For The Woody Boater That Has Everything – One More Thing You Didn’t Know You Needed!

I wonder if it fits in the Overhead compartment on my next flight?

Here it is, what ever it is. Actually very cool, and if you want some bang for your boat show buck, this may be it! This down at Lake Dora this spring would be a sure fire hit. The owner/Seller gets it, and understands what he has, and has left it alone the right way. The other good news is that it will fit under the Christmas Tree… Kinda. Buy it for your wife, tell her it’s a large.. LARGE purse! Here is the official eBay listing, and the description below.

Up for auction is a very rare 1948 wood TRAV-L-BOAT /TRAILER built by the BARDEN and ROBESON company in LOCKPORT NY. It is a fold up wooden boat, either one 14’ boat or 2 7’ boats. It has a single wheel devise that attaches to one end that pivots on bearings,inside it has a set of heavy duty springs to handle the weight. This pc has been restored to original condition as has the brackets (was rusty and greasy when I got it) it is the original tire and tube, still holds air! Tread is good,bearings replaced, has original ford taillight with glass lense (from model T?). I do have the original license plate from 1961 (has 1962 little pc also) that was on it,I started to restore that but didn’t finish.(needs yellow paint on letters and numbers)I left the back of the small pc with 62 on it to match the yellow color . This boat also has original fabric wire going from middle of the boat to the taillight that’s still in decent condition.
This boat was found in a dairy barn in Erie county, it had been sitting there for 40yrs . It’s been in my possession since 2002, kept in a heated garage during the winter. There is some rot on bottom of transom that can be easily repaired , I never did it because I wasn’t planning on making it sea worthy(I believe in “its only original once”!)

This shot .. un retouched gives you a sense of proportion.

It also has 1 set of original oars. The lettering on side of the boat is starting to lift away and (polyurethane) to crack. it looks hand painted but I could be wrong. It is missing the pc that connects from the bumper of a old car to the boat.
The rim is a 2 pc’r ,when I took it apart to restore about 10yrs ago I noticed there was still the original paint in between the 2 pcs (probably overspray) so I used that to match the color the best I could. A couple years ago I spoke to the grandson of the owner of BARDEN HOMES, who found my story and the boat on a web site called “singlewheeltrailer”dot com, and he said he was very excited to know that there was still one around ! he said he remembers seeing old brochures from his grandfather and couldn’t wait to tell his employees that there’s still 1 out there and here it is! VERY RARE. ANY QUESTIONS PLEASE EMAIL ME! Boat must go to a good home! Pickup only, i might be able to deliver it short distance.

18 replies
  1. Rick
    Rick says:

    I think the Sears X-Cargo rooftop luggage carrier stole this design. It’s great that he didn’t over-restore it.

  2. WoodyGal
    WoodyGal says:

    Very cool boat/trailer, even better, the owner didn’t screw it up with a lousy restoration and shiny varnish.

    Great picture of Jim Staib on the header!

  3. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    If anyone wants this and needs help with logistics, I am only an hour or so away and I have room in the new barn to hold it until you can pick it up.

  4. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    meant to say that it can’t really be used for anything, so why not display it in a museum? Kudos to the seller for not butchering it and in fact preserving it pretty much the way it was built. It would almost be a shame to make it too nice now. If I lived where it was built I’d probably buy it and place it on loan to a museum so it stayed original and local. A very quirky and interesting piece at a reasonable price.

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      Lockport NY is not exactly the type of thriving metropolis that can support a local museum. The town was formed in the 1830’s when it was the site of a series of locks that were used to raise the Erie Canal up what is essentially the same ridge that Niagara Falls falls over. It’s status as a bustling center of commerce ended in the later half of the 1800’s when railroads took over most of the personal transportation and freight duties from the canal and it hasn’t really recovered just yet.

  5. Cobourg Kid
    Cobourg Kid says:

    The Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough Ontario has an abundance of historic folding watercraft on display. Check out their website blog it section for a story about how museum staff recently crafted and tested an accurate replica of one of their folding canoes.

  6. Brian D
    Brian D says:

    Hello gentlemen, i am the owner of this TRAV-L-BOAT and i just wanted to tell you the article was meant to say ” boat unrestored” wheel and brackets are the only thing restored. Wood untouched! Noticed alot of people commenting on good restoration but it hasnt been restored (only wheel n brackets). Thank you , sincerely Brian D.

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