U-22-1802 The Most Well Known Thayer IV


It’s tough to report something on this boat that’s not been covered before. But we will try of course.. I am sure the peanut gallery will chime in today and let me know what’s right or wrong with the story.. But we did find some stuff out along the way that is worth a mention.. It would not be fair to do a story on U-22-1460 and not give equal time to U-22-1802 not to mention , but of course I will. U-22-1802 is one very cool boat..

Newspaper article with Hendricks and Curtin. Pictured is U-22-1802. For those of you that look way to closely at such things.. What appears to be a 3 spoke wheel is the throttle appearing as a spoke. This was confirmed by Curtin as 1802.

Jim Hendricks bought  U-22-1802 from Pat Curtin in 1983… After Hendricks bought 1802 and the Crash Boat, he enjoyed taking the Thayer IV around the country and talking about it… 1802 in a way became the road show boat of the film and clearly the most well known.. Or in the case of until yesterday the only film boat because of all the press and exposure.

The Wreck Scene Thayer IV.. Now in a dump.. After loosing a long battle with termites, this shot I think is from a Classic Boating story on the Thayer IV’s, if it is.. please give them credit, if not.. they deserve the credit anyway. They do a great job..

Hendricks also owned one of the boats used in the Film African Queen. Turns out it was less of a love affair with boats as it was with Katharine Hepburn… 1802 was used in the film and was fitted out with a ladder, scoops, etc just like its older twin. Only Hendricks did not want any of that…

The Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club’s Brass Bell showing Curtin and  Jim Irwin prepping a boat for a show.

 When Pat Curtin restored U-22-1802, it was finished without those details. There is no record of the date of sale. Pat told us that it was after the sale of U-22-1460.  That’s when he advertised U-22-1802 in the wall street journal.

Classified ad that ran in the Wall Street Journal. This image is from a scrap book found by Ken Miller and emailed to us 2 years ago… in regards to U-22-1802. I have added this because there seems to be some confusion regarding what this ad was for. 

 Hendricks came by and bought U-22-1802 and the crash boat..  U-22-1802 was shipped around and is credited for helping the hobby grow, and thanks to Wilson Wright of the Chris Craft Antique Boat Club… Also credited for making any varnished boat a Golden Pond Boat.. Which is why today we have hundreds of them all around the country..

A “Golden Pond Boat ” sold last year on eBay. No its not even wood!

 It starts this way… “On Golden Pond Boat For Sale”.. The guy buys it and when he sells it.. It’s a Golden Pond Boat.. My neighbor at the River even has one.. It’s a 193? runabout for gods sake.. At least watch the movie… U-22-1802 is the real deal – Period. It was purchased for the film, used in the film and showed as the film boat, reported on as the boat.. Only now that U-22-1460 has been found can it be part of a family again… Choosing which boat appears in which scene is in is up to you.. I would rather scratch my eyes out than get into that..

Letter from Hendricks regarding U-22-1802 with a purchase of 1983 you can blow it up and look at every word..  If you note the seal on the bottom is slanted.. I don’t think that means anything..  But I am sure one of you does……HA.. I also removed any first names.. and addresses to protect the Hendicks family

 U-22-1802 is registered as a 1950 Sportsman but her hull card shows a New Hampshire delivery in early 1952..Which explains the two spoke wheel. That is the only difference.  After some time, U-22-1802 seemed to disappear from the scene until it was sold through the Antique Boat Center.. Pat Curti
n at that time was asked to make a document stating that U-22-1802 was in the film. Pat said.. ” If that’s the boat I would like to by it, but I need to see it” The boat was sold before Pat could see it. Thus creating a riff between Pat and Antique boat Center.. The boat then seemed to disappear again.. and in December 2008 it popped up on eBay…

These two images are from the eBay sale. According to Jim Hendricks nothing was changed before this sale.

Those of you that read Woody Boater on a regular basis will no doubt remember that hoopla.. She sold for $47,000 to an unknown buyer, the seller a James Kohout.  You can read all about this in the star tribune article here. Who got it from Gary Beeman of Minnesota that is the person that got U-22-1802 from Antique Boat Center. About a year ago we got wind of her restoration at Sunrise River Boat Works. But where sworn to secrecy. We held our lip.. Wanting to run up to Minnesota and snap some pics..  Just a couple months ago, 1802 was finished to great fan fair.. We where close on the trail of 1460 and wanted to bring you a complete family reunion of sorts here on Woody Boater. The new owner and savior of U22 1802 is Jeff Thom.. Jeff is a very quiet guy who cares deeply for the boat and all he wanted to do was save it, and preserve it.. Jeff clearly sets a plan and follows through. The boat was restored saving as much of the wood as possible. A new bottom, chrome.. the works.. The only thing of note is that the wheel was changed to a three spoke wheel. We looked into that and checked with Pat and Jim Hendricks, who stated that they did not change the wheel. Jeff has the wheel and its tucked away and is part of the boats history.. Jeff stated that he wanted to save the two spoke wheel and preserve it without restoring it.  From this point on… as before..  I will let the images tell the story again.

U-22-1802 At Sunrise River Boat Works
More Restoration work
Engine rebuild
More restoration
Restoration and a new three spoke wheel.
There….she is.. no more puns.. Ready for the water!
Thayer IV U-22-1802 Is in the water again..

And yes.. another scrap book..
24 replies
  1. Jeff Thom
    Jeff Thom says:

    I was the e-bay buyer of the THAYER IV and am the current owner of 1802. I got a chance this morning to read yesterday's comments to your story and was fairly surprised. Apparently Matt, you and I are not the only ones with a passion for the THAYER IV. I appreciate the series you are doing and your desire for the truth, along with your commitment to the wood boating community. As you would expect from the owner of 1802, it is not hard for me to question the prospect of a 3rd or 4th U22, due to all of the research I did during January of 2009. I sure didn’t dig as deep as you as there were plenty of rumors to chase. As you can imagine, I spent a lot of time doing archival work regarding 1802, prior to actually writing the check. At that time, I found no supporting documentation regarding any more U22s than the two (main boat and crash/stunt boat) that Mr. Hendricks bought. In fact, what I found was to the contrary, primarily based on publicized information, only some of which you have shown here. During my research I gave more validity to articles that Mr. Curtin participated in, because of his professional position on the movie crew. It is with the aforementioned in mind that I have some trouble giving the new barn find the same level of credibility that I give the many articles that Mr. Curtin participated in, supporting the 2-boat premise and hull 1802?

    With that being said, it's like a parent talking about their pride in their child. If you are not willing to admit a bias, you are not facing reality. 1802 is certainly not as important as my two sons but it is a fairly new member of our family and my wife Cindy, sons Joseph and Andrew, and I will take good care of the THAYER IV. I think questions or rumors about "Thayer IV" boats could possibly continue on for years. That, to me, is a testament to the historical importance of the boat and movie. You make an excellent point about how many are out there, having used that label. As in the past, there is no way these questions and rumors will affect our intended plans for 1802. We feel blessed and fortunate and consider it a privilege to have her in our family. Our original intent of purchasing, restoring and being good stewards of it, has recently entered the final stage and we will follow through.

    Once again, Matt, please allow me to thank you for your continued commitment to the wood boating community, as I do appreciate it.

    Jeff Thom

    ps: Make sure and get in touch when you make another MN trip.

  2. Robert
    Robert says:

    This is great. It's nice to see she's going to be taken care of and not placed in a barn to rot for the next 20 years.

  3. Al Benton
    Al Benton says:

    Well, Jeff she's a very nice looking U-22 with some valid history. Now, as her steward for the next few years, I wish you and your family many happy hours of enjoyment. She's in good hands.

    I'm not much into trivia but do enjoy a good story. Yesterday was indeed a good one. Wow, 40 comments for a single WoodyBoater post. That must be a new record. Fun day!

    FRANCHINI says:

    Two boats, three boats, or more (1802 is beautiful by the way Jeff!) if Chelsea had a thing for the mailman or he for her, two spokes or three… All valid points and make for great debate, but the main question has not been answered. Is that God dammed Walter still out there?

  5. Texx
    Texx says:

    Mr. Thom – It was great to read your comment here on Woody Boater today.

    Your elegant response matches the elegance of your recently restored U-22 "THAYER IV", it looks beautiful.

    We will definitely be returning to Minnesota in 2011 and hope to see "THAYER IV" in person. Hopefully on a warm summer day when it's in the water with the engine running…

  6. Frank Miklos
    Frank Miklos says:

    when the Thayer IV was on EBAY I said to myself that it was not the main boat… Due to little things the main one was the deck vent…
    I wondered which one of the four boats it was… (I have known that there were 4 since 1992. That is when I worked on "Striking Distance" with Pat Curtin…) At that time he told me that there were 4 boats bought for the movie but only 3 were used in the movie…
    First Unit…
    The second unit boat…
    And the Crash Boat….

    I figured that the boat on ebay was the second Unit boat… it had a different steering wheel and did not have the odd vent on the front deck… Then I thought someone may have rebuilt the crash boat which also had the other steering wheel… I forgot about it until I talked to both Matt("Woody Boater") and Pat a few weeks ago…

    They told me they found the 1st Unit boats from the movie The 1950 Chris Craft U22 and The 1963 Century Raven 19' ("Mail Boat"). They invited me to meet them to see the boats…

    I talked to my wife and she said go it sounds like fun… 9+ hr trip…

    We actually drove to Long Island the day before to pick up a Century Arabian. We took that back to a friend’s house in Wilks Barre PA… On Thursday we drove from Wilks Barre to the location of the boats… My brother Bob and I Met up with Matt, Jim Scott, Pat Curtin and the owners of the boats.. We walked across the street to the barn… There the Century Raven sat under shrink wrap… but we went inside the barn to see the Chris Craft… Thayer IV… Everything on this boat matched the main movie boat… Starting with the goofy vent on the front deck, steering wheel, the Iva lite handle, the cover snap location and line of the snaps. They all matched the movie boat… Also the Mail boat is there with the name and everything else matched the boat from the movie…
    I am convinced that these two boats I saw last week are the main boats from the movie…

    In my opinion ebay boat looks to be the second unit boat…. ("full throttle reverse shot") maybe others…

    Both boats were used in the movie…

    The funny thing aboat all of this is that I thought all of the "Chris Craft world" knew that Three boats were used in the movie…

    I had a fun day got to Meet Mat and Jim… Got to see Pat Curtin for the first time since the "Stiking Distance" Premier in 1993. And I got to go through the two main boats from "On Golden Pond"…

    Thanks Matt and Pat.

  7. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    If Mr. Miklos is correct about the main boat, then Mr. Curtin publicly lied many times. I sure wouldn't bet the farm on Mr. Curtins word but if you would, go ahead. And if any of you have a problem with me doing this anonymous, you have never had to deal with Curtin.

  8. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    We can all think what we want to think. Which boat has the most documentation proving its position in the movie? It is obviously 1802. If you have more documented proof on any other hull, show it!

  9. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Am i correct to say that the Main picture boat was bought with the Mariah and the man passed away in his 50's. Left it to his family and its been sitting all of these years in a wherehouse, And the 4th boat was just bought as a back up and was never used or fixed to look like the Thayer boat, just for back up.. so sold off so it wasnt a golden pond boat, and not worth mentioning, and the 1802 was used in shooting the movies fauna and floral scenes, but the only movie time play it got was a 3 second steering wheel shot in the actual movie……Hmmmmm……

  10. pat curtin
    pat curtin says:

    i have learned by reading some of this anonymous crap that anonymous is a Latin word meaning- born without testicles. it seems to be a major problem in the wooden boat group. if you want to talk about me put your name down because i would really like to talk yo you

  11. pat curtin
    pat curtin says:

    an another anonymous jerk. wonder when he lost his testicles. my guess would be he lost them in Minnesota

  12. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    What’s this? Mr. Curtin speaks. If so, it must be the truth?

    I have written before as an unsuccessful e-bay bidder and he has talked in the past.

    He talked when he made it clear in the February of 1982 issue of the Brass Bell that there was a “Chris Craft Sportsman” and a “sacrificial old Chris hull. There was no mention of any other movie U22’s anywhere in that article.

    He talked in the New Hampshire Business Review (May of ’82), when he was pictured with two boats. It explains and shows the crash boat, that the article calls the “stunt boat”. It shows another U22 with Mr. Curtin in it and further states that “Pat Curtin sits aboard the “Thayer IV,” the mahogany Chris Craft he restored for use during the filming of “On Golden Pond.” When he spoke here he talked of only 2 U22s.

    He talked in a July 1982 article in the Laconia Evening Citizen. The article clearly states that after the filming, “Curtin purchased all the boats used in the movie, including the Thayer IV, a beautiful mahogany 22 foot Chris Craft Sportsman”. “Other crafts used in the film a U.S. Mail Boat, the Mariah, a canoe, a small outboard, and a replica of the Thayer IV used as a prop to smash into the rocks in the film.” No mention of any other U22’s.

    He talked when Mr. Hendricks bought 1802, to the Laconia Evening Citizen in an 8/4/83 article. He is shaking the hand of Mr. Hendricks next to the boat and the caption says “the boat which Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn used for their excursions on Golden Pond.”

    I didn’t know time could change the truth but apparently several of you think it can.

  13. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    maybe just me but after the restoration.. the U-22-1802 doesn't even look like the boat on golden pond anymore, looks almost as shiny as that aluminum one

    as for comments about Pat.. obviously someone with his own motive to keep quiet about an extra boat. Can you prove that the U-22-1802 is the only remaining on golden pond boat?
    Pat Curtin was there were you?

  14. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Please, woodyboater's please lets not make this personal or attack anyone's credibility.

    This article is about the Thayer IV on golden pond boat.. period.

    I'd be very interested in knowing which one actually made it in the movie and had Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn pulling up to the gas station and riding around squam lake!

    Please, only stick to facts you know. If that is really the mail boat with the 1460 seems like the 1460 could be it!

  15. WoodyBoater
    WoodyBoater says:

    Well! Isn't this fun! I miss Joe Martel!!!! Yesturday was going so well. Things were peaceful in woody boaterville. Just like Ozzie and Harriet.. A little bubble of contentment.. 1460 had been introduced and 1802 was getting her chance to visit her long lost sist after getting a beauty make over.. Jeff left a very classy statement which is a testiment to his character and life was good! Until I tried to go to sleep. Do I need to quote Rodney king here? Don't make me do it!!!! Wait.. I will throw in one more"!" somewhere along the line I fell asleep and woke up at 3 am to a bunch of comments. What a gift! Ha!!

  16. traceybarrymore
    traceybarrymore says:

    I think through all of these comments that woody boater should not have an anonymous selection on (select profile). All comments should come with a name no matter what. Your mother did not name you anonymous.There….

  17. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    theres alot of the U-22's out there for 0- 29k for a boat in good running condition with original engine etc for 29k….but its what ever the market will allow(whatever youll pay)lots on google right now.

  18. Texx
    Texx says:

    DavidMP – For reference, the white 1947 U-22 that's shown in the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum – Part 1 story is for sale for around 27K.

    You can find the link to the story on the upper left of this page.

  19. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    So the information Frank Miklos has offered, came from what Mr. Curtin told him in 1992. Wow, what a source for compelling and factual info.

  20. pat curtin
    pat curtin says:

    like i said in another comment, they must have just let this guy out of the home or he has just read the brass bell
    anonymous again! wonder what he is trying to hide

Comments are closed.