Archive for the ‘Garwood’ Category

Stewart Warner gauge panel for our Ensign

Saturday, January 28th, 2012


Some “Bling” for our Garwood

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

Stephanie won a package of chrome for our Garwood Ensign on eBay.

We got all these pieces and best of all…
Our Garwood has screw holes for all the new parts…

Correct part? …our boat has screw holes for new one…

Below: an Ensign at has the bow chrome and aft vent. It’s listed as number 20 of 650 or so built…

It may also be noted that its panel of gauges is similar to ours…

The Inspiration of Algonac

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Saturday, June 25th, we made our way to Algonac Michigan to the boat show “Where it all began.” We were able to meet the “Oldboatguy,” Arlon and see his beautifully restored GarWood Ensign. The oldboatguy pulled his boat all the way to Algonac from Idaho alone. That’s quite a trip and very inspirational… Even more than being where woodies all began.

Taking three dogs to a boat show is just too much… It was hard enough before with two large male labs, but three labs is too much. Our newest puppy, not even a year old, did not like all the strange people. Before, we could take turns seeing and photographing the woodies, but these three monsters/beasts all want to do different things… Boots wanted to crawl under someones boat to just hang out, Sam just wanted to go swimming, and Lizzy just wanted to go on a ride away from all the hoop-la…

I was able to verify that our Ensign was originally made with engine bed logs. Also, got a better idea of the brightwork meant for it. Forgot to ask what ever happened to the old continental the oldboatguy got last year, but found out he’s got himself a Riviera of his own for a future project. We can wish him the best of luck and hopes he and family enjoy it as much as we enjoy ours…

All this inspiration has pushed me along on our garage addition and today our GarWood was pushed into the new garage awaiting it’s makeover!

Algonac – Where it all began…

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

This is “Where It All Began.” Sponsored by the Michigan chapter of the ACBS in the place where Smith and Wood lived, worked and played. Algonac Michigan is located on the St.Clair River. It’s wide and deep with little jet ski’s running along with freighters and such. The show was held at the Algonac Harbour Club and consists of some deep water docks with many large boats. Back behind the restaurant, the woodies were moored below for everyone to view. There was plenty of room for us to have our dogs here… We’ll be marking this show in our calendar for next year!

This particular boat show was special in that a statue of Gar Wood and Christoper Smith was unveiled next the Algonac/Clay Historical Society Museum. Most of the remaining Smith’s and Wood’s were there for the event and our timing couldn’t have been better. We arrive just after the unveiling just in time to see many of the woodies cruising by in a parade.

We got quite a few good pictures while we were there. Here’s a few random ones from our gallery…

Algonac128.jpg f159.jpg Algonac120.jpg Algonac152.jpg

Be sure to check out the rest of the photos in our Gallery

And, while there we also saw a “WoodyBoater” pick-up truck, so be sure to check out his site for more coverage of the event and some even better photos a few post down…

Musical Woodies?

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

A very exciting day as we brought our Riviera home from its winter storage facility… The day was quite hectic because our GarWood and Sandrail was already in the shop. I pulled the buggy out in the morning and repositioned the GarWood a bit.

When I woke up in the afternoon, I had to preform my daily ritual of a bite to eat for me and the dogs, a short boat ride to an island down the river for the dogs to run, snoop, and do their business… And finally back to the task of getting our Chris-Craft home.

I continued by moving our car across the street, then we pushed and pulled the GarWood out of the shop and into the driveway beside our house. The Riviera is a little longer than the Ensign so a few things had to be moved around the shop to accommodate it. Rounded everybody up and into the truck to go get the Riviera. Everything hooked up alright and the tow went uneventful other than a little traffic.

Our Chris Craft Riviera is home and in the shop. It’s a tight fit with her rudder against the back wall and the tongue being about 2 inches too long to close the garage door… Gee, I really-really need this building to grow. I had to park the sandrail behind the shop for the time being and will be putting most-all of my efforts into getting the Riviera into the water and out of the way of a much needed shop addition.

Once the Riviera was in the shop, we had to relocate our GarWood somewhere out of the elements. We towed her back to where the Chris-Craft was stored for the winter.

The 1947 Garwood Ensign Puzzle

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

In a few emails with Tony Mollica, it may have been discovered that this boat is a 1947 Ensign. He stated that, “when production ended in March of 1947, unfinished hulls were sold as is and new owners finished them as best they could.”

I will continue to search for a hull number, but this may have to wait until I’m ready to start taking the old Garwood apart…

Under this assumption of having a “factory unfinished” 1947 Garwood Ensign, what options where available at that time, and what do I have to work with? Evaluating what I have to work with and what actually fits within the available options of the time will probably determine many aspects of our restoration. However, we do like the clear finished wooden sides as opposed to the white painted sides. And, the previous placement of the battery in this hull is pretty cool. (I think I’ve seen it next to the engine under the floors in other ensigns…)

But what’s Right?
I guess more research is needed…

So what is there to work with…
Most of the hull seems to have been properly assembled, it’s mainly the deck that doesn’t belong to an Ensign. Parts within the boat are starting to give clues as to what seems to have been assembled in-factory vs. afterwords. The bilge, topside frames and planking mostly have red paint buried under coats of green and grey paint. However, parts of the transom and all of the deck are unpainted. Was this a standard practice at the factory or is this an actual clue as to what doesn’t belong? A lot of the deck framing is also made of various sizes, pieces, and types of wood – mostly red oak and pine.

The puzzle of trying to figure out what we have seems to have brought on even more mystery, but the challenge of discovery is also a welcome part of the restoration process that goes along with classic wood boats. It’s hard just waiting to get started, but boating season is just around the corner and additional projects must come first! We have to checkout our Riviera for another season of riding and there’s a small addition to our garage I want…)

On a side note: Tony also said that the Antique Boat Museum volunteers are currently restoring a Garwood Ensign, that the ABM has lots of photos and drawings for reference, and that the ABM sponsors a boat show whose feature this year is the Garwood.

More Lost than Before…

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Let me go over a few things here…

  • Bow to stern the boat measures 16 feet down the middle. It’s 6′ 4″ wide with about 7′ of open space in the cockpit behind the front seat divider.
  • The previous owner said it was a 1934 Garwood?
    He obtained it at auction with two other boats; a 60-something Chris Craft Capri that his son redone and a Century which he uses at a lake cottage…

  • Looking though Tony Mollica’s Garwood Boats book:
    • From the rounded bullnose I thought it look more like a 1946 or 47′ Ensign.
    • But the center gauge looks like one used on 1936’s and 1938’s
    • The split cutwater says post-war…
    • On the stern, the “Racing-style” quick-fill gas cap looks Garwood
    • …And the matching vent too
    • There are not any “Garwood” step pads (frames seem to be aluminum or some-sort of potmetal that’s chrome plated?)
    • Didn’t see any windshield brackets like I have in the book?
    • Engine is not the original, there mismatched engine bed logs with red oak wedges and shaft log has been relocated plus there’s an adjustable angle strut…
    • Not to mention the hot rod steering wheel and gas pedal on the floor… (not seen anywhere in Tony’s book?)
  • The bottom has an “old-school” poly-type fiberglass bottom. (It doesn’t seem connected when you tap on it, there’s just a strip of wood attached at the waterline that seems to be holding it in place.)
  • The boat has an Indiana registration sticker from 1985 – It hasn’t been out of the water very long…
  • And every time I look at it, I think what a cute little boat. Bet she’ll really scoot!
  • The interior layout is like an Ensign, Utility, or Deluxe…
  • But the bow doesn’t have a raised/stacked quarter-round like the Ensign?
  • I’ve unsuccessfully looked for a Hull Number inside the transom, on the aft deck frames, inside the engine box, on either engine stringer, on the backside of the dash, on the wood portions of the seats, on the bilge side of both floor hatches, on the keel, on the insides of both stringers, along the top-half of the starboard stringer, on the framework for all the seats, and yet have not found anything! Arg!

Anyways, I’ve uploaded a few more pictures to the gallery…

Inside002.jpg 109_0975.JPG Gauge3.jpg Inside012.jpg

The Search Continues…

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Got some time this past weekend and pulled the GreyMarine 6 engine out to take a closer look for a hull number. I’ve been looking for sometime and have yet to encounter one anywhere.

I have looked at the deck under the bow, all along the main stringers, on the keel, behind seat backs, inside the engine cover… Also, behind the fuel tank, but there’s been extra wood added in places covering some original wood. And, back of the dash was checked out, but lots of add-on gauges have been installed throughout the years. However, the “original” gauge cluster has number 05477 stamped on it. Could this be something?

Anyways, I’ve uploaded a few more pictures to the gallery…

ID-search 014.jpg ID-search 008.jpg 109_0981.JPG EngineOut 005.jpg

OldBoatGuy’s Garwood Ensign Restoration

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

A fantastic record of one mans quest restoring an old classic boat.


If you dig way back to the beginning of the OldBoatGuy blog, you can find his log of restoring a 1947 16′ Garwood Ensign. This site has given me great insight to what the restoration of our newest boat (the Garwood Ensign) might be like. For anyone looking to find info on the Garwood Ensign, or any old antique or classic boat, should check out his site