I have a 1959 Thompson Sea Lancer built in Peshtigo, and everything on the hull that is painted is Douglas Fir plywood. All of the brite work is Mahogany. To my knowledge, and Andreas will correct me if I am wrong, all of the lapstrake boats that they built are like this. The outer layer of the transom and the garboard planks are solid boards and the deck is mahogany plywood.
My friend Brett sent me a picture of his Thompson and will send more once he gets it out of the attic in his barn.
I showed him a picture of your Thomboy and he says his boat has the same Kainer Steerer and throttle set up.
Brett is a plumber and found the boat stored under a porch at a customer’s home while searching for a route to run a gas line for a grill. The house is on the Fox River in Northern IL which has a storied past of boat racing. In fact it’s just upriver from McHenry where SwitzerCraft was originally located.
Neat boat. Also, thanks for the cool link with the Fox Lake Boating History. Nice photo gallery. Great to see people crazy about boating way before I came along. My family's boating history goes back into the late 1700's with Fur trading French Voyagers. Boated to Wisconsin from Montreal Canada back then. They were WAY more adventurous that I have been. I cannot get boating out of my blood - nor do I want to!
The flash drive is ordered and looking forward to seeing that. I always find it amazing what one can learn while searching to learn about something else.
I am doing some research on the Henry C. Grebe Boat Company which built boats in Chicago. The company was founded in Milwaukee in 1915 and moved operations to a location on the North Branch of the Chicago River in 1921. They built yachts for their well heeled clientele and during war years were under contract with the government. They built the last boat in 1970 but continued operations as a boat yard until 1994.
Photos courtesy of the Chicago Maritime Museum
My friend Captain Toby bought a 1936 Grebe Motoryacht when they closed in 94. The Robert Allen II is said to be the oldest power boat in Chicago and the oldest Grebe afloat.
Photos courtesy of Seth Anderson
Another of this beautiful and historic vessel’s claim to fame is that it starred in the documentary Chicago by Boat: The New River Tour.
Now that being said, and I can’t believe I just said that, I was talking with Brett who owns the Thompson Speed Demon. I mentioned Grebe and its location on the Chicago River and its close proximity to Riverview Park. In the old pictures of the boat yard you can see the rides towering above the boats in the background. And in pictures of the park you can see the Grebes down on the river.
Grebe boat yard 1928
Riverview Park in the late 50's. Notice the Grebes next to the Shoot-the-Chutes and left of the Tilt-O-Whirl
Brett told me the wife of a friend owned the Bonds boat yard and marina in the same area. He sent me this picture of a photo taken at the Chicago Boat show in the late fifties.
Gonna guess 1958 by the looks of that Merc.
So I went into the FG library directory and in the Boat Show section found ads for the 1958 Chicago Boat Show.
Very interesting so I kept looking around. I clicked on the Boat Magazines and 1952 Boat Show.
Lo and behold! I think I found a picture of a 1952 Thompson Speed Demon.