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Winter & Summer 2012 -- Updated July 2012







ABOVE:  REVEILLE, Date Unknown



-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Parks
Sent: Tuesday, May 1, 2012
To: Bone Yard Boats

Hi David: Great news "REVEILLE" has landed in her new home in Wiscasset. The trip from Stockton Springs to Wiscasset went very smooth even with a trailer with two broken axles. With major help form Bobby Bladgdon with his 70ft. tractor trailer and years of experience, he was able to get "REVEILLE" on his flatbed. Richard and family were there lending a hand and support and taking plenty of photos. This was a very emotional time for Richard, however, he is happy that "REVEILLE" is going to be saved and going to a home that will do the proper work needed. She arrived in Wiscasset on 4/30/2012 and the refit has already begun. We will keep you posted. Thank you so much...Paul and Kathleen

-----Original Message-----
From: Bone Yard Boats - David Irving
Sent: Thursday, May 3, 2012 08:31 AM
To: Paul Parks

Paul and Kathleen,

This is great news, indeed! Thanks so much for the update and the photo. REVEILLE looks pretty stately up there on the flatbed. Besides the broken trailer axles, from the current photo that I had it looked like those trailer wheels were sunk in the mud up to their hubs. I bet getting her "unstuck" was no easy feat.

Best of luck restoring REVEILLE and please keep those updates coming!


Bone Yard Boats

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Parks
Sent: Sunday, July 8, 2012
To: Bone Yard Boats

Hi David, There isn't anything I'd rather be doing than this! She is so beautiful, my entire vision is coming together, she talks I listen.

Paul & Kathleen

-----Original Message-----
From: Bone Yard Boats - David Irving
Sent: Monday, July 9, 2012 02:25 PM
To: 'Paul Parks'

Paul & Kathleen,

Thanks so much for sending along the photos. She's beautiful. What a great shape she has!

Just the other day, a subscriber of mine from Forest Lake, MN, mailed me the article that appeared in the Boothbay Register and/or the Wiscasset Newspaper. I haven't had the chance to thank him yet, or ask why he gets the Boothbay Resgister in Minnesota! I contacted the Wiscasset Newspaper to get permission to republish the article in BYB; still waiting for an answer.

This REVEILLE story is exactly how this Bone Yard Boats mission is supposed to work out. Seems like a win-win-win all around to me.

Thanks, again, for keeping me in the loop. I really appreciate it. Keep those updates coming!


Bone Yard Boats


INTRODUCTION:  On very rare occasions, I will make a special boat listing / story publicly available if I think it does a good job communicating the Bone Yard Boats mission and illustrating how the old boat community comes together to keep these treasures afloat.  The following is such a story:


I love a happy ending to an old wooden boat story, and this one certainly appears to be headed in that direction. Back at the end of November, I received an email from a well-known member of the old wooden boat community saying, "A recent acquaintance has an old powerboat that's very dear to him in that his father built it over a century ago. He wants to place it with someone who will guarantee he or she will put it back into operation. I hope you can list this boat online as well as in your publication Bone Yard Boats. The boat is free to the right person."

Did you get that? The current owner's father built the boat over 100 years ago! I see a lot of old wooden boats, but the ones that have reached the century mark -- particularly in this condition -- are few and very far between. Originally constructed in 1908 as an open launch with just a pole-mounted awning over her cockpit, REVEILLE was reconfigured several times over the past 100+ years and now sports a pilothouse and cabin with cruising interior. After owning her for 46 years, her builder sold her in 1954. Then in 1965 the builder's son, Richard, bought REVEILLE back into the family. After owning her himself for another 46 years, Richard has decided that the time is right to pass this unique vessel on to the person who will commit to restoring her to operating condition.

REVEILLE's STORY:  Built by Richard E. Gruters, New York, NY, 1908. With such an interesting and known history, and a thorough 1980s rebuild, here's a power cruiser with potential. REVEILLE was launched over a century ago as an open launch, then having only a stanchion-mounted awning over her cockpit. In 1915, she sported a round-fronted cabin, making her into a so-called glass cabin launch. By 1929, for full headroom, a boxy forward cabin with a pilothouse aft of it made its appearance. She had a low day cabin at one point, and was launched initially again as an open launch after her 1983 rebuild. (There are six large photos on the Bone Yard Boats site showing REVEILLE as she appeared in 1908, 1915, 1929, 1983, one unknown date but very old, and the current 2011 photo. If you like looking at old boat pics as much as I do, these should not be missed.)

REVEILLE has had five owners over her long life, but for most of her years has been with the Gruter family: from 1908 to 1954 the original builder had her; then from 1965 to the present she's also been a Gruter boat, after his son bought her back into the fold.

Otis Enterprises of Searsport, Maine, did the hull structural rebuild in 1983, giving the boat a new keel and stem, new floor timbers and frames, and a new deck. The second-generation Gruters (her present owner) took over from there and added a nice-looking cabin and pilothouse, along with a cruising interior. She was given a rebuilt engine (her present one) at the same time, and the family went on the enjoy REVEILLE in day trips and cruises on Penobscot Bay.

For the past several years, REVEILLE has been sitting ashore in her owner's backyard, covered against the weather, but slowly drying out and suffering cosmetically. But there's still a lot of boat there for someone with energy, imagination, and a bit of boat knowledge. She's available free for anyone willing to take on the job with assurance of finishing it.

CONCLUSION:  I've seen bad things happen to good boats, particularly boats that have lost their storage space, and while REVEILLE seemed quite safe in her owner's backyard, I didn't want to take any chances with such a special boat. Bone Yard Boats is firmly dedicated to the belief that for every old boat out there in need of a new home, there's a crazy boater looking for a project, so I quickly set out to find that boater and REVEILLE a new home. The Winter 2012 issue of the Bone Yard Boats print newsletter was not due to mail for several weeks, but REVEILLE was posted on the Bone Yard Boats website and an email campaign was launched to the BYB community of subscribers in early December.

By early January, I began hearing through the old boat grapevine that REVEILLE had been adopted, so I gave Richard, the owner, a call. He confirmed that he had selected a gentleman who had agreed to restore the boat, and he seemed sincerely happy about his choice. A quick check of the subscriber records confirmed that REVEILLE's new owner was, indeed, a member of the Bone Yard Boats crew.

Next, I contacted said subscriber; here's his response: "Hi David, I am the new owner of REVEILLE. Let me say first I am humbled by Richard's decision in choosing us for her new owners and second very proud. My plan when she arrives at my shop in Wiscasset this spring will be to restore her as she was built in 1908 as a launch. The refit/restoration will take me about a year, and then she will be shown at classic wooden boat shows throughout New England. I have been doing refits/restorations for around 30 years on wooden boats, including my own boatyard "Marine Solutions." She will be a piece of furniture when done. I also want to thank you for BYB; this would not have happened if not for BYB. I will keep you posted with photos and research data as her restoration continues. Thanks so much, Paul & Kathleen"

Okay, this is about as good as it gets when it comes to saving old boats.

by David Irving / Bone Yard Boats

REVEILLE UPDATE: In the photo above, Richard Gruters is handing over the keys to the 104-year-old boat that his father built to new owner and BYB subscriber Paul Parks. REVEILLE was the subject of a BYB Email Alert back in November and she was featured in the Winter 2012 issue. REVEILLE is on her way to being returned to her original 1908 open launch configuration. In a July 9th email, Paul said, "David, there isn't anything I'd rather be doing than this! She is so beautiful, my entire vision is coming together, she talks I listen." The restoration of REVEILLE is shaping up to be a shining example of how this whole Bone Yard Boats thing is supposed to work. While Richard enjoyed her for years and then kept her safe, Paul’s place is proving to be the "good home" that will bring her back to her glory days.

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© 2012 Bone Yard Boats
All Rights Reserved.
Bone Yard Boats is the quarterly newsletter -- and website -- whose mission is to save old boats.
How do we do that?
By spreading the word through our expanding community of subscribers.
  Bone Yard Boats is firmly dedicated to the belief that for every old boat out there in need of a new home...

...there's a crazy boater looking for a project.
Each issue of the print newsletter contains
~50 boats. 

Many are FREE!
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