Keeping Rita alive

It’s really funny sometimes how what goes around, comes around. That is definitely the case with GMFFC’s newly restored drift boat, Rita!

Back in the day, when I was managing Green Mountain Troutfitters, a guy from Oregon popped in the shop trying to sell his Lavro drift boat and trailer. He showed me a flyer he had made, which depicted a fairly sad looking boat on a seemingly home-made trailer. “It’s not pretty, but it’s got plenty of fishy ju-ju!” he said. The boat had spent most of it’s life drifting the legendary Deschutes River in Oregon, so his fishy ju-ju comment more-than-likely carried some weight! Despite the asking price being massively low compared to other used boats on the market, I just couldn’t float the thousand bucks at the time so, off he went.

A few months later, I was driving by a local boat dealer and saw the old Lavro parked out front with a “For Sale” sign on it. I didn’t even bother to stop and look but, it turns out a friend of mine did! Craig bought the boat, gave it some love and took her out on a few drifts.

Rita at the Small Boat Exchange in Vermont

While in Craig’s care, Rita got a new rope seat, some rod holders and a new transom plate. Most importantly, he didn’t let her wither away and die. He kept her floating!

Keeping Rita Alive!

I’m not certain how long Craig owned Rita but, when he was ready to find her a new home, another local fishy friend, Zach stepped up to the plate. It looked like Rita was here to stay!

Some yesteryear marketing for the Lavro drifter

Scrolling through Facebook back in 2019, I came across the following ad, and this time, I wasn’t going to let Rita slip through my fingers…

I love bringing old stuff back to life and Rita, at over 40 years old, was long overdue for a facelift! Here’s a pictorial of the restoration…

Delivery Day

Step 1: Strip Down-Sand Down

Step 2: Topside Primer

Step 3: Topside Paint

Step 4: Hull Repair (This process took some time!)

Step 5: Hull Re-Finish Part 1 (New Gel Coat)

Step 5: Hull Re-Finish Part 2 (Top Coat and Wetlander Bottom Paint)

Step 6: Finishing Touches

Step 7: Enjoying the fruits of my labor!

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