by Bob Besel member of the Bob Speltz Land-O-Lakes chapter

When we arrived at Tulsa the boat had been dragged from the shed, where the rig hibernated for 30 years, into a very dusty warehouse, on flat tires. I brought new wheels and tires, ‘hoping’ that the trailer bearings were fit for the 730 mile trip to Hudson, WI. where the weather threatened snow/freezing rain to the boat so it was covered for the trip.

On January 10, 2016 we left Hudson, WI in freezing rain, which quickly turned to snow, for the 1,085 mile trip to AristoCraft in Dawsonville, GA. Notwithstanding my best boat wrapping efforts, there was ice inside the boat when we unwrapped it in the AristoCraft factory on. The company has been continuously in business since founded in 1946 by Claude Turner. Today it is run by second and third generation Turners Bill and Scott. It was a pleasure working with Scott and he frequently sent updated photos as the boat progressed through preservation. Removing the tar from the inside was a tedious process, but it was done perfectly, with no reside whatsoever.

We picked up the boat on August 22, 2016, after another 1,085 mile trip to Dawsonville, GA. aArriving back in Hudson, WI the next day with the original 1,460 mile round trip to pick up the boat in Tulsa, plus two round trips to Dawsonville, GA, we have traveled 5,800 miles to preserve this boat. When I finally get the rig back together, the boat will be named Bodacious.

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