Fitzke Boatworks, Building the New Collectible.
When I started talking about doing a Young Guns Week, my email and text messages lit up. YOU HAVE TO FEATURE KEVIN FITZKE! Heck I even emailed myself. No I really did. I emailed myself a list to remind myself. Such is the curse of age. Ironic isn’t it. What was I talking about? Oh ya Kevin Fitzke. We have of course featured Kevin here before and will no doubt do more in the future, which is what this is all about. Our cultures future.
Kevin is doing AMAZING work, and approaches his work as a true artistic craftsman. As you look at his work, look at all of it. No.. really dig in. Look at each screw, each artistic choice. DEEP into it. Each choice, each grain is carefully thought through.
Thats why Mr Show sweeper Mark Setterholm is having Mark do his latest, a 1960 Riva Florida, one of two known to exist in the U.S. It’s getting a new bottom, new sides, new deck, new sheer clamp, new interior and having the engine rebuilt. The goal is to have that completed by the end of this year, minus water testing and some auxiliary items.. REMINDER- Mark Setterholm has his own shop! Whats that tell ya.
As to Kevin’s plans for the future. OH HELL YA!
Kevin is designing and building his own line of v-bottom runabouts and gentlemans racers. Inspiration for design, hardware castings, cnc machining, etc. are a blend of the Golden Era of racing airplanes and prewar wood boats.
Right now he has two models so far – the “227” which is my v-bottom runabout and the “216” which is the gentleman’s racer. he designs the boats in AutoCAD and use a handheld CNC machine (Shaper Origin) to cut solid mahogany and white oak frame components. Then the rest of the boat is assembled and built by hand. He uses the latest technologies in cold molding and vacuum press techniques along with ultra high gloss crosslink urethane varnishes and paints. Engines are “hot rodded” out with speed parts and choice of fuel injection.
Kevin is also doing one insane next project. I will let Kevin tell ya!
The second current project he’s working on is a collaboration with his friend Chris Runge of Runge Cars “We are building a scaled up version (20 feet) of the 1935 Bruce Crandell design “Flyer”. The fun aspect is I am making the mahogany bottom/sides and Chris will be making an aluminum deck (Think Hornett II) via traditional coachwork techniques. Goal is to have this ready for the water summer of 2021.”
“To sum it up, my motto is “Building the New Collectible” as I want to make unique, timeless boats that know one else has and are a true art of perfection.”
So, today you have two sites to see. RUNGECARS.. WARNING, Your head may explode all over the screen, so pace yourself. And right here to par-ooze through FITZKE BOATWORKS!
Kevin is pushing the limits of WoodyBoating. Clearly a visionary and I wish him well!
This is the stuff dreams are made of!!
It is AWESOME that there are people out there actually living these dreams.
I knew the moment I met Kevin and saw his paddle boards that he was something special. When you see Bug Bite up close and personal it’s just a feast for the eyes. Kevin’s also one hell of a human. When I discovered a cracked engine block on the Chrysler Crown in my little Gar Wood and I was looking at some (understandably) considerable rebuild costs, Kevin called and offered me a Crown with perfect compression he had just acquired from a retiring restorer for a fraction of the cost of a rebuild. If you’ve ever dreamed of your own new classic, Kevin is the guy to call.
Kevin is one of the finest young(er) people I’ve had the pleasure to speak and do business with.
He has an open eye, an eager talent, an honest approach to business and a strong will to do what’s right to keep the customer happy.
Our hobby’s future is in good and capable hands with gentlemen like Kevin.
Give us more!!!! 😄
Holy moly! The written descriptions alone are spell-binding! The combination of tradition, technology and imagination are magical. Can’t wait to see one of his creations in person.
When that Riva is all done, exactly what part of it will still be a 1960 Riva???
Wow just WOW. The best post to read in ages. I love the look of these creations. Wonderful design details like you say Matt and overall they look perfect.
I would like to own one for sure.