In late December 2011 the guys from the Lake George Donzi Classic Club shared some great Donzi boat stories and images with us here at Woody Boater, which was a very popular and fun story. They gave us the opportunity to learn more about the classic Donzi marque and a few of their events throughout the year. (You can see that story by clicking here)
We quickly learned that the “Donzi Guys” have a ton of energy and enjoy sharing their knowledge of classic (and very cool) Donzi boats with the Woody Boater community. And we are looking forward to being involved in the first ever Live-ish Classic Fiberglass Shootout between a Donzi Hornet 19 & Chris-Craft XK-19 next summer at a lake in Michigan. (You can see the story of how the concept of the shootout originated by clicking here.)
But today, we would like to help the “Donzi Guys” identify this vintage wooden raceboat. Last night we received an e-mail from fellow Woody Boater and Donzi Registry member Sean Conroy, who sent us these photos of an unusual vintage raceboat, which the folks over at at the Donzi Registry are trying to identify for the current owner… who was the designer, builder, past owner, anything.
Sean’s e-mail read… Texx – I wondered if you might be able to help identify this boat. It was recently found after 50+ years in a barn in Detroit. There are no discernable markings , race numbers, plates or hardware. Bit of a mystery really, but hoped that someone might recognize the style. We thought it looked a little bit like the Hacker, “Scotty” with the aft removed, but also thought “Scotty” to be a unique one-off vessel. Wish there was more to go on, but that’s all I have. Anyways, any help you could give would be appreciated. BTW, apparently the boat is NOT for sale.
Thank You – Sean Conroy.
Brad Hunter from Huntingdon Valley Pa (Just outside Philly) posted the original request for information on the Donzi Registry Forum along with these recent photos of the mystery raceboat. Brad commented on the Forum – “My friend Jeff B. from the AACA forum said that a fellow named Al & his Dad discovered this boat some time ago in a Detroit area barn and have been tryng to identify it’s builder & designer ever since. The boat has a very small & tight driver’s cockpit with a centrally located steering wheel, throttle & controls. There is said to be an additional tiny open cockpit behind the captain’s cockpit just ahead of the stern transom.
The boat also has two very large metal trim tabs, or cavitation plates, with mechancal adjustment controls.”
“Note the bow has a very unusual deck “Mascott” above the bow’s plated cutwater.” – Brad
To see all the information and comments that has come in over the last few days you can visit the Donzi Registry forum by clicking here.
One of the comments on the Donzi Registry forum made reference to a simlar “Stepped” style outboard raceboat named “Allez IV” which was included in the Toronto Chapter ACBS display at the recent Toronto International Boat Show. Here’s a great photo of “Allez IV” at the show courtesy of the Toronto Chapter ACBS / Classicboat Magazine.
“Allez IV” (pronounced Allez Quatre or Alley Cat), a 13’ Century Whirlwind inspired boat by an unknown builder built circa 1930. It is part of the collection of Ken Kirk and Laura Gaggi.
Also, although it’s not exactly the same design, “Miss Shepherd” could be from approximately the same period, 1930’s & 40’s – For years now, Dave Van de Laar from Shepherd Boats.com has been searching for information on these vintage family raceboats known as “Miss Shepherd” with only limited success. When I first viewed the photos we received from the Sean at the Donzi Registry it immediately reminded me of this small period raceboat. To see the information and history on this boat you can click here.
I know this is a tough one, but if anyone out there in Woody Boaterland has any information or clues as to what this mystery raceboat is, or who designed it, let us know and we will make sure it gets back to the “Donzi Guys” so they can pass it along to the current owner. They mentioned on the forum that the current owner is prepared to have the boat restored back to her original condition, if they can ever determine what that was all those years ago…
We will also send a note to our friend’s Harold Wilson (from Miss Canada raceboats) and Douglas Van Patten III to ask them if they have any idea what this boat could possibly be… It’s interesting to note the few (subtle) similarities with the long, narrow bow design and single / center seat configuration as shown below on the John Hacker designed “Little Miss Canada IV” from the 1930’s… You can click on the image to enlarge it.
Don Ayers chimed in with this vintage Grey Phantom ad and commented – “Texx – This boat is the same story. I’m trying to figure out what it was. It was on the cover of a 1936 Grey Marine Engine catalog (below).” – Don
You can also see Part 2 to the Mystery Boat story by clicking here.
One thing is for sure… These mystery boats on Woody Boater are not getting any easier to identify! – Texx