With thanks to the boys at Vintage Race Boat Shop
It has been said that the 16 foot Gar Wood speedster is, pound for pound, the most valuable classic production speed boat in the world. Miss Behave is certainly the most well known of the original five speedsters brought to the St. Lawrence in 1935. Over the years, a number of copies of the boat have been produced, both on the St. Lawrence and abroad. An original cost roughly $1,340.00 when new, including a Gray Fireball Engine.
Since 1926, Ed Noble of the Lifesaver Candy Company, and a Gar Wood customer, had been speeding on the St. Lawrence River in his famous 33′ Baby Gar, “SNAIL”. He told Wood that he and his friends only wanted a small, sporty racer that would be like a water version of the popular European sports cars. Wood’s answer was high performance sixteen footer with 2 seats aft of the engine that he called the “Speedster”. Its performance and appearance was similar to a cut-down Miss America racer. Noble fell in love with the boat and the first dozen produced were sent to the St. Lawrence River for Noble and his friends. His speedster was named the “Miss Behave” and others in the group were called “Miss Adventure”. “Miss Chief” and “Miss Conduct”. Speedster racing became a regular event on the St. Lawrence River right to the start of World War II. (Today the original “Miss Behave” is in the Thousand Islands Shipyard Museum).
Miss Behave is drawn up using ring frames as opposed to frame members, floor timbers have been added at frames and betwwen frames in lieu of the original steam bent ribs. The Speedster is surely a piece of boating history, classic lines with a very sporty look featuring a rear cockpit and a wonderful deck crown. Suits cold molded construction.