Many of you have been following the news on the Barn Find Golden Pond Boats, Thayer IV 1460 the main picture boat and the U.S. Mail Boat Mariah. Well, welcome to the next chapter and a clear comment generator. This time with a bold move and a beginning of a beautiful next chapter in there lives. We here at Woody Boater have as many of you know, been sensitive to the care and feeding of these two boats. We always wanted the story, not the boats, but as I got to know the family that owned them, Pat and others and the love that these boats meant for so many. It became infectious. We, I, was all in, in saving them and preserving them. One thing that kept nagging us here at Woody Boater was the fact that at some point these boats needed to under go a massive restoration/preservation….not a Woody Boater strength..
Today… Actually yesterday, they were picked up by Katz’s Marina on Lake Hopatcong for a complete bottom to top restoration/preservation. After about half a year of struggling and interviewing people on what to do with these boats. Katz’s was the final answer. Some other places also volunteered to restore them for free, or be part of a board of directors on the proper thing to do. I reached out to auction houses in Hollywood, and top brokers and Museums in the country as to the what should be the correct way to preserve them.. Leave them alone or restore them? That became our burden and focus here.. Leave them alone or restore/preserve them. And after all that, what good were they going to be in my barn.. Ego and pride is a dangerous thing…the responsibility of owning a icon or treasure is not for the faint of heart.. or small bank account… They need to be used to grow the sport/hobby, lifestyle of Classic Boating. My plan was to take them to shows and do that.. To let them be a beacon to attract new folks to the lifestyle. And guess what.. It worked.. Mt Dora, Lake Gaston…. And then we hit a wall. We are not in the show business. Woody Boater is and should not be in the show, but rather report on the show. To be your eyes, not be the news.. I have known Seth Katz and Katz’s marina for years. I also know the folks on Lake Hopatcong and the gang there.. No place on earth is better for these boats to be. It’s close to New England and the mid Atlantic.. And stay on the east coast… The lake loves classic boats and embraces them as art and lives and embodies the Woody Boater lifestyle. And Katz’s Marina does amazing work. AMAZING WORK! It’s one of the go to places in the world when you don’t want excuses and want the best.. It is the right place, they are home..
The deal.. and I tell this because I am very sensitive to what our motivation is here. And after all, you the readers have been part of this journey… We are not brokers or profiteers. No sir.. I was told several times that I could name my price, offered double what we paid in one case… or the most common as mentioned above that someone would restore them for free. And then what? Money and greed have no place in this for me. So we sold them at cost to Katz’s. Period.. Follow the money and you will find true intentions.. That way the restoration is there business not all mixed up with us. .. If they wanted to save them and could. Then that was and is the right thing. .. Also part of the deal is that the boats be used for the same agreement of using them to promote the lifestyle. And in what was a 100% agreement Woody Boater stay part of the process. In a way, we are in a partnership with Katz’s, and VanNess Engineering who will do all the engine work..All the top players in the hobby will be helping on these boats. Volunteers are signing up to help as well. Each and every step will be documented for the readers and the entire community of Woody Boaters can participate and watch the preservation. This will be a massive undertaking to do it well.. and this team can do it.. We could not.. Photoshop can only do so much.. They are not to be tucked away in a collection as a trophy or sold off in a side show sale.. We all here in Woodyboaterville are part of these boats.
So .. If you want to see them in BEFORE condition.. They will be at two shows together this year only. Lake Hopatcong and a get together at Lake Mohawk. I will say that it’s worth the trip.. There is something magical about these boats.. They embody all that is good and romantic about this lifestyle. Thayer IV is in my book, the #1 most iconic Woody Boat on the planet. It’s Chris Smith’s favorite model, and the most well known of all of them. It re ignited the hobby back in the 1980’s…After Lake Mohawk, they are being taken into the shop and the plan is to have them done by Lake Dora in the spring to go boating. I am sure if you want to see them with there bottoms off you can go by and see them.. All part of the fun.. Next year marks the 30th anniversary of the premiere of the film. So it will be a huge year for these boats. We will be with the restoration and the shows all the way.. reporting and boating. Stay tuned..