Rescued From A Field In New York To Live Another Day!

1961 Whirlwind 1

The finished product of an amateur restoration that looks fantastic! – Texx

WE WERE OVERDUE FOR A STORY ABOUT A CLASSIC WHIRLWIND BOAT and then suddenly, this great story from fellow Woody Boater Scott Gosert came in over the wireless. Perfect timimg…

Here at Woody Boater we love to learn about these great wooden boats (or any classic boats) being rescued from fields and barns around the country – to live another day. Here is Scott’s story – Texx

1961 Whirlwind 2

The simplicity of the dashboard, cool period steering wheel and original hardware on this 54 year-old boat is wonderful to see.

Texx – Just got done with the boat after one year of work. Had a ball with it all summer. Cruising the Finger Lakes in New York, the Erie Canal, Lake Ontario this summer was a blast in the Whirlwind.

We found the boat in October 2014. It was sitting in a field in upstate New York – half covered and I had to check it out. Through the leaves and empty beer cans from the year before remained buried in the boat, this wooden boat needed to be rescued.

We Bought it on the spot and fortunately the seller was happy to get this winters firewood off of his lot.

1961 Whirlwind 3

The forward deck needed some love, but all the original hardware was still there.

As it turns out, it had all the original hardware including the top, 40 HP Evinrude Lark lll motor and trailer. The serial numbers were available on the internet to confirm that they matched. There was no dry rot, which was a nice surprise.

1961 Whirlwind 4

The interior of the Whirlwind also needed some love.

Disassembled the whole boat and got to sanding. And sanding. And sanding. Eight coats of Epiphanes spar vanish and it went back together. Rebuilt the carb and lower unit. Replaced the points, condensors and coils. (gotta pull the flywheel to get to all that stuff) it was no picnic.

1961 Whirlwind 6

Now back on the water exactly where the boat belongs, doing what it does best.

Three or four weeks of bucket testing and multiple tweeks and it was ready for launch. I had about 200 hours into this thing and didn’t even know if it floated. Took another couple weeks to muster up the berries to drop it in. Couldn’t be happier with it’s performance.

1961 Whirlwind 5

Fellow Woody Boater Scott Gosert – The happy owner, proud restorer and most recent caretaker of the 1961 Whirlwind.

I know every inch of this vessel and it’s treated like one of my children. Not interested in the monetary value of the boat because I’m not selling it. Check out the photos!

Scott Gosert
Rochester, NY

Thanks for sharing your story with us today Scott.

Finding and bringing these old classic boats back to life is the essence of the hobby. Regardless if it’s a 28-foot Hacker or a classic Whirlwind outboard, regardless of what type material it’s made from, regardless of how old it is, they are all important here at Woody Boater and deserve our respect.

Let’s join together today to say “Congratulations Scott” and celebrate his successful Whirlwind reincarnation.


20 replies
  1. Bob Menzel
    Bob Menzel says:

    Congratualtions Scott!
    Great job restoring a classic. Wonderful story and I was smiling the entire time reading.

  2. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Beautiful Job!

    Thanks for sharing with us Scott!

    I love that she maintains her original Evinrude. So many of these older outboard engines have been replaced with newer models.

    • Dave Nau
      Dave Nau says:

      That is one pretty boat! Just refinishing everything, while a lot of work, but finding the wood in good shape, makes it even more special.

      Love those 2-cylinder outboards! Being a 1961 means it’s a year before the Selectric shift came out, so no worries there, since it has the simpler and more reliable (for an old outboard) mechanical shift.


  3. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    You can tell Scott is from Rochester because he needs “sun” glasses on an overcast day!

    We often discuss how fiberglassics are an affordable entry to our hobby, but we shouldn’t forget all of the classic wood outboards out there. These boats are affordable, fun, and they sip fuel compared to old v8’s or v12’s.

  4. Matt
    Matt says:

    Hands down one the top first classic boats to own and restore. No bottom planks, all one nice molded hull. Like fiberglass but cooler. If it has a hole in the bottom though, yikes. But all fixable. You can go 30 in that thing and turn hard and it just whirls around! Here is a link to seven pages of Woody Boater stories. We do love these little buggers here.

  5. John Baas
    John Baas says:

    Great find, Scott! Congratulations on a beautiful project. These wood or plastic outboards are very worthy projects and super rewarding when done well. Cold molded, cedar strip, plywood or lapstrake…affordable and fun ways to join the hobby. Our ’59 Chetek Duchess has proved to be a head turner and even an award winner not to mention an amazing memory maker. Good job and enjoy the crap out of her!

  6. Chris C.
    Chris C. says:

    Great job Scot. Hey Texx, how about a story on the old outboards? I know I can afford the in boards of my dreams but have been interested in the outboards for a while now. Can you fill us broke boaters in on a few brands and photos on the forgotten outboards? I’m in search but ignorant on these boats. Please help.

  7. Mr. Andreas Jordahl Rhude
    Mr. Andreas Jordahl Rhude says:

    Great lil boat! Love it and the Evinrude.

    There is no such thing as “dry rot” by the way. That term is a misnomer


  8. Steve Anderson
    Steve Anderson says:

    Old outboards are a bit of a hobby for me. Any of the old Johnson/Evinrudes are extremly easy to work on, and replacement parts are readily available going back to the early/mid 50’s, and available, though not as readily, for the earlier ones. There is an active out board motor club. Typically, they all need new coils from that period, and since you have the cover off you replace the condensor and points. Parts to do that are about $40 for a twin cylinder. The new parts will last another 40 years or so. The big ones like his 40hp Lark are not that cheap on gas if you are used to a modern 4 stroke outboard, but they are dead reliable and easy to work on. The only other things you need to do with them is to remove the lower leg and replace the impeller (about a 30 minute job) and then drain and refill the lower unit with gear lube (annually) and rebuild the carb ($20 kit) every couple of years. It you find an old one and it still turns over, odds are very high that you can get it running. Be sure to get the original gas tank if it is a 2 line pressure tank. Both the tanks and the hose fittings are getting harder to find.

    Beautiful boat Scott!! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Bilge Rat
    Bilge Rat says:

    Nice job Scott! Being a Rochesterian too, I wear my shades anytime there’s a hint of sunlight here in the frozen north. Heck, I wear my sunglasses at night like Corey Hart sung about.

  10. Dave Nau
    Dave Nau says:

    Old MFGs, either with 50’s with a wood deck or a 60’s with a fiberglass one, are a good way to go, too. Relatively inexpensive to buy and easy to fix up.

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