My story starts one day as I am surfing the web looking for a new (old) car
project. My search leads me to some web site (I don’t remember which) with
a car and a very cool looking boat with fins! This site also has a link to
the fiberglassics web page (Thank you Kelly.. I think) and bam! I was
hooked. I just had to have one of those cool looking boats. So after doing
a little research, I started looking for my first project boat. When I
started my search, I was looking for something from the late 50’s/60’s with
fins. At first the target of my affections was very wide. I was looking
for any of the following as a possible project boat, Lonestar Meteor, Car
Aqua or if at all possible a PowerCat! To tell you the truth as a true Hot
Rod car nut, I was in love with the idea of not just finding a cool boat,
but one in fact that could really fly! So in the back of my mind, I started
to picture myself in a PowerCat (one with fins) that was powered by two tall
Mercury six’s OB’s! Oh yeah I had it bad.
As the hunt began for true "Hot Rod Glassics" it became
that here in the Southern California (Orange County) it was not going to be
as easy as one may think! I am envious of those of you that can just take a
quick drive around and spot opportunities left and right! Here in Orange
and north in LA county there are no large areas with barns or large fields
to check in or behind. My efforts were limited to boat yards and the local
trade rags. My search took over four months of searching daily trades rags
(Recycler.com & Boattrader.com) and weekend trips to boat yards up and down
the So. Cal coast. I must say that at this point I am very lucky that my
wife was very supportive of my efforts to "skunk around" for a project (but
I digress) as I was checking the Recycler one day I came across an add for a
1960 PowerCat. I quickly called and spoke with the owner who had just
picked the boat up a month before at a church auction. He said he remember
his dad having one like it when he was a kid. Lucky for me his job
transferred him to Oregon and he did not wish to take the boat with him.
The single large black Mercury motor caught my eye because it was so tall.
The interior was completely shot, but most of the deck hardware was there
(no bow or running lights) and it was in reasonably good shape. The seller
agreed to cash price and I was on my way home with my new project in tow!
The Hull & Deck:
The original deck is light blue with a white hull. The hull and deck are in
reasonably fair shape for a forty+ year old boat. She has some small
docking damage at the bow just underneath the rub rail along with various
chips and dock scrapes. She also has a variety of holes in her dash from
many long lost gauges and pieces of missing deck hard ware. The one nice
thing is that the original windshield is still intact and in reasonably fair
shape. I am still deliberating on what color to paint the deck. I am
considering the possibly of painting the deck a different color and keeping
the hull white but the jury is still out.
The motor is a single (I know a Cat need twins!) Mercury 1500
(Black with Blue stripes) and by the numbers I believe it to be a 1974
She’s a standard aspirated six that’s rated at 150 hp. At this point I am
still putting my parts list together and preparing to test the motor.
The interior was a rotted out mess that I didn't want to touch, but after I
got up my courage and stripped off the (white) top layer of upholstery only
to find a second layer of dark metal flake blue. It turns out that the whole
thing was a mass of rotted upholstery wood and foam. At first I
contemplated making new wooden seats backs and base’s using the originals as
templates, but as I started to remove all the foam the back rests and base
pieces you could see that it was all the wood was termite-infested, and as I
pulled (by hand) it just all fell apart. So into the trash it all went!
After reviewing some of the original sales brochures I came to the
conclusion that I really don’t want to match the original pattern anyway, as
they look like two huge puffy marsh mellows setting on a single bed with a
gap/step through down the center and not at all pretty (sorry Danny). I will
be pondering the interior in the near future. I thinking two tone tuck and
role! I will also need to have some of the dash hardware replaced and or
I believe the manufacture is American Trailer, but there are no tags or
I am still looking into it.
The Initial Launch: