New Toy ( Finally ): 26′ 1976 Reinell Cabin Cruiser

December 22, 2012

I ( finally ) picked up my new toy today. When I say new it really means that it has been mine for a year and today is the first time I was able to retrieve it from the boatyard.

Back story: My uncle Jimmy retired several years ago and as a retirement project he purchased a couple boats, one being a 26 foot 1976 Reinell cabin cruiser. His other boats were small day boats, however he wanted one he and my aunt could cruise around in for weeks at a time. The Reinell was purchased as a project boat, however shortly after beginning work on it he became ill and died. It sat in a half finished state at the boatyard for about four years. The boatyard owner finally got tired of it sitting and called my aunt to tell her to pay the back bills and get it out of his yard or he was going to take possession and sell it. Knowing I like boats she told me I could have it if I paid the bill ( which was tiny, especially considering the value of the boat! ). Well after almost an entire year of either not being employed or under employed I finally paid off the balance and brought the boat home!

My buddy Jordan volunteered his truck ( and his property as storage ) and we set off on an adventure to tow a huge 26′ boat. We left his place a bit after 8am and returned victorious at about 8pm. Due to sitting for almost 5 years the boat needs a serious cleaning, and the interior is the original 70s interior, complete with shag carpet and orange vinyl seats. We are still working on a plan to “pimp that boat”, however it is known right now that all the interior is coming out and a new color painted on the exterior.

And know, here she is on her trailer home. Notice the flybridge with a nav station. Also in the main cabin is the full nav station. The boat can be operated from either. In the cabin is a 2 bench table that can be converted to a queen bed, a decent sized galley, a nice head, a vberth, and a couch. More pics as the project progresses.


There is no name on the boat, so if you have a color scheme or name idea leave a comment!

13 thoughts on “New Toy ( Finally ): 26′ 1976 Reinell Cabin Cruiser

  1. Bob P. central PA (August 12, 2013)

    Hi i have the opportunity to purchase the SAME boat in central pa. It runs, however it cuts out once hot. The cost is 1k out the door. It is solid, however as yours it would have to be gutted and redone inside. I would LOVE to know if you are making progress. Im going to my boat guy in the morning to ask his opinion. My email is below… Please email me with any ideas, or if you run into major problems. I actually would like to take out the inboard engine—and put a 149 or bigger outboard on it—that is a question for my boat guy tomorrow.. Well any input would be great….

    1. Ben Lobaugh (blobaugh) (August 13, 2013)

      Hey Bob – The goal was to have it in the water by July 4th this year… That did not even come close to happening. I have been extremely busy traveling for work so the boat is still sitting in the driveway, untouched. I will add updates as the project progresses, but I doubt they will be too soon :S

      1. Bob P. central PA (August 13, 2013)

        yeah i talked to my boat guy today at 10 he said go spend 40k on a real boat. He states that from top to bottom there are so many issues with a boat that old. He stated, even the trailer should be redone from tires to rims to brakes to springs. Mentioned something about hull rot? Hard to get motors out of them? gas tank issues, UGGGGGGG If you are interested in viewing the boat here is the link.
        It really IS in good condition for the year. I have visions of it completely redone, running like a champ. It is just so big on the trailer would hate to have a permanent lawn ornament—-I would not even have a clue as to how you could dispose of it if it were to be junk…….. Well, im going to think about it for a few days. They guy who owns it now, had the same thoughts as you and I. He bought it two years ago, it has been in the water once fired up ran for 15 minutes then quit, once it cooled it restarted effortlessly. He says HIS boat guy said electrical or possibly some type of motor bearing…. Here is a link to a boat that is more fun and less work!! lol I may go look at it.
        Well let me know how you make out—–im a retired teacher i have lots of time to tinker with stuff. Off to Maine with my wife soon to do some ATVing and sightseeing but i will have her I pad so i can check my email. Take care Good Luck Bob P…..

        1. Ben Lobaugh (blobaugh) (August 13, 2013)

          A “real boat”. You may want to get a second opinion on that… My other boat is a 1977 and she is a champ. The only reason a boat of any age would need $40k of work is because it was not maintained properly by previous owners. As for hull rot, the Reinell is fiberglass, so it does not “rot” per se. What he could be talking about is punctures or areas of the paint that are no longer sealed that water got into. That has the potential to harm the fiberglass. It can be fixed but is a pain. Having someone do it for you can get pretty spendy. If he was referring to that and it has spread significantly then you could have an issue on your hands.

          I do plan on fixing mine up. The issue right now is just time. I have been traveling a lot more than anticipated this year. Really to get it into the water I just need a distributor and the lower unit for the outboard drive. The interior stuff is fluff that I can do with it in the water at my marina 🙂

          Good luck with yours. Let me know if you do decide to tackle the project. If you do you should start a free website at and post updates on the progress with pictures.

          1. Clint Guthrie (March 2, 2014)

            I agree Ben. I have an 85 Bayliner 24.5 ft vessel. Bayliner told me it’s a fiberglass hull. Which should last me my life time and I’m only 38. I realize we’re talking different brands though similar over all. I’m happy with my boat I picked up for 2500 with trailer and fully running and very well kept. I’m now looking into building a hardtop and redoing the interior myself. Youtube has a lot of video’s showing how. I’ve already started. The wheels with new electric brakes and bearings only 500 bucks. Hell new outdrives are only 3500-5000 grand far less than 40k. Pretty sure I can put it in myself to. Take care all.

      2. Ronnie R (October 2, 2013)

        Hey Ben… I picked one just like it up back in May. It is in very good material condition but needs some TLC with “That 70’s Look”. Still working the Twins. I stopped after I had a starter relay weld on me. Been slow lately because been busy helping others. Foresee getting back on it this Winter. Pray to the Gods that she be done before Halibut season starts. I am naming mine “Good Karma”.

  2. Neil from AK (August 14, 2013)

    I am considering purchasing an identical boat, but in much better condition, everything works with the exception that the fresh water tank intake hose has come off and needs to be replaced, small fix once i dig in a do it. My question is about hauling the boat. Do you have a rough weight on the boat and trailer that you have, and what size truck did you use to haul it?

    1. Ben Lobaugh (blobaugh) (August 14, 2013)

      Oh gosh, I did not check the weight. I want to say it was around 8,500 pounds all total, but I do not know for certain. I have not looked up my exact model, but this page gives a rough estimate of 5,500 pounds empty so I could be too high.

      I used a 2010ish Dodge 1/4 ton to haul it. Started on a dirt hill we had to climb. Dropped it into 4-low and there was no slippage at all. The only time there was concern while towing was wind a strong gust of crosswind hit and rocked the boat side to side. Otherwise it was great. The trailer that came with it is pretty heavy duty and dual axle. Probably you would want at least dual axles for something as heavy as this boat.

      1. Bob P. central PA (August 14, 2013)

        Well i didnt buy it —-next guy who looked at it bought it. The guy told me it weighted 6000 pounds—but i have also read they weigh 4500….. Better luck next time for me…. Too much work and too old i guess…

  3. brent jones (September 13, 2015)

    I got 1 mine is the same color but no flying bridge. I would like to send some pictures of the boat send me your # and I will send some cool pictures

  4. Deshan lobaugh (November 8, 2015)

    I wonder if we are related?

  5. captken (December 13, 2015)

    Hi I have a 1976 Reinell b2741 since 1985 very reliable boat call her Cruiser 1 . Have used her every summer for 3 months till last summer have a 350 long block marine engine replace ment and a TRS lower mercury IO put in 3 summers ago. I live in ND and we only get 4 months to use the boat if that weatherstops us several times . Everything has worked well bot top and inside stations allgagues and pumps ;keep her fit waxed and put varnish on her trailer is an EZ loader new tires this year and new batteries.. I got married and new lady wanted a houseboat so now she is up for sale little over 100 hrs on new motor and am asking 7500 for her. Great boat fresh water and stored indoors 8 mos out of the year. captKen

    1. Ben Lobaugh (blobaugh) (December 15, 2015)

      Glad to hear you Cruiser1 gave you a good life! I actually gave my Reinell away and purchased a 33′ Carver Mariner cabin cruiser as a liveaboard. Did that for a year before I got married. Still up in the air on what happens that boat. Such is married life *shrug*