by Dick & Kristen Winn members of the Columbia Willamette chapter
In March 2011, I received a call from a fellow ACBS Columbia Willamette Chapter member about a “project boat” stored in a garage in Seattle.
He had received an email from an ACBS Pacific Northwest Chapter member, which said:
“I got a lead on a 1959 Glasspar G3. The son of the current owner contacted me to get rid of the boat that had been unused and rotting in a shed for over 25 years. He said come get the boat for free or we are throwing it away. It is a project boat with a usable trailer. I think the transom is okay, but it needs a new floor, the front deck is pushed down a bit, there is no windshield and it needs seats.”
Further communications included some encouraging words from a fellow G3 enthusiast who commented on the condition of the “free” G3:
“As far as G3s go, this one is in great condition. Of particular value is all of the aluminum trim. The sagging deck, easy fix. The floors and transom are always rotted out, but the dashboard is intact”
Growing up on Lake Washington in Seattle, the G3 was the boat every teenager wanted to own. My friends and I would sit on the dock hoping someone would boat by and take us water skiing, hopefully behind a Glasspar.
I responded immediately to the email. My Seattle contact replied, “You need this. It is a really cool boat. I had one once and have always regretted selling it. It was fast and rode really well”.
The next day I drove to Seattle and of course, returned with the G3 in tow.
After joining the Glasspar Owners Association and Fiberglassics, I confirmed that the boat was a Center Deck model, which were built from 1959 to 1961. The original factory specs listed the boat as 13’7” long, 390 pounds and rated for a 60 HP outboard engine. The Hull ID Tag, 13XW90211 also confirmed that the G3 was manufactured in Olympia, Washington and was the 211th boat made in 1959.
The boat needed an engine, windshield, lights, emblems, decals, pennant, a Kiekhafer Mercury gas tank, a Quicksilver steering wheel and a Ride Guide steering system. Kristen and I began searching for parts and we started work repairing the front deck.
We met a Seattle Pacific Club Member, who had just restored a 1959 G3 in Poulsbo, Washington. He introduced us to Thom, also known as “Dr. Frankenmerc”, for his expertise in and passion for Mercury Outboards. Dr. Frankenmerc helped us select a 1962 Mercury 1000 Phantom (100 HP), a so-called “beast” of an engine for our little 14’ boat.
With help from a Columbia Willamette Chapter Member who was also a proud owner of two G3’s, we replaced the transom and repaired and re-fiberglassed the decks, sides and floor. Local restorers sprayed the exterior with automotive paint/clear-coat and the interior with Zolatone. New upholstery was commissioned and I helped “Dr. Frankenmerc” install the engine.
“G Whiz” was ready to launch and the boat made its debut in 2013 at the Oswego Heritage Council/Columbia Willamette Chapter Collector Car and Classic Boat Show.
To complete the project, we needed a windshield and brackets. A 1959 G3 provided a pattern and the windshield was manufactured in Seattle. An Inland Empire Club member custom made the brackets and trim and the windshield was finally installed in summer 2019.
We want to thank everyone who helped us with this two-year restoration project.