Red Dirt Diaries: Salvaging History

Friday, July 28th 2017, 6:55 pm
By: Karl Torp

A large wooden boat is turning heads in the northeast OKC.

The 46 foot cruiser is being restored on a property near Kelley and Wilshire.

“It’s just beautiful,” says Steve Eagleston about “Gadget,” which was christened in 1929.

Eagleston used to captain pleasure cruise ships in Washington state with his good friend who owned Gadget. After the friend died, Eagleston put in a bid for the boat at auction. He admits feeling great relief when he was outbid.

“I thought ‘oh thank goodness,’ but the guy never showed up, so here it is,” says Eagleston, who is originally from Oklahoma.

When Eagleston moved back to OKC, he took Gadget too in the hopes of being able to restore the boat. Much of the interior wood can be salvaged. Other parts will need to replaced.

Eagleston thinks it will take a year to modernize the inside of the boat while still keeping the classic look on the outside. At that point, he hopes to relaunch Gadget and take her on the Grand Loop in the eastern half of the U.S.

“Just see what’s out there, it’s always just been the draw,” says Eagleston, who says he’ll sell the boat after his trip.

“Let them take the adventure, continue the dream."