Meet “WECATCHEM”, The New 1948 Official Woody Boater Boat With Over 45 Photos.

we-20WOW, what a weekend. While the world was at boat shows, we did the huge run up to Lake Winnipesaukee to close the deal and bring home the dream boat of all dream boats. By the way, that place is insane beautiful and a post card for all Woody Boaters.  Jimmy and I wished we could have stayed longer than the 45 minutes we did stay, but had to make road time!  We definitely are headed back!

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The same dang road to get Thayer IV..

After we had featured the boat on Woody Boater we made the call. It all felt right, not sure why, but it just did. I swear my fingers just dialed the phone.. I couldn’t stop myself. After some back and forth, we came to a price agreement after some major coaching from our pal Seth. The deal happened at 10Am on Wednesday, and by 3Pm we had money and were on the road to Katzs Marina to pick up a trailer. Yes, he had a special brand new 25 Sportsman trailer there. What are the odds? 100% when it comes to Katzs Marina. We arrived late and picked up the trailer at 7AM Thursday and headed North…

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Jimmy at the Marina where she has been stored. Loaded on the trailer. Ready to go

As reported on Woody Boater Live,  we made the deal at 3Pm on Thursday after a short inspection. WOW! Tight, Nice 5200 Bottom, strong engine and every gauge and lite on her original 6 volt system worked. The boat had spent her entire life in the same boat house since 1948 when she was custom ordered by the family. Why they wanted to sell it is beyond me. But such are things. I have done the same with some stuff. She is a very well loved and cared for 1948 25′ Sportsman with a W engine – 6 volt system that was not restored, just had stuff done by pros when needed including the 5200 bottom.

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Her brief shot in Part one. maybe its her?

NOW! What has to be the treasure find of the decade is this footage that we featured a year ago from Irwin Marine where she was ordered from.. And yes. THERE SHE IS! She is in actually in Part 1 for a glimpse but Part 2 has about 20 seconds of her under way with her correct red interior and top! DAM DAM DAM! I feel like I just won the lottery! More family pictures are to come from the family as we dive deeper into her history.

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But man oh man in Part 2 there she is at about 3:45 minutes in.

Now we had some road motoring to do. Get from her home in New Hampshire to her new home in Virginia. More road food in fast pit stop style.

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Stopping at a food place. Dang, thats a huge boat. Gulp.

We arrived late, very late back on Lake Hopatcong and had to get to the Marina the next morning to give her a check up. By the way, that trip on 95 to New Jersey with a treasure behind you is not for the faint of heart.

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The Katzs Marina gang at full throttle

That morning the entire Katzs Marina gang was waiting as we arrived with the Sportsman, and within about 5 minutes of laughing and good ribbing, a swarm of workers were on her. Cleaning, polishing, engine check up, oil change, lubes refreshed, a carb rebuild, points, and bam, she cranked right over. AMAZING! didn’t need timing, she runs around 500 rpm and its fantastic smooth. And she does not have a drop of water in her! NOT ONE DROP! Amazing.

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The team at work

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I wondered how she felt about leaving her home for a new adventure. Her smile said it all!

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That clock – A Chelsea Marine clock! I LOVE IT!

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Tommy walking back with the carb after a quick clean

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If you ever thought Seth was a guy that stood around with his hands in his pockets.. JIM STAIB, here is proof he works his ass off. No really. Look!

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She is having a beauty make over and the Mahogany spa!!! Fabulous!

After a short run with Jimmy, Bob Kays and Tommy we brought her back for a quick polish and freshen up the stripes. Yes, all that by 4Pm. To say we are grateful and blown away by that team is a grand understatement. Both Jimmy and I still talk about it. And its just another normal day there.

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I am shaking inside. A dream come true and she is ready and playing well.

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The shake down crew. Bob Kays was taking lots of photos from the dock!

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She turns, thats a good thing

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A VERY rare photo of Tommy smiling. That says it all.

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I am in heaven!

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and turns some more

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Jimmy in heaven now!

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Trying to figure out the top with pal and great guy, Bob Rice

Wecatchem Headr

One last run just to double check

We catch

Ready to hit the road to VA


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This is NOT the same boat that came here 5 hours ago!

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All cleaned up

We arrived in Virginia at 10Pm and then to Reedville the next day to the huge test. Would the Boatress approve? Of course the wind was blowing a gillion miles per hr, so the boat sat in the barn while I got her ready. Varnished the flag poles, got new lines, an anchor, and figured out the top.

we top

At home in Reedville, the top is amazing, doubles as a Bimini top if you like

Sunday was the day of days. 75, no humidity and a light breeze, and 5 hrs of running! Amazing, and the answer to the million dollar question is. YES, she loves it, as well as the entire family! She will be renamed this winter when she gets freshened up, so for now she is just going to be run for fun, the way she has her entire life. I feel more like a caretaker at this time than an owner. And that’s a good thing.

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A perfect fit.

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Blond paddle

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Yes, a real Chris Craft factory boat hook.

Lets go out for a ride with the gang!

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Party in the back, Business in the front. The mullet run!

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Becky enjoying the ride

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Chasing Jimmy in Termite Terror on a great run on The Great Wicomico

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The boatress taking that pic

Pepe Boat

Even Pepe, and Oreo got into it!

Ruby Boat

I need to get Ruby some slippers!

Dogs Boat

Pepe is the man with that cushion!

After a great day we decided a sunset run would be fun.


Headed out Cockrells Creek


Headed into the sunset


Woohooo, she can run! That W is far far stronger than you think


The magic of the Great Wicomico

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I think the Boatress is happy! So much for a slow cocktail cruise


How her new name will look. The plan is to use the same font as WECATCHEM. Photoshop! I have agonized over renaming her. And flip flop around, all our boats are named one version of Suzy. Lil Suzy, Suzy, Tuanne, Suzy B.. And now Suzy Too? Let us know what you think. UPDATE ! WE ARE KEEPING WECATCHEM




Passing the Reedville stack!

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And more zooming around

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Headed home after a perfect Woody Boater day!

Thanks for allowing me to share my personal magic day of a one boat, boat show! Stay tuned for more coolness from Tahoe, and other stories that have backed up since this all took place. Thanks to Bob Kays for his amazing photos, and Seth, Tommy , Henry, and the team at Katzs, Jim Scott for being a real pal and road warrior!

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And if you can guess what was in the lower right fishing tackle drawer that Oliver found you will win a T shirt. And trust me, no one will win! Yes that’s a custom built at Chris Craft fishing tackle box! AMAZING

84 replies
  1. Chris B.
    Chris B. says:

    I dont think you could have come across more excited. If there were sound i think it would be squealing giggle of laughter. Thanks for sharing, great to see all the smiles.

  2. Bob Kays
    Bob Kays says:

    Matt is saying ” I can’t believe I bought this boat” He could not stop smiling! and my GPS clocked us at 28mph.

    • Matt
      Matt says:

      On the drive home I kept saying to Jimmy, There’s a dam 25 sportsman behind us! I swear I did. I still cant beleave she is out on the lift today

  3. Matt
    Matt says:

    The more we ran this weekend, she picked up a little speed. 32 was the top speed on flat water with three folks on board. We didnt push it any further.

  4. WoodyGal
    WoodyGal says:

    She’s a beauty! Isn’t her current name perfect for Suzy & Becky? In the drawer was a lead sinker?

  5. Bill Hammond
    Bill Hammond says:

    What a cool boat!! I can see now why the switch out of Suzy! I cast a vote for Family Tradition and “Suzy Too” because that’s what Woody Boating is all about! What a great find!! I’m guessing that the tackle box had a portable Bilge Pump in it?

    • Dennis Mykols
      Dennis Mykols says:

      Funny you mentioned the name “Family Tradition”, because I am considering it for our new Coronado. My three sons grew up on three different Centuries and this one will be number four, which I look forward to spending time on with my Grand Daughters.

  6. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Vintage footage, Seth working, and Tommy smilling, all in the same story!

    With Bob Kays there, I wonder if any of those photos will make the 2016 calendar? Matt, you could be famous!

  7. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Only a fellow WoodyBoater can appreciate how you felt on that great adventure, and the shake down with friends and family on Sunday. Congratulations again!
    How about some sort of good luck or safe travel momento in the tackle drawer.
    You have to tell us about the shifter on the steering column. Part of your winter fresh up should be a bow thruster so you can dock that ship without burning up a tank of fuel. I like Suzanne better than Suzy Too. More Classy.

  8. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    Wow !….Impressive boat…As somebody said about those utilities at Hessel…you got the King Ranch model.
    Wish Jim Irwin were still alive…He’d know what was in that tackle box.
    Must say…I never saw a Chris with a factory tackle box….Now that is sumthin’ !

    • Jim Staib
      Jim Staib says:

      Here is the rod locker in my 1949 SP-25 twin. It got re-purposed. Also had a cooler, live well and rear steering.
      They were hunting and fishing boats.

  9. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Matt I am soooooo thrilled for you and Suzy!
    What a great “catch”.

    Wasn’t sure about saying anything about the name change, but since you asked. I like “Suzy Too” and know that all your boats are named that way, but after 67 years and coming out or the factory as “WECATHEM” it almost feels like taking a piece of her soul away from her.

    The original bill of sale would be my guess in the apothecary drawer.

    Some will say you are LUCY to make such a find, but luck is just when opportunity meets preparedness. You have been preparing for this day for a long time.

    • Paul H.
      Paul H. says:

      A fabulous deal – it has it all but the history and originality sets it apart. Great boat!

      I am with troy a bit on ths name thing; I get both sides of it and if the boat was less original or did not have the original name mentioned on the hull card as yours does, I wouldn’t think twice. But how often do you find a boat that has not only has the original name, but has it noted on the hull card?

      Why not treat it like a horse – call it one name but leave the “registered” name original? Would the indomitable Suzy mind you calling it Suzy ll but leave the painted name the same?

      Original was name painted on at the factory with aluminum leaf, by the way – according to the hull card.

  10. don vogt
    don vogt says:

    Way to go matt! I’m all for naming boats after wives. Makes them more willing to go along with the crazy guy stuff that is part of the hobby. (like spending money on the boat rather than remodeling the kitchen, etc.)

    Will you be getting the “director chairs” that you seen in the old cc photos for the back seats? has anyone tracked down who made them for cc?

  11. David
    David says:

    Great Times!! Great Boat!!

    Enjoy the boat, and I think you should just add Suzy to the existing name. Wecatchem Suzy. That way you have the best of both worlds. Its got a great ring to it.

  12. Chad
    Chad says:

    Beautiful boat, great story, great find. I got goosebumps just reading it. Congrats Matt & Suzy!

    Haul that beauty up to Torch next Summer.

  13. Dennis Mykols
    Dennis Mykols says:

    Glad to see you got the “TWOFOOTIOUS” like the rest of us old Salts… Congrats, my friend.

  14. Brian Robinson
    Brian Robinson says:


    Your new Sportsman is a great boat. S-25-148 was numerically the the second 25SP late in the 1948 model year to incorporate the new styling specs of the red leather interior and the double red/white boot stripe. Just the last 12 1948 models came this way, which extended into 1949 and 1950 models. I would be hard pressed to stray from the factory applied WECATCHEM name in aluminum leaf per the hull card, but it’s your boat. Irwin Marine only sold five 25SP’s. If you ever have to refinish the hull, remember that your boat had walnut-over-red-stained covering boards originally, a nice detail on that boat.

    • Matt
      Matt says:

      Wow, thats great info, yes I love the darker covering boards, but I know there is a debate over that stuff. I am going to try and get a high res film of the Irwin film which would answer that question fast.

    • Brian Robinson
      Brian Robinson says:

      I should have also added that it is also the second 25SP with the upholstered dash in place of the wood dash. And if you ever need to replace a plank or two, that boat is Honduras mahogany, not Philippine. I have seen that mistake made and it will stick out like a sore thumb. It was also one of the last 25SPs built in Algonac, before they shifted 25SP production to Cadillac.

  15. Brian Robinson
    Brian Robinson says:

    Oh, and I have some of that proper color beige steering wheel paint already mixed up, looks like you might need some!

  16. Sean
    Sean says:

    Love the story, the boat, love the enthusiasm! I must admit, Wecatchem Suzy is a great alternative… I say a 1948 penny in the drawer.

  17. Ollon
    Ollon says:

    If there is any truth to the old saying about the 2 best days of boat ownership, you sure blew day one out of the park. Congrats on the new ride. Changing the name is up to you but after 67 years as WECATCHEM I’d make sure to have a Priest, a Rabbi, and a Shaman standing by.

    • Matt
      Matt says:

      It was for sale for a couple years, but most recenty at the Auction there. It was meant to be for sure.

      • Matt
        Matt says:

        And we will be back for sure. What an amazing place. Simply stunning. We can bring WECATCHEM and THAYER IV! HA. That would be a thing for sure. Sorry we missed each other. I had one mission in mind. Getting back

  18. Grant Stanfield
    Grant Stanfield says:

    What an amazing find with a rich, full provenance…I get shivers when a piece of American moving artistry like this has such an utterly complete backstory.

    Congratulations, Matt & family, on becoming the latest stewards of this marine treasure.

    Since you’re inviting comments on her name…I have to say that I got a quiver of doubt when I saw a photo of her hull card on the Internet. That original name was her given name before she was ‘born’ and shipped.

    A Chris-Craft factory-applied name that later shows up in vintage footage from her original selling dealership. Wow…more shivers.

    She’s all yours to christen as Suzy Too, Suzanne, or ‘Wet Dream’…hopefully the Boatress will understand if you do decide to break with family tradition and name your new 25’ Sportsman-

    W E C A T C H E M

    • Matt
      Matt says:

      Grant you articulated my hell to the tee. I am torn on this one and am tortured because in the end your right. But its kinda silly and romantic. Which I am by the way. There is possibly going to be so much history on her, it makes sense to keep it. But, then I am a museum of sorts. I am hauling around some other families history over mine. And people change there names. So each side makes sense. I suppose the good thing is that until we do the lettering, I dont have to choose. One thing is for sure, I will be adding the Woody Boater W and REEDVILLE under the name

      • Grant Stanfield
        Grant Stanfield says:

        Wow…I stated my case and logged off for 5 hours; when I came back the header and the boat’s name has changed (or…NOT changed moe specifically)!

        Congratulations, both on finding her…and allowing her to be what she has always been…a special boat with special features, for a special family in a special place.
        This time…yours is that special family!

        You are a chapter in her life-story…and she is now a chapter in yours-

        I found my own personal dream boat with an eerily similar provenance…complete with the name she was given when new: named after the island she served.

        It’s not MY choice…but that has been her identity for 61 years…I just didn’t feel good when I considered unscrewing those brass letters from her transom.
        Somehow I felt her story was bigger than mine, and decided to leave her be. I’m glad I did!

        Have generations of fun with that beautiful baby…you are hers, and she is yours.

  19. Texx
    Texx says:

    Congratulations Matt & Suzy on your new SP-25, “WECATCHEM” looks gorgeous with all that originality and family history.

    These SP-25 Chris-Craft utilities have developed almost a “Cult Like” following and it’s great to see them continue to be recognized for their elegance, style and versatility.

    If you change the original 67 year-old name from the factory, document the original name with a good camera (not a potato camera) so it can be accurately replicated at a later date if required.

    I am guessing they found one of those little airline booze bottles in the tackle drawer for when grandpa was bored and the fish weren’t biting on a cool fall day.

    Nice find Matt. – Texx

  20. Andy C
    Andy C says:

    What a beautiful boat! I also just picked up one out of a 45+ year rest inside a marina. It is SP 25 189. Not sure if it is a ’49 of ’50. It also has the w block in it. I noticed that the red and white stripe is reversed from the one I have. Mine has never been taken down to bare wood. Wonder if that varied. Also the interior is a much brighter red. I can’t wait till it hits the water (maybe later this year).

    • Paul H.
      Paul H. says:

      Thought I’d beat Brian to the punch – Andy you have the very last 1949 delivered, and it was delivered on July 5, 1949 to Rochester Marine. Red leather and Gray marble marine linoleum, engine #W 16353.

      Congrats on the find!

      • Andy C
        Andy C says:

        Thanks for the info. I am going to keep the boat as original as possible including the original interior. Did they ever come originally with a Bimini top? Mine has one very similar to Matt’s

        • Paul H.
          Paul H. says:

          These were a fairly common factory ordered accessory, and they are commonly denoted on the hull cards as a “folding canvas top” (per Matt’s hull card data). Today we call them bimini’s and occasionally they were also equipped with side and aft curtains.

          Of the 160 SP25’sbuilt post war without the ventilating cabin top (sedans), 16 or 10% had the folding canvas top and one had a Navy top. So, they were out there, and these accessories are noted clearly on the hull card if installed at the factory. There is no folding top mentioned on the hull card data for your boat. I suspect many were installed later, by the dealer.

  21. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    Fantastic find and boat! You are going to love the way the 25′ hull handles the water – they can take a lot! Personally, – no disrespect to Suzy or the family – I would not rename the boat, particularly as it carried that name from the factory. It is a perfect example of an original, preserved vessel and “Wecatchem” speaks to the boat hobby as well – not just fishing. I love it!

  22. Royce A. Humphreys
    Royce A. Humphreys says:

    Congratulations Matt! One of my favorite Chris Crafts of all time and to find a one owner, boat house kept makes it that more special. Great pictures!

    • Matt
      Matt says:

      We have decided to keep her as WECATCHEM! I cant do it. Named at the factory, lettered at the factory. on film, on the build sheet. And it fits where we live, which is the second largest fishing port in the USA. It also is true to the heritage of why the boat was customized and how they were really used. I will add a bit of me on it. The simple WB logo and our port of call.

  23. Matt
    Matt says:

    Here is the official update as to what was in the drawer! I aint saying a word. But they are vintage, and according to some local experts circa 1980’s.. Now, please. please tell me there is ANOTHER reason these would be in the tackle..thing that is there in the boat.

    • Scott K
      Scott K says:

      I’m not guessing why, but the special instructions for operating within 150 feet of swimmers or shore has me a wee bit concerned!!!

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      If the boat was bought in ’48 and these are circa ’80 it would be my guess that the owner was fishing with grandchildren. As we all know when you fish with grandchildren someone always gets a hook somewhere that it does not belong. These suckers will soak up a lot of blood and keep it off the mahogany.

  24. Matt
    Matt says:

    here is how the name will look all cleaned up. When the boat is refinsihed, she will get this all in Aluminum leaf like the factory did

  25. Denis D
    Denis D says:

    What a great find!! I’m glad you are keeping the name which keeps it tied to it’s Lake Winnipesaukee history.

    If you had gone up a few days earlier I could have met you there, our lake house is a 2 minute boat ride across the bay from Lanes end. Maybe in the future when you make a trip up again.

    Denis D

  26. Matt
    Matt says:

    We have now made an even larger shift, the new Woody Boater font will match the font on WECATCHEM BOLD!. New header!

  27. Carl Garmhaus
    Carl Garmhaus says:

    Nice boat, you deserve it! I never in a million years would have guessed what was in the drawer!

  28. Carroll P
    Carroll P says:

    Very nice boat Matt. Incidentally I have SP-25-149. The very next one off the line but it’s a sedan. On a good day -a very good day – that W will push her along at 30 MPH. I changed the boot stripe to all white because I thought the red on white was wrong. I guess I am going to have to change it back. Arrrgggg!
    Congratulations Matt! I can’t wait to see her.

  29. Matt
    Matt says:

    WOW! I have the Blue print for 147. And yes, she did 32 this weekend on flat water, but really 30 with no sweat. Crazy, that W is fantastic and not fancy so it just runs like a sewing machine. I LOVE THIS DANG THING!

  30. Scott Robinson
    Scott Robinson says:

    Hi Matt, Glad you guys had fun too bad you guys were too busy to help us out with our show !!! Scott

    • Randy Rush Captain Grumpy
      Randy Rush Captain Grumpy says:

      Scott: I tried to post to the ACBS Facebook page , the 90 photos I took of the Meredith Boat show, but it wouldn’t let me. You can see them on my personal facebook blog lapestrakes Rule. There are photos from last year also. Feel free to grab them to repost.

      • Matt
        Matt says:

        Next year Scott, lets make a bigger deal out of it. We would love to see the lake and lives that make it such a special place.

  31. Art Armstrong
    Art Armstrong says:

    Matt You road in Molly-O in June, but I don’t think that I told you about her name. Here is that story:

    My grandfather purchased this 1939 24 foot Delux Utility from Chris Craft July 23rd, 1938 and had the name Molly-O put on the transom before delivery. The CC employee that lettered the boat was Ed Posey…….more on that later.

    All of my grandfather’s boats were named MOLLY-O after his wife whose name was Marie and her maiden name was McQuisten…..very Irish. However, she always went by Molly. The “O” was a reference to her Irish heritage.

    The boat was owned by two other (very local) families from 1960 thru 1978 and each one changed the name, FIN’S FOLLY and then Woop’s Hi. We purchased her back in 1978 and began restoring her to her original condition. During the restoration, we considered many names and settled on REFLECTIONS……………alluding to the boat’s heritage and the light dancing off the varnish. I refused to name her MOLLY-O as, I’m sorry to say, she was not my favorite grandmother…..I’ll leave it at that. So it came time to contact a person to letter the boat with REFLECTIONS, and a former CC employee, Tom Cutherbertson, recommended another former CC employee, Ed Posey who was well into his 80’s. Ed came to the house one day to letter the boat in gold leaf and we described the lettering that we wanted. He took one look at the boat and announced……….”that’s MOLLY-O which I lettered at the plant”. He then went on to describe the original lettering style and colors and told us that he remembered every boat that he lettered. At that point we decided that fait was directing us and the name MOLLY-O would live on!
    Since MOLLY-O lives in an enclosed boat house, we have been able to retain the Ed Posey work of art to this day.

  32. Pete DeVito
    Pete DeVito says:

    What a great find and glad to see you are the one to own it. After looking at the photo’s and reading each and every post I feel I took the first ride with you.
    Love the top!

  33. Martin
    Martin says:


    Any chance you could work up a story on the W engine. Would like to know more about them. 400CDI and 200hp is that correct? Not much info seems to be available on the W.

  34. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    In case you change your mind again: DON’T CHANGE THE NAME OF THE BOAT.

    (And don’t sell it. Except to me.)

  35. rob
    rob says:

    Glad you are not changing the name. Some things are just not meant to be change.
    Re tackle box find, perhaps that W was leaking oil? On the same subject, I am afraid your Lincoln in Suzy is going to seem like a Prius compared to that big W flat head 6. Enjoy your boat.


  36. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    She’s definitely a keeper (understatement of the year). Can’t believe the family let this one go. I’d be looking over my shoulder for a long time with nightmares that somehow the family could rescind the deal or that I just dreamed this whole thing. Pinch yourself again for me.

  37. Grant Stanfield
    Grant Stanfield says:

    Something else occurred to me while relaxing on the front bench of DENBY during ‘cigar hour’ out here in the woods…and I think Dick Dow echoed it earlier:

    WECATCHEM, as the name of your family’s new flagship, seems to define the whole mentality of the classic-boat enthusiasts’ hobby- and the entire ‘raison d’être’ for the world of WoodyBoater.

    As an ad man, YOU, better than anyone, can leverage this lucky coincidence for the benefit of the whole WoodyBoater campaign…let’s see her transom (and the rest of her) in some upcoming 2-page centerfold ads in ‘The Rudder’ and other like-minded, high-quality publications…

    More shivers for us- more awards for your firm..!

    I don’t know if it was Ogilvy or just Don Draper, but someone in your biz once said- ‘You have to TELL people what they want.’

    You’ve ‘sold the sizzle’ of our hobby with WoodyBoater consistently…now WECATCHEM will be a new weapon in your arsenal.

    Catch ’em all!

    Congrats again on some very, very fine choices, Matt. Great day. ⚓️???

  38. Matt
    Matt says:

    Thanks to everyone, I knew the name was perfect, yet it competed with our family stuff. I even at one point knew that the boatress loves to fish so it is perfect. But how many chances does someone get to have a fantastic name done from day one on a perfect boat? Thanks Grant I see the other aspects of the name. I also thought that its the perfect WB name “We Catch All The News Of The Classic Boat World”. The tackle box could be a camera case of sorts. HA,

  39. thomas d
    thomas d says:

    I found a 25 footer in middle tenn. in the early 70’s on the back roads, I was lost at the time. it was huge, like standing in a barge. asking price was $300.00, no trailer, lot of money at the time. I managed to find it a couple years later, they had shoved it down the side of a hill. I’ve tried to find that place a couple times in the last few years but I guess i’ve lost to many brain cells. i’m sure it’s still there but I doubt it would be much good by now.

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