By Bob Thomas - Georgia - USA

A little history. A few months ago I bought this:

click images to enlarge:

A 1959 Herters Quebec open bow runabout. Which now looks like this:

And the trailer like this:

This trailer is no more. The poor thing was fifty years old and had given us about 800 miles of reliable service. However when trailer rebuild time came it was deemed unsafe and resurrection would have required mostly new materials. Consequently since the only known-to-me stocking dealer to sell new boat trailers is about 3.5 hours away. I decided to buy used. Again none to be found.

A friend gave me this:

At first glance,

I was not sure he had done me a favor. Hummmmm-- let's consider my options. Kill a day and drive 6-7 hours to a dealer and buy new. May have to bring the new trailer home, load the boat and possibly drive back to allow the dealer to adjust the trailer to the boat so the warranty will be in effect. Next option. Continue to look for a used trailer. So far the good trailers I had found were made for 12-14 foot boats with eight inch wheels. Too small. Or were designed for a 2000 pound plus load and way too heavy. I need a trailer with twelve inch or larger wheels yet light weight. Our boat, motor and all gear weigh maybe 375 pounds. The boat on the above trailer is the same length as mine and the wheels are of the desired size.

At this point in time I realized my biggest problem was separating this:


So let's get started. In my infinite largess I donated the boat and $15.00 to the local landfill for which they will be eternally grateful.

Judicious use of this:

quickly turns this:

into this:

and this:

into this:

Now let us look at what we have. This will have to be replaced:

with this:

The carpet was left over from some recent home remodeling. Thought I may as well use it. After several hours hard work with ultimately the vice (yes, vice) I finally was able to produce this. And I did have to say “golly gee” more than twice. And no, dear, I will not take the boat off the trailer for a better shot. What, dear? Yes, dear, uhhhh, Yes, dear.

Next I replaced the rollers. I am now ready for a trial fit. The length was not correct so I guessed at the winch relocation and am interested in the results. Let's take a look.

Could not believe it! Walked back and there she sits on the end of the runners! Could not be better!

Once again I am going to digress. It is difficult to believe the boat is only 225 pounds from the factory. Below is an excerpt from the original 1959 Herter's catalogue. The weight may be illegible in the photo but is 225 pounds.

The addition of lights and tag may make this legal for use in Georgia. We will not quit here. Much lies ahead. I will have to put in many hours with my sandblaster and these implements of torture:

Well, maybe not the chainsaw. (Look Ma! Someone turned half the chain saw upside down!).

The above efforts should produce a chassis that will require the following for a final finish.

The product in the plastic container is a rust converter. I find it a good value. The two inch metal will be braces for fenders. It will also be used as bracing for some existing structures and possibly a couple of foot steps.

Once again to get off target. The boat is far from completed. A couple of layers of fiberglass will be added to the transom. I have yet to decide what product to use. The bottom is rough. Much filling and possibly a layer of fiberglass also. Ultimately the bottom will get a coat of graphite and epoxy. The exterior of the craft will be repainted in high gloss.

The engine:

This 1958 Johnson 18 hp (77 pounds) was purchased from a super gentleman in the Tampa Bay area. It has excellent compression and is in perfect operating condition. I will paint the maroon. The white and decals shall remain as they are. Ultimately the rig will be used for island exploring, fishing and fun in the Apalachicola bay.

There is hopefully more to come. Now just getting me to move is the problem. But, alas, I will get around to it.


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