One mans mission to save the Thompson Boat name is now sucked Woody Boater into his web of Thompson love….. Fellow Woody Boater Mr. Andreas Jordahl Rhude is founder and president of the Thompson Antique & Classic Boat Rally, Inc., a non-profit corporation dedicated to spreading the word about the great boats made by the Thompson family. Here is report in from the big show last weekend.. Take it away Andreas….
The THOMPSON ANTIQUE & CLASSIC BOAT RALLY was a success. Held 25 June 2011 at Nestegg Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin, there were 36 watercraft that participated. Although this was the lowest number of boats displayed at the seven Rally events, the quality of boats and enthusiasm was very high.
The Rally focuses upon Thompson Boat and her various spin-offs but it is open to any and all vintage watercraft. Non-“Thompson” boats that were displaced were all Wisconsin made including: Streblow; Sunflower; Chetek; and Badger. There were four classic fiberglass boats amongst the wooden craft.
Thompson Boat started in the early months of 1904 by brothers Peter and Christ Thompson of rural Peshtigo, Wisconsin. Peter had previous worked at Racine Boat starting in the 1880s and also spent about one year working in the boat livery of Christopher Columbus Smith at Algonac, Michigan. Four additional Thompson brothers and their sister Hanna were eventually brought into the company. Thompson became the worlds largest builder of outboard boats. Thompson also spawned spin-off boat builders: Cruisers, Inc.; T & T Boats; Thompson Boat Company of New York; Thompson Royal-Craft; Thompson by Chris-Craft; Shawano Boat; and Grady-White Boats in addition to Thompson Skis, the worlds largest maker of wooden water skis.
Nestegg Marine in located on the Menominee River on the border between Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Just downstream from Nestegg is Marinette Marine Corporation which is currently building US Navy warships.. An up close look at the USS Fort Worth Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) was possible during any boating activity, including the boat parade.
A dozen boats made the parade down river and into the waters of Lake Michigan’s Green Bay. A cruise to the Menominee, Michigan marina and then back was the route. Spectators on shore and in other boats were happy to see the classics!
The Rally is non-judged and there are no awards. This is an important aspect of making certain and and all boats and boaters are welcome. Networking and sharing restoration stories and sources is an important aspect of the get-together. There is plenty of time to make friends, go for boat rides, eat great Wisconsin food and drink some Wisconsin beer.