GP115 - Scorpio

A Lauterbach Grand Prix Hydro

Builder - Larry Lauterbach
First Owner/Driver - Al Craig

Second Owner/Driver - Dick Whyte

 

It all began at the Wolfeboro Vintage Race Boat Regatta in 2001, when I  watched Bill Fisk put on his driving suit. I turned to my wife and said - " someday that will be me." My first meeting with Mr. Larry Lauterbach was at the 2005 Wolfeboro Vintage Race Boat Regatta and we talked about  building a GP hydro. That day and my dreams are now realty.

 

Al & Joan Craig 1/12/2007

Here are the first photos of my Lauterbach GP hydro, Larry and I call it - "The Real Thing". The boat will be named after my Mom's sign, Scorpio and her birth date, GP115. Completion is scheduled for June, will see you this summer on the APBA Vintage Race Boat Circuit !!! 

 

 

       

The first pieces of "skin" are applied.

   

Photo update on 2/6/2007 - the bottom of Scorpio has been fitted, and all the screw holes have been pre-drilled. She awaits the "crew" to mix the epoxy, "paint" it on the keel and battens, then screw it in place.

   

 

These photos show the bottom installed, the first coat of epoxy applied, and the air traps being fitted. The photo on the right show the "Stable Mates" - Scorpio (background) and Bluewater Special (foreground). As you can see, Larry is moving along nicely. By this time next week, he will probably have the sponsons all framed-out and nearly complete with the planning surfaces and non-trips. A true artist, he works quickly and accurately.

 

     

 

These photos were taken on 3/3/2007, and show the air trap and sponson frames installed, now awaiting battens and "skins".

     

 

On 3/31/2007, the sponsons take shape as they get the Master's touch.

 

     

 

On 4/7/2007, Larry started on the sponson skin.

 

     

 

On 4/22/2007, the sponsons are completed.

 

         

   

 

On 5/7/2007, the finish coats are applied.

 

     

On 6/10/2007, work continues on Scorpio as seats and cowlings get molded, and the Big Block Chevy arrived and awaits installation. The strut, promised to arrive this past week, has not appeared.  It is needed to align the shaft for boring.  Let's hope it arrives soon.

         

On 6/24/2007, the shaft log hole is bored, the hardware started to arrive, and Scorpio was flipped right side up !!!

 

On 7/2/2007, progress continues on sponsons with the addition of the center batten and fairing. The bow has also been faired to final shape and sanded. Then the endless hours/days of sanding begins !!!

 

Another update from Dave Wagoner on July 15, 2007. The interior was given a coat of urethane a week ago, and this past week, Larry closed the sponsons and scarfed the deck battens.The bracket for skid fin was installed prior to decking the port sponson.

         

Larry Lauterbach is pleased to announce that NORDIC has returned home !!! Having just purchased NORDIC, Larry plans to restore it over the winter, so watch for lots of project photos when the restoration begins.

     

Now on dollies, the boats get moved from their original positions in the shop. Here, some frames have been cut, and a few deck battens have been installed to form the cockpit and engine areas.  The aft and dash cowlings are temporarily positioned in preparation for trimming. Scorpio's sponsons are now fully closed. Note the piece of frame that has been removed to make room for the engine. Scorpio is now taking shape and looks more like a hydroplane every day. Close-up of the dash and tail fin show the positioning and waiting for trimming. Rudders are being assembled for installation, and the internal brace for rudder has been installed, now ready for ready for rudder installation.

         

   

Another project update on 7/30/2007 shows the deck battens in place, and now Scorpio is ready for decking. The engine bay shows plenty room for that big engine, the dash and steering are now in place, and the stern view shows the shaft log and strut await the prop shaft.

       

 

 

Here is an update from David Wagoner on 8/4/2007 - the decking is on!

It was in the upper 90s, with high humidity, when I went to MD's Eastern Shore to photograph Scorpio.  Larry was puttying a few remaining screw holes with every woodworker's favorite, Famowood, and trying to stay cool as I walked into the shop. Having finished filling the last few screw holes, the Master sits on his favorite chair to enjoy a refreshing breeze, on 90 degree day. When the final finish is applied the beauty of the wood will compliment the simplicity and grace of this vintage dash. Just a little more sanding and Scorpio should be ready for the finishing stage. And, as the sun slowly sinks into the west, we bid a fond fair-well to a hot August day at Lauterbach Custom Boats.

         

With a break in the hot, humid weather we have been enduring in the Mid-Atlantic area, the first of the finish coatings was applied to Scorpio's beautiful wood.  Al Craig has elected to add a layer of fiberglass for durability, protecting the wood for years to come. Stay tuned as the count-down to Scorpio's debut nears - at Wheeling !!!

     

Here we see Larry working on the engine cowling of Scorpio. The hull has been sanded and awaits final finish.  Ordered at the beginning of Summer, delivery of the Casale gear box is behind schedule. Engine cowling receives final prep, the engine mounting rails await engine and gear box, and the tail fin awaits its turn. Still pushing to debut at Wheeling, but Wolfeboro seams more realistic !!!

 

       

These photos were taken on 8/27/2007, and show the absolutely stunning finish ???!!!

       

       

The plaque reads - "Built by Lauterbach Custom Boats for Al Craig, 2007", and the foot brace and foot throttle (not visible) have been installed. The fuel tank has also been installed, the blue line leading to the left side of the hull is the fuel vent.  The line on the right engine stringer leads to the fuel filter (barely visible). The blue line and distribution manifold, attached to the left engine stringer, is for coolant water and leads from the rudder.

         

   

The Casale Gearbox arrived on 8/30/2007 and Larry began the installation immediately. Carolyn had just delivered the seat (soft as glove leather).  She began making patterns for the cockpit cover and padding as these photos were taken. Except for a very brief break (for a photo session), work continued in an effort to have Al Craig's "Scorpio" ready for some delivery and seat time at Buffalo.  It's a race down to the wire., we shall see - stay tuned !!!

   

   

 

On 9/4/2007, the engine was installed.

 

         

Finally - project completion on September 6th, 2007. The headers were installed, the trailer completed, final prep, sea trials, then covering up for a debut appearance at the Buffalo APBA Vintage Regatta.

   

   

Many thanks to Larry Laterbach for sharing the work on his most recent masterpiece, and to David Wagoner for providing all the superb photos. Next week, we will be posting many more photos from "Scorpio's" debut at Buffalo, with lots of action shots and the smiling face of Al Craig, as he lives his dream - driving his own Lauterbach Grand Prix Hydroplane - The Real Thing !!!

Scorpio made Buffalo for testing, and then ran extremely well the following weekend at the Wolfeboro Vintage Race Boat Regatta.

Click here for recap and lots of photos !!!


Dick Whyte is the current owner/driver of Scorpio. The boat is now based in Tavares, Florida and is active on the Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit.

 Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit

Recap & Photos - Tavares Spring Thunder Regatta

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