Spirit of Long Island: the two Eltros
I am the proud owner of two pieces of local Long Island history: two plywood runabouts built by the Eltro boat company in East Islip right alongside the Long Island Railroad tracks. They are a 1966 16 foot model and a 1968 17 foot model.
About “Stormy C”, the 17: purchased as a surprise 16th birthday gift for me by my father for us to restore together. Presented on my 15th birthday with intention of a simple one-year restoration, and launch and first run on my 16th birthday. Well, as these things go the restoration needed to be far more invasive than originally anticipated and wound up taking 5 years, with first run taking place just before I turned 20. We rebuilt the boat entirely in our driveway with help from several knowledgeable people. We chose to install a reliable modern outboard, which although looks out of place on a vintage boat, was necessary since I use the boat extensively during the season. Its a great deal of fun, and draws quite a bit of attention wherever I go with it!
About “Second Chance”, the 16: donated to our club chapter circa 2008, she underwent complete restoration in the Frank F Penney boat shed at the Long Island Maritime Museum. Completed in 2013, she was launched at DeGarmo’s boatyard with a party that included a custom Eltro logo cake. The boat was then stored away for the next 5 years, before finding its way into my hands. 5 years of sitting under covers meant it needed a total refresh, so fresh paint, stain, varnish and upholstery brought it back to life. I decided it would be named Second Chance, since its future was somewhat uncertain until I was fortunate to take possession of it. Power for this boat is a vintage 1967 johnson outboard, which is currently undergoing its own restoration, having needed a new engine block. This boat received a high honor at the 2019 ACBS international boat show in Alexandria Bay, the 1000 islands, where it was judged and took the gold award for restored classic outboard.