On June 16, 1911, the Racine Boat Company sent the Kolb brothers a bid for $450 for two custom boats, including oarlocks and two pairs of oars per boat. They estimated the boats would be ready to ship in five weeks, on July 25. The deposit check of $250 was a few weeks in getting to Racine, but still the boats were complete by August 15. The final bill was sent that day, including an additional two dollars for 150 feet of half-inch manila rope.

The internet gives a conversion factor of 23.275 for 1911 dollars compared to today, meaning each boat (with oars and oarlocks), in today’s dollars, would cost about $5237. The rope would be about $46.50, or about 31 cents a foot.

The boat and oars are going to run somewhere in the neighborhood of $3000 for materials, but the rope is only $.23 a foot. We’re about two-and-a-half weeks into the build and about half done, so let’s see: 4–5 weeks, average of two folks working. That’s about 300- 400 hours. So we’re making minimum wage.

All in all, it looks like we’re on schedule and within budget.


But I think we need to ask Fretwater Boatworks for a raise.