by Dennis Padden member of the Heartland Classics chapter

I grew up in a family that always owned a boat. We spent most summer weekends and vacations at our favorite lake in Oklahoma, Tenkiller Lake. When I was 6 my step dad had an early 60’s mahagony Chris-Craft, he named her “Ski Mist”. This was the first of several more boats, though they were I/O’s and fiberglass.

At my early age of 20 something I bought my 1st boat. She was a 18′ deep V fiberglass boat manufactured by Newman here in Oklahoma. I always wanted a mahagony boat but in the 80’s without internet service these boats were rarely seen or to be found in Oklahoma.

Barely 4 years ago I decided to investigate what used mahagony boats were available for purchase. I was surprised to find many, though most I found of interest were along the East coast. I came across an inboard boat that was to my liking and price range. This boat was located in the Central Florida area. I sent an e-mail to the seller requesting more information.

I had never heard of Elite Craft and originally thought it was mahagony. What really got my attention was when I found out it was fiberglass construction but looking mahagony. I thought how perfect, an easy to maintain boat that looks like mahagony wood. I drove the 1-1/2 days to Florida to see this boat. She needed some work inside and out but what I bought her for I could afford to fix her up. The next 3 years I slowly had
New 350 V8 fuel injected engine, rebuilt Velvet transmission,new snap in carpet, front and back seeats, stereo with quad speakers, new bimini top and minor floor repair and bottom of boat needed minor fiberglass repair and paint.

This boat gets much attention whether trailering or on the water. Most people think she is mahagony even when standing within a foot of her. Today I visit 2 local lakes, Tenkiller and Skiatook. This is my last boat, got what I always dreamed about.

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