Vintage Race Boat Shop


Your Webmeister - William Edgar John III

A conversation with Hank Why and Linda Dabica in the Fall of 2000, led to my volunteering to maintain the Website for our beloved NH Boat Museum. I had designed, installed, and managed large corporate information systems for over 30 years during my professional career, and as I began to eye semi-retirement, thought it was time to apply some of my skills to help our local NH Boat Museum.

 

Then in the Spring of 2002, I finally took the plunge, casting off my career in corporate America, and starting my new, semi-retirement career with my own Vintage Race Boat Shop located here in beautiful Wolfeboro, NH. It was time to follow my dream and my bliss, working on vintage wooden boats and maintaining my own, very active vintage Website. I was ready and well qualified, after 25 years of on-the-job training while owning, rebuilding and maintaining my beloved Gar Wood Speedster Obsession

 

Vintage race boats and boat racing are in my blood, and our fifth 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 above photo.

William E John & Associates - shipyard in Rye, NY

 

"Welcome" - 1903 73 foot Lawley Cruiser owned by William E John Sr.

But alas, my mother moved us kids up to Lake Winnipesaukee when I was very young, and I spent my early summers at my grandmother's on Governors Island. She had a Century Coronado with u-shaped dock, canvas cover and electric winch - very cool. I also worked at the Goodhue Boat Yard in Glendale - on the gas dock - the best job I ever had. Speaking of landmarks, Tup Goodhue and I played in a rock band "The Fugitives" and we were the house band at Irwins Winnipesaukee Gardens during the summers of 1965 and 1966. Tup and John Goodhue used to race in the marathon water ski races on Lake Winnipesaukee, and I can remember the Tommy Bartlett Water Ski Shows on Paugus Bay and Boat-O-Rama at the Weirs.  These are just some of my memories of Lake Winnipesaukee - that make it a very special place for me.

The Fugitives - Irwins Winnipesaukee Gardens - summer of 1965/66

Then, 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 went to see the boat and bought it on first sight. My life has not been the same since. Now I still have my beloved Obsession, still trying to make it go faster, and still enjoy giving boat rides, especially at APBA Vintage Race Boat Regattas. In fact, several years ago at a Detroit Gold Cup Vintage Event, I gave Tom Pakradooni, current 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. What a great boat ride that was - driving my Gar Wood Speedster on the historic Detroit Gold Cup race course.

And now I have my very own Vintage Race Boat Shop, happy as a clam, and maintain this very active and dynamic Website.

Wolfeboro, New Hampshire For the past ten years, we held our Saturday Morning Gatherings at our shop in the beautiful and historic village of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire at 7 King Street, just off Bay Street and across the street from the entrance of the Sawmill Marina and the Wolfetrap Raw Bar & Grill. We provided fresh pots of coffee, shop projects to discuss, a big screen TV and usually had some vintage boat racing videos playing in the background. We usually had around 15/20 vintage wonderers attending, with a couple of stools and chairs, hot coffee, way too many donuts, and lots of good vintage boat banter.

 

Mount Dora, Florida In April of 2014, we closed our Wolfeboro shop and hauled our tools and beloved Obsession down to our new home and shop in Mount Dora. We are now busy getting ready to rock & roll on the Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit. Come on down and join us for all the fun. Our new home/shop located in the beautiful and historic village of Mount Dora, Florida on East 3rd Avenue, two blocks from our friends Gordie and Patti at the Grandview Bed &Breakfast and just four blocks from the Mount Dora public docks and ramps. Our Saturday Morning Gatherings begin with a full breakfast at Betty's Greenhouse Grill at 3725 Old Highway 441 in Mount Dora, followed by another gathering at one of the many boat shops/toy chests.

Betty's Greenhouse Grill

 

The active lifestyle and many social activities were the reason we chose the Mount Dora and Tavares area. In addition to the many social gatherings, boat shops, toy chests and car collections, all the guys/kids down here ride motorcycles. So we took the two day course, got our motorcycle license and now have two Harley Davidson motorcycles in our garage/shop along with our beloved Obsession. We also gather on Wednesday mornings at Bill Feikert's shop to ride our motorcycles and of course on week day afternoons we also gather at Bill's shop for our lively 4 pm Peanuts & Beer sessions. We are also active members of the ACBS Sunnyland Chapter, APBA Region 5 and the Classic Race Boat Association, where we are busy working year round to promote and build the Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit. We are quite active year round down here in sunny and warm Florida, where we can ride our motorcycles and play with our vintage wooden boats all summer and winter long - we just love it !!!

Well - we finally did it. On 2/7/2016 we signed the papers for the sale of our beloved Obsession. After 36 years of ownership, countless ACBS Boat Shows, lots of fun running on the APBA Vintage Race Boat Circuit and many, many fun boat rides, it was time for a new adventure. On March BRACKLEY BOATS - Gravenhurst, Muskoka, Ontario20, 2016 our beloved Obsession was picked up and hauled north to Muskoka, Ontario and will be maintained for the new owner by our friend Paul Brackley at Brackley Boats in Gravenhurst.

         

         

Here it is - our next vintage/classic race boat !!!

This 21 foot Schiada was custom ordered from the factory in Torrance, California by the former owner who drove all the way from the East Coast to pick up and haul back East in 1998. Since then the boat has always been kept in climate controlled storage and only used occasionally for weekend cruising with the family. With only 170 hours of use on the powerful 502 cubic inch 500 horsepower MerCruiser motor, this boat is absolutely stunning and in showroom condition. This Schiada River Tunnel design utilizes twin tunnels straddling a specially designed center pod for additional lift, while its three point running surface completely eliminates troublesome chine walking. And with the MerCruiser 500HP motor for power, this virtual rocketship sprints to well over 90 miles per hour with ease !!! 

 

We found this classic Schiada with the help of Mark Krzyzanowski at Antique Boat America and we headed north to Clayton, New York on May 1st to pick up the boat and haul back to our home in Mount Dora, Florida. This was just in time for our next Monthly Run Run & Gathering on May 7th. Please join us for the début of our next vintage/classic race boat !!!

Monthly Fun Run & Gathering

 

We are very excited and looking forward to running our Schiada on the Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit. With top speeds of well over 90 miles per hour, we should be able to keep pace with the Flatbottoms and Donzi's. Our first event will be the Tavares Fall Thunder Regatta. Check out these links and come join us for all the fun !!!

Tavares Fall Thunder Regatta

Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit

Objectives for our shop Website:

  • Keep it active and dynamic with constant/daily updates.

  • Keep it simple and focus on content, not "flash and dash".

  • Create a Webpage for every shop project and post constant updates.

  • Create a Webpage for every vintage event we attend and post lots of photos.

  • Maintain photo archives of vintage wood boats, projects and vintage events.

  • Maintain a Trading Dock Webpage to help sell/save vintage wooden boats.

  • Maintain a Vintage Event Webpage to help promote ACBS and APBA vintage events.

For the past 10 years, we have used the power of Internet Websites and Email to help promote and support local ACBS events and APBA vintage race boat regattas. Usually once a month, sometime more frequently we send an email with lots of vintage banter promoting vintage events and updates on our shop Website. Over the years our email list has grown to well over 2,000 active members and we have a lot of fun publishing. Send an email if you want to be added to our growing list !!!    BillJohn48@Comcast.net

 

Then several years ago we also added newer social media technology and now maintain two Facebook accounts, where we are quite hyperactive, posting daily updates. Lots of fun !!!

Vintage Race Boat Shop

 

 

Classic Race Boat Association

 

Thank you for taking the time to read our story, and we hope that you enjoy our shop Website, for it is a labor of love with our constant/daily updates. Please e-mail your thoughts, comments and suggestions !!!

 

Bill John

PO Box 1457

 Mount Dora, Fl. 32756

352-729-6060

BillJohn48@Comcast.net


For locals, please join our:

Saturday Morning Gatherings

Monthly Fun Run & Gathering

Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit

Some related vintage race boat links:


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