Hello everyone, I've just joined the club as well with a 1973 7GCBC.
I used to instruct seaplane ratings with a J-3, instructed aerobatics with a Decathlon, flew Scouts and GCBC on floats and wheels, landed on my fair share of beaches - even with 5:00x5 tires.
I've been scouring the posts on this forum for the obvious improvements that can be done to an old 7GCBC for that off-airport enjoyment. Keeping the weight down is pretty high on priority. The short list of questions I have here are the ones I couldn't find the answer to, but probably someone on the forum has already considered or done:
-Bigger tires, 8.50x6, 4 ply
-Remove vacuum tube from left fuselage and install electric T&B (needed for night flying)
-Replace those hard white plastic stick grips with the plushy foam ones, and add a PPT button at the same time
-Replace starter with B&C, save weight
-Replace battery with an Odyssey 680, or why not go whole hog with a Shorai LFX36L3 battery (chemistry LiFePO4) 36 AH, 540CCA, weighs 5lbs so can go on the firewall. The ECA I flew had the 680 on the firewall. Anybody do this with a GCBC yet?
-Remove speaker box and hand microphone mount (like dial telephones, two leads for a headset are a quaint anachronism, will the aviation industry ever go to a single plug like a helicopter?)
-Replace fire-extinguisher with a smaller lighter one - the ones in the Decathlon were always looking for a skylight to exit through.
-Install a skylight - not sure how hard this is to do but the window itself is cheap
-Hacksaw the "whisker" VOR antenna, unless there is a pain-free way of removing it without a refabric job. An iPhone is a better nav instrument.
-What about the instrument panel -it's got one of those funky wood-grain tall (6-pack 3 1/8" instruments with a row of 2 1/4" underneath, plus the big radio box on the right side). Like an avocado colored appliance in the kitchen. I really like the lower, light grey ones of the newer ECA. Big job to change or little job?