The Antique & Classic Boating Hobby is like no other hobby on the planet, with some of the best people on the planet. Any time you attend a boat show, a seminar, or just visit one of the many social web sites or forums dedicated to the hobby, it’s almost guaranteed that you will meet someone who is willing to share their knowledge and experience with you. The diversity of the folks in the hobby is also what makes it so great, from the collectors, to the brokers, to the restorers, to the vintage fiberglass folks, to the engine builders, on and on… all with the same common passion.
I have only been involved in the hobby for about 8 years and still consider myself as a relative newcomer to the hobby, but I have made so many good friends and contacts it’s just incredible. A perfect example of this was when we attended the Warner Collection Auction in October. It was almost like homecoming week or a family reunion, it was that much fun to get together with everyone and talk about our favorite subject – antique boats!
I have been blessed with the opportunity to contribute to Woody Boater for a while now, and as a result I have made many friends along the way. When we do a story about a fellow Woody Boater or their antique boat, you quickly make a new friend and create relationships. The most recent example of this was yesterday when I recieved an e-mail from Matt Smith at 4:30 PM to say that he was on assignment in Maine and had no access to the internet. The e-mail simply said… “Texx – I’m not going to be able to post anything tonight, it’s 4:30 PM, it’s dark and it’s cold…” That’s my cue to come up with a last minute story for Tuesday. I had some photos of “Houston Girl” from Tahoe this year, and called my friend John Allen in California for some help. By 6:30 PM I had the photos and information from John to do the story.
If I didn’t have to work for a living, I would still be driving around Minnesota visiting folks from the boating community!
So by now your probably thinking to yourself, “Texx, what the heck does this have to do with the “Lazy-S” story?” Well, one of my newest friends is Greg Suldan, the owner and restorer of “Lazy-S”.
Last week when we first published the story about “Lazy-S” Matt and I received many e-mails and phone calls from the Woody Boater community with questions and comments about the authenticity of Greg’s boat. Some of the folks also commented on the site with their observations and concerns. In the spirit of responsible reporting, we decided to follow up on these comments with Greg Suldan in attempt to gather more information about the boat for both Greg and the Woody Boater community. Maybe we could help set the record straight?
The challenge I was faced with was to phone Greg Suldan while he was on vacation in Arizona and figure out a way to tell him that some folks in the hobby were questioning if in fact what he had, and just spent 10 years restoring, was actually an original 1928 28′ Gar Wood. I was guessing that the conversation could have gone two ways – He could have cussed at me and hung up in my ear or listened to what I was about to say. Thankfully for me, Greg was wide open to any suggestions or comments from folks in the community, that could possibly shed some light on what it could be. We shared a few laughs and Greg told me that based on his knowledge, the boat has been titled as a 1928 28′ Gar Wood for over 60 years.
Greg Suldan has known of this boat since he was a kid and it has been in or around his family since 1967 when his father Byron first bought the boat for him and his son (Greg) to work on together. Greg first dated his wife in this boat, and he loves it as it’s become a part of his life. Now some dude named Texx is calling to say that after all those years, it may not be a Gar Wood. Fortunately for me Greg patiently took it all in stride.
Greg has been very gracious and has offered to take more photos of the boat, share any information he has about the structural aspects of the boat and help in any way he can to work with us with the objective of learning more about the boat and it’s history.
However, Greg is my friend and I don’t want this to become confrontational or negative. I would like to think that together the Woody Boater community can share their thoughts and vast knowledge in a positive way, for a common goal. That’s what the Antique & Classic Boating Hobby is all about.
So that said, we encouarge anyone out there to share their thoughts with us either in the comment section at the bottom of this story, or by e-mail or phone and together we can have some fun with this. After all winter is here…
I have included many of the same images that were shown in the original story last week for purposes of reference and comments. Also some old black & white scanned images that Greg had of “Lazy-S from back in the day.
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Just a comment regarding Texx’s story yesterday about the Rum Runner (Lazy-S) story.
Based on the pictures shown in the story of the boat as a cruiser style I immediately thought of a boat that is for sale in one of our listings that looks remarkably similar – as shown below.
It was built in 1926 as a 30′ runabout in Nelson B.C. (Canada) by Walton Boats from a Hacker (or possibly Gar Wood) design along with two other identical hulls, all three of which still exist. It was converted to a cruiser style much later but is well documented and I’m guessing like the boat in the story, could easily be converted back to the Hacker runabout design.
Of the other two built one was shipped to the coast (Vancouver, Canada) and is currently also one of our listings as a project boat – as shown below.
Absolute Classics Marine
Kelowna, B.C. Canada
Thanks Bruce. We would enjoy hearing anyones comments or receiving any positive feedback about “Lazy-S” and hope to learn more about this beautiful piece of boating history. If you prefer, you can also e-mail your comments, photos or information to me at email@example.com As they say in the radio business, the phone lines are now open for callers!