1983 Stars & Stripes Restoration
And so it begins...
I've had this boat in storage for three years now, and the previous owner for eleven before that. Now I'm finally in a position where I can start breathing some life back into this classic. It's been a long time coming for sure! The previous owner told me he bought the boat in '87 from a ski club in northern Illinois named The Ski Broncs who used it on the Rock River. When he bought it from them they'd told him that they had bought it from Cypress Gardens a few years earlier. It's a great story, and I want to believe it's true but probably won't ever be able to prove it. I did spend quite a bit of time looking for any remaining indication that a number 1-5 decal had been placed near the gas tank at some point but unfortunately couldn't find anything. Maybe a black light will expose something...would love to know which one it was (if it was) so I could put the number back on it!
From outside appearances the boat looks very sound...especially considering it probably took a pretty good pounding in it's early years. A few hairline cracks in the gel coat, small scratches and dings here and there, but no cracks on the inside corners. 30 years of oxidation too. The engine, well it hasn't run since '99. The previous owner builds race engines as a hobby and claims he lubed and sealed it up in all the right places, we'll see. All I know for sure at this point is that it's not ceased. I'll probably pull it out and take it to a pro...looking for someone in the northern Illinois area if anyone here can recommend someone I can trust.