Thursday, April 24, 2014

Since Earl sold his fishing boat, I've been kicking around the idea of fetching the 13' Boston Whaler off of our trawler.   Drift Away is on the hard and the Whaler is on the roof, tied down in chocks.  The only problem is that I don't have a trailer.

Earl and I spent the past two days driving all over, looking for a small but heavy duty boat trailer.  The Whaler weighs about 350 pounds and the 50 HP Johnson a couple of hundred.  That's a lot of weight.  We drove to all the places that Earl thought we might find a used one, but no luck.

Our neighbor, Wanda, was here this morning and she said that a neighbor a couple of blocks away was setting up a garage sale and had a boat trailer.  Earl and I went over.  It looked perfect.

"How much?" I asked.

"I forget.  I wrote it on that piece of tape on the front," he replied.

I walked up and looked at it.  I didn't have my reading glasses.  I squinted.  Is that $400?  Not bad.  No wait, there are two small zeroes.  Probably a 2 or a 3 before the 4000.   No.  Is this $40?

"$40?" I asked quizzically.

"Yeah, that's it."

Earl's eyes got wide and he started to say something but I waved at him to shut the heck up.

"I'll take it."

I need to modify it a bit.  The Whaler's hull looks like this.

I need to position the longitudinal pads under the hull where I drew the vertical lines.  the boat's beam is 5' 5", so I'm guessing that they're a little over a foot off center.

Earl and I are also going to reinforce the frame.  I'm going to weld a couple of struts from  the trailer frame in front of the wheels to the tow bar part.  I also need to raise the pads quite a bit so the Whaler clears the tires, and that will require some welding too.

I'm glad I bought that little $20 welder at that lawn sale last week.

What about selling Drift Away?  Well, I've been hemming and hawing about whether we should sell it or not.  Since my neck breaking accident last summer, I've been warned by my doctor to be very careful.  Another good head whacking could really mess me up.   Well, today I smacked my head on our RV's awning frame.  Pretty hard.  Hard enough that pain came back in my neck where I broke it.  

That did it.  I was always hitting my head on something on the boat.  So I called the broker and told him to lower the price to a fire sale deal.   If you don't believe me, go to and check it out.  Five Cheoy Lees come up.  Ignore the one in Brunswick, Georgia.  That's an old listing of Drift Away.  So there are four.

Why take the Whaler?  Two reasons.  First, I want a boat to take Pam and all three dogs out in.  The Whaler is a great boat for that.  Secondly, the Whaler is very heavy.  I think an inflatable is the way to go, probably a RIB.  Pam and I had a heck of a time pulling the Whaler in from the side of the boat when raising it back to the roof with the hoist.  Its so heavy that Drift Away would heel to starboard and we had to pull it uphill.

If anyone is looking for a fixer-upper that's in good shape mechanically, Drift Away is your boat.  If you have any questions, ask.  If you want to snag it, contact Mike at St. Augustine Yacht Sales.


  1. Yes-- Keep the Whaler.. You could use it on lakes around Bleaker..
    I'm sure once ya"ll get back to Bleaker your Blogs will get interesting..

  2. Truly a bargain Dave. Best wishes on selling it. I know its a hard decision.

  3. Good find on the trailer - hope it works for you! Those little Whalers are good boats. Good luck with the sale of Drift Away.