​​​​​​





​​​​​​



​​​​  Andrew “Andy” Kolarik was an employee of The Algoma Plywood Company, a subsidiary of U.S. Plywood Corporation, which was located in Algoma, Wisconsin. Andy helped develop the process for making plywood in molded shapes including boat hulls. In 1949 the molded plywood process and patents were sold to the Wagemaker Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Andy was loaned to Wagemaker to help in the start-up of a new company, U.S. Molded Shapes. Eventually he was hired by Wagemaker as Plant Manager of the new company. In addition to his supervisory duties he also designed boats, having studied naval architecture through University of Wisconsin extension classes. Andy’s office at U.S. Molded Shapes was located on a mezzanine. The office area was surrounded by windows looking out on the factory floor, and was nearly filled with an oversize drafting table. The table was large enough that Andy could crawl around on it lofting boat designs. Lofting is the transfer of a design into a full size plan which was then used to make patterns for the construction of the boat. Andy also developed new tools and devices to expedite the manufacturing process. As a manager, supervisor, designer, and engineer Andy wore many hats. 
In February 1960 Ray Wagemaker sold U.S. Molded Shapes and two other Wagemaker subsidiaries, Cadillac Marine & Boat Company of Cadillac, Michigan and Empire Boat Company of Frankfort, New York, to Schott Enterprises of Cincinnati, Ohio. In April 1960 a fire destroyed the 42,000 square-foot U.S. Molded Shapes plant. This was the second major fire at the company in a little over three years. In February 1957 a fire caused $750,000 damage, but most of that loss was to completed hulls stored in the boatyard. Following the 1960 fire, salvaged equipment was moved to Cadillac and the company consolidated with the Cadillac Boat Company. Andy moved with the company. In Cadillac Andy was also responsible for the design and build of fiberglass boats. The company struggled financially, hobbled by the fact that Wagemaker had retained the patents on the molded plywood process. After passing through several hands, the company finally closed its doors in 1962. Andy opened his own small company, Boatcraft, repairing small boats and building sailboats. When Andy’s wife Mary passed away in 1966, he moved back to Grand Rapids to be closer to his remaining family and left the boating industry. Andy passed away in 1980. by Mike Kolarik 
according to Mike Kolarik - I have also attached a picture of my Dad along with another employee, Al Michaelis. My Dad is the one pointing. The picture was retrieved from the ashes of his office after the fire of 4/23/60 destroyed U.S. Molded Shapes. by Mike Kolarik below









This is a hessel boat show on Aug 11, 2007 by Brian Fogarty below
other picture of my 1955 Wagemaker boat on Indian Lake,Ohio by Brian Fogarty below


This is another photo retrieved form the 1960's fire. Shown are:

Left to Right;

Lee Mei, Michigan District Sales Manager. Lee also raced and tested boats.

Oliver J. Wagemaker, Vice President. Ollie was an accomplished skeet shooter who won may trophies.

Raymond O. Wagemaker, President

Hubert Ries, Forman of the finishing department. by Mike Kolarik bel
ow
This is a picture of a jackknife which was a promotional in the '50s by Mike Kolarik below

Doug Bosch take a pictures at Essex Boat Show, CT, July, 2011 by Doug Bosch below

That boat is owned by Doug bosch
Thanks,
Brian Fogarty below
My Dad's 1955 Wagemaker Wolverine was brought into our family in 1967, including a 1957 35hp Evinrude Lark engine. By Erica below
This is a 1954 Wolverine with a 1957 evinrude fastwin
by Bob Desmarais below
This is a great story by Garry Spencer below
My dad, Chap Spencer, was Evinrude district sales manager and made Less & Ray
Wagemaker Evinrude dealers in 1934. At that time they were struggling to keep
the company afloat. Dad was pulling an Evinrude trailer which had the full
line of Evinrude and Elto motors in it. He was impressed by the Wagemaker
brothers and sold them three motors out of the trailer. It was friday night and
he had reservations about accepting the check so instead of sending it in to
Milwaukee with there order he decided to check with the bank when they opened
monday morning. He had deceided that if there wasn’t enough money to cover the
check, he would cover it himself. As he was waiting in line for the bank to
open, he was tapped on the shoulder. It was Ray with the money to cover the
check. Less and Ray had gone out saturday and sold all three motors to raise
the cash. Dad sold them three more motors off the trailer on credit. Dad
stressed advertising as a way to expand the company. It was the start of a long
friendship. We more or less became Wolverine dealers. Dad bought property
on Houghton Lake in Michigan and we build a log cabin there. A Wolverine was
our first boat. It spent the first couple winters hung from the rafters of our
front porch. Then we had a 2-½ car log garage built, it quickly held three
Wolverines and half a dozen outboards. Ray asked dad if he would buy an
interest in his boat company as he wanted to build a bigger factory. Dad
explained that would be a conflict of interests with his work at Evinrude. He
told Ray he should get a bank loan. Ray said the bank had already turned him
down. Dad replied he obviously didn’t ask the right way. Putting on his ‘MBA’
hat he quickly typed out a prospectus for Ray to give to the bank manager. The
loan was granted. The new Plant allowed for doubling production, but also
needed a bigger workforce. Ray expressed concerns about meeting the bank
payment after the summer business boom. Dad asked if ray had gotten the color
brochures he had recommended. Ray had and dad took a box of
them.  http://www.walagata.com/w/chapsboy/Family-Album/173001553139.Jpeg
At that time dad was covering the lower peninsula of Michigan, all of Indiana,
Ohio, western Pennsylvania, and northern Kentucky. As he visited his Evinrude
Elto dealers in those states he talked up Ray’s Wolverine boats and passed out
the Wagemaker Wolverine Brochures. As a result he signed up over 500 new
Wagemaker Wolverine dealers, each making deposits on two or three boats. Ray
stopped worrying, he paid off the loan that year. 1940 was also the year we got
a Wolverine Snipe sailboat as a Christmas present from Less and Ray. This
brought the number of watercraft in the garage to six.   http://www.walagata.com/w/chapsboy/Family-Album/48-Muskie.jpg
After  WW2 neighborhood racing came back. The under rated Mercuries were making a name for themselves in beating motors with a higher certified horse power rating.
Dad’s interest in outboards started in racing. He regularly beat the factory
racing teams and was hired by Ole Evinrude in 1928 to work in Elto’s  Experimental Engineering department. Elto was merged with Evinrude and Lockwood
in 1929 and dad found himself working as an assistant to Finn T. (Irgie) Irgens
from Lockwood Motors. Irgie was a believer that a lot of super deluxe features
made a better outboard that people would be eager to have at a higher price.
Dad felt the more you added, the more that could go wrong. Don’t get me wrong,
Irgie had a lot of great ideas. Dad just got frustrated spending so much time
figuring economical ways to make his great ideas work.  One of these great
ideas was an electric starting outboard. It was a feature found on some high
end automobiles. (However, they still had a crank under the seat for emergencies.) The starting motors in those days were massive things, adding 25 pounds to the weight of the motor. They powered the outboard when the ignition switch was turned on and an inturnal centripetal switch turned them into a  generator at approximately 1750 RPM. They also added $70 to the cost of the motor. Those who bought one were delighted with the smooth idling, Many did not realize they were running on the starter. In generator modi in a car they rarely ran over 3000 RPM. An outboard at speed regularly ran 1000 RPM faster.  Evinrude began seeing a lot of starter failures. Evinrude sent Dad on a fact finding mission to see what the trouble was, so it might be corrected. He
covered the dealers from the Mississippi to the Appellations south to the Gulf
of Mexico. When he returned, Bess Evinrude had two mail bags full of thank you
letters from people Dad had talked to. That is when he transferred from
Engineering to District Sales Manager for a territory covering all or part of
five states. Fast forward to 1946 - Mercury was making waves in “Stock Utility
Racing”. Steve Briggs remembered Irgie’s pride and Joy was a revolutionary
Racing outboard that cost over a thousand to build and was sold for $425 when a
new Ford cost $400. Although it was the first outboard to develop over a horse
power per cubic inch, few were willing the spend the money. Johnson blamed the
cost of it’s racing program for it’s bankruptcy in 1934. They won the races.
but lost the company to OMC. Now they refused to have anything the do with
racing. Our garage became Evinrude’s Experimental Engineering department. We
started a boat club and held Stock Utility races around the lake. My race boat
was a Wagemaker Wolverine. Ray had a bridge crane in the factory with a heavy
duty saw mounted on it. A twelve foot molded hull was mounted under it and cut
off four inches above the spray rail. The transom was installed 9’ 4” aft of
the bow. Dad had Ray put plywood reinforcements under the two auxiliary
keelsons, as one had pulled a screw loose in testing a previous boat and started
to leak. He built an identical boat for Lee Mei to race. They had a 12 footer
cut down to 11 feet for class B. We tried a Speeditwin and it ran pretty good.
When Dad sold his racing Speeditwin. we ran it with a Big Twin.
http://www.walagata.com/w/chapsboy/Family-Album/11footWolverine.jpg
http://www.walagata.com/w/chapsboy/Family-Album/34_MPH_Lightfour__1949_.jpeg



































This is a 1912 Wagemaker Furniture By Wagemaker Company, Ltd. This Company makes boats in later Years by Brian Fogarty below
This is a pictures of a 1954 ft seafarer by Jim mersman below
This is a 1946 Wagemaker boat ad by Garry Spencer below
This is a 1952 Wagemaker boat ad by Garry Spencer below
This is a 1949 Wagemaker boat ad by Garry Spencer below
This is a 1955 Wagemaker Boat ad by Wagemaker Boat Company by Brian Fogary
This is a 1957 Wagemaker Boat ad by Wagemaker Company by Brian Fogarty below

This is a 1947 Wagemaker boats ad by Wagemaker Company by Brian Fogarty below