by Mitch & Tracy Johnson, Inland Empire chapter

My father was born on August 1st, 1926 on Whidbey Island, Washington. Growing up on the island, fishing and boating in Puget Sound was his love since childhood. On my Dad’s birthday in 1967 he factory ordered his new 20’ Thompson Offshore that we still have today.

We have many childhood memories boating & fishing in Puget Sound. We were very blessed to have grown up in one of the best times to live. Fishing was bountiful, life was simpler and much slower paced then. Such a happy time, the days before cell phones and computers, “The Golden Days”

Dad last used the Thompson in 1995 and it sat for over 15 years. In 2010 the memories got to us so we decided to begin a complete restoration. The boat was primarily used in saltwater for fishing. The wood was in pretty good shape, but the saltwater had taken its toll on everything else.

The first three years were mostly devoted to tear down, identifying problems, sanding, and replacing all the brass clinch screws. Starting the fourth year the pressure and pace picked up with the goals of entering the boat in the Sandpoint, Idaho boat show in July of 2016 followed by a trip to Seattle in August to take my father for a ride in his boat on his 90th birthday.

Today Golden Days is completely restored exactly how my father had it set up as his fishing boat including the original trailer, Ross depth sounder, Zenith short wave loran radio, compass, pole holders, original upholstery, helm instrumentation, fishing gear with Penn reels, aluminum ice chest / fish box, 1967 Evinrude 3 horsepower trolling motor.

In July 2016 we made it to the Sandpoint Idaho boat show. We were honored to receive three awards; People’s Choice, Best Post War Utility, and Best Non-Professional Restoration. I Bet Dad never thought his fishing boat would be in a boat show.

The biggest reward of all was on August 1st, 2016 we celebrated Dad’s 90th birthday with a boat ride and Dad at the helm, 49 years after the day he purchased it new. Dad was the captain as we were all once again together in the “Golden Days”.


    • Thanks for your wonderful story on the birth and life of your Thompson which you are still enjoying.
      When I was a teenager in the 1950’s living in Vt on Lake Champlain my uncle purchased a new 18’ Thompson open fishing boat, he and his wife owned and operated a small diner near Lake Champlain, his was the morning shift, so he could go fishing every afternoon and into the night to troll for Walleyes, so many afternoons as soon as I could skip out of school I would race to his house and we would make the 30 minute trip to the lake where he had a permanent mooring at the dock and off we would go to the reefs where the Walleye waited for us. It was a beautiful boat with graceful lines and I came to know the lines of many beautiful boats in use in that era, now all gone except for the memories of many that I owned through the years.
      Thanks for the memories.

    • What a wonderful and great story, you can be proud and I’m sure you’re dad is just out of this world with the joy that you have provided him. I feel that is what classic boating is all about, congratulations.

  1. You boat is beautiful. There is something special about restoring a boat you have had from new. You beat me. We restored my dad’s 1968 Penn Yan 19ft, but we never had the opportunity to take my dad out in the boat, as he passed away ten years prior. I can only imagine the thrill you and your dad had on that special day. Thanks for letting us live vicariously through you experience.
    Again, a great restoration!!! You deserved every one of those awards!!

  2. Tracy, my friend and I enjoyed visiting with you and paging through your book of photos and memories of ‘Golden Times” at the Whitefish Woody Weekend iX. Looking forward to seeing you again at WWW X.
    “Slyder” & “Edelwiess” at Big Sky ACBS.

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