1956 22 Foot Stan Craft Torpedo Stern
June 17, 2018
Glacier Girl is a 1956 22 foot Stan Craft Torpedo Stern boat built in 1956 at Somers Montana on Flat Head Lake. The Boat is hull number 9 of 10 built from 1946 to 1956. Stan Young built these beautiful Torpedo Stern hulls in the winter and debut them in the spring of the year to attract customers to his business. They were all handmade and each year he made changes in the design. The big change came in 1954 when he added the “Bat Wings” and widened the transom design. There were only four built with the Wings and only three are known to exist. Glacier Girl was delivered in the spring of 1956 to the Lake McDonald Boat Company of West Glacier, Montana and operated as a ride boat from the south end of the lake at Apgar Village. A brochure obtained from the Glacier Park Archives reads as follows: “A sleek new 1956 Stan-Craft “Torpedo” Runabout operates daily from Apgar Village at the south end of Lake McDonald. Rides can be had at any time of the day during the summer season. An excellent view of the entire McDonald Valley is yours from this area and a ride on this boat could be one of the most remembered highlights of anyone’s vacation.” The cost of the ride was $1.00 per person.
The boat operated on the lake until the mid-60’s and remained in Montana for several years. Like most old wood boats, it passed through many owners and was eventually donated to the University of Oregon for a tax write off. The University sold it to an individual in Portland and he cosmetically made it into a running boat and after a couple of years he decided to sell it and I purchased it “Sight-un-seen.” Through a network of friends, it made its way to Orlando and underwent a total restoration. It has a new bottom, sides and decks. The side frames, covering boards, deck frames and shelf are all original. One of the most difficult challenges of the restoration was to remove all the steel screws and hardware. Stan Craft boats were built with steel fasteners because of the low moisture content in Montana. The restoration was a 3-1/2 year project and is an owner restored boat.
The original engine was a Chrysler 6 cylinder M47S, but that engine was replaced in the early 60’s and it is currently powered by a Indimar “Hammer Head” 5.7 Liter Corvette LS 1.
Many thanks to Terry Fiest for sharing this wonderful story on a very unique boat.