“I found out I liked working on the boats more than using them,” exclaimed Colin Vancampen, of Stuart, when asked about his restored Mako 250.

“I started at a young age, commercial fishing out of my boats, and when they would break, didn’t have the money to pay somebody to fix them, we had to do it ourselves.” Unbeknownst to him at the time, this would become a passion of his down the road.

After realizing that he enjoyed the restoration process so much, Vancampen would purchase just the hull of a boat and do all of the work himself. He found out that this worked two fold. Not only did it allow him to make the boat exactly how he wanted it, but with labor costs only measured by the amount of sweat on his brow, he was able to save a lot of money, also. Plus, factory boats just didn’t reach his level, literally. At 6-foot, 7-inches tall, he required a custom top to avoid hitting his head on the rod holders.

When picking up the Mako, Vancampen was surprised, at 30 years old, all of the pumps and electrical were in working condition. Coming without power, the way he wanted it, he was tempted to hang new motors on the boat and go fishing. But a little tweak of something here and there, and before you know it, it became a full blown project. Opting for an Armstrong bracket, redoing the transom was a smart idea. From there, the boat was overhauled, a new gas tank put in, a complete paint job throughout, a custom top was built, updated electronics were mounted, the list goes on, and at the end of it all, Vancampen had his dreamboat just how he wanted it.

Vancampen purchased the boat for $4,500, invested $60,000 in modifications and repairs, totaling $64,500 once finished…or is he?

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