Reproduction Vintage Race Boats

In addition to maintaining vintage wooden boats, and also completed five reproduction vintage race boats at our Vintage Race Boat Shop in Wolfeboro, NH. These reproductions were based on proven vintage designs, built with the finest woods using modern adhesives and powered with modern marine engines. These custom boats were built to run hard and provide for many years of fun boat rides, with plenty of power to run at hull speeds. We also worked very closely with the owner on all the numerous decisions, to make them very personal and very special vintage  race boats.





Our first vintage race boat - a modified 1946 Gar Wood Speedster.


Many years ago, while visiting on vacation during the summer of 1979, I read a Jerry Harper ad in The Laconia Citizen for a 1948 Gar Wood with a Chrysler Hemi motor. I remembered my Grandfather talking about Gar Wood and his race boats, so I went to see the boat and bought it on first sight. My life has not been the same since. These gentleman's race boats were well built to compete on the rough water conditions on the St. Lawrence Seaway, in the 1000 Islands area of upstate New York. "Obsession" is of typical, one-design race boats produced by the famous Gar Wood boat builders in Detroit, Michigan during the 1920's-1940's. The motor was placed forward, under it's long foredeck, followed by a single aft cockpit for the driver and the required riding mechanic. Gar Wood built a fleet of these speedsters for Edward Noble and his friends to race on Sunday afternoons in the 1000 Islands area of upstate New York. Gar Wood also built many beautiful production runabouts and special-order race boats until 1947, when they ceased production.


Now many years later, we still have our beloved Obsession, still trying to make it go faster, and still enjoy giving lots of boat rides. In fact, at the Detroit APBA Gold Cup vintage event in 1999 I gave Tom Pakradooni, then APBA Jersey Speed Skiff national champion, a ride in my Obsession, and he was telling me stories of my boat when it raced in the marathon water ski events on Lake Winnipesaukee back in the 1950/60's. What a great boat ride that was, driving my Gar Wood Speedster on the historic Detroit APBA Gold Cup race course.

Click here for the story of Obsession !!!




Our second reproduction project - based on a 1960's Jersey Speed Skiff Design


During the summer and fall of 2005, we completed a reproduction of a Jersey Speed Skiff

My Precious. This speed skiff was done "in the spirit of vintage" with a wood deck and bench seats, looks like a Jersey Speed Skiff of the 1960's, is a legal vintage race boat and runs on the APBA vintage race boat circuit. These boats are safe and fun to run, with comfortable bench seats in the fore and aft cockpits, and with a stock warranted motor will provide for many years of fun boat rides. Complete with a mooring/travel cover and a custom Eagle trailer, this skiff loves to Rock & Roll on Lake Dora in Mount Dora, Florida !!!

Click here for project photos of My Precious



Our third reproduction project - based on a 1960's Jersey Speed Skiff Design


Our first skiff reproduction was a fun project, the boat ran extremely well, and we wanted to do another one. Then in the fall of 2005, several conversations lead to a handshake and our second skiff project. This project had special, ribbon striped mahogany deck and transom, dark blue upholstered bench seats fore and aft, and was powered by a stock, warranted Marine Power motor with a Borg Warner transmission. The boat runs very well, lives in a boathouse on Lake Winnipesaukee, and gets a good workout every summer by providing lots of boat rides !!!

Click here for project photos of Tinker/Sassy


Our fourth reproduction project - based on a a 1930's Gar Wood Speedster Design


Then in the fall of 2007, several conversations lead to a handshake and our fourth reproduction project for a 21 foot Gentleman’s Racer. Compulsion was an aft cockpit speedster design, very similar to my beloved Obsession, in fact we spent a lot of time measuring the lines of Obsession and only made a few modifications. This new hull was constructed of white oak frames with Honduras Mahogany planking, and powered by a 383 Chevy “stroker” motor. The bare hull and motor were transported to our Vintage Race Boat Shop in February, 2008 where work began on project completion, and we made it in time for the vintage regatta in Clayton, NY in August 2008. The Gar Wood deck hardware did not arrive from the chrome shop in time for Clayton, but the photos below show that our new hull design ran very well, and we ran at the front of the pack all weekend long. Another rewarding project, working closely with the owner to make this speedster a truly personal, Gentleman's Racer !!!

Click here for project photos of Compulsion




Our fifth reproduction project - based on a 1940s Hacker Craft Design


In the fall of 2009, several conversations lead to a handshake and our fifth reproduction project for a California style flat bottom ski boat. Impulse was based on a late 1940's John Hacker utility design, with a runabout style front cockpit, utility style engine box, and large comfortable aft seat. We added a lot more transom tumblehome to our design, increased the crown of the deck and took a plank off the hull sides to lower the sheer line profile. Hacker hardware was used, the upholstery and bottom color was burgundy, and the mahogany deck and hull planking were stained and varnished along with the flooring and side panels.


In keeping with the California vintage ski boat theme, a vintage 327 cubic inch Chevrolet motor was built at Larry's Auto Machine in Groton, Connecticut, and was fully dressed with three deuces on a polished Offenhauser intake manifold and polished Glenwood aluminum exhaust manifolds. This reverse rotation marine motor was run on their dyno when completed, to chart the horsepower and power curve, and also to dial in the timing advance and fuel system for maximum power !!!

Click here for project photos of Impulse





Current restoration project - our 1947 waterfront home/money pit !!!


My Grandmother, Mable Ogden at Lake Winds with her 1958 Century Coronado.


When I was very young, and I spent my summers at my grandmother's waterfront home on Governors Island on Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire that she call Lake Winds. She had a 1958 Century Coronado with a u-shaped dock, canvas cover and electric winch - very cool. Nana loved having us kids around. We were little pollywogs, always in the water and on very special occasions, Nana would take us all out for a boat ride in her Century Coronado. It had a big Cadillac/Crusader V-8 motor and after a little cheering from us kids - faster, faster Nana - she would floor the foot throttle and off we went - with all us kids screaming, yelling and laughing. What fun we had growing up on the water at Lake Winds !!!


Well - fast forward many years. After a 30 year career designing, installing and managing large corporate information systems followed by 10 years with our Vintage Race Boat Shop in Wolfeboro, NH we are now retired in beautiful Mount Dora, Florida and are currently restoring an absolutely stunning 1947 waterfront home on Lakeshore Drive on Lake Dora that we are also calling Lake Winds. The restoration is coming along nicely and we will be posting the story line with lots of photos as the restoration process continues. We are finally back on the waterfront with a boathouse and loving life !!!


Lake Winds

Our sixth reproduction project - based on a 1930's Ventnor Hydroplane Design



Vintage race boats and boat racing are in my blood, and our sixth reproduction project will be a reproduction of my grandfather's Sally Ann Jr a 225 hydroplane that was an APBA national champion.   My grandfather, William Edgar John Sr. was a naval architect, owned a shipyard in Rye, New York, raced in several inboard classes, and was inducted into the APBA's Honor Squadron in 1955, two years after my other hero, Gar Wood. My father, William Edgar John Jr. raced International-One-Design  sailboats on Long Island Sound where he was Fleet Chairman for many years and was the first President of the IOD class, based out of the Larchmont Yacht Club where he was very active. My grandmother was also active in the early days of power boat racing in this country. She actually drove and won quite a few APBA boat races, and I have two large trophies that she won in 1914. Both my grandfather and grandmother are in the photo.


Our reproduction of Sally Ann Jr. will also be a two seater and will be built very strong with modern lightweight power to run reliably at hull speeds on the APBA vintage race boat circuit.


With the help of Peter Kreissle, we now have some original 225 Ventnor hydroplane design drawings, and will be working with Ken Basset to draw the actual build plans for our Sally Ann Jr. reproduction project. Steve Balcer will build the bare hull and install the drive line for us at his shop in Bay City, Michigan. The bare hull will then be transported to the Vintage Race Boat Shop in Mont Dora for the final motor installation, rigging, finish work, lettering and upholstery. We are currently searching for history and photos of Sally Ann Jr. and any help would be greatly appreciated !!!

Click here for project photos of Sally Ann Jr.


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