Does Anyone Know Anything? I Certanly Don’t!

According to Kevin this is NOT one of those fake old looking new signs. The real deal!

According to Kevin this is NOT one of those fake old looking new signs. The real deal!

Thanks to fellow Woody Boater Kevin McQuown we have a fun story today for the citizens of Woody Boaterville. He is in the process of buying this vintage sign and is trying to find out if any of us know the back story. Anyone?

28 replies
  1. 51Resorter
    51Resorter says:

    Is it possibly a new sign made to look old? Tons of that being done nowadays. Without a company name, address, etc., I would be skeptical.

  2. Gary
    Gary says:

    Notice how the letter W is formed in the sign. Also Gar Wood is hyphenated which is unusal since a persons first and last name. Then the rhetoric points to boats for hire and either one or two Gar Wood boats, “Pathfinder-Altair” or Pathfinder and Altair.
    Next is usage of the word “Agent” to say representative or dealer which was the norm. But it works.
    Does the boat or any history of it still exist? Heck with the sign find the boat.

  3. Matt
    Matt says:

    I thought it might be one of those fake deals as well. It’s to nice. But the w in wood is so strange that it feels right. So is the imperfection of the lettering. Clearly by hand. It’s sad that the new signs have screwed up stuff like this. This sign was a two sided sign by the way. This is just one side. The question is. Does anyone regognize these names? Location?

  4. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    The sign was originally two sided with a 4″ spacer in between. It was all hand lettered. My friend who is an antiques dealer bought it from someone who wanted to keep the other half of the sign for his boat house. I thought when I first saw it it may have been a new sign. But once you look at it and look at the materials it was made of you can tell its age. Hand letters of this time period got a little creative with stuff. My grandfather used to do it I know he said they just did what they thought looked good. But the sign is 100% authentic that I know. I just want to find out where it was located. I know my buddy bought it in Texas but did t think it originally was from there

    • floyd r turbo
      floyd r turbo says:

      Hope those “round” fenders don’t become the new trend as well as 12 inch tall registration letters.

  5. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    I probably need another cup of coffee, but if you look at the “W” in green it’s almost as if you were looking at the bow of a runabout sitting quietly in the water…

    Nice sign!

  6. Brian Robinson
    Brian Robinson says:

    Regardless of different sign painters interpretations, it is supposed to be Gar Wood. No hyphen, two words, not Garwood (ugh!) and not GarWood (no space). GarWood (no space) is how the Turcottes branded it for the new boats.

    Gar Wood, it was Garfield Wood’s name.

  7. Texx
    Texx says:

    Now if I can just learn the right way to spell Hackercraft / Hacker Craft / Hacker-Craft my day will be complete…


      • Texx
        Texx says:

        Please – Enlighten me. (my brain power is equal to a 40 Watt bulb)

        I’m proposing a freeze on Hacker stories until I sort this out…

    • MikeM
      MikeM says:

      Texx…when you get that Hacker thing sorted out please send your findings to the ACBS so they can update the directory. Looking for a specific Hacker in that book is a nightmare due to all the variations of spelling

  8. brian t
    brian t says:

    uh….. I think you meant to sign off with:

    – T Exx

    (Not… Texx (ugh!) or T exx… or TExx (no space)).

    Kidding…. just kidding.

  9. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    OK, any of you low life yeller belly S O B’s who don’t like hyphens in a name better re-think your foolhardy position before I get angry.

  10. Alex
    Alex says:

    Chill, mfine.

    Jeeze, it took me all day to come up with something to say about Matt’s minimalist posting. Even the header is tiny.

    Is WB on a pre-Dora diet?

  11. brian t
    brian t says:


    There is an Altair boat ramp close to US90 near the above mentioned Eagle Lake – all in Texas. If the sign came from Texas… well, it looks like a good place to start.

    You could just wait a bit as I am sure that Texx will be in the area on his bike in the near future on one of his 1500 mile joy rides. He could do some snooping around.

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      A trip to Texas may be on the radar for 2013, specifically Austin, more specifically Circuit of the Americas… (and surrounding classic boating locations)

  12. Sheila Davis
    Sheila Davis says:

    As a long-time sign painter and resident boat letterer for Antique Boat Center, let me chime in and say, “I love this old sign!” When I started in the sign biz, 25 or so (clears throat) ago, and it was just me and my brushes, I’d often take creative liberties with certain letters, flourishes, etc. Lettering was way more fun then! Now everyone who wants lettering has a particular font in mind. Gone are the days of just “give me something nice.” The imperfections in the sign writer’s speed script are what makes this sign great!

  13. Bob Jankiewicz
    Bob Jankiewicz says:

    That sign looks very original
    I am a sign painter by trade. I am probably one of the younger of the “old timers” I am 64.
    Someone would have to be a sign painter (and a good one) to duplicate lettering like that. Notice how none of the letters are exactly the same, look at the letters “S” also the outline is done in a color called Imitation Gold which kinda has a mustard look to it. That paint is still available to sign painters. It is made by One Shot Lettering Enamels. do a google on it.
    While I am writing I will add that I am disappointed whenever I see a vintage wood boat with vinyl lettering. The owner probably took great care to be as accurate as possible in the restoration of his boat but then either did not know where to find a sign painter or did not try and put stick on letters on a antique.
    Each year I do a few antiques, mostly in gold leaf, I so much enjoy the work.
    I have attached a few photos of a beautiful 54′ Alden schooner that I do the gold cove and scroll on.
    This boat is completely original and impeccably maintained.
    Another boat that I have done a few times is NEITH a 60′ Herreshoff cutter. She is over 100 years old and also impeccably maintained.
    I wish I could do them all from the 14′ runabouts all the way up. The lettering is so visible it should never be vinyl.
    Vinyl lettering did not come out until 1983 when Gerber Scientific corp. in Manchester CT introduced the Signmaker III computerized vinyl cutting plotters.
    BTW I just (Sept. 2012) obtained a 24′ Chris Craft Ranger. A completely original boat with less that 350 Hrs. I will be operating a membership type boat club starting this year and plan to make the Chris Craft part of my fleet so members can occasionally enjoy vintage boating on the beautiful Connecticut River.
    I really enjoy your emails, thanks…Captain Bob Jankiewicz from Old Saybrook, CT

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