Check out this awesome story featuring the Magnum Maltese! Magnum Marine’s timeless work of art, both featured in a plethora of advertising and used for offshore racing, the Magnum Maltese #1 was discovered and completely restored by Tom M.
It was a chilly December morning. I had recently finished restoring a 1979 Excalibur and was preparing to start researching my next project. As I sat down in front of my computer I made my daily stop at Offshore Only just to check the Classics section. For some reason I was drawn into other sections that morning. I came across a boat for sale in the Magnum section. I had the luck, good or bad depending on how you look at things, to find a Magnum Maltese. It had a horrible, blotchy, black paint job. The bulkheads were rotted and there were an excessive amount of holes in the transom which needed replacing. There was no dash pod for controls. Bulkheads were missing in the cabin. On a funnier note it still had the orange “monkey fur” headliner. It needed a ton of hard work to bring this old girl back to life.
But the lines of the boat… they had to be the sexiest lines I’d ever see.
But the lines of the boat… they had to be the sexiest lines I’d ever see. I looked at those pictures every day for a couple of months, hoping someone else would take her home to restore. But alas, no takers, and in a moment of weakness the call was made. After a couple of exchanges a deal was struck and I drove half way across the country to own this new project. It took a better part of a weekend to drive from Maryland to Illinois to pick her up and bring her back. Once she was sitting on my lot I stood back and looked at her. She looked even better, if that was possible.
In the next few years she would stay on the lot but get moved around quite often. I would spend the winter months researching the Maltese and formulating a plan for her. Finally, she was moved indoors into my shop.
One evening I was in no hurry to go home so I started to sand the black paint off of the hull. After 4 hours I would stand back and see her original colors, orange with white stripes. It took a few weeks of sanding for a couple of hours per night to get the black off.
While all of this was going, on I was trying to get the boat titled in my name. Maryland took issue with the fact that someone had made corrections to the front of the title and would not accept it. As much of a pain in the butt as this, was it would be a blessing in disguise. During this time I was crawling around up in the bow and noticed some grease pencil markings under the fiberglass. It was the number “28” with the number 1 inside of a 0. Another call to Bud Weisner, the man I had purchased the boat from. Bud, being an authority on Magnum restoration, and I talked about my findings and were fairly sure I was the owner of hull #1. Bud knew the people to contact to have the Illinois state issued hull number changed to the proper Magnum number “28001”.
At the same time this was happening I managed to use all of the holes in the transom to determine the boat was used for racing. Following the registration numbers it was proven to be the boat used for the brochure pictures, the boat used in the boat shows, as well as Magnums’ race boat. Now that I had a good title in hand and all of this information about her past, the restoration was on.
Now that I had a good title in hand and all of this information about her past, the restoration was on.
She would get a new transom and stringers, new engine room bulkhead and glassed in bulk heads. After the fiberglass work was finished would come 4 coats of Awl grip, Snow White and International Orange (the closest I could get to tangerine gel coat. A new dash pod came straight from the Magnum factory.
The next step after paint would be 350 engines, set up as the original flagship engines, only with modern technology. The power would assault the water through Volva outdrives, still the old Swedish drives, just with the capability of trim. And K planes to keep her level. For everything that meets the eye: Faria gauges and Lowrance in dash GPS, original controls with modern hydraulic steering. Of course she would get the orange and white candy stripe cockpit upholstery she started with. The treatment was finished off with all original deck fittings I could amass over the 8 year process.
She is a swift, nimble and comfortable ride.
She is a swift, nimble and comfortable ride. Everyone that rides in her loves her. To say I am pleased with her would be an understatement. Right now I am running her, although she is not quite complete. A local carpenter is working on teak furnishings. And when I can find the perfect headliner she will be complete. Although, she is a boat, so will she ever be finished?
In closing I would like to thank a few people. First, thanks to Bud Weisner. Thank you for saving such a beauty from the crusher. Thank you for all of your help, direction and supplies over the years. We will meet for a drink one day, my treat of course. Second, thank you Magnum Marine, for producing such a timeless work of art. Third, and most important, thank you Shawna Gibson, my friend, my love, for being so understanding. For putting up with all the hours and hours I spent working on her, or “My Mistress” as you called her. And Thank You for nicknaming her “Maggie”.
Check out the gallery below featuring Tom’s journey of restoring the historic Magnum Maltese! All Photos Courtesy of Tom M.