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1940 33 ft. Cruisabout
BADGER is a 1940 Cruisabout, built by Richardson Boat Company with a customized layout. The hull is 33 ft. long with a beam of 10 ft. 8 in. Total Displacement is approximately 9000 lbs.
The keel, skeg, and framing are made of white oak. The decking is constructed of tongue and groove cedar, covered with the original canvas. While the topsides are planked with cedar, the transom and bottom below the waterline are planked with mahogany. The superstructure, trim and interior are made from mahogany as well. She still carries the original Penn Yan wood and canvas dinghy. When constructed, the standard plan was altered by shortening the trunk cabin and moving the salon forward. Although this arrangement reduced the number of berths from four to two, it resulted in a larger cockpit.
According to information passed through various owners, the boat was originally ordered by then Richardson Vice President, James G. Nogle, who died before taking delivery. After his death, the hull remained unfinished in the factory while production of pleasure craft was suspended in favor of World War II military contracts. The boat was simply moved to the side and covered with canvas, saving her from the fate of many sisterships that were requisitioned by the Coast Guard for patrolling the Great Lakes.
Upon completion after the war, the boat was sold to Bud Cleo and kept for the next 40 years or so in a boathouse that’s still standing next to the Richardson property on the New York State Barge Canal at North Tonawanda, New York. The owner in 1972, Lou Cervi, sold the boat to Bob Grimmer and Bud Mayo, on condition that they continue to use the boathouse. They called the boat SEA TOY II and entered her in the Sail Home event in 1976, winning the prize for “Best Maintained Pre 1941” Richardson.
Around 1989 the boat was sold to John Orentlicher, who re-named her ARDEA and moved her to a covered slip on the Canal leading to Lake Onieda at Brewerton, New York. Mr. Orentlicher sold the boat in the spring of 1996 to the current owner, John Bowman, who changed the name to BADGER for the mascot of his home state of Wisconsin.
When Mr. Orentlicher purchased the boat, it was equipped with a six-cylinder Flathead Chrysler. He was told this was an upgrade from the original engine which lacked sufficient power to maneuver through the strong currents of the Niagara River. He subsequently installed a 327 cu in. Chevy V8, which Mr. Bowman replaced in 1999 with a 350 cu in. Fresh Water Cooled GM V8. So, apparently, BADGER has been equipped with four different engines. Since 1997, the wiring has been replaced, and a new head and holding tank have been installed. RADAR, GPS, and radio equipment have also been added, but in a manner that complements the 1940 design.
Throughout the years, this boat has enjoyed the stewardship of people who cared for her and maintained her superbly. In particular, she benefited from many years spent under cover. As a result, although individual repairs have been required due to limited rot, damage, and the normal wear and tear that occurred during the past 70 years, BADGER has never been “restored”. Her hull is sound and her finish is fine.