My Dad has owned a 15′ Klamath fishing boat since I was 7 years old. It was the center of most of my family’s camping trips and has made fishing one of my beloved hobbies.
So, three years ago when my Grandpa gave me his 1973 Evinrude 9.5HP outboard boat motor, I got the crazy idea to buy a boat to put it on! I started looking on craigslist in late 2008, went and looked at a few boats, but the idea died when I had to start buying Christmas presents for everyone.
I had this unused motor, sitting upside down wrapped in plastic grocery bags that I lugged along with me every time I moved into a new house in the central valley. A short time after 2011 started, I found these plans online to build an outboard motor stand out of 2×4’s and 2×6’s that cost a whopping $15 to put together. I started accumulating the wood and hardware and one Sunday evening after a few beers and the borrowed help of my Dad’s circular saw, I had a motor stand.
I cleaned up the spark plugs, made sure everything was tight, mixed up a tank of gas/oil/carb cleaner and it fired up on the first pull! They don’t make ’em like they used to…
Very shortly after this time came the yearly bonus. This really kicked me into boat buying gear and I started spending (too much) time looking at the different 12 – 15′ boats in (and above) my price range. I checked out a few more craigslist offerings, but was turned off by the gross negligence that a lot of owners had toward their boats. I was comparing welded vs. riveted construction, hull thickness, weight capacity, overall boat weight for car-topping possibilities, etc…
I landed on Gregor Boat Company out of Fresno, CA. They have been making all-welded aluminum boats since the ’60s and are what my Grandpa recalled as “top-of-the-line” aluminum boats. After a few phone calls, I was able to negotiate the purchase of their 14’5″ model direct from the factory rather than going through a dealer, which avoided a couple hundred dollars in markups and fees. With this “savings” I decided to add optional floorboards and full bow deck & compartment. I put in my down payment, and after 2 and a half weeks of painful waiting I went to pick it up yesterday:
Beautiful. The craftsmanship looks and feels really nice and I can’t wait to get it on the water!