Well, I figured I would go ahead and post up a project thread for the 2600 American Offshore I picked up in early February. I haven’t done a whole lot on the boat up until the past few weeks. I will start from the beginning…so bare with me.
Last spring I restored a 1980 Ron Jones tunnel hull that I picked up in New Jersey, I went all out, stripping the years of paint, opening up the hull for extended seating and had it custom painted. I sent the interior dimensions to PPI in Sarasota FL and had them create of their masterpiece interiors. All new hardware and I completely refurbished the trailer…you get the idea, spent a few bills. After all this was said and done, I decided that this particular boat did not fit my boating needs, ran it for a few weeks and decided to put it up for sale and focus on some other stuff going on in my life.
Fast-forward to December 2010, right around Christmas time, I found myself within my daily routine of scowering the various boating forums and internet sites. I will sometimes get on different craigslist city sites to see what boats are for sale around the country. Upon my browsing I came across a short and sweet ad in Lake Havasu City AZ that read: “1993 26 foot American Offshore cat boat. Hull only.” I quickly purged this ad from my brain as the last thing I wanted was another long drawn out restoration process like I had the prior year. (oh yeah, I also forgot to mention that I was just about to pop the big question, so planning a wedding and working on a boat was DEFINITELY out of the question…well at least in my fiancés mind) So I left it at that, and continued on my internet journey.
Over the holidays I could not keep myself from thinking about this ad I had come across, why was the listing so short, why no pics and why haven’t I seen it listed anywhere else? I have previously ridden on many boats that were derived from the 25’ Talon, and enjoyed the ride on all of them, so this got the ole wheels turning…what could it hurt to reply to the ad and just test the waters…well we all know how a simple slight interest can sometimes spark a full on desire. (I know it did for me)
Upon returning from visiting family members and friends in 3 different cities across 2 states, I finally decided to reply to the ad via email. I sent your typical request, condition, pics, story etc. The next day I had pics in my inbox and request to call a number to speak with someone about the “technical” aspects of the boat. I was relieved to see in the pictures that the boat had a full interior, trailer, gauges and transom assembly. Well…the gears were really starting to turn now! Within the following days I phoned the number and found out that this was a one owner family boat that had been retired years ago and put up in storage. What I found out next about the boat was extremely chilling, and made me take a step back to appreciate life a little more. I will not go into details, but I found that the family had recently given the boat to their eldest son who was a member of our US military. He was in the process of getting the boat lake ready on his weekends of leave. But tragically he was killed before he was able to finish the project and ever get it wet. The family obviously devastated, just wanted the boat gone, as too many memories were wrapped around it. Being a former Marine myself, I know what it means to have something back home that keeps you grounded, be it family, friends or a certain toy that you just can’t wait to get back to. I was officially hooked. I knew that I could take this boat out of its years of storage and finish what had been started, brining the neglected girl back to life, and finishing it the way I know the family would have wanted. So that was it, I had made up my mind, a new year, and another project, one that I could be very compassionate about. I called the original poster of the ad back and told her that I would finish the boat and give it a home her son would appreciate. We worked out a deal, and the boat was mine.
Well this leads us to the beginning of our journey, and when I say journey I mean it! I guess I have forgot to mention that I live in the Charlotte NC area, on small lake that splits North and South Carolina, and the boat along with several boxes and miscellaneous items were located in a storage compartment in Lake Havasu AZ. After debating on having it transported I decided to make the trek myself, and enjoy a “little” countryside drive. Total trip would put me just shy of 4400 miles. Oh yeah, I also forgot to mention that I had yet to tell my future fiancé about this transaction…guess it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission…right?
Three weeks had passed since I made the decision to buy the boat, my time was running out to pick her up due to storage restrictions, and I needed to man up and have a little discussion with my girlfriend before I made the cross country trek. Let’s just say the initial reveal was not warm welcomed, but after she calmed down and we discussed the situation at hand, she was fully onboard I somehow was able to convince 2 of my buddies to make the haul with me. So we were set, 3 friends, multiple coolers full of drinks and snacks, 4 trailer tires and almost 4500 miles of road ahead of us. Let the journey begin.
Well think that’s enough for tonight. Getting tired of typing, and for those who actually read all that I’m sure you’re tired of reading. I know pictures make threads like this, so I have attached the pics I received from my original inquiry.
Keep us updated, that hull looks like it wants to haul some @ss!!
Good looking project. Shouldn't have to worry about any rot with it being from havasu. Enjoy.
Keep us updated on the project. I spent all last year @ New River MCAS NC, working for the Marines.
Everything is for sale @ a certain $$
We hit the road around 7 am Eastern Standard Time on Thursday February 24th, truck loaded down with pillows, food, trailer tires and overnight bags. Neither of my buddies had ever been far out west, one of which I don’t believe has ever been past the Mississippi. I knew we had a long haul in front of us, but we were eager to see the countryside that lay ahead. On the leg out we decided we would play it by ear, drive in shifts, stop at places of interest and get a hotel only if we thought necessary. Below is a breakdown of the trip there:
7:30am – Departed Lexington SC
8:20am – Crossed into Georgia
10:00am – Stopped just outside of Atlanta to eat at the Cracker Barrel
11:00am – Back on the road
1:30pm – Birmingham Alabama
3:50pm – Crossed into Mississippi
6:30pm – Memphis Tennessee
8:30pm – We Stopped to eat dinner in Little Rock Arkansas
9:30pm – Decided to keep trucking, back on the road
11:30pm – Crossed into Oklahoma
1:45am – Oklahoma City, the half way point of the leg out
4:00am – Texas
6:45am – New Mexico (gotta love that 75mph speed limit!)
10:00am – Albuquerque (Should we have taken a left there?)
12:15pm – Arizona…bout time!
2:00pm – Stopped for lunch in Flagstaff, another Cracker Barrel
6:00pm – Lake Havasu City Arizona, we have arrived!
Upon our arrival we drove around Lake Havasu, checking out all the various powerboat manufacturers and stopped in at the bridge to take in some sights. We then checked into a hotel and all took showers, by the time we got there you would think I was growing onions in my truck, nasty! I called the owner of the boat to let her know we were in town. She told me that she was already at the storage unit, and that if we wanted we could drop by. I had four trailer tires strapped to the roof of my Armada, so I decided to head her way and drop them off in the unit so that they wouldn’t go missing over night. Once we arrived at the storage facility (Advantage boats) I dropped the tries off, had a quick look over the boat (will regret that in the morning) and was eager to get a good recommendation to a good local restaurant (our hotel clerk was super excited to tell us about the new Chili’s they had just gotten, thanks, but no thanks) and finally get some real sleep!!
Crossing over the Mississippi
I didnt know the Luxor had an east coast branch!
Good morning New Mexico
I thought it is supposed to be warmer out west!!
Now thats a change of scenery from the east coast
No thanks, I'll stick with the intersates
Looking for aliens in the middle of the desert
Thats a sight for tired eyes!
Brought it over block by block hu, pretty impressive
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