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TOPIC: The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat?????

The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 8 years 11 months ago #17769

  • TNLark35
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I did some googling, and searching and didnt come up with anything useful.. so whatever happened to the 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat that they advertised you could win? Like in the ads. Was it a real boat? or was it just an advertising spoof. Anyone know? Thanks in advance!
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Re: The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 8 years 11 months ago #17923

The "Housefloat" was mentioned in this previous thread with some details:

fiberglassics.com/glassic-forums/main-forum/i-wonder-were-this-bad-boy-is#8679

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Re: The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 8 years 10 months ago #17989

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Ahh! Thanks for the info!

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Re: The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 8 years 10 months ago #17990

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I found this scan on someones post on iboats.
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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 8 years 1 week ago #43881

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Rats! The Iboat link has gone dead! So there are 2 of us interested in this unique craft? I'm a Brooks Stevens fan so naturally I had to try and find out more about this giant houseboat. I'd love to build a replica if we could find photos of the prototype that would be helpful.

Todd

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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 8 years 1 week ago #43882

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Todd,
Ive only heard of rumors of the boat. I have yet to see a photo of a prototype, so I doubt it was ever built. But you never know?? Maybe someone out there has it sitting in their back yard, other prototypes have turned up.
Russ

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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 8 years 1 week ago #43913

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It says there in the text that the prototype was there to get public response. I'm guessing it was a dismal failure. There has to be some writeup on where it was displayed. I would think the Chicago boat show in 58 or 59. Evinrude made all their stuff in Wisconsin and Illinois, didn't they? They had to have displayed it somewhere.

The concept of a modular boat is clever. I can't imagine hauling 4 parts to the lake one at a time, assembling the boat, and then doing the reverse for less time than all summer. Still, for those of us with a lake cabin as a base, an Evinrude "Dreamboat" HouseFloat would be a wonderful addition to lake life.

I wonder if the pontoons were steel. Stevens was into aluminum and other new materials with lots of projects, so it could be the HouseFloat was also a pioneer of aluminum Pontoons.

Todd

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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 8 years 1 week ago #43931

Way back in the early 60's. A scale model kit of one was made by a company called Palmer plastics. I have one, just went to get a pic of it, and the camera's battery died. I'll charge 'em up and try to get up a couple of good pics tomorrow.

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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 8 years 1 week ago #43937

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This I gotta see.
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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 8 years 1 week ago #43940

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oldboater wrote:

Way back in the early 60's. A scale model kit of one was made by a company called Palmer plastics. I have one, just went to get a pic of it, and the camera's battery died. I'll charge 'em up and try to get up a couple of good pics tomorrow.


No way! I gotta see a pic of that!

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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 8 years 6 days ago #43986

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63 Sabre wrote:

This I gotta see.


X2!

You know.....It never says the "Dreamboat" is a real full size boat. It they were trying to impress, shouldn't it say "14 feet wide! 22 feet long! Powered by 2 of Evinrude's finest 35HP Lark marine engines!"

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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 8 years 6 days ago #44056

Hey Guys

Here are some pics of the model kit I mentioned. I looked for a dateon the box, but didn't see one. Gotta be pre '63 as there is no zip code listed. No scale listed either. I'm guessing.... about 1/32nd. Pretty cool just the same. They do come up on eBay every so often.






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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 8 years 6 days ago #44066

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That is awesome!! I gotta have one!! Thanks for the pics!

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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 8 years 6 days ago #44081

In 1960 at Rosen Lake up in BC. there was a prototype of the Dream boat. it was assembled and launch there for a company promo shot. From what I can remember they could not run it on the lake due to a problem with the 2 halfs comeing apart. They kept it tied up to the dock for 3 days before they disasembled it and put it back on 3 trailers. It was interesting to me being only a young lad then. I thought it was the biggest thing I ever saw in my life. The best thing about it was my father got one of the company men to take me out in the little clear boat. I was told to take my shoes off and to sit down and not move. they didn't want the boat scatched up. Alot of family men looked over the floating house as I remember but as my father said, it was just to big and you needed 3 trailers to move it all. I heard a few yrs latter from one of the men that lived on the lake at that time, they never solved the problem of the hulls staying together and it was really under powered. They left with the bout and said they were going to someplace in Calf. Never seen or heard of it again until last yr. here on Fiber.

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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 8 years 1 day ago #44602

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Well, there's our answer. It did exist. I was probably never awarded as a prize due to design problems. As I said, earlier, the logistics of owning such a craft would be a big headache. Cool! Thanks for the eye-witness info!

But let's get real here, there simply HAD to be a Popular Science or Popular Mechanics article on this thing. There is no way they would let a concept like this go by without a report on it.

Todd

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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 8 years 23 hours ago #44685

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Skip,
Thats awesome!! That makes me want to hunt harder for pictures and other associated memorabilia of it!

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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 8 years 8 hours ago #44739

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It does say there in the original sweepstakes ad that "it was the the hit of the NY and Chicago boat shows" There have to be pictures somewhere.

Here is a link from the Popular Science archive to what looks to be a photo of a model. March of 59 page 108.

www.popsci.com/archive-viewer?id=2SUDAAAAMBAJ&pg=108&query=brooks+stevens

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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 8 years 6 hours ago #44744

I talked to my 89 yr. old mother the other nite and asked her about that house boat and if she remembered it at all. Luckly she perked right up about it. She said she rememberd it really good because she took some pics of it and the people who were with the boat wern't to happy with her about it. They were asking people not to take pics of it but she said she just had to. She told me that it was all shiney inside and the best thing was that it had a potty in it.
There was also a film crew there that took all kinds of movies and pics of the thing on the lake and at the dock. My mom said she will look for some of the pics she took , but said that she can't remember just where they would be. She is in the middle of moving right now so it may take awhile to find any. So maybe it may finnally come to light about what this boat really looked like and what it really looked like on the lake.

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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 8 years 1 hour ago #44804

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WOW! that is totally awesome! Hopefully she can find that stuff.

If any of you check out that link I found, It looks to me that those motors on that model are those little electric ones you could get and the model was built to fit that size. About 1 inch scale I suspect.

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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 8 years 16 minutes ago #44813

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Skip,
Thats great!! I sure hope she can find the photos!
Russ

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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 7 years 11 months ago #44955

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Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, I wonder if we could build one (or more) of these. I don't think I'd want to sit on that little round seat to drive the boat though.

Say, Oldboater, would you be willing to scan the instruction sheet for that model and post it? It stands to reason, the model is likely built somewhat like the prototype itself.

J67

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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 7 years 11 months ago #44960

Humm... Don't have a scanner. Maybe I could take some photos. Gimme a day or two to see what I can do!

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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 7 years 11 months ago #44962

had a quick look on ebay. Someone has an ad up!

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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 7 years 11 months ago #45033

Saw Brook Stevens mentioned as the designer, that should help turn up additional info. Here's what was in the Jan. 26, 1959 Sports Illustrated:

EVINRUDE HOUSEBOAT
In the past four years no one has caused more commotion at the New York boat show than Brooks Stevens, design consultant to Evinrude. In 1956 he came out with a streamlined runabout called the Lark that kicked off the trend to auto styling in boats (SI, June 17, 1957). In 1957 he produced a completely round fishing boat. Last year he designed a seagoing station wagon; and now, for the 1959 show, he has dreamed up a high-styled catamaran houseboat called the Housefloat, which can become a trimaran or a quadrimaran simply by attaching extra units. The basic catamaran unit is 28 feet long, 9 feet wide, with enclosed cabin (see diagram) and a sun deck. As usual with Stevens creations, the design of the Housefloat contains some hard kernels of practicality. By substituting a pair of pontoons for the usual rectangular houseboat hull, Stevens has made a tremendous saving in weight. Furthermore, he has done away with the bluff, wave-slapping, wind-resistant bow that makes most other houseboats sluggish in any weather and almost impossible in choppy waters. Like Mercury's catamaran, the Housefloat is conceived as a show-stopper rather than a production boat for the retail market; but there may well be enough interest in both designs to tempt forward-looking boatbuilders into production.

[url=http://http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1070087/index.htm][/url]

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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 7 years 11 months ago #45042

aku-aku,nice find of info,may i add the link that i found with that info plus more including the mercury catamaran,john
sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1070087/index.htm

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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 7 years 11 months ago #45050

Hey Guys,
Signed up to ad some possible info on the "Dreamboat". At least 15 years ago OMC had an auction to clean out a storage warehouse and a load of unique and prototype stuff was auctioned off. A dealer, F&S Yamaha from Hanover PA, went out and bought the Johnson Land Speed Record snowmobile Pegasis and some other stuff. I believe the gold 50th anniversary 50 hp Johnson with the clear cover up in the Clayton museum is from that auction as well. It would be cool to find a copy of the listing to see if the Dreamboat was sold at that point and wjere she ended up.

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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 7 years 11 months ago #45053

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I checked out Aku-Aku's article further, because it said.."see diagram". I opened the the photo archive of the actual magazine and found the diagrams. One is the line drawing of the boat seen from the front as pictured above, but there is another drawing of the floor plan for the tri-toon version pictured in the sweepstakes ad.

You have to flip to page 32. Not the browser page 32, but the actual magazine page 32.

sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/edb/reader.html?magID=SI&issueDate=19590126&mode=reader_vault

You can't click and save the pictures. :(

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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 7 years 11 months ago #45069

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Thanks for the info everyone! Keep digging! Maybe we will solve the mystery of where it went! This has gotten a lot farther than I ever expected! But its still seems as if Evinrude just swept the Housefloat under the floor mat.

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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 7 years 11 months ago #45081

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TNLark35 wrote:

Thanks for the info everyone! Keep digging! Maybe we will solve the mystery of where it went! This has gotten a lot farther than I ever expected! But its still seems as if Evinrude just swept the Housefloat under the floor mat.


From what we have been able to read here so far, we know it was never their intention to build the housefloats themselves. Their hope was to cultivate interest where another manufacturer would pick up the design. Seems that never happened.

According to the eye witness account, the design was prone to separation due to bad poor implementation of the connection system.

Personal impressions....What? No window in front? Looks devilishly uncomfortable to drive. Your feet dangle over the galley counter from your perch on that small round wall mounted stool. Impossible to dock without a crew, or addition of a remote main floor helm. Impossible to move to and from the water without at least 2 trips each direction. Grossly underpowered with only 35, or even 50 HP.(70 or 100 HP respectively for the tri-toon) 2 50 hp Starflites would consume as much fuel as PT109! Despite all that impractical stuff, still the coolest houseboat ever conceived!

I would interest me to build one that was solar powered! I love everything about the rear patio/deck!

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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 7 years 11 months ago #45104

OK Guys
Here is the instruction sheet from the Dreamboat model.
Hope the Mods don't mind using this much bandwith, It was the only way I knew to do it!














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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 7 years 11 months ago #45116

One thing I do remember about the boat was the fuel tanks. They were built into the pontoons. The things leaked really bad and the men taking care of the boat were always telling people they couldn't smoke around it. They said that it got very good milage for its size, but I guess they will say anything to make it look good.I allso remember that it was really slow when they took it out on the lake. It kinda wallowed its way across the lake and it seemed to take forever to turn it around. It sure made a big circle to turn. I know my dad was not impressed with the performance of it. He said it was to slow and looked like a pig trying to swim. That was his favorite way to comment on a boat that in his oppinion was not worth beans.

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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 7 years 11 months ago #45193

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Hey many thanks oldboater for the photos. It seems the model does not really follow the description of how the prototype was made.

Slip, these eye-witness accounts from your family members are as interesting as anything we could ever have hoped to have come across. Thanks so much for following up on this stuff.

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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 1 week 2 days ago #140919

Oldboater, I sent you a personal message.

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Re:The 1959 Evinrude Dreamboat????? 1 week 2 days ago #140920



Here is a video I found on the house float.

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