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Thread: Bell Boy 404 Express Restoration

  1. #21
    So, I've been busy here and there on the 404 in the past month or so. I bought a costco shelter, set it up in the side yard, and have moved the old girl under it. She is now sitting dry and I have rigged up lights and my portable radio in the shed.

    I've been pulling various bits of hardware off of the deck, most of it original, ruined and in need of replacing. I'll see what I can pick up off of ebay here and there or from the local marine trade shops.

    Two items are of interest that I'd like some feedback on if anyone cares to chime in.

    The hand rails on the upper deck. Both of them are physically intact. However, they both appear to have been painted at one point (not a bad job from the looks of things) and were originally chrome plated (very cheaply it looks like). These things are brass or bronze and will have to be either painted again, or re-chromed. I've seen some numbers thrown around on chroming here that lead me to believe it will be in the neighborhood of $100 a piece. Does that sound about right?


    Water fill cap.
    This is the one piece of hardware I can't get off the deck. It's loose, but the attachment under the deck seems to be on there pretty good. I've tried to pull back the fiberglass of the cubby but can't get much clearance to even look. Short of cutting the cuddy out, is there any other way of getting in there that comes to mind?


    Oh yeah, I also figured out what year she is. Despite my prior guessing that she was a '61 based on the build plate, I determined last weekend that she is a '59. If you look over the brochures on the fiberglassics site, there are little details the helped. The '58s don't have a hatch (I think) and the gun'ls sweep up at the stern (also not called 404s from the info in the brochure, but just express). The '59s and later have the hatch but the steadily declining gun'ls. The side windows changed shape in 60 as well. For the '58/'59 model year, the angle is under cut. In 60, they changed it to a forward cut. Maybe some of you already knew this but it was an exciting discover for me.

    Thanks!
    John Forsythe

    '59 Bellboy 404 - Pretty Girl
    Past Affairs:
    '61 Marathon - Jammie Dodger

  2. #22
    water fill fitting

    Hi john:

    On my '60 404 EX, I have the water fill cap on the port side. I have the boat tucked away in storage now but I think I remember that the plate on the outside was mounted with three screws into the fiberglass. You need a key to unscrew the cap to put a hose in the hole to fill the water tank. There is a galley cubby used to store eating utensils (dinner plates). Inside the cubby, the fill fitting is accessible. On the underside is a threaded pipe about 2" in length. Clamped on to that is the auto hose that goes from the underside of the fitting to the top of the water tank. If your boat is configured the same way, you should be able to see it clearly with a flashlight. I loosened the clamp and pried off the hose with a screw driver. Once the hose was off, the entire fitting was easy to remove from the hull. I will see if there are come detailed pictured on my computer to attach here.
    Hope this helps.

    Bob
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #23
    Bob,

    Thanks for the reply. Nice looking boat! I love how you mounted the speakers. I've been thinking on where to mount mine and I really like that setup. Might just have to copycat that one.

    I have all the original interior equipment in the boat (removed), so I know what you are referring to with the sink, etc. Howeer, my cuddy doesn't look like yours. I have the forward oval opening like yours, but aft of that, it is closed up to hide the tank. I am going to be cutting the glass that mounts this side of the cuddy lose. This will give me access to the fitting, and will also allow me to remove the rub rail bolts in that space (there are 2 or 3 that I just can't even begin to get a wrench on the way it is set up. I intend to remove the entire rail so I can get right down to the joint with my sanding prior to painting. Good times!

    John
    John Forsythe

    '59 Bellboy 404 - Pretty Girl
    Past Affairs:
    '61 Marathon - Jammie Dodger

  4. #24
    John could you send me pictures of your interior? Id be interested to see your setup.

    Best,

    Bob

  5. #25
    Haha, there isn't much to see right now. This last week I pulled off both port and stbd cubbys and also removed the water tank (necessary to remove the rub rail as well as for later bulkhead replacement). I'll snap a couple of shots of the cubbys tonight and post them up here.

    The water tank was a bear. Once I got the cubby off, I could see and get to the mount for the filler. Ya, metal on metal, rusted solid. Not even a hint of a hose clamp visible. So I had to cut it off. My plan over the winter for that part is to cut/remove the top layer of glass, see about coating the inside with something that will make water potable (ideas?) and then re-seal the whole thing with either a new top, or remove the fittings on the old one and glass in new ones. It's just the right sized job that I can do it in the garage with some heat and get the resin to cure.
    John Forsythe

    '59 Bellboy 404 - Pretty Girl
    Past Affairs:
    '61 Marathon - Jammie Dodger

  6. #26
    Bob,

    Here are shots of the setup. Sorry I didn't get them sooner, but taking pictures in the snow....

    First is the two together, port on top, stbd below. 2nd has a shot of the water tank. Third and fourth are pt and stbd interior shots. Last is a snap of the bow where I did some sanding.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    John Forsythe

    '59 Bellboy 404 - Pretty Girl
    Past Affairs:
    '61 Marathon - Jammie Dodger

  7. #27
    With the removal of both cubbys and the water tank, it has become evident that my wood replacement will be a little more extensive than I originally thougt. It's funny the things you don't see when you can't see them.

    Construction on this boat is very interesting. When I removed the port rub rail bracket I was a bit surprised to see that there really isn't much there in the way of a lip to hold the deck to the hull. It sort of just sandwiches the two parts together and thats about it. Looking at the construction, it seems like no one component is responsible for keeping the hull rigid. The main bulkhead is in two pieces, the amidships 1/4 bulkheads tie that section to the floor but also supports a full length piece of wood that runs from the splashwell all the way to the end of where the cubbys live. It seems that this piece is intergal to holding the deck and hull together more so than the rub rail mount like you see on Glasspars. And of course, the transom holds the stern together.

    The full length wood that runs on both sides is pretty rotten up by the windows (surprise!) and will have to be replaced. All of it. The painful part is that I am going to have to sand all the way down, then re-assemble the rub rail bracket before I do any work on the floors. I don't want to glass anything in with the deck lose, so it's going to have to be re-installed. Then it will be removal again so I can do the transom - yes, at this point I might as well save the cutting and refairing work that I was planning on doing and just cut the deck lose at all points and move it forward while I rebuild the stern. Once that is done, I can re-attach the deck and install the new full length wood. Whew! Going to be a busy spring...

    Here is a shot of the port rub rail, removed and sitting on my work bench in the garage. I did a test on one spot to see how well it will clean up. Pretty good from the looks of things. Long and painful though having to start out at 60 grit...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    John Forsythe

    '59 Bellboy 404 - Pretty Girl
    Past Affairs:
    '61 Marathon - Jammie Dodger

  8. #28
    59 inside

    Here are a several pics of my interior. It's a mess but oh well.

    [ATTACH]8200.vB[/ATTACH]

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    [ATTACH]8202.vB[/ATTACH]

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    [ATTACH]8205.vB[/ATTACH]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    John & Diane Kelly

  9. #29
    John,

    Thanks for the interior shots. I have been meaning to ask you for some so I could get a look at the headliner - which you don't seem to have! So that begs the question: Did they come with headliners or was it just bare glass?

    Bob, you should have a pretty good idea of the '59 interior at this point!
    John Forsythe

    '59 Bellboy 404 - Pretty Girl
    Past Affairs:
    '61 Marathon - Jammie Dodger

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBronze, post: 14860
    John,

    Thanks for the interior shots. I have been meaning to ask you for some so I could get a look at the headliner - which you don't seem to have! So that begs the question: Did they come with headliners or was it just bare glass?

    Bob, you should have a pretty good idea of the '59 interior at this point!
    Mine did not have any interior at all so i kept it the same just painted cause i am CHEAP!
    John & Diane Kelly

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