Thursday, April 22, 2010


So, I didn't have a BAG day gun this year... Mostly because we bought two home defense guns just before I moved: a new AR carbine, and a Saiga 12 conversion (I'll do some pics of those soon). Then moving went almost $8000 over planned expenditures and I am broke for the month of April (plus all my March bonus for 2009 is bye bye).


I did find something on tax day this year... something very interesting... and I got to check it out and make the purchase decision today (we'll be picking it up from the owner, with cash in hand, after my next check).

Knowing I didn't have the money yet, but wanting to keep abreast of things, I'd been scanning the local nicklesworth,and craigslist, for boat ads. A very interesting one popped up on tax day... and now... well...

Here are some pics of my new project: An all wood 1970 Carver Custom Cruiser.

It's similar to the '69 Monterey 2580, but  I've got the original dealer bill of sale and options sheet (and all the original user manuals, and the first 10 years of records, which is very cool), and it's labeled as a "Carver 25' Custom Cruiser", not a "Carver Monterey 2580"; and the builders plate doesn't have a model or series number.

I think it might have been a hull that was assembled with power in '69 (the stern drive is a '69 OMC. I've got the original manual for that too); but wasn't completed, as a '69 leftover, until 1970.

It's FULLY optioned up, with all the optional hull and cabin teak, the extra instruments (aqua meter including compass and depth sounder), electric windshield wipers, the chrome horn, the monomatic electric head, the propane stove, shore power, the teak steps and boarding ladder (the ladders not mounted at the moment), ALL the factory canvas (mildew free, amazingly), the extra handrails and "custom" bowrail, even the original curtains, and the contrasting top stripe on the hull (though it's been repainted since).

Everything is there, everything is functional, and most of it is in pretty good shape.

Here's the link to the factory brochure from 1969 (Carver is a great company, and they really appreciate their history. Warning, PDF). Here's the 2580 page from the brochure:

It's got an OMC 210hp motor (a GM 307 small block V8); and the last owner put in a new carb and exhaust logs. The motor runs strong, and clean, and sounds good.

The hull is sound with no rot, and just a few sprung or loose planks (easy fixes), and the wood is in great shape.

I did screwdrivers tests all over the hull inside and out, and didn't find a single soft spot in any structural or cosmetic wood (some of the plywood decking was a bit week, but not rotten); though there are some rubrail repairs and patches made with the wrong screws. 

It runs, doesn't need much pumpout (like any wooden boat, when its out of the water, the wood dries and shrinks; and when you put it back in the water, it will leak a fair bit until the wood swells), doesn't smoke, and doesn't burn oil.

The guy has run it all season for five seasons; he just hasn't had the time or energy to complete the project work... and his wife likes their 28' party barge a lot more.

I picked it up for less than scrappage value (seriously, it wasn't free, but it might as well have been). Oh and the custom trailer comes with it of course...

...WAY below scrappage value...

A functioning stern drive, with a decent condition small block in front of it... at least $1500.
The trailer alone would have cost me more than $1500.

I didn't pay nearly that, for the whole thing.

Now I just need to scrape, sand, seal, and stain or paint; 4000lbs of 40 year old mahogany...