The Shark sailboard outfitted with paddlewheel drive in the Groves lake, circa 1964.
About this time, another uncle in Texas sent me a 3-horsepower gasoline engine he salvaged from an air compressor so I could build a go-cart. I had no access to welding, however, hence repurposed this fortuitous asset to power my boat. A paddle-wheel configuration required the least amount of structural modifications to the Shark hull, and was well suited to the shallow waters of the lake and adjacent swamp. My friends and I cruised far and wide in previously unknown bogs home to alligators and water moccasins, eventually following the canal through Cooper Estates all the way down to Shem Creek, and out to the Crab Banks in Charleston Harbor. When I later got my driver’s license, I built a road-worthy metal trailer and reconfigured the boat for sailing in the Atlantic Ocean, right in front of Uncle William’s summer house on Sullivan’s Island.
The Shark reconfigured as a sailboat on its new trailer, circa 1965 (foreground left). On the beach at Sullivan’s Island, SC (right).