A huge shout out to LOOOOOOOOOOOONGtime fellow Woody Boater Chad Durren for sending in this wonderful story of Love, Plastic and your moms kitchen. Mmmm, maybe plastic does have a soul. Take it away Chad!
We’ve all seen the listings and classified ads of boats that claim to be in “all-original” condition. Ready-to-go boats that require NOTHING – just add gas, jump in and go boating. Boats that look and sound too good to be true.
Such was the case with a Facebook Marketplace listing that was forwarded to me by my good friend, Dennis back in May of this year. The text read: “Hey Chad, can you take a look at this boat and tell me what you think?”
Our history goes all the way back to grade school. Dennis and I played High School sports together, and spent countless hours on the water during Summer breaks. We mastered the skill of dragging a +225lb water-skier out of the water behind a 90hp outboard. We only see each other a couple times a year these days with our busy schedules. He stops out to Pleasant Lake on occasion for a beer and a boat ride.
The boat for sale was a 1971 Sea Ray SRV190. At first glance, there were no visible scratches or repairs, the interior looked great and all the hardware was there. Seemed like a great deal for $4,900, provided the engine was in working condition. Being the skeptic, I advised him to go look at the boat in person.
Dennis was excited to tell me that the bilge and engine were as clean as the rest of the boat. The boat is powered by a MerCruiser 165. After the seller started the boat and it ran smoothly, he decided to make an offer. $4,500 and a handshake is all it took for Dennis to become a classic boat owner. I have to say, I was a bit jealous. I’ve spent more than that on a trailer. I love the mint green gel coat and the aqua interior combo. After a bit of research, I learned Sea Ray offered the SRVs in several striking colors; orange, mustard yellow, avocado, mint green. Reminiscent of my mother’s kitchen in the 70’s.
I got a call from Dennis the following week, who had traveled from Gaylord to Cheboygan, MI to get a closer look at the boat. He was met by the son of the previous owner. His deceased mother, Marilyn, was the caretaker of the boat over the years. Owned since 1973, the Sea Ray was maintained “Marilyn’s Way” – wiped down, polished, vacuumed, covered and stored in the garage after every use. The son was selling the boat because it hadn’t since much use after his mother had passed.
He trailered the boat back to Gaylord where he has a place on beautiful, Otsego Lake. Shortly afterwards, he launched the boat and began using it. We exchanged a phone call or two to discuss any issues that he might be having. I was half expecting him to be asking me how to fix an issue, but I got nothing. He just wanted to know what kinds of towels and cleaning supplies he should buy to keep her looking great.
Dennis’ girlfriend, Tina, and his family used the boat all summer on Otsego Lake, anchoring on the sand bar, and enjoying the boat to the fullest. She clips along nicely at speeds over 40mph and her deep V hull is suited well for the 5 mile long Otsego Lake.
Dennis’ amazing luck does not end there. Dennis and Tina got married over Labor Day weekend. While the rest of the world is in pandemic lockdown, it’s refreshing to see them having the time of their life. Smiling like love birds in their hip 70’s fiberglassic.
Fellow Woodyboaters, join me in congratulating them on their recent marriage, and welcome them to our dysfunctional family of antique & classic boaters.
Here’s to many more years of marital bliss and trouble-free boating. I’m sure Marilyn is happy to know that you are now taking care of her boat. “Her way”, of course.