Gar Wood Custom Boats located in Brant Lake, NY is a closely held family owned and operated corporation that specializes in the construction and restoration of the legendary Gar Wood Boats. The company co-founders, Tom and Larry Turcotte began restoring Gar Wood’s in 1969. The completion of their first Gar Wood in 1969 gave them something to be proud of. This pride stayed with them, and soon they began to restore additional boats.
Over the next few years those closest to Tom and Larry began to see their unique hobby transform into a passion.After finishing high school Tom went on to Cornell University where he graduated with a degree in Hotel Management. For eight years he was the manager of an Albany, New York hotel. Larry earned a BS degree from SUNY Oswego and his Master’s degree from the College of St. Rose, in Albany, New York. Following graduation Larry began teaching Industrial Arts.
The years 1984-1989 were a period of rapid growth for the Company. The brother's flourishing restoration business continued. The decision was also made at this time to seek out famous old Gar Woods which, when completed would be used as a springboard to promote the company and its new line of Gar Woods. This strategy turned out to be well founded. In 1986 the "Snail", a 33' Baby Gar with her 12-cylinder aircraft engine entered the boat show circuit by attending shows throughout the northeast. She not only won first place in each show entered but finished the season by being voted Antique Boat of The Year at the prestigious Clayton Boat Show. In the following year the "Snail" went on to win Queen of the River, the highest award an antique speedboat can attain.
The decade of the 1990’s was another period of rapid growth for the Turcotte's. By this time they were building new Gar Woods in their third building, a 40,000 square foot warehouse full of new Gar Woods being built by the Turcotte's as well as superb restorations.
From the first 33' 'Baby Gar' of 1987 the Turcotte's expanded the model line to include the following models: 16' Split cockpit, 16' Speedster, 19' Deluxe runabout, 22' Speedster, 22' and 25' Streamliner, and 22', 25', 28, 33', and 40' Custom Runabouts as well as 18', 20', and 24' Utilities. The 'Baby Gar' line was also expanded at this time to include the 28' Baby Gar.
GarWood Custom Boats Today
Today the Turcotte Brothers have moved once again to a new facility. With their latest move they have decided to continue to build Gar Woods on a limited basis. With years of experience behind them they have concluded that to build a quality wood boat with such a prestigious name as Gar Wood cannot be rushed.
The Turcotte's have altered the size of their operation to enable them to focus on their goal, which is so aptly stated in the 1937 Gar Wood brochure "while Gar Wood runabouts and utilities are standardized, in the sense that they are built to uniform model specifications, every one is built and finished to custom standards of quality. Every model is a custom model, not only in name, but in appearance," hence the name Gar Wood Custom Boat.