I'll take some pics next time I'm at the boat. For the forward hatch, I cut the flooring to fit the existing plywood hatch. The transmission access hatches are contained within the bunks - remove the bunk top, then remove the hatch.
For flooring, I would only go with engineered flooring. This is the type that is essentially plywood, NOT MDF. MDF is like a sponge, and will swell in a humid environment (i.e. "a boat"). I would also not use solid wood as it will move too much. I toe-nailed mine down, but you could also float it. I would not glue it, as the flooring needs to move with the humidity. Mine has been down for a couple of years and gets lots of wear and water from the kids. So far, it's doing great. Only drawback I see is it is very slippery when wet. The floor had carpet when I bought it, and I just couldn't imagine that wearing well with kids, sand, mud and water.
FWIW, I went with Brazilian Cherry from a closeout sale at Home Depot. Regular price was about $9/sq ft and I got it for $3/ft. The prefinish on this stuff is incredibly tough, but it makes the wood look a bit plastic.
Pictures of it all would be great. From your albums I never saw a finished product. The bunks over the transmssions have me interested. Right now we just have about 3 feet of dead space so I can access the transmissions.
Originally Posted by fisheatingbagel
Well... tomorrow will tell the tale. We are going for a thorough inspection and test run, if it all checks out we will schedule a marine survey. We are excited and anxious. I will keep in mind all of the tips and advice you all have shared. I know there will be trying times ahead (just realistic) but we are hoping this will be great haven and hobby for us. Wish us luck.
When we have actually purchased the boat I will post pictures and brag a little :p I think you will like it, I look forward to your comments and advice. I love Kingscraft houseboats. I was talking to a coworker and told him I was going to buy a KC and he said, "That's aluminum isnt it? Thats good." He owns a nice Burns Craft but I could tell he really like the idea of less maintenance. He commented on the fact that when you screw the handrails to the deck a fiberglass boat can't help but eventually have issues. I am excited.
As an aside, we are looking at picking up a Starcraft runabout. I would like to hear your thoughts on this type of boat for taxi/fish/play/dog duty/toy purposes. Yep, I picked this manuf. because they are old, cheaper, and (#1) aluminum. A lot of people have recommended we get a jet ski for these purposes but it just seems like dog duty or getting dressed to go into town to eat or transporting my 79 year old Mom might be a little inconvenient on a jet ski. Do any of you leave your houseboat anchored for short periods (2 -4 hours) to go do other things? Is this kosher or is it a bad idea? I hope you will share your thoughts on this, your experience is valuable to me.
Thanks for reading and thanks to all those who have posted. I want to encourage current/former/hopeful Kingscraft owners to post comments. It's nice to share a common interest.
Best wishes and fair seas,
Well, we looked...
Well, we went and looked. Closely. We had a nice test run, really liked the boat and wanted to buy it. There was a little problem with the generator, but I think that will be resolved with a new water pump. My wife was very happy with everything except the head had an odor when flushed( I assured her we could deal with that) and she was on board (pun intended) with the purchase. But there turned out to be one other problem.
I had borrowed a metal thickness tester from work and brought it to the boat to make some quick tests of the hull. As I checked, I was looking for 3/16" (or about 0.18"), and was finding consistent readings of 0.16" but every once in a while (moving to several locations) I would get readings as low as 0.08". Unfortunately I think this indicated potential pitting. I do not believe the hull is thin or even bad, but I do believe the hull needs an out of water marine survey. I had been willing to pay for the in water survey (general condition and valuation survey) ~$500, but I am not willing to foot the bill ~$1100-$1200 for a pull out, survey and relaunch on a boat I don't own. I offered to split the bill with the owner (I think reasonable) and he wanted to consider it. We have not heard anything (should have heard that night) and I believe the deal is undone.
I really wanted that Kingscraft. My wife even said she had come full circle on the lake it was on and thought she would really like it there. She had originally wanted Lake Monroe in Indiana. Maybe it will still happen, but as more time goes by I think its less and less likely. I hope them well with their boat, if I could be assured the hull is OK I would definately move forward with the purchase. As it is I will continue to look. We are opening up our options to other aluminum hull houseboats and even looking for bare hulls. Wish us luck, I hope you will give me your opinion on this situation as I value the collected knowledge here.
Thanks for reading my little story. :(
I understand how you feel. If I had seen the pitting on mine I would have walked. Where was this boat located? I do know of a 55 footer for sale in Cincinnati that is pretty loaded. I am not sure of your price range however. I am impressed you didn't let the emotions get the best of you and go ahead with the purchase. How many readings showed the hull thickness that low? With a boat that is older, you could have some small pitted areas.
I took a few photos over the weekend showing the bunks and transmission cover...
I thought your rear window was made into one solid piece? Does the window open in the middle?
not the rear door...the window that is between the pilothouse and lower cabin...
I can understand your angst, and I second JTAlberts reply: if I had known of the pitting on my boat before I bought it, I probably would of walked away. Honestly, though, I think it would be difficult to find any Kingscraft without some pitting - these boat are getting pretty old and have probably encountered galvanic corrosion at some point in their lifetime.
I'm not too worried about my hull though. I figure if it starts leaking, it will be pretty minor and I'll just fix it - as I've been fixing everything else on this blessed thing...;-)
OHHHHH. I never get leaks from that one. Do you still have leaking issues in the rear door? Does your rear door open in the middle?
Originally Posted by fisheatingbagel