Nov 2018 - Here is a very rare 16' Dee-Wite restored outboard runabout that has never been launched since restoration was completed in 2013. The previous owner purchased the boat in 2006, needing a complete refit. He contracted the work to be done, it was completed.
Check this out: http://www.woodyboater.com/blog/2011/05/30/dee-wite-makes-boating-a-national-pastime/
The Dwight Lumber Company of Detroit, Michigan began building wooden boats in the mid-1920’s, by the late 1920’s they were specializing in smaller boats named Dee-Wite Boats. One of their marketing slogan’s, as shown in a small 1930 paper ad was, “Dee-Wite Makes Boating A National Pastime”, a bold statement considering the number of companies building mahogany runabouts at the time.
Bob Speltz best describes the Dee-Wite line of boats in his book “The Real Runabouts IV”.
By 1929 Dee-Wite boats were being sold on a national basis. Although the firm built only outboards for a couple of years (1928 & 29), one of their boats was quite unique. A double planked mahogany outboard runabout was quite an oddity in 1928. You will note that the boat is quite common in her appearance, but it was hefty, outboard-wise, for those days. The hull was 16′ long, 54″ wide. Six adults could ride in comfort in two separate cockpits aboard the craft, with upholstery for added luxury and convenience. With a large outboard of the period, the 16′ runabout was said to have reached 35 MPH with two passengers aboard.
Having “broken the ice” so to speak, 1929 saw that original 16-footer restyled with cockpit coamings raised on each side that swept upward aft, forming a covered motor box under which the outboard motor was nicely concealed. With the engine cover, the boat had the appearance of small inboard. Subtle changes were made on the model for 1930, including a semi “V” windshield rather than the original flat glass panel type.
With the Depression in full force by then, the small boat buyer was really knocked out of the market, so later in 1930 Dee-Wite totally dropped all outboards to concentrate on the more deluxe inboard speedboat of the era.
Dee-Wite continued in business at least into 1934 when sorry economic conditions finally spelled the death knell of this fine builder. Bob Speltz – The Real Runabouts IV
When we toured the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum in Alexandrea, MN last fall, we had an opportunity to see one of the best examples of an original Dee-Wite Deluxe Outboard on the planet.
“KEBE” is an ultra-rare 1929 16 ft. Dee-Wite with a 1929 14-horsepower Lockwood Silent Chief Outboard. This beautifully restored boat has appeared in several antique & classic boating publications and is a Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance show winner. “KEBE” was donated to the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum by Pete Allen.
"VICTORIA" is identical to "KEBE." There is no outboard, but the trailer shown comes with the boat.
PHOTOS: The first group of photos are of the boat for sale, “VICTORIA”. The second set represent “KEBE” which is the ultra-rare 1929 16 ft. Dee-Wite with a 1929 14-horsepower Lockwood Silent Chief Outboard. Victoria was restored to her present condition in 2011, and has never been in the water.
The boat is stored in a Kennebunk, ME barn and available for your viewing. REALLY a fun boat!