(PART I CAN BE FOUND HERE)
If the Small Craft Building featured the more modest watercraft, the boathouse housing the in-water fleet, the McNally Yacht House certainly delivered the fancy stuff. Outside the building was a boat used for ferrying people around the various islands and to their cottages, "That's Her." 40 feet long and built in Clayton in 1933 (on the site where the museum currently stands), she was in service until 1989 as the ferry service dwindled as more people had their own boats and put into storage. Restored by a member of the family that bought the boat in 1945, she was relaunched in 2012 and spends summers at the museum as an example of a regionally designed, built and operated boat.
Moving into the Yacht House, one comes across what must be the crown jewel of the museum: a triple cockpit "runabout" built in 1948 by the Hutchinson Boat Works in Alexandria Bay for wealthy sportsman Charles P. Lyon to plans by legendary designer John Hacker. Built of Honduran mahogany and beautifully proportioned, Pardon Me appears to be a very large speedboat but in fact under the foredeck there is a galley, head and sleeping accommodations for four.
Lyon was unhappy with progress on the boat and had Hutchinson put it up for sale very soon after it was built as there were mechanical issues to be resolved. It was difficult to handle in close quarters due to its massive engine's power and Lyon only used it half a dozen times. The second owner, who purchased it in 1950, kept the boat for more than two decades, selling it in 1976. It underwent a first overhaul, including a new engine and cooling system, under the next owner. Then two of the museum's founders bought it in 1986 for donation to the museum and it underwent restoration in the museum's workshop and at a yard in Maine.
|Packard 4M 2500 engine|
|Teal (left) and Zipper (right)|
|1929 Sea-Lyon 35|
|This mahogany 21'6"
Runabout was produced by the Horace E. Dodge Boat & Plane
Corporation in Newport News, Virginia|
Although the names of John Hacker and Gar Wood are well-known in the world of vintage wooden speedboats, in the 1930s one of the largest factories in existence was that of the Horace E. Dodge Corporation. Founded in 1923 by Horace E. Dodge, Jr., son of one of the brothers who started the Dodge Brothers car company (the second largest in the United States), Dodge was encouraged by his mother to launch his own venture following his father's death in 1920. No expense seems to have been spared in building a dedicated factory in Newport News, Virginia, and while Dodge and his sister Delphine were speedboat racing enthusiasts and had some success. The fine runabout on display was one of four models in a lineup initiated in 1928 but the Great Depression put an end to the demand for fabulous speedboats and production ceased in 1935, although boats would be built in the plant for naval patrol craft for use in World War II. The factory was purchased by Gar Wood Industries in 1946 and stands derelict today.
Horace Dodge (1900-1963) was a colourful character who was married five times and lived a life of impressive opulence although he never received his inheritance as his mother (Anna Thomson Dodge) would outlive him by seven years. Nonetheless, he never suffered financially, moving between four mansions in the United States, England and France, and throwing lavish parties but eventually was confined to a wheelchair as a result of his alcoholism. The boats from his company are considered of the highest quality and are much sought-after for their design as well as their rarity.
|1929 Fay & Bowen Junior Runabout|
|The Fay & Bowen factory, Geneva, NY|
|Left to right: Chris-Craft Deluxe, Hacker Runabout, Elco Cruiser|
|Comfortable Interior of the Lozier Lake Special|
|1935 Gar Wood 16 Foot Speedster "Miss Behave"|
|"Miss Behave" next to a runabout made by the Truscott Boat Manufacturing Company of St. Joseph, Michigan|