Tyler Cheseldine...1981 Viper with Mercury 1150.


It all started in the Fall of 2000.  I had grown up spending long weekends on the Potomac River (Virginia side) in my parent's cottage, but had gotten away from the water and began raising a family of my own.  I remembered how much fun my brother and I had growing up on the water, and wanted my kids to experience some of the same.  Thus begun my search for a boat so we could start creating river experiences of our own.  Boy was I surprised by the healthy prices of new and "almost" new watercraft.  With four kids I knew I was going to be on a strict budget, but still wanted to get something that would stand out in a crowd.  After months of looking, I came across a 1981 Hydrostream Viper on Ebay of all places.  This was the first Hydrostream I had ever layed my eyes on, and was immediately drawn to this boat.  The owner had a link to the Hydrostream Registry along with the ad, and after surfing ! ! ! around the site, I was hooked.  Although I was a bit reluctant to purchase a boat on Ebay, I bid for and won with a price of $1600.  After making the long haul to Michigan from Richmond, VA to retrieve the boat, the transformation began.  The Viper was definitely in need of some work, with heavy oxidation, paint fade, rotten and torn interior, non-working gauges, but the hull and wood in the floor and transom were solid.  I had my work cut out for me and my wife was doubtful.  I was also a little doubtful, although she would never hear me mention it.  After more than a year of limited night and weekend restoration, this past weekend (June, ’02) was the Viper's maiden voyage.  I was surprised with how well everything turned out.  The "old" in-line Merc pushed the boat across the water at over 60 mph on the speedo.  Not bad for a thirty year old motor.  This boat gets more attention than boats costing five times what I put into it.! ! !  The best part of the whole experience was the expression on the kids’ faces when we were skimming across the water for the first time.  The attached pics speak for themselves.

1981 Hydrostream Viper
1972 Mercury 1150
6" CMC Manual Jackplate
Steering Mounted Trim
Custom Nose Cone
Wet Sanded and Clear Coat
New Front Buckets and Rebuilt Rear Bench
All Hardware Replaced

Thanks for a great resource for Hydrostream enthusiasts (even us wannabee's)!  I couldn't have done it without you guys and some help from the Scream and Fly Forums.  Keep up the great work!

Thanks again,
Tyler Cheseldine
Richmond, VA

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