SOME OF THE MANY BOATS I HAVE OWNED OVER THE YEARS
All the following boats have been either fully restored from a complete wreck, to serious repairs to a reasonably good boat which made the boat unusable before restoration. The Suzuki SJ410 4×4 was a wreck as was the Renegade Jeep and both were fully restored. I wish I still had them both now.
By far the longest and most difficult restoration is the Dowty Turbocraft. This boat has been very difficult, because the jet unit even had to have the holding base re-cast by a foundry and then re-installed by a highly skilled Formular One fibreglass technician, due to the accuracy and stresses required for both straight line drive, waterproofing and strength.
Fletcher GTO 12 foot Boat And Suzuki 40HP outboard – circa 1980’s
Possibly the best combination I have owned, small light and reliable. Cheap to buy, run and fun to use for up to 4 people in comfort. My son learned to ski behind it at the tender age of 5.
Top view of the Fletcher GTO 12 foot a lovely boat. Towed by a Suzuki SJ410 Jeep and Powered by a Suzuki 40HP 2 stroke outboard
Mitcham Marine Spitfire Jet Boat – 1968
My mini Mitcham Marine Spitfire Jet Boat. It uses a Rotax 350cc twin cylinder water cooled inboard engine. Fantastic fun and fast. Link: www.oldspeedboats.co.uk/history-of-mitcham-marine-2/
Mitcham Marine Spitfire Outboard (1967) with Suzuki Jimny Adventure (2016)
Great fun, even easier to manages, tow and enjoy. Again with a Suzuki Jimny Adventure (last of the small Jimny’s). Very fast with the Honda 20HP 4 stroke outboard. Would be faster with a 2 stroke, but would pollute the waters. Same hull as the jet boat above.
Albatross Sport with Ford Side Valve Engine – 1953
Albatross Sports with 950cc side valve Ford engine. Fast boats and made of aluminium, high care issue boat and lots of care for winterisation. Link: www.oldspeedboats.co.uk/albatross/
Scottish Lochs and Inshore Fun In Princess 32 Foot Cabin Cruiser
Hardy Offshore Cruiser circa 1996
From fast and furious to all round fantastic boat. Excellent on rivers or out to sea. Looks like a mini trawler. Powered by a 40HP Honda outboard, it could plane. All amenities on board for 2 people and a good toilet and shower, plus galley. Sun roof awning, the lot. Fantastic boat and wished I still had it. Could cope with serious seas.
Land Rover Discovery And Hardy On The Move
Hardy with Discovery tow car. Good combination, but Discovery not the best on steep slipways.
New Wheels And New Trailer For The Hardy – I had overdrive fitted in the Landy
New Land Rover 110 Estate to which I fitted an ‘overdrive’ and a brand new trailer. Far better on slipways, because I could walk through the vehicle onto the boat. One of my best combinations loved it.
Norman Cruiser circa 1976 – Nice, sedate, not my type of boat I found
Norman 24 foot river and canal cruiser. Built in the 1960’s with a Morris diesel engine. To steady for me, but was pleasant. Loads of restoration on this.
Delta V6 3 litre sports boat circa 1974 – pocket rocket
This little Delta with its Ford V6 – 3 litre engine flew. Only problem I ever had was when the prop shaft fell out. Still made it to shore with no damage apart from the cost of a new prop and shaft. Nice easy tow with yet another Suzuki Jimny. Big restoration job before it went on the water.
1960 Apollo Dual Seat Mini Speed Boat With 25HP Johnson Out Board
1960’s Apollo mini speed boat, 25HP Johnson outboard. Clearly tows a solo dual ski novice skier. Little known about the Apollo now, but it did precede the Mitcham Marines and Almarines. Towed behind my Mini Pickup. Link: www.oldspeedboats.co.uk/apollo/
Searay (Inboard 8 litre V8) and CJ7 Jeep (Straight 6 – 4 litre), both circa 1978 – My Favourite Boat and 4×4 Tow Car
From cost effective to outright cost, but great fun. Couldn’t and wouldn’t do it now, this rig was outrageous. The CJ7 4 litre Jeep and the Searay 7.5 litre V8. was fast and furious, seating 6 people in comfort on either coastal seas or fun trolling on a river. The Jeep did about 8MPG and the boat did about 20 gallons per hour. Both Jeep and Searay were full restorations. Oh well, they were the days.
Showing the beauty and size of the Searay against my earlier tow Land Rover 110
Nice Little Cathedral Hull Day Boat – The Dog Loved It
1958 Dowty Turbocraft – still under massive restoration
I bought this boat with the hope it would be a nice restoration project. They are all individually hand fitted, so nothing fits from other same boats, if you can find one anyway. As a result they are rarely restored. This was the day I bought the boat. Looks great, but not so good when I stripped it down. See the link below:
All the above boats were restoration jobs, some far more serious than others
THERE IS MUCH MORE TO COME, SO KEEP COMING BACK AND SEE WHATS NEW