Welcome to Down On The Street, where we admire old vehicles found parked on the streets of the Island That Rust Forgot: Alameda, California. Alameda has flotillas of trailered boats parked on the street, what with it being an island and all, but I haven't been paying much attention to them for this series. However, this old Evinrude- which has been parked for weeks on a particularly parking-challenged block on one of the busiest streets in town- has vintage charm that runs fathoms deep, so here we go: our first DOTS boat!
Anyone who grows up messing with cars in Alameda will eventually come into possession of some sort of wretched patched-up beater of a 60s motorboat, even if that person knows nothing whatsoever about nautical crap. Someone will offer you a boat/trailer combo as part of a deal on a car, and you figure an engine is an engine, right? Next thing you know, you're roaring around on the Bay with all the required gear on board: boombox, cooler full of beer, and pirate flag. Of course, for every hour on the water you'll spend ten hours taking that goddamn outboard apart, fishing your car keys out of the water by the boat ramp, explaining to the Coast Guard why you don't have any life jackets or other required gear, etc., but you don't think about that stuff when you first score that $50 boat. The photo above shows me (left) and some of my scurvy friends lowering the value of all the rich folks' sailboats out near Alcatraz, circa 1993.
An important part of low-end boat ownership in Alameda is the whole parking thing. Your neighbors will hate you and your boat, once it's sat for more than a few days on their block, and communication with them will take place entirely through increasingly hostile notes. This one indicates that the battle is in its early stages; note the lack of profanity and/or enraged scrawl. By the way, I shot these photos over a month ago and the boat is still there.
Wouldn't this fine machine look right being towed to the Grand Street boat ramp behind the tow-ready '64 Olds Jetstar 88?
I'm saying this thing is a '71, but that's just because that's the date on the oldest Coast Guard sticker I could see on it; maybe it's a lot older and one of you Evinrude experts can give us a more accurate date of manufacture for this vessel. For now, admire how good it looks with a hot-rodded Fox Mustang in the foreground.