Alan and Berit Spaeth – Shop and Outboard Collection
R.C. Hawie – Race Boat and Engine Collection
March 20, 2021
Alan and Berit Spaeth
Member of the AOMCI and ACBS
On Saturday morning at 9am a group of 50-60 members from the AOMCI and the Sunnyland Chapter of the ACBS met at Alan Spaeth’s shop in Lakeland. Upon our arrival, we were greeted by Alan at the door of the shop. As we made our way inside the building, it opens up into what looks more like a museum than an actual shop. Beautiful boat and engine banners line the walls, the boats are lined up each in pristine condition with a placard attached describing the boat and engine. Every boat and engine has been fully restored by Alan. As you make your way toward the middle of the building you will find a 40’ enclosed trailer displaying a number of antique outboard engines and antique boating memorabilia lining the walls.
As we make our way toward the back of the building, we find that magical area where Alan brings life back to what many have thrown away. The work bench, tools, machines and parts bins are all meticulously placed awaiting the next surgery to be performed by Alan. I know some will shy away from an old Mercury outboard engine, not Alan, he is the go to guy for all Mercury engines. It just so happens during our tour, we saw several engines in various stages of restoration. As you make your way around you will find bins and bins of parts for all types of engines all inventoried and labeled. Oh just ask a question and it doesn’t take long to see the passion Alan has for these old boats and engines. Alan has a wealth of knowledge and he is always very patient and willing to share it with us.
We would like to thank Alan and Berit for sharing their beautiful collection with us.
R. C. Hawie
Honorary Lifetime Member of the AOMCI
President of the Florida Chapter of the AOMCI
On Saturday afternoon the group visited the shop of R.C. Hawie in Lake Hamilton. R.C. joined The AOMCI in 1966 at the age of 12 when his dad took out a membership for him. Jay Walls, the president of the AOMCI, wrote an article that was published in the January 2021 issue of The Antique Outboarder. Jay asked R.C. how many boats and motors he had in his collection. R.C. said “boat count is at 44, my racing number, so I guess I’ll have to stop there. Engines? I sort of lost count and I know better than to keep an inventory up to date. 300 plus would be a good bet”.
During our visit to R.C.’s shop or what I would actually call a one man’s working museum, we were able to see a rich family history of racing. The shop is filled with race engines and many of the boats that R.C. set records in. As you walk inside the shop, you will pass by work benches where R.C. is working on an engine. Further down you will see the race boats and engines stacked to the ceiling on racks, on the floor is a display of a full set of 1958 Evinrude outboards lined up.
This was a very educational tour hosted by a legend in outboard racing. We truly appreciated R.C. opening up his shop and sharing his stories and knowledge in the history of outboard racing.
A big thanks to Alan Spaeth, R.C. Hawie and Bill Vogel for putting these tours together.