Including the Ruckus in Lucas!
April, 2010

Don't Miss Keels & Wheels, May 1-2 at Clear Lake

Keels & Wheels, being held at Lakewood Yacht Club on Clear Lake, TX, May 1-2, 2010, is just around the corner. A number of WBA members are going to help out with the launching and judging efforts, and to man the Yellow Jacket display. If you can attend and/or support any of these efforts, please let Bob Van Guilder or David Kanally know right away.

This Just In: SpringHill Suites Houston NASA/Seabrook 2120 NASA Parkway, Seabrook, TX 77586 is OPEN FOR KEELS AND WHEELS! Today Springhill Suites Marriott indicated they WILL be open for the Show!


We have a commitment for the majority of the rooms reserved for "Boaters of Keels and Wheels" at the rate of $119.+tax per night. Please contact Diana Burney ASAP at 281-474-3456x7062 and reserve your rooms.

This is a brand new state of the art Springhill Suites ACROSS THE STREET from Lakewood Yacht Club. Marriott's website doesn't even show them taking reservations yet.

Register now for Keels & Wheels!

Willis Family Attends WBA Presentation on their Family's Boat Business

Four members of the Willis family, Randy, Sherry, Terry and Kelly, attended the March 18 meeting of the WBA to hear and participate in a presentation about Willis Boat Works, the family business that put Dallas on the speedboat racing map.

Founded and operated by Randy and Terry's grandfather, S. C. "Pop" Willis from the 30s through the early '60s, Willis Boat Works produced racing outboards, hydroplanes and family runabouts in addition to special-order boats.


Also in attendance were Willis boat owners Charlie and Susan Varner, whose 1962 Willis was featured at last September's White Rock Lake event.

Above left, Pop Willis constructs one of his most famous racing hulls, the Comet. Above right, Pop at his desk in July of 1959.

The presentation by David Kanally, and especially the visit by the Willis family, were well received. Watch a slideshow of Willis photos!

Lucas: Troy & Robin's '39 Gar Wood Utility

Above: The original plank bottom was faired and the seams were sealed with epoxied mahogany strips. After sanding, a sheet of fiberglass cloth was applied for a no-soak bottom.

Below: The original flathead six-cylinder Gray Marine 226 engine already runs like a top, so with replacement of the fuel pump diaphragm, a new impeller and a nice cosmetic restoration by Robin and Troy, this baby's ready to go back in.

New Bottom and Boot Stripe to Boot!

Above: Robin positions the strut for the the prop shaft. Robin taped off the boot stripe and painted it with three coats of white marine enamel for good coverage. He'll trip with black trim tape when the paint's good and dry.

Below: Robin filled some cracks in the transom with his now well-known technique of epoxy thickened with microballoons, then stained and now ready for varnish. This beautiful boat will be sold when it's done, so let the guys know if you're interested.

Phil Wolff's '58 Century Coronado:

Above: Phil Wolff continues to make progress at home on the frames of his '58 Century Coronado. Says Phil, "The Century Coronado has ¾ inch marine plywood to strength the stern last 8’ of the engine stringers. These no doubt assist in supporting the high torque Cadillac Marine 331 ci. engine used in this boat. The originals were removed, the stringers cleaned, sanded , and coated with Smiths Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer. I reproduced them from new wood and sealed them prior to installation. The picture shows port side installed and the starboard readied to be installed. There has also been a rib or two replaced since last month."

Mark Wilson's '62 CC Super Sport:

Above: Mark Wilson's '62 Chris-Craft Super Sport looks a little scary at this point, but don't despair! The frames are solid, with no replacement required. Perhaps a couple iffy spots will need CPES and minor patching. A couple of transom boards will need to be replaced, and then a new bottom installed.

No doubt this is a major undertaking, but with Mark's willingness and the wise advice of seasoned boat restorers who live at the shop, the Super Sport couldn't be in better hands.

Come on out to the shop sometime and find out what the "hands-on wooden boat club" is all about. Be sure and check with one of the guys before you make the trip.

Next Meeting April 15th--Don't Miss It!

Join us at the Midway Point on Thursday, April 15th for the next monthly meeting of the WBA. Come out and see some people who look surprisingly good for their ages. Richard Haug will treat the group to one of his well-researched presentations, this one entitled, "The Herreshoffs and their Innovations". We've been seeing some faces from the past as well as new members! The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 15th at the Midway Point at LBJ and Midway Road.

Join us for a light meal and moderate libation at 5:30 p.m. at the Midway Point prior to the meeting.

Shop Talk and Musings:

There's never a dull moment at the shop in Lucas. Every time your editor makes a recon tour there, there's more work accomplished, and more progress toward our Club's goal of restoring and preserving antique and classic boats. It seemed for a while like Troy and Robin's Hacker project was without end, but the finished boat has only to await a day of calm air and flat water to mark the waterline. And they're sure not sitting on their laurels in the meantime. Mark Wilson is making the splinters fly in the deconstruction phase on his Super Sport. And Bill Baldwin is pacing himself on his outboard. "Outboards Don't Count", a curse once heard by Baldwin from someone who should know better, is a phrase he intends to erase from memory. Finally, don't think you'll get away without reading something about Yellow Jackets this month. We found new information from the families of Richard C. Cole, designer of the fabled Yellow Jacket molded hull, and George Wesley Theakston, who brought the molded hull construction technology from Industrial Shipping in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia to Denison Texas. Check out their stories by reading

"The Genius of the Yellow Jacket Hull."

Please take a look in the shed or garage for the leftover parts or other saleable items you can donate to the club. Bring them to any WBA meeting, or contact David Kanally at for pickup.