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Jan
21st

Glen Wooldridge, 40 years in the Family Business!

Wooldridge BLOG

Not only is Wooldridge Boats celebrating 100 years as a family owned and operated business this year, but 40 years ago this month, my father Glen Wooldridge started working here at Wooldridge Boats with his father Bob Wooldridge!!!  My father has been an innovator of industry leading ideas for the aluminum boat world since the day he stepped in. Like his grandfather who he was named after, he never shied away from opportunity to develop a new idea and go prove it in real world applications. Here is a look back in photos at some of his early special moments and adventures.

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1976 - This a couple years before I came along. This is my father Glen up on the Thompson River in British Columbia Canada, this river is the largest tributary of the Fraser River. This is my father running a back channel with my great grandfather Glen Wooldridge Sr. sitting on the bank observing. They had run from Spences Bridge up to Lake Kamloops on this trip. The year before (1975) Glen Wooldridge Sr. was the first to run Hells Gate on the Fraser at the age of 79.

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1979 – I should be about one year old at this time. Customer and now longtime friend Chuck Jones had invited my father over for a trip on the Snake River in Idaho. This is Wild Sheep rapid in Hells Canyon on the Snake River. Dad put in at Pittsburg Landing and with my Grandfather Bob Wooldridge and my Aunt Stacey in the boat they ran up to the Dam durring this trip. The boat is 21’ long, 5’ bottom and 24” sides with a 351 Ford with 3-Stage Pump.

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1980 – This is Vinegar Crk Rapid on the Salmon River in Idaho. The boat he is running is also a 21’ boat with 5’ bottom and 24” sides. (This is another trip with friend Chuck Jones)   On this trip they launched at the end of the road above Riggins and ran up through Salmon Falls and back.   (My Great Grandfather Glen Wooldridge Sr. was the first to run up the Salmon River from Riggins up to Salmon City in 1948 with a 20’ wood boat and 33hp Evinrude with prop!!)

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1980 – This is the same trip showing my father running up Salmon Falls.

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1982 – I was here for this one but not in this photo. This is again in Idaho though this time on the Payette River for the Western Whitewater Association Jet Boat race.   We stayed with our Friends the Jones’s where Taylor (Chuck’s son) and I became friends and still are today. This photo shows my father Glen at the helm with my Grandfather Bob and my Aunt Stacey in the boat as each boat was required to have three people in it during the race.  That year my father had the fastest time for the overall race averaging 62mph and also won the slalom event.  The boat is also 21’ with 5’ bottom, 24” sides and powered by a small block Chevy (that our friend Dennis Newell Built) and 3-stage pump.

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1982 – This is the Skykomish River north of Seattle. This boat is a 16’ Plus outboard jet boat with my Father at the helm with my Grandfather Bob Wooldridge sitting in front of the console.   They were testing the outboard jet tunnel which was revolutionary in giving a boat the ability to run in shallow water with aggressive handleing.  This is the same period of time that my father came out with the Stainless Steel impeller for the outboard jet.

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Here is another great picture from the early 1980’s. This is my father running down Vinegar Crk. Rapids on the Salmon River in Idaho with a 22’ Classic, 6’ bottom, 30” sides powered by a 351 Ford and 3-stage jet.

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I hope you have enjoyed a little look back into some of my dad’s history here, there is much more to come!!

Grant Wooldridge

Added on 01/21/2015

by Wooldridge Boats

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