Wooden Boats-Hydros to Chris Crafts



Click the arrow twice, SLOWLY!

To Larry Johansen, whose step-father, Al,  had an outboard motor repair shop and got Larry interested in hydros.

This video is of hydro races in the 40's.



 A Liberty V-12 airplane engine from the 40's. Check out the close-up of the rocker arms when it plays.

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A lot of boats had the steering in the back.


This motor reminds me of Wally and Philly Frazier's motor on their hydro in the mid 60's. Everytime they wanted to go they'd have to pull on it for 15 minutes, and when it started it'd always be in forward, so off they'd go. If it started.



These 4 cylinder engines were HUGE. This was probably a 75 or 80 horse.





U.S.S. Forrest Sherman, DD-931. My old ship, home port-Newport, R.I.


Well, It's not wood but it ain't fiberglass either. It's my old ship.


USS Edson DD-946 which was a museum ship in NYC next to the Intrepid wound up next to my old ship in the Philadelphia Yard waiting to be sold for scrap. My ship was rescued from that fate by a determined bunch of my shipmates who were able to find a new home for it as a museum ship. Unfortunately, it'll be in Maryland.




Two props are better than one?


Man, talk about custom.





This was a very popular place for decades.

He had everything scattered between a few big yards.




In the 80's it went full tilt with triple stacking storage. They had several fork lifts and a big mover with slings. Richy Gullo, whose mother also worked here for years, and Mark Cunningham worked here and they got to test a lot of boats. Mark even kept his own boat here.


This is not Camerato's or Commie's as we called it. This is actually out on City Island. But this is what Richy Gullo and Mark Cunningham had there. They would use fork lifts to get the boats out of the racks.


While their mover was not quite as heavy duty as this at Commie's it was still huge.


These were used for the biggest boats and were driven from one end like the control booth on this one.

 Then we have:


Shelter Cove Marina, now full of condos, shown here during the transition. In the area where the trees are was an old broken down house owned by an old woman and her daughter, now gone. The house was razed and new houses built just like the 5 houses next door. When we were kids we spent alot of time over here. We knew the mechanics, Ray and Burt, who worked here in the mid 60's. They both had boats here, naturally, and if we were lucky they'd take us out. There were rows of lockers for fishing gear, a place to eat and a bar. Most all boat yards had a store for marine products. The new motors would be there in a showroom, there would be marine bottom paint, rope, oars, life preservers, anchors, lights, fiberglass and resin and all the rest of what you'd need for a boat. Drinking and driving in a boat wasn't even frowned upon back then. Larry Johansen later worked here as the head mechanic until the owners sold the place to developers. Larry started with boats when he was very young. His step-father Al had an outboard repair shop down the Fort Road (Pennyfield Ave), by the old miniature golf place, which is now the gas station and used car lot. Larry had hydros when he was young and was the reason alot of us got into boats.


Shelter Cove Marina, was formerly known as Trainor's and was around forever. In the 60's it was owned by Tony Corrado, who lived next door to the yard. He did a great job of running the place. Alot of people in the neighborhood knew him. He lived next door, and raised 2 daughters, both beautiful. One of them is married to Larry Krause, who now lives in West Palm Beach. Larry Johansen worked here for the new owners, after Tony sold it, since the late 70's. Before that Larry worked at Ft. Schuyler Shell with Hotch Acker. Just like Camerato's and most of the boat yards on City Island, Shelter Cove was sold to developers who have already built half way out on the peninsula. A funny story was that there was once an obstruction buoy at the end of the peninsula at Shelter Cove. The owners wanted more land so they would have trucks come and dump out at the end. They would have to keep moving the buoy so it looked like the same distance. I don't think they ever got caught. The peninsula is now much longer than it used to be!


New condo's going up at Shelter Cove on Clarence Ave.


The front of Shelter Cove Marina. This was the store where you got your paint, life preservers, anchors, rope, running lights, etc. You also got to look at the seasons new motors. Years ago the structure to the extreme right had a glass front and they displayed new boats in there. That was when Tony had it.



This shot is toward Shelter Cove from Randall Ave.



Shelter Cove is twice as long here as is was in the 50's.



Evers' Seaplane Base, located in Country Club, and the vacant lots to the bottom right of the picture have now been developed and the boat yards are becoming more and more scarce. Years ago there were vacant lots all along the water and I guess high prices kept them from being sold but that's all in the past now.


Evers' Seaplane Base, has gone Condo. Evers' was also around forever and for many years was home base to a couple of seaplanes. I think restrictions on controlled airspace into LaGuardia ended that.


Stendahoff's Boat Yard, located by the Throg's Neck Bridge Toll Plaza.


Stendy's has also been around forever. I went to school with George. The property was leased and not owned by them so one day it'll disappear too, I guess. All these boatyards were full service when I was young. They sold gas and oil and had little restaurants or lunch counters. It was great to be young and be able to get away in a boat. You didn't need a license, there were virtually no cops on the water and if you broke down it was an unwritten rule that someone nearby would give you a tow home. Now you got cops all over, checking for all kinds of things, and if you break down you have to call a Tow Boat. Years ago, so many things were different. There was more comraderie on the water. People actually waived to each other as they passed by. Most every boat yard had a bar on site and drinking and driving in a boat was acceptable. Most people carried coolers on their boat for the beers, especially if they were going fishing.



Chris Craft





Beautiful, hah?


This Chris Craft is listed as a 1933 18 foot with a Chevy 185 horse 283 cube transplanted motor.


Known as the Riviera. This one a 1951 18 foot.



The only thing I don't like are the windshields. Other than that this could be "Peg O' My Heart ". They used to have shows up in Lake George, N.Y. for these boats and judging from the registration numbers and the scenery this is probably a lake boat in New York. Fresh water is better than salt water for these boats and alot of them are kept in marine garages where they're sheltered from the elements.


more to come