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SunBlocker 1992 Party Cruiser

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    Posted: 11/12/2008 at 5:24pm

Hey all!

I"m new to this forum.... but have taken a lot of time to read some of the old posts and look at the projects.  There is some great stuff here!

Last year I embarked on a HUGE project that involved the partial restoration and radical modification of a 1992 32" Party Cruiser.  If you take a look... you"ll see that I did a LOT of work on that barge... perhaps some if it ill-advised!

Anyway, I did some more work on her lat winter and she now has a full slide, bow and stern washdown units, another stereo system for the top deck, a full 3rd toon... and many, many other things.  I will try and update the project site when I get the chance.

Here"s my current quest:  this winter I will be attempting to replace the walls on the entire cabin structure.  Anybody who has dealt with a Cruiser or a Hut knows that the SunTracker stuff is garbage and over time it delaminates and bubbles.  It also absorbs water and gets quite heavy.

I"ve looked at a lot of options, including some all-plastic stuff from Parkland.  I"ve also considered making my own laminate from FRP/foam/FRP... and it looks like that"s perhaps what others have done here.

Can I get some comments on that?  I"m really clueless on making my own laminates and am concerned abut using the correct glue and process if I ultimately go that route.

Thanks!



Edited by rickdb1 - 10/30/2011 at 2:18pm
1992 SunTracker Party Cruiser 41ft
18' Cobalt, 13' ElDebo E-Pontoon
-- Okauchee Lake, WI --
The `Blocker Build
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/12/2008 at 5:41pm

Hello Scottbee, welcome to the forums. Got a great bunch of people here. Glad to see you come join us. Be sure to post some pics of your boat(s) in the "Show Off Your Pontoon" section (or rebuild depending if you have before/after pics), as we"d love to see them. Also tell us your story in How did you come to join the forums? (just click on the red link and tell us all about it ).  You probably did like a lot of us have. Looking for pontoon accessories and either found it through www.PontoonStuff.com ebay site or web store. Jim (administrator) and Andrea (pontoongirl) Myers (our hosts) have excellent staff members to help them help you find whatever it is you"re looking for your boat and has excellent shipping and customer service. Have fun and happy boating. Be sure to edit your signature line to include details of your boat and motor so folks won"t have to ask for it if questions arise later. I"ll let our other members who have experience with your type of project make their comments, as its outside (way outside) my expertise

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bamby Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/12/2008 at 6:38pm

  Nice looking project you got going on there. I must have spent 1/2 hr. just looking at your pictures. Not sure what classification you tune comes under but it sure is a neat different. Not sure if you"ve looked at my project or not but here"s a link.  http://www.pontoonstuff.com/forum/pontoon-forum/2916-10-my-p -111-nto-111-n.asp?PN=1  The siding I used is 1/8th in thick in some kind of vinyl  it"s U.V. resistant etc. But it moves a lot from expansion from heat and cold. If you are interested I"ll find a link to it for you. One question though where did you plumb the black water to can"t see or missed where it went.

 Gregg



Edited by Bamby
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/12/2008 at 6:53pm
I did look at your boat.. it was one of the first projects that I perused here!  I am interested in your material.. although my application is a bit different.  I"ll need a composite that ends up being about 1" thick, finished on both sides... in a 4x8 sheet.  Those sheets are mounted in the aluminum structure and create the interior and exterior walls.  There is nothing wrong with the fundamental idea... it"s just that Suntracker used a vinyl coating over Masonite... which is then laminated to styrofoam.  The Masonite absorbs the moisture.. and then all heck breaks loose.

As far as the black water is concerned, the head that I selected.. the SeaLand Traveler 711M28, has an integrated black water holding tank directly below the bowl.  It"s a VERY nice unit and I highly recommend it.

If you have any other question... feel free to ask!
1992 SunTracker Party Cruiser 41ft
18' Cobalt, 13' ElDebo E-Pontoon
-- Okauchee Lake, WI --
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/12/2008 at 7:16pm

That is some photo layout I have to say. I can see scbadiver now just thinking up all kinds of ideas in that beer weekend environment he puts himself through

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bamby Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/12/2008 at 7:25pm

  I found a link to the product I used. There are some additional pcs. that could be handy for your use. They are stainless steel outside corners avl. and also some matching H type pcs. for use between panel sections. Of course the only one without listed prices is the one I used.  It"s pretty easy to work with though I did a lot of the cutting with a table saw. And on the windows and doors used a trim bit in a router and cut it right out. Same applies here if you think I can help you out just ask.   Gregg



Edited by rickdb1 - 10/30/2011 at 2:17pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/12/2008 at 7:56pm
I just made a quick update to my PC Project web page to include the 3rd log and water slide. 

More to come!
1992 SunTracker Party Cruiser 41ft
18' Cobalt, 13' ElDebo E-Pontoon
-- Okauchee Lake, WI --
The `Blocker Build
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/12/2008 at 7:58pm
Originally posted by Bamby Bamby wrote:

  I found a link to the product I used. There are some additional pcs. that could be handy for your use. They are stainless steel outside corners avl. and also some matching H type pcs. for use between panel sections. Of course the only one without listed prices is the one I used.  It"s pretty easy to work with though I did a lot of the cutting with a table saw. And on the windows and doors used a trim bit in a router and cut it right out. Same applies here if you think I can help you out just ask.   Gregg



Hmmmm... PolyMax board!  I"m somewhat familiar with that stuff.... but never thought abut using it in this application.

Thanks for the tip... <ponder> <ponder>


Edited by rickdb1 - 10/30/2011 at 2:17pm
1992 SunTracker Party Cruiser 41ft
18' Cobalt, 13' ElDebo E-Pontoon
-- Okauchee Lake, WI --
The `Blocker Build
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/12/2008 at 9:54pm

I stumbled across this "in the water" shot from last year.... showing what she looks like with most of the canvas down.  This was taken before I added the slide, washdown system, and additional speakers for up-top.  We were parked just off shore from a local tavern that was having a bikini contest.... makes a nice observation platform!

***resized pic for better viewing and fit the web page***



Edited by Wildcat Dude
1992 SunTracker Party Cruiser 41ft
18' Cobalt, 13' ElDebo E-Pontoon
-- Okauchee Lake, WI --
The `Blocker Build
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/14/2008 at 1:09pm
***resized pic for better viewing and fit the web page***

Oooops... sorry about that!  I run some pretty big monitors and occasionally forget what the traditional pixel width is... 
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-- Okauchee Lake, WI --
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bamby Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/14/2008 at 1:22pm

   Lucky you looks as if you do have the perfect observation post for looking at bikini clad babes. But if it were me I"m sure my ribs would have been bruised.

 Gregg

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/14/2008 at 2:01pm
I"d have to have the steel plate in my head replaced to beat out the dents
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/30/2009 at 2:09pm
As I mentioned in another thread, the new wall panels showed up today.  My original plan was to wait until early spring to replace them, but now I"m just a bit excited!  Going to see if I can wrangle some space in our building away from my Production Manager.  Then I can pull her inside and do it in the warmth and comfort of our factory.  Beats the heck out of fighting with the unpredictable elements, and it will give me a head-start on finishing up the interior (again)... things like window treatments, wiring, caulking... etc..
1992 SunTracker Party Cruiser 41ft
18' Cobalt, 13' ElDebo E-Pontoon
-- Okauchee Lake, WI --
The `Blocker Build
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lindaslounge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/05/2009 at 1:41am
Nice pic!!!  This looks like the American River here.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/16/2009 at 9:31pm
Well... I started to get busy on the project again.  Mostly I was waiting on the new wall panels to get here, but I also needed to get motivated!  Linda helped a lot with that.  She SHAMED me into getting busy!

I brought the boat into work where we have the space and heat necessary to do the job.  I pulled off the old wall panels and the picture below show us why the owners of Party Huts and Party Cruisers need to be concerned about the condition of their walls!  The masonite wicks up the moisture and slowly disintegrates internally.  This wouldn"t be all that bad, but the walls are STRUCTURAL on these boats and are basically what supports the top deck.  Once the walls come apart, there"s not much else holding the walk-on deck up there!



So the old walls are now out on the starboard side and the new panels are in place.  This what she looks like right now:



**links to personal websites not permitted***

Lots, lots, lots more work to do... but at least I"m making forward progress!


Edited by Wildcat Dude - 10/30/2011 at 3:20pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lindaslounge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/16/2009 at 9:48pm

I shamed you!!!  Sorry!   Now I see what MY walls might look like, thanks a bunch, cha ching - cha ching once again.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CajunDiver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/17/2009 at 8:00pm
Well at least you didn"t have termites like mine did. I wonder if the Party Cruiser is different. The panels on mine were not structural. They had aluminum tubing that bolted to the roof to hold it up. The aluminum trim on the panels was structural. Also the door must be made of something different. I re-used my old door. It had the same vinyl coating but was solid as a rock. Looks like you got it going on and are about to catch up with me!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/17/2009 at 9:01pm
The aluminum "H" and "C" channels are somewhat structural on the Cruiser, but they are only 1/16 inch material and don"t have much column loading strength.  There are also gaps between the members.  Tracker relied on the strength of the walls, in conjunction with tons of rivets, to create the "box" structure.  Since the bottoms of my walls were shot (mostly hidden behind the fencing), the structure was quite weak and there was a sag in the middle of my roof on the sides.  That sag put a load on the top rail of the fencing (which was bolted to the "H" bars) and that caused the fencing panels to bulge out.

The entire construction method was questionable in my opinion.  The new structure has additional 1x1 square tubing vertical members in-between the wall panels, and I use 2x1/8 anodized flat aluminum stock in conjunction with those verticals to make my own "H" channels.  I just finished up the starboard side tonight, and soon I will post pics of what the new channels look like.  It"s looking pretty good in my opinion and should be plenty strong.

Oh.. and my doors are made of the same material that the walls were made of.  My doors are OK, but I"m gong to replace the panels anyway so everything matches.  I"m also going to change the stern door so it open into the cabin instead of out.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CajunDiver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/17/2009 at 9:19pm
That ain"t good. I looked at your pics on link and saw what you meant. There are posts at the kitchen and bath on the Party Hut that are tapped into the roof structure. They are 2 1/2x1 1/2 tubing and had angle brackets in the floor. I added these back in my rebuild to help although the 3/4 tubing on the walls provides alot of support.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/07/2009 at 8:51am
Well progress does continue on this project!

I have completed installing the exterior walls and the interior walls for the head.  The only thing really left is the stern door (which is being narrowed and changed to a "swing in" configuration).  Main windows for the forward and aft walls have been re-installed, but I"m holding off on installing the side windows until all of the graphics are done.

I re-shot all of the fencing inserts with a base gloss white to give the graphics house a nice "clean canvas" to work with.  Probably should have just re-skinned them.... but that"s 20/20 hind-sight!

So this is how she was before I towed her over to the graphics house yesterday!



While she is over at the graphics house I am working on some side projects.  I have a  new countertop for the bow bar/BBQ area, and I am going to seal the underside with epoxy (lessons learned).  I am also working on a full 2 zone SONOS system that I am going to add to the existing stereo system.... along with a wall mounted tablet computer.


Edited by Scottbee
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-- Okauchee Lake, WI --
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zboating12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/07/2009 at 12:38pm
Nice job, think of all the time you can be spending on the water this summer by starting your work now. I wish we had a place to work indoors on our toon, but spring will be here soon, I HOPE!
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Originally posted by jennyd jennyd wrote:

hi scottbee
great job on your project. I was wonder who did your canvas? thanks


Some of my canvas is "factory".  Other pieces were either done by Harken or Custom Transformations.  Both of those are somewhat local companies.
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-- Okauchee Lake, WI --
The `Blocker Build
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/13/2009 at 10:14pm
Well she"s back from the graphics shop!  It"s amazing what a little graphics will do.  (OK, a LOT of graphics!)



Tomorrow I hope to be able to poke the side windows back in so I can take her home and tackle the interior.
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-- Okauchee Lake, WI --
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zboating12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/13/2009 at 10:25pm

NICE! Love the patriotic theme.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/13/2009 at 10:35pm
That"s an instant winner there now.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lindaslounge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/13/2009 at 11:56pm
Very very cool!!!!!  I love those graphics.  Makess me want to make mine bigger, faster, better, MORE (red, white & blue)!!!  I am talking about my own Jeff aka "Tim tool Time Taylor".  This is awesome and a great triute to our red, white and blue. Just wanted you to know I tooted your horn today on another thread, Scottbee, check out a0168090"s post Rebuild and Modernize 24" Pbarge.   I referred hime to see you toon and your other pic website.  He wants to extend the forward and aft deck.  Thought you could help.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/14/2009 at 9:44am
Thanks for the praise!  I"m pretty happy with the results.. although the development of the graphics led to some interesting discussions between the technical resources (me) and the creative resources (the wife).

My graphics guy is pretty dern good and he runs a great shop.  Right now we are jointly working on the ability to "print" the graphics directly to the 24 inch vinyl trim coil that is often used to "re-fence" pontoon boats (the trim coil is carried by PontoonStuff).  If we get that working (and it looks like it will work well), it will be great for re-fencing and re-graphic"ing" a pontoon boat in one semi-easy step.
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-- Okauchee Lake, WI --
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/14/2009 at 9:56am
Those graphics are awesome!! Nice job..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/14/2009 at 10:15am
Originally posted by jennyd jennyd wrote:

LOVE THE BOAT!!!!
CAN"T WAIT TO SEE MORE PICS
DID YOU REPLACE ANY OF YOUR CANVAS?
I WOULD LIKE TO REPLACE THE REAR ENCLOSURE OF MY PARTY HUT
ITS SO DARK AND DINGY LOOKING BACK THERE WHEN ITS UP
ANY THOUGHTS??
THANKS JENNY


Jenny,

I didn"t "replace" any of the canvas, but I reworked most of it.  I had new screens (mesh) and clear sections installed in most of the panels. The actual "canvas" (blue material) was generally "OK".

It is my understanding that you can still get the canvas for these older Trackers directly from DowCO (the original manufacturer).  I have been told that they are exact replacements right down to the snap locations..... but that"s all "word of mouth".


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-- Okauchee Lake, WI --
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/14/2009 at 10:17am
(Did anybody notice the "subtle" change in the Sun Tracker logo? There"s a bit of a private joke on our lake regarding the effect that we have on the "sun worshipers".)
1992 SunTracker Party Cruiser 41ft
18' Cobalt, 13' ElDebo E-Pontoon
-- Okauchee Lake, WI --
The `Blocker Build
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