Dogs Are Great!

There is something you all should know about me. I love dogs! Ever since I was little and my uncle Billy showed me how to take care of his German Shepard "Sheeba" I loved dogs. I don't think I've slept alone in 30 years and I don't mean with a woman.

My dogs yellow labs Maximus & Noah do everything with me and do everything I do. Run, fish, boat, jet ski, sleep, eat, you name it they do it. I even had them sitting on the tube this summer behind the boat don't worry they had doggie life jackets and they are super swimmers.

Some of you may know Marley & Me "the movie" comes out this week and my wife Jane and I will be first in line as we have a dog Noah who is "Marley". Noah I adopted as a 1 year old is now 6 and I quickly figured out his last name must be "Shit" because I am always saying NO! NO! NO! aaaaaaahhhh SHIT!

Anyway I came across this article today from the writer of the book Marley & Me and I want to share it with you. I will warn you it can make you cry but in a good way...

I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and I hope you have a furry friend (or two) to share it with they can break your heart someday but they also give you your soul.

Woodson & Me

The best-selling "Marley & Me" author shares the secret of his "celebrity" puppy.

By John Grogan

Sometimes amazing gifts come in small packages, and sometimes they come wrapped in soft white fur. So it was with Woodson.

He came into my life at the most unexpected time – as I stood with my wife and 11-year-old daughter on a movie set outside Philadelphia counting my blessings that the comically mischievous canines lined up to portray Marley “the world’s worst dog," were not my headaches to worry about.

After all, I'd already paid my dues on that front. I'm the guy who lived with the real Marley for 13 years and who wrote the book "Marley & Me," on which the upcoming movie is based.

But as we stood off camera watching Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston prepare to film another scene from our life, in walked Mark Forbes, the movie's chief animal trainer, and with him was a little white fur ball with a black nose and bright eyes. Woodson was one of several puppies drafted into service to portray the young Marley, and at the ripe age of 15 weeks, his acting career was over.

My daughter's eyes brightened, and Forbes asked, "How would you like to take this little guy home with you?" She looked at me with the most hopeful expression I have ever seen. I knew the offer was coming and already had told the movie's producers my family would be honored to provide a home for one of the fluffy canine actors.

What we did not know that day -- what no one knew, not the trainers or the producers or the breeders -- was that Woodson was, indeed, special. And not just because he had enjoyed a brief run as a movie star.

From the start, Woodson adopted his new family with gusto. He joyfully knocked over the trash, stole shoes, chewed eyeglasses, attacked pillows and dumped his water bowl just for fun. He was calmer than our famous bad boy Marley, but equally mischievous. It was hard to stay mad at him. Just as he stole our socks, Woodson quickly stole our hearts.

But as the weeks passed, we noticed that our pup seemed unable to do the things Lab puppies do so effortlessly -- leap onto furniture or hop into the back seat of the car. The stairs were almost impossible for him. At first we thought he was clumsy, but with each passing week the signs became harder to ignore.

The veterinarian delivered the news we knew in our gut was coming: Woodson was suffering from a severe birth defect. Both rear hips were so malformed, the balls and sockets did not connect. With each puppy step, bone was scraping bone. No wonder our little actor hobbled around like an arthritic senior citizen.

I called the breeders, not to complain, just to inform. They were mortified. I told them what the vet told me, that it was no one's fault, that sometimes nature delivers surprises. Silently, I counted my blessings that our surprise came with a puppy and not one of our three kids.

"Just bring him back," one of the breeders said, "and we'll swap him out for a new puppy, your pick of the next litter." I have to admit the offer was tempting, like turning in a lemon automobile for a gleaming new model. But dogs are not commodities to be discarded when they break, and I assumed that if Woodson were returned, he would be euthanized.

My wife and I thought about it overnight before realizing there was really nothing to consider. Woodson was part of our family now. I got on the floor with our special-needs dog and placed my lips against his snout. "You're not going anywhere, Woodsy," I whispered. "We're in this together."

And we are. With the help of an excellent orthopedic specialist at the University of Pennsylvania veterinary school, we have Woodson on a special diet and a regimen of cartilage builders and medicines. We lift him into the car for rides and up the stairs for bed. Surgery might be in his future, but for now he's comfortable and enjoys his life as a pampered house pooch.

Woodson will never go hunting or hiking or even on long walks, and that's OK. Some dogs are put on this Earth just to love you.


Animal Rescue League of Boston - Adoption Center and Headquarters

10 Chandler Street

Boston, MA 02116


PHONE: (617) 426-9170

FAX: (617) 426-3028

If you do adopt a pet please let me know it would mean so much to know that a best friend was saved.


Update: Marley & Me was great go see it ignore anyone who says otherwise.


Well as you can see my project is frozen! Any local fans have a nice heated indoor space to lend me? Perhaps someone with working knowledge of Fiberglass repair and Engine rebuilding is a plus.

Somehow I don't think my hairdryer will help yet... Oh the woes of waiting for spring.

Ah well I can wait but somehow I feel just like my two yellow labs (Max & Noah) with my nose pressed to the window waiting for the world to thaw out.


Livorsi Marine Mock Up Gauges Which One Do You Like?

So the guys at Livorsi sent me these mock ups I love the 007 on the speedo number 7. Make sure you post some comments. I'd love to know what you think of them.

I'll use a black rim, carbon fiber bezel & orange needle.

Then I gave them the famous 007 logo with the gun for smaller gauges for volt, water and fuel. Should really make the dash pop!

There are some other ideas they presented too but I choose to go with the standing bond gauges.


Finally Done but Picasso I am not!

These are the rear quarter Glastron Badges that were on the boat. I removed the pop rivets they were held with by drilling them out. There was some damage to them over the years with dings and scratches. There was also a piece missing from the right side that broke but with a little patience I took a razor blade and scraped that side even with the letter "N" now it looks like it is not broken at all. I also shaved down some of the scratches and now I can repaint it with some plastic spray paint. Krylon makes a paint called "Fusion" that is great for this type of stuff. I'll post the results when I'm done. I think they will come out great and no need to find new emblems!

I must admit spray paint and me are terrible together. I always want to do things in one coat lol We will see if my maturity kicks in and lets me be patient. I went to Walmart and found the etching primer for the new aluminum emblems. Then at the local hobby store I found matching acrylic enamel and some artist brushes. Finally a trip to the local hardware store and I found the Krylon Fusion paint that was a close enough match of the original Glastron colors for the badges.


New Bow Emblem has Arrived!

Thanks to some help from Steve I was able to have the Bow emblem remade it is a near exact copy of the original emblem. The piece is quite nice and with some careful painting should last a long time. I had my guy make a few extras as I notice it is one thing that seems to get overlooked on these projects and I think its one of the features of the boat. It is going to look very sweet on the final product! First I spray painted it with the etching primer. Second the blue and red enamel paint 2 coats on the inner rings. Then do the letters with some white enamel paint and a toothpick (be careful and slow). Lastly remove the etching primer a little at a time with some Acetone and Q-Tips. At least that's how I did it. There is a picture of one finished with new paint too. If you need one let me know I bought extras.


Time Capsule

I think I am going to incorporate a "Time Capsule" into my boat. Who knows 20/30 years from now when the next guy or gal restores this boat he/she can find some info on what I did and put it to use.

I will make a CD rom of the project and include it along with other objects, friends of the 007 project, donators, original photos from the first owners, my information, the DVD of the movie Live and Let Die, and a copy of the blog and wait as long as I can before I seal it into the floor. Of course a hintful X marks the spot as well will be added.

I'll probably never see it again to enjoy it, of that I am sure, but then again I have life insurance so...

Any cool ideas to add to the time capsule would be welcome!


Houston we have "Liftoff"

Well I got the boat back today from my engine guy Parrot Pete in Hanson MA he got the 70hp Johnson off the boat and stored for resale. I will probably list it on Craigslist this week. BTW if you need any engine repair/winterizing in the South Shore of MA Pete is great and he is located in Hanson, MA his phone is 781-264-7933 tell him I sent you!

Once back at home I was able to pry out the vinyl insert and unscrew the aluminum rub rail from the boat. The top then separated very easily from the hull. Now I can work on removing the rest of the floor and replacing the stringers and rebuilding the transom.

The picture shows the special custom pieces (Before Polishing) from the rub rail and the transom mount.


Original Seating Repair

Bill Dill @ 3 D Upholstery, 150 Bedford St, Middleboro, MA 02346
508-946-0791 is a good local company that has helped me in the past with Vinyl. They are priced fair and they have a nice selection of products and use only good materials. I am lucky to have the original seats in great condition and will be able to restore them to new condition fairly easily. You can see pictures of the seats further back in this log. When I see them again I'll post some pics here of the materials I will use and will try and stay true to the 1972 colors. If you use them tell them I sent you!


"Holy Grail Found?"

Ooh sometimes I am good very very good! I may have found my engine. I am pulling the Johnson 70hp off it now and I got an email the other day from a gentleman who may even have 2 of the Evinrude Starfire 135hp engines which he could rebuild for a fair price. He even has covers that are in great shape.

Now this engine I am told would not mate up with a power trim of any kind and would have to be set manually before you throttled up. Hmm... I still think anything can be jury rigged if you try hard enough sounds like a challenge to me. My family doesn't call me McGuyver for nothing but we will see...

To have the exact engine they used in the movie would be very way cool I think! And to push that boat to near 62-65 mph riding on its prop & back chines while bouncing around would definitely stand your hair on end. One thing is for sure with no power trim to save you anything past 50 will start to scare you unless the lake is a mirror. Professional drivers only need apply lol.

Of course no original engine would be complete without the bullet hole fired at Bond by Sheriff Pepper that struck the engine (see Picture) but... I have that covered thanks to some cool stickers .38 caliber I believe LOL : )

1973 - EVINRUDE Outboards - Page 23


Sunday Tear Out

Well I think I used every tool in my arsenal Sunday. I got into the boat and took apart everything I could unscrew, cut, rip out, pry and or bend. I removed the cleats, the horn, steering column, control cables, anchor light and the biggest pain of all the vinyl trim that was secured with a zillion pop rivets all around the boat GONE! I dug out more of the floor but may wait until I separate the top from the bottom before I go further on that. Most of the boat so far hasn't been too tough basically I took everything apart and gutted it. I think most people with any working knowledge of some basic power tools could have handled this so far... so don't be afraid to start your own project and get to it!!!

This weekend if the weather cooperates I think I'll get the motor off and mount it on a sawhorse I've already sanded it down and have some new engine paint to redo it with before I put it up for sale as much as I think this engine would work fine I really want to power it up. I already have a 1994 Mastercraft Maristar 23VRS which pulls skiers galore and does a fun 45-48 mph. This boat is intended to make my hair stand on end! LOL So... I got to find me something in the 115-135 range to make it a little bit of an adrenaline rush. That should push the boat to 54-62 respectfully and being only a 15 ft boat that's a plenty : )

You can see in the pics everything I've removed and the pile of carnage from the rampage : )

Then it will be off to the fiberglass fabricator to have him help me with some of the trickier stuff. I hope I have a good poker night soon to help me take the curse of this rebuild LOL Another 3hrs of work today.


Newbie Screwups

Well I wanted to learn from this project and I can see already that I will. I have never done this before but I've taken apart things all my life and put them back together. I am a fairly decent carpenter (still have 10 fingers) so I figure I can get through most of this unscathed. Today I dug into the boat literally. Out went the windshield with a cutting tool and a gator bit wrench for the bolts. I removed the seats, throttle control, switches, wires, steering wheel, steering cable and any loose boards in and around the boat which I think I'll use as templates and remake with Starboard.

But... I knew things couldn't go so perfect... In my haste to remove the floor with a circular saw to get through the fiberglass I went a bit to deep and went through the hull in a spot!! Oops!! I am sure this can be fixed lol (I hope). The stringers were in decent shape and fiberglassed over. The flotation foam soggy and wet, the floor was a crumpled piece of plywood.

I burnt a hole in my thumb after touching a red hot bolt I was cutting but thats about par for the course. So far today about 3 hrs of work and the worst part is almost over.

Hey at least the hole is draing all the water that was in the boat : )

OOPS!! Didn't mean to do that! Hope I can fix it. Anyone need a cheap GT150? LOL

Steerng wheel, partial floor and controls are now gone!

I need to get this engine off next so I can work easier.

Winshield removed and stored carefully.


Livorsi Marine is hooking me up with some items at cost! Sweet!

The guys at Livorsi Marine Inc. just hooked me up stay tuned for a big surprise I thought of for the boat its going to be very very cool .

Some of the items they will supply me are pop up cleats, pop-up bow light, speaker covers that look like the bond gun barrel logo, Side mount controller with trim, and pop up Stearn light.

Wait just wait until you see the Gauges though : ) Big surprise big!!

Updates to follow here soon.

What do you think about this switch control? Pushbutton Ignition and two cool looking self Destruct toggle switches lol!

I will use this steering wheel as it's the most accurate of the era.