The Renovation of a Correct Craft Ski Nautique (1978)

This is the online record of my work on a 1978 Ski Nautique. I've always wanted an inboard ski boat, ever since I was a kid growing up on Towline Lake, near Lakeview, MI. When I was very young, just learning how to water ski, my Mom would say to me "someday maybe we'll get a Ski Nautique". I didn't know what she was even talking about back then, becuase I had never seen one. The only Ski boats on our lake were either Mastercraft or Malibu. Then I found www.correctcraftfan.com and saw the boats my Mom always loved so much.

This project will end with a very patriotic looking red white and blue custom ski boat. The bottom will be dark blue. There will be a 4 inch white stripe just below the current side letters. Then the sides will be red, with white lettering and a white top deck. The upholstery is being replaced with the same red, white and blue with a curvy swirly pattern. The dashboard will be refinished with red/black carbon fiber/kevlar cloth. This is a decorative cloth that will be encased in a clear surf board polyester resin. It's the type of resin they use to seal stickers and other decals in side a surf board. I am currently trying to get quotes on Red Anodization for the center ski pylon. I have a company in Grand Rapids that quoted me 80 bucks so let me know if you think it can be done for less!



Ok the story starts here. I have never owned a Correct Craft of any kind. This venture has just begun and I feel like a "kid at Christmas" with excitment. The boat in the pictures here was recently posted for sale on ebay. The auction closed out this past Saturday and I was determined to be the winner at the end.

I stumbled accross this site because I was looking at another one (1974 Ski Nautique) where I am. The other one (the 74) ended up a lot more expensive than I was ready for (over 4300) and it still needed similar interior restoration to be in very nice shape. This one though ended up finishing off at 1730.00 on Ebay. A fine gentleman in Macon GA decided to part ways with her because he'd replaced her with a Ski Supreme due to a boat "in demand by the kids" while this one was not ready for the job. The stringers are rotted in what he calls "a 48X20 inch patch" under both front driver and passenger seat locaitons.

I'll be leaving on Thursday evening from Grand Rapids, MI to cruse down there (Macon, GA) overnight and pick up the boat. Then I'm going to about face and return her to my fathers pole barn in MI for some intensive care on the floor stringers, and eventually the whole boat.

Now I've never done this before. I was seriously looking at building a boat from the ground up recently. Being a Mortgage Professional, I like to see people fixing up old houses and restoring them to original or "better" condition. Running into the above mentioned 1974 Nautique though drove me online to find information about the boat. For obvious reasons, I strolled accross this site and was honestly impressed a lot. Not only by the amount of info this site has. But the absolute, and devoted love most of you Correct Craft/Ski Nautiuqe owners seem to have over your boats.

At first of course, I will have to admit I was concerned. Comming from a family that currently owns both a 96 Mastercraft Pro Sport 206 and an 00 of the same length and model (yeah 2 cousins both have Mastercrafts). I wasn't too worried about that though. If anything this Nautique provides a great oppertunity to own a VERY classic, yet undisputed competition ski boat.

I've noticed on this site though, there are both restorations to "Original condition" as well as restorations to great looking boats, but not in original dress. My father (being the old timer that he is) will probably want to restore the boat to "original". While I have another idea all together. I would like to get all of your opinions though. I've seen every nautique on this site now I think (almost). Even the bright green 80 in what I believe to be "Sveden" or something. All though I wasn't going to paint mine bright green, I wanted to know what the average "Correct Craft fan" would think about a 78 Painted in the good old Red White n Blue of course. After all, if it's got to chill with the Mastercrafts on the 4th of July, it might as well be painted accordingly right? So I went tot he Correct Craft website and did the "Build a boat" thing. I selected a paint scheme that would be best described as Red on top, white stripe in the middle with no accent tape, and a Midnight Blue hull. With the Teak platform (that I will eventually refinish) this paint scheme looks AMAZING on the current correct craft ski 196. So I suspect it would look incredible on a 78 as well. Now I'd like to know what you think? Is it generally a bad idea to "color outside the lines" on a classic Nautique? Or should I go with that it came with and make it look new like an original 78?

Of course eventually I will probably ask for tons of help in acutally "fixing" her, but for now I'm just currious where to take her? Back to original? Or time warp her to 2005 where she is?
Thanks for the input in advance :)

I'll post more pictures as the project unfolds. :)

Jared Johnston


For those of you who are comming here from www.correctcraftfan.com I'd like to say thanks a lot for all your input and advice so far. It's been very helpful and I would not have gotten this far with out the advice and experience some of you have all ready shared with me.



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