1951 Mills Snipe #8653 “Texan II” Before and After Restoration

8653 – Fire damage

by John Rose

I thought some would be interested in seeing this famous Clark Mills-built Snipe – originally owned by Harold Gilreath, 1956 SCIRA Commodore.  It was partially destroyed a number of years ago in an accidental shop fire while stored at McLaughlin Boat Works in Tennesee.

And it was amazingly restored from the inside out by skilled wooden boat builder and restorer, Joe Norton at Norton Boat Works (pictured, Green Lake Wisconsin) to this beautiful “show boat,”  when owned by Hal Gilreath (pictured, Jacksonville Florida).

It is now under the watchful care of Michael Jones (pictured) of Clearwater Florida, who is the shop guru at McKay Creek Boat Shop at Pinellas County Heritage Village in Largo Florida.  Francis Seavy’s famous 1948 Mills Snipe #6995 “Honey” is also displayed at the McKay Creek Boat Shop; and Jones is working on restoration of another famous 1951 Mills Snipe #8570 in the shop.  The shop is a replica of the boat shop that Clark Mills had in Dunedin Florida when he began building Snipes there in the late 1940s, after WW II.

John Rose

Volunteer Editor for Classic Snipes for SCIRA USA

Read also: Restoration of 8653 – Texan II – by Hal Gilreath

 

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