The first boat I ever owned was constructed of a couple of 4x8 sheets of plywood, with the front end glued together and rounded off, a transom made out of a 2x10, and a 25 HP Scott engine. I don't have a photo of this boat, so the drawing will have to suffice. This boat was pretty dangerous really, and I had it when I was about 19 years old. This was in the days before jet-skis.
I don't know how fast the boat went with that 25 HP engine, and its probably better I never knew. I do know this; while I was repairing the engine, I used my father's 7.5 HP fishing engine, and I could get up to 25 MPH with that engine! I judged the speed by running parallel to a road. The speed limit on the road was 25 MPH, and I could keep up with the cars.
This boat did not have a seat - rather you simply kneeled on a pad. The boat did not have adequate flotation or a dead-man kill switch either. Once, I took on water, and the boat sunk to the point it was vertical in the water, with only about a foot of it out of the water - sort of like a bobber. I was able to get the boat to shore with the help of a pontoon boat that happened by. I then came to my senses and sold that thing! Fortunately, this was before I met my wife. I wonder what she would have thought if she saw the stupid things I did with this boat.
My first real boat was a 14ft fiberglass runabout. It had a 40 HP Mercury outboard. I don't have a photo of this boat, and I bought it just after I was married. Then along came the first child, and he cried everytime I started the engine.
I sold that boat to buy an Air Conditioner for my wife when she was pregnant for our second child. She told me then that someday, I could get another boat. As you will see - I guess I took her up on her word!
I guess I could say that I have been blessed; and rewarded ten-fold for that sacrifice I made all those years ago.
This boat was a 15ft aluminum runabout. I don't recall the brand - pretty generic though. Since I still had young kids, my money went for more important things.
My father and I purchased this boat jointly. It had a 1950s vintage Evinrude 30HP. This was the engine that had a cowl that looked like a 1950s toaster.
One of the smallest boats I have owned, this 12ft aluminum fishing boat just cried out for me to paint that shark tooth nose. This was in the days when my two boys were still young, and the family wanted to go camping rather than boating. Since I had to haul the boat on top of the camper, this was the largest boat I could have. Anyway, we fished a lot out of this boat.
As far as the memories go, we had just as much fun in this boat as any other. Heck, one of my boys even tried to ski behind it. We only managed to go fast enough to simply drag him around in the water.
Now for the modern era. "Dog House" - the name of this 1995 Spectrum 16 Sport, was the first new boat I bought. The wife
hated this boat - hence the name. She said it was a fishin' boat, and she would
not be in it. It had a 70HP Force outboard, and I could reach 40 Mph on a good
day. By this time, we got out of the camping mode.
The reason I purchased this boat was so my boys and my father could go fishing together. After I bought the boat, the boys disovered water sports. It was big enough that the kids learned to ski, tube, and wakeboard behind it - but, it did strain a bit when getting them up. To keep harmony in the family, I decided to get something the wife didn't consider a fishin' boat.
Since the boys gave up fishing, we purchased this boat, "Parrot Head Navy". Thats the name of this 1996 Rinker 180 stern drive. We had this boat 3 years (bought it one year old). We had a lot of fun vacations with it. Even went to Michigan's Inland Waterway one year. That was really fun. This boat was powered by a MerCruiser 3.0LX, which is a 4 cyl engine. It developed 135 Hp, and had a top speed of 41Mph.
While not a skiboat, it was good enough for the boys to ski behind. My neice even learned to ski behind it.
I sold it in 2000, and bought our Sundowner 225, because of the ol' 4ft'itus bug.
This was our 1999 Four Winns Sundowner 225. We had it for two seasons. We had a lot of good times with this boat too, but we wanted something better for Lake Michigan.
Our original thought was to have a boat we
could access small lakes, yet still get on Lake Michigan. However, we never did
take this boat to the smaller lakes. This boat had a Volvo Penta Gi5.0/SX. In 2002, we traded this boat in for a real cruiser, our Four Winns Vista 268.
This was our 1999 Four Winns Vista 268, which we had for four seasons. Seems like there is a lot of boat changes going on. Anyway, this was our first experience at slipping a boat and enjoying Lake Michigan full time. We took several trips with this boat; the most notable being a 400 mile round trip to Sutton's Bay and back. This boat had a Volvo Penta 5.7Gi/DP, which is probably one of the most popular engines made.
This boat was great for weekends and an occasional week aboard. However, more than a week and we were finding ourselves going nuts on board.
As we are nearing our retirement age, we wanted something that we could spend a lot more time on - which is what led our path to a motoryacht.
This is our current boat, a 1995 Carver 325 Aft Cabin MotorYacht. We bought this boat for retirement, as a summer cottage in some respects. With twin Crusader 5.7L engines, we don't exactly get that great fuel mileage. However, it gives us access to summers on Lake Michigan, and perhaps one or two trips per year to other harbors on the lake.
This is a semi-liveaboard, with about 300 sq ft of interior space. Since it is an older boat, it has provided much opportunity for boat projects, and I have many more projects planned for the boat.
Sadly, our Carver 325 was severly damaged in a storage building fire in Mar 2013. The damage was sever enough that the boat was totaled. So we are at least for now boatless.