Lively Lady

One of my long time boating friends is a true collector of old boats.  At one point, he had over thirty boats, most of them Gar Wood, Shepherd and Century.  These days he feels less is more so he’s slowly been selling of a good portion of the collection.


Over the years, I’ve worked on several Gar Woods for him.  We restored his 1946 22.5′ utility and 1947 19.5′ Deluxe runabout, plus tinkered on countless others.  His very impressive 28′ runabout was primarily restored by a mentor of mine and I was fortunate to be included in various parts of that restoration.  Now it was time for the 28 to be sold.


The boat had been in storage for over fours years, so in addition to clean up and fresh varnish, the engine needed re-comissioning.  The V-12 Scripps was pretty rare and costly to fix, so we pumped out the old fuel and flushed the entire fuel system first.  Corrosion is always a concern with long term layups.  We removed all the spark plugs – there are two per cylinder – and squirted some Marvel Mystery Oil for lubrication before attempting to turn over.


Naturally the batteries were dead and since they didn’t hold a charge very long, we replaced with new cells.  Twenty gallons of fresh non ethanol fuel and we were ready to light the engine off.  Amazingly, it started right up!  We ran it at idle for an hour on the hose to make sure everything seemed in order.


The boat was registered in the RM / Sotheby’s auction in Hershey, PA.  After freshening it up with varnish, it would need to be photographed.  Since that’s a huge hobby for me, I offered to do the photoshoot.  We varnished the entire boat inside and out so she looked stunning.  I shot some close up images while the boat was on the trailer since it was easier to do that over at the lake.  Then we took her to a local lake for water test and more photos.


The owner wanted some video as well as stills so we brought a new toy with us – a Phantom 3 quadcopter equipped with a 12 megapixel camera.  After the photos, we flew the quadcopter off the front deck of my fiberglass boat and chased “Lively Lady” around the lake recording some cool aerial footage.

It is possible to pull still images from a video stream, the last two photos are just that.  The image quality isn’t as good as a DSLR, but it’s an angle that is very unique.

“Lively Lady” sold at auction for $190,000.


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