A few years ago I was sitting on my cousin David's porch on Jekyll Island, GA, looking out at his 24 foot Carolina Skiff that he had used as a work boat for a few years, and started thinking about how neat it would be to remake it into a flats skiff. David hauled plywood, supplies and other gear to and from Cumberland Island and referred to it as, “The Slab”. No frills, just a small outboard rigged with a side mount, stick steering system. The transom had been cut down to accommodate the smaller motor, but other than that, the hull was bare. For the last few years the hull had been sitting idle in his back yard, collecting pine needles. His 21 foot Carolina Skiff was his main boat and since his retirement, he was doing a lot more fishing than working, so the 24 footer just wasn't getting used.
After a few beers, I asked him if he'd consider selling it to me if I ever moved back to Florida from the snowy north. He said, "I'll give it to you for exactly what I got it for, $700."
A dream was launched.
Back to Wisconsin I went to go back to work and started putting together a plan. I had no idea when it would come together or even IF it would ever come together, but I spent many hours thinking about it, paging through catalogs, surfing the web, making plans.
To make a long story a little shorter, circumstances over the last year convinced my wife and me to make a major life change. We put our house in Wisconsin up for sale in August and started making serious boat plans. Hours of conversations with David, more hours of planning and the process of securing components began in earnest. A 115 Evinrude was secured from a guy in Stuart, Fl. A console was found on Craigslist. A trailer and T-top were salvaged off a wrecked Pro Line. Things were coming together.
The house sold in February and we quit our jobs and headed south. We got to Cape Coral, FL and started looking for a place to live. The internet helped this process considerably and we had a very good idea of what we were going to do even before we made it down there. A few days later, we had an accepted offer on a house on Pine Island and a few weeks to wait before closing. Time to head to Jekyll and start getting things put together.
Here are some pictures of what we started with. More to follow.
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