They are called “FiberGlassics” the boat equivalent of a cool old car…
After the dust settled from all my boat dealings. I was left with a repairable outboard and a good trailer. Then I saw an ad for a older cabin cruiser for sale in Creston. He wasn’t asking much, and it included a very cool video depth / fish finder. I went to have a look.. What a cool older boat.. A classic ! When I showed interest he said nobody wants this boat. If you give me $50 bucks for the finder.. You can have the boat.. Wow.. It’s perfectly what I’ve always wanted. Not to big, outboard powered, all fibreglass with some wood inside. Needs a bit of work , but I can handle that. The cabin was full of wasp nests.. Once I got it home It took me awhile to clean them out. We weighed the boat at the scale in Castlegar, and found it to be 1234 lbs. wow that’s more than the claimed 950 lbs. But it still towed very nice. A little concerned about the 55 hp being enough to power the boat. But I’ll try it before I go looking for a different motor, because I like the simplicity of the Chrysler. I’m thinking I’ll remove the floor panels and then store the boat over the winter in my new RV carport. That way the bilge will have time to dry out. Old boats don’t have to die.. This old girl is way to pretty to let that happen……
About This Boat :
There’s not a lot of info on Performer boats.. in fact I could only find one other on the web. But here’s what I’ve learned so far… Seams Performer made seven models of boats from 1958 to 1962. The factory was in a LosAngles California industrial suburb of Bellflower / Paramount. Nobody bought them out like other small boat builders, so they just disappeared. They are rare to find. This was the era of outboards.. and this model could accommodate twin motors. Rated for 100 hp, they commonly had twin 40’s. Completely fiberglass with only glassed over wood in the bulkheads and floor stringers. Plexiglass windows with good rubber seals. The hull is designed to give the most interior room possible.
Note: I’m finding more of these boats as time goes.. and I’m trying to contact the owners..
Wow I found an ad for a Performer boat…
Note: I found a you-tube video of one of these Performer Tropicana’s . It’s the same blue as mine. and it was zooming along with a 75hp Chrysler motor on Silverwood Lake in California..So Cool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcfDg6ZC0zo&feature=player_embedded
The good stuff :
Well for starters it’s a small boat you can actually spend the weekend on. But what’s really good…..The gelcoat only has the smallest of hair cracks. With a good wet sand and polish you won’t see them. The cabin is in very good shape and the berths are plenty big enough. I can sit up without banging my head. There is a cool hatch up front you can crawl out, or use to access the anchor with ease. The flat bottom hull and straight sides give the floor area lots of room. And lots of wood is embedded in the fibreglass for safely attaching to. At 17 feet the boat is not too big, not too heavy.
I have plans already :
For now I’m measuring up everything and I’ll make some plans to create a functional cockpit. And I have a few neat ideas to incorporate. This will document the whole process and perhaps encourage someone to do the same. In the spring when I have the time to work on her I plan to drop the boat onto a low dolly and push it into the shop. Hopefully it will be only eight inches off the ground and I won’t need a ladder to get in and out of the boat while working .. The debate is ongoing as to how far I go in the restoration. This is a boat I would like to keep for a long time ..so I don’t want to redo anything.. Do it right the first time. For instance the windows have cracks. Dave thinks I should just glue them up.. I think that making new ones is the only way to go. They are Plexiglas so bending them to fit is not hard. I’m inclined to remove everything anyway so I can do a proper polish and reseal stuff and replace rusty screws.
Here’s the plans I drew up for an improved interior.. Giving the boat more “stay onboard “ appeal by adding a Galley, Cooler and a table. More cubbies and storage as well.
The plans also include using as much of the cabinets from my buddy Dave’s 27 ft Award trailer as I can. We will be wrecking the trailer next spring. The walls rotted out on it so he got a new trailer. From the factory the boat would have had mahogany wood work.. and I may still go that route if I can’t get the Award cabinets to fit. My plans are subject to change.
In this photo you can see that the weight of the 100 hp motor has caused the transom to bow out a bit. I will try to pull it back and add a brace & some aluminum plate to make it stronger. I’ve cut the bottom panel in the well to have a look at the wood under there.. and that wood should be replaced. after 50 years it’s very soft. I was careful to leave a lip around the outside to reattach a new floor.. and I will glass it in good. This well will get wet.
Today Oct 23 I finally got a chance to get the floor ripped up. It was chip board screwed down with drywall screws..no good.. And as I had suspected the floor supports were replaced. And they are still in good condition… But I’m not liking the workmanship.. We will be rebuilding this all the way to the transom. For now it can sit like this for most of the winter.. and dry out good.. I will be removing the stringers and glassing in new ones that are taller to make the hull bottom stiffer. The old seat , foot rest and the chip board floor went to the dump. I have two new seats, and they will be on top of useful cabinets.
Note: I did not use this tank , because I acquired a very nice aluminum tank.
In the mean time I’ll keep busy on some of the parts for the boat.. like this gas tank. I favor this over the portable one ..because it’s bigger ! And it will fit nicely under the port-side rear seat. This will also give me a fuel gauge on the dash.. The catch is that it had a leak.. I’ve repaired it and freshened the paint up. So it’s ready to install. I have the nice chrome filler cap and the boat has a vent already there. All these parts came from the Reinell that I parted out. That boat also donated a very nice horn, a wiper motor, a nice steering wheel and lights. I’ve done well. So for the winter working on the two 55 Chryslers will all I do..boat wise.. Work on those is covered in it’s own posting.
I’m doing the compliance thing !
Which means I took and passed the boater course, so I have my operators card. .. 94% not to bad.. And I’ve mailed away a” transfer of boat licence ” form to the government. So the BC # on my boat will be in my name. Being all legal is easier than trying to explain why your not !
Other Performer Seven Seas boats:
Here’s a Seven Seas that’s being used.. regularly .. A few years newer than my boat (white panel on cabin) but still very much the same boat.. It’s home is Colorado. And I presume that’s Jeff’s daughter in the photo. I hope to meet Jeff & the boat this summer.. but that’s quite a distance for us to travel.
But soon to be Big Aqua ! He is repainting it blue like mine. But this is an Admiral Boat made in Florida ? It’s identical to our Performers.. We are trying to figure that one out.. Also this boat had extensive damage done to the top-side , and Wayne has been repairing that fiberglass. He needs an upper windshield as well. This boat is a lot closer to me in Northern Idaho. The plan is to get all three together for a photo.. Yes !Jan 18, 2012 :
Today another boat came home with me.. traded a lawn tractor for it… Glasspar Citation. I want it for the 70 hp Chrysler and the bigger trailer.. Both of which will be for the Seven Seas. The 70 hp motor will take away my worries of enough hp for the weight. And the 16 ft Glasspar will fit nicely on the trailer that’s under the Seven Seas now. And this new trailer means I won’t have to modify the other one . it’s too short for the 17 ft Seven Seas. Win Win…
As well I was checking the Seven Seas out and found that my plan to dry out the bilge is working great. The weather here this winter has been very dry. Come spring when I can start work on the floor it will be easy.
May 21 2012 :
While the Seven Seas is nice and safe in the RV port.. there is no panic to get at it.. I need to make sure the motor runs good..
And here it is .. I’m hoping this works out good for the boat.. In my mind this is the perfect size motor. We’ll use it this summer on the Glaspar so it will be ready for the Performer..
Someone was selling a bunch of boat parts as a lot. It was a good deal , included was a steering system, two 12 gallon steel tanks, running lights and these very nice gauges.
Here’s the gauges new still in the boxes.. they will look very nice indeed.