Every now and then a boat comes along that captures a man’s imagination. For me it was the Lone Star Cruisemaster. From the moment I saw one I knew I had to have one of my own. I found a few for sale, but I found great difficulty trying to close a deal. One afternoon my friend Ian sent me a lead on a newly listed Cruisemaster. After some quick negotiations, we successfully made a deal to buy the boat.
Filled with excitement, we packed the car and hit the road. As we left our homes in Hamilton, ON and plugged the address into the GPS the realism of the adventure we were about to embark on began to set in. 25 hours to Texas; one way. Who thought this was a good idea? Too late. We were committed.
Fortunately, we thought, it will be a quick turn around since the seller had agreed to make the trailer roadworthy before we arrived. We couldn’t have been more wrong. The trailer wasn't even close to roadworthy when we arrived. I wasn't very happy about it, but we were too deep into the trip to turn back. We left the seller’s property and headed to a series of trailer parts stores in an attempt to buy new wheels and hubs before our return trip. This is when we discovered that the trailer axles were actually old car axles so we couldn't just replace the hubs and tires. We spent most of the day trying to repair the trailer and find compatible parts. Fortunately, the good folks at the local Goodyear garage stayed open late and put all hands on deck to replace our tires, wheel studs and repair one badly damaged rim.
To make matters worse, the trailer lights that were newly installed on my month old Ford Escape didn't work and there was no apparent fuse to replace. With no way to troubleshoot or repair the lights we had to figure out a way to add lights to the trailer that were independent of the car. Ian came up with an ingenious handheld wiring harness using a battery, three way switch, momentary switch and a signal light flasher. The lights worked and we were happy with them until we pulled into the border crossing and realized that the unit looked like the trigger mechanism to an IED. Luckily, the border guards never checked the boat and trailer.
Crossing the border was no trouble at all since we had a valid registration for the trailer and a bill of sale for the boat. The guards couldn't have been nicer and our honesty resulted in my only having to pay a total of $26 in taxes. We were now across the border and less than an hour from home
1955 Vagabond I w/ 1955 Mercury MK55 50 hp
1957 Ranger III w/ 1957 Evinrude Big Twin 35 hp (sold)