Geneva Lake Water Safety Patrol Is Out There In Style

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Boat #1 from her launching in 1966. Front cockpit Bill Budych (builder) and then Operations Director Dick Scherff.

A huge shout out to fellow Woody Boater Sean Slattery. He is one of the Sean Shawns, Shauns. I get anxiety when I see a Shaun Sean, Shawn. But it all goes away when I know the Water Safety Patrol is out there in style. I love this kinda stuff, and wish many lakes and water ways celebrated there history with an classic boat.

Serving the lake in a variety of capacities. Lifeguards, swim instructors, dispatchers, and boat crew from the 2021 season.

While some of the other vessels of the fleet have been in since April, I’ve been waiting for this day since September when she was put away for the season. It still gets me and some of the other crew members giddy as kids on Christmas morning. While there are other boats in the fleet, this one is different. This one is special.

The fleet is consisted of 6 boats. Boat #1 leads the pack.

I was thinking of her last shift before she was put away. The last shift of ’21 included corralling a pack of speed demons, towing in a vintage Chris Craft that lost its prop, and finishing off the season by stopping off at a wedding filled with some current staff and alums.

Boat #1 sporting her new cutwaters after her extensive spa treatment at Streblow Custom Boats.

With the boat entering its 57th season of service, I’ve only been a small part of her history. We have had some great stories, some funny stories (somehow made it to the Tahoe show without leaving Wisconsin), and some tragic ones. Such is the life of a patrol boat. Looking forward to this season, we will do our best to keep the lake safe and Boat #1 will be a key part of our mission.

Brass dash. Gotta keep it shiny for the boss.

The boss.

One of the things you can do to keep your loved ones and your lake safe, is to “Clip Before You Dip.” If you or your loved ones are going to be jumping in, please consider wearing a personal flotation device (PFD). The new ones are lightweight, less bulky, but when worn make all the difference in the world. Of the 25 fatalities on Wisconsin waters last year, a properly worn PFD could have made a difference in a majority of them.


Ready to make a difference.

The Happy Couple. Or? Maybe a crime in progress. He stole her heart…. Get it.. Oh boy.

Safe Boaters are Strong Boaters and the Strongest Boaters are WoodyBoaters.

Gotta go now

See you all on the water.

Sean Slattery
Geneva Lake Water Safety Patrol

11 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    They had #1 on display for the Lake Geneva International Show several years ago. I was very impressed with the boat and their program. I didn’t remember the Plymouth steering wheel. Same as Chris Craft used on Cobras and Continentals.
    Great story!

  2. Troy back home in ANE
    Troy back home in ANE says:

    Yes, I love Mr. B, especially after meeting him in person, but this is the kind of story that keeps me coming back to WoodyBoater.

    GREAT STUFF!!!!!!

    • floyd r turbo
      floyd r turbo says:

      Assume you had a successful (trouble free?) trip back. Looking forward to a write up. Basically, you’ve done 1/3 of “the Loop”.

  3. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    In case you were wondering (from their web site): “Boat #1 was custom built by local boat builder Bill Budych with assistance from Dude Assman, specifically for the Water Safety Patrol. This classic wooden boat is the perfect blend of tradition and modern practicality. Often confused for a Hacker Craft, Boat #1 was custom designed by Budych who based the plans on a Hacker, but then modified them to meet the needs of the Patrol including the stresses and hard pounding that would be required for Patrol work. The modifications included a beefed-up, double-hull design with 3/4″ planking (instead of 1/4″ or 1/2″), extra rib supports throughout the hull, reinforced ribs and joists at stress points, and twin-engine configuration.”

    • Greg Lewandowski
      Greg Lewandowski says:

      Floyd, that’s some really cool construction detail. That thing is a battleship!

  4. Kelly Wittenauer
    Kelly Wittenauer says:

    Boat #1 preparing to lead the 2010 ACBS Geneva Lake show parade. Please excuse the photo quality – it’s a screenshot from a video I took with the Canon PowerShot I had back then.

  5. Frank@Falmouth
    Frank@Falmouth says:

    The Scarab on Baywatch has nothing on this! ….well…er…. Pam Anderson aside…

  6. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P)
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P) says:

    Great story! It’s good to know that there is dedicated people out there looking out for boaters, and doing it in style👍

  7. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    I have to add that this is one of my new favorite headers!!!

    I can almost hear those twins rumbling!

    It is always amazing to me to see how much of the boat rides out of the water in a pic like this!


  8. Dane
    Dane says:

    Cool looking boat. I can’t help but notice that the Water Safety Patrol doesn’t wear life jackets. I don’t see any readily accessible PFDs onboard the boats either.

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