Baby Gar V / Gar Wood / Chris Craft / Liberty engine

Gar Wood Chris Craft 33' Baby Gar classic wood boat photo

seabuddyonboats photo of Gar Wood Chris Craft 33 ft "Baby Gar"

Here is a great story about Antique and Classic boats. Gar Wood raced his 33 foot Baby Gar V and her sister Baby Gar IV both built to a design by Chris Craft’s Christopher Columbus Smith. She and IV raced down the Hudson River alongside the Twentieth Century Limited train on the river edge RR tracks from Albany to NYC. She beat the train! The race started at 6:53 A. M. on May 27, 1935 as the train rocketed by the boats. It ended at 9:50 A. M. when Wood pulled into the pier in NYC seventeen minutes before the train passed.

Truth be told, the faster Baby Gar V broke down and Gar Wood had to wait some seven minutes for the IV to catch up so he could transfer to it from V as V had proved to be the faster boat. This happened about half way, around Poughkeepsie, NY.

She is a boat with a step (or an athwartships break) in her running surface. Chris Craft and Gar Wood had promoted the idea of a bottom step to increase speed in a runabout. They are usually credited with making the refinements that made it a useful race boat feature.

Another aspect of this Baby Gar is her engine. Gar Wood was a rich man in the 1920s and raced boats as his hobby. He had gotten World War I aircraft engines as war surplus at bargain rates as he had bought piles of them at a time. These engines were known as the Liberty Engine. Light weight for that time, they were offered in boats by Gar Wood at horsepower rating from 400 Hp to as high as 550 Hp.

Baby Gar V is one of the 65 boats called “Baby Gar”. All had these Liberty Engines for power that had been designed by Packard Motors and Hall Scott Aircraft Engines.

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