The Kane Family Is At It Again. This Time They Let The Brothers Play With A Rocket!

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Vroom.. We have all been here.. Okay, okay, I did the same thing yesterday!

You may recall a year-ish or two-ish ago we did a wonderful story on the Kane Brothers who restored a very cool Thompson with there Father and Grandfather. Recall that? Okay, so you may not and we will remind you at the end of the story. But this time, the Kane’s found a very cool..(One of my top 10’s )

1947 Rocket

A very cool early 1947 Rocket. AHHHHHH! These are so cool, and the fact that the entire Kane Kingdom is cranking on this is  the double coolest. I am jealous of their time together, 3 generations all working together. Grandfather, Ronald Slanker and father Dan Kane teaching life lessons, the kids teaching them about Instagram, Youtube and, who Kim Kardashian is, and why even they don’t care about her.
Anyway, I digress, here is a fun note from Alec and Danial Kane who have had the time to send in a story, between school, sports, girls, and restoring a boat. Yikes! Those are some busy boys.

“2 years ago I started the adventure of what feels like a never ending project.”

After enjoying our newly restored Thompson in the summer of 2016, we entered it in the 2016 Hessel Antique Boat Show. I’m proud to say we won “Best Outboard,” and “Youth Achievement.” Since my brother Daniel and I had finished our last restoration (Thompson), we considered getting a new boat project. This became a possibility when I found out that Classic and Antique Boats of Hessel were selling all the company inventory. Upon pulling in the driveway, one boat immediately caught my eye; a 1947 Chris Craft Rocket.

At first glance, the rocket needed a lot of work. Several days passed and I could not stop thinking about the Rocket. After talking it over with my dad, we placed an offer on what I hoped would be my new boat.  My Grandfather, Ron Slanker, played a huge part in the negotiation of the boat. To my surprise, he called me a week later with the great news saying we got the boat! After hearing this exciting news, my grandpa towed the boat back home. Let the fun begin!

When we first got it home, we further inspected the boat and found a bad section in the keel that was overlooked at first glance. We took the boat down to my Grandfather’s machine shop in Moraine, Ohio and started working.

Not knowing the hard road ahead, we started taking off the hardware.  You never know what all goes into a boat until you have to take it all off or put it back on. After the hardware, we focused our attention to removing the motor and finally flipping the Rocket over.


With a completely bare hull and all parts documented, we flipped the boat in early  January 2017, in an unconventional way.  We cashed in a favor with our family friends, who own a local heavy duty towing and recovery business.  You never notice how nervous you can get, until you see your boat hanging in the air above you.  After the boat was flipped, we began taking the bottom off. As many things go In this hobby that I have learned so far, things always take longer than you anticipate. We started the bottom work in February 2017, and progress was slow with constant new problems arising. One problem followed another, and what started off as just a bottom replacement, is now all new frames/sisters, new stringer, and new keel.

Going to town

As of Thursday 1-18-18, we are now at the point to put the first layer of 4mm okoume plywood on. One year ago, I never thought this day would come. The plan is to put a 5200 bottom on the boat, and a cosmetic restoration (as all other wood is in good shape). My hope is to debut the Rocket in Tavares, Florida, in March of 2018.

Continuous support by my whole family helps tremendously with the restoration process. A special thanks goes out to my grandfather Ron Slanker and my dad Dan Kane who helped me keep the project afloat.

Updates to come. And if want more of the Kane Koonless, here is the story we referenced at the top of the story.

Alec and Danial a couple years ago in Hessel

Thanks Alec, showing off with your fancy spelling and grammar learning. Now he’s just showing off. All kidding aside, we are all grateful to your Father and Grandfather for helping this all happen. And even more to you Alec and Danial, for reminding us all that passion and drive are ageless. I am proud to have you all as Woody Boaters! The Sons Of Varnish LIVE!

11 replies
  1. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    Great to see young guys who know how to work with their hands. Keep at it boys. It’ll serve you well in life. NICE BOAT!

    • Matt
      Matt says:

      I know, this is one of my favorite stories of all time. It just is so right on so many levels. What a fantastic family and Kudos to Dad and Grand Dad. I hope they all know how special this time together! I could write these family stories all the time.

  2. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    You have had some great content lately, and it is January when in years past we would be coming here to read about zipper pulls and wooden toilet seats.

  3. Darthtrader
    Darthtrader says:

    This story truly captures the essence of Woody Boating in so many ways. Each of us can identify with a part, or in many cases, all the elements of the story, for it is our story, just with a different set of boats.
    The skills being passed down will live for another generation, and all the players will walk away with a wonderful set of memories. My only advice; take more pictures than you think you will ever need; you can always throw them away. 70 years from now, they will be treasured, not so much for the detail, but for the memories they envoke.

  4. Leslie Best
    Leslie Best says:

    I have an engine box for that boat (didn’t see one in any pictures) had a 47 Rocket back in the late 70’s. They can have it if they need one. contact me

  5. Larry FORGET
    Larry FORGET says:

    CONGRATS to the family.. We adopted a Blue Rocket in mid 1980’s from the original owner , upstate New York, thru the Turcotte brothers (Gar Wood) .. Had the upgrade 6 cyl Chrysler Ace , got build letter from Chris Craft, & took to some ACBS shows. The big award was Clayton, Museum & not many knew of this post war model.. It was a great size, believe it had 6 volt NEGATIVE ground sys. Sold locally along Hudson River, boat was not registered for 17 yrs. Restored in south Fla, believe a foot Dr in Mid West now. Side logo is nifty if you add.

    • Larry FORGET
      Larry FORGET says:

      Prior typo comment should have said POSITIVE battery to ground system ? I believe . Another pic under cruise.

  6. Matt
    Matt says:

    That side graphic is one of the coolest parts of these. Not sure what years they were available, but worth having one of these just for the art.

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

    Great Story! I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with the Kane bros. at the Hessel boat show in 2016. I also got a chance to meet and talk with Grandpa Ron who said that “he couldn’t be any prouder”. Nice family and a beautiful Thompson. I saw the Thompson for sale on craigslist locally about a year ago. I hope they sold it for enough to fund their Rocket. If not, don’t we all need more than 1 boat. Keep up the good work guys. It is always good to see young blood in this hobby.

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