by David "Shorty" Routh

(click thumbnails to enlarge)

click thumbnails to enlargeHere she is, sitting out back of a boyscout camp in Conroe. She had been completely stripped of almost everything that could be removed. The mast and sail rig were gone, the cleats were removed, even the rudder gudgeon were removed.
click thumbnails to enlargeI talked to the head of the scouts boat program, and this boat was supposed to have been chopped up and destroyed, but the volunteers had not gotten around to doing it yet.
click thumbnails to enlargeSo I offered to haul the hull away if they would give her to me for free.
click thumbnails to enlargeGetting a title was a bit of a challenge, the boyscouts didn't have one for it. I first ran the TX number and it came back as someone in Houston.

I called them and talked to them about the boat, they said they had sold it to someone else, but had a better boat to sell me (can't remember the type). I explained that this was the one I was interested in, so he gave me the name of the person who bought it.

So I called this next guy and said that I was interested in the boat. He told me he would be glad to sell it for $5000, but he was in the process of restoring it and really wanted to finish it before selling. I asked if he had seen the boat lately, because it was completely stripped, and laying in a field up in Conroe. He sounded rather panicked, and said would call me back in just a minute. Moments later, he called me back and said that the boat was just fine, sitting behind his garage and in great shape. Hmmm.... this is wierd. So I asked him to describe it to me -- he said it was a solid blue hull, white deck, wood trim, and was an oday 19 mariner. Ah HA! Then it became clear, someone had seen his boat and just put the same TX numbers on the bow of the hull I wanted so they didn't have to register it properly. I then described the hull I was trying to get, and some of my plans for it, and he proceeded to tell me that I was a luzer, my ideas woudln't work, and I wasn't a real sailor. A bit of a snot, but before I could thank him for his help, he hung up on me.

click thumbnails to enlargeBack to the boat, I found the hull hull number and ran it at TX parks, and they showed that it was last registered in Texas in 1990 to "Lakewoodyacht Club"
I was just about to call them, but before I did that, I saw a ghost of an image for Louisana numbers that were on the hull. So I called LA Parks, and they showed the hull last registered there in 1999, to the Boy Scouts !! HA! So I got a copy of their registration, and with a bill of sale from the boyscouts, and a pencil tracing of the hull number, I was able to get her registered here in Texas.
click thumbnails to enlarge I showed pictures of her to a few of my friends, one of them who was building a 16' Michalak boat just got his hull 3D, and commented that I was very brave to take on this project. I joked that my hull was actually further along than his. :) Brings up a good point, I enjoy boat building, and bring a hull like this back to life is sort of a good half way point between building from scratch, and buying a complete boat. I can have all the joy of putting together a boat, but start with a complete hull.
Ironically, I had a picture of an oday 19 on my pocket cruiser guide for years, listed as a mystery boat and was searching for what it was.
click thumbnails to enlarge A friend of mine had a power boat trailer sitting in his yard for a while and wanted to part with it.
click thumbnails to enlarge It is an intersting design, you move the axle forward or back to adjust the tongue weight, and carry the boat properly. You do this by simply loosening 4 of U bolts that holds the axle assembly to the frame.
click thumbnails to enlarge The bunks were all wrong & rusted, so I started by cutting the boards off first.
click thumbnails to enlargeThen I took my circular saw with a metal cutting blade, and cut thru the U bolts. With a small POP, the bolts sprung apart as I cut thru them.
click thumbnails to enlarge I took basic measurements of the bottom while in the field and used them to setup my bunks. Here is a more detailed sketch that I took later after the hull was on the trailer. NOTE: The distance from the bow eye to the axle is not correct, that will produce a very heavy tongue weight. I am currently trying to find a better distance, am looking for only about 100 lbs of tongue weight.
click thumbnails to enlargeHere is what she looks like after on the trailer.
click thumbnails to enlargeDeomstrating his great strength by holding up the trailer with a single finger, is my friend Tim who helped me get the boat up on the trailer.
click thumbnails to enlarge1350 lb boat, and still had a lot of water in her. There are a number of ways to get a boat up onto a trailer, the method I used was to run a 3/8" nylon line around the entire boat, criss cross it loosely thru the bow eye, and then crank her on with the winch.
click thumbnails to enlarge I started cranking, and cranking, and got to the point that I had to use every ounce of energy to make the winch turn. I would put both hands on handle, push will all my might, and it would turn the bottom 1/4 of the way. Then get under, push upward with both hands, and make it go another 1/4 turn. Wow that was a lot of work, and to get an idea of how much tension was on the line, look at the distance between the bow eye and the winch line hook, and then compare it to the previous picture. The rope stretched about 4' while trying to get the first few inches onto the trailer.

Something has to be wrong, so Tim started poking around with the 2x4 and with a little lever action, the boat jumped forward about 6". We then discovered that the keel had made it's own form fitting hole in dirt, and just needed a little lift to get it started on the bunks.

click thumbnails to enlarge After that the cranking was a lot easier, and a combination of cranking & nudging around with the 2x4, we were able to get the hull up on the trailer.
click thumbnails to enlargeJust after this picture, I was able to pull the tongue down on the trailer and walk it over to the car. Next I pulled forward and slammed on the brakes, with Tim watching and coaching me to how far it needed to go. Couple more slams of the brake, and we were snugged up and heading home.

Took a little foliage with us, a lot of bugs, 2 geckos, 1 angry wasp nest, small colony of big black carpenter ants, and 4 new pets.....

click thumbnails to enlargeI shoveled out everything that I could, power washed her, and still she was the most dirty and disgusting looking boat I have ever brought home. So I broke out the elbow grease and started to eat the proverbial elephant. With a scrubby pad meant for dishes (not the metal SOS pads, but the plastic version of those), and with 25% bleach / water + some dish soap, I started on the stern and worked up the starboard side.

This picture was taken after the first hour of hand scrubbing.

click thumbnails to enlargeWith a little of the outside done, I cleaned a path to get inside and work on that a bit. I installed a stern drain for the interior of the hull, and wanted to prop up the bow while I hose the inside.

Cranked up the dolley jack as high as it would go, and use a step ladder to hold it up temporarily.

click thumbnails to enlargeNext I put a car jack under the wheel pivot, and cranked her up some more.
click thumbnails to enlargeUsing the ladder again to rest on, she was just steep enough to drain most of the water out as I hosed inside.
click thumbnails to enlargeNOTE: I had the wheels well blocked, to keep the boat from rolling down the driveway. Having it propped up like this is very dangerous, it could fall down at any time.

So in I went, and after the first day of scrubbing inside, I was cleaning up the driveway afterwards and found 4 new pets for the kids that had fallen out the stern drain....

click thumbnails to enlargeRight out the stern drain fell 4 tadpoles. I scooped them up and put them into an old pickle jar.
click thumbnails to enlargeMy girls really like them, one has even developed legs.
click thumbnails to enlargeI don't know much about frogs, but found a lot of neat info at Reading there, it seems that to raise tadpoles, you feed them lettuce that has been boiled, and then frozen. So we did that and they like muching away at it. Time will tell how long they last, hopefully we will be able to grow them to maturity.