1986 Ford F-150 Boat Truck for Sale Kicks Bass and Takes Names
Maybe don’t buy this one if you’re looking to keep a low profile.
The Gambler 500 off-road rally has become a cultural hit since its inception in 2014. Participants, known as "gamblers," take on the event in all manner of wacky machinery bought and built on a budget. However, few are quite as oddball as the Nautitruck, with the madcap contraption now up for auction on Cars and Bids.
The build is based on a 1986 Ford F-150, with a four-speed manual and rear-wheel drive. The stout frame was stripped of its pickup body, only to have it replaced with a ski boat—a 1983 Correct Craft Ski Nautique 2001, to be precise.
Those in the know won't be surprised to hear this is a Florida car, nor that it has a few gaps in its Carfax. It also is important to state that this is in no way an amphibious vehicle. In response to a buyer question regarding whether the rig could go in water, the builder responded succinctly: "Sure! But it does not float." Bear that in mind, then.
In its current form, the Nautitruck was first built in 2020, with YouTuber Barefoot Garage Jax recording the build for posterity along the way. His spirit is infectious as he pieces the build together and takes it adventuring both on-road and off.
The interior, which is very much outside, seats two up front and three on a bench seat in the rear. The boat's original steering wheel and gauges remain intact, but non-functional. Steering is from the usual left-hand side as per the original truck.
Under the hood, or... bow, I suppose, is the absolutely legendary Ford 300 inline-six, which was good for 122 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque in stock form. However, it has received a few mods to liven things up. There's an Offenhauser dual-plane intake paired with a Holley Street Avenger carb, which should go some way to letting the engine breathe better.
Maintenance-wise, the engine has recently received a new water pump and head gasket, along with having some stuck valves replaced to keep it ticking over. With that said, don't expect it to be showroom-fresh; the ad notes that there is some blow-by, and the engine does backfire occasionally. It's got a few nicks, scuffs, and scratches from its previous Gambler 500 adventures, and there's some wear and tear on the seats and wheels, too.
It bears noting that safety features are pretty much non-existent on the Nautitruck. There are some lap belts, a small roll hoop, and that's about it. Oh, and just make sure you don't drop anything metallic on the starter battery, which is conveniently located in the center of the dash.
Of course, none of this matters when you're behind the wheel, grinning from ear to ear as you're cruising down the highway in your very own nautically themed convertible. It's the kind of vehicle it's impossible to lay low in. If you do buy it—and there's only a few hours left to bid!—you really owe it to everyone else on the road to cruise around with your captain's uniform on at all times. Do it for the 'gram.
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