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38 Responses to “About”

  1. 1 Geven
    September 24, 2009 at 9:53 am

    What happened to the story about you guys losing Bear? I can’t seem to find it. I’ve shared it with several folks…it’s a great story. I have three Feather Crafts and your site is a real inspiration.

    Thanks, Geven

    • 2 conductorjonz
      September 24, 2009 at 10:44 pm

      Thanks for the kind words Geven. We still miss Bear a great deal. She was a real lady as dogs go. Sweet and gentle…and loved everyone.

      Took a ride to downtown Toledo tonight in the Feather Craft. Water was like glass, and the old Vagabond cruised along at a nice easy clip. Lots of fun!


  2. April 12, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    I am restoring a 1956 Thompson Sea Coaster, have been looking and looking, and seem to find that you are the most knowledgeable and detail oriented person regarding the appropriate outboard for this boat. The Johnson Javelin is gorgeous and I want one!! ANY IDEA where to best look for one or know of one that is for sale? Would you sell a restored one?

    HELP! Thanks,
    Craig Roderick

    • 7 conductorjonz
      April 12, 2010 at 11:47 pm

      Hi Craig!

      The 1957 Golden Javelin seems to be most common. They turn up on Ebay and Craigslist with regularity. Sometimes a boat is attatched though. Then the bit about geography can be and issue. You may want to put an ad on AOMCI’s Webvertize for a ’56 or ’57 Javelin. I do know a fellow in Mansfield, Ohio who has a ’57. Don’t know if he’d sell it or not though. If so, I’m sure he will respond via AOMCI.

      My ’56 Javelin is getting to work this year on my 1949 Thompson. Using a 13-pitch bronze prop. She runs like a scalded dog. Right up on top of the chop at all times.

      Good luck!


      • October 17, 2010 at 9:51 pm

        Hi Greg-I can’t believe i haven’t been back to this site since April! I have been busy restoring the Thompson here and there, and still have interest in getting that 56 or 57 Javelin at some point. I will be putting an ad out there on AOMCI and will check it out now. I literally spent the spring working two full time jobs, switching to another full time job, got married, bought a house in June….YIKES. I spent all day Sat heat/scraping the hull, and finished half. Now that’s it home in my yard (under a carport and covered), I can work on her more and HOPEFULLY have her ready this Summer. Very excited.

        Thanks again for your reply and sorry i took so long to respond.

  3. 9 Nick Atkins
    April 21, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    Hi Craig- First off, your motors and boats are beautifull. I have a ’57 johnson seahorse. Model RDE19. My father and I purchased it this winter with the intent of restoring it. Unfortunately dad has gotten ill with cancer and we have had to put it on the wayside. Do you restore motors as a business? If not, can you stear me towards someone who does? I would so like to get the old man out on the water with his motor before he gets too bad. Any information you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. Once again, FANTASTIC BOATS AND MOTORS! – Nick Atkins

    • 10 conductorjonz
      April 21, 2010 at 11:59 pm

      Hi Nick!

      I very sorry to hear about your dad. My wife, who never drank or smoked, or had cancer in her family…got cancer 7 yrs ago. She is doing fine now, but it is a battle. We are brought up as men to protect our love ones, and nothing is more painful than having to sit on the sidelines, helplessly, and not being able to do a thing…but be there.

      I do restorations mostly for myself, but of late have ended up doing a few things here and there for others. I don’t know where you are located, but IF you’re not near Toledo, Ohio…I may not be able to do much. If you’ll contact via e-mail I may be able to help you out. I’ll send something to your account off-blog.

      Thanks for the kind word, and our thoughts are with you, your father, and family.


  4. 11 Rick Clark
    June 28, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Hi my name is Rick and we were just wondering if you would like to buy a late or early 50’s sea bee 1.5 hp boat motor. My dad and I just found it in a junkyard and we managed to get it running. We wish to sell it and contact us at this email when you can.

    • 12 conductorjonz
      July 2, 2010 at 8:23 am

      Hi Rick!

      Thanks for the offer. I’m trying to downsize a bit right now, but you may want to advertise it on in the Webvertise section. Likely a member near you would be in contact.

      Thanks again!


  5. 13 Joe
    September 13, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Greg… I love your blog. I too was thinking of putting up a blog for friends to follow my restoration of a 1957 Red Fish and 1957 Johnson 35hp outboard. Looking at your photos makes me want to go out and work on my stuff right now… but duty calls. Gotta make some money so I can spend some money. I always admired old outboards… but only from afar. But since buying my ’57 Johnson I’ve gained a new appreciation for those old motors and have decided to “collect” a few. Over the weekend I purchased a Johnson 5.5 CD-12 (not working) and a Johnson 3hp JW-10 (working). I’ve decided that over the winter I will restore these two gems. The 5.5 is missing a lot of parts, but once cleaned up I think will make a KILLER coffee table base for the room I’ll showcase my motors in. I too live in Ohio, down near Canton. I look forward to new posts on your blog… I will keep you up to date if mine happens. I do this web type of work for a living so it’s no biggie to do… but clients come first. Ha.

    • 14 conductorjonz
      September 13, 2010 at 6:11 pm

      Thanks for the kind comments.

      The older Johnson’s are very reliable motors post 1955. Though some earlier motors soldier on as you know.

      The 35hp are fine motors, and once made operable, should provide good service. Lots of parts still available too. The Johnson CD’s had some issues with the #2 piston rod breaking if not properly lubricated. Run her 16 to 1 oil to gas. However, before making her a table queen, you may want to find another to used for parts. Again…very common motors, and good powerful little outboards. Great for fishermen.

      Keep us posted with updates. Thanks for checking in!


  6. 15 Chuck
    October 22, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Hi Greg, Very nice work! Im working on a 1957 Cadillac Newport and am not in love with the original windshield, could you share more about the brackets you used and be willing to also share a pattern for the plexi? I just found this blog while searching for feathercraft info (like I need another boat)and look foward to finishing all your posts, Feel free to contact me be email, Chuck

    • 16 conductorjonz
      October 25, 2010 at 10:01 am

      Hi Chuck!

      Thanks for checking in. I got my windshield brackets from Lake Shore Industries If I remember correctly. The guys on the Feathercraft forum will know for sure. I no longer have the template for the windshield. I think it was given away. However using cardboard is the best way to make a template.

  7. 17 Gary Herman
    December 24, 2010 at 4:36 pm


    Have read through your whole website here and like the wok you put into your projects.

    I have a few questions, that i feeel you would be able to answer concerning 1958 Johnson Seahorse 35hp.

    can you please send me an email address i can use to ask you questions

  8. 18 Tedstur
    January 20, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    I am working on a 52-54 JW-10 Johnson 3 HP.

    I used this motor last spring on my small sailboat in the FL keys. I have decided to try to make it not only run like new, but look like new! Your site is an inspiration. My biggest concern is how to get the 2-3 fairly substantial dents out of the gas tank.

    There are also some pretty sorry looking bolts on this one (I used it in saltwater so you can imagine…). I hope to use it again, in the intercoastal waterway by Cocoa Beach. Do you paint the bolt heads? I guess I could coat them with clear fingernail polish to keep them somewhat protected. Any ideas on that?

    • 19 conductorjonz
      January 20, 2011 at 9:17 pm

      I would remove the tank from the motor. Create a fitting that will enter the tank where the fuel valve goes. Then compress no more than 10 or 12 pounds of air into the tank. Using a propane torch waved around the edge of the dent, the aluminum should soften, allowing it to pop out. It is a slow process though. You could also use compressed air, the torch/heat and dry ice alternating to create heating and cooling cycles to get the dent out.

      MAKE SURE TO THOUROUGHLY WASH THE TANK OUT BEFORE ATTEMPTING THIS PROCEDURE!!! Fumes can and will heat up and could explode…so do this at your own risk. Wash the tank out and let it air out for a week or so.

      OMC always assembled the motor and then painted them in one shot, so your boltheads should have been painted to protect them. After use in salt water…ALWAYS flush the motor out and clean with soap and fresh water.

      When replacing the bolts, you should put some type of coating such as 3m ScotchGrip on the threadsto keep electrolosis down.

      They are nice, reliable little motors.

      Good luck!


      • 20 Tedstur
        January 20, 2011 at 9:31 pm

        Thanks, Greg.

        Do you suggest following the “assemble then paint” procedure as well? I was assuming that I would paint everything when I had it broken down.

  9. 21 Bryan Hunter
    April 4, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Hi Greg, Great site, I enjoyed wandering thru it. I am in the process of restoring a 1955 Owens 18 ft Sport express. It is an awesome runabout and extremely rare! They only made it for one year and I have one of two known to exist ! Anyway I picked up what I believe to be the correct engine for it: RDE17 S What does the S stand for? It is a long shaft and must be converted to a short shaft. Is it possible you can help with the needed parts ? In exchange I have a 1953 or 54 25 hp johnson to trade for the needed pieces including 2 complete cowls in very good condition. I am in the Detroit area and can travel to you.
    Thanks and TGIS (Thank God Its Spring)

  10. 23 Sam
    August 10, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Greetings Greg, I’m so thrilled to have found your site. Its really nice to find someone so down to earth and knowledgeable who also appreciates the aesthetics of vintage aluminium boats and not just those of the wooden variety (though they are spectacular). Currently I live/love/study in Germany as my better half is German though I come all the way from Melbourne Australia.
    I’m a newcomer to the world of vintage boats, last summer I was incredibly lucky to stumble upon a Swiss built approx 14ft pressed alloy “Spiboot” (links to photos below, they are from when I found her) in Cudrefin Switzerland. I fell in love instantly with the excessive design so common in the Auto industry at the time. It had only just been hauled out of the cattle barn with the intention of getting rid of it, as it had been slowly rotting away for at least 7 years. The owners acquired it when purchasing their farm and had hoped to restore her, though with running the farm and all they just hadn’t the time. When they saw me admiring her (covered in dirt and hay, stinking of cow manure and full of rain water) they immediately offered it to me for free as they were just wanting to see it go to a good home and not the tip. Thankfully my partner is accommodating of my projects, mostly recycling old bicycles until now and I was “allowed” to bring it home.
    For the past year I’ve been storing it at a friend of a friend of a friends yard for free (besides the occasional bottle of wine I’d leave them, still though very kind of them!) in Munich where we live as I had no place of my own to keep it or work on it. But now my partner and I are moving closer to my uni and her work, and with the new place, a double garage, more time and a good (skilled) friend promising a hand its game on!
    The purpose for which I write you, is in the hope that I might find a “mentor” for this project. Someone very knowledgeable and experienced in restoring aluminium boats that I could look to for advice along the way. I have little to no experience with the tasks I’m anticipating, nor the knowledge of how to go about them (your blog’s already proving a goldmine of information) and I truly hope you might be interested. I promise you though I will research all I can and look to find my own way as much as possible, and not take the lazy option of bugging you each time I come to an obstacle. Already the is proving a great source of self help also…
    The boat is certainly not in great condition, its acquired a few bruises sitting in the barn. Though the hull seems sound as it was full of water when I got her and a couple times since when the cover leaked in winter, which has kind of been a problem in itself. We plan to strip the paint and probably change the color scheme replacing it with foil as my friend who’s pledged his help is a professional foiler and seeing as I’m on a student budget, at about $150US for material I cant imagine a cheaper option that will provide the same quality results, plus it should hold up until I can afford a proper paint job. Also after seeing your BEAUTIFUL Feather Craft, a polished belly seems like the only option!
    Any way I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
    Kindest Regards
    p.s. She didn’t come with an outboard, so this I will also need to sort out, though ill worry about that closer to next summer. Your restoration jobs of old Johnsons has certainly inspired me!

    • 24 conductorjonz
      September 5, 2011 at 10:00 pm

      Sam…so sorry I took so long to respond. I’ve been busy getting a booth ready for the Toledo Antique and Classic Boat Show a week or so ago.

      I love the boat! She’s beauty. So much class it aches!

      If I can help, please feel free to contact me any time!

      Keep me posted on your progress. I would suggest starting a blog and capturing the progress too. At minimum take lots of photos for yourself to look back on!


      • 25 Carol
        September 15, 2016 at 10:29 pm

        Your boat is completely spectacular! I am slightly (really) jealous. I see this post is quite old and maybe you don’t visit this site any longer however. I do hope you got her all shined up and have shown her off often. I just found a 1958 Alumacraft Merrie M, which we had when I was a kid, and I’m thrilled. It too is a project, but it doesn’t leak, which I’m grateful for. I have y first major problem of replacing the transom, which is baffling. I’ve contacted Alumacraft and they don’t even have drawings of the boat so needed pictures to go by. I hope they, or someone, can help me with that issue. Anyway, I hope you are still enjoying your boat. She’s a beauty, even in these pictures.
        Regards, Carol

  11. 27 roger davis
    March 6, 2012 at 8:48 am


    I have a ’56 Javelin which looks as if it was very well maintained. It’s paint has faded from UV and I wish to repaint. I was wondering if you used the paints from the canadian guy or used some other paint which I hope that I can get the code for.

    On a sidenote, my Uncle was a professional trumpet player who toured with some stage bands. I believe his longest gig was with Buddy Morrow’s Night Train. He also stepped in for J. Carson’s and Merv Griffen’s band when they were on the air in NYC. He still lives there.


    roger Davis

    • 28 conductorjonz
      March 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm

      Hi Roger!

      I do indeed use paint from Peter McDowell at North York Marine. It is a dead match every time. Hi spray cans go a long way. Three is about enough to do a big twin type motor. I actually use his single stage acrylic enamel with hardener now.

      Who was you’re uncle. I knew several longtime associates who player with Buddy. He is still one of my main idols. I think he may have actually been a better player then Dorsey in some regards.

      But don’t say I ever said so?


  12. 29 Patrick Zollner
    March 30, 2012 at 10:51 pm


    I have greatly enjoyed reading your blog and viewing your fabulous restoration projects. I have a couple of Firestone 7.5s that are basically parts motors, but I hope to make one good one from both (I also have a Hiawatha 3.6 that is my regular runner). May I ask which paint color you used for the Firestones? I did not see one listed at Peter’s site, but have suspected that one of the Johnson greens would work. Mine are both so faded it’s hard to tell the original shade.

    And I must ask, would you be willing to sell the terrific looking Firestone 4hp outboard? It would be perfect on our 12′ 1957 Model E Aluma Craft!

    Thank you for your time.


    • 30 conductorjonz
      April 3, 2012 at 7:22 pm

      Hi Patrick!

      Thanks for the kind words! I went to the local paint store and picked out a green from some paint chips. It wasn’t perfect.

      As for the Johnson color that is closest…Sea-HORSE Green would be the darker green used in 1954/55. It can be purchased from Peter McDowell at North York Marine.

      The 4hp is long gone. It was a great runner and I wish I had not sold it!!


  13. May 7, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    How does the water pump on SD-15 work if no impeller. Just acquired one and definitely is not cooling the head. Your help is needed as you are the only one on the net that has knowledge about one this old.Thanks, Terry

    • 32 conductorjonz
      May 7, 2012 at 7:22 pm

      Since the SD-10, SD-15, and SD-20 have no water pump, they operate via a vacuum pressure system…otherwise known as a siphon feed cooling system.

      Here the deal. When you start the motor it must be run at fast speed to “scoop” water up into the lower unit water pick up behind the prop. The force of moving forward and “scooping” the water up forces the water up the exhaust leg and into the water jacket of the power head. The water thus cools the cylinders and motor, then runs back down to a hole hidden behind the prop which then lets the water exit through three ports cast in the propeller hub. Many folks think that the slots in the prop scoop up the water…which is erroneous.

      The motor will maintain this water as long as the system is air tight and the lower unit remains under water. If the motor is tipped up out of the water, the water will run out and the motor must be re-primed.

      Your issue of overheating when running in a barrel…if that is what you are doing…is because these motors cannot prime the cooling system unless they are moving under water. So don’t run it too long!

      You can make an adapter using a 1/4″ pipe nipple and some other parts from the local hardware store to make and adapter that can hook to a garden hose and then connected to the flush port at the bottom of the cylinder head. This is a small plug that looks like a drain plug from a lower unit. However…either way the carbs must be set under power and under load on the water pushing a boat…so this is really only a method to get the carbs set up close to where they need to be.

      Good luck!


  14. 33 Ellen Wallace
    August 19, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Have 90 plus motors 1923 to mid 50’s. Lauson Martin caille mercury Johnson evinrude Eltos Chris craft water witch for sale ready to do an auction on line but a few pa and ohio restorers have a pressed a preference to visit and look first. Call 814-684-3237 if you have questions or want to see them

  15. 35 Mario Toussaint
    October 15, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    I’ve just read your Yachting Caps article and found it very informative. Thank you very much for taking time to provide us with so many pictures and details.
    Mario, Montreal

  16. 36 leonard wood
    November 2, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Good Day: I have been visiting this sight for some time now and I enjoy Reading about these wonder full old motors. If you could help me with a problem I am having I would be forever grateful.

    I found a very nice 1956 30 HP Johnson and have decided to restore it. I wanted to get it running right, before the teardown and paint. I cleaned up the carb and installed the new, POSITIVE OPEN AND CLOSE float spring, replaced all hoses and fired her up. Inter the first problem, as she winds up all of a sudden cough she slows down this problem continues no mater what I do. Plugs, wires, coils replaced still does it. Can someone please help I am going crazy here. LEONARD WOOD

    • 37 conductorjonz
      November 2, 2015 at 4:41 pm

      It sounds to me like the carb adjustments are out of whack. High speed should be 3/4 turn from lightly seated and low speed 1 to 1 1/2 turns out. Once it runs you will need to really set it up under load on a boat underway. It can only be dialed in close in a test tank.

      The cough is a lean sneeze. It is getting too much air and too lean on fuel. That’s what the carb adjustment fix.


  17. 38 tom
    December 14, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    hey there. i got a really nice 1965 evinrude 3hp folding outboard. internal gas tank and a fuel pump for an external tank. Looks almost brand new. All original including paint and has very low hours. idles down to a crawl and is ready to roll. Prop is original and has original paint and is completely painted. Very lightly used. It runs amazing. What do you think this is worth? And what kind of boat should i use it on?

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