Boat Restoration – 1964 Starcraft Jet Star

When I was a youngster, I got to drive our family’s 14’ Glastron runabout every summer. I’d been wanting to buy and renovate a 14-15’ runabout for some time, so I started checking Craigslist. I came across this 1964 Jet Star with a 50hp West Bend motor, listed for $750. My offer of $700 was accepted, and after selling the motor and some things that were in the boat for $380, my total initial outlay was $320.

Boat Restoration - Before

1964 Starcraft Jet Star

The Jet Star was primarily designed as a sporty ski/watersport boat with a bench front seat and a rear-facing bench seat for observers. Its length is 15’ and it had all the features I’d been looking for in a boat. I had never really worked on boats before, but after reading a lot of information on iboats, I decided it was something I really wanted to do.

Boat Restoration Interior - Before

Before picture of the bow area.

Boat Restoration Transom - Before

The before picture of the transom area.

The first phase of my renovation was to clean it up and get it ready for painting, my goal being to have a safe and nimble older-style boat that I could enjoy on the water. I purchased a 2003 50hp Johnson and installed new seats, floor, flotation, rack and pinion steering system, and modified the transom to accept the long-shaft motor. By the time I had finished, I had learned a lot about painting, and had installed all new deck hardware (except for the famed “Jetson” stern light!), the Johnson 50 with new controls, a bilge pump, new rub rail, rewired the entire boat, and laminated an oak dashboard. It took a lot of research and hard work, but it was worth it.

Boat Restoration Bow Area - After

After picture of bow area.

Boat Restoration Transom - After

After picture of transom area.

The final details added to finish it up were vinyl decals of the name “Permanent Vacation” on each side, a new capacity plate and two cup holders.

Overall I really enjoyed the project, but one thing that added to its expense and made it take much longer than I had anticipated was that I did not have a clear objective in mind when I started out. I had not decided early on whether I just wanted to get on the water as quickly as I could, or really make this into a “showboat”. In the end, the latter just evolved because as I went along, I thought, “I’m only going to do this once, so I might as well make it look as nice as I can.” With the help of many iboat forum members, all my effort has paid off, because it’s a pleasure to drive and a lot of people on the water are very curious and I get a lot of compliments when they see it.

Boat Restoration - Finished Product

The final product! Looks great! Restoration completed by lakelover

View many more pictures and information on this restoration here.

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7 Responses to Boat Restoration – 1964 Starcraft Jet Star

  1. James A Franzen says:

    Nice Job !!!! It really looks great !!

  2. Tony says:

    Looks awesome man! Nicely done!

  3. John says:

    Outstanding write up. Congrats on getting ‘published’

  4. lakelover says:

    Thanks for the comments!

  5. Andy says:

    Just curious – did you replace the windshield? I have an 18.5 ft. ’63 day cabin I am still using… it has two curved Plexi windshields. Want ot be sure I can replace those before I start the project

  6. Mark says:

    Where did you get the Starcraft name plates?
    I have a 1964 that I just purchased and would like to replace the name plates.

  7. gary coverdale says:

    I have a 1964 Wards Sea King 14 ft fiberglass boat & motor and Sea King trailer all in good shape, The motor runs well, The windshield is cracked, It looks a little grubby but thats because it has been used very and store a lot.

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