Tales from Margaritaville
By Greg Gills
Languishing in the used and neglected part of the lot we found a 1971 Pearson. We didn’t see her for what she was, only for what she could be. It was an affordable boat for a school teacher with a stay at home wife and two children. A $12,000 boat; a boat with issues. I was staring directly at one of those issues. My issue stared back at me. It was an enormous split in the front of a molded keel, like a crooked smile.
It was the summer of 1994 and I was sitting on a five gallon plastic bucket. The sun was shining, the temperature was in the low 80’s and I was facing the keel of my new “old” boat. My wife and I had moved up from our Oday 22 to a 33 foot Pearson. “Two foot itus” had morfed into “11 foot itus”.
I knew virtually nothing about boat repair at that time in my life. I worked on my own cars, built things around the house, tinkered with my O’day but never had taken on a project like Margaritaville. My life was about to change.