Del’s Unusual 1966 Cir Craft – Do We Call It A Runabout Or Utility? Or Roundabout?
Del Van Emmerik is a talented vintage boat restorer from Maple Grove, Minnesota – specializing in unique, early fiberglass marques, often the finned variety. At the 2010 Sunnyland show, we had an opportunity to see a Larson Falls Flyer he restored which was simply amazing. Del also restores and specializes in vintage Tee Nee Trailers for the antique & classic boat hobby.
Del also has this uncanny ability to find rare and unusual boats hidden in barns and stored under old tarps around the country. And then he goes ahead and restores them to original condition for everyone to see, learn about and enjoy. This year Del brought his perfectly restored, rare and unsual 1966 7ft Cir Craft to the ACBS International at Geneva Lake. No matter how you measure it – It’s still 7 feet long.
Del said that when he picked it up, it was in rough shape. Those twin skis / runners (or what ever you call them) running along the bottom were deteriorated and had to be completely re-built from scratch. After numerous attempts to find the right length, he started long, and launched the boat, water testing it over 40 times – continuing to modify the skis / runners until the attitude of the boat was maneuverable and safe to operate.
The restored Cir Craft performs great with the vintage 40HP Mercury outboard, Del wouldn’t have it any other way. He says they often use it to tow the kids around the lake and for water skiing, although it has limited seating capacity… Note the cool ski tow set-up with the small wheel that runs along the curved tubing.
Del Van Emmerik is passionate about his projects and always willing to take time to visit with folks and teach them about these vintage water craft. Thanks to people like Del, future generations will have the opportunity to see and learn about what the marine designers were dreaming up back in the 1950’s & 60’s.
I would love to see this boat running on the water or towing a water skier… It would certainly make for an interesting YouTube Video…
Thanks for sharing your latest discovery with us Del, I can hardly wait to see what you show up with next year at Table Rock.
I saw that Larson Flyer at that show. It was beautiful. I would love to own this.
Fantastic boat and an equally off the hook Tee Nee trailer with awesome custome paint job. Nice work.
Are there any lakes near Area 51?
SPACESHIP BOAT… TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER!!!
Thanks for giving us a closer look at this weird thing that seemed to show up in several show photo albums but with no details about what it is. Now we know “the rest of the story”.
Is it a modern version of a Coracle? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coracle
Who knows what inspired the designer…
Then again, we’re talking the 60s, right? Perhaps this was where the “vision” came from… http://ihgritch.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/trippyy.jpg
Great links! Educational. I did not know that Prince Maddog was into wood boating. Hypnotic. The buy another wood boat trance worked. Thanks
A friend of mine as 2 or 3 or these. His were called “flying saucers”. Almost identical actually. Very fun to drive too! The motor doesn’t turn, but you have to lean back and forth to turn it..
The circraft was designed and built by my late father Bill Wilson owner of Caltec Marine Stockport in the early 60s, it is one of my earliest memories (i was born in 1960) i remember that when it was taken to Anglesey in wales the holiday makers could not believe their eyes! dad was a great bloke and would have been thrilled that his invention was still enthralling people 50 years on, God Bless.
John – Thanks for your comments re the Cir Craft design. I recently met with Del (the fellow who restored the boat in the story) and since this story was published, Del has located two more Cir Craft boats which he is correctly restoring.
Here’s a Y-tube video of the Cir-craft in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeIvDK_RuuM
Dear John Have tried to leave a reply but get captcha errors.
Would be very interested in getting in touch, regarding your Fathers design. Have a Friend who insists he has Registered World Wide Patents. Wish I could explain further.Please get in touch.
The patents were indeed sold by my father to a Mr Warburton in the 80s, so the Wilson family certainly wish all the best to whoever owns them now.