The Overniter was based on the Gar Wood 24′-6″ runabout hull and had a three-year run, from 1939-41, during which 29, total, were built, 10 in 1941, the final and best-equipped year. Ours was certified as #26 and one of only three twin-engined hulls (either that year or overall; don’t know). We know of only one other extant Overniter, a 1940, single-screw, painted-hull, ragtop version.
Our boat came from the states and Boyd Mefford finished restoring her in 2002, logging some 2,000 hours. The owner intended the restored boat to be his vacation transport from Connecticut to Nantucket – a challenging task for a 25′ twin-engined hull, in open ocean, carrying only 40 gallons of fuel and Boyd succeeded in pointing out the folly, however great her hull might be in swells. We’re the third owner since, one of whom was only a short-term commercial trader. She made the cover of Classic Boating #139 in 2007 and you may recognize her foredeck and prow from this year’s (and last’s) Boat Show poster. She’s not just a pretty face as her hull design is near flawless no matter what the weather, and her Gar Wood designers packed the Overniter with an extraordinary list of features including covered cockpit 40’s-style AC, head, cabinets, dining table and twin berths. This model is a superb multi-day cruiser, including over the past week. She’s weathered some large Simcoe and Georgian Bay seas, for hours at a time, without complaint.
The gearboxes are an integral to the engines and engage through progressive pressure before mechanically locking into place. I love twins for instant maneuverability and here, the viscous engagement, forward and reverse, means I can feather her into even the tightest spots without touching the wheel or (separate) throttles, using only two massive, wheel-height, chrome gear levers (see cockpit photos). It’s a powerful, rewarding experience in her stand-up/sit down cockpit. The only downside is that, with viscous coupling, neutral really isn’t.
Curtis Hillman touched her up last autumn; a good and very capable guy.
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