Feb 14, 2013, 9:20 AM
Post #5 of 10
From Terry Bischoff:
Re: [The Publisher] Demolition of the Johnson Boat Works building
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My future wife's father, Bill Kyle, a Johnson Boat Works' advocate and Commodore of the Inland Lake Yachting Association, purchased a 1960 C Scow for his daughter Susie from Iver Johnson. In those pre fibreglass days, this boat was a double planked, white cedar wooden hull, with the distinctive "stiff" Johnson feel. Kyle was an early innovator on his E Scows, and Susie's boat came with an outboard rudder, standard today, and a long, not very adjustable boom traveler, and a slimmer and lighter wooden spar. There was no boat weighing and very little measuring of Scows back then, and I suspect that even tho double planked, this boat was pretty light, and her spar quit flexible. In those days, the "northern lakes" sailed Johnsons, and the "southern" sailed either Melges or Stamms. So her Johnson C was a rarity in southern Wisconsin.
She was fast out of the box, with a Kenneth Nelson, Chicago, set of sails. By the time of the Inland Champs, then the "Nationals" for the class, she had been a consistent winner. Susie went on to finish sixth I believe, with a second in one windy race, with my brother pulling her mainsheet, and Tom Holbrook on the boards. No hiking straps then. This was the first top ten finisher by a girl, since Jane Pegel, who had by then moved to the M 16 class, which Susie sailed in shortly therafter as well. C Scows are a tough boat to sail, requiring quite a bit of strength, even with those smaller sail shapes.
Her top ten finish for a female stood from 1960, until only a couple of years ago, when a very good Porter girl from Lake Beulah cracked that spot. Susie sailed that Johnson until we were married and the kids starting coming But when she returned to skipping, it was in the very compettive M 16 class, which often had over 100 boats on the line in those days. She bought a new Melges M, built in white cedar, the last wooden boat Melges built. Can't beat the smell of the cedar shavings in the bilges.