Sunday, March 22, 2009

My First True Love...The "Salt Shaker"!

It all started back home in Texas back in 1997. I was in the process of helping a close friend cleaning out some old storage building he was planning on converting into a little fly shop for himself. I noticed something in the back that resembled a big square swimming pool. Upon further investigation, I realized it was a mold for making a "scooter". The term "scooter" is a southern term for a ultra shallow running skiff. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, but I decided to keep in anyway. This mold sat in my garage to the following winter with out so much as second look. Well, one day I decided I'd do a little research on how to work with fiberglass and to see if I really wanted to get myself into something as large as actually building a boat. By all means, I've never worked with 'glass and wasn't sure what to expect.
Within 4 or 5 weeks of studying and asking a ton of question, I decided that I'd give it a try. A week long adventure of buying all the needed materials, I was ready. After a TON of trial and error, I finally started to get the hang of things...Well, either I was getting the hang of things or the vapors from all those resins were making me think I was doing a good job. All those questions that I asked were answered, but nobody truly told me how nasty this stuff is! I had it EVERYWHERE...most of all my clothes were ruined, my garage floor was 6 inches thicker from all the spills, and I actually had fiberglass in my washer and
After 3 long months, I had her built. It was going to be a super shallow, fishing machine! I decided that I was going to power it with a 150 Yamaha until I had it! This boat actually only weighed 625 pounds! SWEET, I thought, this thing will sit in less than 3 inches, I guarantee! I got the Coast Guard approval for up to 125 HP, but I decided to go with a Yamaha 115. Well, needless to say, at 625 lbs, this baby FLEW! After rigging it with a hydraulic jack plate, I could run in 3 inches of water! The picture to the left will show how the boat looked at first. It had a raised deck that allowed you to get up high and really get a look around you. It wasn't long before I decided to rip that deck up and bring it to a company called Tops and Towers in Houston, TX. Knowing what kind of work these guys do, I was pretty excited. I went in there with the intention of just the new raised platform, but I became completely out of my mind the moment he started showing me all the work he does.
Needless to say, I walked out of there with a raised deck, poling platform, bow platform, and a new leaning post(That's a fishin' junky for ya). My grand total came in at $4100.00! "Oh SHIT", I thought, as I realized that is wouldn't be long before I was explaining the huge investment to my new fiance!! What was she to think? I just knew my damn impulsive, fishing addicted ass would be in for some trouble! This garage project (one of which she didn't like anyway) has ended up costing me well over $13,500, taking the motor and all the other gadgets into consideration! Needless to say, Kara didn't mind the least bit. I knew right then she was the women of my! A girl who hunts, fishes, and doesn't care if I buy the toys I want!
Within a month, I named my new boat the "Salt Shaker"! Not only did she run up to 50mph, but did it in less than 5 inches of water! What more can you ask for..A fast, shallow running boat was everything a Texas flats angler could ask for. With the jack plate, I could easily plane in less than a foot! This boat was SWEET! My "relationship" with her lasted about 4 years until I decided I wanted to move up to Pennsylvania. Obviously it didn't take much to sell her! She was perfect in every way imaginable. Her performance,sleek lines, and glossy exterior would make any man or women excited! A every boat launch, drive through, redfish tourney somebody would ask me what kind of boat it was. I had at least 6 or 7 people ask me to build them one, but I wasn't doing that again! And I definitely wasn't doing it for a living!
If the new owner happens to read this...Please take care of her, she was my first true love!!! :)

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