A New Orleans, LA Katrina Rebuild.....

A little history first.....I found this 1985 Cajun Special parked on the 5th floor of the Galleria high rise building in Metairie, LA. It was tied down before Katrina, and wasn't moved since. The boat is 15' long and has a beam width of 50". (measured from the bottom). 77" (measured from the top). This is a very wide boat. It has a tilt trailer, but the tongue was slightly bent. All 3 tires on the trailer were dry rotted and needed replaced. The Evinrude motor is a 15 HP (1992), I mean 9.9 HP....LOL, and runs like a top. I had the motor tested and the compression wet was 110 in each cylinder which is very close to new. The testing of the compression, and a complete carburetor rebuild was $75.00 from a local shop on the West End. I tested the boat for water leaks and it had none

Now the "before" pictures shows some of the aluminum framing I performed to increase the deck size. I had also started to sand the inside of the boat. I also converted the middle storage container into a 20 gallon livewell which is completely watertight. I also cut out hatch openings, removed all the EPS foam for some great storage area. I tested this boat on the bayou before it was decked and my GPS read 24.8 MPH. This same motor on my smaller boat which I have since sold (but still have the Nissan 9.8 HP motor) only topped out at 19.7 MPH. This wider boat only drafts about 1 1/2" of water at the time of testing. Sharp cornering at the time of testing was very tough because the ass end was sliding out. Fast, fast boat!

Complete Cost From Previous Original Owner: Boat, Motor & Trailer..........$800.00 Cash Money (This also included all records and manuals)

Preparation - The boat was taken off the trailer and completely sanded and primed twice with a gray NAPA self-etching primer, as was the trailer.

Finishing - All the aluminum used is 1/8" thick 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" or 1" x 1". The tilt trailer got the tongue straightened, 3 new white spoke wheels, a bearing job, new submersible lights, new 1400 lb. hoist and strap, and a new set of Ultimate Bunk Boards. I also rebuilt the front boat stop. Then was finally painted with 3 coats of gray enamel paint. (Still have the LA plate on it until 08) (Boat has been registered in GA by me)

Paint Used For Finishing - Camo Pattern Outside (Base - Green, Middle - Brown, Trim -Flat Black). Inside boat (Walls - Green, Wood on floors & decks - Camo Beige, Inside Storage Areas - Brown, Storage hatch lids - Brown). All paint is non-reflective. (I've been told by a few duck hunters my first camo paint job was pretty good considering I had no earthly idea what the hell I was doing!) All the wood used was 1/2" hardwood plywood, which was sanded and primed 4-5 times. I used 3 sheets total. All finished painted camo area's have 2-3 coats total.

All the exposed sharp edges from any cutting of the storage compartments have been covered with some rubber edge trim I got off E-Bay. Pretty cheap stuff.

Trolling Motors Used - 3, 24 volt, 82 lb thrust Motorguide's (Rear 2 trolling motors can be controlled with 2 Big Foot switches I installed.) Here, I had to buy another one from Bass Pro, but got it on sale.

Seats - 2 camo seats with 12" posts. (I think I'm also going to paint both the posts & base's in one of these non-reflective colors.)

Battery  Number & Storage Locations - 2 batteries under front deck, which I made aluminum trays for. These front two are for the front trolling motor only. 1 battery in port side storage which is for livewell fill pump, livewell circulation pump, rear bilge pump, 2 depth finders (front and rear). 4 batteries under the rear deck hatch area for rear 2 trolling motors. All batteries can be strapped into place for tight securement.

Wiring - All wires terminate in the port storage area onto 2 terminal blocks. (I also put in some extra wiring & an extra switch for some navigational lights if I ever feel the need.)

Equipment Storage - Under entire front deck (Life jackets, nets, etc.). Middle Starboard Storage (Anchor, buoys, etc). Rear, both port & starboard sides (Tackle for two, rain suits, etc). Storage, storage, everywhere!

This has been a great weekend project for the past several months and I can't wait until I can get her on the water to see what see can do. E-mail me at anthgarc@bellsouth.net if any comments or questions.

Booyah from the bayou...........Tony

I took 3 clients fishing and we caught over 200 Speckled Trout this week on a guided tour with Capt. Phil Robichaux. When all was fish were cleaned, we had 4, 2 lb freezer bags of fish, ready for the grill. Go to http://www.rodnreel.com/captphil/ for more information. Capt. Phil has his own fishing show down here and is very well known. This man knows his stuff, is very willing to share information, and will have you laughing so hard you might just shit yourself between drinking beers. Well worth the price! Redfish is next, maybe next week.

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Keeping Tournament Fish Alive!