by Clark Oltman member of the Sunnyland chapter
I have owned this boat a little over 2 years. I was looking for a boat that I could trailer and use, not requiring immediate major work. I had looked on several websites and found that Dave Bortner at Freedom Boat Service had a couple that I should see. Don’t tell Dave this, but when I walked in the door and saw this boat I knew I couldn’t resist it. I have always been partial to the style of Centurys. Probably because I remember them from spending time at my grandfather’s cabin on Clear lake, Iowa. Touristville Boat Livery always had Centurys around and was just a few doors from our cabin.
I looked the boat over. I could not find a single mark in the fiberglass hull. The front and back seats had been reupholstered and carpet added to the floor, but it was otherwise original. Opening the engine box revealed an original 440 cu in 330hp Chrysler engine with an estimated 300 hours. The topsides still had their original vinyl. One thing that made me comfortable that this was a well cared for boat was the inside of the engine box the owner had listed specifications for service. The amount of oil, engine timing, firing order, etc. I lost all resistance and bought the boat.
I really have not needed to do much other than routine maintenance. The ski mirror would not hold position and there was no way to tighten it. I found another one and had it re-chromed. The points were worn out so it now has a Pertronix ignition. Future plans are to install an under dash panel with a depth finder and hour meter. I did not want to drill into the dash and there was no good spot for that anyway.
At this time the boat is home in Tavares, Fl. Summers are spent on Lake Minnetonka, MN and Clear Lake, Iowa. Oh yes since I do tow the boat, I replaced the trailer with an aluminum double axle. I have a home a couple of blocks from Wooten Park In Tavares, Florida, the site of the Sunnyland boat show. When people ask where I live they say “oh yes that is where the wood boat is hanging in the boat house. “ The original burgundy gel coat does look like wood, considering it is in the shade of a boat house. I do tell them this is a good example of an early fiberglass boat.
I think this boat will be with me for a long time.