A boatbuilder for the last 25 years, Steve Balcer has become well-versed in building newer-style wooden boats and restoring older vessels.
That’s why his most recent project — to build a three-quarter scale replica of a 1930s raceboat from scratch— was one of his biggest challenges to date. Taking three years to complete the craft, it also registers as one of his longest projects ever.
“I wanted to build a boat like this because it’s very unique from what I typically build,” said Balcer, of Munger, Mich., who considers himself a self-employed specialized handyman. “They don’t build them like this anymore.”
After World War II, the original boat was sold to big band legend Guy Lombardo who renamed the her Tempo VI. Lombardo raced the boat — known as one of the world’s first successful three-point hydroplanes, according to www.thunderboats.org — for many years before it eventually crashed during a race.