Client Corner: Will it Float?

Long time clients, John and Susan Sarraffe recently shared a great story about their oldest son, Mark. Turns out, Mark and I share an interest and passion in common. John and Susan updated Lissa and I on his most recent acquisition and work project. We thought it would be fun to share Mark’s newest adventure with you.

Mark is a North Orange County local having attended Esperanza High School. When he was 8 years old, Susan’s father took Mark fishing at a local pond. Mark’s first exposure to fishing was successful as they caught bluegill together without too much trouble. This was the trip that sparked Mark’s passion for fishing.

Mark has always been drawn to the outdoors. Mark enjoys fishing in the ocean out of Oceanside, California and enjoys fresh water fishing in Lone Pine and Mammoth Lakes. Mark’s friend’s father has a boat that allows them to fish 15-20 miles off the coast of California where they catch Yellowfin tuna, Bluefin tuna, Yellowtail, Dorado and occasionally sharks. When he’s not able to fish in the ocean, Mark enjoys Laguna Lake in Fullerton to pursue his hobby. Mark’s biggest fish that he has caught to date was a 25-pound Yellowfin tuna off the coast of Oceanside. He has a fishing pole collection of 2 ocean and 2 fresh water poles and more tackle than you could imagine.


Most recently, Mark got the idea that he would like to buy a boat. Not having the resources as a student, he decided to enlist the financial support of a friend and his father. They all agreed on their limited budget and started their search. A 1978 Starcraft Holiday came up on their search and it was located in a very unlikely spot, Hemet. 

When they arrived at the residence, the boat was sitting in the yard. A widow was trying to find a buyer to remove the boat from her property as it had not been in water in years. The boat was full of trash with an engine that had not been started in years. It is a 22 foot aluminum boat with an inboard engine that nobody was quite sure whether or not it would even float. They were able to agree on a price and off to work they went on the boat.


For starters, they were convinced the engine was not quite good enough to perform the way they intended to use the boat. They decided they would change then engine to an outboard engine which they found on Craigslist. Once the old engine was removed, the new engine was mounted and seemed to run fine.

There was concern over the buoyancy of the boat since it was constructed in 1978 using rivets to hold the aluminum together. So they decided the boat would need lots of Silicone and Caulk. Together, the three of them covered every spot that appeared to be problematic to make sure the boat would not have any leaks. Once completed, they decided it was time for the maiden voyage.

Instead of trying it in the ocean, Mark and his fishing buddies decided it would be best to test the boat at Lake Elsinore. This seemed like a reasonable decision since it would be much easier to swim to shore on the lake (with the exception of the color of the water) rather than swim to the shore in the ocean.  They launched the boat, everything seemed fine in the water and the boat was not showing any sign of leaks. They fired up their new outboard engine and off they went. To make sure it was powerful enough for the ocean, they clocked speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. They pulled the boat back to the marina and declared their maiden voyage a success.

Mark is now greatly looking forward to the summer months where he and his friends will be able to have their own fishing expeditions in the ocean.  He enjoys the time outdoors, on the water, competing with his friends as to who will catch the biggest prize of the day.

Congrats to Mark for pursuing a dream of getting a boat that probably nobody would take and turning it into something useful and enjoyable for many years to come!