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TOPIC: Plywood Thompson?

Plywood Thompson? 1 year 9 months ago #129293

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A friend recently acquired a plywood Thompson built in Peshtigo. He says it resembles a hydroplane.

Will post pictures when he sends them to me. Anyone ever see or hear of a plywood built Thompson?

Thanks,
Terry

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Re:Plywood Thompson? 1 year 9 months ago #129298

I have a 1959 Thompson Sea Lancer built in Peshtigo, and everything on the hull that is painted is Douglas Fir plywood. All of the brite work is Mahogany. To my knowledge, and Andreas will correct me if I am wrong, all of the lapstrake boats that they built are like this. The outer layer of the transom and the garboard planks are solid boards and the deck is mahogany plywood.
Bill

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Re:Plywood Thompson? 1 year 9 months ago #129304

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Thanks Bill,

Still waiting to see pictures and I should have mentioned that supposedly this boat does not have a lapstrake hull.

Terry

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Re:Plywood Thompson? 1 year 9 months ago #129315

Thompson Bros. boat Mfg. Co. of Peshtigo, WI did make a sheet plywood racer for a short time period.

Andreas

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Re:Plywood Thompson? 1 year 9 months ago #129344

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Thank you Andreas,

My friend Brett sent me a picture of his Thompson and will send more once he gets it out of the attic in his barn.

I showed him a picture of your Thomboy and he says his boat has the same Kainer Steerer and throttle set up.



Brett is a plumber and found the boat stored under a porch at a customer’s home while searching for a route to run a gas line for a grill. The house is on the Fox River in Northern IL which has a storied past of boat racing. In fact it’s just upriver from McHenry where SwitzerCraft was originally located.

See:
www.foxchainboatinghistory.com/

Terry
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Re:Plywood Thompson? 1 year 9 months ago #129348

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Neat boat. Also, thanks for the cool link with the Fox Lake Boating History. Nice photo gallery. Great to see people crazy about boating way before I came along. My family's boating history goes back into the late 1700's with Fur trading French Voyagers. Boated to Wisconsin from Montreal Canada back then. They were WAY more adventurous that I have been. I cannot get boating out of my blood - nor do I want to!

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Re:Plywood Thompson? 1 year 8 months ago #129882

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Went over and took some pictures myself and hope to identify this Thompson. Everything I've seen on Thompson models are either lapstrake or cedar strip construction.















Also interested to know what type of motor would have powered this little boat way back when.

Thanks,
Terry

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Re:Plywood Thompson? 1 year 8 months ago #129886

The 10'-11" long sheet plywood Model 600 SPEED DEMON was only offered in 1952 and 1953 by Thompson Bros. Boat Mfg. Co. In 1953 they had Model 700 SPEED DEMON also which was 13' length.

I have never seen one.

The brochures for Thompson et.al. have been scanned and placed on flash drive which can be purchased at www.wcha.org

Motors available were whatever was on the market at the time.

Andreas

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Re:Plywood Thompson? 1 year 7 months ago #129979

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Hello Andreas,

Thanks for the info and apparently this is the Model 600.





I looked around at the WCHA site and lotsa cool stuff there but can’t find the drive you mention.

Terry
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Re:Plywood Thompson? 1 year 7 months ago #129993

www.wcha.org sells all sorts of boat and canoe catalogs on CD or flash drive. The Thompson Boat one is amongst them.

Andreas

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Re:Plywood Thompson? 1 year 7 months ago #130007

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Kept digging and found the drive. Only $40.00

store.wcha.org/Thompson-Catalog-Collection-CD-ROM.html
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Re:Plywood Thompson? 1 year 7 months ago #130062

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Thanks Andreas,

The flash drive is ordered and looking forward to seeing that. I always find it amazing what one can learn while searching to learn about something else.

I am doing some research on the Henry C. Grebe Boat Company which built boats in Chicago. The company was founded in Milwaukee in 1915 and moved operations to a location on the North Branch of the Chicago River in 1921. They built yachts for their well heeled clientele and during war years were under contract with the government. They built the last boat in 1970 but continued operations as a boat yard until 1994.



Photos courtesy of the Chicago Maritime Museum

My friend Captain Toby bought a 1936 Grebe Motoryacht when they closed in 94. The Robert Allen II is said to be the oldest power boat in Chicago and the oldest Grebe afloat. Photos courtesy of Seth Anderson

Another of this beautiful and historic vessel’s claim to fame is that it starred in the documentary Chicago by Boat: The New River Tour.

video.wttw.com/video/1491461961/

Now that being said, and I can’t believe I just said that, I was talking with Brett who owns the Thompson Speed Demon. I mentioned Grebe and its location on the Chicago River and its close proximity to Riverview Park. In the old pictures of the boat yard you can see the rides towering above the boats in the background. And in pictures of the park you can see the Grebes down on the river. Grebe boat yard 1928

Riverview Park in the late 50's. Notice the Grebes next to the Shoot-the-Chutes and left of the Tilt-O-Whirl

Brett told me the wife of a friend owned the Bonds boat yard and marina in the same area. He sent me this picture of a photo taken at the Chicago Boat show in the late fifties. Gonna guess 1958 by the looks of that Merc.

So I went into the FG library directory and in the Boat Show section found ads for the 1958 Chicago Boat Show.

Very interesting so I kept looking around. I clicked on the Boat Magazines and 1952 Boat Show.


Lo and behold! I think I found a picture of a 1952 Thompson Speed Demon.

Thanks,
Terry

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Re:Plywood Thompson? 1 year 7 months ago #130069

very very nice. GO Grebe and Thompson !!

I will ask Pete Thompson about the Speed Demon models. He was an avid boat racer in the 1950s and 1960s. We crossed paths in our trucks this morning on my way to work.

Andreas

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Re:Plywood Thompson? 1 year 7 months ago #130205

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The Speed Demon was listed in the 52 and 53 catalogs as Andreas mentioned.



Although the 1952 page stated the 12’ Model 500 has been in the line for 3 years and was strip construction.

Brett has the Model 600 at 10’11” made with flat plywood and was new for 52.

In 53 the 13' Model 700 was offered for Class C & D racing

Travis suggested a Merc KG7H for power and was a perfect choice. Looks identical to what is on #7 in the 52 catalog.


Numbers matching KG7H from google search

Thanks,
Terry
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Re:Plywood Thompson? 1 year 7 months ago #130209

I saw Pete Thompson and the Café a couple days ago. I completely forgot to ask him about the Speed Demon. Sorry I see him often so I will ask one of these times.

Andreas

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Re:Plywood Thompson? 1 year 6 months ago #130679

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Hello Andreas.

Scot found an old Merc that should be a good fit on the Speed Demon.





Numbers indicate a 1949 KF7 Super 10. It came off of a home built boat used locally here on the Chain O Lakes and was supposedly souped up for racing.

They are working on getting it running now and hope to have the boat ready for the Thompson meet at Marionette. So maybe we can meet Pete Thompson up there in June.

Thanks,
Terry
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Re:Plywood Thompson? 1 year 6 months ago #130682

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Perfect!

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Re:Plywood Thompson? 1 year 6 months ago #130686

Excellent.

Bob

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Plywood Thompson? 7 months 3 weeks ago #135528

:ohmy: are there any 500 Rough Water Speed Demons in existence?.......any plans out there ? Would love to build one !!

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Plywood Thompson? 7 months 1 week ago #135629

There are NO plans for any of the watercraft built by Thompson Bros. Boat Mfg. Co. or as far as I know none for any of the spin-off boat builders.

Andreas

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Plywood Thompson? 6 months 4 weeks ago #135706

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New Grebe in Chi-Town!

This 1935 48' Grebe NAIDA was launched on the Chicago River last week just in time for a winter squall.









The new owner brought her home to Chicago from WA and plans to charter cruise out of Belmont Harbor on Lake Michigan
See:
Homecoming for NAIDA

Hope to get down there next week and take some pictures.

Thanks
Terry
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