GIAMPA AMONGST OTHERS
I LANSTON TYPE COMPANY I GERALD GIAMPA I
¶ ELCO OWNERS included Czar Nicholas II, Admiral Dewey, Baron Nathanial de Rothschild, Charles Lindbergh, Thomas Edison, John F. Kennedy (used and nearly costing him his life) and General Douglas MacArthur. But in my case the most important owner of an Elco is Mr. Giampa.
Eliza was Elco's first 42 foot Flat Top designed by Glen Tremaine in a stock production run of 100. This vessel was built in 1927 predating the published production of this model probably indicating she was 'the prototype vessel.' Eliza is powered by her original Lathrop marine gas engine.
I scoffed at suggestions she was a rum runner in the prohibition years. Initially I suspected the only rum she ran was down the skipper's throat. However, the more I became familiar with this particular vessel and the capabilities of her power plant I realized the engine exceeded requirements of vessels of her ilk. This vessel idles at six knots, most vessels of her vintage were lucky to cruise at six knots. Eliza's cruising speed was reportedly 22 knots. Personally I never had the opportunity to test this theory. But Eliza is deceptive in appearance in that her proportions above the water line are not indicative of those below the water line. In any case I cannot report with any measure of accuracy on her reputation as a rum rummer.
In fact my instincts say otherwise.
¶ THE WHEELHOUSE was perhaps the finest example of this eras woodwork I had ever seen. She was in mint, and I stress mint condition. The varnish was blemish, blister and run free. In West Coast boat painting terms the finisher had control over his products.
I made the mistake of asking a Seattle boat painter where he bought such co-operative varnish.
The varnish turned out to be more co-operative than the painter and the painter appeared to have more control over his brush than his temper.