79 Guardian Refurb

G day All,

Thought I’d throw up my boat refurb for those who might be considering similar with an older boat or those that have done it before and can offer some advice.
It’s a 79 Guardian 5.7m WA built boat, I purchased it 8 years ago with an old busted Johno on it, over time its grown on me…easy to launch solo, gets me out 25nm plus and handles the shit conditions well for its size, have done overnight rotto stays on it also.

Wish I had something bigger and faster with more luxury but this is it unless I win lotto. So with the windscreen cracking again, been repaired so many times, the floor and transom solid enough but all wet due to a heap of holes and damage over the years it’s just a matter of time before it turns bad, and as the wife says…there’s no life insurance if they don’t find ya body.

So the decision was made to strip this down, total budget refurb completing as much as I can myself and re-utilizing as much of the existing gear as possible with a few changes to be made.
1 – Under deck fuel tank 120 - 130 litres
2 – Re-design the transom, remove the seats, create a small bit of extra space, include storage for batteries, oil and other bits.
3 – New windscreen, raise the roof 4”
4 - New seats, considering the suspension pedestals although this is outside the budget objective...
5 – New lick of paint 2pk….by hand with roller.

Other bits needed, strengthen the cabin, this you need to walk around for anchor deploy, retrieval etc. which I do a lot off, So a forward hatch door is being considered.
Since the start of the strip down it’s been google, utube and FB pages reading and learning as much as I can on the different ways to tackle this, and yes there is multiple ways people repair there transoms etc. Will cover this a bit more in PT2.

First thing needed was a shed, cant be grinding dust and shit everywhere in the front yard apparently, so first job was to clean my mums shed so I could move me Tory from my shed to hers for storage, I then had to re-organise my work benches so the boat could fit, very tight fit but it fits.
Carpet, wiring and all the auxiliaries came out pretty quick and easy, got the daughter to hold the spanners as most of the fasteners were rusted and would spin, motor came off easy, put this on a few years back myself…not hard at all. First item to buy was a multi tool, already had a Ozito battery so picked this up for $64 dollars, extra $30 for the carbide tool. This cut in around the cabin timber like butter, this will all get cleaned up and re-used so didn’t want to take to it with a hammer.

20160710-164552 20240102-123327 20240102-132156 20240102-165414 20240113-182322 20240113-182330 20240115-171430 20240118-181831 20240113-092027 20240113-102819

The roller door height meant the boat had to come of the trailer first, so always got a bit of steel laying around being an old plate basher, so knocked up some basic trolly frames and bought some caster wheels from bunnings, boat and trailer were just over a tonne, with everything removed including the motor I estimated the boat to be 500kg approx..

20240103-151321 20240114-164141 20240119-160016 20240120-134649

The rear access is tight…but we got it down, only destroyed one down pipe..blamed the daughter for that..paid her the agree $15 for the hour, was thinking to get a few mates around but thought fk it cant be that hard.

20240121-131947 20240121-131936

Getting it off was a bit agricultural but it worked, just used the ratchet straps that usually hold the boat on the trailer, came of easy…back and forth between the front and back straps.

20240121-134305 20240121-134337 20240121-134310

She fits….just.

20240121-150903 20240121-150912

Carbide blade for the 5” grinder cutting through the floor, the timber was soaked, had a few holes in the floor over the years slowly filling the old girl up, the timber came up easy….claw hammer.

20240122-121458 20240122-121501

The stringers were glassed but nothing sealed, some of this less than ideal with some cracking evident. It did get a hard time, sometimes 4-6 dive bottles plus gear etc etc..bang bang bang! As some of us do..

20240122-130807 20240122-144701 20240122-144713

These came out quick and easy also, multi tool…some of the stringers were wet on the bottom, but no rot, left these out to dry, the timber is still solid, so these will get cleaned up and re-used also. The stringer and new layout will change anyway to make way for the fuel tank..new main stringers running long ways not across.


The transom…fk, even with a few wet patches it took 3 hours plus to remove..strong is an understatement, seeing and knowing this now I might have reconsidered, there was no flex in it but knew water was getting in, but still they are strong and unless you can see flex or cracking in your transom glass I recon there’s a lot of life left, just keep it dry as possible, stop all points of water ingress.

20240122-181429 20240125-160931

The grinding…yeah its taken 10hrs to get to this point, internal only, this with a 7” Zec disc 24 grit and a shit load of 5” 36 grit discs, most days squeezing in 1 – 2 hours max, pic there shows a half full garbage bag, filled two full just from the grinding. Protection consists of shorts and long sleeve shirt with the disposable’s overalls over the top…when finished I remove the disposable and jump straight in the pool…good rinse off including the cloths, usually soaking wet after each session so it’s a great way to cool off. Then inside for a soapy shower….then some nights a third shower before bed. Itchy a little but not too too bad to be honest.

20240129-163738 20240129-163819 20240129-170627 20240129-171308 20240211-180437 20240211-180448 20240203-124442

So that’s it, off for quotes today on the new glass, resin and marine ply needed to get the floor and transom back in…will cover that in Pt 2 which could be a month or two away.

Posts: 5754

Date Joined: 18/01/12

 I'll be following this!

Mon, 2024-02-12 09:15

 I'll be following this!


 Give a man a mask, and he'll show you his true face...



The older you get the more you realize that no one has a f++king clue what they're doing.

Everyone's just winging it.


still trying's picture

Posts: 1025

Date Joined: 27/06/17

 You will forget all about

Mon, 2024-02-12 10:28

 You will forget all about the hard work when you have her back out on the ocean with cold beers in the esky and hopefully a dhue or 2 or 4 these days.


 rather be fishing

sea-kem's picture

Posts: 14895

Date Joined: 30/11/09

 Farrrk yes, love these

Mon, 2024-02-12 10:43

 Farrrk yes, love these posts. Nice work mate, looking forward to seeing the progress.


Love the West!

carnarvonite's picture

Posts: 8632

Date Joined: 24/07/07


Mon, 2024-02-12 11:37

 Had one of these with a Volvo sterndrive years ago, great sea boat and its no wonder why you chose to rebuild it.

Lot of work ahead but in the end it will be worth evey bit of effort and money you put in.

Will be watching progress with interest

Livewire's picture

Posts: 278

Date Joined: 25/11/16

 Well done. Alot of work. I

Mon, 2024-02-12 12:29

 Well done. Alot of work. I can still remember the itching for my early days building Northshore's.

big john's picture

Posts: 8731

Date Joined: 20/07/06

Labour of love

Mon, 2024-02-12 14:20

Nice work Brock.

Looking forward to seeing the finished reno. Purple gel coat?


WA based manufacturer and supplier of premium leadhead jigs, fligs, bucktail jigs, 'bulletproof' soft plastic jig heads and XOS bullet jig heads.

Jigs available online in my web store!

Brock O's picture

Posts: 3181

Date Joined: 11/01/08

lol...yeah big purple anchor

Mon, 2024-02-12 14:46

lol...yeah big purple anchor painted on the side.

Posts: 267

Date Joined: 04/08/22

Awesome project

Mon, 2024-02-12 14:28

I will be watching this also.

Would be a shit tonne of self satisfaction on completion,onya for taking it on !!

Posts: 8

Date Joined: 24/12/23

 Do like these posts, will be

Mon, 2024-02-12 14:42

 Do like these posts, will be following with interest

Swompa's picture

Posts: 3815

Date Joined: 14/10/12

 I have some 450gsm bi-axial

Mon, 2024-02-12 16:23

 I have some 450gsm bi-axial glass here if you want? one side of chopped strand and the other is woven mat. It is strong as shit when done properly. 

I never intend to work with that stuff ever ever ever again....until next time. 

Swompa's picture

Posts: 3815

Date Joined: 14/10/12

 For what its worth,

Mon, 2024-02-12 16:29

 For what its worth, Composite Warehouse on O'connor were good for me. 


Not sure how your budget extends but that plastic/foam plywood from there is a good alternative to plywood, but expensive. 


Vinylester resin is the go too. Stronger than Polyester...same catalyst.

Brock O's picture

Posts: 3181

Date Joined: 11/01/08

Ha Swompa, Thanks for the

Tue, 2024-02-13 06:27

Ha Swompa,

Thanks for the offer, yeah there a 5min drive from my joint.

Sticking with marine Ply, been told I don't even need to go to that extent if its fully glassed and sealed.

Have just put an order in for a few rolls and yes going Vinyleter, if I fall short will flick you a msg.

Swompa's picture

Posts: 3815

Date Joined: 14/10/12

If i can recommend one thing

Wed, 2024-02-14 08:22

If i can recommend one thing it is to buy stamped certified marine ply. I had to do mine twice because the wood I got wasnt what i paid for and ended up going soft.


Posts: 2020

Date Joined: 16/05/09

 Good call swompa. the crap

Wed, 2024-02-14 14:36

 Good call swompa. the crap you buy at bunnings doesn't cut it. Costs a lot more for good ply.

Brock O's picture

Posts: 3181

Date Joined: 11/01/08

Looking at Allwood Timber

Wed, 2024-02-14 17:21

Looking at Allwood Timber supplies in Welshpool atm, World wide timbers traders out of some stock.

There's is some cheaper stuff on FB market place stating top quality, but wont give place of origin or any type of grading.

Swompa's picture

Posts: 3815

Date Joined: 14/10/12

 I got the stuff off

Thu, 2024-02-15 13:15

 I got the stuff off marketplace/gumtree. It didnt last three months as a roof on my chook pen but I got 12 months out of it as the deck on the boat, even with it painted in resin. 


I thought the bunnings stuff was good to be fair. The bits i used on my deck when i replaced it again have been in the weather for nearly two years and are still visually fine. 

sea-kem's picture

Posts: 14895

Date Joined: 30/11/09

 Allwood are good, deal with

Thu, 2024-02-15 14:19

 Allwood are good, deal with them a bit when needing anything timber. They'll source for you no drama. 


Love the West!

uncle's picture

Posts: 9387

Date Joined: 10/02/07

Mammoth job there Brock o

Mon, 2024-02-12 16:25

 Will be worth the effort I'm sure


all aggressive fish love bigjohnsjigs

rob90's picture

Posts: 1523

Date Joined: 06/02/13

 Awesome work! It is a tough

Mon, 2024-02-12 16:27

 Awesome work! It is a tough job but soo rewarding when your out on the water, knowing exactly what's getting you out and home safely is great peace of mind


 Hi my name is rob............. and I'm a........... fishaholic

little johnny's picture

Posts: 5345

Date Joined: 04/12/11

Brings back

Mon, 2024-02-12 18:21

Memories. Horrible itchy feeling .very tight fit

Brock O's picture

Posts: 3181

Date Joined: 11/01/08

Thanks ladsAppreciate the

Tue, 2024-02-13 06:36

Thanks lads

Appreciate the comments, massive job but will have a strong half decent tub at the end of it without mortgaging the house.

Need to change the way its supported under the hull, bit of cleaning and all going well get started with some glass this weekend.

tcarroll's picture

Posts: 257

Date Joined: 17/12/13

 Great post!Will be watching

Wed, 2024-02-14 07:27

 Great post!

Will be watching progress keenly 

Posts: 397

Date Joined: 17/07/07

great effort

Wed, 2024-02-14 14:22

 i`m definetely keen to see any progress reports.

Marineboy's picture

Posts: 840

Date Joined: 14/03/14


Wed, 2024-02-14 16:51

Bet that wheelbarrow is hard to push, where did you put the torre ?


 My spots are so secret even the fish don't know about them !

Brock O's picture

Posts: 3181

Date Joined: 11/01/08

Fitted a new tube and used it

Wed, 2024-02-14 16:59

Fitted a new tube and used it for lugging the old timber to the front yard...was perfect timing with the council verge collection.

The tory went to me mums joint, was a half day mission to clean her shed before I could even start.

pelagicyachts's picture

Posts: 1306

Date Joined: 23/02/11

that last picture of the dust

Thu, 2024-02-15 13:18

that last picture of the dust suit...... - just make me twitch thinking of the last time i had to do that

scotto's picture

Posts: 2470

Date Joined: 21/04/08


Fri, 2024-02-16 08:27

good post, I really enjoy seeing these.


your comment of "I've been told I don't even need to go to that extent if its fully glassed and sealed".... mate, we all know one screw hole can cause the cancer. a transducer replacement here, a new ladder there, a miniscule chip in the gel you didnt see for a month. Even coating the screws with silicone only prevents so much. 


I know its expensive, but I cant speak highly enough of Thermalite. I paid $600ish  for a sheet of 17mm (2400x1200) late last year, but it truely is mint, and I wont be using marine ply again. I know a similar sized sheet of genuine maine ply of the same dims is approx $200+, but you wouldnt  be using pallets of the stuff. it may only be $1k extra on top of your build, but it is for eternity, and you would expect to recoup that cost if you ever resold. The extra cost of materials and labour to "fully glass and seal the ply" can even outweigh the actual cost of some Thermalite boards. 


anyway, not trying to deter you, just MHO. 

Brock O's picture

Posts: 3181

Date Joined: 11/01/08

Good points especially with

Sat, 2024-02-17 08:48

Good points especially with the transom, the first utube vid I watched a spearo in Mackay did his whole Haines Hunter rebuild in the stuff, it gave me the motivation to tackle this, but just couldn't justify the cost for this build. The 25mm coming in around $800 each.

Just picked up a few sheets of 25mm and 18mm marine ply yesterday which will cover the transom and two main stringers up the middle, but the cost is adding up with the glass, the quad 600 coming in at $750 a roll.

timboon's picture

Posts: 2926

Date Joined: 14/11/10

 Awesome mate... Looking

Fri, 2024-02-16 20:40

 Awesome mate...


Looking forward to pt 2!

eeerrriiiccc's picture

Posts: 3

Date Joined: 31/01/24

Trailer repair / upgrade?

Wed, 2024-02-21 07:12

i'm looking forward to see what you do about the trailer.


I have just purchased a formula 1800 and the trailer is good, but it will need attention in1 2 months or so.


but great post mate, realy appreciate it!




 "I couldnt fix your brakes, so I made your horn louder"