Our friend and fellow Woody Boater Jim Frechette lit the fuse on an area of the hobby we don’t normally report on here at Woody Boater – Childrens Boats. And folks around the country are getting on board to share their stories, which is fantastic.

Here’s a short story about a very cool boat from fellow Woody Boater (and full size boat builder) Tom Horn in Portland, Oregon.
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Texx – I see we have a baby boat shoot out here on Woody Boater. I will put mine up against all of those hobby horse models I have seen so far!

I built mine for our grand kids and have taken it to some of the local shows. It is powered by a 12V battery hooked to a Minn Koda electric trolling motor with a shaft, strut and rudder all under the hull. The prop is one of those four bladed plastic high performance props that come on those trailer hitch doohickeys. My original intent was to make it into one of those oscillating kids rides that you put the quarter in but Grandma didn’t think I should charge the kids a quarter.

Then I started thinking “what would I want if I were that little” so next thing you know (with a few more dollars and lots of time) I had to make it run and of course we need some brass hardware just like Grandpa’s full size runabout. No, no ……… on my boat. Oh never mind. The boat is controlled from the cockpit or by radio control from the beach. We have run it in a local pond and on Lake Oswego although I need to invest in a better radio with more range.


I was going to race Mike Mayer in his Century Arabian during the Lake Oswego show a few years ago but I couldn’t get a life jacket on my race driver Roscoe (pictured below with the Captains hat). Roscoe wasn’t really on his best behavior that day, I found him later over by Mike’s Century sniffing around, and… Well ……………… that is another story.

Tom Horn – Portland, OR

Captain Roscoe Ready For A Boat Ride


Thanks Tom for the great story. And speaking of Mr. Mike Mayer – Not to be outdone, we also received a few photos of the custom one-off cradle / boat that Mike built for his son Porter…
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Texx – Here’s a few pictures of my kids in the cradle I built for my son Porter before he was born. It’s even got a 5200 bottom!! What was I thinking? Oh, I know , I was thinking I would put it in the water at a boat show, sans kid.

Porter's Custom Cradle / Boat c/w 5200 No-Soak Bottom - Circa 2001


Thanks Mike – It looks like this is slowly becoming kids cradle / boat week here at Woody Boater.

Oh – And if you prefer cool full-size wooden boats, here’s Grandpa Tom Horn’s full size runabout, a 22′ Thorn Boat Design named “Blackthorn”.


Great stuff guys! – Texx

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9 Responses to “Childrens Boats & Cradles With Radio Controls And 5200 No-Soak Bottoms… What The Heck?”
  1. Rick

    So you found out it needs a better transmitter how? Honey, why is Jr. heading further out? Why are you also looking rather panicky at the remote control? I agree that the stories just keep getting better. In Twenty years can we get an after picture?

  2. m-fine

    These pictures make me feel inadequate as a parent. I never even thought to build them an RC boat with a 5200 bottom. I hope that with sufficient therapy they will someday come to forgive me.

  3. Tom H

    It got out in the lake and a little ways away from the dock and took off at full speed in a left hand turn with Roscoe. unfortunaly there was a century between me, the boat and the dock.

  4. Salter

    Daddy, why is that all other classic boat cradles you’ve shown me on WoodyBoater rock front to back, but the one Mr. Mayer built rocks… nay, it appears like it would pitch violently… from left to right? It’s almost as if he based his design on a strange model boat built by a strange company in a strange time. My 4-3/4 year old brain finds this a puzzlement. Someday, when I pick up LILY for a date, I’ll make sure my boat doesn’t ride like Mr. Mayer’s. Mine will ride like Mr. Mistele’s.

  5. MikeM

    This from a kid without the sense to keep his fingers out of little holes in steering wheels? I doubt it. You are reaching new lows, Alex.

    Besides,I don’t think it’s healthy for boats to pitch and yaw….aka porpoise. My boats rock and roll. Giddy up!

  6. DonD

    As long (LONG) as it has a 5200-bottom; Your grand-kids will have to worry about storage fees for their children’s use in the water.

  7. Kenchy

    SO cool. I want one of these little runabouts for my son! Wish I had the tools and skill to build one.