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This Old Boat: My 1957 Sportland 14 Foot Aluminum

ken hayes

Maybe you’ve read a few of the stories that I’ve put up about my old boat and my mission to make it a reliable fishing boat.  I figured at the end of the summer, I would recap my adventures with my boat.  

Here’s a little back story.  My Grandpa Pete purchased the boat brand new in 1957.  It was a Sportland (made by lund) 14 foot aluminum boat.  It has a 12 hp Gale Buccaneer outboard motor on board.  It’s a solid deep aluminum boat in very good shape.  I inherited it when my Grandpa died a few years ago.

This year I decided to get the motor running.  It had low hours on it for being so old, but it wasn’t working right.   Thank God for the internet, because it would have been impossible to find parts anywhere else.  It’s a 55 year old motor!  First off, it needed new ignition coils.  Cost : $70.

It started up and ran great!

But, I had another problem, the lower unit seal wasn’t working.  I found a kit online for $30, and installed that.  While pulling the lower unit apart and putting it back in, the water tube that cools the motor didn’t go back in it’s correct spot.  After trial and error, about 9 times later I finally got it right.  What a pain.

The boat motor was working great!

Then the boat wouldn’t shift into gear.  An old bolt had rattled loose on the shifter.  Found a bolt that would work…

The motor was working great!

Then while out on the lake, the boat motor started to sputter.  What the heck!?  I turned around and saw gas spewing out of the fuel hose.  From being so old, the fuel hose was deteriorating.  I bought a new bulb and line.  Cost – $26.

As of now, it is working fine.  I won’t say great, because I don’t want to jinx it.  There has been a level of frustration with my boat, but there has been far more fun times and enjoyment.



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