“I plan on this boat being in my family forever,” said Chris Rodriguez, when asked about “Vintage Dreams,” his redone 1991 25 Contender.

Some 13 years ago, Rodriguez was in search of a boat to fit his offshore fishing needs. Like many, he went to a boat show and purchased a new boat. After a year of ownership, it was stolen and later found stripped to the bare hull, a total loss.

Rodriguez was wanting to scratch that offshore itch, but before purchasing another new boat, a thought crossed his mind. “I asked myself if I really wanted to jump back into a new boat, or build my dreamboat instead.”

After some searching, he came across the boat he had always wanted, a 25 Contender. The boat was water-ready, and Rodriguez fished it as it sat. But there came a time when the boat needed new power.

“Repowering was the best move I could’ve made.” Going with twin 200-hp four-strokes, the fuel efficiency more than doubled from the original outboards. The updating didn’t stop at the transom, though.

Rodriguez figured this was a great time to spray the boat with new gelcoat, both inside and out, as well as fresh nonskid throughout the cockpit sole. He then laid custom engraved SeaDek throughout the boat making the boat “nice and silent.”

Bottom fishing required Rodriguez to be in the cockpit often, and the original leaning post storage was not cutting it. Reaching out to Boat Outfitters, he was able to get a custom tackle center that would hold all of his necessities, and fit right in the existing spot. While there, a cooler slide was added below the tackle center, opening up two more seats, when needed.

The original T-top was on the small side, and didn’t even cover all of the leaning post. Birdsall Marine fabricated a top to the exact specs Rodriguez needed, making plenty of shade for him and guests. Details, such as the diamond upholstery stitching throughout, made the boat unique, exactly what he wanted.

The boat was originally purchased for $25,000. After adding new motors and all modifications, the total investment came out $85,000. The value of life-long memories with family and friends? Priceless.

Load Comments ( )

Don’t forget to sign up!

Get the Top Stories from Florida Sportsman Delivered to Your Inbox Every Week