Major Bermuda Houseboat Projects - the rebuilding of a 57' Carri-Craft
by David Geraghty
Extreme Houseboat Rebuilding Project or Insanity?
Here is a short story depicting a moment of temporary insanity, and the biggest houseboat rebuild project of a lifetime, the rebuilding of a 57 ft Carri Craft.
“What on earth were you thinking?” seemed to be the most popular response when friends first laid eyes upon my latest purchase; a 57’ Carri Craft named ‘The Aristocat’.
Many years earlier in 1992, the catamaran had been trucked 1400 miles from the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri and then shipped to Bermuda where it was used for snorkeling and charter trips.
Later that same year, it had a fire in the engine room and sank in shallow water. It was re-floated and taken to a boatyard in the West end of the island where over the course of the following years it was stripped of everything valuable and left to die a slow and horrible death.
Some years later I was wandering around the very same boat-graveyard aimlessly inspecting the carcasses when I came across a pile of fiberglass purporting to be the ‘Aristocat’.
As the result of a bout of temporary insanity and with the encouragement of an equally dim-witted friend, I made enquiries with the boatyard and subsequently purchased the skeletal remains from its eager owner.
Over the course of the next five years the ‘Aristocat’ became my compelling companion, constantly demanding my undivided attention and carelessly consuming all of my time and money.
The first six months I spent armed with a crowbar and a circular saw, removing every remaining piece of wiring, plumbing and décor. Entry to the interior was afforded courtesy of a ten-foot hole in the side of the boat and to prevent the accumulation of water, thirty-eight separate holes had been drilled straight through the bottom of the hull.
The boat had no floor and
no windows, the ceiling had sagged and the engines were good for nothing more than to ensure that the rear of the boat remained steadfastly sitting on it’s bent propeller shafts.
Fortunately, I was able to restore her (Apparently, all boats are feminine) without any professional assistance. After countless bruises, numerous bloodied knuckles, a total of twelve stitches and three broken ribs she had been completely transformed. The boat was renamed ‘CORA’ and re-launched in October of 2004.
She now sits proudly alongside some newer boats in the marina but with her new lease of life she will hopefully be there for many years to come.
Cheers from Bermuda, David Geraghty. Reply - Answer
David, I am speechless and totally impressed with your dedication, skills, and your final vision of what your dream boat should look like.
I can relate to your friends comments about your bout with "temporary insanity", however dreams start with a vision and you have surely achieved yours.
May the weather and friendships created with "her" last a lifetime. Thanks again for your story and photos.Lastly
, hopefully some of our readers and visitors will share and post comments about their extreme houseboat makeovers and experiences.
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Thanks again for sharing, IAN from all-about-houseboats
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