A huge thanks to fellow Woody Boater Kent Volmerding for sending us in this touching heart felt message about his passion of rebuilding, and now building a boat. It’s a reminder to take a moment and thank those around us that make it possible for us to enjoy the best part of Woody Boating. Being with others along the fun journey. And keeping a bit of them in the soul of the wood makes a Woody Boat special. Thanks Kent. Take it away Mr Volmerding.
Having grown up in northern Indiana at a time when wooden boats on the lake out numbered fiberglass boats, I have always had a special place in my heart for wooden boats. Thirty five years ago, for $150 I drug home a 15′ Chris Craft Cavalier runabout and a dream became reality. That is until my wife saw the boat and made me get it off the drive and in the garage immediately. Seems I was instantly dragging down our property value with that object of dry rot and that rusty trailer.
I built the boat out of African Mahogany, skinned entire boat with 4 mil Okoume Plywood and planked with 1/2″ Mahogany. I hope to have the boat complete by next spring. I am powering it with a fuel injected 350 Chevy with some internal hop up’s. The plan is to travel the US and maybe even do a Canada trip as I am recently retired and planing to use boat as an excuse to travel all over.
Over the years, I have had a very supportive group of fellows that have had my back on each and every project. A Dad that was the smartest engine man anyone could ask for. A Father-in-Law who was as wise as they come, with the ability to figure out how to do anything the easy way the first time correctly. A buddy, who I met over 30 years ago who was building a boat when I met him, he became a life long friend. These gentleman and others have been my inspiration daily on this boat. Believe it or not , that wife that could not see the beauty in the first boat has stuck with me thru all my projects and is now my helper on the racer along with my son. My son has pick up the love for wooden boats and is currently build his version of a Ventnor 225 class racing hydro.
Unfortunately, many of the rest, thankfully not all, of my support team have passed away, leaving me with a big hole in my heart. They left me with something else, the desire to leave something I can pass on to future generations to remember them by. Thus the boat will be named “In Memory”. All of those that have inspired me and are no longer here, will be named on a brass plate on the dash.