By Dave Bullington member of the Mississippi Valley chapter
It was 2003 in St. Charles, MO and I had been dating my future wife Susan for a few months. We had been talking about our various interests and the subject of boating came up. I had owned a few boats over the years, but she said she had always longed to boat on the Mississippi River. I had absolutely zero experience on Big Muddy and like many uninformed rookies, wasn’t aware of how great it can be for recreational boating.
I started checking the local paper want ads to see what kind of boats were for sale locally.Then I saw her, a 1966 Chris Craft Cavalier Futura. 33’ of sweat and varnish! Somehow, I knew my future bride would appreciate the classy looks and stately grace of this floating icon of a simpler time. I met the owner and got the “tour” and was immediately taken in by her beautiful lines and rich mahogany accents. I had never owned a wooden boat before and probably didn’t 100% appreciate what I was getting us into but looking back over the years I wouldn’t change a thing. We closed the deal and christened her “Whoz Yer Daddy”
I asked my wife to marry me on that boat. We have years of wonderful memories with family and friends aboard her. We learned (the hard way mostly) how to navigate the river and met dozens of terrific people, including Dave Wann, the guy we bought the boat from who introduced us the ACBS. We joined right away and have been members ever since. Fast forward to 2019. Major transom rot coupled with several de-lamination areas of plywood tipped the scales in favor of de-commissioning her.
After selling the drive train to fellow ACBS members Tom and Lou Lenkman and removing personal items, electronics etc., it was time to figure out what to do with 33’ of plywood and mahogany. The options aren’t pretty and I’m sure several of you have been through this. We decided to rent a large dumpster and cut the boat up. I was majorly dreading this but burning wasn’t an option. I was all set to pull the trigger when I got an amazing call.
My friends that bought my engines had a friend who was building a bar and wanted an old wood boat hull as an outdoor bar. He was willing to pick up the boat from the repair yard and haul it off.
Wayne Draper’s newest place is called The Third Chute Two and is located in Alton, IL. It is an awesome venue with a very unique outside “Yacht Bar” called “Yhoz Yer Daddy”! Now whenever we want to go visit the boat, we just head to the Third Chute Two and hang out with her. She has found a great home and will spend the rest of her days entertaining guests and creating memories for countless people. We couldn’t be happier and are very grateful to all who made this possible!