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I know it's not a car but this boat is cool.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Roy's ride, May 7, 2012.

  1. Roy's ride
    Joined: Dec 4, 2008
    Posts: 85

    Roy's ride
    from Michigan

    I need help and I've been on the Hamb long enough to know there is a wealth of knowledge here so maybe I can get lucky. I am searching for the story of this boat. Basically who built this lost piece of industrial art. Nobody knows! I mean the whole vintage boat hobby does not know. Problem is, the self appointed authorities believe, if there is not a serial number it does not exist. Hard to tell that to a guy who can get in and drive it. So my thought is, who knows better about one offs, specials and racers than a large group of Hotrodders.

    This is what we do know. "Tin Can was discovered in a boat scrap yard south of Detroit in the 1970's. It was rescued and used on Lake Oakland until about 10 years ago and followed by an extensive restoration by the Mayea boat Works in Fare Haven Mi.. She is constructed of aluminum sometime in the early or late 1940's and fastened by hundreds of hand buck rivets. There are no welds. She is 20'6" and powered by a 1945 flathead 6 cyl Chrysler Crown believed to be the original. All hardware is Gar Wood of origin and the design is a combination of Gar Wood and Hacker type boats. No serial number is present. We do know that Gar Wood who invented and made his fortune in hydraulics was also a great aviator and personally owned some of the greatest aircraft. This is where I think the connection is to aviation. The aluminum is 100% original to the boat and is of exceptional build quality. This is not a back yard deal. So who is responsible for building this beauty? There is a link to a sympathetic group of enthusiasts who have been a great help so far at Thank! jeff
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  2. Roy's ride
    Joined: Dec 4, 2008
    Posts: 85

    Roy's ride
    from Michigan


    Attached Files:

  3. josh highley
    Joined: Nov 13, 2011
    Posts: 405

    josh highley

    I don't know anything about it, but it is an awesome boat!
  4. Bill Ladd
    Joined: Feb 17, 2012
    Posts: 34

    Bill Ladd
    from here

    Geez that thing is hot.

  5. forty7ford
    Joined: May 6, 2012
    Posts: 204

    from Iowa

    The only thing I know about that boat is it is very cool. I would love to be floating around the lake in that.
  6. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,257


    Wow, it really is special. Is it a copy of a wooden boat? I ask because of where the patterns for the sheetmetal came from. All those panels are shaped, there had to be a pattern for when to cut it to size from a flat sheet and then form it into what we see. During the shaping process the metalman had to have had a buck to test fit the pieces and that is where pattern would have come from. A wooden boats' stringers etc would be the perfect buck.
  7. That thing is beautiful!
  8. Bigcheese327
    Joined: Sep 16, 2001
    Posts: 6,691


    That's amazing. Michigan's boat-building history is a cool one. It's kinda too bad everything else we did here got eclipsed by the Big Three.
  9. I think its awesome......cant wait to see how this unfolds.....
  10. Roy's ride
    Joined: Dec 4, 2008
    Posts: 85

    Roy's ride
    from Michigan

    We just found letters between Gar Wood himself, and Jack Northrop of Northrop Grumman dating to the fall of 1936. Mr Northrop wanted a boat to play on Lake Arrowhead Ca with. It was built by his aircraft fabricators and was of all aluminum construction using Gar Wood drawings and a keel and ribs sent to him for use as a buck. We have not found this boat as of late but it could be Tin Can....
  11. No idea, but that is a gorgeous boat.
  12. No_Respect
    Joined: Jul 27, 2005
    Posts: 1,170

    from So-Cal

    Wow cool boat I never seen this boat on Lake Oakland (born and raised on that lake) There was a few guys that knew their boats on that lake.. A guy name Jim? or Greg? who lives just west of the Boat launch was a vintage boat fanatic he may know more about it? Your Boat was definitely built by a professional and not in a back yard... What is it registered as? How long have you owned it?
  13. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    Cool boat, but I wonder how hot those panels get in the sun ? Does aluminum get hot like steel panels do ?

  14. No_Respect
    Joined: Jul 27, 2005
    Posts: 1,170

    from So-Cal

    Hell Yes they get HOT!!! When I was a kid I had an aluminum boat and I would have to poor water the floor just to keep the bare feet from burning!!!
  15. Torchie
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 1,059


    Looks like more of a Hacker design than a Gar Wood boat although I see the Gar Wood logo on the side of the hull.
    John Hacker had a long history of designing one off boats for people.
    The lines of that boat are much like a cruiser that I used to see in the little town on Lake Michigan where I used to live. The cruiser was a one off Hacker design that was done for a couple back in the 40's that used the boat as a commuter between the mainland and an island that was 40 miles offshore.
    If you google "The Thunderbird" boat you will see one that Hacker designed and it uses stainless steel in the construction.
    Very cool no matter who built it.
  16. Roy's ride
    Joined: Dec 4, 2008
    Posts: 85

    Roy's ride
    from Michigan

    The previous owner registered it as a Gar Wood. That is the rub the self ordained authorities have with this boat. The boat design is considered a Sedan. Gar Wood had a series of wood boats called Streamline Sedans in the late 30's. But I agree, Hacker designed sedans are a closer fit. I simply don't care who built it, I just want to know. I can't imagine how cool this would be if it was an automotive "special" or prototype of this quality. Only a handful of the boat guys get the significants of a one off of this quality and aesthetic. Most want to prove what it is not rather and find out what it is. Is there a vintage aircraft web site like the HAMB? That would be the ticket.
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  17. Tin Can
    Joined: Nov 18, 2005
    Posts: 2,096

    Tin Can

    Sweet boat, I really dig the name too!
  18. Torchie
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 1,059


    Welcome to the world of antique boats.
    If it was found in the Detroit area you might try the Dossin Museum on Belle Isle. It's a long shot but you never know.
    May have been built for one of the automotive families. ( Ford or the Dodges come to mind) I think your best bet will be to post pics of it on any site that you can find and ask for help in identifying it.
    May be able to find out who built it and that may lead to who designed it.
  19. Sting Ray
    Joined: Mar 24, 2012
    Posts: 991

    Sting Ray

    Nice. Love hot rod boats!
  20. guffey
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 860


    Here are a couple of photos of a sedan style boat I had some years ago. It is all welded stainless steel.

    guffeystuff 012 (2).jpg

    guffeystuff 008 (2).jpg
  21. grf-x
    Joined: Jul 15, 2010
    Posts: 299


    Crap, now i want a boat like that. I don't even like boats.
  22. 35mastr
    Joined: Oct 26, 2007
    Posts: 1,899

    from Norcal

    That is a beautiful boat.
  23. chaos10meter
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    from PA.

    Nice boat but I'd hate like hell to try to walk on the deck when it's wet.
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  24. 45_70Sharps
    Joined: May 19, 2010
    Posts: 331


    Awesome boat.
    Love about everything about it. The shape of the bow, the lines of the cabin, the look of the aluminum to the wood.
  25. Dog Dish Deluxe
    Joined: Dec 23, 2011
    Posts: 778

    Dog Dish Deluxe
    from MO.

    Reminds me of a water version of a chopped Merc. Guess thats where the "speedboat" (taildragger) stance on kustoms came from.
  26. farmer12
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 7,717


  27. 40FordGuy
    Joined: Mar 24, 2008
    Posts: 2,907


    Torchie,...."Thunderbird" is still at Lake Tahoe Ca.,... Very cool to hear the twin Allisons running !!!!

  28. 41 C28
    Joined: Dec 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,772

    41 C28

    Cool old boat all you need is a double breasted jacket, an ascot and a skipper's hat and Mary Ann or Ginger or even Mrs Howe.
  29. Tommy R
    Joined: May 18, 2004
    Posts: 717

    Tommy R

    That's absolutely gorgeous! Wow...
  30. billsill45
    Joined: Jul 15, 2009
    Posts: 784

    from SoCal

    Man ... talk about the definition of Style.

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