What Izit? Metal Bottom, Yes. We Said That!

Its old, thats for sure

Thanks to long time fellow Woody Boater Jeff Funk of The Antique Boat Shop sent us all in this little fun find, and thought we might have fun trying to figure out what it iz? Anyone? Get out your Speltz Books. Is it even in there? Anyway, take it away Jeff!

I paid a visit to my friend and fellow restorer Jeff Guyas today. He owns the locally famous Wawasee Slip in Syracuse, IN, once known as Harkless Marina and in 1929 became the third Chris-Craft dealer in the US. Jeff wanted me to look over a project in his storage building. Tucked back in the corner of his storage garage was a boat I’ve never seen before. The bottom was completely metal…looked like some type of galvanized over white oak frames. There was no wood inner layer…just the metal over frames.

It also had a Model A engine in it that sat forward of the two seat cockpit, so it’s a Gentleman’s Racer layout. It must be from the late 20s – early 30s. The boat is about 16’ long with mahogany decks. It was hard to gain much access and was difficult at best to get good photos. Anyway, perhaps someone out there knows what this is. I think he was hoping I would purchase it on the spot, and maybe I should have. Too many boats already in the shed. Just thought your readers would enjoy the story.

Jeff Funk

Anyone out there that can figure this one out. Iz it a one off? A metal bottom is a cool…and heavy concept. Not heavy in the 1960’s hippy way, heavy as in the 1920’s heavy metal. Not the 80’s big hair type either.

25 replies
  1. Jaxon
    Jaxon says:

    Well the Sportsman went quick and Joe answered this mystery right away. Guess I’ll go back to sleep.

  2. Matt
    Matt says:

    What? How did all that happen so fast? now what? Oh god! Thats left the entire comment section up to how much of a deal I get from our sponsors crap! I am so going boating. See you all later! RUN!

  3. Tim
    Tim says:

    Can’t believe that Katzs does not have one or three! Glade to see some other shops get a little coverage today.

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      If other shops will submit great stories I am sure they will get air time. If Matt has to write them all Katz’s is where he goes. Oh ya and they are also a major sponsor, makes sense to me.

    • Elvis
      Elvis says:

      You know Tim I cant figure out why you continue to even come to this website because it seems to depress you because it is not ran like you think it should. Why dont you take up another hobby like knitting or maybe quilting with a group of old women and you could sit around and complain with the rest of them. I know the regular readers would enjoy our daily read without your sarcastic input.

      • Matt
        Matt says:

        Thanks Elvis. We are preparing a jaw dropper of a story on this topic, but the weekend was so jammed packed with cool stuff that we thought to just have fun.

  4. Big Al
    Big Al says:

    I am curious as to the gauge (thickness) of the metal used, and if it was originally Galvanized.
    Could you tell if the Metal was originally screwed or (possibly) even nailed to the frames?

  5. Chris
    Chris says:

    I have a similar 22′ step hydro from a Wood/Smith design built by a local lumber yard/boatworks (Acker Brothers boatworks) in 1925 that had a soldered copper sheet bottom originally. They used copper nails and rivvets to fasten it, and the concept was that the sheet of metal was not mostly for a “no soak” bottom, but to make the boat much lighter. Compare how much wood it would take to cover the surface vs. the metal, and think weight. The galvanized sheets would likely be 26-28 ga for that reason. Bottom of mine was scrapped in the 40’s, leaks were a constant problem. Great find!

Comments are closed.