Published July 29, 2011, 07:43 AM

The old Lund gets replaced

Last month when I motored the old Lund boat into the marina in Saskatchewan, someone shouted from a boat docked near shore: “Hey! I thought you were going to buy a new boat!” ‘Next year!” I called back.

By: Bernie Kuntz, Outdoors, The Jamestown Sun

Last month when I motored the old Lund boat into the marina in Saskatchewan, someone shouted from a boat docked near shore: “Hey! I thought you were going to buy a new boat!”

‘Next year!” I called back.

“You ought to buy this one!” and he pointed to the 20-1/2-foot Lund Alaskan he was standing in.

It was Al Barrow from near Brainerd, Minn., an angler who fishes many places in North America besides Saskatchewan — the Great Lakes and Alaska among them.

The proposal presented a problem. I still had Jake’s 1970s-era Lund in camp. My plan had been to tow it back to Montana, try to sell it this summer, then buy something suitable by next spring.

Last year I had talked to Al about his boat, asking what it cost ($26,000 new) and told him I wanted to have something like that one day. So here might be my opportunity.

Things got serious four days later when Al and one of his partners, Don, who I have known for many years, knocked on my cabin door. Al laid it out — $10,400 for the 2000 model Lund Alaskan 20 along with 90-horse Honda four-stroke outboard, a one-year-old Mercury 8-horse trolling motor, also a four-stroke. “Nine thousand if I keep the Mercury,” he said. “And the Minn-kota battery-powered trolling motor along with onboard charger, GPS, Lowrance LCX 20, and ship-to-shore radio stay with the boat. How about a test drive at 7:30 a.m. Friday?”

I agreed to the test drive. Meanwhile, I approached Dean Tait, former camp owner, and Bruce Joa, current camp owner, about one of them buying the OLD boat from me. Dean seemed interested, Bruce was not. But then Bruce said, “Let me talk to my son Daniel and see if he is interested.” Half day later Dean knocked on my cabin door and handed me $600 Canadian for the old boat.

“I’ll clean it up, paint it and sell it. I figure three more ‘shark’ deals like this for me, and I can buy a new pickup,” Dean added with a mischievous grin. An hour later I found him down on the dock, peering into the old Lund.

“The old boat stinks,” he said.

“That’s because that boat has caught a lot of fish,” I said. “Not like that sterile boat of yours.” More grins from Dean, a guy I have known for 44 years. “Let me know if you need a sleeping pill tonight after cheating a poor Yank the way you did on that boat price.”

“Oh, I assure you, I’ll sleep just fine.”

Friday morning Al took my partner Dave and me for a boat ride, promised to erase all the GPS coordinates that he has for Amisk Lake (“My boys would kill me if I didn’t.”), even though I assured him that I have no idea how to operate a GPS. I ran the boat for a while, brought it back into the marina, Al showed me how to start the kicker, and I told him I’ll buy the boat. “I’ll give you $1,000 right now, another $3,000 next week.”

On my way out of camp, Bruce assured me that he would have paid $800 or $900 for the old boat. “That’s something for you to think about on your drive back to Montana,” he concluded. I still don’t know if he was joshing me.

Al offered to bring the boat “half way” to my place from his home east of Brainerd. Incredibly, a young friend named Lee volunteered to meet Al in Dickinson, and haul the boat back here on his way home from his job in the oil fields near Williston! So on July 19, with my final payment of $6,400 in hand, Lee towed the boat to his place in Belgrade. I met him there at 5 a.m. on the 20th, hauled the boat to Canyon Ferry Reservoir, fished half a day in relentless wind, caught nothing, but we further determined that I now own a very nice boat.

Lee kindly parked the boat in my backyard, a tight fit for my back gate. That’s probably where it will sit until next June. I just insured the boat, now have to get it licensed. It’s the first boat I’ve ever bought, and it will be interesting to see if the old Alaskan saw is true: “A boat is a hole in the water where you put your money.”