Long-term Forum Members and Readers know Mike Watson is one of the premier owner/restorers of the Commander Super Sport. His work was published in my “Restoration” book, which I do plan to reprint this year. In addition, Mike drove his 35 Commander across Lake Michigan to attend an event at Bay Harbor that I helped coordinate. A personable and quiet guy, who is a great captain and someone who sure helps give the classic boating community a good name.
Mike eventually repowered his 35 from small blocks to some take-out 454s, but when his family (including grandchildren) were all aboard it was evident that the boat size and particular layout was just a bit small for their needs. The Watson’s found a 47 in Florida, and to make a long story short, have already upgraded some of the interior issues and have motored back toward Lake Michigan as far as Green Turtle Bay, Kentucky, at the Land Between The Lakes (the point at which the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers come together and meet the Ohio.
Janet and I drove up to see Mike and Sue last weekend at Green Turtle Bay, and the boat looks great. It is huge. I think the grandchildren are going to think it is as long as a city block. The boat is Cummins powered, runs like a top. We fired up the engines and were going to run it across the impoundment to a new dock space; a car-load of marina workers headed out to meet us on the other end to help get the big boat into the slip, but by the time they got there Mike had already done a nice pivot turn and backed it into the slip. Even though there was a brisk wind, this operation was done, well, like he’s done it before, lol.
Here are some photos from the trip. We look forward to seeing more fun aboard this fine yacht, built the last year of production, and wish the Watson family all the best.
Here is Green Turtle Bay. We moved the boat from the main docks to that satellite covered dock in the upper right. While it was a short run by boat, it was several miles by car, and by the time the marina workers arrived to help Mike get the boat in the slip, we were already tied up snuggly.
And we’re off !!
And we are going to take that slip right next to the black and white boat (wind blowing briskly).
No problem, this guy must have run a boat sometime in his past, either that or it was some sort of divine intervention !!
A good time was had by all. Well our yacht-dog German Shepherd didn’t necessarily like to see us walk away from the car, but she was happy when we got back to the car and she was able to run around a bit, and was a perfect passenger up and back during the road trip. Getting her aboard a 47 would have been a task !!
Mike is already under way with upgrades during the trip northward, finding minor rainwater leaks, replacing pieces and parts here and there, and by the time this boat gets to Lake Michigan, it won’t be the same boat that left Florida.
Thanks Mike and Sue, for having us aboard, it was a fun encounter, the boat looks GREAT and we’re sure you guys will have a blast with it.
Paul & Janet