Port Orange man works to keep maritime history afloat
It says Mayor W.C. Perry will introduce the guests. Anne France, the wife of future NASCAR founder Bill France (he worked at the boat works during the war and was in charge of the pipe fitters) will christen the boat, dubbed SC 1304. And the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Band will play “Anchors Aweigh” as a flag is raised to proclaim the company’s E Award for war-production excellence.
“Daytona Boat Works was the largest employer in Volusia, and it’s a fascinating story, but most people here haven’t heard of it,” Tinsley said.
Tinsley’s passion is the area’s maritime history. He’s standing in a small house in Daytona Beach Shores packed with marine artifacts: propellers, boat radios, sonar units, marina signs, spars, lanterns, boat blueprints and yellowing reference books. Photographs and old signs line the walls.
He says people call all the time with more finds.
Tinsley actually lives in another house nearby. This second house is just for all the nautical stuff. The collection long ago outgrew his home and was, for a while, displayed in a small museum, the Daytona Maritime Museum, at the Aquamarina Daytona.
Now he’s casting about to find a new home for the artifacts.
He carefully returns the program to a glass case.
Building Navy subchasers was a big part of Daytona Beach’s contribution to the war effort and in the process helped lift the town out of the Great Depression.
“Seventeen of them were built here,” Tinsley said. The facility, on present-day Marina Pointe, south of the Halifax River Yacht Club, also built rescue and supply boats for the U.S. Army.
The subchasers were 110-foot, no-frills, diesel-powered, plywood-hulled vessels. Each carried a crew of a little under 30 people. They could move at up to 20 knots, but usually cruised at 12 knots.
The boats could fling depth charges from their sides and launch anti-submarine Mousetrap rockets from their sterns. They were armed with a 40-mm mounted gun and two .50-caliber machine guns.