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A beautiful new-build Gentleman’s Racer “Bugbite.”

July 2, 2019 in Uncategorized


Our congratulations to Kevin Fitzke. of the USA who has completed a two year creation of a classic-design Gentleman’s Racer.
To say that Kevin is a talented craftsman is an understatement . “Bugbite” is a masterpiece. Enjoy Kevin’s  photos and description below.

Designed by A.Apel of Ventnor Boat Works
-Ventnor’s factory boat is very similar to this printed plans version but has some difference according to the 1936 catalog i.e. bigger step, more dramatic sheerline, forward chine section, signature Ventnor trim tab etc.

Plans originally published in the 1935 Feb. issue of Motor Boating Magazine
– Plans were again published in the 1936 Motor Boating Ideal Series Book, vol. 17
– Unknown how many of the factory or replicas were ever built. I have some photos of a couple different factory and replicas.
– Sunflower Craft Boatworks made a version (Printed in The Real Runabouts book vol. 1) that is located in Michigan.
– However, there are four other known boats being built to these printed plans. In which only one of them is functional (Ike K. in Seattle Washington)
Bugbite –

– Been about two years so far in the build
– White oak framing, cold molded with bronze fasteners
– Lloyds Marine plywood planking, cold molded with bronze fasteners
– 1/4″ Philippine decking with chrome plated brass screws exposed
– Marine two-part hybrid varnish on the deck (11 coats)
– Marine two-part urethane paint and clear coat (5 coats)
– Gold leafed and hand lettered name, Bugbite and racing number
– Hand made aluminum windshield and air scoop (In progress)
– Aviation inspired dash
– 1965 GM 283 cu.in. motor with Borg/Warner hydraulic transmission (About 190 hp)
-Tuck-n-roll upholstery (In progress)
– Custom trailer

The name Bugbite is because once you get bit by the boat bug you are hooked. It is also a pretty small boat hence the ‘Bug”. The racing number, F-36 is for the 225cu.in race division (F Class) this boat was designed for and 36 is my age right while I complete the boat.

I’m not sure if this boat is technically a replica, reproduction, modern classic, contemporary etc. in terms of what to officially call it? I’ve been calling it a modern classic based on the Ventnor designed boat.

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