1984 Starcraft css181

1984 Starcraft CSS181 - Design by Art Carlson (made famous by Bond Movies)


On the way home from a wedding in central Illinois, my wife and I stopped in Charleston to see how much EIU had changed since we graduated from there. On our way out of town I saw a boat which had some very attractive lines similar to some boats made famous by the James Bond movies back in the 70's.  They may have been famous before that but it was the first time I'd seen it in popular culture...


We took the time to stop and see that the boat had some serious floor rot, the outdrive removed and badly blistered seats and upholstery. I quickly passed this off as a boat I didn't want much of anything to do with. But after thinking about the potential it had, i decided to call the guy who owned it and see what he'd take for it. He was asking $3000.00 for it since he paid nearly $5000.00 a few years before when it was still in prestine condition.


After some convincing that he should have taken better care of the boat while he had it I got him down to $1250.00 and picked it up a week later.  After picking it up, I went right to work trying to get the motor running to see if I could even use the boat.  In just a few short days I had the impeller replaced, outdrive installed, propeller in place, and a new bellows (what a pain that was!). 

Now that I could run the motor and shift it into forward and reverse, I decided to take it out on the lake to test it out.  I went with a friend and my wife.  The motor ran pretty good but I found that I not only needed new guages, but also that the floor was soft and the seats were raining wood all over the floor. 

So with this new knowledge, I removed the seats, carpet, floor, guages, right down to the fiberglass bottom.  I installed a new floor with some marine grade plywood, glued in new carpet, re-upholstered the seats myself from scratch, made new seat bases using all the same old hardware as before, made new bow cushions and all other pieces to match.  I really wish I had taken more pictures during the project as I'm currently a photo nut!  The pictures shown above are the result.  Check out the rest of my pictures in my albums.

From Purchase to rebuilt and on the river