MOLLY-O in Algonac Michigan, her home since she was born

We got a wonderful note from long time fellow Woody Boater Art Armstrong regarding how Molly -O got her name and if you read on, how she got her name back. Love this story and love Molly – O as one of my favorite boats out there. Molly-O is a special Sportsman 24 that was a special Smith Family boat.

Note the Large wartime numbers

Algonac waters

Art sent some old family photos, I love old family photos.

That is my Grandfather at the wheel and my oldest brother Kent on our dads lap. My dad’s brother Ken in in the aft seat. The other people are friends.

Note the air horns, which I actually have, they haven’t been on the boat in many years. The “trumpets” need repair and I don’t have a clue who could do it. That same pic was taken in the late 40s Molly-O is actually in the same boat well (slip) today as it is in that pic. The big difference is- there had been a boat house built over it.

Art in his Boathouse with Molly -O , Dang you can see the family resemblance.

Side by Side

And of course, taking to the next level. Art riding with his grandad

Okay, now its getting strange!

Love the inflatable

With the same number, which invites the question. Was this a factory inflatable boat?

MOLLY-O is set up for fishing


This was the correspondence between myself and Joy Smith for their book TRANSOM. I think it fits into today’s fun.

Art

It’s kind of ironic that the descendants of Chris Smith are involved in this project, as our boat Molly-O also has a direct connection to the Smith clan. My grandfather, Milton Meier, was a friend of Owen. In 1938 Owen asked him if he was interested in purchasing one if the seven 24 foot boats that were being built for family members. Apparently one of the family members changed his mind before the boats were completed so his boat became available.

Love the toilet

Now on to the history of the name:

My grandfather purchased this 1939 24 foot Delux Utility from Chris Craft July 23rd, 1938 and had the name Molly-O put on the transom before delivery. The CC employee that lettered the boat was Ed Posey…….more on that later.

Milton’s ID

All of my grandfather’s boats were named MOLLY-O after his wife whose name was Marie and her maiden name was McQuisten…..very Irish. However, she always went by Molly. The “O” was a reference to her Irish heritage.

Art has located all her original parts over the years

The boat was owned by two other (very local) families from 1960 thru 1978 and each one changed the name, FIN’S FOLLY and then Woop’s Hi. We purchased her back in 1978 and began restoring her to her original condition. During the restoration, we considered many names and settled on REFLECTIONS……………alluding to the boat’s heritage and the light dancing off the varnish. I refused to name her MOLLY-O as, I’m sorry to say, she was not my favorite grandmother…..I’ll leave it at that.

MOLLY-O

So it came time to contact a person to letter the boat with REFLECTIONS, and a former CC employee, Tom Cutherbertson, recommended another former CC employee, Ed Posey who was well into his 80’s. Ed came to the house one day to letter the boat in gold leaf and we described the lettering that we wanted. He took one look at the boat and announced……….”that’s MOLLY-O which I lettered at the plant”. He then went on to describe the original lettering style and colors and told us that he remembered every boat that he lettered. At that point we decided that fait was directing us and the name MOLLY-O would live on!

She is truly at home

Since MOLLY-O lives in an enclosed boat house, we have been able to retain the Ed Posey work of art to this day.

A family ride

Art at the helm

Note the rear steering stick from the factory

Art found the original stick in a barn

Art is an amazing ambassador for out community

Art and Janie Armstrong

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17 Responses to “Molly-O Lettered From The Factory And Again.”
  1. Greg Lewandowski

    Great story about a boat that is truly a legend with the Michigan gang. Molly-O is admired by many as they cruise through the Woodward Cut to go from the North to South Channel above Harsens Island. That shot of her in Art’s boat house is a familiar sight. Thanks for sharing with WoodtBoaterville!

  2. Andy in Middletown

    That lettering story by Posey is excellent… chills. Cool boat!

  3. floyd r turbo

    What a family treasure. And to have Ed Posey reletter the transom, how any more original can you get. Is the motor original? What’s the history on that?

    • Art

      Sorry to say the engine is not original. I tried to find one years ago, but NO one that I contacted, had ever even seen one……CC L B. So when it came time to replace the 318 Chrysler I went with a 5.7 L GM Mercury Marine, 265 HP.

  4. David McMillan

    Great story, very glad you chose this one with so many interesting details going back to the original family and Ed’s piece was priceless. Keep these coming.

  5. Art

    BTW the “lady” standing on the right, behind the “CC” inflatable is Molly.

  6. Paul Tabor

    I just LOVE the Molly-O story, her legacy and the great family history that Art provides. Art, those family pictures are priceless!

    Last September, I purchased one of the original seven 1939 24’ Deluxe Utilities that Art mentioned were built for the Chris Smith family. (Hull #12462). She is the #1 hull of that series. Built and delivered in the summer of 1938. Unfortunately, she was not as well preserved as Molly-O. But thanks to a meticulous restoration (new bottom, upper-sides and deck mounted on the original frame) she was brought back to life. See Woody Boater’s 2020 article on “Tradition”. I’ve reached out to Art and look am looking forward to bringing Tradition down from the Les Cheneaux Islands to Harsens Island so we can run these sisters together again!

  7. John Lisicich

    Aloha and happy Monday! Check out this. lol display at our local Safeway store!
    We don’t drink, but I want the display ! How cool to add to the boathouse or garage!

  8. John Lisicich

    Ps! It’s supposed to say cool display, not lol display! Nothing like iPad spellcheck!

  9. Matt

    Dang, I have found if you ask the manager for it they will give it to you. We have full size power rangers from our store, those things are not up for long and get trashed

  10. WoodyGal

    Molly-O is a treasure! I love it when boats are reunited with their missing parts. But to have her name back to Molly-O and have her lettering done by Ed Posey is a rare and wonderful story.

  11. Joe Kassmann

    Art, Thanks for sharing. Everytime I go down your channel I check to see if MOLLY-O is in the boat house. Neat history !!

  12. Wudzgud

    Very cool story for a very cool boat.
    Love the pictures and the history.

  13. David Irvine

    Art knows how many (seems like) hundred’s of times I have been by the Grand Pointe cut to show people the Molly O and wave to Art. I miss your ’65 Vette :). The new Camaro is not the same….

    Photo early in the season, May 25, 2020. Not ready for prime time, but close.

  14. Loren Sattler

    Great story Art. I have always admired the Molly-O, very interesting to learn all the family history and other details. Paul, so excited to see your new boat in the Islands….looking forward to a ride.