by John Baas, Glacier Lakes Chapter
Took the dog to the vet and came home with a boat. Well, maybe not just that fast but almost! On the way to the vet, the main road there was under serious construction with back ups for miles. I told my wife, Pam, that we won’t be coming home this way. Good thing for alternate routes.
Except…after the vet appointment I missed the turn to my alternate route home. Huh…good thing I have an alternate to the alternate. The cosmos was guiding the truck to this alternate to the alternate for a reason. Committed to a left turn at a busy intersection, my peripheral vision caught something on the lawn of a house to the right. The brain began processing the image as I made the left turn away from the “something”. A quarter mile down the road I made a u turn, saying to Pam, “I gotta check something out.”
Getting closer now, I see the Coke bottle green three-piece windshield and side windows. And that sliding hardtop! Yes, the brain’s processor was right. An AristoCraft 19!
We’ve owned 4 wooden boats over the years, you might remember the Middy Mae Chetek lapstrake and the Chetek Fly-in and boat show. Then there was the urban river cruising story with the Correct Craft Atom Skier on the Milwaukee River system. For a number of reasons, the wood boats were all sold off. And now, I’m looking at a PLASTIC boat?!
Something about the roofline matching the slope of transom and the center section of the windshield makes this boat a classic glass. And my wife Pam liked it!
It’s a 1972 model with the GM 165hp straight six and Mercruiser outdrive. Comes complete with a working ship to shore radio. With the help of master mechanic ACBS Glacier Lakes Chapter’s Mark Willis, we got her running. Having sat in storage for 22 years, a number of things needed attention. Some still do. It’s comforting to know I can pick up the phone and talk to Scott Turner at AristoCraft and get guidance on how to do what I don’t know how to do.
We’ve enjoyed a few outings so far, including on the Milwaukee River where we ran into its twin! Same year, same color!
AristoCraft stopped making the 19 in 1980, returning to manufacturing some of the coolest looking wood outboards anywhere.
Enzo still isn’t sure if he likes it!