My name is Timothy Moore. I now belong to the Ohio Valley Chapter of ACBS. 

Well, my story with wood boats starts with a phone call from an old friend; “Hello there Tim,” he said.  “l know how much you like boats and fishing. I’ve got an old boat taking up room in my business parking lot. Come look at it. If you want it, it’s yours.” 

I said I would and I drove over to see him.  It was winter and had about a foot of snow on its old cover. It was a 1964 Thompson Sea Lancer 20′. Dirty beige.

I knew nothing about wood boats up to this point although I’ve owned many boats over the years. I thought, “Well, it’s free, how bad can it be?” I contacted The Wooden Boat Shop, a local wood boat specialist shop owned by this real nice fella named Butch Davis. I hauled the boat over to his shop and he took all the time in the world helping me to go over the boat’s needs.

I’ve got a small wood shop and had experience with painting, too.  So he thought it would be nice if my two sons could enjoy restoring some of the boat, such as a new floor and sanding and repainting the sides, leaving the technical work for his shop like a new keel cap, sanding down and applying west epoxy to the bottom and removing and replacing the complete top with new mahogany and 7 or 8 hand laid coats of varnish, electrical rewiring new controls, etc. 


Well, she came out great and we love our wood boat. I’ve never seen another just like this one. It drives really nice, can’t go anywhere without people waving and wanting to talk to us about our Thompson wood boat.

Thanks, Tim Moore, for this fun story and pictures. And thank you for restoring and using a classic boat.

Share the story of your own boat.  Email pictures and information to [email protected]

This ACBS website belongs to everyone who appreciates antique and classic boats and boating. We hope you enjoy what is already on the ACBS website and think of ways you can be an active part of this community.


  1. Tim,

    Great boat. Pound for pound and foot for foot, there is nothing as good as a lapstrake in handling rough water.

    Thanks for sharing your story. Your story, I suspect, also confirms my experience with old wood boats; acquiring them is often the least expensive part of ownership.

    I hope to see you on the water some time. As an Ohio Valley Chapter member, you may interested to know our 18′ 1963 Thompson made the four day Ohio RiverClassic Boat cruise a few years back in comfort and without problem.

    • Hello John , I assume you might be one of the thompson brothers that built Thomson boats ?! If so it’s an honor to talk to you . I just asked this sight to do a history story on Thompson boats , ( wood ) love to see that ! Anyhow my sons and I really enjoy our solid Thompson sealancer ! We boat on the Ohio and eastfork Lake here . Hope to take it to Erie in the spring to do some fishing , maybe Michigan too . I would love to pull it up to the town it was built in sometime just to feel the history . Hope to hear back from you , hope you’re well . The only thing I’m lacking on my boat is the dash sealancer emblem , you don’t happen to know where I could acquire one of this do you ?

      • Tim,

        Good morning. I had missed your reply, but Kathy Parker, the ACBS webmaster called it to my attention. She may forward this to you as well and is welcome to give you my contact information. Kathy spends hours and hours to keep this site filled with interesting stories like yours.

        I am not related to the Thompson boat builders, but I learned to ski behind a Thompson boat as a kid. So when we were looking for an outboard we could run through the winter on Table Rock Lake near Branson, MO, we thought buying a Thompson was in order. Our 1963 Thompson Super Lancer was purchased from its second owner who lived on Sutton’s Bay on Grand Traverse Bay in Michigan.

        Thompson made lots of Sea Lancers, but I cannot quite make out what the dash emblem says in the picture from when you picked her up. But according to the 1964 Thompson Catalog, the aluminum windshield was an option on the Super Lancer which was supposed to be 18’7″ long from bow to transom, 88″ at the beam, and was rated for 140 HP. The Offshore model was 20′ 1″ long and 96″ at the widest beam, and was rated for 175 HP. It does not show an aluminum windshield as an option, but it likely could be a special order. The Sea Lancer for 1964 is supposed to be 17′ 11″ long, 85″ beam (widest on these boats is at the front bench) and it shows an aluminum windshield. will connect you with Miles Kapper and Andreas Rhude (and many other Thompson boat owners). You may post your questions and parts needs there and you will get loads of help. They also keep a serial number directory of Thompson Boats still living. Andreas also puts on the Thompson Boat Rally each year in Peshtigo, Wisconsin. Many Thompson family of boats from canoes to small cruisers show up for this weekend event just about a mile up the Menominee River from Green Bay on Lake Michigan.

        Carolynn and I are listed in the ACBS membership directory. Feel free to email or call if you have trouble getting the information and items you need from posting on the Thompson Dockside.

        • Thanks much for your reply, you know I never have measured the boat , I just went by the title measurement which says 19’ 11”. I’ll have to measure it out . Thanks so much for all the detailed information that will help a lot ! The Crome name on the dash (though busted ) said sealancer . Only sea Was there but you could see lancer stained into the dash I thought . Measuring it out will answer that question . I’ll try to contact you again . Thanks again .

    • Very nice. I have to share this with you in 1966 my Father traded in and purchased a new 2490 Thompson w/327 chevy and Merc IO. at the Chicago il. McCormick place Boat show. Rodi Boats was the dealer exhibiting there Chris Crafts and Thompson’s . This was the largest wood lapstrake boat that they built. And to our knowledge very very few if any more were built ,they went into bankruptcy that yr. We spent time on local lakes but we did have a slip in Savana Il. for 2 yrs. Loved being on the mighty Mississippi. To this date it has been drydocked for 45years.we recently took it out of storage unfortunately raccoons got in it and destroyed the interior our plan is to clean it up, many have told us to get rid of it , but for now I just can’t .we will restore hopefully ,get it back in the water by Sept . Oct. This yr. Wish us luck

  2. Tim,

    Welcome to our wonderful world of classic boating! Loved your story, especially the fact you involved your two sons with the restoration of your newly acquired Thompson. I am sure they took great pride in performing top notch work in a boat they will not only thoroughly enjoy in the coming years, but hopefully for the next generation. Thank you for allowing Hagerty the opportunity to service the insurance needs of your Thompson.

  3. Tim: About a year ago I bought a 1964 Thompson Super Sea Lancer from the original owners family, in Ohio. It is in great original condition. I can send pictures of the dash emblem if you don’t have any. James Powell Macon, Georgia. I am in the ACBS directory

  4. Loved reading your Thompson boat story. We have had a 16 Thompson for over 30 years and are just passing it down to the 3rd generation. Do you know where we might find a THOMPSON nameplate- the metal ones that are original or a good reproduction. We actually need 2 . She is still a beauty! We live in Seattle Washington.

  5. Hi Tim – Thanks for sharing your beautiful Sea Lancer! When I was 6 months old, in 1968, my father purchased a 1962 Sea Lancer – 17′. We had that beauty until I was 17 years old. In that time, my father “took it down to wood” twice. It ALWAYS, looked like “NEW”. When ever we were at the launch, we would ALWAYS get a comment. Your boat fills me with great memories of the Finger Lakes and our 1962 Thompson Sea Lancer! Thank you!

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