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TOPIC: 1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X"

1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95044

Hello my name is Joe from Greenville NC and wanted to share some pics our recently completed restoration project. We are seeking any information or literature on this craft. The outboard is a 1958 Mercury Mark58. Thank You
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Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95060

I may be wrong, but I believe they were built in Minnetonka, Minnnesota. I hope Andreas will pipe in on this being that is in his part of the country. The guy that owned my Thompson before me had a Tonka Craft before he bought the Thompson. It was a 14 ft with a 40 H P Evenrude. I believe it went either to Pennsylvainia or Washington State.
Bill

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Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95069

Bill,
Thank you for the reply. You are correct where the Tonka Crafts were produced. Since acquiring this craft I actually made contact with an original owner an 80+ Yr old gentleman still living in that area. Really neat to hear how he actually purchased it as the operation was shutting down. I believe it was late 50's.
Joe

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Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95070

Yes, Tonka Craft boats were made by Minnetonka Boat Works in Wayzata, MN. The building is still there, containing offices and a new restaurant is opening in mid June.

They got into lapstrake hulls by copying a 1950s Thompson Bros. boat, literally. I was displaying my 1957 Thompson 16'-7" Sea Lancer at a classic boating event outside of the old boatworks a number of years ago. An elderly gentleman came up and asked about the boat. He said he worked at the Boat Works and pointed towards the building. He then asked if I knew how they got into making lapstrakes? I said no. He proceeded to tell me!

One day he came to work and was told to report to the loading dock along with another worker. A brand new lapstrake Thompson boat was sitting there. They were told to study it, take it apart piece by piece and learn how it was constructed and make tooling, molds and jigs to make their own version! So they did!

Fun stuff!

Andreas

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Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95085

jp52gville,

WELCOME ABOARD. - NICE "clone", too.

yours, satx

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Resistance to tyrants is obedience to Almighty God.
Thomas Jefferson, 1803

Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95105

Thanks satx. I believe this is going to be fun learning from so many wonderful knowledgeable people.

I'm new to the forum and I didn't understand the term "clone" you used in your reply.

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Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95106

Joe,

Boat looks great. How does that Mark 58 perform ?

Travis

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www.liquidassetsonline.org , 63\'PowerCat14-C w/twin64\'650\'s,14\'Glen-L Zip w/Mark58E,58\'TeeNee,
Mark55AE,Mark55E,PairMark58E\\\'s,Mark58AE,Mark78AEL, 6-7RBM\'s.Keep EM\' Alive! Always looking to add to collection.

Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95111

Travis,

That Mark 58 performed great. The posted shots were actually taken on the boat and motor's maiden run. The restoration was recently completed (by me) and then the registration process. We feel that by working with different props we should gain a bit more speed. We also need to get her trimmed better as well.. That Tonka is pretty light so the motor should really push her when everything is right

Do you have a boat?

Joe

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Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95117

  • DaveK
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Very pretty. Nice rig you are to be proud of.

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Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95118

Joe,

Yes I'm almost a boater again moved to the city and was boatless for the last 15 yrs. I'm almost complete with building my Glen-L Zip and have a Mark 58s for it. I'm about 95% on the boat and the motor should be ready the 2nd week of June. I also have a 63 PowerCat 14-C which is next in line for a total restore. I have twin 64' 650's for it. I'll post pics tomorrow.

Travis

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www.liquidassetsonline.org , 63\'PowerCat14-C w/twin64\'650\'s,14\'Glen-L Zip w/Mark58E,58\'TeeNee,
Mark55AE,Mark55E,PairMark58E\\\'s,Mark58AE,Mark78AEL, 6-7RBM\'s.Keep EM\' Alive! Always looking to add to collection.

Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95121

Thanks Dave. I am new to the wood boat family, but it has been rewarding to share with others.

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Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95122

Travis,

I am not familiar with a Glen-L Zip. Is this a restore or a custom build?

I have a new project that I am about to start on soon. Not exactly sure of its year of manufacture, but I think it is a 1962 16' Cruiser Inc lapstrake craft. Should be completed by late fall.

Joe

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Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95127

jp52gville,

A "clone" is a copy or NEAR copy of another company's boats.= Yours looks like a Thompson to me.

yours, satx

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Resistance to tyrants is obedience to Almighty God.
Thomas Jefferson, 1803

Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95129

Thanks

I was unaware that Thompson cloned Tonkas

Joe

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Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95132

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Welcome aboard Joe. "Madam X" turned out really nice, you should be proud!

There was an amazing (to me anyway) amount of cloning or copying other companies designs going on, in the early years. This was especially true of the fiberglass builders, I wasn't aware it also took place in the wood boat community as well.

Here's a link to the Glen-L Zip, she's a sweet one!
www.boatdesigns.com/14-Zip-twin-cockpit-runabout/products/378/

Looking forward to seeing more pics of everybody's project(s)!

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Mark

Re:1956 Tonka Craft 3 years 10 months ago #95152

jp52gville wrote:

Thanks

I was unaware that Thompson cloned Tonkas

Joe


Minnetonka Boat Works copied Thompson, as I explained above in an earlier post.

Andreas

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Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95162

Great job Joe!!!!!!

Bob

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Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95169

Joe,

Here are a couple of pics, the Mark 58s is a few weeks out but I will post pics soon. I plan on taking boat to the St. Clair show this year in Michigan and hopefully will meet some people there on this forum. I built the boat ground up and also restored the 58' Tee Nee. I still need to say I really like what you did with your restore would like to find something like that to do. If you go to the glen-l site my build is in the forum under small outboards and Zipology Travis
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www.liquidassetsonline.org , 63\'PowerCat14-C w/twin64\'650\'s,14\'Glen-L Zip w/Mark58E,58\'TeeNee,
Mark55AE,Mark55E,PairMark58E\\\'s,Mark58AE,Mark78AEL, 6-7RBM\'s.Keep EM\' Alive! Always looking to add to collection.

Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95173

Thanks Mark. Madam X wasn't pretty when she arrived at my house. I will post some early shots in the restoration a bit later tonight.

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Re:1956 Tonka Craft 3 years 10 months ago #95174

Andreas,

Please forgive my senior moment... Your earlier reply about your experience at the old factory must have been the ultimate. Thanks!

Joe

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Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95176

Beautiful looking result!! How long did it take to complete? Is that okoume plywood?

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Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95177

Thanks Bob!! Just hearing the appreciation from others make our projects so rewarding!!

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Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95178

Where did you purchase the white walls on the Tee Nee? I am about to begin restoration of a 1961 model OB-1300 Tee Nee.

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Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95226

Plywood is Hydrotech 1088 and the whitewalls came from Coker tire, only place that makes em for that original wheel. Boat has been an ongoing project for the last 3 yrs if I could have worked on it full time that boat would take 2 1/2 months.

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www.liquidassetsonline.org , 63\'PowerCat14-C w/twin64\'650\'s,14\'Glen-L Zip w/Mark58E,58\'TeeNee,
Mark55AE,Mark55E,PairMark58E\\\'s,Mark58AE,Mark78AEL, 6-7RBM\'s.Keep EM\' Alive! Always looking to add to collection.

Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95237

It sure looks like the 3 years paid off, beautiful job. And the Tee Nee too!! You and I have something else in common... A plywood build. I have attached a few shots of my recently built Okoume plywood Cocktail Class Racer. It took about 7-8 weeks from layout to paint. Lots of fun!!
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Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95242

Joe

Now your talkin cool boat I'm thinking you have many boat projects under your belt.

Travis

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www.liquidassetsonline.org , 63\'PowerCat14-C w/twin64\'650\'s,14\'Glen-L Zip w/Mark58E,58\'TeeNee,
Mark55AE,Mark55E,PairMark58E\\\'s,Mark58AE,Mark78AEL, 6-7RBM\'s.Keep EM\' Alive! Always looking to add to collection.

Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95251

Travis
You should be proud of your project. I bet strangers stop if you have her near the road. They do at my house, because they don't see many wooden boats.

These two boats are my first restore and scratch build. My son found Madam X and brought it to my house and said here's a project... Fix it. The racer was a just a bucket-list item, but so much fun!! I'm excited about getting starting on my Cruiser,Inc lapstrake.

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Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95735

Joe,

I just saw this is it something like your next project?

Travis

detroit.craigslist.org/okl/boa/4506234530.html

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www.liquidassetsonline.org , 63\'PowerCat14-C w/twin64\'650\'s,14\'Glen-L Zip w/Mark58E,58\'TeeNee,
Mark55AE,Mark55E,PairMark58E\\\'s,Mark58AE,Mark78AEL, 6-7RBM\'s.Keep EM\' Alive! Always looking to add to collection.

Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95750

Travis,

Form that picture it is hard for me to tell if it is similar to my Cruiser, Inc project boat. Thanks for sending it!

Here is a picture of mine

Joe
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Re:1956 Tonka Craft "Madam X" 3 years 10 months ago #95762

Joe

That's a pretty cool setup. From what you have shown so far I can't wait to see this one finished,update with progress and have fun completing that one!

Travis

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www.liquidassetsonline.org , 63\'PowerCat14-C w/twin64\'650\'s,14\'Glen-L Zip w/Mark58E,58\'TeeNee,
Mark55AE,Mark55E,PairMark58E\\\'s,Mark58AE,Mark78AEL, 6-7RBM\'s.Keep EM\' Alive! Always looking to add to collection.
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