SCOTTY TOO & SCOTTY TWO ~ THE FIRE STILL BURNS

Sam Dunsford must have loved boats because he surrounded himself with boats. Runabouts, Fast boats, Commuter boats, Speed boats. He raced boats. He built one of the greatest boathouses imaginable on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, as a home for his boats.

Dunsford commissioned John Hacker to build a racer for the 1929 season, called SCOTTY, she was a cigar shaped beauty, but was deemed unsuccessful, due to hull problems that brought John Hacker himself to Winnipesaukee worked tirelessly with a team of boat carpenters to correct the problems with little success. Hacker finally offered to build a second boat at a reduced price. SCOTTY’s Packard engine was removed to power the new boat.

SCOTTY TOO, as the new boat was named, is not what many would describe as beautiful. Yet she is one of Hacker’s masterpieces. She has strikingly severe lines and shapes which render her a peculiar mix of handsome, charismatic, and a ballsy hot-rod., Her knuckled cutwater extends from her plumb bow like a giant menacing meat cleaver. And her stern is chopped off in a “V” tail that looks like a slice of apple pie. The combination of these features is truly mesmerizing. She is a multiple stepped hydroplane. Her engine drives forward through a large cast aluminum V-Drive gearbox. When she travels at high speed, the gears can be heard whining from a great distance, a faint and eerie sound that can be heard coming down the lake, well before the engine’s soft bellowing exhaust.

SCOTTY TOO ran successfully for many years, based out of Dunsford’s boathouse on Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire. She won many races locally and also competed Nationally in the Gold Cup, President’s Cup and National Sweepstakes races. Dunsford was a colorful character who was well liked in the race circuit. He epitomized the “Gentleman Racer” and enjoyed being out on the race course in the “thick of it” more than he had aspirations of actually winning. But SCOTTY TOO finished races consistently and consistency is what counts. So she placed well at the end of the regattas and took a trophy home almost every time.

A young Bill Marriott began coming to Lake Winnipesaukee in the mid 1930′s. His family’s cottage was very close to the SCOTTYs’ boathouse. Bill saw Dunsford & his mechanics racing and testing SCOTTY TOO each summer. Bill would occasionally row over to Dunsford’s and look up under the doors at SCOTTY and SCOTTY TOO hanging in the hoist.

After WWII, during one of SCOTTY TOO’s last runs, Dunsford arranged for teenager Bill Marriott to have a ride that would kindle a fire and love for speed, and for SCOTTY TOO, that still burns today.

Dunsford died in the 1950’s leaving all his boats to his caretaker who eventually sold them off. In the 1960s Ted Larter acquired SCOTTY TOO and had her refurbished to run at his summer home on Lake George, NY. In the 1980’s, Mason was involved in restoring her for Ted, and repowered her with a WWI Hispano-Suiza aircraft engine.

After Dunsford died in the 1950′s, his caretaker Elmer Folsom, inherited all the boats in the boathouse and eventually sold them off one by one. A legendary early collector at the Lake, Sam Rogers, purchased both of the Scotties. Sam then sold SCOTTY TOO to Ted Larter of Dunstable, Massachusetts around 1968, who spruced up the old girl and ran her with a succession of modern V8 engines at his summer place on Lake George.

In 1972 Mason met Ted Larter and his family and early one morning Ted took Mark for a ride in SCOTTY TOO on Lake George, that may have changed the direction of his young (26 year old) life.

In the early 1980’s Larter had a major restoration done and asked Mark to handle much of the mechanicals. Mason by that time had restored or owned four 1920’s Gold Cup racers. Mason had found a 1918 Hispano-Suiza 300HP engine in a tobacco field in Kentucky, where it had lain outdoors for 45 years. He made the purchase for Larter, and then got the engine restored. Some people thought the behemoth engine (1127 cubic inches) was too powerful for the hull, but Larter had acquired an original John Hacker installation drawing for the Hisso, fitting into SCOTTY TOO like a glove. When SCOTTY TOO again hit the water, her Hispano engine was an overwhelming success. Her distinctive bellow became a legend on Lake George, as she streaked across the water.

Mark moved to Winnipesaukee in 1985 and opened his shop in Laconia, New England Boat & Motor, Inc. A few years later Mason and Bill Marriott met recognizing a shared passion, began exchanging stories and boatrides. Around 1994 Marriott asked Mark what had become of Sam Dunford’s SCOTTY TOO and Mason spilled the beans that she was alive and well on Lake George. Mason was asked to make offers to buy her from Ted Larter. Ted firmly refused all offers and died shortly after.

A decade later, the Larter’s pulled SCOTTY TOO from a dusty barn and brought her to Mason’s shop in Laconia to be spruced up to run again. She ran next on Winnipesaukee, out of Mason’s Hiawatha boathouse cottage, for a couple weeks, before being shipped to Larter’s boathouse on Lake George. Early one morning Mason and owner Alan Larter, took Bill Marriot for his second ride in SCOTTY TOO, separated by half a century. Several offers to purchase SCOTTY TOO followed, but the Larter family refused to sell what had become for them a family treasure.

During 2009 Bill and Mark discussed building a reproduction, with the Larter’s blessings. Later that year a contract was signed with a targeted delivery date of Saturday July 30th 2011, the date of the Meredith Antique Boat Show. Those few that know, will confirm that after winning First Prize in the show, her delivery was complete and she was elegantly swinging in the hooks of Bill Marriott’s boathouse.

Mason has built many boats in his Laconia shop, but in recent years he has chosen to subcontract bare hulls to be constructed outside his shop. Mason selected Steve White and Brian Larkin of Brooklin Boatyard, on the Maine coast, to build the hull for Mariott’s boat. They did a magnificent job in record time. It was then brought to Laconia for all mechanical work, wiring and enough detail to make a grown man cry. Mason and his crew found a 1918 Hispano-Suiza aircraft engine in Michigan. It was purchased, restored and marine converted. Foundry patterns were located for the exact V-Drive gear box that has been running in SCOTTY TOO. A complete gearbox was built from scratch for the new boat.

The boat you see today is a very close duplicate of the original and even bears the original racing number G-27. Her name, pronounced the same as the original SCOTTY TOO, spelled with a twist……   SCOTTY TWO. She is a prized possession in Marriott’s boathouse and is frequently seen streaking across the waters of Lake Winnipesaukee like a scalded cat.