VINTAGE 38 FT. ELCO CRUISETTE MOTORBOAT “ABLE HAND”
PRESENTED is a custom built model of the vintage ELCO
Cruisette, “Able Hand” that was scratch built by a master model-maker for its owner. It is the finest model
of this type that we have had the opportunity to offer, and is in near perfect condition. The design features a
beautifully shaped hull with plumb bow, raised foredeck, a center, partially open, pilot house and trunk cabin aft.
A Plexiglas cover is included.
The model is built from the original builder’s plans. All the hardware and fittings are individually
hand made in metal, and exactly duplicate what was used on the real boat. There is even a steering station made in brass and
a skylight binnacle of the exact type used. The deck is detailed in hand laid planking and looks like teak. The
deckhouse and trim are finished in bright varnish over the White enamel hull, with Blue bottom paint, as
was the original. Special pains were taken with this project to replicate the details of the original down to the
last minute detail as can bee seen in pictures of a sistership, the 1929, 38 foot ELCO, “Queenie”, which
is still in service today as a living replica of bygone times. See http://www.tug44.org/tugboats.trawlers/queenie/
CONDITION: The model is exceptional in all respects. Mention
is made that there are some small areas of missing black paint on the edge of the base where the cover rests. There also
is a slight blemish where a brass plate was mounted in the right corner of the base. Both of these are minor and hardly noticeable.
All the gear and fittings are in place and nothing is broken or missing. The overall appearance of the model is quite
remarkable and impressive. “Museum Quality” is a hackneyed phrase which is much over used, but is quite fitting to describe
MODEL DIMENSIONS: 16 1/2″ L x 5 3/4″ W x 7 3/4″H
BASE: 24 1/2″ L x 9″ W x 8″ H
WEIGHT: 10 1/2 Lbs
on a base with Plexiglas cover, she makes an incomparable model. A perfect addition to your
home, den or office
steering wheel, shift levers and skylight binnacle
PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO SEE THE GALLERY PHOTOS
ELCO HISTORY: ELCO, stands
for Electric Launch Company which commenced operations in 1893. It was a sister company to the famous Electric Boat Company,
builder of U.S. Navy submarines. The recreational builder, developed a series of electric and gas propulsion boats that
became the Cadillac of their day, beginning in 1893. When World War One came along ELCO produced hundreds of motor launches
for the British Navy. However, it wasn’t until after that war that the company really hit its stride building unique, high
quality electric and gas launches. Thomas Edison, J. P. Morgan, John Jacob Astor, the Grand Duke Alexander of Russia and hundreds
of other notables had to have one. In 1928, a year after he flew solo across the Atlantic, Charles Lindbergh spent a summer
getting acquainted with a 38 foot Elco cabin cruiser that he chartered to get away from the roaring crowds. The “Lone Eagle’
decided that this would be the perfect ways to find solitude after his marriage to Anne Morrow. With the help of some very
closedmouthed Elco executives, he purchased a 38 foot ELCO, changed the two rear single berths to one double berth
and had the boat moored along a deserted stretch of Long Island beach for their wedding day.
Between the world wars, Elco became one of the better known boat
builders of its day. Chris Craft, Gar Wood, Sheppard and many others produced beautiful boats, but none were said to compare
with ELCO yachts. During World War Two ELCO produced 399, 80 Foot, PT boats for the US Navy, including Jack Kennedy’s,
PT109. This was the high point of production at ELCO because after the war the returning Gl’s were more interested
in marriage, raising a family and a new home than in boating. Thus ELCO was forced to close its doors in 1949. It is
estimated that out of 7500 yachts that were built about 400 are still in use. However, the
company was reborn by new owners in 1987 in Highland, NY, as a builder of small electric launches, but the
days of the wooden yachts are gone.
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