by Russ Knox member of the Southern California chapter
The story of “Knot Yet” began a couple years after joining ACBS and schmoozing rides because we didn’t have a boat of our own. My son found a boat for sale on the internet in a metal barn in Clovis, CA which we purchased (a whole other story!). After another season or three of schmoozing rides we decided we were going to have to buy a running boat sometime soon.
Fortunately we became aware of a 16’ wooden boat names Knox Yet for sale resting in Alamitos Bay near Long Beach, California’s Naples Island. A test run with my son and a long-time boating friend along I decided to make an offer (my Xmas present that year), even though he was using a five gallon outboard tank and an electric fuel pump to cruise in the highly speed restricted area of Alamitos bay. It was a 1956 Mercury Sabre Utility with a two-carburetor Gray Marine engine. He had trailer (included) but stored in a field that was bare minimum for going anywhere not too far…just enough to get it somewhere local for some bottom paint…or my house.
First up was bottom paint to get rid of the ablative salt water finish. My son did this while he was going to school and tending to his mother who was recovering from a knee injury.
Next was to get a real gas tank installed, then go through the engine & gearbox. As a former automotive machinist I figure I can take it apart and put back together again after someone else does the machine work, except the engine needed boring but couldn’t because a former sleeve wouldn’t hold up and the gearbox friction plates were worn and not available anymore. BUT I found a single-carb engine. So I got that block cleaned up and ready to assemble. Now the crankshaft seized up when putting on the bearing caps. I called a machinist in Los Angeles who did most of it because he specialized in welding cast iron.
Finally got it running for a couple seasons and decided we needed something to distinguish us from the “big boys” so we applied shark’s teeth to the bow.