Jason D.'s transom repair page that he put together when he restored his
1980 SSV-163. Go
and Wendy Blasdell's story: "Our Kids' Boat"
Our Kids' Boat Part II
Jim and Wendy are foster parents with sometimes as many as 9 kids! They are
good, giving Christian folk. And good story writers too. Read about their Glastron GT-160
"The Beauty of Restoration" by Todd Williams
"One Nation Under God" by Jim Blasdell, CGOA member and foster parent to many kids.
Ray Crow's amazing '74 V-178 Restoration...see pics and great story! Go
Mr. Jerry Wilhoit, plant manager during Glastron's glory days from 1963
1976. What a fascinating conversation with a very entertaining and friendly man. Jerry was
in an ideal position to see just about everything that went on at the Austin plant from the upper level executive goings on to the shop floor and what it took to put these fine boats together. Let me start by thanking Jerry and his wife to who helped during our conversation.
Jerry still lives and breathes boats as he campaigns a very hot outboard drag boat on the racing curcuit.
Jerry on "LBJ's Navy":
asked me: "You know about LBJ's navy, don't you?" I said no. "Oh yes, Johnson
Glastrons before becoming president, but once in office we fixed him up a nice 204 (1965 Gulfstream V-204). It had the big 409 in it. I did all the work on it. They wanted me to do
all of it, so I did. Whenever he went out, here went all these secret service guys trying to keep up with him. And he liked to get away from them! The secret service guys kept asking me to slow the boat down, but the president wanted me to keep it fast. Shoot, I did what the president said. Yeah, that was LBJ's navy.
on the "Company Swimming Pool"
(summers can get quite hot in Austin)
"Did you know we had a pool? Well, it was a tank for level testing. It was big, about the size of and olympic swimming pool. But no swimming. No, the employees weren't allowed to swim in it, but they always wanted to. There were signs: "no swimming" They put up a fence too.
Jerry on Bob Hammond
were not many like Bob Hammond. Someone who could start a company, make
and quit when he wanted to"
stuff! Thanks Jerry. I'll talk to you again soon.
a fun to read restoration story by Greg Weddle about his '64 Futura. It
took a while to
identify it. Finally with the help renowned authority Lee Wangstad we nailed it down. Wait
till you read the list of strange (yes, strange) things he found in this boat that sat a long time!
Here is the "story" behind the acquisition and ongoing restoration of
my boat. Feel free to edit as necessary as I realize it is a bit lengthy.
I was helping my father-in-law install a water heater at the home of the
pastor of his church in Danville, IL one spring day in 1998. Upon arriving at the residence, I noticed an old runabout sitting out in the rear of the yard. Intrigued by just about anything old, especially if it's something you can ride around in, I made my way over to the thing to have a look. It appeared to have been sitting for many years as it was full of wet leaves and the hull was badly oxidized. On the transom was mounted a 75 horsepower McCulloch outboard, the likes of which I had never seen before. As I glanced about the
boat I noticed the wrap-around windshield, the chrome triple gauges and the sleek retro-lines of this forgotten old girl. I could see that there were once Glastron decals on the hull and it appeared to be of 1960s vintage. After a few minutes, I rejoined my father-in-law to help with the water heater
installation and mentioned that I was somewhat taken by the old relic sitting nearby. He said "That boat is mine" and I said "What, you already have a boat, what do you want with that thing...besides, its too far gone." He replied "You want it?" Before my mind could contemplate what I was getting in to I said "Sure, is it free?" He said it was offered to him by the owners and that they just wanted it out of the yard. The next weekend I set out from my home in Indianapolis, IN, my pickup loaded with tools, rope, an air tank and other items necessary to extricate an old boat and trailer from its long-term resting place. Soon after arriving at the scene, I had the tires aired up (rubber was still good), new light kit on the trailer, slapped a borrowed Indiana trailer license plate on and away I went. Along the 90 mile trip down 74 East to Indianapolis, I noticed quite a bit of debris being jettisoned out of the boat as we moved along at 65 mph. Had I known how badly rotted the transom was, I would have not exceeded 55 mph. as the 200 lb. McCulloch was pounding it pretty good. I will never forget the look on the other motorist's faces as they dodged a decades worth of junk flying at them from something that looked like it came from an Elvis movie. Upon arriving home, I was greeted by neighborhood children and other assorted curious onlookers as I backed the new object of my affection into the drive. The look on my wife's face was priceless. She just stood there, hands on hips and giving a look that said "That thing is not staying in my driveway." Well,
marriage is give-and-take and she was going to have to do some "giving" on this one. Upon inspection, the first thing I noticed was that there was still quite a bit of trash in the boat. As I scooped out the remaining leaves, I found several other items to be part of the inventory of the boat. Other items included a still-sealed can of McCulloch 100:1 outboard motor oil, 2 rusted McCulloch six gallon gas tanks, 2 extra propellors, and, most surprising, the skeletal remains of several small animals who had at some time claimed the
boat as their home. I also found the remnants of the original bimini top which I plan to repair.
It was immediately apparent that the floor was completely rotted when I sank clear down to the bilge channel upon getting in the boat. Oh well, I expected that so I yanked out the seats and began pulling up the floor. Once the floor was gone, I could see that the stringers were also history, along with the
transom. I had to remind myself that this was a "free" deal and that with perseverance, I could put her back together. In need of some spiritual uplifting, I move on to the motor. I removed the spark plugs, squirted some oil directly into the cylinders and waited a couple of hours for the oil to penetrate. I then placed a rope around the flywheel and gave it a yank and found that the motor was not locked-up. I then connected a battery, and, much to my and my neighbor's amazement, the thing fired and ran! This was not what I expected. I figured the boat would need only a new floor and seats and that the motor would give me problems, not vice-versa. Knowing I had gotten more than I had bargained for, I began to research how to
do a complete restoration. I found a great source of information in the book "Runabout Renovation" by Jim Anderson. Over the course of the summer, I separated the deck from the hull...kind of like taking the lid off of a Tupperware container, and began replacing stringers and transom. After glassing the new wood into place, I installed all new floatation, a new floor, carpet and seats. Once the boat had been "put back," I began to have doubts about the old McCulloch 75 and began checking the classifieds for some cheap, more up to date power. My prayers were answered when I came upon what was claimed to be a '71 Merc 85 with controls for $295! Too good to believe, I thought, but I headed over to the listed address to take a look. Sure enough, a Merc 85 and not bad looking either. The seller said he got it with an 18' deck boat a few
years back and that it just didn't seem to have enough power. I paid the man, took the motor and discovered it to be a '76 model. Upon inspection, I found the source of the lack of power...a part of the wiring harness had corroded and the motor was only hitting on 3 cylinders. I mended the corroded portion
and it now runs like new. Some guy from Erie, PA bought the McCulloch for his 60's wooden boat he plans to run out on Lake Erie. I hope he has a good marine radio. The boat is now sea worthy and made 3 voyages late last summer. I plan on using it often this season and will continue with upgrading the boat as I go. I can honestly say that the outcome of the restoration was a truly satisfying experience as I now have a unique and dependable boat that gets many admiring looks on the local reservoirs.