Great Lakes Boat Building School

Wilson Watercar

Completed Project

Commissioned Project


This is a two-year project for Lance Wilson.  As you may know, Lance commissioned and/or bought three of the Hackercrafts that we have built and finished.  This is Lance’s personal boat.  He wants a runabout with some distinctive design features that are often seen on Canadian built runabouts.  He worked with Naval Architect Charlie Jannace to design the Wilson Watercar.  This boat is expanding the boundaries of what we undertake here at the School both in size and complexity.


Length (LOA):   29.5 feet
Width (beam):  8 feet
Power:  Two small block V-8s
Speed:  estimated 45+ mph

Construction Details

While this boat looks like an antique wooden runabout, it is constructed using modern materials and techniques.  The frames are sawn mahogany with spruce binders and ½ inch marine plywood gussets and floors.  The keel and stem are laminated mahogany, ply and Alaskan yellow cedar.  Yellow cedar battens back up each plank seam on the topsides and deck.  The topsides and deck are first planked with two layers of 4 mil. marine plywood before receiving ribbon grained African Mahogany planking.  The bottom is 3 layers of 3/8-inch marine plywood below the waterline.  The bottom above the waterline gets  two layers of 3/8 ply with one layer of African mahogany.  This boat represents the state of the art in modern wooden boat construction and is exactly what our students will see when they enter the workforce in this thriving industry.