Thursday, April 9, 2009

Our first ski boat!

After our trip to Holly Beach in Louisana, we continued camping at Sardis Lake and decided that we wanted to give water sking a try. I had been noticing an old boat parked in a yard in the area that we lived. The owner worked at the same place I did, so I started talking to him about it. It was a 14' Aluminum Ski boat with a 35 h.p. motor. He hadn't used it in a long time....the last time used, he had a flat tire on it and not having a spare, he had drug it home and bent the axle and ruined the tire and wheel. I went by to look at and check it out. The motor was in great shape and started very quickly with a fresh battery. It had two windshields that went with it.....the canvas top was a bunch of rags and the seats were all rotted and other words, it really looked bad! We settled on a price of $100.oo and after borrowing a tire and wheel, I pulled it home.
When I got home and backed it into the driveway, I was so proud of my treasure and no one would come out to look at it. I backed inside the back yard out of sight and started taking it apart. I took the motor off and all the controls and pushed it off the trailer. I flipped the trailer over and took the axle off and took it to a welding shop where they heated and straighten the axle. I next went and purchased a new tire and wheel and reinstalled the axle and wheel to the trailer. After repacking the wheel bearings, I removed the wood runners on the trailer and replaced with new wood and carpet. I spray painted the trailer and had it looking like new. By this time, the family was getting excited , started helping finish stripping the boat down to get ready to paint. After a couple of days, we couldn't wait any longer to try the boat out. We put the unpainted boat back on the trailer, installed the motor and controls and took it to the St Francis River to try it out. It ran like a dream, which added to the excitement of getting the boat ready. We went back home and really got serious about getting the boat finished. We finished the stripping of the old paint, repainted it white with red strips down each side, redid the seats with new vinyl, installed the windshield with a new canopy. We were now ready to start learning to water ski!


  1. Good thing you had the vision to see the rose among all those thorns. Way to go. Nice rescue.
    Hope you all dodged the weather bullet last night.

  2. Thank you Patti for the comments...I have several more stories when I get the time. We did miss the storms...How about you?

  3. I remember this boat! We were so proud of it. I remember the child skis you bought used? were bolted together at the top and the bottom with a board. We never could get up on those skis. Finally you unscrew the ties, threw the skis and us in the water and off we went! We looked like top water jigs! That was it! You were the official boat driver and water skiing instructor for all of the kids in the neighborhood and family. You know, teenagers don't ski like we did in the 60's and 70's. However your youngest grandchild, Parker (16) has turned out to be quite a skier. Several years ago a friend of mine took us to the Arkansas River to show Parker how to ski. He tried and tried and finally got back in the boat saying that there was no way he could learn to ski. He had never seen anyone ski. My friend looked at on went the life jacket. I told her if I got up, stop if I looked like I was having a heart attack. Sure enough, I got up! When I finished, I was swimming to the boat, Parker dove over the top of me out to the end of the ski rope. He told me if an old lady can do it, He can! I really think he was surprised that I could ski and didn't want me to show him up.