VIDEO: Refit brings out his best

Published online: Jul 15, 2011 News Soundings Online
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Gordon Reed has owned, built or rehabilitated more than 40 boats, but this one is probably his favorite.

It is - or was - a 1965 Glastron Crestflite, a 17-foot runabout with a split windshield, back-to-back seats and a starboard-side sit-down helm. Forty-six years after it was built, the boat lives in Maine waters as a sparsely outfitted center console.

A "Palm Beach pod" is the centerpiece of the boat. The varnished teak pod is mounted on the console, with a nearly horizontal 16-inch stainless-steel steering wheel on top and engine control levers on the sides. Reed first saw these pods on Rybovich convertibles while living in Florida in the 1970s.

"From a visual and practicality standpoint, it was just a great design," says Reed, 57, yacht service manager of Robinhood Marine Center in Georgetown, Maine. "I always wanted to build one, so a lot of the boat evolved around the Palm Beach pod, actually."

Dim lights

Click play to watch Reed describe the "Palm Beach pod" he built.

Reed had intended to restore the Glastron to its original look, but it was in such bad shape he decided to gut the boat and turn it into a center console. He was able to tap the resources of Robinhood to take care of the heavy fiberglass work and the Awlgrip job. In addition to the pod, Reed designed and built the major on-deck components, including the console, with its forward seat, and the teak pulpit.

Reed spent about two-and-half years working on the boat, which is named after his sister, Sallie, who died of cancer in 2005. "I have a total of about $10,000 out of pocket for Robinhood's work and all parts and materials," says Reed. "My labor? If I counted that, I might never do another one, so I don't."

Perhaps not counting was a good thing: Reed has bought a 1972 Stamas - a 24-footer with a cuddy - for $100 on eBay. It'll be his next refit.

The full story of the Glastron rebuild will be in the upcoming September issue of Soundings.

http://www.soundingspub.com/news/dispatches/286438-a-glastron-with-a-touch-of-rybovich

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