It’s not always about Lawn Tractors.. Yes I’ve done well and still really enjoy fixing up the tractors. The hobby has more or less paid for itself. But there is always a special place in my heart for Boats.. I’ve been around and using boats since I was very young. I love the water.. And so I love being on the water.. When I was very young our family had a cabin on a small lake, and we had a 8 ft row boat that saw a lot of use.. When I was a teenager we lived on the shores of the Thompson river and we had a small 14 ft speed boat with a 40 hp motor.. We skied , we explored, we traveled … That boat meant everything to me.. When it got very old and tired.. And we no longer lived on the water , my Brother & I traded it for a Hobbie Cat sail boat.. That was fun and I loved to sail.. Even when life was busy with kids and other things I always kept a row boat handy..
Here’s a photo of our wharf on the Thompson River. Taken in the mid 70’s.. Our 14 ft Fiberform is the boat on the right… on the left is friends of my parents boat . Our wharf was logs and wood decking. In the winter the boat was pulled up the shore on logs.. Dad bought the boat without a trailer.. Later he found a trailer when it was about 8 years old , and kept it in the driveway…
One of the highlights of my mid 30’s was a houseboat trip we took on lake Roosevelt . Seven of us shared a 52 ft boat for 7 days… I seemed to be deemed the captain and did most of the driving.. The others wanted to party. What a great time.. During those years we did a bit of boat camping up at the head end of Christina Lake.. Some stories to tell there for sure… I miss those adventures and just being out on the water…don’t seam to get the chance as much.. Lately we do use the kayaks that I now have. I can pack them along on camping trips. Wish I had those kayaks when I was a kid.. They are fun.. Simple and maintenance free. Anyway lets fast forward to the new millennium and what I’m up to boat wise.. My wife does not share my love of boats, but that’s not stopping me.. Anything to keep me busy..
The year was 2001.. It was the fall and I was bored and needed to have a project. The internet was a great tool and on it I found the answer… Build a wooden boat ! A sail boat ! Called a “Weekender” it was 16 ft and had a small cabin.. You could (in a pinch) sleep in it.. I bought the plans.. With DVD ..and rented a work space.. Ordered some marine plywood..
Here’s a photo of the Weekender during the construction. There’s a lot of pride and satisfaction in building your own boat.. I started the end of October and went sailing in May.. It’s an experience I would not trade for anything… but the boat I did trade..
This is what the finished boat looked like.. Fiberglas over wood and lots of varnished wood . Sails were made of white tarp with white duct tape reinforcement. It Worked ! The cost was surprisingly low for what I got.. Nice little trailer I picked up for $800..
I went sailing in the Weekender a few times that summer. And it was great. I did not like that steering wheel and wished I’d made it a tiller instead. On one occasion I took a friend along because he loved to sail. He also loved the boat so much he wanted to trade me for his big Yamaha touring motorcycle. I said sure lets do it . He made quite a few changes to the boat.. added a center board & tiller. I went sailing with him the next year.. He did some nice things to the Weekender.. The Weekender project was well documented by me .. I had a nice little digital camera.. And It was the start of my journalizing things I was up to.. For a time there hasn’t been much boating except for the kayaks.. But my sailing days were not over..
One of the first family camping trips we did was to Kokanee Park. And my Sisters friend brought his Lazer for the day.. We all had fun with the boat. Here’s a photo of Maureen & I out for a sail when the wind was low.. Great boat , but a squeeze for two people.
In 2006 I bought this little Delta 10 ft with lazer rigging . This is me sailing it in Pender Harbour at my brother’s house. Great little boat, had oars too. And we would take it along camping with us. But it did spend a lot of time hanging in the carport.. So this year I sold it to a deserving sailor and moved on to bigger things..
Here’s my friend Dave in one of my two Wilderness Kayaks. They are 12 ft models designed with fishing in mind. Very stable, very comfortable. Fun little boats…easy to own.
Lots of mowers and tractors.. And even a Chev Tracker have gotten my attention.. But in the spring of 2009 a sad boat caught my eye.. Don’t know what I was thinking, but the wheels are always turning.. Maureen just knows I’m crazy.. And I do take on more than I can do in most cases.. Can’t help it I love having a reason to get up in the morning..Anyway this boat for sale in Kelowna was calling my name.. It’ was cheap.. It needed work.. The trailer was worth more than what the boat was selling for so I can’t lose..
Das Boat I called it .. It was ugly, It was glass over wood construction.. Very nice workmanship.. I had visions of renovating it into my dream boat.. (my dream boat is a cabin cruiser ) The 135 Merc was old and needed some parts.. The fiberglas was separating from the hull in one place and I was not sure if I could fix it..Here it is in all it’s glory.. Didn’t look like a wood boat.. And it didn’t stay on the trailer long either.. However it was a cuddy cabin, and it did have power trim..and seats from a car.. I paid $400 for it.. And I sold just the boat and motor for $350. Then I sold the trailer for $750. A solid $600 profit.. !
While I still had the trailer and “Das Boat” was sitting on tires.. This sexy boat caught my eye.. It had been striped of the good stuff ..like a motor and leg. And it was scuffed up and needed part of the floor fixed.. A big boat .22ft had a cubby cabin. So I spent the winter looking for a motor for it .. And I could not find anything I could afford.
The Barretta Phazer II was one cool looking boat. But even a free boat is sometimes more than I can afford.. The cost of re-powering such a boat was huge. It sat in my driveway for six months and I finally gave it away and sold the trailer for a good profit.. Back to the tractors.. For awhile.. I was still dreaming of someday having a nice ..not to big .. Cabin cruiser to use for fishing and maybe a weekend on the lake. But I’m thinking that outboard motors are a safer bet. Cheaper to fix.. Easy to change.. So I shy away from anything with a stern drive. That’s probably why I hesitated when I saw a 18 ft Reinell for sale for $800. even though it had a rebuilt motor and was lake ready. I had to think this one through.. It sold to someone else .. Duh that was a good price But I’ve heard bad things about OMC stern drives…so just as well ..
2011: It’s summer and I was cruising the for sale ads. And there was someone trying to rid themselves of and old boat. Dave and I just happened to be in Kelowna and so we stopped by to have a look. It was a sad little Peterborough tri-hull with a 55 hp Chrysler motor. New steering was installed, and it had the controls and a Chrysler tank. The motor wasn’t totally trashed so may run.. The boat on the other hand… every bit of wood inside was mush ! The poor boat was left out under a tree for years.. But the hull was still intact. It was sitting on a very good EZ Loader trailer.. Humm. He said $400 and take it away.. Ok maybe this would make a good fishing boat.
This is the Peterborough on it’s way home to GF. The trailer turned out to be great.. Worth the $400. But I had no time to do much to the boat so it sat at my Nephew’s for the summer. When we finally went to get the boat some low life had robbed the wiring harness just for the copper !
While the “Pete” was waiting… Someone came to me with another boat offer.. And it was too good to pass by . This time I jumped in. $500 got a 17 ft Reinell runabout with a re-built 115 hp Merc outboard. Power trim, top and another good EZ Loader trailer. Oh my what to do.. I did not want two boats.. So “Pete” had to go.. Here’s what I did.. We took the Chrysler off and the steering and any thing else of value. “Pete” sadly went to the dump. And I sold the trailer for $400. Now I have a 55 Chrysler ,controls and steering for free.
Over the winter fixing up the Chrysler will be a good shop project.
Complete working outboards have a good value to them. I have acquired two other Chryslers for parts so should be possible to get this classic motor running. They are dead simple. I can get a shop manual from E-Bay to help. Compared to the Merc’s six cylinders, three carbs and an electronic control box… the 55 has two cylinders and one carb, no electronics just a magneto and points.
The Reinell is a good looking boat for being that old. This is the same hull design as the other Reinell that I missed out on. Normally they would have a stern drive but this is the outboard model. The interior of this boat is bad too. The floor has some holes and soft spots. There is no upholstery left, and just one beat up sleeper seat. The steering is seized up. The top is old but still serviceable. After looking at this boat for a month now I’m not to sure this is the boat that I want to spend time fixing up. And another Boat offering has come my way.. But it has no motor ! ( but I have a free Chrysler) And it has no trailer ! ( Oh no I just sold a trailer) I can only store one boat.. So I made up my mind.. I’m selling the Merc 115 and its parts.. Striping the Reinell of it’s good stuff… Tossing it out just like “Pete”. Seams nobody wants to buy a boat, motor and trailer ..but separate not a problem. The “Tower of Power” is what they call the inline six Merc’s A popular motor and I’ve had two of them.. And never got to use them.
Same for this one I sold it for $750. after testing it on the boat. Cost me $45 to drop the boat off at the dump.. So I made a $205. profit. And wrecking out the Reinell not only gave me a trailer but a 18 gal fuel tank, a horn, a small motor mount, Some hardware and a very nice burl wood steering wheel.
Finally I get the boat I’ve always dreamed of…..
This is it ! An early sixties,all Fiberglas Performer Seven Seas 17 ft . Most important here is that it is a CABIN CRUISER. Out board YES.. Blue..YES.. And I have a lot of parts & stuff to do it up nice…