Laser LTV: A Retro Restoration of a Classic
One of the best parts of featuring restoration projects is not only seeing some cool boats, but the great stories the owners have of their journey restoring the boat. Some are new to the boating scene and came across the project, whereas others are born into boating, and just love doing projects. This restoration feature of this Laser LTV is great for multiple reasons, it features a very cool boat, and it was restored by someone who was born into boats, or as the owner Kody Paul himself said, “I”ve been boating and snowmobiling since I was able to speak.”
Having young people like Kody involved in the performance boating scene is great. He is a mechanical engineer, and a recent graduate from the University of Buffalo. Kody’s first boat was actually a 13’ Mini Hawk, but the Laser LTV was acquired from a family friend in 2012, and soon after Kody was much more interested in the LTV. After doing a couple runs with fellow performance boaters, mastering driving the hull, and joining some boat communities, Kody was hooked. Although he was initially unsure of the retro colors, he began to appreciate how unique the hull was and how the color scheme really suited the boat. Plus, as he pointed out, they are just really rare, “I’ve never seen another LTV in person, let alone one with this color scheme.”
The Laser LTV was born from the Laser 380, modified by Roark Summord to compete in the Mod VP class, which we wrote about recently. It is a genuine classic and renowned hull design, small but stable and extremely fast.
The Laser LTV was mostly stock, but the sun had taken its toll on the gelcoat, and the original 2.0 Liter 150 wasn’t as powerful as Kody would like. During a run in the Hudson River, the transom finally gave out, literally collapsing off the back of the boat, forcing Kody into a restoration situation.
Obviously a dangerous situation, the transom had been repaired before, but not well.
Kody opted to redesign and reinforce how the transom was originally built. After opening it all up, he realized the core was good, the stringers were okay, but he would need to beef up the knees, as well as the transom. He notched the top of the knees, and braced them across the transom. New plywood was added to the transom, being 2 ¼” thick, and the knees were reinforced with ¾” throughout. To really brace it, Kody boxed in support at the notch, tying in the transom to the hull, making it way stronger than stock.
Because the boat has a full interior anyway, and Kody wasn’t interested in a ultra light build, he wasn’t too worried about weight, I tend to agree with him here, this will be a strong, solid boat, and still really fast.
During this time, Kody found a great 2.5 200 carbed Merc. Unfortunately, he finished the boat at the end of the season, but then planned the next moves, props and other setup details for the boat the next season. When spring arrived, it was decided that the boat would be repainted; the original finish was beyond restoring. After much deliberation, Kody decided not to change the color and retain the beautiful cream and orange of the original. Since Kody’s dad is in the body shop business, he could do the work himself, and did a color match on the cream color from the interior that was untouched by the sun. The orange stripes were redone, the deck was clear coated, and now the boat looks like new, while retaining the original look. I love how Kody kept the original color, vintage boats are so cool partly because of their unique color schemes. Great job here.
Kody also redid the interior, using the original fabric, but changing the rear bench to be better for passengers, with a grab handle for added measure.
Kody ended up redoing the interior, making the rear bench better for passengers.
Keeping with the resto mod look, the 200 Merc was fitted with a cut down 15” midsection by Calhoun Marine in SC. Additionally, a sportmaster was added, as well as a Mod VP cowl, and carbon fiber pan from CDR Cowls. This is a beautiful touch that really sets Kody’s Laser apart. Even though Kody has plans of running a 225 ProMax powerhead in the future, this setup runs great, seeing 84 MPH as it is, and Kody has a few adjustments he wants to make to squeeze a little more out of it.
You might see his beautiful Laser screaming by on Greenwood Lake, the Hudson River and Long Lake NY. A beautiful “restomod” type restoration of a real classic. Thanks to Kody for sharing his boat and story.