Yes, Snake Mountain Boatworks mission is saving old wooden boats. However, the transition from wood to fiberglass that pleasure boating experienced beginning in the late 1950s produced a few stunning examples. Among the most stunning was the Cutter Jet de Ville, built in 1959, and sporting big fins borrowed from the auto industry.
These early Cutters were powered by Mercury outboards. The Jet de Ville was no exception, and when found in the woods of northern Vermont, this boat still had her original Mark 55 Thunderbolt Four hanging off her transom.
She was also resting on on a very rusty, flat-tired, but original trailer. A fellow working with a large excavator nearby offered to lift boat and trailer onto my transport trailer. My crew just stared at me as I drove up to the shop, so I had to explain.
Every piece of her original Volwrath stainles steel hardware was intact, as were her original steering wheel and related lines. Yes, the upholstery was completely trashed, but we had enough for patterns.
And, she is left-hand driven, which means she was sold and used in oval circuit racing.
Her preservation complete, she is again sporting her original colors, Merc sunset orange over white. She now rests on the same trailer, which we completely disassembled, sand blasted and repainted. The trailer’s wheels sport proper, NOS 1958 baby moon hubcaps.
She has moved from shop to showroom and joined our inventory of preserved boats for sale.
Come and see her on display August 10, 11, 2012, at the Lake Champlain ACBS Boat Show – at the Boathouse in Burlington, VT.