05 Mar The Big Ta Do
I know you are dying to ask and I am wanting to tell you about a little ta do. So sit back, relax and learn about a what it takes to make a BIG TA DO.
Overwhelmed at the purchase of this remarkable fishing machine in 2006 I set about making her mine. A 1976, 31 Bertram Sportfisher, “Ya do say!”. She was cared for by the late Julian Chappa, owner of Sportfishing Kauai. Twin 450 merc cruises complemented this speed injected performance machine. At 17 gallons an hour wide open (each) something had to be done. I scratched my head and pondered the question and along came a cowboy. “Well partner, what you gonna do now?”
I looked at the sweet lines, deep V hull and weighed the desire of this boat to go fast. I remained silent. Then a voice in pigeon/Portuguese/English filled my ear. “Why don’t you put these in your boat?”. It was a statement more than a question. I looked to where the cowboy was pointing and there on a trailer attached to his truck was a set of Cummins 250 BT diesel engines, transmissions, shafts and props.
“Going Fit?” I asked. “No problem.” answered the cowboy. The reply was too soon. “You want them?” asked the cowboy. “How much?” I responded. A great offer. Hummm, “I’ll think about it.”. “Ok boss, you got three seconds. One, two thr-“. “Ok. I’ll take them.” Whew that was a pressure sale if I ever had one.
Boat engines and a heck of a lot of work came together. On the trailer, she went into the PORT ALLEN FISHING CLUB yard. Grinder in one hand, saws-all in the other I jumped in and cut the deck out. The engines where gone. The hull was ground and every through hull fitting was removed. “Whew!” That was just a lot of work in the heat of the summer. I had grinder dust in my ears for the next 4 months.
I went to my neighbors house, a veteran from Florida’s Whaler boats team, and asked about fiberglass ten times a week. When he just couldn’t take it anymore he came down and saw a very clean hull and since I was doing the grinding he offered to “get her done.”. He introduced me to the term “little ta do”. I would say we need to fix that glass on the transom and he would reply “it’s just a little ta do”. The deck needs to be rebuilt, “little ta do”. The stringers need to be reinforced, “little ta do”. I need an Ika Mau (bait well), “little ta do”. I need new engine vent holes, “little ta do”. New shaft logs, “little ta do”. Gel coat, “little ta do”.
We sat back on the polished paint and looked over the reconstruction. All was good. “Brother” he said wiping some genuine sweat from his bald head “that was a PRETTY BIG TA DO!”