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Little Boats, Racy looking Boats. Big Un's and even Bigger ones.

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  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Little Boats, Racy looking Boats. Big Un's and even Bigger ones.
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Friday, February 28, 2020 12:05 PM

Hi, Ya'll;

      Smee agin! Here's one for the boaty type especially. Time summer 1952. Had been in rowboats already and pretty much knew about Whitehall Boats. Now this time something different. A home-made flat-bottom skiff. Geez! what a lug to row around. Don't do it on a windy day though.

     I actually built it from scraps laying around Uncle Mike's place in Lake George N.Y. I am sure glad for the shop classes that were mandatory back then! At least I knew what size nails and what type adhesive to use between the boards.

    Ugly, but functional. Went into town on the bike one day and saw the tourist speedboats leave from their pier. Full of tourists that couldn't just be happy in a beautiful Fresh Water lake setting. The Big one caught my eye. They had it custom built by Hacker Craft just for the tour!

     I went to the pier and stood, getting in everyone's way watching the various Hackers , Chris-Crafts and Higgins built boats with one two three or even four cockpits leave in a rush and get up on plane.

    I had to get closer, Well the manager saw me and came over and asked me if I liked the boats. Of course I gushed as only a small boy can! Well, he made me an offer I couldn't refuse. If I would wipe the waterspots of the decks on the boats as they came in I would get a free ride on whatever boat I was working on at the time!

     Can you say giving a dehydrated person a drink? That was one of the greatest summers I had. Then of course as I've told you about the Canadiana, It didn't stop there. Remember I had already been on My uncle Joseph's Tuna Boats( Clippers) . Truly ecological safe tuna boats. No nets, only chumming and barbless hooks.

    Well, imagine my surprise when I first reported for Sea duty in the Navy! 17-1/2 years old and I step up to the brow( gangplank to lubbers) On a postwar Gearing. Still in her late war fit! No Air Conditioning or any of that creature comfort stuff! Bristling with Guns of every size!

    Long, Lean and Grey. Tight quarters, but a generally Happy ship which meant a Clean ship too. Talk about crew Pride in their ship. In Spades! fast forward ten years I report aboard the U.S.S.Midway. Big,Impressive Bird-Farm ( Navy Nickname) . Well that started it all over again!

    Did twelve Years for the Marine Corps. Better rating ladder at a time when pay was really low. Went to work for British Petroleum/Shell when I got out. First Engineer on a stretched W.W.2--T-2 tanker. Two years later promoted to Chief Engineer. Moved up to a purpose built Large Crude Carrying vessel. 902 foot long. Interesting ship too.

     Three years later the Captain Got ill in a foreign Port had to get our cargo to Saigon!. Guess who got a field promotion? Took the ship to Saigon Load out Port then to Capetown for final loadout. In ballast back to Gulf for Loading. Two more years on her, then Four month leave of absence.

     Came back and was told to report to Liverpool Business Office. Surprise!! The Business Agent takes me to the shipyard. What's here? My new ship.She's ready for her crew and her shakedown Cruise. 1,100 ' long too. Boy, she looked the monster she was. Wallowed in heavy seas like a dead Hippo in a Pond!

     Two voyages, No dents or spills either. Back to The " Pool! New ship,1,350 foot long at the waterline. Loa 1,475foot long. Beautiful ship. Nine story Deckhouse and Bridge that could've been an auto bridge on shore. Joystick control and traditional ship stuff absent on her.Transverse thrusters fore and Azipod control for steering and maneuvering aft.

    There were 62 passenger cabins and 44 crew and all that. Life Pods. ( Not the traditional Boats, believe me) She was a Queen of the Sea. No way I would call any passenger ship of today a safe or seaworthy ship with what I have experienced on the ships I have lived on!

    Sailing is indeed a way of life. But the fascination has Never gone away. Now that I don't sail I do miss it. I miss the sea airblowing in my face free from Factory and Civilian everyday odors. Rolling gently on a good day and hands full on a bad day. It is what it is, Gotta luv it ! 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, February 29, 2020 6:51 AM

I love racing boats.  I grew up in Detroit, where every year they held the Silver Cup race.  I usually watched from the Belle Isle bridge, and the course stretched about a mile north to the far turn.  Even at that distance the noise was awsome!  It was louder than a P-40 or P-51, because they used to crank up the boost on the superchargers, so the engines were turning out around 2Khp each.

I have a couple of models underway, but on my stasis shelf.  The decals are problematic.


Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Saturday, February 29, 2020 9:33 AM

Hi Don:

      Those boats could get up and go couldn't they? I always wondered how the drivers felt when they tried to get airborne?

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, February 29, 2020 9:42 AM

Don Stauffer

It was louder than a P-40 or P-51, because they used to crank up the boost on the superchargers, so the engines were turning out around 2Khp each. 

Which is why the air racing set held a big grudge against the sport. It went through the available supply of v 12s.

It's one thing to throw a rod in a motor behind you at 100 mph while floating, than to do so with a motor in front of you while going 400 mph at 250 feet altitude.

But yes, a fun sport.


  • Member since
    July 2014
  • From: Franklin Wi
Posted by Bakster on Sunday, March 1, 2020 9:49 AM

Nice memories to ponder on TB.


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