Newbie 1973 18' Sleek Craft Rebuild
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Newbie 1973 18' Sleek Craft Rebuild

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    Member sleek73's Avatar
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    Default Newbie 1973 18' Sleek Craft Rebuild

    36 years ago my dad and his best friend bought a 1973 18’ Sleek Craft “Rebel”. It came with yellow base and root beer brown metal flake trim with dark brown upholstery (hotter than hell). It was powered by a 455 OLDs and a Jacuzzi jet (I know no one cares for this combo, but that’s what it came with). We used it summer after summer at Lake Millerton, Lake San Antonio and Lake Buena Vista racking up hundreds of hours of skiing and tubing.



    In the early 80’s I bought out dad’s friend and became his new partner. I really don’t think dad who what he was in for. I took the boat to a friend and painted red and orange strips over the root beer brown and added some graphics to the bow. Then removed the cheap fiberglass motor cover with a much streadier wooden cover and reupholstered the seat and cover with a tan base with red and orange stripes. We ran it that way until the summer of 97. After a few bad trips to our local lake with morons that don’t know how to boat, we put the boat away and had no desire to take it out again.


    Ten years later our lives came full circle, when our daughter was spending some time in Fresno with some friends. My wife (Tiff) went down for the weekend to pick her up. The friends she was staying with were going to Pine Flat Lake so we tagged along. We met up with some of the greatest people we’ve met (rightytighty & his family). After a weekend of boating and skiing we left with smiles on our faces that we couldn’t remove for weeks.

    This is where the rebuild starts. Tiff gave me a choice, GET THE BOAT RUNNING AGAIN OR FIND A LAWYER. 2007 So once winter was over I pulled the boat out after 10 years. Little did I know what I was going to find. The upholstery was shot and then I open the motor cover and found the engine all rusty. No real big deal until I tried to crank it over and the found two piston rusted and seized up.



    Unfortunately I didn’t know about his site yet. So I bought a long block and started the rebuild. Even my daughter got involved.



    Once the motor was ready, I checked the fuel tanks and they looked a can of varnish that had been sitting around for ten years.



    So I cut the glass away and pulled the tanks (man did that suck) and cleaned them and bought new gas caps. Re-glassed them back in and it was time to fire it up. Of coarse it didn’t backfire through carb. Ya I had the distbutator 180 off.



    I called my friend Jimmie Johnson (not who think, just a regular guy) and he got it going in no time. It was running great after ten years. So I had to call dad and let him listen. I think he was as happy as I was. After a few things like new stereo, rebuilding the Buddie bearing and new tires it was time to go to the lake. It ran perfect!!!!

    After a few trips to Pine Flat and spending some great time with our friends we were back in the groove. Of coarse with all boats it wasn’t over. The distribuator went bad. I was told to get a MDS distribuator so off to Summit Racing I went and came back with a new Performer Edlebrock carb also.



    2008 So once winter was over we were back to Pine Flat. Everything seem to running good when all of a sudden it started to sputter and then we smelt gas. I opened the motor cover and the fuel line was melted and pumped gas over the entire intake manifold. It was covered in boiling gas!!! Does anyone know at what tempeture gas will burst into flames? In over 40 years of boating this was the first time I told Tiff to get the FIRE EXTINUSHER and get ready to jump. Fortuneately nothing happen. Fix the fuel line and back on the water we went.

    2009 A few weeks back I started working on a few things and ended up getting a new Performer Edlebrock intake manifold to help the carb. I pulled the old stock manifold off @ 60 pounds and the new one only weighs 20 pounds. I also cleaned the rusty pulley that was eating up my belts. The motor is starting to come around.




    decided it was time to clean the trailer up some too. The boards were falling off and half the lights didn’t work. I lifted boat off the trailer and got started.




    So after some primer, new RED paint to match our Tahoe, new bunk boards and carpet, all new wire and LED lights it looks pretty HOT!!!



    Last July my partner & DAD lost his life to cancer. So now I have a new partner, the one who pushed me to get our dream back on the lake, my wife and best friend.

    In 8 days we’ll be back to Pine Flat to see how it runs.

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  3. #2
    SR
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    Killer first post.Welcome to the site.

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    Got Circus Midgets??? BIGAMIST's Avatar
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    Funny you mention those lakes, 18’ Sleek Craft Rebel with that color combo........











    .
    When I die I want to go nice and peaceful in my sleep like Grandpa did, not screaming like the other passengers in His car.

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    Member Schiada21's Avatar
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    Default 1973 Sleek Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by SR View Post
    Killer first post.Welcome to the site.
    X2, welcome aboard sleek73. What lakes do you frequent nowdays?
    Just "Roll With It, Baby"
    Eddie

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    Senior Member Jetboat Jared's Avatar
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    wow talk about great first post love tghe boat to im sorry to hear about your dad that really sucks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schiada20 View Post
    X2, welcome aboard sleek73. What lakes do you frequent nowdays?
    I live about 20 miles from Lake Topaz Nv. but we go to Pine Flat outside Fresno Ca.

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    Member sleek73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetboat Jared View Post
    wow talk about great first post love tghe boat to im sorry to hear about your dad that really sucks.
    Thanks
    Watch for thread on the 4th Of July. My wife and I are doing a tribute to him and his SOCAL racing days.

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    Member sleek73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BIGAMIST View Post
    Funny you mention those lakes, 18’ Sleek Craft Rebel with that color combo........











    .
    Nice picture. I've been looking for all of our old pics from the old days. Whee is this shot from?

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    Senior Member Widetrack's Avatar
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    I had been off the water for about 7 years! I know now what I had been missing! Sorry for your loss! And good luck an Happy Boating again! WT


    SOMEONE SAID YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU! SO,IM BURNING IT UP ONE GALLON AT A TIME!
    WT

    WFL Crew!!!

  12. #10
    Got Circus Midgets??? BIGAMIST's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleek73 View Post
    Nice picture. I've been looking for all of our old pics from the old days. Whee is this shot from?




    Buena Vista 1981/82.






    .
    When I die I want to go nice and peaceful in my sleep like Grandpa did, not screaming like the other passengers in His car.

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    Ken and Tiff,

    As said, great post. Love the redone trailer.. I think your dad would greatly approve of the new color!! (Fire engine red and all..)

    Ang and I were stoked to find some friends that love the lake as much as we do. Not enough people like that in this world. Looking forward to our next get together in a couple of weeks. Sorry you can't make it down on memorial ( Family obligations come first-- but just barely..)

    Note to the boards: I was so impressed when he brought the boat to the lake the first time (after 10 years and a rebuild). New motor, interior,new gas tanks, new just about everything. Back it in the water. Starts and purrs. Then runs perfectly for a 3 days weekend. Never even touched a wrench.. It was cool! Guess that's what happens when a guy with a finish carpenter mind set builds a boat.. I'm more the "Rough" carpenter kind a guy..
    Is it just me or are toilet seats getting smaller?

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    Senior Member nick's Avatar
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    Great story, your boat is really part of the family, good luck with it this summer!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BIGAMIST View Post
    Buena Vista 1981/82.






    .
    We were there the same time. Started going in the 77 if I rememeber right until like 85.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Widetrack View Post
    I had been off the water for about 7 years! I know now what I had been missing! Sorry for your loss! And good luck an Happy Boating again! WT
    Get back on the water! It's worth whatever it takes to get there. The friends you meet are good people to hang around with. They're always there for a laugh or two. Keeps your mind in tack.

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