GP115 - Scorpio
A Lauterbach Grand Prix Hydro
Builder - Larry Lauterbach
Owner/Driver - Al Craig
Second Owner/Driver - Dick Whyte
It all began at the Wolfeboro Vintage Race Boat
Regatta in 2001, when I watched Bill Fisk put on
his driving suit. I turned to my wife and said - "
someday that will be me." My first meeting with Mr.
Larry Lauterbach was at the 2005 Wolfeboro Vintage
Race Boat Regatta and we talked about building a GP
hydro. That day and my dreams are now realty.
Al & Joan Craig 1/12/2007
Here are the first photos of my Lauterbach GP
hydro, Larry and I call it - "The Real Thing".
The boat will be named after my Mom's sign, Scorpio
and her birth date, GP115. Completion is scheduled
for June, will see you this summer on the
APBA Vintage Race Boat Circuit
The first pieces of "skin" are applied.
update on 2/6/2007 - the bottom of Scorpio has been
fitted, and all the screw holes have been pre-drilled.
She awaits the "crew" to mix the epoxy, "paint" it on
the keel and battens, then screw it in place.
These photos show the bottom installed, the first
coat of epoxy applied, and the air traps being fitted.
The photo on the right show the "Stable Mates" - Scorpio
(background) and Bluewater Special (foreground). As you
can see, Larry is moving along nicely. By this time next
week, he will probably have the sponsons all framed-out
and nearly complete with the planning surfaces and
non-trips. A true artist, he works quickly and
These photos were taken on 3/3/2007, and show the air
trap and sponson frames installed, now awaiting battens and
On 3/31/2007, the sponsons take shape as they get the
On 4/7/2007, Larry started on the sponson skin.
On 4/22/2007, the sponsons are completed.
On 5/7/2007, the finish coats are applied.
On 6/10/2007, work continues on
Scorpio as seats and cowlings get
molded, and the Big Block Chevy arrived
and awaits installation. The strut,
promised to arrive this past week, has
not appeared. It is needed to align the
shaft for boring. Let's hope it arrives
On 6/24/2007, the shaft log hole is bored, the
hardware started to arrive, and Scorpio was flipped
right side up !!!
On 7/2/2007, progress continues on sponsons with the
addition of the center batten and fairing. The bow has
also been faired to final shape and sanded. Then the
endless hours/days of sanding begins !!!
Another update from Dave Wagoner on July
15, 2007. The interior was given a coat of
urethane a week ago, and this past week,
Larry closed the sponsons and scarfed the
deck battens.The bracket for skid fin was
installed prior to decking the port sponson.
Larry Lauterbach is pleased to
announce that NORDIC has returned
home !!! Having just purchased
NORDIC, Larry plans to restore it
over the winter, so watch for lots
of project photos when the
Now on dollies, the boats get moved from
their original positions in the shop. Here,
some frames have been cut, and a few deck
battens have been installed to form the
cockpit and engine areas. The aft and dash
cowlings are temporarily positioned in
preparation for trimming. Scorpio's sponsons
are now fully closed. Note the piece of
frame that has been removed to make room for
the engine. Scorpio is now taking shape and
looks more like a hydroplane every day.
Close-up of the dash and tail fin show the
positioning and waiting for trimming.
Rudders are being assembled for
installation, and the internal brace for
rudder has been installed, now ready for
ready for rudder installation.
update on 7/30/2007 shows the deck battens
in place, and now Scorpio is ready for
decking. The engine bay shows plenty room
for that big engine, the dash and steering
are now in place, and the stern view shows
the shaft log and strut await the prop
Here is an update from David Wagoner on
8/4/2007 - the decking is on!
It was in the upper 90s, with high
humidity, when I went to MD's Eastern Shore
to photograph Scorpio. Larry was puttying a
few remaining screw holes with every
woodworker's favorite, Famowood, and trying
to stay cool as I walked into the shop.
Having finished filling the last few screw
holes, the Master sits on his favorite chair
to enjoy a refreshing breeze, on 90 degree
day. When the final finish is applied the
beauty of the wood will compliment the
simplicity and grace of this vintage dash.
Just a little more sanding and Scorpio
should be ready for the finishing stage.
And, as the sun slowly sinks into the west,
we bid a fond fair-well to a hot August day
at Lauterbach Custom Boats.
With a break in the hot, humid weather we
have been enduring in the Mid-Atlantic area,
the first of the finish coatings was applied
to Scorpio's beautiful wood. Al Craig has
elected to add a layer of fiberglass for
durability, protecting the wood for years to
come. Stay tuned as the count-down to
Scorpio's debut nears - at Wheeling !!!
Here we see Larry working on the engine
cowling of Scorpio. The hull has been sanded
and awaits final finish. Ordered at the
beginning of Summer, delivery of the Casale
gear box is behind schedule. Engine cowling
receives final prep, the engine mounting
rails await engine and gear box, and the
tail fin awaits its turn. Still pushing to
debut at Wheeling, but Wolfeboro seams more
These photos were taken on 8/27/2007, and
show the absolutely stunning finish ???!!!
The plaque reads - "Built by Lauterbach
Custom Boats for Al Craig, 2007", and the
foot brace and foot throttle (not visible)
have been installed. The fuel tank has also
been installed, the blue line leading to the
left side of the hull is the fuel vent. The
line on the right engine stringer leads to
the fuel filter (barely visible). The blue
line and distribution manifold, attached to
the left engine stringer, is for coolant
water and leads from the rudder.
The Casale Gearbox arrived on 8/30/2007
and Larry began the installation
immediately. Carolyn had just delivered the
seat (soft as glove leather). She began
making patterns for the cockpit cover and
padding as these photos were taken. Except
for a very brief break (for a photo
session), work continued in an effort to
have Al Craig's "Scorpio" ready for some
delivery and seat time at Buffalo. It's a race down to the wire.,
we shall see - stay tuned !!!
On 9/4/2007, the engine was installed.
Finally - project
completion on September 6th,
2007. The headers were
installed, the trailer
completed, final prep, sea
trials, then covering up for
a debut appearance at the
Buffalo APBA Vintage Regatta.
Many thanks to Larry Laterbach for
sharing the work on his most recent masterpiece, and to David Wagoner for
providing all the superb photos. Next week,
we will be posting many more photos from
"Scorpio's" debut at Buffalo, with lots of
action shots and the smiling face of Al
Craig, as he lives his dream - driving his
own Lauterbach Grand Prix Hydroplane - The
Real Thing !!!
Scorpio made Buffalo for testing, and then ran
extremely well the following weekend at the
Wolfeboro Vintage Race Boat Regatta.
Click here for recap and lots of
Whyte is the current owner/driver of Scorpio. The boat
is now based in Tavares, Florida and is active on the
Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit.
Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit
Recap & Photos - Tavares Spring Thunder Regatta
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