The Mechanix Illustrated Golden Hammer Tie Clasp Goes To?


Honey. Ohhh Honey! mmmm, Got a cardboard box? Oh, no big reason.

Fellow Woody Boater Alden Reed sent us in this fun story about his father in 1958. The Big Golden Hammer tie clasp! You know that was the bomb down at the lodge!  Here is Alden’s Note and cool pics.


Your blue-hull mock-up on your 17-footer reminded me of a 16′ Chris Craft Kit Boat my dad made in the basement during the winter of 1958. As you will see from one of the attached pics a basement window had to be “enlarged” to get the boat out!

Mechanix illustrated 1958

Anyhow, dad was awarded a Golden Hammer Award Tie Clasp by Mechanix Illustrated for the project.

The official letter – Very personal letter to DEAR READER!

He initially powered the boat with a 75hp Merc but later upgraded to a 100hp.

I cleaned up the photo – at “Reed” & Prince – Alden is a great-grandson of the co-founder of the former Reed & Prince Mfg. Co.

The non color corrected photo from Alden – I had some fun cleaning and correcting the aged photo

In 1964 he traded it in at Art Fish’s Boat Shop on Lake Quinsigamond for a 19′ Grady White I/O. Working on projects like this helped him come up with improved screw designs for building wooden boats.

Alden Reed

21 replies
  1. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    Building a boat in the basement and not being able to get it out has always been a running joke. I had no idea it was a true story. Your dad is that guy! Congratulations! I guess?

    And your family made a heck of a good screw. Thanks!

    • Kent in Valpo
      Kent in Valpo says:

      We didn’t have a basement, so Dad built a 14’CC Kit boat in the garage. When finished, just open the garage door, easy peesy.

  2. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:


    Thanks for sharing it Alden. So many people come up with excuses not to do stuff, (I don’t have a barn, no room, no time, ….) but your Dad made it happen. So what if you need to chip away a little concrete to enlarge the exit window, the boat got built!

  3. Dave
    Dave says:

    Wish I had some pictures of my dad’s Chris Craft kit boat. It was crusier model with the pink fiberglass top and a 35 evinrude. Was built in a basement around 1958. He had to take off the cabin top and make the exterior door double wide to get it out.

  4. Reddog
    Reddog says:

    Nice story and photos. Thanks. The t.v. show “NCIS” special agent J. GIBBS is building a boat in his basement also. His second basement boat, but I’m not sure if they told how he got the first one out. The boat looks to be maybe a sportsman model.

  5. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    two true stories: My uncle and grandfather built a kit boat in basement…measured the basement door…no problem. Forgot to take into account the porch overhanging the basement stairs….minor demo work ensued.

    Guy here in Powhatan Va remodeled his basement and framed up, but did not yet drywall, the new den only to notice they had left the jetski on trailer on the wrong side of the wall…sawsall ensued.
    John in Va.

  6. Tom
    Tom says:

    Last summers extraction from a basement. The door frame had to be cut and removed along with a little cement.

  7. Tom
    Tom says:

    Success! Phil Bougie’s basement built 22′ Hacker built in his parents basement over many years. Hopefully it will see the water this coming year.

  8. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    I am saving today’s story and comments to show my wife the next time she accuses me of being crazy/stupid!

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

    Neat story. I like the way he put cardboard down to keep from scratching the bottom when they took it out of the “enlarged” basement window. I noticed the widow AC, 1n 1958! pure class.

  10. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    I built my house on a hill with a walk out basement. Stacked garages give more garage space than living space. Basement garage has 12in. concrete walls and 16in concrete ceiling. Garage door to get boat in and french door to get motorcycle and canoe in. Doubles as a tornado shelter. Now if I could just find time to work on the boat down there!

  11. Walter
    Walter says:

    My dad did something similar, not getting the golden hammer but building a boat in the house. Back in the mid-50s my dad started assembling a 12′ Sears kit boat in the living room while his parents were in Pittsburgh for the weekend. He had the frame together and had to take it back apart to get it out the living room door.

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

    Hold it! is that a mid 50s International TravelAll with aftermarket turn signals hooked to the boat in front of Reed & Prince? Looks like to to me.

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