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Old 02-13-2021, 04:42 PM   #1
mowtorman
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Default Steelcraft

The Steelcraft rusting in front of Fay's was the type of boat used by the Marine Patrol as a buoy tender and for dragging the grappling hook. One of my earliest memories on the lake was having the Marine Patrol dragging Braun Bay for 3 days following an accident just south of the rafting area (not that anyone rafted in the 60's) a couple of hundred feet offshore. Stays in my head the fine line in always getting back to port safely.....and the responsibility the operator takes in taking guests out on a cruise. Biggest difference between a car and a boat is that you can't pull over, stop and get out if something fails.
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Old 02-14-2021, 11:51 AM   #2
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There was a SteelCraft that operated from Fay's that delivered propane tanks to the island residents. I remember having the empty on the dock when the propane guy delivered the full tank. Simple times. Boat also put up a good size wake.
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Old 02-14-2021, 11:53 AM   #3
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There was also a Steelcraft on the lake privately owned named "Wuzz-a-Fuzz" former Marine Patrol Boat.
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Old 02-14-2021, 02:21 PM   #4
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Default More Steelcraft

I, for one, recall several Steelcraft. Obviously the two in the Channel. Those were operated by the Pubic Utilities Commission. Marine Patrol had not been invented yet. The PUC boats did have blue and white paint and blue lights and sirens and occasionally served as police boats, but there wasn't much to police in the 50's, so navaid maintenance, rescue work, were more the order of the day. Not many other boats and not so many rules about riding on the gunwale or bow, safe passage, water skiing, PWC's etc.
In addition to the "Pyrofax" delivering propane, Floyd Miller had one as a work boat to push his barge/crane around. Capt. Ed Lavallee had a larger one (34-36'?) to deliver mail when the Uncle Sam was taken out of service and before the PT boat. There was one on Welch Island. Perhaps one of the above, recycled: somebody installed huge air horns on a Steelcraft and named it the Horny Toad. Camp Kehonka had a Steelcraft, I think.
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Old 02-14-2021, 04:27 PM   #5
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Default NH Dept. of Safety

One of the interesting facts of Steelcraft is that they were lighter than wood boats of similar size. The other thing for me is how many vivid memories I have related to specific events on the lake. Like that NH Dept. of Safety Steelcraft. The DOS had a number of small wooden lapstrake boats and two tone highliners. I have been present for 2 boat explosions, both wood boats between the late 60's and early 70's. A Cruiser's Inc. was the Braun Bay event and a Chris Craft blew at the Sunday night fireworks. It was like a bolt of lightning with the sound of a cherry bomb or m-80. A couple was pulled out and brought to the Weirs docks with minor injuries and the boat sank. I always use the blower and sometimes vent the engine cover for no good reason but sometimes I just like to see and smell for myself. Boating is a matter of seconds between pure pleasure and tragedy. Some of the worst accidents have involved some of the most seasoned Winnipesaukee boaters. I saw the cigarette boat at Channel Marine the day after it split the cabin in Meredith Bay. Vivid images like that dangling state of the art grappling hook before side scan sonar. The lake demands vigilance and respect all 4 seasons. Even the latest lake apps and Garvins are not preventing people from running aground or into other boats.
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Old 02-14-2021, 06:10 PM   #6
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Default Floyd Miller

Descant how can you remember Floyd Miller? I think he passed away 1964. As a kid we lived a few houses near him. I’m still good friends with his daughter. In the early 1970s I owned a Steel Craft. I paid $100 for it because it wouldn’t float. Had the bottom welded and good to go.
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Old 02-14-2021, 07:01 PM   #7
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Default Floyd built our docks

Around 1958-59 Endicott Estates started selling shorefront on the south side of Welch Island. My father and two friends each bought two lots and Floyd Miller built three breakwaters/dock systems in 1959-60 for them. As I recall, Floyd live in the cove just north of the Governor's Island bridge and stored the barge in front of the house in the winter. Wentworth Cove? I don't have a chart handy. Am I right that Floyd was an aircraft mechanic for Bob Fogg at the Weirs seaplane base? My father was an airline pilot (Colonial, now American) until 1935. There weren't many aviators in those days, so they all knew each other, if only by reputation.

Back to Steelcraft. I recall once Floyd hit something; the barge was at our house. He brought the boat over, picked it up by the transom with the crane and proceeded to whack away at the shaft and strut with a sledge hammer. Back in the water and off he went. Tough boats.
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Old 02-14-2021, 07:44 PM   #8
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Default Steel craft

Floyd Miller was a pilot in the day and had some fame flying around the lake. He was a captain maybe in the Air Force. His daughter is a couple years older than me and vary capable. When she was 13 Floyd would let us use the steel craft on weekends. He lived in Wentworth Cove.
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Old 02-14-2021, 10:51 PM   #9
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Default That's cool

Cool info. Nothing to do with Steelcraft, but we should get together offline. My daughter and I are both pilots too.
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Old 02-15-2021, 09:22 AM   #10
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Default Steel craft

There’s a Steelcraft Boat Group on Facebook that’s pretty interesting with people restoring these boats. Some have made their way to Europe. The photo in this forum is the 26 ft Day Cruiser model, I had owned the 26 ft Sedan like Floyd’s. Years ago the Margate owned a Steelcraft that is being fully restored by the new owner. Maybe we’ll see it on the lake this summer.
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