Some remember it in its days of going scuba diving... but most remember it as the giant time and money consumer of my life.
It all started in `95 when my neighbor bought "The Bug Hunter" and we would go scuba diving off it near Hope Island. Since then I bought the boat from Chuck and he has since gone through 3 others. A couple seasons after I got her, we overheated the motor and parked her in the yard awaiting her ground up restoration.
About 2 1/2 years ago, I rolled her into the garage and started on her. Tore down the motor... determined it was unsalvageable and already had the money saved up to buy a new one and did so right away. Found a brand new Honda 4 stroke at a good price.
My initial plan was to fix the motor, fix the rot in the transom, redo the dash, quick coat of paint and get a new trailer. Well... we have far from the original plan to the extreme of the only thing original on the boat is the outer 10mm of fiberglass which makes up her outer skin.
Seems the transom was not a little rotted.... but completely rotted. So we cut the back of the boat open to get at it and replaced the 1 1/2 inches of plywood that made up the transom. While I was there and it was all open, why not make some improvements. So I fabricated a whole new rear end consisting of three compartments to house inboard fuel tanks ( Since I got a 4 stroke... no need to haul around gas tanks ) and a dual battery system.
While doing this fabrication, a neighbor mentioned "You might want to check the sub floors. Chances are they are rotten as well". I really didn't want to fearing what I might find. Well... my worst fears were exceeded. Not only were the sub floors rotted, but the stringers that make up the backbone of the hull... were none existent. They had completely rotted and been washed away by the water in the bilge. The only thing that remained was the fiberglass shell around were they had been. This proved useful because I could now rebuild the stringers.
I decided to improve the boat some more. I put in new pressure treated stringers complete with a stepped down nose section for more room for equipment. In addition I built in a live well/seat/storage compartment which is exactly the height of a beer bottle and exactly holds 4 scuba tanks :-) I also put in new marine plywood floors which were glassed on both sides so the splash up from the bilge would not affect the wood.
The boat is now only 2 years behind schedule but coming along rather nicely. I plan to have it in the water this year.... but I said that last year as well. I need to have the boat painted which I had planned to do myself. Since it is too cold for me to do that now, I am trying to have that done by someone else this winter.
Boat photo album.