The Elco, Zephyr III

The Elco, Zephyr III

This past summer at the Clayton Antique Boat Show there were two very special boats. They were both manufactured by Elco and were built in Bayonne N.J.

Zephyr III (pictured above and below) is a 1928 50′ Elco.  Major restoration started in 1992.  The Owner,  John Cowle, is from Toronto with home port in Picton Ontario. Zephyr III has twin screws with gas engines.  The picture above was taken during the Sunday parade. Gadfly is behind.

About ELCO

The 1893, the Electric Launch Company incorporated and began building electric motor boats. In 1919, when the range and power of gasoline engines grew, Elco converted to gasoline. During World War I, the company built sub chasers.  After the war they began building pleasure crafts such as the Cruisette, Veedetts and Flattops. During World War II, Elco manufactured the famous PT boats building 399 of those famous 80′ torpedo boats. The most famous of these was PT109 captained by LTJG John Kennedy. In 1949 the company was shut down. It is estimated that 7500 boats were built and about 400 are still in use. A new Elco company was started in 1987 and is still in existence today making electric launches.

The picture below was taken at the Clayton Town Dock, and you can see a laker in the background.  Click on both pictures to see the detail on this gorgeous antique cruiser.  The second Elco will be featured in an upcoming post.

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5 Comments For This Post

  1. Dan Says:

    Great photo River Girl!!! I wish it were summer 24/7

  2. Richard Says:

    Hey beautiful

  3. Don Weissman Says:

    My family owned this boat in the late 1960’s. In fact, my father gave this boat its name. I am quite surprised to see it still retains the same name. I was in my teens when we owned it and spent my summers living on it. We used to travel the Long Island Sound in it keeping at the then Capri Marina in Port Washington. Great memories.

  4. Richard Says:

    Please contact me if you have more information on Zephir III and its history.



  5. Don Says:

    Richard, I’m not sure what info I can offer but feel free to email me at with any questions. I will say that I really loved that boat. Unfortunately, after a couple of years or so, my father felt that it was a bit too “high maintenance” and sold it for a more modern vessel (36′ Pacemaker).


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