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Bigger offseason boat project


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9E7056CC-8DAC-4BED-84C8-EFB4DC51FC11.jpeg                                                                                                                                                                                                       So, the 'Bigger offseason Boat project' started when i moved from near the fingerlakes to right next to the Niagara River Lake Ontario , and Lake Erie for real this past summer. Sixteen years ago when I got 'reinvolved' with fishing and subsequently involved with LOU I managed to convince my sweet wife (seriously) to allow me to get a 16' aluminum deep V and set it up to fish Cayuga lake which was 'big water' and not far away. As this 'passion' (my wife would call it something else) matured I eventually got a lil bit bigger Islander for Ontario and eventually bit the whole enchilada and started a part time charter business. For the past couple years I've done a small amount of trips with my Crestliner 245 hardtop that replaced the Islander I had for many years. The 245 hardtop came rigged mostly rigged to fish but Hank at L&M installed a large screen Lowrance HDS gen 3 with autopilot. That boat was purchased out in Minnesota at a very,very attractive price. Now, back to the original 16' boat: over the years the 'Lil boat' got a lot of upgrades and it was an awesome ANYSEASON boat that I and many here on LOU had some daring escapades on. BUT- after moving from the Fingerlakes proximity to next to Ontario (all to be with the love of my life who moved back to her hometown to care for her mom) the lil boat was just not up to the rigors of the Niagara River or safe, roomy, cold weather charters on the Great lakes. Anyway here's where the plot thickens because my sweet wife put her foot down and basically said you can put together this 'bigger boat' but it better pay for itself!! Fellas, that's a tough thing to contemplate and nevr mind accomplish but after many conversations with Hank at L&M, a plan was hatched. STEP 1.) Sold Esther II (the 'lil boat' (very sad...) then bought an old Crestliner Sabre 2105 SST Great lakes Special for next to nothing with a  150 hp OMC outboard.(motor is for sale and priced right if interested) STEP 2.) Bought a used 200 Hp. Optimax after seeing compression checked, watching it start cold , run, shift etc. (note; bought new controls for it). That is where the project is now unfolding underneath Hank's custom mobile retrofitting facility. I will keep updates rolling as 'Comments'. Step 3.) will obviously be the power plant swap/controls install. Step 4.) will be electric upgrades to enable the install of a 36 volt Spot Lock, autopilot MinnKota bowmount. Step 5.) Install my lowrance Hook, as a quik detach deal that I use for icefishing and in my kayak Step 6.) reinstall the late model electric down riggers and planer riggers from Esther I (the old 'lil boat' and some new trax and cannon rod holders. I'm sure this will be a journey with some twists and turns-I'll keep ya posted.NOTE: All blame for mistakes, poor judgement calls and general stupidity involved with this, as with past crazy ideas of mine, are entirely my fault- In no way should anyone confuse L&M's good natured attempts to humor me and my insanity as in anyway responsible for any pitfalls...

 

Edited by chowder
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I think you'll be happy with the Opti too I love mine and 18 years now....still runs like new but I use my kicker for trolling and have since the Opti was new.

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:lol: yeah Xray vision.....just has to stay away from Kryptonite

Edited by Sk8man
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Having had the honor to take part in some of those "daring escapades" on the Lil Boat, I must say she will be missed.

I sure hope her new owner takes her out in 20 degree weather for some winter trolling.  With the kerosene heater in the canvas enclosure it was a toasty place to recover after landing a fish.  

I'm sure the Sabre, (perfect name for a boat in the Buffalo area) has plenty of excitement in store.  Let the new chapter in Chowder's fishing book begin!

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Andy, sounds like a good plan. Should keep you busy this off season.  Hope you don’t have too many bumps as you put this package together!

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6 hours ago, mr 580 said:

Andy, sounds like a good plan. Should keep you busy this off season.  Hope you don’t have too many bumps as you put this package together!

Words of encouragement are always appreciated Frank. I have yet to play a very active role in this outside of pulling some raw ingredients together but my time will come eventually. I actually was one of the first people to look at Sparky’s boat but my better half put the kibosh on that real quick ( reasonably so)

Edited by chowder
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  • 1 month later...

Project update: 1.) The Johnson is off and the Merc Optimax is on and running; need to hook up controls, hook up new batteries-Perko etc and install and hook up external oil reservoir (got on eBay). Received the bowmount but realized quickly we got to have a quick connect mount plate (got on wBay). Next will be the 3 battery install and charger setup. 

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I did get a gismo that enables one to raise and lower the transducer which should come in handy at the ice chunk filled Lewiston launch in Jan,Feb, March

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