I Want To Be A Franchini!


Thanks again to our West coast corespondent Texx…. West Texx…We had a special meet up with our Woody Boater of the month Cole Franchini… for that matter the whole darn Franchini gang. Yes even Grandma!

Portland Oregon.

After reading the recent story on WoodyBoater about Cole Franchini (Woody Boater of the Month), I was looking forward to meeting him (and his family) in person at this year’s Maritime Heritage Festival in Portland, Oregon. We finally got together for a short visit on Saturday night after the awards banquet.
Cole was proud of the fact that he was able to get his Skeeto ready in time for the Portland boat show, it water tested perfectly and other than a few minor carburetor issues it’s complete. Cole and his Grandpa (Steve Franchini) have a few solutions in mind to try when they get home. Cole’s boat was on display (complete photo album, proudly showing his WoodyBoater award) and it was a hit with the spectator’s throughout the weekend, even the local CBS Channel 8 TV film crew was on hand to check out his fine workmanship on Saturday.

Unfortunately for me, our visit had to be cut short in order for Cole and his father (Brain) could return home to Washington state so Cole could pursue his other passion which is cart racing – He had a local race near Seattle on Sunday. Cole approaches his racing just like his boat restorations, he is involved in every aspect of the work with the full support of his family.Cole’s next boat restoration project is a recent “Barn Find” that he made on his own near Seattle – A “Hydrocycle” that was originally designed and built around the late 60’s or early 70’s (we think, he’s doing the research now) that will probably use an 8HP outboard engine for power. It kind of looks like some thing George Jetson would ride.

It was great to meet Cole, Brian, Steve and Diane Franchini (his grandpa and grandma) who are very involved in his future, and to share their enthusiasm for Cole and the wooden boat hobby.

On Saturday night the entire family joined with Steve to celebrate his award for the Best Amateur Restoration at this year’s Portland show, for their 1957 Tollycraft Rumpas. Steve considers that to be a family award as everything they do is a “Team Effort.” That’s some team Steve.


2 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:


    It's good to see that you were at the show with Skeeto. She looks fantastic. Congratulations on your award.

    Hey, it's quite an honor to be recognized on WoodyBoater.com even once. You now have 2 under your belt and I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of you here.

    I can vision yet another one featuring your Hydrocycle project, once it's a little further along. Be sure to keep WoodyBoater posted on its progress.

    Al Benton

    FRANCHINI says:

    Matt and Texx,

    We are humbled by all the interest and comments from the entire wooden boat community and your site. First, I want to thank the entire CWC ACBS group for the first class show they put on in Portland. Specifically, Mike Meyer, Chris Finks, and Bob Barnum went out of their way to make sure we all had a great time. It takes so much work to put on one of these shows and they did it in style!

    I guess the one thing that I would like to see come from this is the fact that there are younger generations trying to get involved in the hobby. We, the Franchini's, are fairly young (63, 38, and 9 for Steve, myself, and Cole) and are obsessed with all things that float or at least aspire to float. True, we do not have a Chris Craft Triple or rare Garwood (at least not yet) but we have started playing with these "old boats" and fully intend to keep moving and trading up as we go. So for those that have no boat, go find something cheap (even…gasp! an old glass boat) and start working on it. For those that have the rare, expensive, and ultra cool boats, try to help and encourage the new guys at the shows and within your club. They may not have the cool rides yet, but in 5-10 years may be the only ones around to keep this hobby going.

    Again, thank you for all the work you guys do on the blog. It really does keep us motivated!

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