First things first, our Seabee N6311K is in pretty good shape. It has very little to nearly zero corrosion, completely stripped of paint, and ready to be restored. That said, the work it does need could be approached a few different ways. Patched together and flown, repaired with the pieces that originally came off, or a complete restoration and rebuild to make future repairs easier and we will know what we have . We chose the latter for a few reasons.
1.) The plane is this far stripped apart, and why not go the extra “mile” and do it the best we can.
2.) We are not in a great rush to get this project airborne. This is a hobby and we want to enjoy the process and learn as much as we can along the way.
3.) With advice and help from a neighbor (who is quickly turning into a friend), who not only excels when working with sheet metal and very experienced and knowledgeable A&P, he has offered to lend us a hand in getting us through the more difficult aspects of the rebuild – sheet metal repairs. He expressed his opinions and we decided to follow his expertise.
Ok, time to take the hull skins off our Seabee. First things first, we need complete and prohibited access to the hull. This means I have to get the thing off the ground. It took some garage engineering, and I used some carpenter skills I had to build bracing….the Seabee “flew” once again.
Notice in the picture gallery that the main hull, near the step was in mid repair. The previous owner appeared to have a repair plan underway by making doublers on the hull stiffeners, and applying a patch to be riveted. It also looks like he was going to add hull boosters with the STC to also cover up existing damage to other areas of the hull.
Finished getting the Seabee lifted. Notice the around the step the repair work that was underway
Jacking is underway. I know, I know, doesn’t look real stable.
Trying to keep both sides at the same height as I go up.
Height achieved. I built boxes to support the 6×12 that the axle goes through.
And it is up!
To relieve the tail section of the engine weight, I decided to ratchet from above. Doesn’t do much, but anything helps!
As always, let us know what we are doing wrong, give your opinions guidance. We expect and appreciate any input!
tl;dr – Plan was made to remove existing hull, use spare fuselage hull to use for repairs. Need to jack up airplane.