By Randy Fletcher & Heidi Szonn members of the Thousand Islands chapter

The adventure started in 2006 as a volunteer at the Antique Boat Museum Boat shows and Race Regattas, meeting many wood boat enthusiast along the way. Conversations ensued through the next three years as to the upkeep, maintenance and storage of these beautiful craft. Friendships developed rides here and there.

Forward three years a ride on a GarWood Speedster “Lu Lu” was offered. What a ride we had, after the ride someone asked “how would you like to have one of these boats”, “that would sure be great” was the answer. “Ahh I know where there is one for sale called White Knuckles” was the next statement. What an opportunity, but we discussed and decided to wait.

Over the winter, the bug started to hit us. Discussions ensued through the winter and into July 2010. A call was placed to the Turcotte’s to see if White Knuckles was still available, during the winter she was taken to a potential buyer in Florida. White Knuckles was still available, YES!

Would you be able to bring her to the Clayton Boat Show, “will do.” After an introduction to Jack, a few rides, drives, a few questions and a good look over, a deal was made with the owner. Delivery was made at the 2010 Antique Race Boat Regatta two weeks later, a lonnnggg two weeks.

Jack was the second owner of this speedster. The first owner never named her. Jack took a few rides and said something like, “she sure gives you a “white knuckle” ride, and the name stuck. She sure stands up to her name.

White Knuckles is a user boat with many boat show awards received. We have traveled to boat shows in Clayton, Alex Bay, Hammondsport, Skaneateles, Buffalo, Lake George, The Rideau Canal to Rideau Ferry, Kinston Ontario, Smith Mountain Lake Virginia, Naples Maine and of course she can be seen in her home waters The St. Lawrence River, Clayton, NY. If we are not traveling to boat shows you may see us around the 1,000 Islands in both US and Canadian waters.
“What a Thrill”


  1. I too have a Gar Wood Speedster, built in 2005 by The Turcotte Family. I purchased it in 2016 following a long awaited newly constructed boathouse, which would her home for some time to come. I’ve had more neighbors state that they look forward to, and enjoy the sound of, the 450hp engine as she breathes through her large exhaust. Enjoy Jack, as I know very well what your feeling is……………..

  2. WOW – what a great story !
    We love seeing y’all go splashing by … All smiles and waves !
    We look forward to seeing you both next year on “the river”. Maybe we can swap rides ?
    White Knuckles and Bampy’s Barge – two very.different.rides. !

  3. It is so beautiful, i own years ago many woodies. I would like to be able to go back and purchase a recent Gar wood but it is impossible to get younger,only in the hart but not the bones. I was in the 1000 islands and I saw your peace of art , i was on a Sea Ray 45 ´ Lazy Bones ´ but no maintenance for me. I had to give up those toys with regret.

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