taking out the bad wood, filling in withe either straight epoxy or epoxy and wood and then reattaching the skin.

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        #4
        first off..welcome to the zoo...2nd off...I'd get a drill out and start drilling some small holes for stringer tests....it pays to have the boat surveyed BEFORE the purchase.......

        :arr arr

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          #5
          Dont feel bad, i didnt get a survey either... its as simple as this- u want it so bad, you just go for it. We all get better with experience, now you know a lil more what to look for. Welcome to the club and have a great season!!!

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            #6
            I know what piece of wood you are talking about, and I do not think it is structural. In fact, it may not even be glassed in.
            Matt Train
            BOC Site Team
            Chicagoland, IL

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              #7
              Thanks guys for all the help. What size bit would you recomded as i would LIKE to put as small and as few holes as possible. I went to go see the boat, some old man had it selling for health reasons, it was FCW unfortunate the engine compartment had 8in ice on top, boat hadn't been used in 3 years but was supposedly well maintained/ winterized. New gimbal barring and bellows, he said i should replace the out drive seal. he used the boat to go fishing with his 3 year old granddaughter and and a 6man coastal cruzer (needs a repack but good piece of mind better than nothing. raft and 6 offshore PFDs i got as well, the boat is also on a tandem axle trailer that does need brake work but is in well above average shape. I was able to purchase the boat for a song and a dance well below 1/2 of what I am seeing them go for. If i had the money I would think about a re power with a duo prop but im pretty much all in right now. I need to fire up the engine and look at the stringers before I pay any more for my slip ($300 deposit) the balance is due may 1st

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                #8
                ferrari175 wrote:
                I just recently acquired a 1988 2556, and it seemed to be in very good condition but when i got it home and was alone with it, pocking around in the engine compartment, I found something that made my heart sink instantly. The piece of wood that (i believe) just holds the gas tank in place, is pretty damn rotted, this sits right on top of the stringers, directly behind the gas tank and in front of the engine. (they sound and feel solid banging on them I have yet to put any more holes in the boat) One of my big questions is how is this boat made? were the stringers glassed and then this piece put on, or....if this piece is bad, has it now more than likely migrated to the stringers? The last thing i want to do is to start cutting into this making a mess and getting in over my head. Can this piece simply be removed and replaced with something to keep the thank in place? I believe the rot is because the tank is aluminum and the condensation over the years. Thanks for any and all help.
                Hi ferrari

                I have good news! Not only do I have the same model from the same year, I have torn into the piece you mention - I call it the aft tank bulkhead. Here's what I know as fact. The stringers are yellow cedar which is highly rot resistant. The ends of the stringers are attached to and terminate at the bulkhead (they do not pass through.) I replaced the aft tank bulkhead which exposed the ends of the engine stringers. they were quite sound even though the bulkhead had some rot. The ends of the stringers were not sealed but may have been bedded in something when they were joined to the bulkhead via screws.

                I ventured into speculation there a bit so I'll quit that old paragraph now and start a new with some of my opinions. I think it is correct that the bulkhead is non structural with regard to the strength of the hull. However, I think it does stabilize and lock in the forward ends of the engine stringers so it is still important that it be there.

                I dont think that tank isnt going anywherewith out you moving it! Even if the bulkhead was completely rotted, the glass and 3m 5200 wouldn't let it move much if at all. My tank was even glassed in on top from the aft fuel bulkhead to the cabin bulkhead. 5200 all along both longitudinal stringers on either side of the tank. In addition, 2x2 yellow cedar blocks secure the top of the tank down against 8 glassed in pieces of ply on which the whole tank rests.

                Why was i tearing into mine and have all this wonderful info to share you may care to ask? Fuel tank replacement due to an undersized and plugged up limber hole that trapped water under the tank and crevice corrosion under several of the aforementioned plywood risers the tank rests on.
                ________________________
                John
                1988 Bayliner 2556
                5.7L OMC Cobra

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