Saving A Rare Dart Jr. – A Harsh Reminder About Our Passion!

Thanks to the good folks at Ramsey Bros Restorations we have some real drama to talk about today instead of a Pontoon boat on a cover of a magazine. This is real drama and a sober reminder that ship happens.

Dart Jr and a Dog, not the driver, she is cute,

Happy days

Darla and Ethyl.

The boat is a VERY rare 1927 Indian Lake Boat Company Dart Junior 22.5′ and had been in storage for years while getting a brand new engine. Modern power. Which may be tied to how this all started. A fuel leak.

Here comes a fellow boater to save the day

What was also interesting to note is what happens when this happens. Other boaters pulled out there phones and only one brave soul took his boat and did the wake wash out since the fire extinguishers had not put out the fire.

Well, it did the trick, only the fire dept at the marina tore out the automatic bilge in the rear and guess what? Then it sank. Really? It survived a fire and ? Well, the good news is the owners are rebuilding, and the Ramsey Bros who are the worlds experts on Darts are doing the job.

The automatic bilge on the deck there. UGH

Back at the Marina

As Scott said, its a good news bad news thing, since over the years the boat has had many wrong fixes that would not have been worth it to fix back to original. Not now! So she is going to be brought back to her original glory. A huge kudos out to the owners for doing that.


And here is the part of the story that is even more wonderful about the owners sharing this. The boat was covered by a home owners policy and for storage only, so guess what? Thats right. Not insured for this. They want us all to be reminded to HAVE YOUR BOAT INSURED FOR THE USE YOU USE IT FOR. The good folks at Hagerty push this all the time. PLEASE, now is the time to contact Hagerty and make sure your boat is covered correctly. We are all about to go out WoodyBoating for the summer. Please today call and make sure you are insured correctly. SHIP HAPPENS!

A huge thanks to The Owners and Ramsey Bros for sharing, we will be updating the progress here over the next year.


19 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    This sad story is known to the Michigan chapter as it happened at the Toledo show last year and many of our members were there. The Ramsey Brothers will do a great job of bringing this beautiful boat back to life. I had the pleasure of spending some time with Dave Ramsey on Wednesday as we set up our Michigan chapter display at the Novi Lakefront and Cottage living show for this weekend. Dave brought in a beautiful 26ft. Dart. I will be headed back there today. Hope to see some locals and talk about classic boats.

  2. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    Another issue related to this Is check your fire extinguisher. Not only does it need to be charged but a standard BC fire extinguisher does not work on wood. We need ABC rating. The A rating means it works on wood.

    • Gene Porter
      Gene Porter says:

      ABC?? Who knew??
      Sounds like the basis for a Rudder article on unique safety issues for vintage boats. I’ll be in touch

    • Wilson
      Wilson says:

      Even more…there was a recall on certain Kidde model fire extinguishers…Call the company and see…If yours, like mine, was recalled they will mail you a new one free.

  3. Matt
    Matt says:

    Well, thats an interesting tid bit. Did not know that. I was just talking to Carla about this very issue the other day and then this story came up. Hats off to the owners for sharring.

  4. Gene Porter
    Gene Porter says:

    Most boating equipment sites – Boat US, WEST etc – focus only of federal “requirements” which are only for one or more Class B extinguishers. So far I only found Boating Magazine recommending at least one ABC extinguisher.

  5. Michael A Hill
    Michael A Hill says:

    So the boat is going to be restored, that’s great, but, uhhhh, what about the people? Everyone ok, I hope? Or are they being restored as well?

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      There are over 7.6 billion people and only a handful of wooden Dart boats. The people should be much easier to replace by several orders of magnitude. So easy, they probably aren’t worth restoring. Like a damaged pontoon, just sell them for parts and scrap value and get new ones.

  6. Tom H
    Tom H says:

    You also might think about getting a larger fire extinguisher. By the time the fire reaches those proportions a little one like most people keep on their boat will not finish the job. Nothing worse than ALMOST putting out a fire as you may not have any help nearby.

  7. Rick
    Rick says:

    Why would you only insure it while in storage? Maybe I missed something? That’s like only insuring your car in the driveway.

  8. Carla
    Carla says:

    HOW DID I MISS THIS? Oh yes, a thing called vacation. Shame on me for not paying attention! Matt is correct as far as truly know what your insurance policy covers. If you are underinsured, out of water coverage only, zero liability, etc., you are literally throwing your $$ away. Please feel free to call me, or any of the knowledgeable Hagerty Marine team, to walk you through how to best protect your classic boat!

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