Issue 23, updated September 8, 2023
Inland Empire Scuttlebutt
Masthead Photo by: Alan Wardsworth
Featured Boat Cover: For Me and My Gal • Bob Henshaw, Coeur D’ Alene 2022
2023 Chapter Officers
President: Ron Yandt
Past President: BK Powell email@example.com
Vice President: Wes Yandt
Treasurer: Mike Wilson
Secretary: Kathy Dutro
Membership: Petyr Beck
Webmaster: Sheena Kerfoot
Editor: Alan Wardsworth
Board Of Directors
by Alan Wardsworth
The boat in the masthead is owned by Bob Henshaw named For Me & My Gal and sometimes the U-Boat or Submarine after its fresh restoration sinking from a tiny vent hole that was not installed and siphoned the 1946 Chris Craft runabout full of water. Quick thinking got it to the surface with very little damage. I took this with my iPhone as I rode in a CDA 290 Nighthawk.
Message from the President
My goals as your new President are to improve communication to our members and to have more activities to use our boats and have some fun. The Board has seriously taken steps to get our Website up and running like it was a few years ago. And for the fun part, we have set the dates for all three boat shows that we sponsor. In addition, we have planned four 4 other events starting with the Spokane Boat Show January 26-29th. Next, there will be a Car/Boat Garage Tour in April or May. Then we will have a Show & Shine in early June. This is a tune up for the Whitefish Woody Weekend June 23-25, and finally use your boat Rendezvous on Lake Coeur d’Alene. There will be lots of other events to use your boat and meet other chapter members. So get your boat shined up and ready to go for 2023.
To bring people together with a common interest in historic, antique, and classic boats, sharing fellowship, information, experience, and exchange of ideas.
To protect the heritage of boating by promoting, first, the preservation and, secondly, the restoration of historic antique and classic boats.
To promote, further, and encourage a love and enjoyment of all aspects of historic, antique, and classic boating.
To serve as a communication channel for our membership, the public, and any other entities regarding information relating to historic, antique, and classic boating.This includes serving as a clearing house and referral service for all information relating to historic, antique, and classic boating. To serve as the governing body and parent organization for such chapters as shall be formed and created under our auspices; this includes providing support for and communicating with these chapters.
To inspire and support quality boat shows and related events among our chapters; to establish and maintain standards for classifying boats and conducting boat shows.
To educate our membership and the general public concerning safety and protocol as it relates to historic, antique, and classic boating.
Boat Show Chairs
Sandpoint - Don Robson
Coeur D’ Alene - Kodie Woodhead
Dry Rot Priest Lake - Brian Fair
Summer Picnics - Paul Rodkey
Scuttlebutt Newsletter Calendar
General Issue Updates
Winter - January 1
Summer - June 1
Fall - Oct 1
March 15 (Spokane Boat Show)
May 15 (garage tour)
July 30 (Sandpoint Boat Show)
August 30 (CDA Boat Show)
September 15 (Dry Rot Boat Show)
November 15 (Election issue)
Contests Dates January 15 March 15 December 15 February 15 November 15
Pierre & Kathleen Bordenave, Sandpoint ID
Thank You Sponsors
Buying and selling is a long-standing tradition on a trading dock. We’re continuing that tradition by offering classified ads for classic boats, boat parts, and more. Explore runabouts, canoes, sailboats, power boats – right down to the brass fittings and canopies and other hard-to-find items that are just what you need to maintain and restore your craft. For chapter members you can place an ad for free, non members $25 to place an Ad.
Contact Alan Wardsworth to place an ad firstname.lastname@example.org or 509-290-0255
See example below, click Trading Dock on the Top Menu to goto the Trading Dock.
Steve Lapkin Photography will gift one image to each boat entrant. if in fact, we have on-the-water opportunities (as expected) BEYOND the one gifted photo (high res file - JPG), Steve will sell any of his images to whomever asks to purchase. Prices will be negotiated to everyone's satisfaction. Contact Steve at anytime: email@example.com or via voice/text: +1 503 914 8025. Above examples were provided by Steve Lapkin, also check out his website.
Another successful and fun filled 4-day boat show is in the books on beautiful Priest Lake. 49 boats made the trip from Western Washington, Western & Eastern Oregon, Montana AND Palm Desert, California to Priest Lake, for our 4-day event using your boat. Like I am sure everyone else is, I’m exhausted. If you do not already know, Dry Rot is a show like no other.
Day 1 - Started at our favorite logger restaurant and bar, Nordman, a couple miles from the lake. Yummy pulled pork sandwiches were served after everyone received their packet and purchased a custom t-shirt and hat, with a strong drink in hand. Owners Brittany and Ben do a wonderful job at Nordman and it was a great way to start the show.
Day 2 – Bright and early, we met up at Cavanaugh’s for our Poker Run. 28 boats participated stopping at cabins around the lake, picked up their cards and received goodie bags at some of the stops. One stop that I thought would be a huge treat is lovingly referred to as this over 10,000 square foot home called the “Potato House” because the owner is a retired potato farmer out of Central Washington, plus being the nicest man, you would ever meet. After our annual photo and me passing out my Jello shots, boats took off every 2 minutes. The Poker Run ended at our dock, where they were greeted by my 4-year-old grandson dressed in his pirate costume (Mike Leach would be proud).
2023 PRIEST LAKE DRY ROT
Article by Kathy Fair
Selfie by Caitlyn Anderson onboard the Kaniksu
A couple hours later, the tour boat Kaniksu transported 75+ people from Elkins to our cabin. Longhorn BBQ always a fan favorite and as always, successfully delivered full tummies. Brian met individually with each Poker Run participant to check their cards and time. First place went to Fred & Beth Goughnour from Montana City, MT for the best Poker hand. Best time went to Ken Cook, from Poulson, MT. Each were presented with a custom metal sculpture of Priest and the Upper Lakes and a bottle of wine. Second place for best hand went to Dennis Riggs from our very own Priest Lake and for best time, Bob Nelson, from Oregon City, Oregon was the proud 2nd place winner.
Day 3 – Hard to pull ourselves out of bed, but at 8:00 a.m., Dry Rot participants know that’s what you have to do to get the best spot over at the newly designed Elkins’ docks. The docks were packed full and the public enjoyed eyeing the wooden beauties up close. Inside, Elkins served a delicious buffet if you were lucky enough to find a place to sit…a packed restaurant. At 11:30 a.m. sharp, we roared off across the lake to line up, single file and parade around part of the east shore. As usual, dozens of cabin owners were standing out on their docks, waving at us. This is an annual event that Priest Lakers look forward to and it’s great to see the community get involved and support the Dry Rot Show. As we boated across the lake, heading to Hill’s Resort and met up with the Priest Lake Yacht Club, where they served a hot dog with lots of fixings and unlimited Gin Fizzes. Craig Hill’s crew saved dock space for our wooden boats so there is no rush to get a spot. As we got down to Hill’s Resort, the American boats were lined up on the beach for their 2nd annual event at Hill’s. These American boats were manufactured in Spokane in the late 70’s and early 80’s. With a very similar design, also are the Apollo and Jolly Roger boats, which joined in. I personally love to see the different kinds of boats come together, support each other, and have a great time celebrating the last day of summer.
Awards – After we filled up while down at Hill’s, it’s finally time for the awards. Literally Brian and I counted the ballots for Captain’s Choice and Dock Walkers. This year, Captain’s Choice went to Ken Cook with his 1930 Chris-Craft runabout triple and the Dock Walkers went to BBS Minnow, a 1965 Chris-Craft 1965 Caviler owned by Billy and Sheila Schaich who dressed the part. We presented our 64 oz flask with half a gallon of Idaho Gold whiskey to Steve and Melanie Spahr for breaking down during the roar off and had to be towed back.
This year, we were VERY fortunate to have photographer Steve Lapkin at our event. Steve, editor to the Chris-Craft magazine called the Brass Bell, presented the “Steve Lapkin” award to the boat, any boat, of his choice. Steve chose Darin and Gina Bulter’s boat, Little Toot, a 1941 Chris-Craft U-22. As Steve described, Little Toot, stood out with her paint job of royal blue and orange at the waterline. Darin has done a stunning job on his boat and this award was very deserving.
DAY 4 – We are not done yet! Dark rain clouds rolled in overnight but that didn’t stop the hearty Dry Rotter’s of about 15 boats. Single file, we arrived at a beach Brian Fair, Dick and Kristen Winn had been saving at the Upper Lake. Only a few sprinkles on the way up and into the Thorofare. Why is it a hot dog tastes so much better on a sandy beach? But it sure does. After chatting for a while, we got our annual Upper Lake photo and people slowly started to say goodbyes, give hugs and cruised down the Thorofare. As we entered the lake from the Thorofare, the wind had really picked up. Everyone lined up behind each other and we got everyone home safely.
In closing, I can’t thank those that attended the Priest Lake Dry Rot…lodging a such a problem at Priest with everything being sold out for months. I take my hat off to those thinking outside the box for lodging. Dry Rot is a lot of work for Brian and I, but we truly love sharing and showing those visiting Priest for the first time, and of course, those that know what a beautiful lake is in our backyard. As Steve Lapkin said, he truly feels the Upper Lake is the most beautiful place he has ever seen. Quite a complement…as Steve has been a lot of places.
Until next year, Goodnight, Priest Lake. You deserve a good rest.
Kathy & Brian Fair
By Alan Wardsworth August 16, 2023
Friday was the kickoff of the 2023 Coeur D’Alene Classic Boat Festival located on the boardwalk in downtown Coeur d’Alene where boats started arriving Friday afternoon. The Welcome Aboard Reception at the Coeur Custom Wood Shop included light hor d'oeuvres, beer, and wine plus packet pickup. It was a great time to get together with friends and catch up with a few words from host Daryl Reynolds and President Ron Yandt about the next two days of the show. Saturday at 8:00am was the Donut and Coffee Run at the CDA Resort Golf Course Dock. Captains could pull their boats up to the dock and grab a coffee and donut before the show. Run in conjunction with the CDA Triathlon swimmers, boaters had to be careful with swimmers in the water just off the docks. As usual for this weekend downtown Coeur D’Alene was packed with people for the Triathlon, Boatshow, and the various other exhibits along the streets and in the park which is always a great opportunity to show off our boats. Saturday afternoon was the children’s boat building event on the east lawn which is always a favorite for budding captains. The Coeur Custom Pin-Up Models were also on the boardwalk for some classic photos on period boats of the day. Later in the evening the Awards Ceremony Reception was held at the Coeur Custom Wood Shop. We also had live music, food & drinks and announced the 2023 award winners.
Here are the winners of the 2023 Coeur D’Alene Boat Festival:
People's Choice - La Bella Vita - Jeff Williams
Skipper's Choice - Gemini - Mary Neeser
Best Contemporary - Hammerhead - Robb Bloom
There are over 300 pictures from the show including the above, click the Galleries link below to see and download your favorite photos. Thank you DeAnn Reynolds, Russ Vincent, and those who texted me photos. The Boat Show concluded Sunday afternoon and by all accounts was another successful show with 48 boats being in the show, great weather, and lots of new and old friends.
By Kristen Winn • August 19, 2023
Thanks to StanCraft Boats and Ron Yandt, Priest Lake Museum held a boat model painting party on August 19 Vintage Boat Day. Over 70 boats were painted and many were floated in nearby Priest Lake. The children had such a fun time decorating their boats...maybe one of them will be an owner of a classic in the future. This party was held in conjunction with the Museum's "A to Z" Exhibit, with the model boats representing the letter "K," for Kant Sink 'Em Boats, a very popular Lake boat in the 1920's and 1930's.
By Alan Wardsworth August 8, 2023
Sunday afternoon I made the trek to Harrison, Idaho, not in my boat but in my Nissan after much leaking and a poorly tuned carburetor kept the boat out of the water. There at the Harrison docks I met up with Paul and Kerri Rodkey, the planners for the afternoon picnic trek to St. Maries, in their 13 foot 1958 Burchcraft along with their puppy. Petyr and Karin Beck with their Boston Whaler also joined us as well as Jim and Lisa Burnett in their little more modern Chris Craft. We hoped the Chris Craft would be our tow boat if the quirky Burchcraft Evinrude went south keeping in mind that it had a popsicle repair the day before. So off we went in search of the entrance to the St. Joe River on a slightly overcast day due to a few rain clouds and smoke in the air. As you travel south towards the end of the lake you go past a bare hillside located on port side which was the location of the old Harrison log flume where logs traveled down the hillside in a water filled wood shute. You can still find remnants today if you are up for a hill climb. We buzzed past the bridge and the lake within a lake, Lake Chatcolet. Near Rocky Point we found the green and red markers which mapped the entrance to the river. Most boats would have to slow down while traveling the river but not the Burchcraft, it was flat out at 27 mph which is really impressive with three adults, a dog, and two tanks of gas. The fifty horsepower Evinrude was perfect for the glass calm river adventure, that was until the rain hit. The Burchcraft does not have a windshield so while the boat was fine to keep up the pace Captain Rodkey had a time seeing in the downpour. It didn’t last too long and fortunately we all brought rain jackets. Thirty miles from the Harrison dock we found the St. Maries city docks marked by a painted antique old steam engine and a path to Second Street. We made our way past a cool old fiberglass boat for sale and some old nailhead Buicks where we eventually found a very nice restaurant to accommodate the seven of us for lunch. After some great conversation and meal we made it back to the boats where we had to clean a lot of weeds from the props. Once finished, we were off again. We ventured a little further up the river and found several more docks and the old log dump where they would band together log booms on their way to mills in Coeur d’ Alene. That is about as far as you dare to go unless the water is higher and should be very careful of logs. As you near St. Maries, there are several no wake zones including a construction area. We came upon a Sheriff who had just recently hit a log hiding under the water in the middle of the channel which reminded us that it paid to go painfully slow. As we left St. Maries, Petyr and Karin went off on another adventure and we waved goodbye to Jim and Lisa when we were in sight of the Harrison docks. The little Burchcraft made it all 60 or so miles and other than a switch of gas tanks it sparkled on the entire trip. If you decide to make this trip I would recommend taking cold weather gear all times of the year, extra time to check out all the birds on the trip, and a buddy in case things take a turn for the worse especially since we saw an early 2000 Larson being towed. It is a wonderfully beautiful trip to make this time of the year. Click here to see more pictures from the Galleries
By Alan Wardsworth July 17, 2023
Bigger than ever, Inland Empire Antique and Classic Boat Society hosted the 19th annual Sandpoint Boat Show during the mid July weekend at the Sandpoint Marine and city boardwalk. The show started Saturday the 15th at 10:00am but this year's record entries started the launch process Friday afternoon with double last year's number of boats up from 22 to 46. Unique, vintage, and stylish watercraft from the 8’ Chesapeake Light Craft to the Forest Walkers 35’ Stancraft lined the docks. Organizer Don Robson said, “we had boats from seven different ACBS chapters this year and 30% of the boats are first time display boats.” According to IEACBS President Ron Yandt,” the work we did leading up to the show has paid off big time and the city of Sandpoint has been especially supportive.” Ron explained last year they had just come off the pandemic and weren't really prepared to have a show. This year they were ready and so were the crowds of spectators. Friday night, after most of the boats were launched, Molly and Barry Provorse and Petyr and Karin Beck hosted the Welcome Aboard Event at their historic boat barn. The boat barn which has not been used since the 2016 event showed off many boats, pictures, outboards, etc. Neighbors and friends of Petyr and Karin graciously provided a home cooked Mexican dinner enjoyed by everyone. The show itself ran on Saturday from 10:00am to 5:00pm along the boardwalk on docks A-D stretching past the bridge with the traditional Sand Creek parade at 3:00pm.
Here are the winners of the 2023 Sandpoint Boat Show:
People's Choice - Family Ties - Dinny Hansen
Skipper's Choice - Burgundy Rose - Rex Lytle
Commodore Award - Swede - Brian Scott
Most Original - Chasin Rainbows - Deb & Tim Salt
The Best Non-wood boat - Falls Flyer - Daryl Hochholter
StanCraft Boats hosted the kid’s boat building event where budding captains worked on their newest designs. The Evening Awards Banquet was hosted by George and Debbie Hansen at their Murphy Bay home where a crab boil was provided by the Inland Empire “Crab Shack Gang.” The night's feast ended with a speaker Mike Pamperin who spoke about his work with Ames Construction in a number of high profile bridge projects over the last 25 years. Sunday morning everyone was up early for breakfast back again at the Hansen property. The weekend's event ended at 11:00 where boats were off to new adventures. Click here to see more pictures from the Galleries
By Alan Wardsworth July 12, 2023
After refinishing the hull of my boat I decided that the deck was good for another season except the gunwale covering boards which is the upper edge of the side of the boat commonly in my case where you rest your arm while driving. In the old days gunwale was known in old english as the gun wall because that is where the small guns were mounted. My covering boards looked horrible on my boat probably from smacking the dock, poor repair work, and in my case something dropped on top of the boat. I seeked lots of good information from people in the know and friends at the Show and Shine. Everyone agreed the best repair would be to router the entire six inch by twenty feet covering board and replace it with solid mahogany. I agreed but I also would like to get it in the water this season and looking at the number of screws I would have to remove and countersink I decided to search for another idea. Plan two was to remove the old plywood boards and replace them with solid mahogany except I talked to Ken Johnson who restored the Belmont in the 1990’s and he said those planks are screwed and glued with 3M 5200 so that was a no go. Plan three on my list was to strip the finish and refinish her, the problem was these boats were originally covered with a 3 oz fiberglass and the repairs made since included epoxy, varnish, fiberglass resin, to name just a few. On the hull I used Totalboats Total Strip which worked great, three coats and the old finish just fell off. Not so lucky on the covering boards, probably sun baked on fiberglass on a flat surface made for a super hard finish. It was all my belt sander with 80 grit could do to remove it and that resin soaked into the mahogany layer of plywood so it came off too. I can already hear the scoffing from my plan to go with plan number four, remove the fiberglass to bare wood with the belt sander followed by block sanding to insure it was a flat surface then to use 1/45” mahogany “only” veneer to cover the existing covering boards using urea resin glue which is the same glue they use to make plywood. I taped off the white line to the deck to prevent accidental sanding and started, lucky for me I have lots of experience using a belt sander having worked in the cabinet industry and being a woodshop teacher. Then came block sanding with 100 grit sandpaper and it looked really promising. I ordered veneer and glue from VeneerSupplies.com and was able to get six eight inch pieces by eight feet and one wide piece for the bow. My first piece to install was straight forward, installed on the aft corner. My plan was to apply the glue to both surfaces and then cover the veneer with a ⅜” plank and then load it with weight and that is what I did and it worked perfect. My next piece to install moving towards the bow seemed like there would be no problem but the temperature went up 15 degrees to 85 and the results were a few bubbles along the edge. I was able to squirt some glue under the edge of the veneer, weigh it, and it was good to go. The piece around the window came out even better because I pre glued the surface which I realized was the problem with the previous piece because the old plywood was so dry it soaked up all the glue in minutes. It was a bit of a struggle but it looked good and that was until the sprinkler took aim and struck the board I had sticking out from under the trap. Sure enough the water ran down and under the trap which warped the veneer. Oh no, an iron worked to flatten the veneer and then I lightly block sanded it and it looked ok. Then the final piece to install was around the bow and the most complicated piece to install. I used some butcher paper to make a template and then cut out the veneer which fit well but the problem was it dipped down towards the water so it was a very difficult clamp or weight. Several attempts to glue this piece resulted in failure. First the glue recommended by VeneerSupplies.com was horrible, I should have used the Weldwood brand. My second attempt was to use Titebond III which is waterproof and it also failed mostly because it could not be clamped down. I decided to change directions with the glue and removed most of the veneer except for the first pieces. That was more difficult than you might think, I ended up using a small putty knife, wood chisel, and belt sander because some of the glued surfaces really worked well. 3M extreme contact cement was my next experiment and it worked to perfection as long as you had a helper or dowel rods to place under the two surfaces so you can carefully line up the veneer before setting it down. At that point you better hope it's all perfectly lined up because it's not coming back up. The contact cement worked great and I had the starboard side done in a day. The only problem I had was on one corner I had a couple blisters that are hard to see but probably a result of the super dry wood soaking up the glue. It was time to trim the outer edge and cut the white line grove. It was simple and a bit stressful trimming the edge but I realized if I folded the veneer using a product called Super Soft 2 which makes the veneer very flexible for a while I could then trim the edge with a sharp veneer knife followed by a light sand to blend it in without splitting the veneer down the gain. Then came the most agonizing part of the project and that was to router the white line with a ¼” round nose bit. I removed the bottom plate from my small trim router and made a plate with an adjustable fence of about 6”. The idea was to slide it along the rail to cut a new groove. However, it was originally done at about 6” but wasn't going to work because the line was crooked in places and then when I got to the windshield it did not follow the corner. In fact, it was a solid ¾” off and one side had a groove and the other did not, which I had never noticed. After measuring and reassessing I finally decided to set both sides at 6” and go for it. The non groove side I would just repaint and the extra groove would be filled with epoxy. The router worked to perfection except a couple stainless steel screws I hit. I used my putty knife to bed in epoxy to the 3-4 feet of the old groove then repainted it and I was ready to move on. With all my new covering boards in place I lightly sanded the veneer with the gain using a block sander and 100 grit then stained and sealed the veneer with penetrating epoxy. On the hull I used Totalboat Halcyon spar varnish, which I used again on the covering boards. I don’t think I would recommend it for a total finish but it’s great for building up the first ten coats because it lays down heavy without running and you can do a new coat every 45 minutes. On coats 10-15 I used Totalboat High Gloss Gleam with sanding at each five coats and scuff pads in between and it looked pretty good for a driveway project. My plan is to finish off the coats 15-20 on the entire boat next winter. In conclusion, would I choose to use veneer again? The answer is maybe, if I have access to a resaw bandsaw and abrasive sander I probably would router the old plywood and replace with solid now that I have a new white routered strip that is equal to the full length of the boat. Removing the old screws without hitting one with the router plus the cost would probably be double. For this season I think it’s going to work.
By Alan Wardsworth July 1, 2023
I caught up with Daryl Reynold at his home shop to check his newest project and if you're counting this would be boat number six. His latest purchase is a one owner 1951 29’ Chris Craft Super Deluxe with twin newly rebuilt MCL’s. As the story goes, he spotted it online for $80K and then it eventually dropped to $40K. Daryl reached out to the Texas owner and offered him what he referred to as a low ball bid and was informed that it was already sold. Daryl told him to let him know if the deal didn't work, which he did and Daryl purchased the Chris Craft for $8K. What a deal, but as these deals go sometimes they cost you in the end. Daryl being Mr. Optimistic told me the trailer is probably worth $12K by itself and the rebuilt engines usually run about $6K each. The boat itself seems to be pretty complete with all those hard to find parts probably because it’s a one owner since new. Some of the repairs that have to be made are mostly due to poor repair jobs made over the years like packing the seams with wood putty which once the wood swelled broke and fell out. According to Daryl it's a year project so he hopes to get it in the water this time next year. Last on the list will be to change the name after he gets the transom replaced. The current name is the Big Boat, and leading the list is Lost in the 50’s but all his boats have a music theme name so who knows what the final name will be.
Click on the below link to learn more about the history of boat manufacturers
Riva Pietro Riva began building boats in 1842 at Sarnico, a small town in northern Italy on the shores of Lake Iseo. By the 1930s the business was managed by Pietro’s grandson, Serafino. But it was Serafino’s son, Carlo Riva, who transformed the company, making it the worldwide legend it is today. As a young man, Carlo Riva had very different ideas about boat design. Carlo began designing by modifying his father's boats. At 19, Carlo designed his first twin engine boat, and before he was 30, he had designed and built more than 45 different models. Under Carlo’s leadership (which was hard fought), the company produced boats of the absolute highest quality and consistency. A succession of owners have owned the company since Carlo Riva sold it in the early 1970s, and today the firm is owned by the Ferretti Group and produces boats made of fiberglass. According to the Riva Society GB, no one is sure how many of the 4,000 or so wooden boats built by Riva survive today. They are rare and highly collectible.
Gar Wood Garfield A. Wood "never intended to go into the boat building business. His goal was to personally set every speed record on water and be recognized as the world's speedboat king. However, as he set forth to achieve these goals, he was influenced by colleagues and friends and as a result built the world's finest line of production recreational sport boats," according to the Gar Wood Society. Gar Wood produced boats from 1921 to 1947, not including the four years of World War II. It is estimated that over 10,000 Gar Wood boats were built during that period. In fact, for many years Hall’s Boat was a Gar Wood dealership. Today, Gar Wood Custom boats is a family company that builds wooden powerboats " in the tradition of Garfield Arthur Wood himself."
Belmont This company does exist today in Fresno, California. They were founded back in the early fifties and it has been a father-son business for years. They made two or three luxury runabouts starting in 1956 until 1966 then converted to all fiberglass flat bottom jet boats until 1985.What is unique is that they were one of the first companies to fiberglass their boats below the waterline over the marine plywood. They would hold 8 passengers and would roar across the lakes and seas at 60 plus miles per hour.The old shop which is now called Belmont Marine is still in Fresno, CA and was bought from the son, Lynn Weeks. Founder Smitty Weeks passed away years ago at the age of 93.According to a former employee, Brent Rim at Belmont Boats, "We were mostly building jet boats. Smitty had designed a custom v-bottom hull using the 19' flat-bottom as a template. He actually got it patented. It was the fastest stock boat using the Berkeley 455 Olds Pack-a-Jet power unit. He also retrofitted the design into a 21' luxury day cruiser. While I was there, a guy named Simon did all the fiberglass work out back, and I did the hardware installations along with a guy named Bob. Lynn would stop by periodically. The most awesome part of that job was listening to the many stories Smitty told us based on his years of custom boat building and racing. There were many photos around the shop of his old wood boats, including one that resembled a shark and many custom wood inboards that he built for clients at Lake Tahoe. The most famous Belmont might be the Purple People Eater which was the first drag boat to run over 100 mph in the quarter mile and reached a top speed of 115 mph with Allison power at Fremont California in 1961.
Chris Craft One of the most widely recognized names in wooden motorboats, Chris-Craft got its start in 1922 in Algonac, Michigan, with Chris Smith and his sons Jay and Bernard at the helm. Chris led several boat building ventures prior to that, including a partnership with Gar Wood building race boats. Chris-Craft focused on standardized boat production, enabling them to build boats year-round and at a good profit - while still being affordable to the average guy. Chris-Craft's boat lines included the runabouts, utilities, cruisers, and sea skiffs. The founders sold the company in 1960, but Chris-Craft continued building wooden boats until 1972. The company is still around today, building boats made of fiberglass.
Lyman Bernard and Herman Lyman, brothers from Cleveland, Ohio, started building boats in the late 1800s. Their boats were designed and built to handle the powerful chop of Lake Erie. Lyman Boats quickly established a regional reputation for quality lapstrake rowboats and sailboats. In the 1970s, the company turned to fiberglass production and by 1980, Lyman had stopped new boat production entirely. By 1988 the new owner of Lyman reached out to Tom Koroknay, a Lyman enthusiast and restorer who ultimately purchased the wood boat patterns, jigs, tools, hardware and even the plans and archives dating back to the original days of the Lyman brothers remained, which included drawings, half models, racing trophies, and hull records. Today Koroknay, known affectionately as Doc Lyman, operates Koroknay's Marine Woodworking/Lyman Boats in Lexington, Ohio.
Century The Century Boat Company built some of the pleasure boating most talked about styles. The company was founded in Milwaukee in 1926. It began by building fishing boats, sailboats, canoes, and the champion racing outboards. Century soon moved to its home of the next 60 years, Manistee, Michigan. There they added mahogany runabout inboards, and even challenged the small inboard race classes with the 14-foot Thunderbolt. Struggling through the lean years of the depression, Century offered a wide variety of finely crafted, 15- to 20-foot runabouts, utilities, and outboards. During World War II, the company supplied over 3,500 small assault boats -- a dedication that earned the defense department's Army-Navy "E" flag. In contrast to the decline experienced by noted wood boat producers at the time such as Gar Wood and Hacker, Century enjoyed a period of unprecedented prosperity after the War. The company immediately began production of the popular Sea Maid model and introduced the highly versatile utility type Resorter shortly thereafter. In 1955 the company introduced both the Coronado and the Arabian. Cadillac and Chrysler V8 engines were also added to the line-up. The new models of the '50s, the Coronado, Arabian, Viking, and Palomino, boldly incorporated the stunning design trends of the automobile industry from that time. A well-restored Century from that era is highly collectible. Today, the Century Boat Company is based in Florida and produces fiberglass boats.
Stancraft StanCraft was founded in 1933 by W.H. "Billy" Young and his son Stanley Young, when they handcrafted their first mahogany wood speedster in Lakeside, Montana, on the shore of Flathead Lake.Over the next 35 years, they constructed over 800 wooden boats, with Stanley Young as head designer and builder. In 1937, when StanCraft built its first factory near Somers, Montana, it was the only boat-building factory in Montana. Stanley and his brother Donald Young operated the factory until the beginning of World War II, and resumed operations after the war. During the war, Stanley operated a plant on the West Coast, building boats for the US Coast Guard. In 1948, StanCraft's sales offices and headquarters were moved from Somers to nearby Polson, Montana.On March 9, 1966, a fire burned down the StanCraft manufacturing plant in Somers, destroying 11 boats that were in storage. Stanley Young and his wife Delores had three children, including Syd Young,who took over the business in 1970. As fiberglass boats grew in popularity, the company began building fiberglass boats in addition to wooden boats. Syd Young moved the company to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, in 1981. The company's main business at the time was restoring wooden boats, building only a few new boats per year. The 1981 film On Golden Pond, which features vintage wooden boats, was credited in part with sparking renewed interest in the vessels. In 1997, Syd Young cut back on operations and sold much of the company's assets to Hagadone Marine Group. Robb and Amy Bloem (Billy Young's great-granddaughter) took over what remained of StanCraft in 2003, rebuilding the custom manufacturing operations while expanding the company's storage and restoration services and adding three brands of fiberglass boats to its offerings
Shepherd The Shepherd Boat company was a small semi-custom builder of wooden boats, somewhat understated in styling but of high quality. The company was established in Ontario, Canada after World War II, initially selling boats only in Canada. In 1949, Shepherd introduced its first boat for sale in the US – a 17-foot twin cockpit forward model runabout. Its American distributor, Jafco Marine Basin of Buffalo, NY marketed the Shepherds heavily in the US, and the boats gained in popularity. By 1953, Shepherd was producing five models, including a convertible express cruiser, an 18-foot V-drive runabout, an 18-foot direct drive utility, and the Seamaster Twenty – a "roomier and stauncher 20-foot utility that can ship a he-man cargo of luggage, camp gear, or provisions . . . [with the] grace and agility of a runabout" as exclaimed by its advertisement in January 1954 Motor Boating magazine. In his book The Real Runabouts I, author Bob Speltz notes, "Shepherd did not switch from wood [to fiberglass] as most other inboard builders did and it seemed by 1960, the wooden inboard runabout market had all but dried up." And with that, so did the Shepherd Boat company. Speltz goes on to say, "Today, Shepherd runabouts are gaining favor nationwide with collectors. It is hard to find a better constructed or nicer equipped speedboat than a Shepherd!"
Hacker Craft John Hacker was a design artist with a knack for what made a boat go fast. In fact, over the course of his life, John Hacker also designed boats built by other firms. Hacker bought his first boat works in 1909, and within the first three years had built nearly 30 hydroplanes, including some that could go over 50 mph. In 1913 Hacker joined with L.L.Trip and formed Hacker Boat Company, which later became the Albany Boat Co. After a short period Hacker sold the company and then started the Hacker Boat Company again, this time in Michigan. Throughout the 1920s, John Hacker and his company built luxury speedboats, including one in 1923, initially named "Miss Mary" and later renamed "El Lagarto." "El Lagarto" made racing history when she was repowered with a 300-horsepower Packard engine by George Ries and won the 1933, 1934 and 1935 Gold Cup Race. Today, "El Lagarto" is on permanent display at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake, NY.The characteristic and highly innovative Hacker bottom had concave sections the entire length of the boat—a departure from other bottom designs of the day from Chris-Craft and Gar Wood. This bottom shape gives the Hacker Crafts an inspiring, solid feel in the water, along with great speed. The construction of the original Hackers had many refinements, from using rivets to fasten the planking to the intermediate frames, as well as using forgiving red cedar for the longitudinal, outer planking below the waterline, rather than hard mahogany. By the 1930s, Hackercraft was under new ownership but the commitment to building high quality boats was going full strength. The 30s saw a full lineup, including a 42-foot twin engine cruiser and the popular 24-foot and 25-foot triple cockpit runabouts. Those 1930s runabouts are characterized by their long decks, 3 piece windshields, and lots of chrome. By the 1960s, the company was defunct. The Hacker Craft name was re-started on Lake George in the 1980s by Bill Morgan, and even today you can buy a modern, wood epoxy version of these classic boats. than a Shepherd!"
By Alan Wardsworth • June 3, 2023
It’s June and another boating event is upon us, this one was by invitation of Scott Thompson and the Spokane Yacht Club on Lake Coeur D’ Alene. Seven boats showed up on display in the lawn of the Yacht Club. Scott provided burgers and live music while the club members gave talks about their boats' restoration, history, and progress they made over the winter. The Spokane Outboard club was formed in 1954 with 38 charter members, and incorporated in 1954. By mandate of membership, in 1967 the name was changed to The Spokane Yacht Club. In 1961 SYC purchased 7 acres of land with 450 feet of beach on the Spokane River in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. A short time after an extensive property development program began. Most members donated many hours to build a road, launch ramp, docks, restrooms, clubhouse, electric service and many other improvements. In recent years kitchen and other improvements have been made to the clubhouse including new docks in the most recent years. Although a full time caretaker lives on the grounds, the property chairman, with the help of a committee, requires the assistance of all members in the annual upkeep and major projects. SYC owns and operates the property for the enjoyment of members and guests. It’s the start of June and the weather is heating with 80 plus temps but not the lake quiet yet. That didn’t stop Wes and Ron Yandt as they launched The Uncle Bob after lunch and went for a ride. Everyone else listened to live music under the covered Yacht Club building and told stories about their boats. Additional pictures are available on the IEACBS website. Click here to see more pictures from the Galleries
By Alan Wardsworth and Wes Yandt • May 13, 2023
We rolled into the second event of the 2023 season with the Garage Tour kicking off in Coeur D’ Alene ID at Classic Garage where they do Classic Car Mechanical Restoration, Service Upholstery, Coach Trimming, Paint Restoration, Repair Metal Fabrication, Rust Repair and Woodworking. If it needs to be done on classic cars they can do it. Second on our stop was Brett Sargent’s storage unit in Post Falls were he stores his Chris Craft Cobras serial number #1 and #99 among other items.Last stop was in the Spokane Valley at Brett’s place where Brett and Jodie hosted lunch for everyone. (Special thanks to Brett and Jodie!) Everything from classic Schwinn’s from the 1970’s to rarely seen King of the Road Mustang Convertibles were on display. The second get together was a great turnout and well worth it as friends got together and searched for a little shade discussing their winter project that has been undertaken to get back on the water this season. Click here to see more pictures from the Galleries