Skeeter Hawk - Restoration project of a used bass boat by Jim Porter. Provides a detailed process of restoring this classic used Skeeter bass boat.

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SKEETER HAWK PROJECT


PART 1
'WHAT IS THIS??!'

Well, if you know the answer, there is a very good chance you are telling your age.

It looks like a boat. Maybe a Kayak. It has a very old Evinrude on it, that's for sure. And, do I see the motor shift and throttle up by that front pedestal seat? Hum, that trolling motor up front looks like the old style Motorguide; has an awfully short shaft on it, too; don't make those anymore. Well, with those motors on it, the thing MUST be a boat; but, what kind?

The first clue Old Fishin' Tipster is gonna give you is that it is a boat, and it was made by
Skeeter. Gotta think on that one for awhile, huh?

Sure doesn't look like a Skeeter, does it. At least, not like the ones we see today blasting around the lake - no giant hawg-blaster on the transom; no metalflake; no fancy color scheme; not much for deck space (not much for decks at all, now that you look at it); looks like the pedestals are mounted on the floor; where's the dang steering wheel(?).

Ladies and Gentlemen, what you see in that picture is a piece of your fishing heritage. It was the forerunner of what has become the modern bass boat of today.

Designed purely for bass fishing, the 'Skeeter Hawk' was the first boat design to allow the angler to start and operate his fishing rig, as well as fish effectively, without ever having to leave his seat. With stick-steering on his left and the motor controls on the right, the front-seat bass angler of the early 1960's was as modernized as that day and time provided. It was also the first fishing boat designed to provide for trolling motor mounting up front (I think the front-mounting concept was 'it is easier to pull a chain than to push it!'). Note the flat front area where the Motorguide is mounted.

While In Western North Carolina this summer, we came across an old Skeeter Hawk. It had spent some 14, or more, years stored behind a barn. During most of this period, it appears the boat was uncovered and exposed to the elements.

I am not sure what possessed us to commit to the project, but we decided to restore the Skeeter. I know it is going to take up some of our fishing time and will sure eat into the cricket and minnow money supply. But, for those of us whose lives have always revolved around the sport of fishing, perhaps the lure of this project is like helping a sick old friend get well and fish again.

Whatever the case, we will restore the rig. And, you can watch us do it on www.stickmarsh.com. We are devoting a section of the website to the project and will provide text and pictures as we progress.

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The second photo shows our find after we had made a special trip to North Carolina to transport it back to Florida. Lying across two sawhorses, the Skeeter was about to undergo an 'autopsy'.

You can see what we found by going to the web page (Skeeter Hawk Project). Plus, updates on the restoration activities will be posted on a regular basis.


(NOTE: Based on the present lack of adequate historical information, we are unable to determine if the boat is a 'Skeeter Hawk' or a 'Super Skeeter'. The serial number appears to be '2-931'. It is 15-feet long. If you recognize the rig, or know where we can acquire information, please let us know. The Skeeter Boat Company has, so far, not responded.)

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