What’s Under The Blue Tarp! Part Two!


DANG! Is that an engine?

So where were we? Oh that’s right, we were all standing in front of the blue tarp in Pops yard. The comments by the way yesterday were priceless, and kept me going through a tough day at the office. Folks in one of the many meetings would wonder why I would burst out laughing. In a million years I could not explain the jokes. And I pitty any new readers who wondered why a pile of old sticks from Chicken on a sticks was funny. The fact that we were driving Alex Watson crazy made the day all worth it. Oh, so you want to get to what was actually under the tarp.. Well.. Drum roll please.


HEMI’s thats right, not one, but TWO Hemi’s. duel carb marine Hemi’s out of the Matthews Martinique. Pop’s a while back got sick of replacing clutches and put in two 454’s. Which run very nicely I might add. But up under a tarp in the yard by the shed lie twin Hemi’s. I know, it’s not a Century Thunderbolt. Or Scripps. But to find twin hemi’s is a find.

Twin carbs times two. Double dang!

I would imagine, that one runs in opposite rotation. So these are perfect as a matched set. The question has to be, is it worth rebuilding for the cruiser? Are they more valuable in the boat, out of the boat, parts? My advice to Pops was to keep them, so one day if he ever wanted to let the boat go, he had the original Hemis with it. You only get that chance one. And the Matthews aint going no place these days. She just had a new transom done, along with an entire refasten of her bottom. You could die of thirst in that bilge. So, that’s it. two sweet hemi’s in a yard. Dang..

Here is the Matthews, out on a cocktail cruise. For years I could not figure out the styling of the rear top. After some investagat’n.. I did a photo shop of how it looked originally.. Function I suppose always wins over style after the years go by. This Matthews is a treasure and maintained like a family member.

Here is what the Matthews would have looked new. It’s slightly different than Randy’ s Starlight Express out on the West Coast. Dang, that boat is stunning. I think Pops is a later model. you can click here for the 2 part story on Starlight Express.



17 replies
  1. Rick
    Rick says:

    Nice find. I was thinking Chad was right with the rusty beer cans and mice. I say put them back in when he’s ready to sell and offer the new 454’s when the buyer has had enough. Can you do something soon to bug Alex again? It was fun to watch him loose it.

  2. matt
    matt says:

    Bugging Alex is surprisingly easy. And a joy to all! Next week we are going to show pics of a barn find 24 sportsman.. HA

  3. Simon
    Simon says:

    Ahhhh the mystery solved.
    Just makes you think (again) of all those wonderful goodies out there under tarps that have yet to be uncovered.
    Dang I was hoping for a Scripps so we could follow your restoration adventure!!

  4. matt
    matt says:

    Oh we have a scripps engine in the works. Fun story about a lost boat up on Lake George. Yes, a missing barn tripple with a scripps!

    • Rick
      Rick says:

      OOOOO, do I hear Alex’s teeth starting to grind again? Where do you think it is Alex? lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalal……………

  5. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    The solution is obvious. “Pops got sick or replacing clutches” which is certainly understandable. The only reasonable path forward is to put them in a boat that doesn’t need clutches. Yes, a JET BOAT! Tell Pops a jet boat with dual hemi powered jets will just scream wih unbelievable maneuverability at all speeds. Woodyboaterville even has a resident Kiwi to help work with Hamilton on sizing the jets to the boat.

  6. Dane
    Dane says:


    I like the lines on your new Matthews. You could rename it “Matt” to go with “Suzy”. Are you going to have the top redone?

  7. Randy
    Randy says:

    Pop’s Martinique is obviously a 1956 or ’57 model year as it has the ‘oval’ hull ports. In 1958 MATTHEWS went to rectangular ports (forward & aft ends of ports straight vertical lines). This is the style of hardtop that was offered with the 1958 model, which resembles a ‘shortened’ sedan style cabin. A bi-fold aft bulkhead could be ordered as an option to close up the cabin area.

    It would have been interesting to see what this Martinique was originally ordered with — MBOA was offering archive packages for particular hull numbers which included a copy of the original invoice. If it was ordered in the later part of 1957 it could have been spec’d with the ‘new’ 1958 style hardtop, or it could have been sent back to the factory at some later date to have this top installed.

    My Martinique was originally ordered with the soft top (which is the configuration I restored it to), but at some point in it’s life was returned to the factory and had it removed and a factory hardtop and fishing bridge installed. They also cut the coamings off for ease in working fish over the side.

    Guess what — we now officially have a 3rd (out of 7) Martinique located. When I had talked to pops years ago I did not get any side pictures from him to really determine what he had, but your shots do confirm her as a Martinique.


  8. Matt
    Matt says:

    I knew he and you had spoken. It’s an amazing boat. Not a speed boat for sure, but looks great. I to love the soft top, makes it a fun more casual social boat. This one had a transom failure a year ago and pops had the bottom all redone. The boat has not really been used since then. We had to take her out to get the carbon out. Ran great after 15 minutes. That rear cover cause the fumes to settle, it does have the cabin doors on the rear of the cabin. It’s still got all the goodies and is the darling of the creek.

    • Randy
      Randy says:

      When I looked at the pictures again I now am convinced that pop’s Martinique was returned to the factory for this ‘new’ style Martinique cabin at some later point in its’ life.

      The Martiniques have one ‘kick’ plate mounted on the outside of the long mahogany coaming, plus another one on the inside. They are centered on the boarding ladder on the inside of the cockpit.

      You can see (2) kick plates on the side of the coaming in the picture, so my guess is that it was originally a traditional Martinique and when the new style hardtop was added (which extends further aft than the ‘conventional’ top) new kick plates were added where the new boarding ladder was placed (aft of the original position). They just left the old plates in place instead of removing them (may still be on the inside too).

      Could you let me know the hull number some time — I might be able to obtain a copy of the original invoice to determine it’s pedigree. Hull number can be found marked on the bottom of most of the drawers if not legible on the builders plate.

      Are we approaching ‘excruciating detail’ yet (i.e., zipperitis)??????

  9. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Looking at that Martinique certainly would eliminate the need to refill your prescription for that little “blue” pill.

    The only thing great about being back in touch with the electronic world is to see what’s happening in woodyboaterville. Everything else is of no consequence.

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