Wood Race Boat, Mark Mason style

There is a patina and allure that emanates from a boat that Mark Mason is involved with. Maybe it is the materials, the level of the finish, and the true attention to details, but I believe that there is such a thing as the “Mason touch” on an antique and classic boat. Go to any show, any marine event, and just look at the boats. His draws your attention.

wooden race boat image photo varnish nickel hardware gold leaf

Mark Mason's Gold Cup racer, Curtiss Wilgold III

Curtiss Wilgold III is a 26’ by 6’ Gold Cup racer, ala 1923. She was designed and built by John L. Hacker, the famous naval architect. Her hull and engine were designed to conform to the rules of a “gentlemen’s runabout racer” class, developed for Gold Cup Racing, after the 1922 racing season. Thus her “G” class racing number on her side, rather than a “U”. She is a stepped Hydroplane design that Hacker used at this time in “Curtiss Wilgold III” from the start of the initial design for her and throughout her racing career. John L. Hacker used a stepped bottom in other racing boat designs at this time.

This wood racer is a handmade “clone” of a no longer in existence boat and motor. The original has been gone for years. So, what to do? Do the right thing. Acquire the John L.  Hacker plans and drawings and make one… Mark Mason style. He used ribbon stripe African Mahogany wood, cast parts where necessary and created other brass hardware and then nickel (not chrome) plated all of it, plus he incorporated old, period correct, parts where possible and where they were safe to use in a 70 mph boat (Note, she has some 600 horsepower under those hatches). Finally, he fashioned the race boat’s seats, cockpit trim, and cockpit covers out of the correct materials.

classic wood race boat cockpit boat image photo

The cockpit details are stunning

This was a famous time for boat racing. Owners, drivers, and mechanics with names like Dick Locke, Harry B. Greening, Charles F. Chapman, Caleb Bragg, Gar Wood, Hall, Rose, Grimm, and Strassberg were involved at this time. Other boats with names like Rainbow IV, Baby Bootlegger, Miss Columbia, Miss Mary, Baby America, and Lady Shores were on the race course with Curtiss Wilgold III.

stern wooden gold cup race boat image

Note the esternal rudder

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