The Home for Wayward Boats

Posted by on November 11, 2012

Thinking about changing the name of The Yacht Barn to “The Home for Wayward Boats”.

I’ve been wanting to find a boat to take out on Bismarck Lake and scope it out as a place to splash the Balboa for testing after all the hull stuff is done. With the Balboa on the trailer, the waterline seems to be about 4’3″ above the ground. I estimate needing a few more inches above that to actually float the boat off the trailer. What that means to me is that the ramp needs to be pretty deep and long (or steep) to be able to launch the boat. I went out there the other day with a pole and tested from the dock which is alongside the ramp. From what I could tell, the bottom is either concrete out there or firm rock/gravel. I’m not sure it’s deep enough, though. I’m also afraid the entire back of my truck will be underwater before the boat floats.

So, I asked a friend if I could borrow his little aluminum boat to go out there and check it out better. He said “Yes, come get it any time”. So, today I went to get it and check things out. Unfortunately, the boat and trailer are chained to a tree and locked. He is at deer camp. I should be hunting, too, but I seem to be obsessed with these dang boats!

There has been a boat that Dad bought from a neighbor sitting on the shore of his pond for many, many years. 3 or 4 years ago, I discovered the boat had floated out into the middle of the pond and sank. The pond isn’t very deep, and I could see the bow of the boat sticking out of the water. That day, I swam out into the pond and swam the boat back to shore. There was also a trailer for it sitting in the woods by the pond.

Today, after my failure to find a boat to borrow, I decided it would be a good idea to go check the old boat out and see if it could be fixed up to at least carry me around by the dock at Bismarck lake. A couple hours later, and with Dad’s help, there is now a 13.5 foot Ouachita aluminum semi-v bottom boat, on a trailer, in The Yacht Barn:

The boat needs a new transom. The wood has completely rotted away. No big deal. The trailer needs a couple of 2×4’s on the tilt-bunks, new rollers, and new tires. The right tire actually holds air, which was a huge surprise. The left is rotted away, and the tube leaks air as fast as you put it in. Conditions of the bearings is unknown. The trailer was last licensed in 1987  🙂 The hitch is made for a 1 7/8″ ball. I will see if it can be cleaned up and made safe. If not, I’ll replace the hitch. The rest of the trailer seems to be good and strong.

The rims seem to be 9″ in diameter by about 3.5″ wide. The height of the tire that actually holds air is about 16″. This info is mostly for myself when I go tire shopping.

I estimate getting the boat ready for water and the trailer ready for the road will cost less than $100 (if I don’t worry about the fact that  both are quite ugly at the moment). The boat has receivers for oar locks, and as I don’t have even a trolling motor (in Missouri), I’m thinking about getting oar locks and oars, and forgetting about a motor for now. I can get a set of oar locks for 10 bucks. I saw oars for sale at Dickey Bub the other day, but didn’t pay much attention to the price. Will go look tomorrow.

Possibly, I’ll be able to put the Ouachita in the water as soon as next weekend if the weather cooperates!


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