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Old 20 October 2013, 01:14   #1
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Country: USA
Town: Vancouver, WA
Make: Zodiac FC470
Length: 4m +
Engine: 40hp Yamaha
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Zodiac FC470 Project

So I thought I'd share some pictures of my recent Zodiac FC470 acquisition and the subsequent project.

My good buddy Grant G (here on the forum) had gotten an FC470 earlier this summer and taken me out for a spin and I loved it. A couple weeks later he pointed me towards a good deal on another so I could join in on the fun. I got the green light from the wife, so I jumped in with both feet!

Picked up a nice FC470 off Craigslist, had to make a long drive up to Sequim, WA to get it. The prior owner hadn't used the boat much so it was a bit dusty, and he had made some odd modifications. Funky trailer light bar, a homemade wooden floor, big white wood panel number plates... it just didn't look like a proper Navy Seal boat should.

Here it is as it arrived....




Came with a nice set of transom wheels, which is a plus.




First order of business was losing that trailer light bar thing and rewiring the trailer with a proper set of LED tail lights. After than was tearing out the old floor and giving the boat a good wash. Discovered that there were some nice grab handles installed in the roll up floor. Boat was military surplus originally and I suspect that these were original to their use.



Next up was stripping the decals off the motor, sanding and washing the surface to get it ready for a coat of flat black paint.





And of course the transom needed to be prepped for a coat of fresh paint too.




That was pretty much it for the cosmetics, other than a couple nice coats of 303 Aerospace Protectant.

Next up is the mechanical stuff...
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Old 20 October 2013, 01:15   #2
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Country: USA
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The intercommunication valves were a bit more tricky. Two of them would turn with some effort, but the other two were frozen solid. I tried to break them free using a rubber strap wrench, but even that wouldn't do it. After a bit of reading on the forum here and also messing around with the two working valves I realized that there is a sort of "quick deflate" feature of the valves, where you can blow off air by simply pulling the valve straight out with a firm grip. It's held in place on a pin by a strong spring and has just a small amount of travel before it hits the end stop. Ultimately I was able to break the valves loose by prying them straight out rather than turning them. I used a couple large bladed screwdrivers, one on each side under the large dial up against the supporting structure underneath, taking care not to bend or break anything. It took a bit of working the screwdriver in to get them to break free, but once they did they were able to turn just like the other two valves (stiffly).

After reading up in the owners manual and looking at parts diagrams, I worked up the courage to take the valves apart and get them working properly.

First I unscrewed the main air fill valve, deflating the boat. Inside you can see a post with a nut on the end.



Remove the nut and you'll free up a spring that holds the valve in place.



Then you can pull out the main brass valve cone.



Inside the valve is left a brass sleeve that the cone fits into.



All I had to do was clean off the old nasty grease and apply a light coat of proper marine grease (what the manual recommends) and put it all back together. You don't want to tighten the bolt all the way down, leave enough travel so the valve can pull out about 1/4 to 1/2 inch before it hits the end stop.

Now all the valves turn as smooth as silk with minimal effort. The first one took a bit of time, but the other three only took 15 minutes each once I'd figured it out.

After getting the valves working properly, I had to get the boat outfitted properly with some nicer accessories. Redid all the paddle lacing with new black elastic cord, bought a couple nice all black Carlisle paddles, a couple dock bungees with quick release D-rings, collapsible anchor with a black carrying bag and quick release, quick release bow line, wrist strap kill switch, and a nice Sealline dry bag. The other thing I did was ditch the red metal gas can in favor of a proper black Zodiac 6 gallon fuel bladder with quick disconnect fuel line fittings. Also got some nicer black number plates with reflective registration number to give a cleaner look.

Finished all the motor/transom painting and have been able to do all the normal maintenance items on the 40hp Yamaha motor, and got the trim tab and trim pin set in the right places after a few test runs. Handles quite nicely!

Here's a pic of the interior where you can see some of the accessories.




Everything works great on it now, and it's been an absolute blast. We've only had it a month or so, but have already been out on the water 7 or 8 times. Took the whole family out this afternoon and we had a nice beach all to ourselves in the fall sun enjoying the last of the warm weather.

Again, I have to thank my buddy Grant for talking me into the boat, pointing me towards a good deal, and for all the tips and assistance getting it outfitted. Couldn't have done it without you man!

So here she is.... our Family Assault Boat. Love it!

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Old 20 October 2013, 01:29   #3
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Country: USA
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Great post! Your boat looks awesome!!!
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Old 20 October 2013, 01:38   #4
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Country: USA
Town: Cali
Boat name: Thumper
Make: Avon CRRC 4.5
Length: 4m +
Engine: Merc 50
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Posts: 363
Very nice mate, she looks Bristol, you made made quick work of the rehab.

Cheers, Squid
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Old 20 October 2013, 04:21   #5
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Country: UK - England
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Boat name: That's Enuff
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Length: 7m +
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nice job, looks great
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Old 20 October 2013, 10:10   #6
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Country: USA
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I love the mental picture of your (undoubtedly) nice family cruising around in a Combat Rubber Raiding Craft. Thanks for the nice pics. You are a credit to Washington-state SIBbers.
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Old 20 October 2013, 10:26   #7
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*Love*
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Old 20 October 2013, 12:09   #8
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Boat name: Uh...a kayak?
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Great boat! Should bring you hours of pleasure.

Also sounds like you enjoyed the restoration
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Old 20 October 2013, 12:38   #9
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Awesome!
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Old 20 October 2013, 15:10   #10
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Thanks guys! It was a blast for sure.
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