Out with the old

July4th weekend was quiet around here. Jeanne noted it was the first time in decades we didn’t have doggies freaking out over fireworks. RIP Coco & Lola :(

We had a nice 4th afternoon with Dad here.

That nice shadowbox is a gift from the new owner of Dad’s long-time Catalina, Maggie. That was such a good ownership transition.

Sunday morning we grabbed the tools and climbed in to the SeaFlite, having decided to convert it to outboard power. It was a long day, but we got it done!

Oops, realized you have to pull the outdrive first, to get the prop shaft out of the back of the engine.

50 year old seals needed a little help from the gate post, and with a nudge of the pickup throttle, the drive popped right out. Then it was back to freeing the motor.

Then the transom brackets inside and out. Had to cut away two bolts that were frozen in place. That added probably two hours of trying various techniques. Typical dealing with old stuff.

Late in the day, we got back to a blank slate!

Also as we dug around, the original sales receipt and brochure were found. $4,500 in 1969. This thing was classy! And it was dark avocado. I like the orange respray, personally.

We actually have the pictured hardtop, in white, from that brochure. One leg is broken off, but the parts and here and some day that’ll get a refurbish too. It’s too nice to trash.

The whole drivetrain went up on Craigslist Sunday night for $250, and yesterday Ray from Santa Rosa was thrilled to come get our old junk. He’s a boat mechanic and will be replacing a four cyl in his 1963 runabout. Says he needs the extra 40+hp to get back up on waterskis now in his 40’s :)

RickWS checked around and suggests I cut in a transom mount. But Jeanne was disgusted by my taped cut marks, saying we shouldn’t ruin the good looking lines of this boat. She’s right, and instead later today I’ll start forming up an outboard bracket to bolt on to the existing transom. Gotta do it low cost, like plywood and fiberglass. Not spending a couple grand on a metal one like this photo below. There’s a lot of web info out there, but if any readers have specific experience doing this conversion, give me a shout! Thx

4 thoughts on “Out with the old

  1. Carter!! Isnt the outboard going to radically alter the “balance” of the boat?? Much less the overall “lines”… what about an electric drive! If there was a place to charge it easily… sure would be sweet!!


    • Yo Tony, it’ll be ok :). Been reading about a number conversions on this size boat. We’ll move the fuel and battery forward, plus the out board will be lighter than the Chevy. I’ll keep the bracket short too. And we have no idea what it handled like before, so as long as it doesn’t feel like a death trap, I’ll be happy. The box is easy to make and 100% removable. If the whole idea goes bad, we can revert to chopping the rear end and putting in an outboard well. Yeah, I want to do an electric boat, but that’s going to cost some bucks. This one needs to be a quick flip so Griffin and Taylor can get it to Denver in the warm weather. Just an opportunistic free boat. Now, if you find a 16’-20’ freebie shaft/direct drive boat with blown motor, I’ll drive down for THAT electric conversion possibility! Or the 1.9tdi VW motor Anton has available…


  2. Is this an option? Reinforce transom as needed to mount the OB and put a watertight bulkhead a foot or so in front of the transom.


    • Yeah, that’s where i started the other day. It was the blue tape cut lines Jeanne saw, and said notching the back of the boat so severely for the outboard powerhead will ruin its good looks. I had to agree. The bracket will just be a bolt on, so if it doesn’t work out it’s an easy step back to square one.


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