Woody Boater Boat Of The Month. 1948 U.S. Plywood Executive Runabout.
One of the Woody Boater family just recently picked this boat up. It has to be one of the sweetest finds this month. The following is the description from eBay.
This boat was built by U.S. Plywood, also known as Algoma Plywood & Veneer Co. and now Algoma Hardwoods. The company has been in business for more than 100 years and had a line of cold molded Mahogany boats.
This boat was built by the company for promotional purposes. U.S.Plywood built many designs for fishing and pleasure. They also built boats by contract for the U.S. Government.
This is a one of a kind production built, cold molded, Mahogany 2 cockpit runabout from US Plywood.
Three of my Uncles worked for US Plywood and helped design and build this boat. One of my uncles took this boat out for the sea trials. They also helped in the docking design of 2 pedestals that attached to the brass fittings on the boat. This allowed the boat to move away from the dock and it would roll with the seas and not touch the dock. I will include the dock pedestals.
I also have the original crib the company used when it was displayed in the building.
This boat has been in my family since before I was born in 1959.
This boat has 157 original hours on it. Since I acquired it, I have only put 14 hours on it. This was with the help of one of my uncles showing me how to properly maintain and check all functions. (I know it does 41MPH with just me in the boat.)
It was stored for 22 years without being moved prior to me using it. It was then stored for another 23 years without being moved.
This boat is completely original with a Gray marine fireball 4 engine, dual downdraft carbs, and 90hp. It has a bronze prop, spot light, dual fuel tanks and seats 5 adults.
Many people have asked why the hull was painted white and not done in varnish. I was told by my Uncles, that USPlywood decided to paint it because they were going to keep it in the river in Algoma for test rides. They wanted it to be of less maintenance. You can see the original bronze name plate that was hand made by peening the metal.
Notice the name on the boat. Weldwood. That was a US Plywood product that was very popular in the 50’s, used for decorative paneling products with book-matched veneers of exotic woods. They produced the Weldwood plywood that Owens used to build their boats. There must be a connection in the current brand name for Dap Weldwood filler and Weldwood adhesives as well.
There was a landmark Supreme Court Decision in ’47 regarding labor union/employer relations where the Court had to call on Congress for clarification of intent of some law. Too boring to go into details.
The boat is a very cool and an historical find. Is that the fuel filler cap on the forward deck? I like the symmetrical scoops on the engine hatch. One houses the tall downdraft carbs, the other for ventilation. The brackets (in lieu of cleats) must be for the docking pedestals the seller talked about. Do you have them? It would be interesting to see what they are.
This facility in Algoma, WI changed ownership a few times over its history but has continually made wood products from 1892 to present day.
Although it has nothing to do with boats, Algoma Hardwoods introduced a true breakthrough in Architecture last year by introducing multi-panel (style & rail) hardwood veneer “fire-rated” doors.
Hey, Architects are classic boat lovers too.
Al. You are the man. That tells the whole story, right there.
Nice boat, it happened to catch my eye a couple of nights ago on a different site. I also have a boat made from United States Plywoods “WELDWOOD”. A 1941 Penn Yan Coquette, only made in 1941 and 1942. Some where on the inside of you boat should be a stamping, a round circle about 2 inches in diameter with the words Vidal- weldwood process and USP in the center. Eugene L Vidal developed and patented the process for making molded boat hulls from plywood and United States Plywood aquired it. A few boats were made with Weldwood before W.W.II, Penn Yan, Crosley, Armstrong, Old Town had a “special Weldwood” Canoe. If you search ebay for advertisements of “Weldwood” you will see them. As was mentioned weldwood continued after W.W.II as a paneling product right into the 1960’s but faded out in boat hulls after the war. I hope this helps you, that’s a beautiful boat and great piece of history.
Thanks for the info. I suppose now there are two members of the club.