Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:20 pm Post subject: Goliath Gameboat Rebuild - 32 Cresta
I have been into game fishing since I was 7 years old and was lucky enough to do battle with my first marlin at age 10 (back in 1992) off broken bay in the families 20 foot bertram. Not long after the family moved up to a 25 bertram for a few years until I moved away from the sport whilst concentrating on trying to crack onto the pro tennis circuit. Anyway, after a bad accident in 2000 I moved back into game fishing and spent a lot of time fishing seasons with Rob Powell (Fishcrazy) on his little Cun-trex ‘Josh’.
We have had a lot of fun on that little boat and caught a lot of fish whilst struggling to fund the fishing hobby on an oily rag. We pushed further and further afield and I started focussing more and more on blue marlin. It might sound arrogant, but as much as I enjoy other types of fishing, it became more practise fishing for the blue fellas. The more I did it, the more I wanted a bigger boat, bigger tackle etc. I also wanted to be able to spend time focusing on other things – swords and of course be able to one day make the pilgrimage up to Cairns to see those big black marlin I had seen in Mal Florence’s tapes (which for me were where it all started).
I always had a thing for pocket gameboats and had a soft spot for cresta/steber 32s. 8 years ago I went for a ride on one and confirmed they were all I thought they would be. They seemed the best balance between a big and small boat plus the running costs (whilst expensive) weren’t as bad as a 40 footer. I figured one day I’d save up, buy one, renovate it and go fishing the way I wanted to. At only 32 foot, how much work could it be? I’d would do it in a couple of years, it would cost me 100k and my mates and I would start trail blazing… (How wrong was I!)
So, subconsciously I started watching trade-a-boat more closely and thought once I had been working for a few years (I had just finished uni) I’d start looking for one to rebuild.
7 years ago and before I had started working, the boat came up.
The add read – “cresta 32 – no engines, no drives, no tanks, no electronics $16,500, location Darwin”.
I rang the guy and found out it was a sterndrive boat. This was a bit confusing as I didn’t think there was a sterndrive version ever built. But there was, and this was her. She had been a charter boat previously owned by Bob Jones (marlin skipper of Fascination fame). She had also been to the bottom of Darwin harbour in a cyclone.
I had an inspection done by the local marina and reports came back in saying she needed some repairs under the waterline and the deck fittings were weeping (i.e. decks might be rotten – they sure were buddy, they sure were). But after the dude assured me that 5kg of resin would likely see the repairs done and that she seemed ok otherwise – I bought the boat after scraping together all the cash I could to cover the purchase, the crane and the truck to bring her down to Newcastle (where I had organised free storage).
I could work on it on the weekend when I had enough money to fuel the car. I could buy some ozito tools. Easy! I was warned off by many people (they were all right)
But I’m a pretty stubborn person by nature and the best way to fire me up is to tell me I can’t do something. I’ve had lots of people tell me I can’t do things…
Anyway, when I first saw her, it was an exciting day. She was a seriously sexy thing. But far out, she was stuffed. I spent the first day unloading all the crap that was on her (old turbos/ old 20/0 hooks, 1970s porno mags – she had it all…)
Then I spent the next 18 months ripping her apart. I have moved her 6 times due to various people going broke and I was in a sticky situation where at one point (she was up Newcastle way) I didn’t actually know where she was for a 2 month period (the business partner (and bikie with a well known outlaw motorcycle club in maitland) of the guy that owned yard number cleared out over night and took the boat with him – who knows why).
I have done 90% of the structural work myself. I left the finishing to pros (some of these pros are questionable!!!)
List of work includes:
Ripped out all decks and all but one bulkhead
Reset floor levels and build framework
Installed new bulkheads
Replaced front deck
Recored engine room and fuel tank room (other areas inspected and were ok)
Did a full bottom job (ground gelcoat back to glass and reglassed – including rebuilding broken strakes)
Did a transom rebuild
Installed shaft logs (turning her into a shaft drive boat)
Rebuild tank room for fuel tanks and water tanks (having had to rip out the engine beds for the old sterndrive inboards)
Build a new v-berth
Build a new galley
Build new saloon
Redid anchor well
Rebuild flybridge dash/ benches/ helm
Built new engine beds
All new finishing inside and out
Stacks of stainless work / superstructure/rub rails/outriggers/bow rail
Installed new fuel and water tanks
Installed rebuilt donks and running gear
Build and install exhaust system
Design/build and install engine air intake ventilation system
Changed window profiles and installed new windows (frameless system)
Build hardtop (thanks mate!)
Laid timber on the combings
Built and installed tuna tubes
Build and install deck freezer and rigging bench (happening at the moment)
Build and install fairing block and transducers
Well basically everything has been redone/rebuilt to my spec – Don’t ask the cost...
We’re not quite there as she is a couple of weeks off launch but we’re close now though (I started engines last week!!!). I think it’s about time I have a few photos thrown up to show people what I’ve been up to. I’m looking forward to the season.
I have a lot of people to thank:
The folks and brother who have been a great support in some trying circumstances, My mates – Rob/Chris/Bash (I remember all the grinding mate!)/ Anth/Harry Kosta/Craig/ Rod, various dudes on here for assisting when I asked questions), Stebercraft, Furuno, Bob my mechanic, a terrific shipwright in Gosford (you know when you’ve found a good one after you’ve messed around with the terrible ones), Amy boat transport, Rob honey boat transport, FGI (for helping out on the cost of my massive amount of resin and glass purchases!), taylor marine exhausts, mr ply (for discounting my massive amount of ply!), rallis timber (for holding back good oregan for me!), Sean Edwards (the best boat-builder I have ever seen) and of course the girlfriend (who I think rather ignorantly agreed to allow me to make the buy 6 months into the relationship but has stayed with me despite it!).
I have learnt a lot about myself during the build and have been touched by peoples generosity as well as other people blatant thievery and bastardry. To be honest, I’m probably lucky I’m not in gaol as a few times I have come very close to going off the deep end and unleashing on various individuals.
Thanks to Doug Grant who has volunteered to put up pics of the build at various stages.
She not the most massive gameboat going around, but, I’m calling her Goliath as she’s big enough for me and I’ve almost broken her.
hi david heard a lot mentioned about the rebuild cant wait to see it ,there was a repeat of an old article of the cresta 32 in last issue of F&B (boat mag)got a great write upo way back when hope all the bad times are soon woped from your memory dont forget you get a lot more from the rebuild than a new boat.
on another note ive had a few similar experiences with dodgy "professionals" and resorted to doing things myself very dissappointing.im guessing you might have been like me and had the timing been right (hadnt jumped into a project a year too early ) probably would have had an american boat in th drive for much less stress and cost......
anyway good luck with the test run and cant wait for the pics
David, i tell my Kids "you've gotta dream coz dreams come true". Well thats exactly what you did a few years ago and loook now! Great story mate, absolute ripper. I cant wait to see the pics and wish you many good times on-board Goliath.
(I love this last pic..... harden up.... you're working, not laying on the sofa
That's what i use when working under goat push yourself around with your legs but it's a killer on the neck
Bloody Huffa boat should've only taten Huffa the time to rebuild but David is takind twice as long thing he'll end up with a Full Boat _________________ **************************
Save The Fish, Eat a Pussy Cat
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