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.
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
Now many years later,
we still have our beloved
still trying to make it go faster, and still enjoy giving lots of boat rides
on the Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit. 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
During the summer and fall of 2005, we completed a reproduction of a Jersey Speed Skiff
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
Florida 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,
Click here for
project photos of My Precious
Our third reproduction
project - based on a 1960's Jersey Speed
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
Compulsion was an aft
cockpit speedster design, very similar
to my beloved
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
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
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 !!!
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.
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
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 !!!
Our sixth reproduction project - based on a 1930's Ventnor Hydroplane
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
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.
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
Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit.
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 !!!
here for project photos of Sally Ann Jr.
For locals, please join our:
Saturday Morning Gatherings
Monthly Fun Run &
Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit
Some related vintage race
Return to Our Beloved Vintage Wooden Boats
to Home Page - Vintage Race Boat Shop