I bought the boat about 9 years ago while I was in college at NC State. Found it on EBay for 300, boat motor trailer, in Hilton Head SC. The boat is originally from Ohio. I bought it from what was supposedly the son of the original owner and the boat was said to have seen waters from the great lakes to the coast of Florida on summer vacations.
At any rate, the boat was Rough! A side grinder/sander looked like it had been taken to the hull, the top deck was painted with teal latex paint that was peeling and the inside was covered with chipping white paint. The wooden rear seat was faded, the dash board was rotted.
The trailer was a disaster but made it home (6 hours). the original motor was a 1956 Evinrude 30 that was upside down in the boat.
Got it home, motor still turned over and fired. Put in a new dash, sanded the rear seat, and restrung the steering. I used it in its ugly state for about 2 years, and LOVED it.
I should say at this point that the boat had its problems. The transom had been cut down 5 inches for a short shaft, then later had it welded back in for a long shaft. It was ugly but seemed to be holding. One of the fins was also banged up and missing the rear cover plate.
About years three I started to strip the paint. I found heavy electrolysis under the driver seat at the rivet line. Someone had epoxied but it was a miracle it held. I mistakenly paid someone to paint the boat with Imron paint (zinc chromate primed and filled first). The paint job was OK (all I could afford after the Imron) but I have made later overcoats with Dupont Nasson at 1/3 the cost with he same quality.
The real mistake was taking the guys word that his brother could weld the 1" strip I requested to seal the bad holes and rivets. He welded, then painted, and never checked for leaks. It looked bad and leaked worse. Another fab shop later and some 3M 3200 and it has held ever since.
The boat is supposed to have jump seats behind the front bench, I think. there is a catch from them on the floor and there were holes in the seat back where they would hing down. They were long gone but would be really neat. The served as covers for the storage behind the seats when not in use. The had to be uncomfortable in all but the smoothest idle runs.
I painted the boat 1950 Ford Teal and Pepsi White. Would have loved it if it was still the anodized blue inside but it was long gone. I would like to see one in original shape just to know. I coated the inside bottom with light gray Durabak liner. I also had to recover the driver bench with wood since i had to cut an access hole int he top to seal the welds and re foam.
I upgraded the motor twice, once with a 1957 Johnson 35 (color was not right) then found a 1958 Super Seahorse 35 that was perfect. I have rebuilt and refinished it too. Then found the gold and cream Atwood steering wheel that matched perfectly.
The old transom started to flex too much and I had it cleaned up. It lasted a season and cracked. I then went back to a GREAT shop I found and had them fab gussets for both sides and really beef up the transom. It is rock solid now 3 years going and think it could hold the rated 70 horses the boat was stated to handle. However I am not sure the rest of the rivets would stand up for long.
I reinstalled the Taylor Made windshield this year (supposed to be original to the boat but was in the bottom when I bought it and in my rafters since) and decided to break with tradition one more time and install a Bimini Top to cover my daughter on mid day rides.
Really long story short it is far from original but I have tried to maintain as much heritage as possible and still get the boat on the water. I wanted it to look late 50's and think it does. Preservation over hardcore restoration I guess. It is our primary boat and we all love it. With the 35 I would guess we get about 25 miles an hour but I never clocked it. Not the greatest in rough water (and I baby it when we come across it) but it glides on smooth water.
Never knew what it was until I saw Peter Hunn's Tail Fins and Two Tones and it was the first boat featured. With fins and a MK 75. The story of how the boat really dives into a wake is true, it will veer hard and throw water over the bow. I have searched periodically for other photos of a blue sabre but have never found one other than in the book. I searched last night and found your website--even better than a picture.
Sorry for the long note, I love to talk old boats and motors. Pictures are on the way and would love to hear of any Aerocraft history you know.
Easley, SC / Savannah GA.
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