Past Restorations

Express Cruiser Bling

If you happen to be cruising on the Lake of the Ozarks this season and spy something tall and sparkly on the horizon, chances are good it will be a 2009 Fountain 38’ Express Cruiser powered by MerCruiser 496 HO engines and owned by Bob and Pat Engel of Omaha, Neb. The Engels have a lakeside condominium, and during the summer they, as well as their son Chad and his wife, Kari—who own a 2007 Fountain 42 Lightning—log a lot of time on the Central Missouri waterway.

fountain4expressflake 01

The metal flake gelcoat work on this 48-foot Fountain Express Cruiser is a few weeks away from completion.

That sparkle, especially when the sun hits the 38-footer in just the right way, will come courtesy of metal flake gelcoat—that’s right, metal flake gelcoat on an eight-year-old express cruiser—applied by Chad Engel and an employee at Custom Image Auto Body,  his business in Omaha. At the end of last season, Engel and his father decided that the Fountain, having started its life on the water in Florida before the senor Engel purchased it in 2014, could use some sprucing up.

“The top of the boat was oxidized really badly,” said Chad. “I tried to polish it out, wet-sanded it, buffed it out, but nothing seemed to get it back to where it should be. The hull sides were actually fine. We were just planning on doing the top, and the boat has a completely black bottom. But we also decided to do the hull sides.

For a closer look at the progress on the 38-footer, check out the slideshow above.

Read More: Express Cruiser Bling

Revamped By Boat Customs, Freedom Skater To Debut At Boyne Thunder

Well known as he is in the performance-boating community for his approachable good nature, Jim Lee is even better known for Freedom, the 46-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran he owned for years and ran in poker runs and other events around the country. Like the man who owned the boat until last summer, Freedom is a classic.

Read more: Revamped By Boat Customs, Freedom Skater To Debut At Boyne Thunder

Project: Donzi 38 ZR Comp Being Made New

More than a familiar face in the New Jersey performance boating community, Thomas Anselmi is among the nicest and most generous folks you’ll ever meet. While he’s made his Donzi 38 ZRC (Comp) sportboat built in 2003 and powered by twin Mercury Racing 575 SCi engines, which he eventually had upgraded to 700-plus hp with IMCO SCX drives, a staple in poker runs in the Northeast and Florida, he’s also pressed it into higher service. Anselmi and his wife, Andrea, have given rides to deserving folks from injured veterans during the Garden State’s annual offshore powerboat race in Atlantic City to mentally and physically challenged children and their families during the Shore Dreams For Kids event in Brick.

Read more: Project: Donzi 38 ZR Comp Being Made New

Eliminator Goes ‘Above and Beyond’ with Revamped 25 Daytona Interior

Last fall dedicated performance boater and drag racer Brendan Alvarez—the owner of PSI Racing in Sarasota, Fla.—repurchased the Eliminator Boats 25 Daytona catamaran he bought new in 2008 and sold in 2014. Then, after making sure the boat, which is powered by an in-line six-cylinder turbocharged PSI Racing engine, still ran well, Alvarez turned it over to the Eliminator crew in Mira Loma, Calif., to freshen up the interior.

alvarez2 elim25a

The PSI Racing fleet of dragsters includes two Toyota cars and an Eliminator Boats catamaran. All photos courtesy Brendan Alvarez

Read more: Eliminator Goes ‘Above and Beyond’ with Revamped 25 Daytona Interior

Restoration of Brad Smith-Owned Sportboat Nears Completion

smithproject 05

This 1987 Liberator pickle-fork hull sportboat once owned by engine builder Brad Smith should be back on the water this season.

Jeremy Strup and Ryan Branch of Joplin, Mo., planned to have the restoration of a 20-foot Liberator pickle-fork sportboat built in 1987 and owned by the late Brad Smith of Smith Power fame finished almost a year ago. But as with most renovation projects involving vintage boats—in this case one that’s 30 years old—there was a lot more work to do than they anticipated. But according to Branch, the project celebrating the popular engine builder, who died during a poker run accident in 2013, should be complete in two or three months.

Read more: Restoration of Brad Smith-Owned Sportboat Nears Completion