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Bass Boat Restoration Project - 1990 Gemini 200 DCX

Started by Bad Poncho, October 15, 2012, 08:35:50 PM

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Bad Poncho

Hey everybody! We are in the process of beginning a restoration on our 1990 Gemini 200DCX, my father bought the boat new in 1990 but was parked in 1995 until now.  

So at the end of day one we had the front deck stripped down to the old glue.

Bad Poncho

Day two progress!

Day two of the restoration we stripped the carpet from the floor and the rear deck, with the carper completely stripped from the hull it is just about time to start sanding the old glue off and think about the new carpet. I apologize for no pictures today, did the video though. Hope you enjoy!

Bad Poncho

Day three of the Project Poncho build was a day of hard labor, though you may not see it we have spent many hours scraping the aluminum lids until they became spotless, the fiberglass proved to be a different beast entirely.

When I first began scraping on the fiberglass flooring it came off extremely easily after being exposed to the open air. While the large majority of the rear deck, lids included, were incredible easy to remove the glue there was a couple of curve balls when it came to the fiberglass. It seemed as though the glue had bonded with the glass resulting in me having to sand off the excess until it became even with the fiberglass.

Tools used:

14-in-1 tool - $6

Acetone (Not needed for a majority of it but may come in handy) - $7

100grit sandpaper (Never hurts to have extra sandpaper) - $10



Bad Poncho

Day four was spent scraping the front deck, this was best done by scraping it dry with the 14-in-1 tool then following it with the acetone. The acetone works for you in two ways, it helps to soften to glue and it also cleans the fiberglass allowing you to see spots of glue that you may have missed. After I did a quick move around the deck with the scraper I then used a broom to get any of the fine debris out of the way so that I could better ensure I cleared off the loose glue fibers. The last step of the day was to use a paper towel that I put acetone on to make one final check for loose glue before calling it good for the day.

Bad Poncho

Hey Guys and Gals!

We finally got out of our financial slump and picked up a new-old 1986 Johnson 200! The motor was cosmetically rough but the top end was rebuilt with only 5 hours on it! Check out the transformation! The hull is going off for paint over the next few days then we can keep on goin'!

Bad Poncho

Another week and more progress on the Project Gemini build! This week we received the boat from paint, if you are looking to save yourself some money when getting your boat painted the preparation is what takes the most time for the paint, so why not do it yourself?

The first thing you will want to do is decide if you are getting new carpet or not, if you are remove the carpet, once the carpet is removed you will then move to removing the doors. The doors on the boat will be covered either by carpet or a bed liner depending on the route you wish to go so there is no need for therm to be on the boat while it is being painted. Getting paint under the hinges and in the water channels will be much easier with the doors removed as well.
Next up is the rough up the gel coat/fiberglass. You will want to start this by stripping the wax and oils from the hull, you can get stripper from most hardware stores though I personally use Dawn Dish Soap after my mother stripped through the wax AND gel coat on the Gemini years ago, but that is another story in itself. Once you hit it with the stripper you then want to follow with isopropyl alcohol to ensure all of the residues are removed from the boat, these residues may gum up your sand paper.

Once the hull is nice and clean we then used 100 grit sand paper to rough up the hull, followed by 120, then finished off with 150. Many people use 80 grit but I personally find that to be too course. Once you sand over the entire paintable surface your will then follow up with more isopropyl alcohol before applying the primer.

When painting fiberglass cars in the past we have used a product known as Feather Fill, this product is a sandable primer that will actually build up and fill some of the small imperfections in the fiberglass. I will note that on our project we did NOT use it to show what can happen if this is not done. I HIGHLY recommend the Feather Fill because it will show you in the imperfections it did not fill, those imperfections will need to be fixed with fiberglass resin.

From there is a matter of either painting the boat yourself or sending it off! These steps could save you as much as $2,000 in shop time, you will figure out why once you complete the prep work.





Bad Poncho

Thanks! I still have a bunch left to do but hopefully this weekend I'll be hanging the 200 on it!

Still left:

Fiberglass Work - Fixing small pits and extending front deck
Replace Pumps - Livewell, Bilge, Custom Cooler(?)
20oz Carpet - from
Seats - from Bass
LED Lighting -
Custom Panels - Custom made switch/gauge panels from scratch
Mount Electronics - Minn-Kota Maxxum 70lb, Humminbird 788ci DI HD

I'm sure I've missed something but we shall see!

Mike S.

This is a cool thread. Awesome project. I have never heard of one of those boats. I am anxiously awaiting pics of it totally finished. Sure beats paying for a new boat. So what's the story on the boat?  Why did it only get used for 5 years and then sit so long?

Bad Poncho

Gemini Boats was owned by Billy Westmoreland, the smallmouth guru himself. The boat was designed to function on Dale Hollow, St. Clair, and Erie with ease. The "wings" on the hull allow less water to come over on to the deck which can be an issue on those bodies of water.

My father purchased the boat new in 1990 after winning the majority of tournaments in his local trail, the Barry Country Hawg Hunters, he did so out of a 14' that he and his partner converted into a bass boat with a 1956 Johnson outboard.

The Gemini was bought at Lake and Lawn in Plainwell when he went to go pick up a 18' Aluminum boat, instead he stumbled upon the 20ft Gemini with the 200 for only $16,000 and affordable payments, not to mention they gave him $400 to ensure he made the first payment. On the test drive the dealer hit 84mph and that was all-she wrote, well that and a check. That year he and his partner went on to win the third AOY in a row.

The boat features a 40 gallon livewell in the front and two 20 gallon livewells in the back, The front deck measures around 8 1/2' though with the extended deck it may be more like 9' of deck length. As I mentioned earlier the boat had a top speed of 84mph with the 200 which was a deciding factor in the boat.

I was born in 1992 which is when the boat began to sit. My father more-or-less stopped fishing for 5 years and began working 40-60 hour weeks and spending his off time with his children. When I was around 10 he rebuilt the motor and beefed it up to 260+hp which propelled the boat to over 90mph. That winter mice got to the motor and nested inside the cylinders, rending the powerblock in need of repair yet again. To make matters worse that summer my mother decided to do my father a favor and was his boat, with Dawn, evidently Dawn strips wax and gelcoat.

Here we are today, working on the rebuild for my first real bass boat, I have been fishing out of a 1993 Quantum Fish-and-Ski and I love it, which is why it will be my next project.


Mike S.

Sweet. 1992?  Man, I'm young, but you are really young. Are you going to do any custom graphics on the boat, or just leave it white? 

Bad Poncho

It will have my logo across the side along with Humminbird, Minn-Kota, Bluewater LED,, and whoever else is wanting to sponsor us.

Mike S.

What's up with the boat?  Is it done?  Did it get put on the back burner?


Nope, we've actually been hard at work carpeting the boat, the deck lids are taking more time than expected since the shop that painted the boat got overspray all over our $25 latches.

Alkyd enamel is known for being a strong resilient paint but the paint shop we had do our work put it on WAY too thick, on day one we noticed a ton of runs and dust in the paint but that stuff can come off with a bit of light sanding. That isn't the major issue we have however, we did notice that the paint in the motorwell actually created a puddle under the paint that had gelled over, also, the boat came into contact with water for the first time today and the paint literally fell off.

It is very HIGHLY recommended that you do not cut corners and use the correct poly paint. Looks like the next move forward, or backwards rather is the try to start fresh.

Mike S.


Quote from: Mike S. on December 21, 2012, 03:49:04 AM

Yup, we did use Visions Auto in Kalamazoo so I wouldn't recommend them. Looking like we may have to go from scratch which could help some the community though so all is not lost!


Bring it to Kelly at Fiberglass Products in Grandville.  He's an old timer who's forgotten more about painting and gelcoating boats than any of us could ever learn.  He's done some work for me, my friends, and several of my customers and I highly recommend him.
Addicted to fishing.  All the time, any species, anywhere!!  Especially in West Michigan!!!

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