Disaster Day On Woody Boater! You’re Not Alone.

walters dream disaster 063

Randy Rush sent this in a couple years ago. That sucks!

Yesterday Chad ended his comment by saying we love a good train wreck! I spit my coffee out and laughed all day about that line. We do! But why? Well, because we all have been stupid enough to have made all the mistakes and have things just crap out on our dreams. In other words, when you run into an oyster pot you’re not alone!


Dam oyster pot

Or when you buy a boat with your heart and after one run find out your spouse was right all along. It was a pile of crap.You’re not alone.

Broken Chris Craft Shaft

Broken shaft. That sucks

When you start a bottom job and are told every frame and keel also need to be replaced. You’re not alone.

Syvia sides

I wasn’t looking at the bungs. But I was sure bent over!

When that rebuilt engine you got was really a paint job, you’re not alone. So today, its confession day. Tell us all how dumb you are. Trust us, you’re not alone!

Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 9.08.08 PM

I paid 5K for the boat, $15K into it I had to decide, if it was going to be firewood or a boat. One plank and support lead to another. UGH


35 replies
  1. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    I bought a Chris Craft with a jet drive. Doesn’t get much dumber than that!

    My favorite disaster was when the engine went on the CC. I was sitting adrift waiting for my father to come tow me with the Penn Yan. He backed out of the lift, but then started driving in circles. Turns out the steering cable bracket detached from the hull at the least opportune time and his rudder jammed full to one side. The nice thing about having multiple boats is they can all breakdown in the middle of the lake at the same time!

  2. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    When Sandi and I purchased American Beauty she was advertised as having 200 hours on the starboard engine rebuild and 15 hours on the port engine rebuild. The guy we were buying her from had never run the engines (Red Flag). I looked at the engines and they had been pickled and I knew the 6 cyl Herc’s were nearly bulletproof so I exempted them from the survey. (how many rules did that break).
    When I asked for information on the PPO (previous previous owner), the PO was vague and never gave me much info. (Red Flag) After buying her I was finally able to get some info on the PPO. After a brief conversation I found out that the port engine, with 15 hours on it, had a knock and a bad oil leak. The man who had done the work and was well known in the area was MIA, and had taken off with other peoples money while still retaining their engine. (at least I had the engine) Upon tear down it was determined that the top end had been “rebuilt” a short time ago, but they had missed a bad main bearing, so I had main and rod bearings replaced and was on my way.

  3. Mike K
    Mike K says:

    my disaster is i saved this relic from becoming a bar! of course after digging into it, it needed , frames, stem (boy that was fun) transom cheeks……..etc….etc….etc…. been 4 years

    should call it mike k day

    • Mike K
      Mike K says:

      i finally grew a sack after looking at the plywood, found 18′ lenghts of plillipene, planed it to half inch. steamed it (twice, 1st steam box sucked) bent it , clamped it

      cupped and cracked (like my head)

  4. Mike K
    Mike K says:

    about $4000 later.

    thanks to ineeda and charles quimbly , he had the missing thermostat housing that i spent time daily looking for 2 years.

    yep mike k day

  5. Jack Schneiberg
    Jack Schneiberg says:

    Should be able to throw a bottom on this pretty quick and get ‘er back in the water. That was November of 2010. Still working on this project. Not even close to varnish yet.

  6. mike s
    mike s says:

    I bought 3 23′ Chris Craft Holiday project boats in a package deal last year and this is by far the best of the bunch. Apparently I’m the only one who wants to restore one, cuz nobody wants to buy any of them from me. Someday…….

  7. Justin Heidtman
    Justin Heidtman says:

    So my dumb story of the day……we were cutting down a 4″ to 5″ 15 ft tall pine behind the garage. We moved the 1956, 15 ft Lyman that was on blocks over about three feet from where we were working. We were dropping the tree the “other way” so why move it any further. Since I’m writing on today’s post you already know that two pretty good size branches punctured three plywood planks above the waterline. It’s been under restoration for 20 years now……………

  8. Sean
    Sean says:

    After finishing a complete hull restore on my Greavette the “freshened up” original engine had some overheating issues. So, I took it to a professional “vintage boat expert” and left it for 2 weeks. I was told… “sometimes these things just need to be run a bit after sitting” while I paid the $1,200 bill.

    So, the next day we embarked on our first trip; The ACBS Toronto, 100 mile big cruise for a big cause… we made it about 8 miles up the lake and looked like a steam engine with the smoke billowing out of the engine compartment. We watched the fleet cruise by….. A good Samaritan cottager tow to the closest marina, 6 months, 4 attempts and $3,000 later… I decided to repower with a modern motor (never looked back)!

  9. tommyholm
    tommyholm says:

    The project began when I took the Ford engine to Jimmy. Unbeknownst to me, Jimmy torn down the engine, sold the good parts off and decided to renew his interest in kit planes. He crashed into the neighbors garage. Jimmy and the engine were alas gone forever.

    • Jim Staib
      Jim Staib says:

      Ya, but Jimmy was a character! His idea was to learn how to fly so he could find boats from the air. Unfortunately, besides for the garage, most trees in his area don’t drop their leaves in the winter.
      And you should have known better Tommy. When you called Jimmy this time of year and he said “I’ll go heat up a big pot of water and try to melt one out of the show” RED FLAG!
      RIP Jimmy Weenink

  10. Phil Jones
    Phil Jones says:

    I guess I should be glad you did not use the other angle on the banner shot. To painful to discuss the train wreck after the “Adventure” but four years latter She rose up out of the ashes pretty well.

  11. Matt B
    Matt B says:

    I pulled a no-brainer last weekend. I went to the store to pick up some west epoxy. I grabbed a gallon or resin and what I thought was a quart of hardener. Turns out the quart was really resin. Funny thing, when you mix resin and resin the epoxy never cures, go figure. So after spending an entire afternoon applying the epoxy I finally realized the next day after nothing had cured what I had happened. It was not fun undoing and cleaning up of the un-cured epoxy. I’m going to give it another try this weekend.

  12. RiverRat
    RiverRat says:

    I believe that it is a common condition of having a lot of heart and no brains. The last Lyman we got floated great. Bought it and then found the miracle goo holding the bow together. Still it was an important boat to have because it filled in for the plastic boat that kept crapping out.

  13. thomas dial
    thomas dial says:

    everything new inside including the beach towel. great for keeping the knocking down…..for a while.

  14. Peter Gantt
    Peter Gantt says:

    My ’63CC Custom Ski overheated for a least a year, and we spent a few thousand diagnosing the problem. A couple of so called “experts” tried in vain to come with a solution. Early on I had a response from a guy on a CC forum chat telling me to check the make of the intake manifold. I literally knew so little, that I had no idea that one make would work, and one definitely wouldn’t. In ignorance, I completely discounted this sage advice.
    After finding the right mechanic, he too wondered if I might have the wrong manifold. Go figure.
    Long (sad) story short- correct part installed, boat runs cool as a cucomber.

  15. Tuobanur
    Tuobanur says:

    In June of 2015 I finally completed a 15 year project and was one happy man, in September of 2015 I did this while loading it on to the trailer, not a good day and that’s all I have to say about that.

    • Ronald
      Ronald says:

      A few years ago I bought a U22 at Clayton auction and hauled 1000 miles home knowing M was probably bad, $3500.00 and lots of labor on my part I had a 327f installed. then 14 coats of varnish and more labor I finally got it water worthy with some original bottom massaging, I decided to have some 2″ tailpipe tubing welded upright on the rear of the trailer maybe 6 ft.tall to serve as a guide when going on and off the trailer. As usual I was in a hurry and did not think about the tops of the tailpipe tubing being sharp. A friend went with me the first time and when unloading all was ok but when coming in in the wind the uprights were not tall enough and the height was just right to gouge into the port side about 5 ft long in an up and down motion about 6 inches below the rub rail when the wind rocked me sideways, Instant sickness on my part for being so dump to not see it coming. My scratches were not as deep as yours but still makes you sick.

  16. Tuobanur
    Tuobanur says:

    Was a while before I was able to start the repairs, every time I crawled under the bow my eyes got all watery, not sure what that was about. ;(
    Repairs are almost complete now.

  17. Rob Bergevin
    Rob Bergevin says:

    Our 35′ 1937 cruiser was stored in its boathouse slip after being lifted and then lowered onto several huge beams placed across the finger docks. About 15 years ago I did my usual inspection underneath by using the marina’s small raft meant for this purpose. I received a call the next day from the marina operator, who I must say seemed overjoyed that I was home and alive. I had left the raft under the boat, the stbd dock had collapsed, bringing our cruiser down upon it and jammed against a glass cruiser from the adjoining slip. Being dry from the winter and with no battery for the pumps, she filled with water until sitting hard on the collapsed structure. The stbd engine was submerged below the dipstick and the crankcase filled with water. After the insurance guy came and went, the boys pumped her out, lifted her, removed the debris, floated her over to the travel lift and hauled her out. She went into the shed and we drained the engines and refilled them. A few repairs and we did the annual launch a week later and away we went. The stbd engine ran great, but I changed the oil after 10 minutes and several more times to be sure. That engine ran flawlessly for seven years until I pulled the boat to rebuild the hull. I will add that the insurance guy asked me at the scene if I wanted to “write her off”. I said no, and that is why I am up to my bum in sawdust and old brass screws a lot of the time.

  18. Michael B
    Michael B says:

    My neighbor Lori at our cottage in Idaho was so proud of her ‘new’ Mercury Mustang that just never seemed to soak up. She would charge the battery so often that we all thought it must be some kind of ‘hybrid electric’. Early one morning we woke up to find the charger had failed…
    After several years of mishaps she sold it last summer.

  19. Alexander Linden
    Alexander Linden says:

    Wow, after reading some of these stories, i’m kinda glad my runabout is aluminum. Off topic, I have an uncle in America who has a boat on lake hopatcong (mr. R. Gaynor).

  20. chris
    chris says:

    I bought a 1960 roamer Regal 35′ from pictures with out looking at it first . I know not the smartest thing . The boat is in N.C. I am in Syracuse N.Y. When I checked it out the starboard engine was not pictured or a mention of it and partialy torn down . Oh well , I guess I get to do a rebuild on a 430cid Lincoln C.C. The boat is otherwise a good candidate for restoration and I have a 35, Corinthian that is already to go in the spring so no missed boating .

  21. ian
    ian says:

    I had a fellow complete a hull for me that included me buying a chevy 283 small block that he said was totally rebuilt. I was repeatedly told the motor was rebuilt so I agreed to buy the motor from him. The entire boat was designed and built around this engine. I never had him load test the engine prior to install, no leak down, no compression test; I just took his word that the engine was rebuilt. So the engine is installed in the boat and the boat was completed. It was taken to a lake for a test run and theres was no oil pressure as soon as it was run The engine had to be taken out and be rebuilt again…I had a bill for $2700 from the rebuilder on top of the engine original cost of $1500. He did not pay for the rebuild but he did take out the engine and put it back in after I had it rebuilt. I took the restorers word at face value instead I should have had him run and test the motor before buying and then installing it. Even very good craftsmen make mistakes that can be expensive; buyer beware especially guys operating out of a garage behind there house for cash.

  22. Alex
    Alex says:

    Bought 2 Chris-Crafts in Oregon which were restored by a self-professed expert in NY. Didn’t water test either, including the totally fresh restored one. They were classic glass, and one had just had $40,000+ put into it, including a fresh engine rebuild. What could possibly be wrong? Had them shipped from OR on a flatbed to Hessel. The most expensive boat of the two cooked its engine within 2 hours of use. The other blew its within an hour. Tear downs revealed both engines had been plumbed improperly. Yeah, I know. Dumb.

  23. Texx
    Texx says:

    There isn’t enough digital space in this comment section to tell the story of one of my worst mistakes in classic boating. To top it off, I don’t think anyone would believe me even if I told the story. – Texx


  24. Rob Attfield
    Rob Attfield says:

    I brought back a 1963, 18 ft. Thompson to Canada from Michigan. $1,500 with trailer. What a deal! (Ha Ha) It seemed in reasonable condition. Wrong. Among other things, thirteen new ribs, three new bottom planks, a new keel and replacement out-drive were required. I’m now in for about $8,500, but at least it’s in the water! More work to come!

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