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captainawesome Dork
9/14/21 8:32 a.m.

Some of you may be familiar with my previous attempt at boat ownership ------> Starcraft Falcon

I kinda fizzled out on energy when it came time to putting the boat in the water. Don't know why, but it didn't require much to finish other than some outboard tuning. My guess is the other projects I took on easily stole my attention. Anyway, I put that vessel up for sale on Marketplace for a number I didn't really expect to get. I figured for that amount I'd let it go, but if not I'll fix when time allows. Roughly 6 weeks later a gentlemen a couple hours North of me paid that amount and took it off my hands. WTF. That wasn't supposed to happen.

So I've kept my eye out for another aluminum gem to snatch up and give it another go. Yesterday morning I opened up my browser and saw this:


Without much spare cash kicking around I don't really need a boat right now. The k swap on my FRS has drained me for the most part, but I do need a project to follow that one. The cheaper the better. I figured I would just throw out a $100 offer with the stipulation I would retrieve that evening. Probably should have offered less in hindsight, but didn't really expect the seller to accept.

Well, the offer was a success. WTF.

I just so happened to have an early day available to me this week, so I put a list together of stuff to pack when I got home. My spare cheap HF trailer donated a set of good wheels and tires in 4 lug pattern. Some cribbing blocks plus a bunch of various chunks of useful lumber. HF aluminum jack and a spare hydraulic scissor if needed. TONS of straps. Furniture dollies. My new winch on the trailer should come in handy.

The plan was simple. Jack up the boat, bolt on the spare wheels, and drag it onto my 20' trailer. Easy right?

I pulled up to the property around 5pm. There was a good solid 3 minutes spent pondering. Was it possible to get on the trailer? Should I attempt to retrieve this vessel from mother earth? It's only $100 though so can't lose right?

Well, I'm no quitter. It's going on the trailer or at least I'll make an attempt. Unfortunately the boat was filled with 6 or more inches of swamp juice. The good news is the boat holds water and doesn't leak. The bad news is it's really gross water and smegma. I tilted the nose of the beast to the sky and let it drain as much as possible for about 15 minutes after bolting on the spare wheels.

I couldn't get access to the back of the boat to save my life. Most of the brush I was able to stomp down and away, but the razor sharp thorn bush was too much. I brought gloves but forgot to use them. Facepalm.

While draining I started pulling the 8 or so spare wheels that were sitting inside the boat. Less weight to hassle with, and I didn't care to own a single one of them. You could almost see the potential.

I knew that there was an outboard in the Marketplace ad, but was surprised to see a 40hp unit. While twiddling my thumbs I found some dog dish hub caps with Gator stamped in them. They were at one point submerged in the sludge. From what I can tell the trailer is a Gator, but the hubcaps didn't fit a single wheel of the 8. Weird. I used one of the hubcaps to help scoop water out in hopes to speed up the loading process.

At some point it was obvious the drain was going to continually get clogged with shmutz, so I decided it was time to start getting it onto the trailer. What was left of fluid was manageable at least.  A couple guys on the property were eager to do work, so the winch barely put in much effort when it came time to roll onto the trailer. I spent about 20 minutes strapping EVERYTHING down. Even things that wouldn't move. I strapped them anyway. Would you look at that!?


On the road we go.

I didn't mention before, but the boat was in Verona Missouri. I live in Bella Vista Arkansas. It's about an hour and 30 minutes away, but all windy back roads if you feel up to it. I did. A nice scenic view on the drive home. As I crest a hill through a dry river crossing I see two figures pasted to the face of a rock feature/mountain? What is that?

Friggin goats. I don't know why they are there, but they are there. Just hanging out. I stopped to snap some pics and they just hung out. We checked each other out for a minute and then went on with our lives. Now I haven't come up with a boat name yet, but something tells me there's a good chance it can be associated with goats. Maybe.

captainawesome Dork
9/14/21 9:56 a.m.

So, what did I buy and what's the plan?

From what I can tell it's a 1961 15 ft utility hull designated UT-15f. Possibly a modified Dolphin? Arkansas Traveler was out of Little Rock at least when this one was made, so that is neat. I mean I live in Arkansas. It's fate. I still need to post up on a Facebook group the serial number to see if there's any other info out there. Who knows what the windshield came off of, but I doubt it's a factory item. Fit is kinda so so, but I dig it. Unfortunately the screen has a large crack. I may consider installing a flat stye screen but this one is pretty neat. There's a flat windscreen for free right now on MP, so who am I to pass that up? Anyway, the steering setup is super flimsy. I don't think there is any reinforcement under the dash skin, so that will be something to address. Super cool steering wheel that looks to be in good enough shape to refinish. Missing the center button I think but that should be something easily made or sourced. All three seat tops are rotten. My guess is the transom wood will be too. Foam inside will be replaced I think, but need to see what will work best for the shape.

The outboard as mentioned before is a 40hp with Sea King branding. The tag says Montgomery Ward, and after a little digging have discovered it was manufactured by Gale in 1961. Gale is the company that made OMC, Johnson, and Evinrude if I understand the history correctly. Not everything on the outboard is compatible with the standard OMC, but I believe carb kits, water pump impeller, etc. will all play nice together. Engine cover stuff is what's different I guess, or what you could call the dress up bits. Some of power unit may from late 50s big twins as these were intended to be a cheaper and simpler engine sold by Sears. Again, this is just my Google fu talking so anyone may be able to correct me on any of this.

The trailer is a Gator. I have yet to do a bit of research on it. The tongue is a smaller 1 7/8 but the hubs move freely. No wheel studs which I though was weird. None of the lug bolts were seized or missing, which I thought was pretty impressive. Hopefully a grease repack, some tail lights, bunk boards, rollers, some paint, etc. will be all that's needed.


So. The basic plan is to get the outboard pulled out and see if she can be brought back to life. Drain remaining filth and power wash the daylights out of this thing. Inspect transom wood for rot. Fix steering flex. New boards and probably use some sort of neoprene padding for seats. Strip paint inside the hull and probably put what's left of my Gluvit on rivets while I'm there. I still have some paint left over from the Starcraft Falcon but not sure I want to repeat the same colors. Also the paint above the splash line may be salvageable. Below the rivet line is what I assume to be treated aluminum, and I'd like to just leave it be. I may consider a foam floor padding inside any walking area as I assume the metal contact may not be fun on a hot day. I actually have some in the attic that's a faux teak already, so the cheap button may win out. All in all I have most of what's needed to fix this thing. The pricey stuff like epoxy? I got it. Paint? Got it. Some of the lumber required? Mostly got it. Stainless hardware? Probably have it for most of what's needed. So it's gonna be a budget build. I spent too much on the Falcon and just managed to make some money. This time it would be nice to give my wallet a break.


Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/14/21 10:42 a.m.

It's a cool looking boat. Btw that's about the extent of my nautical knowledge. 

Mr_Asa PowerDork
9/14/21 11:01 a.m.

I wondered whatever happened to the other one you had.  Kinda sucks you let it go when you had so much work into it, but I get it.
Gators are well liked by the antique guys, them and Tee-Nee trailers.  Most Gators should have a tilt function on them, I think?  Unlike my Holsclaw trailer, there should be a lot of info out there on which wheel covers fit which wheels, if you decide to go that way.  If not, you can probably sell the caps for a decent amount.  I have an eBay alert for the Holsclaw covers and non-rusted ones are usually priced $100 per and are gone within 12 hours, the rusty ones usually hang around for a week or so and get bought at around $30-40

Gale was an interesting company.  I've got one of their SeaBee 12 HP motors waiting on me to adjust the ring gap before I run it.  Couple of the Johnson guys (I think) split off from OMC in the 30s and went off to make refrigerators, eventually went back to making outboard parts, and then made their own outboards.  From there they kind of wove back and forth in and out of OMC, until OMC started to make the motors and sell them under the Gale brand.  Not as fancy as the OMC models and not as many bells and whistles, but good solid runners. Eventually Chrysler started making the Gale motors

That one is early enough that it is likely all OMC under the hood.  Should be able to look at the equivalent year Evinrude or Johnson Big Twin and get all your parts.

As for the floor being hot, when you first unload it it will be, but after its been in contact with the water for a while it reaches equillibrium with the water temp.

captainawesome Dork
9/14/21 11:17 a.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

I've kinda been ashamed to admit the Falcon was sold. It felt good to get rid of it at the time financially, but knew it wasn't my last and it left an unfinished feeling in my gut. I'm going to attack this one differently based on my previous experience. Mainly budget. I got way too carried away with spending money on the Falcon, and the simplicity of this AT should make that an easier task. I also was trying heavily to get my other FRS ready for a run at some competitive TT before things all went tits up. Oh well. Live and learn.

As far as finish I'll probably try keep the treated aluminum below the splash line as is. I don't know what they used to coat it, but it still looks good to me. If I can manage to restore the paint on the upper section I will, but if not I haven't decided what I'll do. I kinda like the dull look right now, so wafting between full resto or letting the patina hang out for a minute. For sure the interior will have to be addressed so that the wife and kids will actually get inside the boat. Strip old paint and use the EVA foam for comfort? Folding bench seat tops so I have backs for passengers? Something simple for sure.

I'll probably pull the outboard this evening and get it on a stand for inspection. Hoping it's not locked up.

Trailer definitely has tilt. It looks to be a better design than my previous trailer. Rollers are trashed, but those are cheap to replace. I've got a spare set of wheels that came with the previous trailer that hopefully the hub caps fit. If not I may just wait until a cheap set falls in my lap.

Since you are well versed in steering wheels, do you recognize mine at all? I'll be on the hunt for whatever goes in the center of the wheel.

Mr_Asa PowerDork
9/14/21 11:46 a.m.

A fair amount of manufacturers around that era actually anodized their hulls.  Alumacraft was one, Feathercraft was another I believe.  Maybe this is as well?  Can you see any chipping anywhere?

I think I've seen that actual steering column and wheel on eBay, I'll dig around.


dculberson (Forum Supporter)
dculberson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/14/21 12:19 p.m.

I've only recently become interested in boats, and bought the Starcraft that I posted about a few days ago, so hadn't read your thread on the Falcon. I read it all and was gutted to see it sold, but when it's time to move on it's time to move on. I hope this one gets out on the water and you get to enjoy it. That steering wheel is awesome and I love the look of the boat. Good luck.

captainawesome Dork
9/14/21 12:28 p.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

Possibly. I haven't got a really good look at a cleaned up section yet.


In reply to dculberson (Forum Supporter) :

I guess I missed your thread. I'll have to take a gander at it. Can't go wrong with a Starcraft, they are an excellent boat for sure.

captainawesome Dork
9/14/21 12:34 p.m.

Found another wheel like mine. I'd link the site I found it on, but it looks kinda hokey so I'll cut and paste instead. Still no brand name known yet. I also don't see a center cap here in this pic either.

Available for immediate purchase is a Vintage Boat Steering Wheel, Hub & Pulley. It is a unique solid part but does have some cracks and chipping that will need epoxy or other repair. Includes only the parts that are pictured.


Edit: Looks like it's a Sea King steering wheel and drum steering.

AAZCD (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD (Forum Supporter) Dork
9/14/21 7:20 p.m.

Just saw this: https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/601547180868020/?

Evinrude 85 for $200 in Van Buren.  More Power....

Mr_Asa PowerDork
9/14/21 7:33 p.m.
AAZCD (Forum Supporter) said:

Just saw this: https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/601547180868020/?

Evinrude 85 for $200 in Van Buren.  More Power....

Looks like one of the V4 motors.  Massively heavy damn things, the original Fat Fifty was well over 200 lbs and they didn't really lose weight as the years went on, I think the later ones were at or almost 300 lbs

Probably not the best motor for a little boat like that.

captainawesome Dork
9/14/21 8:25 p.m.

In reply to AAZCD (Forum Supporter) :

I like where your head is at, but more power more problems. Technically this hull is only rated for 35hp and the weight of these big twins are pretty substantial. I think with some transom reinforcement you could handle the power, but I bet the nose will be too light.

captainawesome Dork
9/15/21 10:53 a.m.

Last night I wanted to get the sludge out of the inside of the hull and outboard inside the garage away from all the moisture. Rain was in the upcoming forecast for the next day, and the idea of it just filling back up with more water didn't sound appealing. After scooping most of the grossness out with a dust pan and ice scraper I then put the shop vac to work. Because the situation was a bit slimy, gross, and all around inconvenient I failed to take any pics. Just imagine I cleaned Swamp Thing's genitalia. It was like that. But the inside of a boat.






I was in a race against daylight, so as soon as things were looking somewhat sanitary I pulled the trailer to an easy spot to pluck out the ole Sea King. After a bit of wrangling with the cherry picker I managed to retrieve the power unit and start to clean up a bit.

With my previous boat I failed to ever make an outboard stand. Unprepared for this again, I kinda strapped it haphazardly to a wooden saw horse. Future stand will be fabbed and this time a metal trash can for test running.

It was at this point I realized this motor is pull start only. Dammit! Not again. The 25hp unit for my Falcon was pull start only and the starter upgrade kit wasn't cheap. The good news is the parts to convert this one should be cheaper. So I pulled on the rope with the first rotation being slow but at least it confirmed the engine isn't locked up. Then it stopped turning. I didn't want to force it so I confirmed I was in neutral but no go. At that point I figured there was liquid in the cylinders and it was best to just pull the plugs. Top cylinder was full of water. Bottom cylinder was a thick oily sludge. Wah wa wa.....

So. The good news is it's not stuck. The bad news is there's clearly some grossness in the cylinders that needs cleaned out. The other bad news previously mentioned was no electric starter.

Current plan is to power wash years of filth after covering carb opening and plugs back in place. Then clean out the combustion chamber/cylinders, still not sure what the best plan of attack would be for that. I assume some solvent first then a fog with ATF or similar? Fresh plugs. Check points. Clean carb, fuel pump, and keep my eyes peeled for any obvious problems. Lower gear case oil drain and refill. Maybe skip the water pump impeller until I know it's worth saving. Get this pig running on a stand in some water with the pull start.

Then I'd like to check compression. I imagine with a pull start it's hard to do a proper compression check. Any pointers are appreciated.

If I can keep it running and it seems okay power wise I'll figure out what's needed to convert to electric starter. For sure flywheel with a ring gear, starter bracket, starter, solenoid, and associated wiring.

oppositelocksmith New Reader
9/15/21 2:31 p.m.

Looks like a really fun boat! 

My parents live down on Beaver lake. We play on the water there during the summer. Absolutely love it there, both for the water (fishing, boating, etc) and for the driving roads! 

Are you going to use the boat on Beaver, or one of the lakes up in the Bella Vista area? 

Steering looks pretty typical of the era. Works better than you'd think. I actually now work for the company that made a lot of that stuff back then (division now long since sold off). 

My grandfather ran auto dealerships in AR from the 30's to the 70's. During the 50's, he sold boats out of at least one of those dealerships. I think Ouchita's. I restored the motor below as it was identical to the motors he sold out of his dealership for duckboats running down in Stuttgart. 


oppositelocksmith New Reader
9/15/21 2:41 p.m.

As for your motor, yes, that has a lot in common with a Johnson or Evinrude, but how much is not as certain. 

MarineEngine.com is my go-to for old outboard parts and has been pretty good so far through the past years. Sierra makes a large number of parts for old outboards now. Unfortunately, a quick look does not show Gale as a brand on there, so you need to figure out what it might be common with (I know you mentioned some things above). 

I'd give up on finding an electric start for it. Might find a fleebay purchase if you're lucky, but its likely as rare as unicorn poop.

If it were mine, I'd find myself a 70's-80's 25-35hp Johnson or Evinrude and put it on it. Dead easy to keep going, parts are pretty easy to get and pretty common in AR, because they are the go-to for duck and deer hunters (that might drive the price up slightly though and cause every one you find to have a camo paint job!).



captainawesome Dork
9/15/21 2:47 p.m.

In reply to oppositelocksmith :

We will probably drop in Beaver, but being a Bella Vista resident has the perk of access to the smaller lakes when we don't want to drive that far.

That's a sharp looking Johnson!

I know there are a couple flywheels and starter brackets with the starter attached for reasonable prices that fit the big twins of the era. Should be the same from what I can tell so far. I will definitely keep an eye out for a better/newer Evinrude, but like mentioned the prices tend to be higher. If I can get this going for now I'll be happy, and re-power when the right deal comes along.

Mr_Asa PowerDork
9/15/21 3:13 p.m.

Weekend before the Challenge is the second largest AOMCI meet in the country.  If none of the guys there have parts for a starter, they will probably know someone that does or have some squirreled away for a GRM express.

1961 Sea King 40HP, right? 

You have emailed me before, right?  Send me your phone number and I will pass it along with whoever I run into, or call you from the meet and let you talk prices and I can be the middle man.

captainawesome Dork
9/15/21 3:39 p.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

I'll shoot over an email with my info. Hopefully I'll know if I am still going to work with the Sea King before then.

Model number is GG18742

From what I can tell early big twin flywheels with a ring gear work. Like this one : CLICK ME

A starter and bracket like this: CLICK ME

Still trying to drum up part numbers that I can confirm what will work before going down the wallet rabbit hole.

Mr_Asa PowerDork
9/15/21 5:15 p.m.

In reply to captainawesome :

Honestly, if she ropes over, I'm not too worried about you being able to get 'er running.  Good solid soaking and cleaning, new ignition bits where necessary (new plugs are almost guaranteed to be needed) and I'll bet she starts pretty easy.  Also, I noticed the worry about points ignition above.  Fab up some DIY electronic ignition parts, or eBay "Atom Ignition Modules, red" 

I'd also advise you to remove the intake port covers (pictured below, what the fuel pump is mounted to) in order to inspect the inside of the powerhead and maybe hose it down with whatever gunk remove you want. The gaskets are usually reusable if they don't break on removal, but if not they're maybe a buck each.

The seals should hold whatever cleaning agent you want, but know that they are likely 60 years old, so use something kind of gentle.  Kerosene or diesel maybe?




captainawesome Dork
9/15/21 8:00 p.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

Good info for sure. This weekend I'll fashion a proper stand with some pull start stability in mind. Clean the carb. Plugs looked decent cleaned up but I'll probably grab a new set as well. The electronic ignition looks like a good upgrade, for now I'll just try to get the old points cleaned up and adjust gap. I'll assume the fuel pump diaphragm is toast, but I can probably at least get it to sputter and force some fuel in. Never pulled apart the intake port cover before, but I'll do that as well. I have gasket material so if this one gets destroyed and the shape isn't too complex I'll cut one to fit. I'm certain this thing is going to fire. Just needs a refresh.

Mr_Asa PowerDork
9/15/21 8:15 p.m.

I've installed a used fuel pump from that era (the one in the above pic, actually) and had it pump fuel.  Its commonplace to just install them and go, some people have installed several dozens with no problems.

Those pumps are definitely one of the things OMC definitely got right, just use ethanol free.

captainawesome Dork
9/15/21 8:53 p.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

I just realized it wasn't a plastic version like the 25hp I had before. One less thing to worry about hopefully.

I was doing some measuring and such for various future plans, and noticed the transom is actually solid. There was a ledger board fastened near the base of it that's rotten but the wood of the actual transom isn't soft at all. I'll still poke around to make sure, but even if it was soft it looks easy as hell to replace.

orthoxstice Reader
9/16/21 6:17 a.m.

For checking compression I've always just run the engine with a drill. Socket attachment in the chuck and then a socket on the flywheel nut. That guy Mustie on YouTube has some kind of freewheel attachment to start motors with, which would be convenient (otherwise pull that drill off as soon as it pops off or your wrists will be unhappy!) 

RandolphCarter New Reader
9/16/21 9:40 p.m.
captainawesome said:

Now I haven't come up with a boat name yet, but something tells me there's a good chance it can be associated with goats. Maybe.


Well, Michelle's an option,, in keeping with the 'Arkansas Traveler' theme..

captainawesome Dork
9/17/21 8:09 a.m.

In reply to RandolphCarter :

Never heard of her but I'll give the jams a listen or two.

My co-worker is a really good artist and we discussed some possible logos/names for a bit. I haven't completely settled on Goatzilla, but the image he drew was hilarious and fun. Nothing to do with the subject matter other than a goat, but I kinda like it for that reason alone.

The last boat was a Falcon, so we named it Peanut Butter. The only person I spoke with that understood the meaning was the gentleman that purchase it. They were under the process of adopting a child with Down Syndrome, loved the movie Peanut Butter Falcon (as do I), and thought the boat was a perfect fit for their little lake community somewhere near KC. Gave me chills when we talked about it.

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