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The Happiest Day In a Boat Owners Life...
By clanders - Published April 22, 2014 - Viewed 3203 times
It's been quite a while since I owned a boat, but since I'm an editor at a boating magazine, it's certainly come up from time to time. I do have a Sunfish, which I keep at a friend's house (and by "keep," I mean I dropped it off there a few years ago, and as far as I know he still has it) and an inflatable kayak, which I use at a manmade lake near our house in Baltimore. The last real boat I owned was a 26-foot wooden sailboat that I tried to live on and fix up for a few years, and it didn't end well between us. I ended up giving it back to the marina I bought it from (repossessed would be an unkinder way of putting it, I suppose), and my plans to sail to the Marshall Islands were traded for running water and heat in a house ashore. I have since done some research and determined that I probably wouldn't have liked living in the Marshall Islands anyway, although I'd still like to visit.
Anyway, in the years since then I've lived a mostly quiet, non-boat-owning life, but I've occasionally thought about the type of boat I'd get if I ever decided to go that route again. A little more than a month ago, my non-boating, usually sensible wife turned to me and said, "I think we should get a boat." I'm not quite sure what she was thinking, but I knew better than to question her. A week or so later, I was headed back from New Jersey towing our new yacht.
Somewhere between Baltimore and the Jersey Shore
Well, "yacht" is a little much. So is "new" for that matter. I brought home a 15-foot runabout from 1964, made by the Molded Fiber Glass company, or MFG. I liked it because it has the classic shape of a Lymann, boats I've always admired, without the pesky inconvenience of being made of wood. The only real piece of wood on the boat is the plywood transom, so of course that needs to be replaced, as does the windshield. It needs new seats, deck fittings, a steering system, ski racks… actually, maybe it's easier to say what it doesn't need. The hull, floor, and deck seem to be in fine shape. It came with a trailer and engine. The former works fine. The latter, well, that remains to be seen. I know a bit about small engines, not much about outboards, and less about V4 outboards from 1964, but it would be nice to get it running.
I started working on the boat at the end of February, and I'd really like to have it out on the water this spring. It's the middle of April as I write this, so the next few posts will be catching you up on what I've done so far (spoiler: there is a chainsaw involved).
Home sweet home. What was I thinking?
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