Pocock Singles Project
Bob Bush
1950's Lightweight Teardrop Single Pocock
7/24/07

Date: 7/18/07
To: Jim Buckley
From: "BBBush"

Jim,

A quick note to let you know that I have the boat on the water and it rows beautifully! I have added a picture from the 1954 edition of the NAAO Official Guide that shows a picture of the boat after Walter H. Jr. won both the Association Singles, and the 150 Sr. Singles, at the 1953 National Championships. It may be the first year that he used the boat. It might be worth adding to the post.

Speaking of the post - I'll put a bit more coherent write-up below.

Thanks again for the seat. It works fine and according to the last owner "looks just like the original!" I appreciate your help!

Bob

1953 Pocock teardrop lightweight built by George Pocock and first owned by Walter Hoover, Jr. The 1954 edition of the NAAO Official Guide shows a picture (reproduced here) of the boat after Walter Hoover Jr. won both the Association Singles, and the 150 Sr. Singles, at the 1953 National Championships. It may be the first year that he used the boat. Walter Hoover, Jr also rowed in a 2X on the US National Team at the 1952 Olympic Games, won the 1955 Pan Am Games and rowed as an alternate on the 1956 Olympic Games. Walter Hoover, Jr is the son of Walter M. Hoover, an internationally acclaimed rower who in the 1920's won four national sculling titles (one "senior" and three "elite") of the then National Association of Amateur Oarsmen (the NAAO), and in 1922 won the Diamonds Sculls at the Henley Royal Regatta on the Thames.

The boat is 26.5 feet long and 12 inches wide just forward of the splash guard. I bought the boat in the fall of 2006. It was complete except for the seat and had been stored in a tobacco barn for 20-30 years. The boat was in excellent shape except for several splits in the cedar plank hull. Under the foot stretcher is written "Small Single Hoover". A closeup of the footstretcher shows the inscription. The decking appeared to be original (varnished fiberglass cloth).

The boat was restored from November 2006 to July 2007. The splits in the hull were edge epoxied using a hair drier to reduce the viscosity of the epoxy to get good penetration. The original deck was removed, revealing only one set of staple and bede nail holes. The only loose support members turned out to be the cross supports under the front splash boards. The outside of the boat was stripped down to the bare wood (using chemical strippers). The deck was replaced with Dacron cloth held with heat activated glue tape (HeatnBond) and the original bede. The boat was re-varnished with Epifanes. The original riggers were cleaned and re-painted with Rustoleum. The boat was re-launched on 7 July 2007.

Additional pictures can be found at: http://picasaweb.google.com/bbdjabush/20061120_PocockRestoration

From: BBBush
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2007
To: Jim Buckley
Subject: Pocock

Jim,

I uploaded one more picture of the bottom of the stretcher. I think you can make out the words. They look like they were written with a sodering iron or something of that sort. When I bought the boat it was referred to as a lightweight boat - and I believe that is the reference on the bottom of the stretcher. The boat is 26.5 ft long (as I recal - it has a bit of wet varnish at the moment - I'll try to re-measure later). It is 12" wide (including the bede on both sides), widest about at the point of the splash guard.

I do not know Walter Hoover, Jr. However, I also Googled him and saw your references. I also picked up this at: http://www.rowinghistory.net/US%20Team/members-h.htm

Walter M Hoover, Jr. - 1978 World Champ, Wm Sr. Team,Coach
Walter M Hoover, Jr. - 1952 Olympic Games, Men Sr. 2x, elim, 1
Walter M Hoover, Jr. - 1955 Pan Am Games, Men Sr. 2x. 1st. 1
Walter M Hoover, Jr. - 1956 Olympic Games, Men Sr. Team, Alt.
Walter M Hoover, Sr. - 1928 Olympic Games, Men Sr. 1x, 2nd, Alt.
Walter M Hoover, Sr. - 1956 Olympic Games, Men Sr. Team, Coach
Bernard S Horton - 1963 Pan Am Games, Men Sr. 4+, 3rd, Cox

It appears he rowed in a double at the 52 and 56 Olympics, and won the Pan Am games in 55. I assume that this boat was built for him as a training boat, but that is only speculation. I believe that he is indeed the son of Walter Hoover, Sr.

I bought the boat last fall for $800. It is complete except for the seat, I believe the riggers are also original. I have not asked the seller if I can send his name, so am hesitant to name him now, but he still rows, and was a collegiate coach in the past. He tells a story of George Pocock helping him with his rigging once while he was preparing for a race. I do not know if the boat was purchased directly from Walter Hoover, Jr.

So, that is most of what I know about the boat.

Bob Bush*

From: BBBush
Sent: Sunday, February 25, 2007
To: 'Dave Grimmer'
Subject: RE: Pocock

Dave,

Thank you for your reply and the info about your project. I have a fewpictures posted athttp://picasaweb.google.com/bbdjabush/20061120_PocockRestorationif you are interested in seeing some shots as I progress. (I also havestarted a discussion thread at google/rec.sport.rowing if you would like toread some random ramblings...)

I still have a possible lead on the original seat - the rower who sold it tome is waiting for warmer weather to search his attic. I will let you knowhow the search turns out. There are some pictures of the rails posted atthe site above it that helps you identify what seat is needed.

Your project to build new boats sounds very interesting. My project appearsto be mostly original, if you would like any pictures or other informationto help you out, let me know. I'd be glad and interested to help.Unfortunately I am a bit far (in Connecticut), but if you are in the areaand would like a look at the boat George built for Walter Hoover, Jr, I'd beglad to give you a 'tour'.

One more question if that is ok? I was originally planning to just sand andre-coat the existing varnish. However, I am now being advised to completelystrip the old varnish instead. I suspect that this will postpone my launchdate by a bit. Do you have any opinions on if re-coating the old varnish isa good way to go? Or is it likely deteriorated and the result will be notso good? Also, will a new coat of varnish over the old make it moredifficult to strip and re-varnish after this season?

I would be interested in keeping up with your Cedar Singles project if youhave a mailing list or something. Thank you again for your interest and anyinsights you can provide.

Bob


Jim,

Your website is a good idea. Yes feel free to pull some pics off the link.

I hope to post some more pictures once I finish and get the boat ready for the water. Just for a bit more history if you are interested, the boat was originally made for Walter Hoover, Jr. in the early 50's, but I do not know the date. Under the foot stretcher is written "Small Single Hoover". I will try to get a closeup picture of that and post it also. The boat is teardrop in shape. The boat was stored in a tobacco barn for about 25 years, and there were many splits in the hull that needed repair. I have been at a loss as to what good pictures of the project would be. If there are particular areas of interest, let me know and I will see what I can do. Unfortunately, I have the deck installed now so the insides are covered. I am convinced the decking I removed was original as there is only one set of staple holes and nail holes for the bede. The boat was pristine under the deck. I do not know how it rows yet, but am anxious to give it a try! I will try to get a good set of pictures together, and perhaps some brief text, once I am finished.

I am very interested if you can find enough parts to get a seat together. I am down to the last coat of varnish and so am looking for something soon. Let me know if you think you can track something down, and what you think it would cost. Otherwise, I will probably retro-fit a new set of tracks and a seat to get it on the water, I think I can manage it without any new holes in the deck so I will be able to refit the original seat rails if a seat turns up.

Sorry a bit slow in responding, I have been out of town on travel. Thanks for your help!

_______

Bob,

I added some of your pictures and comments to our "fleet" pages at http://www.pocockclassic.com/fleet/Bush.html

I'm curious about the inscription on your boat, "Small Single Hoover". How wide is your boat at the gunwale in the widest place and how far is that from the bow? And how long is the shell?

I don't suppose you know Walter Hoover. I Googled him and cam up with some interesting stuff. http://www.rowinghistory.net/box-boat.htm talks about Joe Garafalo and "hoover box boats" and says that "Walter M. Hoover, an internationally acclaimed rower who in the 1920's won four national sculling titles (one "senior" and three "elite") of the then National Association of Amateur Oarsmen (the NAAO), and in 1922 won the Diamonds Sculls at the Henley Royal Regatta on the Thames." the article also mentioned that the box boat was built for someone much lighter than 190 pounds.

http://www.natrowing.org/rowing_history.htm also mentions the "box boat" and that the Walter Hoover, Jr. had donated a pair of sculls made by Walter Hoover, Sr. to the Mystic Seaport Rowing museum.

So, I assume that "Small Single Hoover" means your boat is a lightweight boat built for (probably) Walter Hoover, Jr. who may be the son of the famous 1920's rower and who may still be known to the staff at Mystic Seaport.

Best,
Jim Buckley

Bob

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