The 80s was a great era for music, fashion and fast, cool-looking boats. Auckland boatie Pat Lukas liked his 80s-era Sea Nymph Hustler powerboat so much he’s brought it up to date with a repower that will take him into the next few decades.

Pat bought the Hustler 570 bowrider runabout new in 1987, and it’s given him 35 years of fun on the water, fishing and water-skiing. However, with the original 200hp two-stroke outboard reaching the end of its useful life, it was time for a new engine: a slightly lower-rated but more modern and efficient Yamaha F150 four-stroke, which can push it to a thrilling 45 knots flat out.
“The new four-stroke engine is great – it’s quieter and it doesn’t smoke,” Pat says.
To fit the new engine and replace some moisture-affected timber, the boat’s transom was rebuilt by Steve Pennington at Boatfix, making sure to retain the boat’s classic lines and 80s paint job. The transom height was raised to 25 inches (635 mm), which also had the benefit of bringing the powerhead up out of the water and moving the static waterline away from the bottom cylinder of the engine.
To go with the new set-up, Ovlov Marine also upgraded the steering to a hydraulic system from the original cables, rewired the battery system, installed new bilge pumps for ongoing reliability, and fitted a new fuel tank. The result?
A cool, classic-looking boat with a modern, reliable, fuel-efficient and more environmentally-friendly power unit.
Matt Jackson of Ovlov says repowering and updating an older boat like this makes financial sense too, compared to buying a new vessel.
“The owner loves the boat and it rides really well,” he says. “These boats were well-designed and constructed, and it still has a lot of life left in it.”
The boat had been stored on an air berth at Gulf Harbour, but has now been moved to the Orams drystack at Westhaven so Pat, now living in Auckland, can take it out for a spin any time.
“It’s so easy just to ring up and get it put in, then I just drive down the road and go out fishing,” Pat says. “She’s been a great boat, and she suits me well. I’ve never been sorry
I bought it.”