Pub Decision was purchased from Ron Montoya of Jefferson Yacht Sales in Michigan, November 2009. It is 18 ft long and 5 ft beam. The seller had no idea who built the boat or much else about it for that matter. The hull #PCK1802A595 identifies that she came from Packard Classic Boats in Sarasota, Florida. The company was owned by Bud Finkl who apparently passed away in 2007.
I wrote Vintage Race Shop during the summer to ask them if they had ever seen the boat. Bill Johns thought a guy named John Ford had built the boat, which turned out to be a fact. Bud Finkl built Packard boats but they were fiberglass reproductions of vintage runabouts, never a wood boat. A call to Gary Scherb in Florida verified that Bud had contracted John Ford to build four boats, three 18 ft and one 26 ft. Gary also told me his company did the finish work on the boat and installed the very hot (250 hp) V6 Chevy engine built by Flagship Marine Engine in Punta Gorda, Florida. It has hydraulic steering and transmission.
My first outing in Pub Decision was on Lake Keystone, my home waters. I got fairly comfortable with it on flat water before I pushed it to its limit, a mere 50 mph on the GPS, but it would start to bounce. I later added some wedges under the transom which stopped the bouncing and slowed the boat a couple of miles per hour.
We made all of the Heartland events in 2010 and thoroughly enjoyed them. Pub Decision is so much fun to drive in calm waters. I personally don’t mind a bit of chop but it gets quite wet!
I’m not sure who named “Pub Decision” but it suits me as I grew up in English Pubs.