Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Dutch strikes again!!

Dutch (Adam Gottschling) of Jackson Wyoming strikes again! He has become the restoration expert in returning vintage McKenzies to usable condition; the go-to guy for many vintage drift boat aficionados. He has restored the original Trapper, and his hands have resurrected Kaarhus, Hindman and Ostrem boats.
So Dutch called me yesterday. Whenever he calls I know something unusual or remarkable has happened, or he's about to make a request (Hey, Roger, could you check out a boat for me?). He says, Roger, you're not going to believe this. I've picked up two dories build for Martin Litton by Ketih Steele in 1969. The hell you say, I replied. Keith built but two boats for Martin in 1961, and their relationship collapsed when Keith didn't deliver on a subsequent order. That's where Jerry Briggs enters the scene.
 Well, you may have to re-write chapter 9 in your book, Dutch replies, because I picked up two dories in Lewiston, the hulls of which were built by Steele in 1969. The boats have been sitting for 30 years at O.A.R.S in Lewiston, and Curt Chang (O.A.R.S)reports they were built by Steele. So I called Steve Steele, Dutch continues, and Yes! Steve remembers helping his dad build those hulls for Litton in 1969! 
The boats are Hetch Hetchy and Diamond Head. Dutch's plan is to begin restoration of Diamond Head to river condition in November. Hetch Hetchy might be restored to exhibit condition. Dutch plans to work on her in 2018. He is doing this work for O.A.R.S., but she may not float again.
Notice the weep holes inside the hatch. Keith's weeping style, unusual for a decked and compartmentalized dory. Interestingly, these boats are not among Keith's records. Son Steve says his dad was upset about building them, so there's got be an intersting back-story here. Could it be tied to Keith's aborted delivery to Litton? 
Kudos to Dutch. His reputation exceeds the boundaries of Wyoming, and it was Curt Chang (O.A.R.S)who heard of Dutch, and made the intitial contact.

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