“It was a little rougher than I thought, so I pretty immediately made the decision that I was not going to buy the boat. Then I got to reflecting back to that boat and how well it ran,” said Bart Knowles, owner of a 1972 20 Aquasport.
After thinking about it a bit, Knowles decided to go against his judgment and pull the trigger on the boat.”I had the same boat in essence 25 years earlier and I always liked it. It was a few versatile, capable little boat.” After purchasing the boat off of Craigslist for $7,000, he hoped that this would be a simple and straightforward project. As you can suspect, as with just about every project, that was not the case.
The wiring was in rough shape, the transom was rotted, and the boat just needed an all-around makeover. He began to second guess his purchase. Did he take on too much? He consulted with his brother, Jeff, who also took on a similar project, a 1972 20 Seacraft, that he completely redid. “He was selling me on it,” said Knowles. They took a weekend to fully assess the situation, and although the transom was rotted and some of the fiberglass was not up to par, the wood stringers looked brand new. “We were shocked.” After adding a few stringer supports and rebuilding the transom with Coosa board, they were able to close up the floor with minimal structural work done. A win for the Knowles Brothers.
Once patched up, a new fuel tank was dropped in and the original center console was brought back to life. All of the existing holes from electronics were filled and six inches was added to the bottom, making it much more ergonomic when behind the wheel.
Knowles opted to re-gelcoat the boat and again, it was a lot more labor intensive than expected. “I knew there was a lot of sanding involved with gelcoat, but I didn’t realize how much.” Influenced by his brother’s restoration, he went with an ice blue, complementing it with tan upholstery throughout the cockpit. He also scoured Craigslist to find a used motor and came across a Saltwater Series Yamaha that paired well with the boat. A crow’s nest was also added, per his daughter’s request.
Said and done, Knowles put in another $11,000 in modifications and restoration costs, bringing his dreamboat to $18,000. The lifelong memories made with his family: priceless.