Legacy of Bob Speltz – April ’97 BoatHouse
Bob Speltz had always been fascinated by boats. As a child, he remembered pressing his nose against the glass of showroom windows to see the newest GarWood or Chris Craft on display. A former social studies and economics teacher, he became ill with kidney disease in 1972 and was forced to quit teaching. He turned to writing and research as a way to spend his spare time and help pass the hours of dialysis he was underwent.
In 1977, Speltz authored and published The Real Runabouts, an anthology on the history of the inboard runabout from its inception and the first of its type ever written. A total of seven volumes preserves Bobs remarkable knowledge and passion for antique boating.
He was honored by the Antique Boat Society of Manset, Maine as Marine History of the Year for 1978 and 79. In 1982, Land-O-Lakes changed its name to the Bob Speltz Land-O-Lakes Chapter. He was a regular contributor to lake and boating magazines and continues avid research of antique and classic boats until his disease claimed him in 1994. Should the era of the wooden boat every truly end sometime in the future, Bobs books will still be there to preserve the legacy of this craft for generations to come.