Now on to June of the same
year, Dad says, "guess what kind of boat I received a call on that is for
sale?" A 1931 FayBow. First, we’d never heard of a Fay Bow. Then to receive
two calls about them within six months of each other was a first. This
one is about an hour and a half away, so off we go with the only empty
trailer that we could get quick. It is for a 1929 26’ Chris Craft, the
Middy is only 16’. Upon arrival the owner had pulled it outside on his
trailer. The boat was in great shape, only three things not original, a
strip of wood to hold a gas tank in place, a piece of wood to hold a throttle
and eye bolts in the transom to tie it off. The only visual defect was
the last person to put on some varnish, should not have. He did no prep
work and it was all blistering. The other minor problems were the wiring
for the lights were fraying and the “blue waterproof imitation Spanish
leather upholstery” would crack at the slightest touch. How could you let
a boat this nice not come home with you. So off of his trailer and onto
the one we had brought. Now for the next problem, single and living in
the barracks on Governors Island in NY Harbor, where do you do a restoration?
Not a problem, just ask the three star Admiral that you work for if he
would mind leaving one of this cars outside so that you can work on a boat.
Not a problem. The next weekend I brought the boat down and started to
strip it. I also had the upholstery redone using as close a match that
I could find, reusing the original padding. During stripping I discovered
how close the factory was cutting costs, the outside of the planks still
had saw marks on them and the inside was planed to thickness and put on,
even if the board was still not smooth.
The boat was finished and is very close to original. She has been shown several times with a 1931 Evinrude 14hp Fastwin. It makes a nice combination but I would like to find a 1931 Evinrude 22hp Speeditwin for it. This boat was even used as a display at a graduation ball, they made a nice sign for it. After that it went to the Finger Lakes Boat Show as a land display, after the show it was put in our barn for storage. A couple of years later, I noticed that the sign had gotten wet from a leak in the roof, so I took the sign out of the boat. When it fell on the ground it landed upside down. On the back was a note that said “my father Leo Davids designed this boat when I was a young teenager, I’m 78 (this was in 1996), if you would like more history feel free to call.” The writer of the note also stated that “the feature at the time was that no one could tip the boat over and if they could, they received the boat free”. My heart sank upon finding the note a couple of years after it had been written. I called the number and a lady answered…what a relief. She could not add much more other than her father also designed and campaigned the FayBow race boat called “Static”. She had some photos but no paperwork, one of the photos I copied was of the boat “Static”. What a circle to complete.
There is a difference between the looks of the two hulls. The ’29 has sleeker sides, is narrower, the back of the crowned deck forms a V-shape from the center out to the sides, whereas the ’31 has a flat back edge with rounded corners. The ’29 has two bench seats with fold down backs going across the boat and a small jump seat on each side of the motor by the transom. The ’31 has the same seating arrangement, except that the jump seats are up front by the deck. I have a copy of a brochure for the 31 and another that I believe is for a ’30 or else was drawn before the final plans were done for the ’29. The back of the deck still has the V-shape, but there are no jump seats. It has a third bench seat without a back. Both brochures show a steering wheel but neither of my boats have one. But the ’31 has the
optional running lights.