Time Capsule Thompson. Used Only Four Glorious Times!


She is smiling now!

Fellow Woody Boater Bruce Pyszora sent us in this cool story about his very sweet time capsule Thompson that was used just 4 times after she was bought! 4 Times!


This 1960 Thompson Sealancer was purchased by my sister in-laws dad in 1960. The boat was used only 4 times during that summer, and then parked in a small garage in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. She stayed in that location for the next 25 years without seeing the light of day. In 1985, he retired and moved to Nashville, Tennessee with boat in tow. There, the old Sealancer was parked in a barn for another 26 years. Upon his death, the boat was discovered much to everybody’s surprise.


In the barn




Like new

IMG_0016.JPG IMG_0014.JPG

The boat was offered to me in 2011, and made it’s way back to Algonac, Michigan where I live. Over the next couple of years, I did a complete restoration. 


Out of the bard


Just as new looking in the daylight


Dirty but nice, or Nice and dirty






Attached are some before and after photos. The most amazing thing to me is the motor. I did have to do a complete overhaul, however, it’s paint is all original. 

staining10 striping3 striping1

I included several different photos of in the barn, seeing the light and refinishing. This was my first wood boat I ever did. Now I’m hooker (LOL). If you look at one of the finished photos, you will see a 1954 chris craft. This was another find locally here. This one sat in a factory warehouse for over 20 years. Another project.


Chris Craft ton the left


20 replies
  1. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Bruce: Welcome to the club/addiction!

    This is a cool story and what a great find, but yet I feel a rush of sadness come over me due to a 57 year old boat that has only been used 4 times. Just think of all the wonderful memories that could have been made over those years. It must have had a very special place in the heart of your sister-in-law’s father for him to keep it tucked away this long.

  2. Marcus
    Marcus says:

    Really cool boat and story. I just can’t wrap my head around how you could buy a new boat and only use it 4 times in 50 years. You would think you’d either sell it or use it. They didn’t have any opportunities or interest in 50 years to ever use it again at all, even one time? I wouldn’t have the will power….Haha! Enjoy!

  3. Matt
    Matt says:

    What the hell! Ha! Now I have to leave them. This is what you get when I am putting a story together at 4 am before getting on a flight to California. Dang! Ha

  4. Andreas Jordahl Rhude
    Andreas Jordahl Rhude says:

    She’s very nice. Will she be displayed at the Thompson Antique & Classic Boat rally on 24 June 2017?

    The blue painted parallelogram behind the “Thompson” name badge is missing. And the copper bronze bottom paint following the planking? It should be parallel with the waterline.

    Thompson Antique & Classic Boat Rally, Inc.

    • Bruce
      Bruce says:

      Rookie mistake. Doing the waterline in the spring and blue behind name badge. I did make a template of the blue before removing. My plan is to head out there in June !

  5. Dave Krugler
    Dave Krugler says:

    My dad bought a 1960 Thompson Sea Lancer which was originally painted Lemon Yellow with the then new 1975 Johnson 75hp V-4 in summer of 1960 from Jerry’s Marina in East Tawas, MI. It was one of 2 that Jerry’s had in stock at the time but alas they only had one motor and a minister from Ohio signed first so he got the motor. Finally in September our motor was installed and my dad and I rented a cottage there for the weekend and took delivery of the boat. It was a pretty scary experience because we were in an old surplus Jeep owned by the marina at the time the boat was launched. The Jeep had a ball hitch on the front bumper and as we approached the incline of the launch ramp the marina’s launch trailer popped off the front of the Jeep and since there were no safety chains connected started down the ramp without us! The owner of the marina, Del Coller, was launching the boat and he quickly jumped out of the Jeep and stood on the tongue of the trailer to stop it. We finally got the boat in the water and went for a very short ride since it was really rough that day in Tawas Bay. My dad and I went to bed early that night and we got up at midnight to a full moon and a calm Tawas Bay and took the boat for it’s first real ride. I was all of 10yrs old then so that was quite an adventure. That’s a beautiful boat you have, they were VERY sea-kindly. We had ours out in some pretty rough weather and it never banged.

  6. Ron in Seattle
    Ron in Seattle says:

    Bruce, great find! What a wonderful start to the best part of the rest of your life!
    I can’t tell from the pics, please tell me she was abd is now on a trailer with bunks and not rollers? Rollers will deform the shape of the bottom.

    • Mark
      Mark says:

      He has bunks under the boat.

      Bruce – consider a much taller bow stop with a carpeted “V” at the rub rail and the winch above the deck with a nylon strap going through the lifting ring. This will give you the proper support up front.

  7. Verne
    Verne says:

    I also own a 1960 Thompson. Mine is a Sea Coaster Special which was a one owner boat before I bought it and it is also very low hours. Still all original with nothing restored, including the Evinrude Four Fifty motor. It’s a wonderful boat on the water. Thompsons don’t get much respect in the hobby but this one has mine.

  8. Mark Ferrara
    Mark Ferrara says:

    Hi. Bruce ,Mark here from Ford R&E. We have talked more than once about our wooden boats on the job. I could tell by our conversations that you were a true craftsman. Bring it to Hessel this August and I’ll keep you a spot at our dock. Looking forward to a sequel story with your Chris. Nice job, Nice boat!

  9. Scott @ Big Bear
    Scott @ Big Bear says:

    1960 must have been a big year for Thompson, ’cause I’ve got one, too. Not as nice as Bruce’s, but looks pretty sweet on the water.

  10. Bill Manny
    Bill Manny says:

    My first restoration was a Thompson in the early 70’s with my dad. He loved that boat. Funny thing happened, burning the trash. Had a spray can in it that blew up and landed on the boat cover. Torched the boat the end. Bought a fiberglass Larson with the insurance money.

Comments are closed.