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Old 11-22-2007, 11:52 PM
Dawn M Dawn M is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
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Location: Canada
1965 Delta Holiday Wooden Boat

Hi everyone, I'm yet another newbie here! I have attached pictures of an old boat I have recently purchased and cannot find any information on it? It was built by the Delta Boat Company that shortly went out of business I'm thinking in '65. She is in original factory conditon with but a few little glitches. I'm trying to keep her that way without a total refinishing! If anyone can help me out with more info on the Delta Company and or suggest sites I can go to? That would be greatly appreciated! Here is what I have so far....
The Delta Boat Company manufactured high-end wooden boats to compete with the emerging fiberglass market in the mid-1960s. Delta, like many other wooden boat manufacturers, used the fiberglass resin technology to continue to satisfy the wooden boat market. Fiberglass boats use a female mold laid up with sheets of fiberglass cloth saturated with epoxy resin. Several wooden boat manufacturers used the same technology replacing fiberglass sheets with wood veneers. That Delta Boat Co. elevated this technology to an art form using fine imported mahogany veneers. Additionally, they did not pattern their molds from old hull designs. Delta started from scratch using newly formulated nautically engineered designs. There is no frame or superstructure to this boat; its strength is in its skin. The result was a magnificent lightweight wooden boat with all the advantages of low-maintenance fiberglass. These boats looked beautiful, were very fast, and very expensive at the time. Not many survived to today as they were prone to dry rot and not maintained properly. I'm now actually wondering how many are left?
Thanks for any help!!!!
1965 Delta Holiday Wooden Boat-c1e2_3.jpg1965 Delta Holiday Wooden Boat-c2e1_3.jpg1965 Delta Holiday Wooden Boat-c26d_3.jpg1965 Delta Holiday Wooden Boat-c229_3.jpg1965 Delta Holiday Wooden Boat-c369_3.jpg
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  #2  
Old 11-23-2007, 06:03 PM
PAR's Avatar
PAR PAR is offline
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Location: Eustis, FL
It sounds as if you have enough information to satisfy most folks. You have a fine example of one. Enjoy it, care for it and use reasonable repair practices to keep it lasting another 42 years.

Your boat is pre-HIN requirements in this country (1974) so knowing exactly what you have, may remain a mystery unless you can unearth some company records. Previous owners is a start. On line information about long dead companies if difficult to sort through, but you may have some luck after many hours of searching. State registration records may provide some of the previous owners. The Wooden Boat Registry may also be helpful if someone bothered to register the old gal.

Good luck . . .
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  #3  
Old 11-24-2007, 03:58 AM
Dawn M Dawn M is offline
 
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Location: Canada
Thank you!

Presently I am her only 3rd owner. She was part of a car collectors inventory and housed in a garage for a few decades. The previous owner to myself had purchased her for his wife, she was in the water for a year and wasn't used last year. The wife didn't use her, and hubby just decided to let the boat go. I think she's still around because she didn't see much water. I would like to change that and give her the life she was always meant to have. Just looking for some history on the boat and the company as I really want to keep the original look. Can't find it for the life of me! ARG! Other thing, I'm from Ontario, Canada. The boat refinishers here, are so darn busy...something I never had realized. Still looking!!! My other question is: Are the old wooden boats like furniture...do they lose their value when refinished? Or does it matter? Just wondering? Do I totaly re do her? Or do I just do touch ups and keep her original? Like I had said, I'm new to this and would hate to ruin a good thing!
Many thanks for your info!!!!
It's greatly appreciated!
Dawn
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  #4  
Old 11-25-2007, 01:37 AM
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PAR PAR is offline
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Boats need repairs and maintenance, there's no avoiding this, so some refinishing and parts replacement is expected. An all original example is only valuable if you've got someone interested in that manufacture's model for themselves. A fully restored boat is little more then an accurate representation of what you currently have (less the dings and scratches, etc.)

Original is wonderful and usually more valuable, but again only relevant if you have it, not only for sale, but someone on the "hook" trying to buy her. Folks like to think, "my boat is worth ***** much", but it's not, unless you can get it sold for that.

Value really only comes into play when it's time to insure it. If it's a healthy policy, then they'll want a survey to value the boat.

Very often Dawn, as you're learning, you just can't find much information about long closed manufactures. I have a 1957 something or other in my barn right now. I have no idea what it is or who built it. I have accepted this and don't have a lot of difficulty with it. It's well built and in good shape, which is why I got it.

You at least know what it is, which is more then some. You also have an excellent example of one, which is a lot more then what most have in a wooden 40+ year old.

As far as finishes and care, there are many books on the several subjects these include. I'd just touch up and repair the finishes for now. Eventually you'll have to redo sections, with wholesale removal of finishes and all. This is more difficult and expensive. Do what you need to, learn how to care for her, keep the old lady dry, clean, well ventilated and covered. This will permit you the most time with the finishes you have and keep the boat in good health.

Take her out and let her kick up her heels, all ladies like to dance. Caring for a sweet old lass like this isn't like having an old car. She'll need attention, especially if you want to use her. You'd be wise to join an antique boat club and see what the folks with the real high dollar craft are doing to care for their babies. You'll be doing similar, just not spending as much, though the elbow grease costs the same.

Good Luck . . .
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  #5  
Old 01-03-2009, 04:10 PM
wjh5@tx.rr.com wjh5@tx.rr.com is offline
 
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Location: Richardson, Texas
Bill H

We owned a 1956 Delta "Hollywood". We were born and raised in Chicago , Illinois. The Delta Boat Co. was located in a south/west suburb of Chicago. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the town.

At that time Delta sold both finished boats and boat kits. Our parents bought our boat in kit form. The kit consisted of the molded plywood hull with the transom installed, all precut wood parts, plywood for decks and fasteners and finish hardward. Our Dad finished shaping and fitting the parts at night and on weekends and my brother and I assembled and painted the boat through the days in the summer of 1957. We were 15 and 13 years old.

The boat was powered by a 1956 Mercury 40 hp. It performed well and we had a lot of good times with it. We kept the boat garaged on a trailer, but could have it in the water within 30 minutes. We took it a many vacations. On the vacations she would stay in the water several days at a time. Because we were careful to keep her clean and dry after every use, we never had to refinish her. Just local repairs. It was a good boat. My parents sold the boat in the mid 1970's.

In '56 -'57 Delta made 4 or 5 models. My memory says that the Holiday was the largest model at 15'-6". The Hollywood was 14'-6" long. The smallest model was called the "Sexy" and was 13'-0". All 3 of these models had a fore, aft and middle deck. The mid deck seperated the 2 seating comparments. Delta also made an open sports model for skiing. It was 14' long and only had the front deck.

When we got our Delta, the molded plywood hull was manufactured by a company named US Molded Shapes. I think they were located in Michigan but am not sure. I remember going to the boats shows in Chicago every year with my Dad and there were several companies that made molded plywood hulled boats. They were generally small companies with limited local markets. In my opinion, Delta made the best looking boats of all the molded plywood boat companies.
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  #6  
Old 05-06-2010, 09:34 PM
gallagher gallagher is offline
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Join Date: May 2010
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Location: Missouri
Delta Sexy

My husband & I are just starting a restoration on a 1957 Delta sexy- the open sport model for skiing. It has been kept in excellent condition, stored indoors it's entire life. if anyone has tips/advice on restoring the hull- it was painted over the mahogany, I would be forever indebted.
Thank you,
gallagher.jay@gmail.com
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  #7  
Old 08-04-2010, 12:21 AM
saintniec saintniec is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Location: Burlington WI
I am SOOOO glad to have found this forum. Three years ago we bought '57 Delta though I am not sure of the name it is given. We were told it is 15' but have not measured it. The '57 Johnson 35 hp that came with it got us around the lake 2 times and gave out! It has been in the shop for two years being worked on and worked on and.....you get it. I will try to post photos of our little wood boat. We got lots of thumbs up when we had it out and I hope to get plenty more. We are giving up on the '57 Johnson and are going to go with something that moves the boat rather than "original look". A '57 boat with a running motor sure beats a '57 sitting on dry dock!!
There is a gentlemant that has a '58 on Lake Geneva near us and it is beautiful!!
I have been looking for any information on the boat and the company. An earlier post said they were made in suburban Chicago. We were told Lombard, Illinois though recently I heard another town I can't recall.
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  #8  
Old 09-17-2010, 01:27 AM
rsdtj12 rsdtj12 is offline
 
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Location: illinois
Delta Boats

My Uncle Jerry who was the owner of Delta Boats in Oak Lawn Illinois and my dad Chuck build these classic wooden boats. They were beautiful boats. I remember as a kid about 5 or 6 being so proud of the fact that my father build a boat and named it the Cheryl Ann.
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:22 PM
gallagher gallagher is offline
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Delta Sexy

My wife and my uncle who bought the boat new in 1957 went with me on the 1st lake run for the boat since the early 70's. The motor misses at low rpm at this point. I think a new cap, rotor and plug wires will get us going. Today was the 1st time I have ever been onboard a wooden boat...Very fun. The wood makes a boat have a different feel and ride. Jay Gallagher
Attached Thumbnails
1965 Delta Holiday Wooden Boat-047.jpg  1965 Delta Holiday Wooden Boat-042.jpg  1965 Delta Holiday Wooden Boat-044.jpg  

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Old 09-19-2010, 11:30 PM
gallagher gallagher is offline
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rstdjt12 Delta Sexy

Thanks for the post about Delta boats. All I knew to this point was that they were made in IL. Is there anyway I could get in touch with anyone who built the boats? If you find any parts of paperwork in someone's attic or basment please let me know. I hope to do a complete restore on the 14' Delta Sexy.
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:36 PM
rsdtj12 rsdtj12 is offline
 
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Location: illinois
Delta

HI Jay ~
It's nice to hear that you are going ro restore the boat. I would like to see this as it goes on as it truly is a tribute to my dad.

There would not be anyone still alive that built these boats. There might be someone on this site that might have paperwork on a Delta boat.

Here is my email - if you can email me I will forward my address and maybe as time goes on you can forward the restoration pics to me.

rsdtj12@gmail.com
Thanks,
Sherry
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  #12  
Old 09-19-2010, 11:51 PM
rsdtj12 rsdtj12 is offline
 
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Location: illinois
Delta Boats

Hi all ~
The Delta boats were built in the late 50's - to mid 60's. My father built the boats and his brother was the owner of the shop. It was located in Oak Lawn, a suburb of Chicago...about 15 minutes from the south side of Chicago. Unfortunately there is no one alive who built the boats. I have a cousin who is a bit older than me and the son of the owner. I will contact him as maybe he knows something. I know that he has been ill so it might be a bit before I can let anyone know if I find anything out.

My father build a boat for our family - I was probably 7-8 and he named it the Cheryl Ann. I would love to find that boat so if anyone happens to know anything about that please let me know.
Thanks,
Sherry
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  #13  
Old 09-20-2010, 01:14 AM
ancient kayaker ancient kayaker is offline
aka Terry Haines
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada
Dawn, since you live in Ontario perhaps you already know of the Power Boat Museum in Huntsville and the Muskoka Boat & Heritage Centre in Gravenhurst. They are likely to be able to help you with advise and even work on your boat.
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  #14  
Old 11-20-2010, 11:56 AM
dwworkman dwworkman is offline
 
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Location: Mooresville, Indiana
I have a 1955 Delta. Not sure what model it is. It is 15'-6" in length, and has a 1958 50hp Johnson outboard. I completely restored it last winter. I can't get pictures downloaded to this site or I would send one.
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  #15  
Old 11-20-2010, 12:23 PM
ancient kayaker ancient kayaker is offline
aka Terry Haines
 
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Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada
If you have pics on your computer use the Go Advanced option below and click on "Manage Attachments"
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