Yellow Jacket Wood Boat Company History
Cole(son of Richard Cole Of Miami Florida)
Dad was born in London England in 1909 and left to South Africa in
1935. Dad became a Naval Architect,
started designing small wooden outboard cruisers in South Africa but saw
opportunity in the US.
- In 1947 he and my
mother came to Canada while waiting for clearance to come into the
was about 1948 that he designed the
Yellow Jacket hulls for Industrial Shipping in Nova Scotia Canada.
- McDerby saw opportunity in these hulls and had train
loads of them shipped to him weekly in Texas.
Dad then designed the deck,
transom, stringers, etc in order for McDerby to make a complete boat and the Yellow Jacket
boat was born.
Dad also originally designed the spring seats in these boats but
discovered another person in the company attempted to patent his idea.
- drove all the way from Texas to Washington DC
and filed his own patent since it was his idea. I have not actually
confirmed if the patent
was ever issued and dad does not remember. By 1950, fiberglass was
coming rapidly into the industry and dad had started designing for
Thunderbird boats in Miami Fl. Because these seats were not suitable
for fiberglass boats, dad did not pursue the patent issue any further
.. This patent can be confirmed by checking with the US patent
office. Later, Roy Rogers apparently became a part owner,
but dad was not involved with
Yellow Jacket boats during this era and did not design the wings and
things that evolved in the later boats.
Dad went on the invent the Cathedral Hull (Patented) in 1958 for
Thunderbird Boats in North Miami Fl (seen on the
TV series as Ranger Rick's
boat.) Thunderbird became quite successful actually building boats
on three shifts during their most
- prosperous times in the
60's. He also designed the "Gullwing" Cathedral hull for Evinrude boats in the 60's.
- In 1970 dad designed
the Airslot Hull (Patented) for Wellcraft Marine and also created the very first Walkaround cuddy cabin in
- 1974 in the 24' Airslot. Throughout he career he designed many boats,
both wood, and fiberglass in the later years.
Some of his earlier wood designs included Coronet boats out of
Denmark and Regal out of Florida. His fiberglass
designs included Thunderbird, Evinrude, Wellcraft, Donzi, Nova, and many others. He designed all the way
up through his 80's
with his last boat being a 31' for Wellcraft Marine.
Naval Architect Richard
(Dick) Cole passed away 1-20-04 from Larynx cancer. Mike R. Cole
Please check out the Patents
- D186480 oct
- D199602 nov 1964 "Boat"
- D199768 dec 1964 "Boat"
- D204522 apr 1966 "Longitudinally Stepped Cathedral
- D204523 apr 1966 "Cathedral Boat"
- D219627 dec 1970 "Hull for Planing
- 3,602,179 aug 1971 "Hydroplane Boat"
- D224275 jul 1972 "Power Boat"
- D234349 feb 1975 "Runabout Power Boat"
- D234685 apr 1975 "Fishing Cruiser" (airslot)
Yellow Jacket/ Sears/ Elgin
Courtesy of Denise Goodwin
Here is a exert out of a document I
have on the Angler/Penn Yan boat company:
late 1950’s, Sears bought boats from a company called Yellow Jacket based in Texas. These boats were
made from molded mahogany veneers. Their distribution of the finished boats
from Texas to
the Northeast posed quite a problem and Sears asked Angler to assist in the
program. Yellow Jacket shipped train carloads of molded mahogany
"skins" to Angler. These skins had no transoms and were nested like
spoons with up to a hundred or more per car. During that period there was a
four-story warehouse on the corner of Liberty
and Lake Street,
which is the present location of Pudgie’s Pizza. The
first and second floors of this warehouse were rented by Angler and the
mahogany skins were completed into finished boats. This operation was under the
direction of Earl Newcomb, foreman. The parts for these boats were made in the
Angler mill. The finished boats were shipped out to Sears by rail freight and
by Angler trailer. This production was for one year only. During the season
that Sears was taking both Angler cedar boats and the molded mahogany boats it
became necessary to put on a second shift. When operating, the second shift was
run by Larry Orr.
Follow the link to see the page
out of the 1957, 1958 and 1959 Sears Catalog on the Elgin Molded Plywood Boats
for comparison to the 1959 Brochure listed below.
For More Roy
Photos and INFO Click Here
For those who want more info on the
Yellow Jacket Boat Company I recomand buying the book
"The Real Runabouts IV", by Bob Speltz.........this
book has some pictures and info on the company as well as meny
Photos of the 1954 Yellow
Jacket Line of boats
1959 Brochure (click
here) Photos courtesy of Chris Scott
more on the Fageol Inboard Conversion and the Pepco Supercharger
Jacket Wood Boat
To..Yellow Jacket Wood Boat
To..Yellow Jacket Wood Boat Links
To..Other Yellow Jacket Boats
To..Letters from Yellow Jacket
To..Yellow Jacket Classifieds
"email" me with your questions or comments or if you have a Yellow
Jacket Boat to firstname.lastname@example.org