Rare 1959 Fleetstar HiLiner – with rebuilt 1968 Mercury (very few hours in water) and all new electrical. 2 new batteries (run one or both at a time) and a new fuel tank. Two new canvas tops and newly upholstered seats. New trailer. Went thru everything this past year. Lastly, winter storage has already been paid in full so if you want to work on it during the winter in a heated warehouse you can, or if you need a place to keep it until May – you are all set.
$15,000 sale price
Email email@example.com if you are interested.
The post and pictures below were sent in by Clay Boothby. I apologize that it took so long to post.
There’s not many positive things you can say about dealing with a pandemic like Covid-19. However, I know that some used the time to reconnect with family/distant friends, maybe took up a hobby, or even finished an outstanding project around the house. For my son and I, we used the time quarantined last spring and summer in Maine to try and restore my father’s 1958 HiLiner.
The boat last saw the water in 2012 and was sitting on a trailer outside since that time. In late summer 2019, we put it in our garage and last spring decided being trapped in the house was a great time to get to work on trying to save it. During this time we came across Jim and this website. Jim was then extremely generous with some key spare parts that he had from his unique family history. Last summer he said to just drop by and he would give us a tour of his workshop and boat sheds, then loaded us up with some original parts and sent us on our way. I can’t thank him enough. The highlight of his pieces was a new bow plate you can see in the pictures.
Since we are not boat experts, we tried to do the best we could and ended up spending hour and hours in our garage night after night trying to strip the boat down and then build it back up. My 17 year old did most of the hard work and learned as many kids do these days from Youtube. Stripping off all the old stain was a challenge and trying to re-fiberglass the bottom (previous owners had done this) was even more challenging….. Biggest learning curve and job might have been reshaping steel trim that was replacing the alumunium. That had to be cut, shaped and bent around the stern. Not easy! The rear seat was also rotten and needed to be replaced as you can see from the pictures. Luckily my father-in-law had a large piece of mahogany for us to use.
New canopy was needed from the mice, hardware was taken to a place to be re-chromed, the boat was re-stained and then was glazed over (but not enough b/c we wanted to get it into the water!) Bottom was painted and new electrical had to be wired up. We started in May and launched the boat at the end of August. We ended up getting it on the water about 4-5 times and even took my dad out on its maiden voyage!
I’m proud of what we accomplished but still have a bit more to do this summer to get it ready for the water. The real highlight was spending time with my son, seeing the hard work he put in, but really it was the smile he had when he first got behind the wheel and hit the water! I hope you enjoy some pictures of the restoration process!
update: boat has been sold….. (
Believed to be 59-60.
length overall (LOA): 17
make / manufacturer: Hiliner
model name / number: Fleetstar
propulsion type: power
year manufactured: 1960
Vintage mahogany Hiliner for sale- Trailer fully restored, bottom paint complete, boat is sanded and ready for you to finish. Garage kept. Great project boat. Lots of original parts for this 17 foot Fleet Star model. No motor. Text to $1500.00Fred Musseman
Finn S. from upstate NY sent in these pictures along with the following:
1970 Hiliner Fleetstar 16 ft
Original 1970 60 hp Evinrude outboard motor.
1970 original Tee Née trailer with new wiring, lights, tires and wheels.
Bottom has been completely fiberglassed and and painted.
Topside newly varnished.
All original interior with cushions.
Original canvas helm cover over front seat, that folds into the dashboard.
All electric works, speedometer, bow light and anchor light.
New steering cable and bilge pump.
New full-length custom fit canvas cover for travel, dock and storage. Sorry, no photos in the water yet.
This boat looks great. I’m going to check with Finn on the MFG date of his boat. To my knowledge, Hiliner Boat Co. was out of business by 1963. A number of hulls were finished off by Bunny Fernald after this date. The latest date that I had previously seen was 1965.
Randy from Amesbury, MA sent over this link to a video of him and his 58 Fleetstar at the 2014 ACBS show in Meredith,NH. Randy appears at the 21:51 mark in the video. He has a great story of how he came to own his boat.
Gary from Concord NH shared these pictures of his 59 Fleetstar. He’s got a pretty slick fishing setup. He’s also made some neat modifications. I like wood framed windshield, and the storage under the rear seats.
Kieth Symmes from Essex, MA sent me the following note and pictures.
Well the “140” HiLiner is out in the sunshine in Essex, MA for the first time in many years! These will serve as some “before” pictures and obviously I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I am optimistic. As I had indicated previously, this was my 93 year old father’s boat and he got it from his older sister who had it on the tiny fresh water river up in Amesbury, MA at her camp many many years ago. I had taken most of the hardware off the deck and started sanding there first. I hope to also strip the paint on the sides and if I can, stain that as well. My dad said this pale green was the color is sister had from way back. The motor is the original 1957 18 HP Holiday Bronze Johnson which has seen very little use, and the trailer is also a classic. I notice the steering is offset to the port side more than the one shown in the 1955 brochure. I wonder if it was offered in 1956 and 1957 as a special order as this was always represented as a 1957. Notice the red “rope” that does the steering!!! Wish me luck? I’ll need it as I start this project. I also have some vintage pennants to fly from the United Shoe Yacht Club that my mother’s father was active in more than fifty years ago. I also have his vintage paddle and gaff hook to lovingly restore. Looking forward to this classic wooden boat being on Chebacco Lake again.
I also have several more vintage green Johnsons tucked away from the 30’s (rope pull 10 HP), 40’s (5 HP), and early 50’s (two 25 HP) in similar condition as we have been here on the lake since 1937.
If anyone has pictures or stories that they would like to share, please send them.
I received this email from Dan Fitzgerald.
David Miller from Rochester, NH sent along a picture and some great history on his Fleetstar.
His grandfather, W. Paul Miller, bought the boat from Fernalds Marine in 1957. The boat was refinished by Fernalds in the mid 60’s. David still has the receipt from Fernalds and has offered to scan it for us. In the mid 80’s. David and his father replaced the Bow Plywood and Mahogany strips. In 1990, Hurricane Gloria ripped off the windshield. The boat now has a replacement. The picture below was taken in 1988. David is in the boat with his mother, while his sister lounges on the deck. His father took the picture. Since starting this site i’ve heard many stories of great family memories that took place with the Hiliner boats. I’m always looking for more stories and pictures to add to the site.
David still owns the boat and uses it regularly on Milton Three Ponds and in Laconia.
This boat hails from Southington CT. It’s been customized with a cool Chris Craft windshield and has 1968 Mercury 500. The owner is looking to connect with other Hiliner owners in the CT Area.
Robert Henry sent in this picture of his fathers boat, taken in the early 60’s. Bob is looking for help identifying the model and finding plans. If anyone can help, please send me a message.
1960 Fleetstar went in today for a shake down. Only a few leaks.
My 1961 Seastar went in so I could swap the trailers. Thought this was a good time to take a few pictures.
This Fleetstar resides in Newbury, MA. It is owned by Jim Bowes (author of this site). It has a 55hp Suzuki motor. Paint scheme is not original. Prior owner removed the swoosh trim while refurbishing and decided to not put it back on. I liked the look of this pattern so decided to leave it as is. This triangle pattern was common to other boats of the era and I think it looks great on the Fleetstar.
This one was listed for sale in CT back in 2008. Other than the missing windshield it looks great..