During Labor Day weekend 2007 I responded to a local ad for some old farm equipment. It looked like the guy was getting ready to tear down an old barn and there were some vintage pieces there... but nothing I really wanted. I could have bought the sickle bar mower for my 1943 Farmall H but it wasn't quite old enough (gotta maintain an image ya know...).
I love rooting around in other people's junk so I stuck around just to see what else I could find in the ruins. In the tall weeds and bushes behind the barn there were a set of tailfins sticking up. I had to go see what was there. In the tall grass was the ugliest old boat I have ever seen. It had comically large tailfins and had been long ago painted a horrible red and blue. It was sitting atop a trailer that probably could have hauled Noah's Ark.
Of course I just HAD to open my mouth and ask it's fate. Fifty bucks later I was the owner. I had buyer's remorse immediately. There was no honeymoon. The whole time we struggled to get the trailer out of it's snarled vegetative crypt and to convince two tires to hold air I was mumbling ideas about forgetting the fifty bucks and just disappearing like a trailer park mullet-man on child support day.
Here's a couple shots taken after we yarded it out in the open. It looked much better in the tall grass!
I strapped it into place with one of those huge yellow load binder straps that I had found on the road a while back (thanks, careless trucker!). It still wouldn't stay in place. It was about 5 or 6 miles home and I must have stopped 5 or 6 times to shift it back into a semi-upright position.
This is either a decade's worth of leaves that fell into the boat or someone's abandoned compost pile:
The boat is a Baker-Jewell and has the serial number 58006, and I'm only half joking when I guess it might have been the sixth one made in 1958. I have met with zero success trying to find info on this company.
A view of the captain's command post.
Here's the boat on it's trailer. It looks pathetic enough without making it sit atop something that could haul a stock car to the track.
I didn't do anything with it for almost a year, partially due to sloth, partially due to apathy. But mostly due to the logistics of moving it out in front of the garage so I can tinker on it. The trailer is almost 20 feet long and my driveway isn't much longer. Plus the fact that I suck at backing trailers up. So began the Great Boat Trailer Search of 2008. I looked at a few and settled on a small, lightweight homemade (but well built) trailer with a new winch, hitch, wiring, and taillights for $150. And it was even licensed! Bingo! Click "next page" for more...