Many of you may recall that I've been on the fence about a square stern canoe for some time now. We've discussed wether or not to go with aluminum or fiberglass. Then I was looking at Kevlar or Royalex. I bought a Grumman Sport Boat square stern last night, used off a guy via Craigslist. I think I'm already regretting it.
The boat is in pretty darn good condition and the trailer under it isn't too bad either. It has the rigging, brackets, and windlass for the original Grumman sail kit (no mast or sail of course) as well as two sets of oarlocks so as to row from center or stern seats.
I went down to the local DMV this morning (I'm currently in FL) to transfer the title and discovered that the title doesn't match the boat. (I guess I didn't do enough of my due diligence and I accept the blame for it.) The boat is registered as a 2007 HOME MADE boat. (There's a small "HMDE" in the lower left corner of the title.) The lady at DMV said I must be mistaken and the boat must be home made. (It's clearly a Sport Boat and it has serial numbers to prove it.) DMV printed me a new, clear title and registration in my name right there on the spot.
I've been in communication with the seller, who, of course, swears it isn't stolen; he bought it from a long time friend of his father. I called the local Sheriff's office who sent out a deputy and ran the vessel registration numbers (a waste of time as they just gave them to me at DMV, so of course they're going to come back as "good"), and the Hull ID number. There is no record or report of theft and the seller has no prior convictions.
I called Grumman/Marathon Boat Company, the current licensee of the Grumman trademark, but all they could tell me is that the boat was made prior to 1972, because it doesn't have the standard (current) hull ID number pattern, but the numbers do verify that it's a Grumman Sport Boat. (duh, you can tell that by looking at it.) Marathon took over the Grumman trademark in the 80's, so they have next to no info on pre 80's boats anyway.
So that's the background. Here's my dilemma. Something still seems fishy to me. I also anticipate titling issues when I return to Anchorage with it. (Although, that whole "Affidavit of Ownership" thing seems like a cure-all.) The other issue is the trailer has those tiny 12" tires and I"m not sure how long those tires and bearings will last at 80 mph from FL to AK.
My initial plan WAS to hit this boat with paint stripper (somebody painted it royal blue with a krylon rattle can), repaint it tan (or cover it with duck blind vehicle wrap) put my 69 Evinrude on it and make it into a duck boat/fishing boat. Now I'm not so sure.
What do you guys think? Should I just try to resell this thing for what I have in it ($550) or should I spend the additional $60 on trailer registration down here and bring it home? Will I have issues with AK DMV? Will OI ever get this thing titled as a Grumman Sport Boat? (At this point, I can't even confirm the year of manufacture.) I've been looking for one of these for a year now. (I actually had given up entirely and was about to buy a Wenonah Backwater 15, which is identical in almost every dimension, other than the weight.) I dunno. I think I may have screwed up.