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!