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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First post on here and looking forward to the insight from the community.

I have a 20ft SeaCraft that sees most of use here in NC, but I go the Gulf Coast 3-4 times a year and don't want to trailer the big boat down....so I've been on the hunt for a smaller boat.

Having grown up on the Gulf, I always had a 13-17 skiff that would anchor in front of the house. The best boat I ever had was 1972 13 Whaler with a 25hp pull start Merc...it was simple, no frills, and caught a ton of fish.

My goal was to get something similar to my old Whaler...a boat that's self bailing, had a tiller motor, a trailer with larger tires...and didn't break the bank.

I looked for a Hobie Power Skiff, but those were either beat to hell, 8+ hours away, or way too expensive. Whalers were a crap shoot, with most being destroyed and overpriced...or just overpriced. McKee Crafts were all rough, and the Wahoos don't really have the best layout.

In my search I came across an interesting Henry O...the seller had done a ton of work on it, but didn't go through it all on his ad...and he wouldn't talk on the phone, text, or even email much. I told him I wanted the boat and was going to make the 3hr drive...he then got back to me and said that he didn't want to sell. Fast forward 2 weeks, and he put it back on the market! I didn't let time kill this deal, so I drove up this morning and picked her up.

Here's what I know about the boat thus far:

'88 Henry O Challenger that is 15'1" with 6' beam, weighs 750lbs and drafts 8"
'90 Evinrude 40hp tiller with power tilt and electric start (freshwater motor)
CMC manual jackplate
dual console, seats, railing all removed and holes patched
interior painted, custom wood insert in the bow for casting platform

The previous owner spent a ton of time and money restoring the boat and appears to have done some really quality work. Now begins the process of figuring out how to outfit the boat.

Would love to get people's thoughts on what they'd do to it.
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A simple old Gheenoe
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This is a cool blank slate— congrats! I’d personally keep it light and simple with some no-frills decks, etc.

Also: helluva nice ‘cruiser you have to pull it with.
 

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I’d fish it. Maybe put a trolling motor up front in a while but for now - fish fish fish. Nice boat. I was looking for one before I got my Duxbury Dory.
 

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Panhandler
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Cool little boat. Simple is probably the best option. It looks like you replaced the trailer wheels and hopefully hubs, which is a good start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys, I think I’m going to get a big cooler for seating and storage and call it a day.
About the trailer…I drove 3hrs to pick it up…trailered back to my in-laws house. I got a text from my father in law, he said the bearing blew out of the passenger side hub! The Bearing Buddy that was on there flew off…I’m super lucky to have made it home. Now to replace both hubs and maybe the axle too. I was going to do this anyway before next summer.

Luckily my father in law is a mechanic with a full shop and all tools imaginable.
 

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A simple old Gheenoe
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I think the advice to fish it for a while is spot on. When I mentioned adding simple decking, I was referring to those gaps fore/aft. It looks like there are ledger boards so that you can easily add panels to span that space. I’d consider some marine ply and topside paint before I committed to any glass work. Again, cool boat!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I think the advice to fish it for a while is spot on. When I mentioned adding simple decking, I was referring to those gaps fore/aft. It looks like there are ledger boards so that you can easily add panels to span that space. I’d consider some marine ply and topside paint before I committed to any glass work. Again, cool boat!
Luckily the previous owner crafted a piece of decking…I’m going to replace it with Starboard when it wears out. Definitely going to throw my Yeti in it and see how it does.

I have to sort the trailer, but went up today and ran the motor. Fires right up and idles like a champ. I was shocked at how clean it is! Darn thing looks near new under the cowling, had to have been a freshwater motor.

The previous owner put a sweet Odyssey in it.

I’m going to get the BRP OMC 6 gallon tank, as it fits perfectly in the stern.
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