Truscott Boats. Did I Mention I Faild History Class.

This year when I was at the Lake Geneva Blackhawk ACBS Show, I saw some amazing boats. What was also cool about the show was a chance to see some regional brands and some lesser known brands to today’s collectors. One of these was a Truscott Boat, Truscotteer as it was named. 16 feet of very cool details. So what is a Truscott boat? I asked myself that very question. And here is what I have found. Mind You, I am still looking…
First thing I found was that they were not a small company by any means. They started in the early 1900′s in St Joseph, Michigan. It was the towns largest employer. and cranked out 600 boats a year. They had sales offices in most US cities. and offices from Chicago and China. They also were the first company to hire women at the start of World War Two. After the war they kept building boats.. But maybe not the most exciting boats, or bad salesmen.. What ever the reason, sales were not good, and they closed doors in 1948. That’s it. I don’t even have the name of the Trucateer’s owner, it was over in the parking lot with no name tag on it. Oh boy, Louis Rhetti my 6th grade teacher would give me the big F on this one. So I invite any Truscott geek out there to chime in. I am open to any sort of history. Like, Walt Disney worked there as a kid and when it came time to name the kids for his TV show….

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20 Responses to “Truscott Boats. Did I Mention I Faild History Class.”

  1. Chad Durren says:

    It's the same design as a 16' Gar Wood Ensign. When GW went belly-up in '47, a dude (Ed Hancock) went to become the general manager at Truscott boat and took the building jigs with him to Truscott.

  2. mpb says:

    Matt,
    I went back in my record to see if I could find the owners name for you. Unfortunatly this boat was a last minute entry and the info was never entered into the database. I'll talk to some of the other guys and see what I can come up with.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Truscott got gobbled up into National Boat and Engine Company in 1910. The latter was an amalgamation of numerous boat manufacturers and engine builders. It went bust in less than two years.

    In 1912 some of the bankrupt entities got toegther and formed Racine-Truscott-Shell Lake Boat Co. This entity only lasted a couple of years. The three firms split and went their own way.

    Maybe they were ahead of their times in their idea of consolidaiton???

    Andreas Jordahl Rhude

  4. ERH says:

    All,

    Hey its great that everyone noticed the 1948 Truscott boat tucked in the back of the boat show. It will be at the McCormick Place Boat and RV show in Chicago from January 13th through January 17th, 2010 http://www.chicagoboatshow.com/. There will be 20 other antique and classic wood boats and a bunch of restored outboards as well.

    I thought that my Truscott was a rehashed Gar Wood until a local St. Joseph Michigan resident approached me and said his dad was the architect of the boat. He searched for and produced the original blueprints for the 16 footer signed by his father in September of 1947 for the 1948 production run. This boat was completed in May of 1948 and by October the company was bankrupt.

    I have the original restored guages(thanks Kocian!!, nice job) and african mahogany dash that has to be installed. The original look interior needs to be redone and then the boat , with matching Chrysler Ace engine will look exactly as it did when it was produced. 2 years ago it returned back to St. Joe and took a few runs up and down the river and into Lake Michigan, for the first time since '48. It was lettered up as Truscott 16, which matches the brochure as they had the lineup of 16-36 foot boats

    Most of its life it spent in small lakes in middle Wisconsin and from documents that I have i believe that it was sold out of a truscott dealer in Green Bay WI in 1948.

    Nice to be noticed.

  5. Chris Buckleitner says:

    In the early 60's, my father restored a 24' Truscott, I'm not sure of the year, perhaps a 1948. It had a six cylinder "Chrysler New Marine" engine – I think about 90 hp. It looked most closely like the second one down the right hand column in the above sales lit. Dry dry rot got the best of it after Dad sold it and it is no more…a most unfortunate loss. But I have many grand memories of charging up and down the St Joseph River (he moored it at what is now Eagle Pointe Marina)and slamming across waves in Lake Michigan.

  6. Jake Smorol says:

    We posted our 1948 24' Triuscott on Craigslist this past week. Good shape, needs some work but could run right now if needed. Owner is ready for someone to take over maintenence, give her a good home and keep the histoey alive. Has been a grat boat for us for he last 40 years.

  7. I have a Racine-Truscott-Shell Lake Boat Company
    $500 Coupon Bond-Does it have any value?

  8. Shawn says:

    I never knew they made such beautiful boats, my grandfather worked there during the war years & they built PT boats. I still have his photo ID.

  9. Brendan Riley says:

    We have a 1946 Truscott “Fisherman”, 24 ft., in need of a good home. Photos on request. Been in our family for 40 years, but we have one too many projects going on.

    • Larry Baker says:

      I am interested in your Truscott Fisherman,I own two 1946 24′Truscott Express ‘ could you email me at btrnsfrmr@gmail.com I would like Photos as many as you could send Thanks Also how much for the boat? thank you Larry

  10. Coz Pass says:

    We had a 24 foot Truscott Express when I was a kid. Pretty fast boat with a Chrysler “Crown”. I would love to find one somewhere and rebuild it. I keep looking.

  11. SHEILA REYES says:

    I BELIEVE I HAVE A TRUSCOTT WOODEN BOAT IN MY GARAGE I AM NOT SURE OF THE MODEL BUT IT HAS A CABIN IN FRONT WITH ICE-BOX AND TOILET I THINK IT WILL SLEEP TWO IT WAS RUNNINGWHEN MY EX PULLED IT OUT OF THE WATERTO DO SOME REFURB BUT WE DIVORCED THAT YEAR AND IT HAS BEEN IN MY GARAGE FOR 20PLUS YEARS HETOOKTRIM AND SOME WINDOWS OUT TO RESTORE I HAVE THE NEW WOOD AND ALL PIECES BUT WOULD LIKE TO FIND IT A GOOD HOME I THINK IT MAY BE A 28 FT.BOAT AND I DO NOT SEE ANY ROT IT HAS A CHRYSLER CROWN S-M7 INBOARD ENGINE WITH CANOPY BUT IT ISTRULY A PROJECT BOAT WITH A LOT OF PROMISE

  12. Russell Ashdon, Jr says:

    There was an informative article in “Michigan History” magazine, July/August, 2006, about the Truscott Boat Mfg. Co. Apparently it was started by Thomas Truscott and three of his sons in the mid 1800′s. The Fort Miami Heritage Society in St. Joseph, Mich., might have more information. I would very much like to hear from anyone with personal knowledge of the last few years the company was in business, as my father worked there during the war up until it went out of business. He always said it was the best job he ever had.

    • Eric Hansen says:

      Russell Ashdon,

      This is my 16 foot Truscott.
      I have a bunch of info, etc. that I have been collecting for years on the boats and the factory. I am in St. Joseph MI. Anyone who has parts, brochures, info, stories, data, or boats for sale etc. I am trying to collect and get back to St. Joe. if at all possible.

      Contact me at P.O. Box 432
      St. Joseph MI 49085
      ehansen@competitivelawn.com

  13. Tom Engel says:

    Looking for any info on a 16′ Truscott, as I acquired one last year and came across this blog today in search of picture’s

  14. Kathy weykamp says:

    Hello. I’m searching for Truscott boat plans and drawings from approximately 1900. Do you have any suggestions for this search? I don’t need originals.
    Thanks!

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