Zimmie, ex-Red Baron (1935-2012)

Zimmie [ex-Red Baron]

Member Type: 

Non Member

Boat Name: 

Zimmie

prev-names: 

Red Baron

Year: 

1935

Length: 

65'

Builder: 

Shain Manufacturing

Fleet: 

  • Non-Member

Info: 

Per marine historian and CYA Life Member Steve Wilen:

Zimmie was the original name of this boat, built in Seattle, WA in 1935 by the Shain Manufacturing Company, Morris Shain, owner and designer (without help from Ed Monk). At 63', she is the largest yacht built by Shain. (Note: Shain is often spelled erroneously as Shane.) He called these streamlined boats "Trimmer Ships." [see http://classicyacht.org/research/shain for more info about Shain]  Zimmie's original owner was Stanley Donogh who was the local executive in Seattle with Sears Roebuck. She was taken into service during WWII, and at the war's end Donogh did not take her back. She was in Portland and restored by a man whose name I cannot recall, and he renamed her Gee Bee III. That owner had all the "dressy" chrome grab rails, spotlight, etc. attached, which really enhanced her look in my opinion.

At some point, she did end up back in Seattle and fell into a state of disrepair. Her interior was largely gutted, she was taking on a lot of water (bilge pumps running frequently), but she could still kick up a huge wake underway in Lake Washington. Eventually, a gentleman who lived in both Miami, FL and in Germany named Gerhard Bechtholdt purchased her and had extensive restoration work performed at the former Seaview East Marine in Seattle, which included an entirely new ducktail (or reverse) transom and hull work (I can't remember what all). That was in the mid-1990s, as I recall. He did not get to her interior in Seattle before trucking her to Miami. Mr. Bechtholdt always wanted to take his Red Baron (the new name he gave her) to Germany, but after a few years of considering this possibility he decided it was not feasible. We stayed in touch for several years, as he had joined the Classic Yacht Association, of which I am a Life Member. At some point -- I don't recall the precise year -- he decided to put her up for sale, he dropped his membership in the CYA, and that pretty much ended my information on Zimmie/Gee Bee III/Red Baron.


Update:

ZIMMIE was sunk in the hurricane of 2005 as trees fell on her. For four plus years she filled with rain water and suffered heavy rib deterioration. Craig Jones found her and attempted to find a place that would let him haul it but all refused. He rigged a 70' trailer and rig in an attempt to get her out on the hard and in the process her back broke and she was cut up. [November 2012]